Saturday, September 29, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast September 30, 2012 – October 6

Are you finding it hard to remember intentions that were set at the New Moon* this lunar cycle? Although it was only two weeks ago, a lot has shifted and it may be difficult to bring to mind the kinds of things that were important when the Moon and Sun joined together in Virgo. My intention was to honor the small ways that I know I am doing my work and the ways I know that progress is being made. Did I accomplish my intention or did it lose its relevance when the Sun entered Libra? Every sign prepares the way for the next sign. Virgo has given way to Libra. It may feel odd to apply ourselves to humble service when the big shifts of last week ask us to respond in bigger ways. Animals automatically know what to do with a change in season. Sometimes we forget we are animals too. Agendas change when the seasons change. This seems especially true this month. It doesn’t necessarily mean that my intention is no longer relevant. But it does mean that I may need to reframe it. Has that happened for you too?

I think I was hoping that the Virgo work of this lunar cycle would be about tending my own hearth, getting things in order, finding some calm around which to anchor my life. It hasn’t exactly turned out that way. The Cardinal energy of Sun entering Libra and a Full Moon in Aries that activated the square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn has disrupted that attempt at simplicity. Cardinal energy is about action. Opportunities present themselves, we want to see something happen, and so we get involved.

This change in plans, or what I thought my plans would be, is an opportunity to notice how I react to the unexpected. Change is the constant right now. How are you reacting to constant change? Virgo’s gifts aren’t entirely forgotten. This sign reminds us to take care of our bodies when we are feeling anxious or stressed. As the Moon wanes through the final two weeks of the Virgo cycle, it will be good to tend to the whole self, body and mind.

Virgo, as a Mutable sign, also teaches us how to be adaptable. This week, four planets change signs and another one stations retrograde. Flexibility is a resource as we navigate these fluctuations.

Sunday, September 30.
What are your big ahas? Allies want to help us understand better what our roles are in the evolving multiverse. What is your gift? What are you being called to do? What is your guiding mission? All kinds of insights are possible. The Full Moon phase lasts through October 3rd. We have plenty of time although it may be hard to remain patient. Open to the next leg of your journey. Don’t hold back.

Monday, October 1. What are you itching to do? Today it may be hard to resist something that feels like a dare, that could possibly be impetuous, or even something that you might regret later. But sometimes it is good to stir things up. This could be one of those days. I have an Aries friend who coined the phrase “bold ‘n shy” to describe the feeling of stepping out of our comfort zones and then realizing that everyone is looking at us for leadership. That might happen to you today as the Moon finishes its journey through Aries. Tonight, earth returns beneath us as the Moon moves into grounded Taurus.

Tuesday, October 2.
As the reverberations of the Full Moon begin to settle, we can ask ourselves, “Of the experiences of the last few days, what has been really valuable and what can be composted?” Our attentions turn to productivity and sustainability. This is a great day to do things like balance the checkbook, nurture our bodies, or create foundations that support long-range plans. Honor beauty and balance today.

October 3—Disseminating Moon: Sharing.
Gratitude is an immensely healing practice. Whatever stresses or unexpected changes have occurred over this lunar cycle, there are still many things to be grateful for. This phase of the Moon is about sharing whatever merit we have attained in our efforts to be mindful. What have you learned? What will you teach? Venus enters Virgo today and perhaps it is easier now to return to the idea of honoring our work through humble service. Venus also contacts Neptune reminding us that every small act of service feeds a much larger truth. Find balance between heaven and earth as we honor the work and the ideals behind the work.

Thursday, October 4. Jupiter stations retrograde today. Since June when it entered Gemini, Jupiter has moved briskly through this Mutable air sign. Now, midway through Gemini, Jupiter turns to retrace its steps. It will turn direct at the end of January. Since the Moon is in Gemini too, we can expect the day to be full of ideas, conversations, and fluctuating emotional states. When a planet stations (changes direction), it gets stronger. Jupiter brings opportunity, but it can also bring overexpansion. Get off the rollercoaster if it feels overwhelming to you. Say yes if the offer supports your heart’s desire.

