Sunday, March 30, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– March 30, 2014 – April 5


This poem:
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you

Don't go back to sleep!

You must ask for what you really want.

Don't go back to sleep!

People are going back and forth 

across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,

The door is round and open

Don't go back to sleep!”
by

Rumi

This poem is my perennial hope for every spring—to greet the dawning year with knowledge that now is the time to ask for what I really want, and to embrace being fully awake to the journey initiated by this desire. Desire takes us far this season. Desire plays a particular role in this spring’s awakening. This month, the story of spring becomes both intense and exciting, and Mars, the planet of desire, is telling the tale.

The New Moon of March 30 is the beginning of the astrological year. Although the Sun entered Aries on March 20, the season of emergence really begins at the Aries New Moon. The round door is open; there is activity now through the portal. People are going back and forth. Now, right now, what do you really want? Now, right now, it is time to listen to the secrets that the dawn breezes are whispering. Now, right now, it is time to finally shed winter’s protective layer. Now, it is time to greet the season with unabashed daring.

Mars the storyteller. Mars the challenger. Every two years, Mars takes a retrograde journey. During this period, Mars spends more time in a sign. Usually this fiery planet, the ruler of Aries, moves briskly through the zodiac. Mars prefers Aries because this sign also likes to speed along. Reflection is not an innate instinct to Aries or Mars, but each Mars retrograde forces us to slow down to reflect on passion, drive, and desire. It can be quite a good thing to slow these energies, not only to cool hot-headed reactions but to spend more time savoring our desires. So, Mars retrograde isn’t exactly a bad thing, just a different thing. An opportunity, like so many planetary transits are, to go deeper, to become more mindful. Another piece to consider: Mars in Libra, the sign opposite Aries, increases the introverted nature of this Mars retrograde. Something is brewing inside us. Tensions can build if we don’t allow for more flexibility during this transit. Here is where it gets interesting. Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto will form a grand cardinal cross with retrograde Mars this month. Staying cool-headed about anything will be harder. We are reaching a crescendo in April. In some way, we each are changing; the earth is changing; the paradigms of culture are changing.

But, remember that round door of awakening? That this is the time to ask for what we really want? Spring itself is asking us to risk uncertainty and exposure. We don’t want to play it too safe nor should we heedlessly embroil ourselves in turmoil when the gift of spring is a fresh start. The challenge this month will be to know when to be bold in pursuit of our desires and when to be more reflective. For now, my strategy is to practice enjoying the sensation of slowing down to savor my desire but not going back to sleep. The potential of this Aries season requires our whole attention.

Forecast– March 30, 2014 – April 5

Moon in Aries
March 30—New Moon: Dreaming.
Big energies are brewing. The spring feels like it starts today. The wonderful thing about Aries, the sign of the New Moon, is that the momentum of life takes over for us. We don’t have to try too hard to get things going—they want to go all on their own. An increasing momentum toward action and change is the theme of the lunar cycle.


The Sun and Moon are near to the tightening aspects between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto in the chart for the New Moon. These planets of change have a mission to upset the status quo in favor of authenticity, renovated power structures, and strong places of protection and support. The tone they have been setting is one of uncertainty amidst change. Some of us can’t wait for the shift; others are wondering how to get our bearings. Transits to these planets this month will create spikes in this field of experience. The Sun and Moon begin the process.

At each New Moon I begin to set intention for the lunar cycle. Some months, I know exactly what I need, at other times I use the three days after the New Moon to dream about where I to focus next. You have those options as well. Perhaps you will want to focus on defining what you wish to begin in this season of fresh starts. Or perhaps, like me, you want to focus on the strategies of beginnings, knowing that without much effort, new growth will happen anyway. I want to explore my fear of change, which keeps me from embracing new possibility. I want to practice radical engagement with the life force. I want to find a way to dance through the uncertainty with joy and compassion. I want to open wide my arms and feel alive and awake. With that desire as my guide, I begin to search for the ways I can manifest more wholeness and aliveness in this season.

