Saturday, August 25, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast for August 26, 2012 - September 1

Ahh, the Internet is fascinating. I was about to write my opening sentence for this week’s forecast: “ I feel like I am in the weeds of this lunar cycle,” when I asked myself, “Where did this phrase ‘in the weeds’ come from and does it mean what I think it means?” A short search found this site, The Word Detective, and an illuminating description of the phrase.  It’s interesting that this metaphor came up for me as I observe how my Leo New Moon intention* of wholeheartedness has now morphed into a Virgo-like expression of overwhelming emotion and work. I’ll explain.

The author of the site writes: “There seem to be two different uses of ‘getting into the weeds’ out there in the wild. One is the ‘getting into too much (possibly irrelevant) detail’ sense … The other sense is a restaurant term invoked when the staff is overworked, everything is going wrong, and total chaos is only a burnt fillet of sole away.”

Yes, that’s what I meant.

He goes on to talk about the source of this metaphor. “My initial suspicion about ‘into the weeds’ was that it had something to do with a golf ball landing in the ‘rough’ (long grass), making it hard to extract without falling behind. I tend to think that golf is indeed the source of this sense of ‘getting into the weeds’ meaning ‘losing control and being overwhelmed.’” Another theory of the phrase’s origin is getting lost: “The metaphor here seems to be that when you wander off the beaten path, you can explore arbitrary amounts of not-very-valuable intellectual foliage (‘weeds’) without getting closer to your conceptual destination.”

Yes, I meant that too.


Into the weeds. This week is the gnarly portion of any lunar cycle, at least for me. From the First Quarter phase to the Full Moon phase, tension builds, which can feel like wanting to give up or to explode from the pressure. It’s not pretty. I take comfort from the hope that the greater the challenges, the greater the rewards are at the end. If I am in the weeds now, it must be that I have a worthwhile goal. You believe that too, right?

Wholeheartedness. The image of the Sun card in the Waite-Smith Tarot tells us a lot about wholeheartedness. The child is naked with arms spread wide and trusting their instincts to carry them forward. The posture demonstrates openness and joy. It is an image of simplicity itself. Yet, life creates complications, those weeds, which often make us doubt if we can really achieve that simplicity.

With this tension in mind, it is time to look under the surface. Idealized images, although they can inspire, sometimes make it more difficult to stay the course when we are in the weeds. Sometimes we need to look at the flawed pieces and find a way to deal with it. Mars moved into Scorpio last week and will remain in that sign until October 6. The North node of the Moon (our evolutionary destiny) also moves into Scorpio this week, staying for about 18 months. In October, Saturn moves into Scorpio for a two and a half year stay. This all signals that it is time we got down and looked at our shadows. We don’t have to throw our intentions away, just put them through a tougher examination.

Sunday, August 26. All this Scorpio influence right now is creating deeper discomfort due to Pluto (co-ruler of Scorpio) being in hard aspect to Uranus. We feel any challenge from our darker sides more intensely right now because Pluto and Uranus are pushing us relentlessly toward evolutionary change. If we expect the world to change, we also need to change ourselves. Today the Moon in Cardinal Earth sign Capricorn triggers this square between Pluto and Uranus and yes, this feels like more to process. Capricorn is the sign of accountability. Pluto and the Moon join together to demand greater accountability. The fine line to travel: It isn’t about being unworthy of wholeheartedness due to mistakes; it is about being committed to responsibility for one’s actions.

Gibbous Moon—Perfecting: August 27. Yesterday’s transits influence this new phase of the lunar cycle. Tensions may play out in relationships, in how women are being treated, and in how we steward our resources. Notice the stakes rising. This is the key to the Gibbous phase: It feels very important to get things right. The serious quality of the Capricorn Moon feeds this desire. Perhaps you are being called to commit to action on behalf of the wholeheartedness of others.

Tuesday, August 28. The morning may be solemn, but by the afternoon there is a shift as the Moon enters Air sign Aquarius. Pent up energy can be released by sharing ideals and visions. Dream up innovations. But there is an edge to the day. Notice your reactions to obstruction. This may be the tension between the desire for transparency and for privacy. How much do you want to push for consensus? How much do you want to tune out the collective?

