Saturday, August 31, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast for September 1, 2013 – September 7


Lackluster. A perfect word for my present emotional/energetic state as I sit down to write about the last part of the Leo Moon cycle. At the New Moon,* full of Sun-inspired hopefulness, I wrote about unabashed self-love, sharing my gifts, and daring to live wholeheartedly. My intentions for this cycle sparkled with luster. So why do I find myself on the shores of the waning Moon, wondering where the sparkle went?
This is a critical point—I can just tell—a revelatory moment, a juncture of mindfulness where I am asked to choose between what is showing up and what I think should be showing up. And how do I feel about this? And what can I write about it?
So I went for a walk to think about it more. As I walked, feeling sort of fed up with myself, the words, “Lean in,” came to me. I haven’t read the book with the same name but when it was being promoted the words intrigued me. They felt like a new choice. In any moment, whether I’m wildly happy or feeling the lack of luster, what if I chose to lean into it? This is also mindfulness. I realize I often lean away from the moment. For many reasons. I lean away because what is happening either doesn’t fit my fantasy about what should be happening or I am afraid of what is happening. Or I lean away because I don’t understand or I don’t feel ready for the moment. Sometimes I lean away when the moment isn’t as neat and tidy as I’d like it to be. And sometimes I lean away when I think I don’t deserve the moment.
What does it feel like to lean in? I think it is about getting closer to the moment—really knowing it. The sensation of leaning into something creates more intimacy with that thing, like leaning into a kiss. How can I truly know my heart’s desire in an intimate way, unless I am willing to lean into it, no matter how it is showing up?
Lacking luster at times is part of the journey of self-acceptance. Looking over this lunar cycle, I fulfilled my intentions. I did it! Why doesn’t it feel more significant? Why aren’t trumpets blaring? Sometimes the revelatory moment comes when I lean into “ho hum.” Sometimes, in those moments when I almost choose to lean away, the voice of a god begins to speak to me telling me new and deeper truths. Sometimes that could be the whole point of the journey.
Forecast for September 1, 2013 – September 7
Moon enters Leo at 7:01 pm**
September 1—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. A complete lunar cycle is like a growing season. At the New Moon, a seed is planted. We’ve tended that seed through its whole life cycle. At the end, the plant is left to compost; the seeds of future cycles lie waiting in the cold soil; and we surrender to the darkness. This phase of the Leo Moon cycle may not sit well with you if you’ve become attached to the sensation of encouragement that the light of the Sun gives. It could be confusing to let go. As I wrote in the introduction to this week’s forecast, “Lacking luster at times is part of the journey of self-acceptance.” As you lean into this moment, do you hear the voice of the god who wants to speak deeper truths to you?
The Moon returns to Leo in the evening (Central Time Zone). Dissonance may come from the contradiction between the belief that self-love should feel bold and confident and the tender self-doubt that can arise as the Moon wanes into darkness. Notice your expectations. Wisdom and strength come from the earth with a trine aspect between the Sun and Pluto, both in earth signs.
Moon in Leo
Monday, September 2.
Labor Day. Let’s remember and honor the debts we owe to the collective activism of organized labor. Lessons from the Leo Moon cycle help. Acting collectively we can change the world, yet only if we also harness the creativity of the individual. The trine between the Moon and Uranus encourages revolutionary zeal and appreciation for change. The square aspect between the Moon and Saturn asks us to reconsider hasty impulses. Mars in Leo, the champion of self-love, meets Neptune in Pisces, the god who takes us beyond ego. Their meeting may cause a few bumps in the day, especially if we are feeling insecure or inpatient.
Moon in Leo
Tuesday, September 3.
Full circle. This is the last full day of the Moon in Leo for this lunar cycle that began in Leo. Saying good-bye to this lunar cycle is a bit like saying good-bye to summer. It can be bittersweet. Part of us may be eager for the fall season and part of us may want to hang onto the last of these carefree days. Honor the gifts of summer, whatever that means to you. They are also the gifts of Leo. The Sun in Virgo opposes Chiron in Pisces—look for the balancing point between self-sacrifice and survival. We may be tempted to give too much or to freeze up and not give at all. There’s got to be a middle ground. The aspect between the Sun and Uranus could trigger a spell of anxiety, especially if expectations are too high.
Moon enters Virgo at 5:43 am
Wednesday, September 4.