Other forces are present at the beginning of this cycle. Venus in Aquarius is square to Saturn in Scorpio. Relationship negotiation continues. Is the conflict between commitment and freedom? Is it between transparency and secrets? The struggle may be to make room for everything. Is it possible? Surely we feel the stress of trying to make it so.

Neptune, Chiron, and Mercury in Pisces continue to attune our hearts to empathic connections as the lunar cycle starts. Mercury will leave Pisces for Aries at the start of the second week of this cycle. Words happen faster than thought under this Aries influence. It will help to avoid communication problems if we remember these heart connections. When Venus enters Pisces on April 5, we are given help to remain sensitive and tuned in to each other.

Moon in Aries
Monday, March 31.
Was your yesterday overwhelming or just very exciting? Spring winds can blow both ways. At least once today, practice spontaneity. Do something without forethought. Tomorrow is actually April Fool’s day, but with the Moon in Aries today, embrace the Aries/April fool in you. One of my favorite April fools, my friend Paul, says that when you goof up, just open your arms really wide and say as loudly as possible, “How fascinating!” Hopefully, each of us finds the fascination of foolishness today.

Moon enters Taurus 12:20 am CDT
Tuesday, April 1.
Are you itching to get your hands in some dirt? Do it if you can! The Moon in Taurus is a fine time to plant a garden or at least start some seeds. The grounding of earth is a gift in tempestuous times. The Moon reinforces inspiration and belief. We feel stronger too. However, the Sun squares Jupiter and we might have a tendency to be more reactive when challenged. Sometimes a passionate response is appropriate, even desirable. Some of us will be feeling defensive, others like daredevils. Watch out for the sparks. Today, in honor of April fools everywhere, notice the times when you just don’t care what others think, and express yourself freely!

Moon in Taurus
Wednesday, April 2.
The sparks continue today from the direction of the Sun’s conjunction with Uranus. Impatience or a strong desire to upset the status quo of your life is just a super-dosed expression of what the Aries lunar cycle is all about—going into the unknown to claim a lost piece of your authentic self. Aries is impulsive. Today is especially so. Mercury in Pisces contributes a strong desire to find our commonality, to merge our heart experiences into a story of collective desire. However, there is a struggle between the instinct to be true to ourselves and the sensitivity evoked by planets in the water signs. The elements struggle to work together. Here is a cooperative image: the banks of a river holding back the rising waters of newly melted snow. Under a dramatic spring thaw the river almost floods, but if we can hold fast to our boundaries, the energies flow well and we are cleansed.

Moon enters Gemini 6:48 am CDT
April 3—Crescent Moon: Beginning.
Ah, the Moon phase of beginning in the season of beginning. Do you feel the rising energy? With the Moon in Gemini, it will be hard not to. We are ready to make connections with others on our way to embracing the transformative forces of this lunar cycle. Today the Sun is square to Pluto. The power of life emanating from the earth is palpable. Pluto is the force and god of compost. This planet rules the transformative process of death, but not to keep things dead forever. Through the power of compost, earth and life are renewed. We can notice what has finished composting in our lives. Has a past death become the start of new life? We honor both states, the mourning and the renewal. From this place, our beginnings are blessed.

Moon in Gemini
Friday, April 4.
The last three days have set a pattern for this lunar cycle and for the entire spring season ahead. Have you found the thing you are most passionate about? How has that desire shifted your trajectory? The Moon in Gemini encourages curiosity. We want to learn something. The means are varied, but something is still missing, and a new fact or a new friend just might have what you are looking for. Let the joy of the desirous quest carry you forward into the weekend.