Wednesday, August 29. This is a brighter day. We find solutions, ways to express ourselves, and make connections with others. Look for an ally or inspiration on your lunar cycle intention. This may come from an unexpected source. We seem to get out of the weeds for a bit. Notice what helps you find your way. 

Thursday, August 30. The Republican National Convention ends on a day of contrasts. It will be hard to contain radical energy. The Moon is in Aquarius early in the day and the Sun and Uranus (co-ruler of Aquarius) are in dissonance. The Sun in Virgo wants to be careful and effective. The Uranian energy wants evidence of revolution and could care less about being careful. We can see this conflict played out in the world, but how does it feel to welcome both of these qualities inside you? After a highly energetic start, the Moon moves into Pisces and connects with Neptune. Ideals can be foggy; it may be hard to keep a clear head as we are swept up in the emotional energy of those around us. There may be a hurricane this week hitting the area around the convention. Is this a metaphor for emotional power? How do we navigate this energy with mindfulness and intention?

Full Moon: Illuminating—August 31. No planets escape having a challenging aspect in the chart for this Full Moon. It is a big energy time. At the New Moon, I wrote: “What does it feel like to experience the strength of creative flow, to know one’s impact, and take responsibility for it, to generously affirm the joy of existence for all?” I want to remember that question as we enter the storm. It seems the lesson of this Full Moon in Pisces with the Sun in Virgo is: How do I discern—a Virgo quality—what feeds my intention of wholeheartedness and what takes me off-track, into the weeds? As the election nears, we will see and hear alarming things. The potential tensions of this Full Moon will manifest and we will be called upon to open-heartedly remain true to ourselves. When the Virgo attention to detail becomes overwhelming, the sign of Pisces is a helpful balance. The Moon today in Pisces joins with Neptune and Chiron: We want to believe that we are more alike than different. We want to trust our feelings and have faith that healing is possible. However hopeless the situation seems, just that collective desire for heart connection can restore us.

Saturday, September 1.
Did the Full Moon of oceanic feelings overwhelm you? Did you gladly surrender whatever you were holding onto so dearly? Do you feel like you’re in the weeds yourself? There are wonderful guides to help us feel OK with all that. I offer this line from Rumi’s poem, Buoyancy:

            So the sea-journey goes on, and who knows where!
            Just to be held by the ocean is the best luck
            we could have. It's a total waking up!

*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, August 18, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast for August 19, 2012 – August 25

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone; I am enough.” Brene´ Brown

Let’s forget about affirmations that attempt to gloss over reality and go for the “feel good” moment. Let’s compost the helplessness that comes from having to have an affirmation in the first place. Let’s move beyond wounds that are so old we can’t even remember when we first started thinking we were wounded. Instead, let’s live wholeheartedly! I like Brene´ Brown’s writing. She acknowledges the shame that creeps up in our lives, names it, and then invites us to claim authenticity.

This New Moon cycle in Leo* is a perfect time to embrace wholeheartedness, to damn the torpedoes, to turn toward the Sun and reflect back our own strength and vibrancy. Are you ready to go on that journey with me? We are stronger when we are in the company of other wholehearted people.

Wholeheartedness is not about feeling good or even positive all the time. Wholeheartedness dares to see with “open eyes and open hearts”  what is really there. So this journey of wholeheartedness must include shadows, doubts, fears—all those things we’ve been fooled into thinking prove that we are doing it wrong.

Leo rules the heart. The word “courage” comes from the Latin for heart. Leo is ruled by the Sun. The Sun is the symbol for identity—who we authentically are. The Sun is the center of the solar system; the Sun’s journey from the dark phase of the year to the bright, back to the dark, represents our core experiences of knowing and not knowing who we are. And that becomes a lesson: It isn’t about the destination. It is about the evolution of self through light and dark. It takes heart/courage/wholeheartedness to live our full human lives never forgetting that we are the Sun.

As the Sun encounters aspects from other planets this week and leaves Leo for Virgo, notice the shifting lights and shadows within. How will you wholeheartedly embrace what is showing up for you?