If you are looking forward to the fall, this will be your day to take the reins. Sorry, if you belong to the group who doesn’t want summer to go yet. However, eventually all things must come to an end; today may feel like that day. Tomorrow begins another lunar cycle, this one dedicated to Virgo, and it feels like a brand new beginning in lots of ways. Today’s positive aspects between the Moon/Pluto and Moon/Saturn help prepare us for stepping into that new cycle with purpose and strength. The Moon also opposes Neptune today, which presents another opportunity for integration. The integration of these two opposing signs, Virgo and Pisces offers a satisfying way to add pragmatism to our highest ideals. The potential is to have Virgo bring a bit of earth to heaven and Pisces bring a bit of heaven to earth. What could be better?
Moon in Virgo
September 5—New Moon: Dreaming. In the story of Psyche’s quest to reclaim her true love, she is given a challenge by Aphrodite: to sort a mountain of mixed grains into their separate piles by morning if she wants to see Eros again. It’s possible we may feel a bit like Psyche at this New Moon in Virgo. The astrological year, which begins in Aries, is a mythic journey. Along the way, we encounter everything you can expect from such a journey: revelations and challenges, gifts and rewards, and moments of self-awareness and doubt. The potency of the journey is building to the half-way point—that happens after the Virgo lunar cycle in Libra. The half-way point begins the integration of the experiences of the first half of the year. We are almost there, but not yet, and that feels like a longing similar to Psyche’s. Like her, we find ourselves on the cusp of reunion with the beloved, but first we have to sort this mountain of grain.
Her longing was so great that Psyche immediately applied herself to the impossible task but ended up falling asleep before it was finished. When she woke, she found that ants had done the sorting for her. There is an equation here that could help with our own Virgo tasks this month. The parts to the equation seem to be finding the right combination of Longing, Commitment, Work, and Surrender. If any of them are missing or out of balance, we don’t receive help from our allies to complete the impossible task.
If we apply ourselves with the diligence of Virgo, the potential for success is great, but the real challenge isn’t really the mundane work of sorting that mountain of grain; the real work is to find the “just right” combination of work and surrender that matches our longing and commitment. The chart for the New Moon offers guidance for achieving balance between these qualities. At the New Moon there is a unique aspect pattern called a Mystic Rectangle, which is comprised of a blend of both helpful and challenging aspects between the planets involved. These are: the Sun and Moon in Virgo representing work, Chiron in Pisces representing surrender, Jupiter in Cancer representing longing, and Pluto in Capricorn representing commitment.
In this phase of dreaming about your Virgo intention, consider these qualities: Jupiter in Cancer contributes a longing that connects us more deeply to home and family. Pluto in Capricorn contributes a commitment to excellence that will ask us to confront our deepest fears. Chiron in Pisces contributes an awareness that our redemption may come from surrendering to our imperfections. The New Moon contributes a desire to apply ourselves to the task because we know that we are on a journey of becoming.
Moon enters Libra at 2:12 pm
Friday, September 6.
The morning resonates with Virgo attention to getting work done. By the afternoon, we want to slip into Libran pleasures. Take in an evening of the arts, pleasant social interactions, or simply being lazy at home to cast off the cares of the workweek. What helps you balance effort with pleasure? Do that.
Moon in Libra
Saturday, September 7.
The Moon moves into a grand cross aspect pattern with Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter. This won’t feel particularly good if you want a mellow, carefree day. Find the still balance-point in the midst of storms if you can. Yes, conflict is present. Yes, stress is present. Yes, impatience is present. But what choice do YOU want to make about it? The sextile aspect between the Sun and Jupiter supports our plans to create more peace and balance at home. Start there.
* To read more about the Leo lunar cycle that began on August 6, go to http://tinyurl.com/mk4w7sn
** All times are CDT.



Saturday, August 24, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast August 25, 2013 – August 31


Zip! Zap! Pow! Whoosh! Bursts of energy shift stagnant forms this week. Mercury in Virgo and Venus in Libra are the instigators of this tectonic shifting. In the hierarchy of planets, Mercury and Venus are often under-valued for their influences. Astrologers get very impressed by Saturn transits, or this Uranus/Pluto square we keep talking about, and sometimes overlook how essential and influential the faster, more personal planets are. Thought and Love, under the purview of Mercury and Venus, are not minor things. In fact, I really can’t think of anything more influential. The week is big in minor ways. When the planets are stimulated by new encounters with each other, it is a mirror for how we also are being stimulated by new encounters. As in all new experiences, there can be a blend of delight and upheaval as we make adjustments.
What happens when thoughts are introduced? How do you respond when a new perspective on love suddenly appears? I invite you to expand your notion of what Thought means and what Love entails. I will be joining you, and at the same time observing how Mercury and Venus may influence my lunar intention* for this cycle. This intention began as a vow to share my gifts with the world and has become this simple thought: I dare to live wholeheartedly.