Moon enters Cancer 4:40 pm CDT
Saturday, April 5.
Of the two weekend days, this one will be the most mellow. A bit of communication mix-up could occur this morning (CDT). There is always more than one way to get our messages across. We notice the intersection between verbal and wordless expression today. Another shift: Venus enters Pisces until May 2. Venus is exalted in this water sign and she gives us a welcome respite from the hyperactivity of this month. Venus encourages reverie—the daydream that helps us attune to the beauty around and within. This is an enticing spice to add to our spring stew. When the Moon moves into Cancer this afternoon (CDT) and forms a harmonious connection with Venus, pause to appreciate the beauty surrounding you. You may even want to create something lovely in your home to honor the Moon and Venus.

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

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– March 23, 2014 – March 29


Spring in Minnesota. Where I live, right now, the snow is still several feet deep where the Sun doesn’t shine and there are patches of exposed earth where it does. We’ve had a hard winter, much colder than it has been for many years. They say, this too, is a result of global warming. Does it seem to you like the earth’s atmospheric systems are trying to attain equilibrium by swinging wildly between extremes? I am not a climate scientist, but this is what I am noticing and wondering about. The weather may seem like it is a metaphor for our lives right now—big fluctuations that are attempts to restore balance and stability—but I suspect that there is an actual one-to-one relationship. What happens in the weather does happen to us and inside us. We are, just like the climate, trying to find stability in the midst of change.

Because of this change and because it sometimes feels like the only way to find equilibrium right now is to be swept up in big waves of compensating energy, I’ve set an intention for this Pisces lunar cycle* to attend to self-love and self-care. I am finding that the more I care for my self, the greater my capacity to be present to whatever is happening in the moment. Being present is a state of equilibrium.

The astrological year begins at the spring equinox when the Sun enters Aries. The month before, during Pisces, we let go of the preceding year and especially the preceding season of winter, to be ready to merge with energies of expansion and growth in the new cycle. The last week of this Pisces lunar cycle is about bringing this process of shedding to an end. We notice and complete what is left in our process of softening and preparing.

Another feature of a hard northern winter is a pretty significant ground freeze. It went several feet deep this year. Now with the warming, the soil thaws slowly from the surface down as the Sun melts the snow and then begins to warm the ground beneath. The surface is spongy with water that can’t sink any deeper due to an impenetrable layer of still frozen earth. Hard and soft places are right next to each other, around us and within us. Self-care and self-love allow for a gentle softening so that emotion and energy (states of water) can flow again.

Notice the edges in your life right now. It can feel like the contrast of hard and soft, but also cold and warm. Wherever these edges of energy systems meet, a spiral is formed as a way to disperse the contrast. We don’t need to push against the change but rather need to remember to twirl and dance with it. After this final week of the Pisces lunar cycle, the spiraling winds of spring will rise. The work we do to soften and shed now is good preparation.

There is one week left before spring begins in earnest at the Aries New Moon on March 30. Transits through the water signs and the waning phases of the Moon will help us continue the Pisces process of self-care. Mercury will be in Pisces till April 7. This planet, which influences our thoughts and dreams, supports this intention. When the Moon returns to Pisces for the last two days of this lunar cycle, the 28th and 29th, we complete our preparations.

Forecast– March 23, 2014 – March 29

Moon enters Capricorn 3:03 pm CDT
March 23—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
With the Moon in Capricorn, we could turn the evaluating process into the type of self-criticism that doesn’t actually help us evaluate anything at all. Where is the value in this lunar cycle experience for you? What did you notice that really helped, was really valuable, that gave you clarity or strength? With Capricorn determination we are able to incorporate this value into our lives. Our experiences become actual resources for us. Notice the fine line between substantive evaluation and needless self-criticism. Create an anchor to remembering that distinction.  

Moon in Capricorn
Monday, March 24.
Let’s continue the practice from yesterday—creating an anchor to remember the distinction between substantive evaluation and needless self-criticism. We have real work to do in the world and we need tools for those times that we doubt this or feel hopeless about our progress. The Moon contacts Neptune and Mercury while we sleep (Central time zone). Dreams are significant as we wake this morning. High energy takes off early with the Moon opposing Jupiter, squaring Uranus, and conjunct Pluto, all by 2:00 pm CDT. We notice the stressors of life. The choice is to freeze up or grab the opportunity to do concrete work. Taking small steps away from inertia are just as good as grand efforts.