Sunday, August 19. The Moon colors the energy of our day-to-day lives. Today’s colors include the expectancy of a New Moon phase, tinged with the industriousness of Virgo (where the Moon is today), and subtly tweaked by a Void-of-Course (VOC)  period that lasts almost the entire day until the Moon enters Libra at 11:45 pm.**   VOC is the least important quality of today but it may offer us a sense of being outside Time. And that can be helpful in any practice of self-awareness. Pay particular attention to your expectations for perfection. What projects are brewing right now to which you can devote yourself wholeheartedly? Make a list! I have more to say about Virgo on Wednesday’s forecast.

August 20—Crescent Moon: Beginning. The Sun (near the end of Leo) and Mars (near the end of Libra) do a beautiful dance today. I like Liz Greene’s description of Mars as the “right hand of the Sun.” We feel more confident when these two are in harmony. With that thought in mind, let the spirit of balance in action lead you to wholeheartedness. This is a day when diplomacy will be called for to bring understanding and calm tensions. The Moon is also in Libra and will trigger the hard square aspect between Uranus and Pluto today. The Crescent phase of the Moon is eager to get things going. The Mars/Sun aspect feeds that sense of possibility. Taking a chance is worthwhile, even if we don’t see the benefit right away.

Tuesday, August 21. A misperception, I think, is that if Libra is about harmony and balance, then everything should run smoothly when this sign is emphasized. Too bad that isn’t true. I think the way it really works is that the presence of imbalance and disharmony on these days provokes stronger reactions from us. Yesterday the Moon contacted the ongoing revolutionary energy of Uranus/Pluto, and today contacts Mars and Saturn. We may be in a reactionary mood, kind of mad that things are running more smoothly. Saturn gives us our work, and while in Libra (since 2010), we’ve been pushed to notice the imbalance in our lives. What imbalance in your life gets in the way of living a wholehearted life?

Wednesday, August 22
. The Sun enters Virgo today. We don’t have to look very hard to hear messages about how we aren’t good enough, and how we should try harder, and how out of control we really are. Those messages are all around us, and sometimes the Virgo message gets fused with these kind of self-defeating expectations. I think that is a grave disservice to what Virgo is really about. Perfectionism is a disease. I want to reclaim the healing Virgo gifts of holism, discernment, and humble yet effective practice, so that I can continue my spell for wholehearted living this lunar cycle.  Today is the day to begin. In this season, when the Sun graces the tips of the corn stalks with gold, when healing herbs attain their full powers, and apples reach their perfection of sweetness, that is when we know we’ve entered into Virgo. It takes a certain amount of diligence and patience for our efforts to yield the best results. Virgo reminds us to stay on the path.

Mercury reaches the degree where it turned retrograde on July 14. Think through all the experiences around communication and ego you experienced this last month. What enlightenment do you carry forward as Mercury moves swiftly now through a new portion of the sky? To honor that momentum, Mercury makes a favorable aspect with Jupiter in Gemini today too. This is creative energy. How will you use it?

This is a day of important shifts. The Moon moves into Scorpio¬—a dark counterbalance to the bright light of Sun, Mercury, and Jupiter transits. Strong undercurrents of emotion are present too. Honor all parts.

Thursday, August 23. Mars enters Scorpio today, joining a void-of-course Moon also in Scorpio. For introverts, this may be the best day of the week. It can be nice to get some quiet time while people process their inner workings. Mars is strong in this sign and will remain here until October 6. The action of Mars in Scorpio is penetrating, passionate, and sometimes even ruthless. Now, we get to practice accepting our shadows as well as our lights.

August 24—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. I name this phase of the Moon “Manifesting,” not because we are done with our work but because we are just beginning to see an inkling of what it may produce and now encounter direct challenges to that possibility. Thinking back to your New Moon intention, what do you hope for and what do you see as the roadblock?

The challenge today may be felt as a lack of focus or a yearning to escape. If this desire is strong, it isn’t an indication that something is wrong with you or your goals. I invite you to think that this is the part of yourself that needs to go on a walkabout to get more information. If we honor the call to dreaming, we may find that these dreams feed our intentions too.