Friday, October 5. Mercury and Saturn join hands today to cross the threshold into Scorpio. The symbolism is fascinating. Scorpio is the sign of death and transformation. Mercury, known as Hermes in Greek mythology, is the psychopomp—the god who guides the dead into the underworld. Today, Mercury guides Saturn into this realm of transformation. Saturn defines reality. Our reality is about to undergo a big shift.

Saturn stays in Scorpio until December 2014. It will leave Scorpio for a few months and then return for about four more months, finally leaving Scorpio in September 2015. I expect that we will realize that the changes we are undergoing currently are still not enough to transform the world as it needs to be transformed. In order to do that, we’ll need to get at the root of our problems and our potential. Eventually that journey leads to the threshold of the underworld. Finally, the realization dawns that only through such transformation can life be renewed. Later this month, the Sun enters Scorpio. Can you already feel the pull to go deeper, to meet the powers of transformation face to face?

Saturday, October 6. It’s time for a breather. I hope we can grab one today. Even thought the Moon remains in mentally active Gemini through most of the day, it is in that spacey Void-of-Course state too. It may be best to release expectations of accomplishing much today and try to appreciate what brews under the surface of things. Tonight** the Moon enters Cancer and Mars enters Sagittarius. We feel the conflict between staying at home to rest and recharge and getting out into the wide world to explore and learn. Which impulse is stronger for you? Since Mars will be in Sagittarius until mid-November, you have plenty of time to cross boundaries and push edges.

* See the forecast for the week of the New Moon September 15 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.
** All times are CDT.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast for September 23, 2012 – September 29.

“Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most people don’t. … Gender isn’t binary. It’s not either/or. In many cases, it’s both/and. A bit of this, a dash of that.” – Sam Killermann at It's Pronounced Metrosexual  The adorable graphic of the genderbread person found on this website shows how complex gender really is. Lots of factors play into how we see our own gender and how others expect us to live up to the gender they see in us. This complexity can be overwhelming sometimes. Other times, it is incredibly liberating to realize that we don’t have to be so simple—we don’t have to fit into an outfit that doesn’t really fit who we are. Complexity is the friend of reality; it eases cognitive dissonance. Complexity makes sense.

And it also pushes our growing edges.

Have you been pushed lately?

I’m thinking about gender today because Venus and Mars are doing a dance this week. Perhaps those parts of us that want to fit into binary expressions of gender will be challenged to find the third, “queer”, way between. Perhaps this will be a good thing.

In astrological terms, Venus and Mars can symbolize gender; after all we find their symbols on binary-gendered bathrooms. But the planets also represent other qualities that don’t have anything to do with gender. On the most basic level, Venus is the force of attraction and Mars is the force of pursuit. Venus, as the ruler of Libra, represents partnering. Mars, as the ruler of Aries, represents individuation. These are two opposing impulses. Venus and Mars rule two other signs as well. Venus in Taurus represents the force of attracting stability. Mars in Scorpio represents the pursuit of transformation. Both of these pairs of signs are opposite each other in the zodiac, representing potential splits in experience. These polarities, however, can form a whole that is stronger than their parts. This week, as Venus and Mars square each other, we have an opportunity to experience strong polarities and ways to resolve them. I’m suggesting that the resolution may be found in the queer way, the way that challenges assumptions and can be incredibly complex.

The Moon waxes into fullness this week. There is a strong urge to see results for the things begun in the New Moon phase. This lunar cycle,* we feel especially industrious. Virgo must create systems that serve the whole. And it isn’t about being the big wheel either. We find our place in the system and plug away. The small steps, the day-by-day progress toward a better world, are the work of the Virgo moon cycle. Tensions felt this week may be the tension of not quite finding that perfect system, the perfect work, the perfect expression of what we are meant to do to make that better world.