Moon enters Aquarius 5:39 pm CDT
Tuesday, March 25.
The Moon doesn’t enter Aquarius until the early evening hours (CDT). Most of the day, the Moon is void-of-course with the last aspect from the Moon being a square to Mars in Libra in the morning. Tension is present, but we may not have enough energy to do anything about it. Don’t let this unnecessarily frustrate you. We have a good opportunity to notice how we habitually react to pressure or stress and choose a different path if we want. Experiment. Mistakes are good today.

Moon in Aquarius
Wednesday, March 26.
Mercury in Pisces is cordially visiting the planets in water signs until the first week in April (Neptune, Jupiter, Chiron, Saturn). The planet of thoughts and dreams is supporting our final work of self-care and preparation for the forward momentum that will begin in earnest with the next New Moon in Aries on March. 30. Today Mercury is trine to Jupiter in Cancer. Big feelings can overwhelm, but they can also cleanse us. Where does the water go? Where do big emotions go when we no longer want to hold them? The Moon in Aquarius gives us some distance from being overwhelmed by watery experience. A part of us wants to describe and evaluate these feelings. Try that approach on, and see if it helps.

Moon enters Pisces 7:10 pm CDT
March 27—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
Between the worlds—the Balsamic phase can feel like this. The Moon doesn’t enter Pisces until this evening (CDT), and most of the day the Aquarius Moon is void-of-course. A void Moon can invoke a state of limbo, which fits well with the energy of the Balsamic phase. When the Moon finally returns to Pisces, the surrendering of this cycle is felt strongly. Letting go of letting go. What does a clean slate feel like? What is the state of your thawing from winter? Are you ready for new growth? Be gentle with yourself during the last days of this lunar cycle. I’ve discovered that self-care can look like a lot of different things. It can look like going to bed earlier, or forgiving myself for missing a deadline. It can look like trying to eat healthier and it can look like forgiving myself for using food to comfort myself. It isn’t just one thing and I am finding self-care is less about what I do and more about how I value myself. I’ve also come to realize that self-care is a radical act. We receive countless messages every day about how we are secondary, not good enough, and need to fill the emptiness with material things. For the last three days of this cycle, refuse to believe any of this. With the Moon squaring Saturn this morning, we get ample opportunity to gently release negative self-talk.

Moon in Pisces
Friday, March 28.
Mercury in Pisces makes a favorable contact with Pluto today. Pluto is in earth sign Capricorn. The relationship between the elements of water and earth can enhance the strength of each. When we build strong containers, the water of our souls can flourish and nourish ourselves and others. Claim the power of self-love today. Notice the clarity it brings to relationships. Notice the healing it brings to you. This day is all about flow. Who are your allies in developing self-compassion? They can be human, animal, plant, mineral, or spirit. Today, if we pay attention, we see our allies encouraging us to open. The day ends with Moon joining Mercury. Evening plans could include writing, conversing, or learning about self-love.

Moon enters Aries 8:53 pm CDT
Saturday, March 29.
This is another mostly Moon void-of-course day. Exhale and release to prepare for the next phase of growth. Mercury conjoins Chiron right after midnight (CDT). Dreams could influence our journeys toward compassionate living. Water is transformative. It is essential for life, it can be supportive of work we do to release, and water can be overwhelming. Since Chiron entered Pisces in 2010 we’ve experienced the pain of death in the ocean—the BP oils spill, the tsunami in Japan, the recent loss of the Malaysian jet are a few notable events—we are linked by common experiences that open our hearts. Chiron is initiating us into increasing our capacity to hold more compassion. What are you noticing?

The watery emphasis of today’s transits is modified by planets in air signs. Venus in Aquarius is trine to Mars in Libra. Air gives us perspective when water feels too strong. Relationships of all kinds are serving to give us perspective at this time. Our relationships can feel like a lifeline. Venus is also square to Saturn in another water sign, Scorpio. We need to adjust how we are relating. We may be challenged to make room for both emotion and analysis. Some of us will make deeper relationship commitments today. Others will realize that relationship dynamics need to change. What do you need?