Saturday, August 25. Yesterday, the Moon entered Sagittarius, where it remains today. The goal of this sign is to push past boundaries, discover new truths, and tell the Big Story. How will you honor that energy today? Notice what inspires you as well as what challenges you to expand your horizons. Make this a gift to your wholeheartedness.

*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.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast for August 12, 2012 - 18

Forecast August 12, 2012 – August 18.

What an epic lunar cycle this has been. It began with the New Moon in Cancer on July 19.* This is not so long ago when measured by days, but a vast distance when measured by the inner experience of emotional tides. Have you sensed that too? There have been ample opportunities this month to acknowledge my emotional experience while at the same time ask myself, “What is my response to both the challenges and delights of these experiences?”

Cancer, as a Cardinal sign, is not content to simply feel emotions. It is also a sign that wants to act on them. What have you noticed about your own actions and reactions this lunar cycle? Before we begin a new lunar cycle on August 17, it may be beneficial to give ourselves time to think about what we have experienced in the realm of feelings, to honor that power, to perhaps forgive ourselves for some choices, and to congratulate ourselves for others. As I said, this has been an epic cycle.

The sign that follows Cancer is the Fixed Fire sign, Leo.  Even though the Sun entered Leo on July 22 , the time to set intention with the Moon cycle isn’t until this Friday when the Sun is near the end of its time in Leo. I like to think of this as being primed for the work. We’ve also been primed by Mercury retrograding through Leo these past few weeks, giving us LOTS to unpack this next lunar cycle.

What is the work of Leo? Take a look at the Strength card in the Waite-Smith Tarot deck as a way to get at what Leo is teaching. In order to live fully authentic, creative lives that are powerful contributions to our communities and families, we need to make friends with our egos. How do you calm the raging beast within who demands affirmation and attention? How do you honor the force of being that says each individual is here for a purpose? The infinity sign over the Lady’s head indicates to me that this flow between inflated ego and balanced ego is a continual dance. Sometimes the best work is to simply notice how strong and/or needy our egos are at any given moment. From that place of awareness, can we begin to make peace with the beast and give strength to our innate gifts?


Sunday, August 12. We are building to another New Moon this week, but first let’s fully compost the current cycle. The Moon is in Gemini today and makes only favorable aspects with other planets. Mars and Saturn in Libra are nearing their conjunction that happens on Wednesday. The Moon creates harmony with both Saturn – archetype of disciplined authority and Mars – archetype of will. The day has a possibility of feeling very focused and productive, or just a relief that it isn’t as intense as other days this month.

July 13—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering
. Letting go does not mean giving up, and sacrifice does not mean martyrdom. The balsamic phase of the Moon teaches how to honor the sacred as we surrender control back over to Mystery. Working with intention is a very willful process, but the will is only one part of our whole selves. The other parts are held behind the veils where Mystery takes over. The Moon returns to Cancer today where it was as this lunar cycle began. Rather than willfully continue to work with conscious awareness of emotion, perhaps the next two days are a good time to self-nurture and release, to be grateful and to heal—all actions that Cancer is quite good at.
The challenge today is that the Moon touches off, again, the square between Uranus and Pluto. Perhaps we’re getting used to this tension by now? Every week since June 24 (the day of the first exact square between Uranus and Pluto) when the Moon enters a Cardinal sign, this aspect is triggered. Acknowledging stress, let’s calm our reactivity and enfold ourselves and others in greater compassion.

Tuesday, August 14.  See yesterday’s forecast.  Today is more of the same, except that the trigger of the Uranus/Pluto square eases off. Hopefully, we are becoming better at releasing tension without exploding.

Wednesday, August 15. Venus reaches her greatest elongation from the Sun today—meaning that Venus rises earliest before the Sun now and is the highest she will be in the sky before dawn in her aspect of Morning Star. Sometimes getting some distance from our problems gives us a new perspective. We might get a new “aha” today coming from the goddess of love and beauty, especially concerning tensions around power and authenticity. Venus is in Cancer. If Venus wants harmony and balance and Cancer is about emotional nurturance, the tipping point that causes change may be the stress of imbalance in our homes and hearths. This feeds into the ongoing Cancer intention of this lunar cycle. Acknowledging a need for emotional health, are there any changes you need to make? Relationship plays a role in accessing what feeds you and what doesn’t.