Sunday, September 23.
Once again, the Moon in the beginning degrees of a Cardinal sign (Capricorn) is triggering the ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto. This morning is a good time to spend noticing tensions within and around you. What are the conscious choices that serve your intention? Is there a third, queer, path that shows you a way to deal with these tensions?

The Sun, having just entered Libra the day before, is quincunx Neptune today. There is a tug of war between wanting to feel connected to everyone and wanting justice. Notice the ways you think having both are impossible.

Monday, September 24. We may wake up this morning feeling quite capable of pursuing solutions. We earnestly feel that even the small steps we take today can produce results. Later in the day, expect insights that give your plans more shape.

Tuesday, September 25.
Aquarius never did like to follow the rules. Today’s Moon in Aquarius welcomes queer solutions. Letting your “freak flag fly” may bring opportunity or a renewed sense of optimism. This is good, because Mars at 21° Scorpio today reaches the same degree of the upcoming solar eclipse that will happen on November 13. Not only that, but Venus at 21° Leo is squaring Mars at this sensitive degree too. (The exact square between Venus and Mars actually takes place this Thursday, so the aspect will be felt all week.). Today may feel like an eclipse day where the light goes out and comes right back, setting us on a new path. We pay attention to these “triggers” in astrology because they can play a role in releasing pressure. The pressure might be related to Venus and Mars issues. Perhaps the tension will be between the desires to “make nice” or to “make war.” Perhaps it will be between the desires to find stability or find release. We might be asking ourselves, why is everyone around me acting like ….? Perhaps that’s a sign of projection and denial of those qualities within us too.

September 26—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting.
Watch out for dogmatism today, especially your own. We may think we’ve got it all figured out. We probably don’t, even though it can be fun to try. Most of the day is oriented towards the mind. As we enter this perfecting part of the lunar cycle, the pressure to come up with solutions is high. The Moon, still in Aquarius, will oppose Venus and square Mars. Pay attention to the desire to get things out in the open where you can deal with them fairly. Getting everything on the table can bring clarity and sometimes just more conflict. There isn’t a right and wrong, just notice how you feel about it.

Thursday, September 27. It is good to be reminded of the whole when our minds are busy trying to sort out the many parts. The Moon guides us into the wisdom of connection and wholeness as it enters Pisces. Pisces is the opposite sign to Virgo, the guiding energy of this lunar cycle. A missing piece is revealed to us through dreams, reverie, or expansive connection. The heart can guide us. The square between Venus and Mars is exact today. As you expand into the heart, does a way forward through conflict arise? Is it possible to love your worthy opponents? Can you challenge your all-too-comfy relationships to make room for change?

Friday, September 28. This could be an extra-sensitive day. It may help to spend time alone or in quiet, intimate spaces tonight. Honor your journey, the challenges and rewards. Restore.

September 26—Full Moon: Illuminating.
If we can carry the quiet, reflective energy from yesterday into today, we will be doing very good. This Full Moon almost exactly lines up with the Uranus/Pluto square. This closeness increases the potential for this Full Moon to be explosive in some way, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We might surprise ourselves in good ways. The Moon in Aries conjunct Uranus gives courage to be true to our selves. The square of the Sun and Moon to Pluto challenges us to claim our power. We are worthy of the life-renewing gifts of this mighty dwarf planet. Venus and Mars are still square each other too. The themes of this interaction between these two planets are echoed in the opposition of the Sun in Venus-ruled Libra and the Moon in Mars-ruled Aries. Do you see value in the approach of “both/and”? We don’t need to be afraid of fluidity. Gender fluidity teaches us that complexity is a solution not a problem. The possibilities are expansive. None of us is only one thing. No one of us is wholly Venus or wholly Mars, we are fascinating manifestations of both, combined in unique ways, fluid and changing at all times.