I am learning that a whole heart means I don’t turn my back on my imperfections. It is important to invite them back into my heart where they originated. Wholeheartedness also means I am embracing my power and gifts. What might Mercury teach me this week concerning this intention? In Virgo, I expect that I will be even more sensitive to my imperfections and even more desirous of improving my methods. We can also expect to notice how influential our thoughts are to the task of radical self-acceptance. New thoughts are coming our way. What state of mind and heart helps you to prepare to best use these thought forms?
I invoked the name of Love, but Venus has a way of showing us new sides to this essential emotion. Aleister Crowley famously declared, “Love is the law, love under will,” and he was right. Love is more than emotion and it is all emotion. Love runs the world. What does Love make you do? Venus is feeling fierce as this planetary ally completes a Grand Cardinal Cross with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. This aspect pattern is provocative. Notice your own fierceness about fairness, justice, and love. If you were to be guided by Love this week, how might this impact your wholeheartedness?
Forecast August 25, 2013 – August 31
Moon enters Taurus at 8:13 am**
Sunday, August 25.
If you have a strong urge to get yourself organized today, run with it. The stars are aligned to support all kinds of earthy endeavors, like putting things in order, committing to a health regime, or making plans for the Fall. There’s also an interesting blend of responsibility and escapism today. What happens if you allow both? Think like a spiral. The straight path may not be the most productive. With Mercury in Virgo opposite Neptune embrace this line from Yeats: “In dreams begin responsibility.”
Moon in Taurus
Monday, August 26.
The Moon in Taurus provides grounding today. Good thing, because Neptune is inviting in dreams as it opposes the Sun. As the symbol of wholehearted self-acceptance, the Sun reminds us that this solar journey of enlightenment also includes moments of shadow. Strength does not come from an impenetrable shield but from the resilience created from accepting all our contrary emotions. Keep that thought in mind as Venus gets all up in our face, provoking other responses. Venus is quincunx Chiron and opposite Uranus. When faced with people or situations that seem unfair we want to both fight and to empathize with our opponents. Notice this paradox; it may help us evolve other ways to create change in the world.     
Moon enters Gemini at 6:08 pm
Tuesday, August 27.
There’s a high quotient of Mercury and Venus influence today. (See the intro to this week’s forecast.*) Mercury in the industrious sign of Virgo is in a favorable aspect to Saturn. It feels good to get things done, especially in the realm of purging our environments of needless chaos. Be gentle with yourself concerning perfection. Small steps can be celebrated. Venus square to Jupiter (following on yesterday’s opposition to Uranus) is still touchy. Not only is our sense of injustice peaked, but anything that seems unharmonious must be addressed. Notice how Love and Balance are related. Where do you find the balance in your life? Tonight, Mars enters Leo where it will remain until mid-October. Mars in this sign is the champion of our wholeheartedness. We get another boost of energy on the quest for self-love.
Moon in Gemini
August 28—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
As the last week of this lunar cycle begins, we notice that the energy has shifted. Perhaps what felt like a grand adventure of self-discovery beginning just three weeks ago, now might feel now like a foolhardy experiment. Since we are human, we know not everything we tried was successful. That isn’t the real challenge at this phase of the Moon. The real challenge is how we embrace that imperfection. I write often about Brene´ Brown’s brilliant writing on the subject of wholeheartedness and the gifts of imperfection. In case you are new to my writing and don’t know about this source of inspiration, I’ll plug her again [http://www.brenebrown.com/]. Even though the lunar cycle is winding down, there are still important things to discover about accepting our inherent worth. The Leo mission isn’t over.
Last night (in the Central Time Zone), Mars entered Leo, the sign of the New Moon that began this lunar cycle. Sometimes Mars asks us to take risks—to step out just a little farther than we are used to—to claim new territory. What scares you the most when asked to identify why you are important to this world? Dare yourself to be the steward of that gift. We get a boost from Pluto today. This comes in the form of aligning ourselves more strongly with our values. The Moon in airy Gemini is stimulating our thoughts. Yes, this can be exciting, and can you slow down just a bit to enjoy the moment?
Moon in Gemini
Thursday, August 29.
Although the Moon is void-of-course the whole day, this is far from a lackluster, get-nothing-done kind of day. Paradox and possibility sparkle through. I sometimes experience paradox as walking into a brick wall and then realizing I don’t have to keep going that way. There is a perfectly fine path leading me in another direction. Mental flexibility is an asset that may even help us respond with more compassion to the needs of others. The Sun and Saturn say, “Keep working; you are doing great!”
Moon enters Cancer 6:33 am
Friday, August 30.