Mars meets Saturn today in Libra, which continues the focus on balance and relationship. The Mars side of us can be pretty impulsive, the Saturn side can be a little stodgy but wise. When these two parts of ourselves have a power lunch, what gets decided?

Thursday, August 16. On the last day of this lunar cycle we are invited to gain even more perspective as Mercury also reaches his greatest elongation from the Sun today. It is unusual that Venus and Mercury reach greatest elongation at the same time; and they are both Morning Stars. Rather than force awareness, see what comes up. How is the multiverse communicating with you today? What are you communicating back? If you like getting up early, this is an excellent opportunity to see both of these planets. Mercury has recently turned direct and is today at the same degree it was at the heart of the retrograde journey on July 28. Pay attention to resolving issues around communication, especially as they relate to self-worth.

August 17—New Moon: Dreaming. What does it feel like to experience the strength of creative flow, to know one’s impact and take responsibility for it, to generously affirm the joy of existence for all?  I suppose I expect a lot from a Leo New Moon, but why not go for it? Imagine inviting the Sun into your home. What would you like to ask for?

The potential of this New Moon is aided by the conjunction between Saturn and Mars. There are high hopes for laying a good foundation.

Venus is opposite Pluto and square to Uranus. If our relationships are nurturing us, we can find the capacity to meet the challenges of this changing world. What will you do to foster those nurturing relationships?

Mercury is at the apex of a Yod triangle. At the base is a sextile between Pluto and Chiron. Both of these planets are in quincunx aspect with Mercury. Since Mercury is traversing over the same degree for the third time (due to retrograde), this is the third time that this Yod has formed. The dates were around July 4, around July 25, and now at the New Moon for the last time. I’ve noticed the desire for resolution of dissonance, the tension of feeling vulnerable yet on the verge of power, and the complexity of emotional realties. I am beginning to wonder if I don’t have to resolve dissonance anymore. Things don’t have to fit into neat boxes so that I can comprehend them. Old paradigms are changing quickly. If we can’t rely on conventional explanations, what do we base our truth on? Notice what informs you.

Saturday, August 18. The Moon in industrious Virgo encourages us to work. The caution is to take the work in joyful steps and don’t over commit. A happy person is someone who knows how much to work and how much to play. When play becomes the work, and work becomes the play, then we are truly happy! Look for that fine balance today.

*See the forecast for the week of the New Moon July 19 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast for August 5, 2012 - August 11

Forecast August 5, 2012 – August 11.

"The next time you lose heart and you can't bear to experience what you are feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in.” Pema Chodron, a brilliant Buddhist teacher wrote these words. They seem particularly appropriate for this lunar cycle* and the energy of this Summer. What can we learn by leaning into whatever feelings are arising in our realities? The Cancer New Moon intention I have been working with this month has been to honor my feelings. I’ve noticed that the Great Mystery has been happy to oblige.

There is a fine line between leaning into discomfort to discover something about ourselves and pushing into self-punishment because we aren’t perfect. It is possible that we’ve been walking that fine line while Mercury has been moving retrograde since July 14. I know I have.

Not every Mercury retrograde period asks us to walk this line. Each one is different, colored by the other planets, the length of the Mercury retrograde period (some are a bit longer than others—this one was a long one) and, most importantly, by the sign Mercury transits through. Mercury has been moving through Leo, a sign that is particularly attentive to the question of self-worth.

Mercury turns direct this week. After turning direct, Mercury will be moving through the same area of Leo to retrace its steps for the third time. This is the concluding part of a retrograde cycle when we get to “wrap-up” what it has been about. Mercury’s mission is to help us “change the way you see it, “ as Chodron writes. Whatever discomfort has appeared around the issue of self-worth, we get to lean into that feeling and change the way we see it. This phase of the Mercury retrograde cycle ends on August 22 when it reaches the degree it turned retrograde in the first place.