There is a fluid and dynamic way to approach complexity and a rigid and constrained way to approach it. Every one of us moves along this continuum at all times, sometimes fluid, sometimes rigid. To notice this reaction in ourselves, without judgment or attachment helps in attaining a state of equilibrium where we are able to honor the ways we are doing our work. The small steps become meaningful. We are helping to make a better world. May that equilibrium come to all.

* See the forecast for the week of the New Moon September 15 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.
** All times are CDT.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast for Forecast September 16, 2012 – September 22

The Sun moves across the celestial equator at the end of this week—this is when Fall begins in the northern hemisphere and Spring begins in the southern. For a brief time, days and nights are equal in length. This is the pause of equilibrium, a chance to root deeply in the present and sense how finely calibrated our balancing scales are. With just the weight of a feather, the scales tip and the moment passes. But before that feather is placed, we have the opportunity to sense into the potentiality.

My dictionary says equilibrium is “a state of equal balance.” In chemistry, it “is a state in which a process and its reverse are occurring at equal rates so that no overall change is taking place, for example when ice is in equilibrium with water.” What an interesting conception of balance—where there’s a lot happening yet no overall change is taking place. It’s a kind of stasis. The question I’m asking myself: Is equilibrium even possible right now? The season calls for it, yet my mind boggles when I think of the kind of extraordinary effort that is required to maintain a state of equilibrium in the world. How do we counterbalance global warming? Riots? Genocide? Greed? These are big forces to take on just to keep things the same. No wonder many of us are feeling overwhelmed. Is this state of balance just too much to hope for right now? If equilibrium is a state of no change, then how in the world do we move beyond stasis to solving and healing these big problems?

Ready to give up? OK, so it goes without saying, despair is possible. However, I don’t practice astrology in order give up. The sky and the seasons offer guidance: how to keep going, to hold intention, to be mindful, and to honor all the feelings that come up in the process—the hopeful and despairing. 

Big job, small steps.

My New Moon* intention for this Virgo cycle is to honor the ways I know that I am doing my work, the ways I know that progress is being made, the small ways I apply the lessons I have been learning. Giant energies move through this week. I am grateful for the smallness of everyday efforts. It is reassuring to know that I don’t have to create equilibrium all by myself. I just need to do what I do. That’s true for every single one of us.

Sunday, September 16. Discernment comes in handy. This skill of making appropriate choices is quite valuable. There are times to speak the truth and times to keep quiet. What helps you decide? The Moon is in Libra and there is a strong desire for equilibrium, however this desire meets the challenge today of Uranus square Pluto [] head on. Once a week, when the Moon enters an action-oriented Cardinal sign (such as the signs where Uranus and Pluto reside), there is another trigger to react quickly. Since the Uranus/Pluto square is approaching another exact contact this week, this trigger may be more sensitive than ever. We are seeing this in Middle East already. Other things, big and small may snap this week. Breath, balance, and calm are allies.

Monday, September 17. Not all the messages we receive today make sense. An attitude of openness and curiosity may help us deal with the confusion. Given the transits of the day before and the building pressure of transits for the next three days, it may be difficult to respect an opposing point of view. When we re-spect we are “looking again” at an issue or person, not necessarily agreeing with them. Just the act of looking again can give us enough time to craft a wiser, more gentle response.

Tuesday, September 18. On the last day of the New Moon phase of this lunar cycle, have you formulated your intention? For me, intentions arise from my depths. They are soul desires. My soul longs for wholeness, vitality, meaning, and acknowledgement of all the hopes and dreams I’ve ever held. The soul remembers loss and hopes for purpose. Today will be a very “soul full” day as Pluto stations direct after traveling retrograde since April. Pluto is the god of the underworld, the place of soul loss and soul recovery. When a planet stations (changing direction), it strengthens. Much of the world’s pain right now could be framed as a loss of world soul. We’ve forgotten a piece of our essential natures and that piece wants to come to back.