Another quality, strong in Virgo, is the desire to be of service. Mercury in Virgo is in complete agreement with Jupiter in Cancer, that being useful for the benefit of others is a worthy ambition. It feels good to step outside our ego desires to devote ourselves to serving others. That doesn’t mean that service is automatically an egoless action. Far from it. As we make peace with our wholeheartedness, observe whether you are bringing a hungry desire for attention into your service. The balancing act doesn’t end there. We must also notice whether we are trying to escape what our healthy egos require by disappearing into another’s need. To be involved in just the right service in just the right way is a blessing that feeds the soul.
Moon in Cancer
Saturday, August 31.
Yesterday’s harmony might give way to annoyance today. If we are lucky, that is all it will be. Today, the Moon antagonizes the Cardinal planets. These are Venus in Libra, Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn. The touchiness stems from emotional sensitivity and perhaps a needless sense of urgency. The way to resolve tension may be to cultivate these planets as allies: to find balance with Venus’s help, to honor our deep emotions with Jupiter’s help; to claim our authentic selves with Uranus’ help; and to live into our power with Pluto’s help. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Don’t worry; we don’t have to get it all right in one day. These planets will be offering these opportunities for a good while more.
 * To read more about the Leo lunar cycle that began on August 6, go to http://tinyurl.com/mk4w7sn
** All times are CDT.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast August 18, 2013 – August 24


Opposite signs of the zodiac need each other. That mirror on the opposite side of the year reflects another side of the sign to us. Without the perspective of the opposite sign, we never really see the whole picture.  Every Full Moon offers up this illumination: to understand something in wholeness. Perhaps no two signs reveal so much about the other as do Leo and Aquarius. Leo is the individual as Star, the one who is special and unique. Aquarius is the Collective of all those stars, which become the audience and reservoir of collective instincts. Aquarius insists on equality. Leo insists on specialness. It seems like these two instincts couldn’t be farther apart yet they are really two peas in a pod, with the pod being Humanity.
The Full Moon in Aquarius this week is an opportunity to experience how collective instincts and individuated ego push against each other even while needing the other. This month, the Leo lunar intention * is to dare to live wholeheartedly while dwelling in that sweet spot of ego—not too hungry for attention and not too full or ourselves. The collective helps us to know that sweet spot. In the best situations, the group affirms our gifts and tells us we are valuable. It also tells us when we’ve got more ego work to do.
The work of Aquarius isn’t only about making sure our egos are in healthy balance, though sometimes it seems that way. This is perhaps only a by-product of what Aquarius is really going for, which is daring to take the next evolutionary leap. Humanity has not found its final destination—far from it. We’ve got a long way to go. Aquarius dreams the dream of change and pushes us to the edge of possibility. When we do our ego work. When we affirm we are essential members in this tribe of Humanity and that we have gifts to give, when we know the healthy edges of our egos, only then are we ready to take the next evolutionary steps into Humanity’s potential. The push back of Aquarius is asking us to be more, not less.
Being more, not less, is a guiding principal for the rest of this lunar cycle. We need change. Transits this week remind us of the ways things need to change and the ways that change is always happening. Wholeheartedness affirms that we can be the ones who bring the right changes forward. We can be the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Forecast August 18, 2013 – August 24
Moon enters Aquarius 11:06 pm**
Sunday, August 18.
Most of the day, the Moon is in Capricorn, so we don’t quite enter expansive Aquarius energy until tomorrow. Today, we are more conservative. The Moon opposes Mars. What provokes your strongly protective feelings? Our hearts are telling us what really matters. This feeling may be so strong that survival instincts are triggered. Another choice: use the Capricorn energy to affirm your expectations and then use the Mars in Cancer energy to act with all your heart to create a supportive environment where those expectations can flourish.
Moon in Aquarius
Monday, August 19.
We teeter between feeling expansive hope about change and being burdened by the realization of how much work it will take to manifest. Egos might get bruised today too as the Aquarius energy pushes back on any sense we have that we are special. How do these obstacles invite you into believing you are more, not less? What dream will you serve? You might want to pay attention to the messages from your actual dreams tonight. Neptune and Venus are asking us to step beyond the bounds of reality into longing.
Moon enters Pisces 11:43 pm.
August 20—Full Moon: Illuminating.
The Full Moon in Aquarius illuminates our Leo intentions. We may be experiencing a bit of the “push back” that both of these signs give to each other. If you are sensitive to feeling other people’s energy fields, you might even think about what it feels like when your aura rubs up against another’s. Is there a little friction? Do you recoil or get annoyed? It takes generous space to make room for everyone else’s energy. Give yourself that space today in order to appreciate how necessary every single one of us is to the whole. The sweet spot of ego balance can feel a lot like the sweet spot of community—not too close so we feel smothered and not too far apart so we lose connection. From that sweet spot, begin to integrate other qualities present at this Full Moon. There are many.