*The Pisces lunar cycle began on March 1 at the New Moon. See more about the beginning of this lunar cycle at: http://tinyurl.com/kcakdq7
Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– March 16, 2014 – March 22


I’ve been following an intention of self-care this lunar cycle (begun at the New Moon in Pisces on March 1*). We’re only halfway through this lunar month and it feels like it’s been four weeks instead of two. Self-care requires self-love; self-love is a hard road sometimes. You may have noticed this too.  

The self is vast. The self holds many stories and likes to tell them over and over to the self—stories of all types, some painful and some beautiful. The self is bliss—the mindful self is awake and alive to all the delights and wonders of the world. The self is small, sometimes feeling isolated and ineffectual. The self is transforming. In a world where the only constant is change, the self is always changing and noticing change. All this and more is here, inside the self, inside me. All this and more has been developing inside our selves since the spring of 2013 when the Sun entered Aries and began a new year. The astrological year, like the agricultural year, begins in spring. It is helpful to remember that our bodies still belong to the earth’s cycles and it is a big deal to let go of one entire year to make way for the next. It is a big deal to tend to the self, to empty and to cleanse from all that is held within the self so that a new cycle can begin. As the Rumi poem so beautifully says, “we wash ourselves of ourselves” in this Pisces season of letting go.

Extricating all that is held within the self through self-care is not easy. It seems like it should be easy, but it isn’t. So, if you are feeling tender, like I am feeling tender at this halfway point in a cycle of self-care, at least you can know you aren’t alone. This work is important. This spring’s energies will be high, may be intense, and will certainly require us to be gentle with ourselves. We are not purging. We are releasing. The flow of water through planetary transits this week may help us remember that.

Forecast– March 16, 2014 – March 22

Moon enters Libra 7:46 pm CDT
March 16—Full Moon: Illuminating.
Pent up energy is often released at a Full Moon. Often, that is where the illumination comes from. With the energetic release, we suddenly understand something new or we are in new relationship to something old. We are at a culminating point for the intention of this lunar cycle of release and self-care. We need Virgo’s help (the sign of this Full Moon) to help integrate our Pisces experiences. These two signs complement each other by offering another side to the work of self-love. Both Virgo and Pisces are signs of devotion. In devotion, Pisces bends towards salvation; Virgo bends towards service. Pisces is good at losing the edges of self. Virgo is good at organizing them. Both can help us practice self-care. And done to the extreme, both can be destructive to self-care. Every Full Moon invites us to balance extremes.

Big feelings may be present at this Full Moon. If you notice too much self-criticism, let Pisces remind you that the self if small and is redeemed through a larger perspective. If you are feeling disappointed in your ability to practice self-love, let Virgo help you place your feet back on the ground to take that next small step toward your goal. What we are doing now to create such balance in our lives will help with the transits of the coming spring. The aspect pattern between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto is getting more exact over the next month. We may notice our own stress or the stress of others increasing. Pragmatic compassion helps us to stay grounded in our lives and hearts.

There’s a possibility we cross wires with someone we care about today. The Pisces Sun and Mars in Libra create a little friction. We may be angry that the other person isn’t more present or that our feelings are not being respected. The solution may be to remember you both want the same connection and just have different ways of getting there.

Moon in Libra
Monday, March 17.
Relationships continue to be a little touchy today. The Libra scales are being used to weigh the pros and cons in our partnerships. It is hard to compromise if you feel the other person isn’t doing the same. Venus in Aquarius makes a quincunx aspect to Jupiter in Cancer. This aspect heightens a sense of being from different planets. In reality, not everyone thinks the same way or wants the same things. We get to practice appreciating differences today. Take time to think over any rash responses you might want to make because Mercury enters Pisces and that can diffuse our ability to focus clearly. Mercury stays in Pisces for the next three weeks; use this time to release old thought patterns as we practice self-care in this Pisces lunar cycle. Another stressor today is that the Moon is triggering the aspect pattern between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. What are you noticing about our changing world? What are your strategies for self-care?