The Moon enters Scorpio today, only adding to the yearning for a connection to our deepest parts. Sometimes this yearning is an intense but quiet force, taking place entirely below the surface. At other times it feels like a volcano erupting. However it moves through your life today, recognize the renewed vitality that comes after. This is the gift.

September 19—Crescent Moon: Beginning. The second exact square between Uranus and Pluto occurs today. With yesterday’s Pluto station still very much in force, this square seems more intense than the first one in June. We might feel a lot is at stake today as we break away from the past and begin the work of this lunar cycle. How do we honor our small, faithful steps toward creating the world our souls long for? It is time to know what sustains you for the long haul. Is it Love? Beauty? Community? Nature? Truth? What is it? How do you make those things a part of your everyday, ordinary human life? Remembering small steps, what is one thing you could do today?
Feelings and passions are strong. Over the next week Venus in Leo is hovering near an exact square with Mars in Scorpio. The Moon in Scorpio touches both. Egos can be inflamed. Notice a desire to control uncertainty. When these two planets figure out how to deal with their passions, fireworks explode. Sometimes dynamic tension is incredibly sexy.

Thursday, September 20.
If Scorpio brings us into the underworld, the next sign in the zodiac, Sagittarius, brings us back into the open where the sky is big and far horizons call to us. We’re blinking and trying to adjust our vision to the brightness of daylight after spending a couple of hours in a dark theater. That shift happens today as the Moon enters Sagittarius. What did these last few days mean? Did they even really happen? We really want to understand. Mercury in Libra, the planet of learning and communicating, triggers the Uranus/Pluto square today. We are learning about the changes we each need to make to live more authentically and in wholeness. If events are upsetting, what small steps help you to deal with them?

Venus and Jupiter support the quest for truth. This means, in spite of challenges, we are also given insight into what matters most to us and how we can support its survival.
Friday, September 21. Thank God it’s Friday. The light-hearted Sagittarius Moon emphasizes the encouragement from Venus and Jupiter. What star guides you? Affirm your sense of adventure as you pursue that dream.

September 22—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
The Sun enters Libra today at the Fall Equinox. Why is balance important? The seasons give us an experience of wholeness. With light, there is dark. With growth, there is decay. With expansion, there is contraction. The Equinox is a time to notice that pairing and the shift into the other side of things—to create balance. Looking over your life during this past Spring and Summer (Fall and Winter in the southern hemisphere), what “other side” needs your attention for the next six months? How will you create balance?

Today the solar cycle (the seasons) and the lunar cycle intersect. The First Quarter phase of the lunar cycle asks us to put effort towards our intentions. This effort could be a practice of balancing. How does your work feel unbalanced? Do you feel as if you need to create equilibrium all by yourself? Or have you abandoned the hope of finding that counterbalance to the world’s current chaos? Let’s not give up hope today. A new solution is waiting.

* See the forecast for the week of the New Moon September 15 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast September 9, 2012 – September 15.

What is a whole heart? If you’ve been following along with my column for this lunar cycle*, you know that I’ve been working with an intention of wholeheartedness and right-sized ego—qualities that fit well with the Leo season. Now, in the last week of this lunar intention I acknowledge what I have learned and the questions I still have. There are many. Like, what does it mean to have a right-sized ego? How do I know when I am in that place of balance? Why do ego issues hurt so much and for so long? How do I live this fine balance between believing in myself wholeheartedly while at the same time being willing to see my own foibles and attachments? Having questions is not a sign of failure in intention work. Rainer Maria Rilke offers this advice:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

A small gift from this month’s practice.
While riding my bike yesterday I saw the waning Last Quarter Moon in a brilliant blue sky. I was reminded immediately of this month’s intention. I lifted my chest and invited the golden light of Leo to fill my heart center. This is what it feels like to be wholehearted—strong, joyful, present. I don’t remember to do this practice as often as I could; I appreciate the Moon reminding me.