The only constant is change. That message seems even stronger at this Full Moon. Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, is the provocateur of change. Tomorrow Jupiter will square Uranus exactly but we feel this expansive and unpredictable energy now. Attachment to stability is wearing away. Systems are seen more and more as not working. Jupiter in Cancer calls attention especially to the realm of home. Uranus in Aries provokes change through action. The other significant influence is Pluto in Capricorn, which is moving into its next exact square with Uranus in November. This planet encourages change too, the kind that transforms through a dying process. Since June 2012, Uranus and Pluto have been moving in and out of exact square aspects with each other, which continue until the last one in March 2015. Now that Jupiter is here too, the process of change and transformation will speed up. That is Jupiter’s quality.
The influence of water, very strong in last month’s lunar cycle, is still influential. Jupiter, already noted for its importance, is in a water sign and is in trine aspect with Saturn in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces. (Neptune in Pisces and Mars in Cancer contribute are in water signs too.) We can’t leave our emotions behind in our revolutionary fervor. In fact, it is really important to retain empathy, compassion, and vulnerability as we make change happen. Water signs invite intimate connection. We can’t as easily objectify and blame another when we know we are the same.  
Venus in Libra is a new influence right now and will be even more important at the end of the week. Venus rules this sign of the scales and stands for a renewed desire for justice and fairness. Notice this energy as it grows in strength this week.
Moon in Pisces
Wednesday, August 21.
Surrender to the flow. Yesterday’s Full Moon may have felt like a peak experience and most likely was mentally stimulating. Now it is time to exhale and
allow those thoughts to deepen. Breathe and sense into your heart. Our hearts are a source of wisdom that can be trusted even when we don’t know what our next steps should be. This would be a wonderful day to bless the waters and be blessed by them.
Moon in Pisces
Thursday, August 22.
In the intro to this week’s forecast, I pointed out how important the opposing signs are to understanding an integrated whole. The Sun enters Virgo today while the Moon is in the late degrees of Pisces. Next month, we will experience these two opposing signs at the Full Moon. Today is a peek at that illumination to come. We’ve been awash in Pisces Moon energy. Sensitive souls will notice their own edges are little less distinct. The urge to merge is huge. Virgo, as an earth sign, asks us to put our empathy into meaningful service. It’s quite refreshing, actually, to know we have limitations on just how much we can do to save the world. Enjoy the balance between feeling and doing.
Moon enters Aries 2:13 am
Friday, August 23.
First of all, let’s enjoy paying more attention to the details today. Mercury moves into Virgo, a sign it rules, and helps us to focus on our next steps. It is important to breathe through any stress we are under as the Moon in Aries is triggering the t-square aspect pattern present at the Full Moon (Jupiter opposing Pluto and squaring Uranus). Our attention shifts away from intuition into action and reactions. Not everything is going to go our way today. We might act hastily or witness others being impulsive. Those are the stressors, but Mercury can act as an ally. We are able to break down the process of a big job into smaller more manageable parts. Don’t sacrifice the means for the end. How we get where we are going is as important as where we want to go.
Moon in Aries
August 24—Disseminating Moon: Sharing.
This phase of the Moon reminds me of the season of harvest—what have we brought in from the garden? What do we have to share? Remember, the crop for this cycle is about living wholeheartedly in the light we have to share. Have you risked being bigger than you thought you should be? Have you learned from the “push back” coming from community about your ego demands? The light and shadows of our experiences are all useful additions to growing wisdom. These lessons invite balance. Notice your state of balance today. Venus in Libra created a Grand Cardinal Cross aspect pattern yesterday that is present today too. The planets involved are Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto and Venus. Injustice feels like a huge imbalance. And we are much more apt to do something about it with the Moon in Aries egging us on. What does equanimity mean to you?
* To read more about the Leo lunar cycle that began on August 6, go to http://tinyurl.com/mk4w7sn
** All times are CDT.



Saturday, August 10, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast August 11, 2013 – August 17

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I feel pretty sure that when it comes to the ego, there must be some kind of middle ground, a place where I don’t have to keep my ego caged because I’m afraid of what it might do or be constantly feeding my self-esteem because I’m afraid that I not special enough. There’s gotta be a sweet spot right in between. I just wish it weren’t so hard to find and then so hard to maintain. This Leo lunar cycle,* I am inviting in a better understanding of audacious self-love—the kind that feeds my wholeheartedness. Using the fire of Leo, I want to burn away that which keeps me out of that sweet spot of right-sized ego.