The waning phases of the Moon that we move through this week are also about sharing what we are learning, evaluating past experience, and letting go of old ways. This process is necessary to be able to “change the way you see it.” Without punishing ourselves, can we lean into discomfort a little more this week with the intention of transforming consciousness and old patterns of shame? What amazing work this would be!

August 5—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. I was recently at a Lughnasad ritual where the intention we worked with was: As we harvest our first fruits, we celebrate our good enuf, de-lusious gifts. In this celebration, it became apparent that if we don’t let ourselves believe that our gifts are good enough, the community is the one who suffers the most. We need to share our “good enuf” gifts for the whole to be fed. Now is the time to do that. We can use the morning of this day to dream about what we have to share and then when the Moon moves into Aries in the afternoon,** we lean into any discomfort we might be feeling and let that gift go out into the world.

Monday, August 6.
A fiery day. The Moon in Aries contacts Pluto and Uranus today. These two outer planets are still within orb of their ongoing square. This connection between Uranus and Pluto is fueling our discontent and readiness to act on that discontent. Today, Mercury is slowing down for its direct station and this will add to a feeling of uncertainty as well as unexpected opportunities to act on our feelings. What practices help you to be ready to act in the moment with as much self-awareness and intention as possible? It might be good to remember those practices today.

Tuesday, August 7. Depending on your time zone in the U.S., Mercury stations direct late tonight or early tomorrow. Both days will be charged with this shift. When Mercury turns retrograde, it disappears from its place in the sky as an Evening Star (this same pattern applies to Venus too.). It remains hidden from view as it retrogrades, then turns direct and begins to rise before the Sun as the Morning Star. We are hardwired to sense the difference between sunset and sunrise. Can you feel this difference today in your thoughts and communications? A new way is dawning.

Venus moves into Cancer today. Every 1.6 years, Venus goes through its own retrograde cycle where it spends a lot of time going through the same area of the zodiac. Venus entered Gemini in April of this year, and due to its recent retrograde, has spent a long time in this mental, social sign. In Cancer, Venus helps us to find beauty in the realm of the heart and hearth, which syncs in perfectly with this lunar cycle that began in Cancer too.

Wednesday, August 8. It is nice to have our feet on the ground today. The Moon enters Taurus after some potentially unsettling days in Aries. The home is a place of refuge. Taking care of our own hearths can be healing and grounding. But there is some tension between this desire for solidity and the lessons we are learning about changing the way we see things. Sometimes inner conflict gets expressed in outer conflict with others. Are you having a hard time seeing someone else’s point of view? The issue may be one of acknowledging the desire for stability and the equally important desire for self-expression.

August 9—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
Do you have a standard way of evaluating an experience? I know for me, the default is my intellect. I like writing about what I am learning. Today, in honor of Mercury turning direct recently and the Moon in Fixed Earth Taurus, how can we begin evaluating our experiences of this lunar cycle thus far by using our earthy senses? How does wisdom smell? If you were to bake a pie that describes how you honor your feelings, what fruit would you choose? How bout that check book, another Taurus interest? What have you spent money on these past few weeks? What does it tell you about your values and patterns of behavior?
Venus and Neptune make a wonderful connection today. The heart holds wisdom. What is it telling you?

Friday, August 10. Yesterday’s earth reveries resonate into the morning. Notice the tension between the slow pace that earth encourages and the quick pace that air encourages as the Moon moves into Mercury-ruled Gemini this afternoon. We get to compare the evaluation styles of earth with air now. There may be a lot to talk about today.

Saturday, August 11. This week has been all about Mercury. This god of doorways has invited us to see from a new perspective, to open a new place in our consciousness, to invite in a new way to value ourselves. Today, relish the paradoxes that you sense around you. Let yourself be unresolved and open to the wonder of the questions. Of all the gods, Mercury is perhaps most interested in encouraging us to realize that we are co-creators of our worlds. Ironically, he is also the god most able to taunt us when we get too full of ourselves as we attempt to consciously co-create. What a laugh!

*See the forecast for the week of the New Moon July 19 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.
** All times are CDT.