Sunday, September 9. This is a great Sunday morning to spend reading the newspaper or a good book. Anything that encourages learning without pressure should be very welcomed. By the afternoon,** the Moon cruises into home-loving Cancer. Spend some time tending your hearth. As summer winds down, we have a long list of house chores to get ready for a change of season. After a restful day, tensions may build this evening and into tomorrow as the Moon again triggers the close square between Uranus and Pluto. The sensitivity is about our fears. Does wholeheartedness make you more resilient?

Monday, September 10. Notice emotional fallout from last night as you begin the week. The superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun influences this day. Both Mercury and the Sun are in Virgo. During a superior conjunction, Mercury is on the far side of the Sun from Earth’s vantage point. This phase of the Sun/Mercury cycle is like the Full Moon phase of the Sun/Moon cycle. A lot of illuminating mental activity is likely today. However, the tension of conflict and the discomfort of dissonance are also present. The challenge will be to allow all that without getting caught up in pointless mental turmoil. We are nearing the New Moon in Virgo (See forecast for September 15th). Today, begin to notice how you may want to focus your attention next month. The pitfalls of Virgo are anxious expectations for perfection. The genius of Virgo is the ability to apply just the right amount of effort to bring clarity and order to complex situations.

Tuesday, September 11.
With the waning Moon still in Cancer and going into a quiet Void-of-Course period in the afternoon, we may really want to call in sick today and stay home. If you can’t spend the day in your home, spend some time during the day visiting your inner home. Bring those questions of this lunar cycle into that deep and comforting place within. Let yourself be renewed by letting go of the answers.

September 12—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
The last three days of this lunar cycle begin today. We call this the “dark of the Moon.” It is both a time for composting the past and for distilling wisdom. The Moon is back in Leo, where it was at the beginning of this lunar cycle. Compare the two times separated by only four weeks. How are they different? How are you different?

Venus is the great teacher today. The planet of love, beauty, and balance is in Leo and is at the apex of a Yod configuration. Last week, I wrote about the dissonance and paradox evoked by this pattern. The archetypes of Venus, Pluto (death and power) and Chiron (shaman, healer, warrior) are challenging us to go beyond surface tensions to the possibility of transformative experience. One edge of this paradox is the tension between wounds and strength. The other is the paradox between gracious compromise and ruthless power. I’ve been thinking of this series of Yod aspects over the summer as muscle-training exercises. I’m entertaining the idea that we may have to surrender the surety of knowing our way forward, but we are acquiring both the flexibility and strength needed to co-create this unknowable future.

A piece of the puzzle is the gift and challenge of Leo—knowing our right relationship to ego. This fire is necessary. Joy, creativity, energetic exchange with others, and wholeheartedness depend on it.

Thursday, September 13. There is a dynamic relationship between play and responsibility. The ways we play can also be the ways we make a lasting difference in the world. Both luck and integrity are important. Play is sacred. Find that sacred play today.

Friday, September 14. From Leo to Virgo, the season shifts subtly. One day we are in the peak of summer. The days stretch out before us with plenty of sunshine for both play and meaningful work. It is a bit luxurious, all the time we need to discover our wholehearted selves. Then suddenly we notice that the days are shorter, the angle of the Sun, even at noon, is not as high. Animals are starting to store food for the winter. Birds are preparing to migrate. Suddenly we want to work, to get ready for the future. The need for discernment kicks in. We need a good plan to ensure that we harvest as much of the bounty of summer as we can before it is all over.

This shift may be felt very strongly today as the Moon enters Virgo. Tomorrow’s New Moon begins the Virgo lunar cycle. We put away Summer and turn towards Fall.