I happen to believe that joy feeds more joy. This is the best aspect of fire, this quality of generosity, abundance, and encouragement that not only spreads joy to others but fills the givers with more joy too. There are lots of toxic cultural myths out there. One of the worst needs banishing this month: the story about how there isn’t enough joy for everyone. Not only is there enough, but the more of it we express, the more there will be. Is this the secret to the sweet spot of ego? The caged animal is no longer hungry when the prime directive is to feel and share joy.
My heart leaps to this vision, yet I also know that joy can feel very far removed from where I am sometimes. Legitimately so. Life can be really sad and really hard. Is there something else to learn about wholeheartedness from these moments too? Wholeheartedness tells me that every single way I am showing up in my life is worthwhile, in ways that I will probably never even know. The journey of exuberant joy and authentic sadness has an impact on others. It affirms and bestows the fire of self-love upon us all.
The Moon of this Leo season is waxing. See how much you can fill your heart with self-love, notice the doubts and obstacles, choose to make a greater impact, and be yourself. Mercury may be playful this week. When Mercury, the Trickster, plays, we sometimes do and say things that we wish we could undo or say. Perhaps the challenge is not to censor this natural exuberance but to learn how to graciously say, “I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant.” The sweet spot can be hard to find, but I expect that even through a week of big energy, we can recognize it when it happens. In those moments, remember to rejoice!
Forecast August 11, 2013 – August 17
Moon in Libra
Sunday, August 11.
The Moon completes a Cardinal Grand Cross aspect pattern today. What this means is that planets are occupying a narrow range of degrees in every Cardinal sign. These planets are either opposite (asking for integration) or square (presenting challenge) to each other. Uranus, Pluto, Jupiter, and the Moon are the challengers and teachers. The Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) represent turning points and major areas of life. If you have planets in your natal chart between 9 and 12 degrees of a Cardinal sign, you’ve been feeling these turning points for months now. Today, another insight or phase of the journey may occur. For all of us, we could notice being pulled in many directions, shorter fuses, or a crossroads decision needing to be made. Overall, we desire harmony and we desire justice. It is wonderful when both can be achieved at the same time.
Mercury in Leo is square to Saturn in Scorpio. There is a struggle about communication and it is likely that both sides are right. We get to practice more mindfulness concerning our words and the truth we need to share. Don’t expect resolution right away, the Moon squares Mars tonight (in the Central Time Zone).
Moon enters Scorpio 3:18 pm**
Monday, August 12.
We may want to retreat into moodiness today. This is a perfect opportunity to practice audacious self-love. How hard is it to share joy? How much do you want to pity or blame yourself for missing the mark? Compassion is the key to getting out of any funk we may be in. We are connected and we matter to each other.
Moon in Scorpio
Tuesday, August 13.
I mentioned earlier that Mercury was taking center stage this week. More unexpected exchanges, courtesy of the Trickster, could happen over the next two days. Relationships may be confusing, yet we really want to solve the puzzle. Mercury is at the apex of a Yod aspect pattern. The other planets are Pluto and Chiron. The tension may be felt between simple joy and complex emotion, which could include grief or fear. Yods ask us to stretch into bigger truths. You may have a hard time deciding if you want to be around people or all by yourself.
Moon enters Sagittarius 8:04 pm
August 14—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
The last few days of Scorpio Moon demonstrates ways we can be thrown off the goal of finding that sweet spot of self-love. The Leo cycle encourages us to embrace the light, and I don’t mean this in a New Agey way. What I mean is that the Sun of mid-Summer shows us how to be generous with our gifts—our light. Sometimes it feels really good to open wide to embrace our inherent worth. But that emphasis on light can lead us to think that ONLY the light is valuable. We need the dark just as much. If you are caught in either/or thinking about light and dark, I invite you to adopt a both/and approach. The First Quarter Moon phase is about a core challenge to manifesting intention. What comes up for you when you notice you can’t always be positive, can’t always feel joyful, can’t always recognize that you are valuable?
As the day goes on however, the mood lightens and we feel more social. Mercury trine Uranus is mentally and socially stimulating. We feel a creative surge too and may even get brilliant new insights to a problem we’ve been working on.
Moon in Sagittarius
Thursday, August 15.
Take last night’s inspiration and run with it. A Grand Fire Trine aspect pattern speeds things up quite a bit. Moon, Mercury, and Uranus are creating the sparks. All fire signs have an innate mission to understand and express identity. Through self-knowledge we are able to be authentic to truth of the moment. If we can couple that authenticity with compassion, we are able to express that truth in the best way.
Moon enters Capricorn 10:25 pm
Friday, August 16.
What do you believe? You may be feeling philosophical, or eager to plan a trip, or are suddenly interested in going back to school. The idea is that we want to know what it all means and can’t wait to learn more about it. This feeling too, helps us to know our inherent light. What inspires you? Venus enters Libra—one of the signs she rules—for only two weeks. Although the Fall Equinox is still over a month away, we may notice that fallish feeling as perhaps a desire to partner up for the dark part of the year. The shift is coming. Venus asks us to find the connections with significant others who make our lives more comfortable and more meaningful.
Moon in Capricorn
August 17—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting.
After a few days of the Moon in a fire sign, we notice the shift of the Moon into earth. Again, the contrast may bring up self-doubts concerning our essential worth. This is the work of this lunar cycle, encountering these obstacles and returning to wholeheartedness in spite of them. This phase of the Moon is about what we are willing to do to keep pursuing our hearts’ desires. And it is about noticing what really fuels this commitment. On the quest to improvement it is easy to take a detour into self-hating. The Moon in Capricorn makes us especially sensitive to feelings of not being good enough. However, the gift of Capricorn is the expectation that our dreams are worthy of our commitments to them.
This is no lightweight day. The stakes feel higher. Don’t be surprised if you feel more tension and more pressure to act. The planets involved: Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter are encouraging each of us to take it to the next level. This may involve radical change and/or radical self-knowledge. Although it may feel like a detour or an obstacle, this is a potent opportunity to inhabit that sweet spot between inflated ego and ravenous ego. What does that feel like to you, today? Remember how you got there. 
* To read more about the Leo lunar cycle that began on August 6, go to http://tinyurl.com/mk4w7sn
** All times are CDT.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast August 4, 2013 – August 10


For a long time, I‘ve been a student of the elements. These primary components of life, both physically and metaphorically, have a lot to teach. In fact, I took my very first astrology class to learn more about them and then found myself hooked into being a student of the stars as well. The elemental lessons of the last few weeks have been primarily about water. The New Moon in Cancer* began the flow, then a Grand Water Trine made sure that flow did not stop. There have been ebbs in intensity (of course, it is water after all) and we experienced a beautiful Grand Sextile last week that matched water with earth’s solidity.
In the midst of water’s influence, the intention I’ve been following—inspired by Cancer—is to find, heal, and reside in the home of my being. In my place of refuge, emotional experience has more room to just be. Water seems to like that. 
I am taking away lots of insights about water from this lunar cycle that ends on August 6. One that stands out is that the emotional realm of reality is complex. My every perception is colored by emotion, yet not every emotional message is actually helpful to my health, my intentions, or my relationships. I’ve learned I need discernment when I’m getting an emotion message. Emotion, like mystical experiences, can convey profound and universal truths. And emotion can be very personal and dependent on simple things like how much I slept the night before and what I ate for lunch. Yet, I think the way to learn emotional discernment isn’t by bottling up feelings or deemphasizing their importance. That would be like living without a piece of my soul.
This soulful search for emotional wisdom continues in the next lunar cycle; indeed we could say that in many ways it has only begun. Although the energy and intention of the next New Moon will be illuminated by Leo’s fire, the big water energy of Jupiter in Cancer is felt strongly this month as this planet opposes Pluto and squares Uranus. The Grand Water Trine of Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio, and Neptune in Pisces still reverberates through the New and Full Moon charts.
I invite you to become a student of the elements too. For the Leo lunar cycle, fire is present along with water. Questions to explore could be: How do water and fire interact? How can these elements co-exist? How are they similar? What do they need from each other? What do we notice in ourselves as these two elements seek to find expression?
Forecast August 4, 2013 – August 10
Moon in Cancer
Sunday, August 4.
Mercury retrograde cycles don’t really end until Mercury gets past the degree where it originally turned retrograde. Today is that day for the most recent cycle. Mercury turned direct on July 20 but you may have noticed that it hasn’t felt that way. After today, Mercury moves clearly ahead and we get to apply what we’ve learned about communicating through and about our emotions. This comes in handy because the Moon in Cancer brings tenderness and we may need to communicate with others who are feeling tender too. Although the Moon’s in water, the Sun in Leo is very much about fire today. The Sun trines Uranus in Aries. We feel the boldness of fire’s passion to embrace change. At the end of the day (Central Time Zone), the paradox between water and fire is felt strongly. Lean into this feeling and invite a new understanding.
Moon enters Leo 11:58 am**
Monday, August 5.