September 15—New Moon: Dreaming. At this New Moon I want to take my inspiration from The Hermit card. In the Golden Dawn system of correspondences The Hermit represents Virgo. This card shows the quiet power gained from the ego work done during the Leo season. It is time to turn within to continue the work on a subtler level. Virgo is good at the details, the small things that need to be looked after. As all mutable signs love to do, Virgos want to synthesize meaning. They are in service to wholeness; they know that the long journey, the grand accomplishment, only comes after many small steps are taken. They are masters of the small step. 

I intend to honor my small steps this lunar cycle—the ways I know that I am doing my work, the ways I know that progress is being made, the small ways I apply the lessons I have been learning.

The challenges in this New Moon chart seem to be the same ones we’ve been experiencing all summer. Uranus is square to Pluto—we are in a time of change and transformation. Jupiter in Gemini is in a wide square to the Sun and Moon—unsettled mental energy may throw us off our practices from time to time, but we can return to the path again and again. Venus in Leo is square to Mars in Scorpio, an aspect that will be building until September 27—passionate outrage is present. We may find ourselves thinking, “How dare they….” Sometimes we may need to voice that and sometimes just notice. Jupiter is also quincunx to Mars—the dissonance of this relationship is between two very different approaches, Gemini vs. Scorpio. There is nothing wrong with either sign, but they might be bothering each other this month. Gemini thinks about or talks about a problem and moves on. Scorpio holds it, maybe obsesses about it, and expects it to be changed fundamentally and forever.

Work is always present, isn’t it? We are given this great adventure of life, full of ups and downs, challenges and gifts. It is a blessing to hold it all—to live with the questions, to be able to carry our lights forward. May the New Moon in Virgo feed the work and the joy of doing it.

*See the forecast for the week of the New Moon August 17 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.
** All times are CDT.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast September 2, 2012 – September 8

Astrology helps me practice mindfulness. Good thing too, because I really need that calming practice these days! I’m highly influenced by Buddhism. I appreciate their teachings about non-attachment. I feel centered when I practice noticing inner and outer states of being without forming judgments or attachments. The last few months I have been noticing four states that are particularly strong right now: conflict, dissonance, determination, and resolution. We’ve entered a highly-charged time, borne out by the star patterns of this summer. What can the practice of observation without attachment yield? What role does non-attachment play in this month’s lunar intention of honoring my wholeheartedness? As we enter the waning phase of this lunar cycle, I am working with these questions. And also noticing how hard it is to be non-attached!

The ongoing themes that play into these states.

Conflict. Uranus squared Pluto exactly for the first of seven times on June 24, 2012. This set of transits continues until March 2015. Conflict has been heating up as these two planets ask us to transform toxicity and make dramatic changes. I wonder if recent acts of extreme violence, such as the shooting at the Colorado theater in July, are explosive releases made by fragile people who are feeling the tension of uncertainty as this powerful transit unfolds.

Dissonance. Each of the New Moon and Full Moon charts since June 19 have either emphasized the square between Uranus and Pluto or have had a Yod aspect configuration. There has been a Yod in the last five lunation-charts (either New or Full Moons). The Yod looks like an isosceles triangle composed of two quincunx aspects and one sextile. The feeling of a quincunx aspect between two planets has a quality of dissonance since neither of the signs involved in the aspect have any way to relate to each other. Yods create even stronger dissonance.

My dictionary defines dissonance as: “a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.” This is similar to the conflict generated by a square, but is different. In conflict, it is easier to see the differing sides. In dissonance, it is hard to rectify what we believe with what is happening to us.  Psychologists label this state “cognitive dissonance: An emotional state set up when two simultaneously held attitudes or cognitions are inconsistent or when there is a conflict between belief and overt behaviour. The resolution of the conflict is assumed to serve as a basis for attitude change, in that belief patterns are generally modified so as to be consistent with behaviour." Reber and Reber (2001), The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology

Stress and anxiety increase during times of cognitive dissonance. Everyone is a little more fragile right now.