Try on the Leo energy for size today. Tomorrow the New Moon in Leo begins a whole new cycle of intention and mindfulness. Begin to notice the effects of the Sun on you, on others, on the green world, on the animal world. Really, there is no being on this Earth who is not impacted by the Sun. The Sun, as ruler of Leo, is the celestial body that mirrors to us what this sign is all about. Today, it might be interesting to think about the nature of the Sun’s fire—its generosity, its command of our attention, its intense heat, and its central importance to our lives. Then contrast this fiery energy to the deep waters of Saturn in Scorpio. The Moon in Leo squares Saturn. You may notice a raincloud has come to ruin your perfect day. But there is a gift hidden in that raincloud. What is it? 
Moon in Leo
August 6—New Moon: Dreaming.
Did you discover anything about the Sun yesterday? Astrologically, the Sun represents our potential gifts—the light we have to share with others. Through looking at the Sun in our charts, we learn about the challenges we have in freely expressing these gifts. The Sun is generous; its light is free and abundant. Most of us have a lot to learn about living as wholeheartedly as the Sun models for us. Yet, that light is there in everyone. For the next few days, during the New Moon phase of dreaming, begin to tap into the light you wish to share with the world and the life you wish to honor with your generosity.
In both the New Moon and Full Moon charts, Jupiter plays a starring role. It opposes Pluto at the New Moon and squares Uranus at the Full. Jupiter in Cancer encourages the belief that emotions should help us in making choices. This is both true and a bit dangerous. As I wrote in this week’s introduction, discernment is helpful when listening to messages with strong emotional content. It is all about balance and finding the still place to listen to intuition. With that kind of practice in place, the opposition of Pluto and Jupiter invites an integration of wild hope with steel-eyed realism. This is real strength. But if we can’t accept our imperfections, the world will give us bad guys to fight. The battle feels like it is about survival. Some of us will be fighting to protect the people or values most precious to us. However, the intensity of this opposition is mitigated by the other water signs. Saturn in Scorpio is rooting for all of us to do the soul searching that leads to self-forgiveness. Neptune in Pisces asks us to surrender control and learn to have faith in a larger story. Remember these helpers if you find yourself in a battle of wills.
Moon enters Virgo 10:57 pm
Wednesday, August 7.
After conjoining the Sun yesterday with a new cycle beginning in Leo, the Moon enters a void-of-course period until late in the evening (Central Time Zone). If the New Moon phase is a time to step between the worlds to vision about current intentions, then today feels even more potent for that kind of work. Jupiter opposes Pluto for the first of three times that it will do so over the next 9 months. Our intentions for the Leo cycle are supercharged with this energy. Commit to the process of empowerment. With Leo’s wholehearted fire and Jupiter’s expansive water, we take a step deeper into the soul work of Pluto. Something is ready to transform, not only for each of us individually but for all of us collectively.
Moon in Virgo
Thursday, August 8.
Devotion and service help anchor the intention to live more fully in this world. Wholeheartedness is strengthened when we dedicate our gifts. Virgo can be felt as constricting to Leo’s desire to have free reign in creative efforts. Rather than push away the Virgo desire for pragmatic actions, invite in the collaboration of spirit with reality. This could be a very useful day. Mercury entering Leo inspires creativity. The Moon’s contacts are all about taking the next concrete steps to manifest those ideas.  
Moon in Virgo
Friday, August 9.
Concrete steps continue from yesterday into today. This can feel very satisfying. Venus and Mars are conspiring to bring pleasure and energy to our work. And don’t limit your concept of what work is. See how broad you can make the idea of what you do with your life as your work. This could be your actual job, your devotion to your Sun-powered gifts, or your daily actions that ground you in this world. 
Moon enters Libra 8:08 am
August 10—Crescent Moon: Beginning.
If you found yourself responding positively to the desire to be more productive the last couple of days, you are well-positioned to reap what a Libra Moon offers: a sense of beauty and balance. The Crescent Moon at sunset tonight will be close to Venus. If you can, make a date to view this pairing. Take in this beauty as inspiration for your journey through the Leo lunar cycle. Venus and the Moon are able to sparkle in the sky because they are illuminated by the Sun. What if the Sun decided his gifts were not worthy? What if the Sun decided to hold back on offering her light freely to others? Why would we deny our own solar natures when so much of the sparkle of the world depends on them?
The Moon not only inspires us to live in beauty and balance, but it triggers the tense aspects between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto too. This tension begins today and carries through to tomorrow. So, doubts, obstacles, and challenges are present. Perhaps we can take that as a sign that our light is even more valuable to transforming the world.
 * To read more about the Cancer lunar cycle that began on July 7, go to http://tinyurl.com/lf6jjfh
** All times are CDT.