Determination. Saturn is the ally of determination, and this planet has been in Libra (with a 4-month return to Virgo) since October 2009. The focus on steadfastness in relationship, balance, and justice has been underlying the states of conflict and dissonance. Saturn has been an anchor through this summer for seeking understanding and harmony in spite of our discomforts. This month Mars joined Saturn in Libra giving us a greater sense of determination.

Resolution. Conflict, dissonance, and determination are not really new states. These energies happen to be very strong right now, but the interesting new idea comes from Neptune in Pisces. In April 2011, Neptune entered Pisces. The last time it did so was in 1847. This is a significant shift. Neptune is offering another possibility—the dissolution of isolationism and the re-emergence of communion. Neptune inspires and it deludes. There is danger in becoming fanatical or Messianic with Neptune’s influence. But Neptune also offers something important, and it usually involves ideals and belief. Neptune suggests we find resolution in losing a sense of isolated individualism. This is an enticing possibility. However, it is also important to critically question easy, overly-enticing resolutions. With so much cognitive dissonance, we are primed to blindly follow the next savior and that could be disastrous. A little dissonance might be a good thing after all.

Sunday September 2. Notice conflict today. The Moon is in Cardinal Fire sign, Aries and will trigger the square between Uranus and Pluto again. This is the Full Moon phase of illumination. What patterns around conflict do you see? Can you become aware without judgment? This illumination can create a sense of wholeness in the quest for wholeheartedness. We get to accept our whole beings, both the shadow and the light.

Monday, September 3. This is a complex day. We are determined to work out conflict in our relationships. It might not be easy, but feels rewarding to put effort into understanding others. Yet, there is also dissonance. Mars is quincunx Uranus. The feeling may be one of agitation, misunderstandings, or frustration. Mindfulness practice can help to weather this. Even with the possibility of an underlying dissonance, there is a strong desire to create healing today. Notice dissonance. What happens if you make more room for this emotion?

September 4—Disseminating: Sharing. An important part of every spell is to give back to the allies who have helped you. This phase of the Moon reminds us that whatever merit we have achieved through the intention work of this lunar cycle is a to be shared for the good of all. Gratitude and gifting can heal a lot of hurts. The Moon moves into grounded, sensual Taurus today. The body is an anchor to help navigate through more dissonance! Mercury joins in with Mars (see yesterday’s forecast) to form another Yod. The sharing we do will involve communication as well as action. I wonder how this energy will impact the Democratic Convention, which begins today? Sudden insights are also probable. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 5. Today and most of tomorrow, the Moon is in Taurus. Attention is focused on the physical plane. Practical matters help us to ground into what we are reaping from this lunar cycle. Notice your relationship to the earth. How can you sustain what matters most to you?

Thursday, September 6. 
Venus enters fiery Leo. Will this bring another expression of outrage in how women are being treated? Venus represents more than women. This planet is the power of beauty and the lusciousness of life. How outraged are you that this power is demonized and cheapened by so much of our culture? Leo encourages fun and creativity. What is a fun way to reclaim beauty and love in your life? Sleep might be more difficult tonight after the Moon goes into Gemini and we suddenly have new ideas. Try to calm down.

Friday, September 7. Well, here it comes again, another quincunx aspect. This time the dissonance is between Venus and Neptune. This may involve differing ways to approach beauty, love, inspiration, relationship, or even money management. This paradoxical aspect may bring mystical enlightenment. Fridays are dedicated to the Goddess Freya another love goddess. Perhaps the best thing to do today is honor love in an unexpected way.

September 8—Last Quarter: Evaluating.
Yesterday and today, mental energy is high. Notice how busy you are trying to understand things. The last week of the lunar cycle begins with the phase of evaluation. Mutable energy is strong and that encourages an effort to create meaning and understanding around our experiences. This desire feeds into this phase perfectly. Perhaps deep insights will come to you today. But take care, too much mental activity can actually discourage understanding. Where is the balance between thinking and being?

*See the forecast for the week of the New Moon August 17 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.