Moon in Libra
Tuesday, March 18.
Look for people who delight you today—the odder, the better. Venus in Aquarius is happily interacting with Uranus (the ruler of Aquarius). Embrace difference! Find the comrades who support your causes. Form alliances that bring your visions forward. Break some rules and get away with it. You could feel the urge to break free of a confining relationship. Give yourself space to listen to what you really think.

Moon enters Scorpio 4:13 am CDT
Wednesday, March 19.
Today is the last day of winter (in the northern hemisphere). Are you ready to let it go? With the Moon in Scorpio, we could feel a little resistant to shedding winter layers even if we are tired to death of it. These layers can be metaphorical as well as literal. Winter is a time to go within; the movement back out can be disorienting. A good way to support this shift is to honor the internal experience you have had. It has transformed you. The Moon creates a Grand Water Trine with Mercury in Pisces, Neptune in Pisces, and Jupiter in Cancer. Go with the flow. Let water bring you the place of self-love. Cleansing and nourishing, water makes the way for Sun’s ingress into spring tomorrow.

Moon in Scorpio
March 20—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Spring Equinox.
The momentum towards spring’s renewal kicks into gear, even though the lunar cycle asks us to continue to work the Pisces journey of self-care. Remember the goal is to release the old forms, to learn compassion for self in order to hold compassion for others, to tend our souls so we may have more strength and resilience as we begin a new astrological year. Under this phase of the Moon, we share the merits of our practice of following an intention. Whatever self-love we’ve remembered to shower upon ourselves, we now are able to share with others. What has the journey been like for you? What are the gifts? Our souls are like a prepared field waiting for the seeds of this practice to take root. How will you continue to tend these seeds, which still need so much before they begin to show the green of new life?

The chart for the vernal equinox is an important one for astrological purposes. This is the chart to consider when looking ahead at the upcoming challenges for a nation. The chart for the equinox, set for Washington, D.C. shows Jupiter on the Ascendant opposed by Pluto on the Descendant. These planets showing up in this position mean that we will experience these two planets strongly over the next year. On the one hand, Jupiter can bring good fortune, on the other, being opposite Pluto, we also may experience big transformations. In addition, the Ascendant is at the exact degree of the Sun in our nation’s own birth chart. This same degree will be transited by a grand cross of planets in April, reinforcing the idea that big change and big energy is in store for us this year. The best way to work with Pluto transits is to honor our shadows, to be willing to look at our deeper issues, and to engage in the soul work of transformation. All this is possible for us collectively too. It is time to see with clear eyes and to affirm the right use of power—to apply ourselves to transforming culture so it can be more whole and more life sustaining. All this is possible with a Pluto transit. As we stand on this day, balanced between light and dark, let us invite the courage and clarity we need to see within the shadows and into the light of our visions.

Moon enters Sagittarius 10:39 am CDT
Friday, March 21.
We are in the foggy zone of Mercury approaching Neptune, and the Moon today doesn’t help as it is square to these two planets. We feel flashes of insight that may just as suddenly disappear. With that in mind, give yourself a lot of extra time and space to get things done. It is a good idea to be extra careful when driving. On the other hand, we can enjoy activities that are less focused on productivity and more focused on enjoyment. Your imagination wants to roam. Let it have a vacation. You might be surprised what it brings back from its travels.


Moon in Sagittarius
Saturday, March 22. Yesterday’s imagination journey supports spiritual states of mysticism, transcendence, and ecstasy today. You are getting messages. I can’t say they will all be correct. Remember the lessons of the Full Moon. What illumination did you receive about balancing pragmatism with compassion? That discernment could help you sort out fantasy from enlightenment today. Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun in its current cycle as the Morning Star. That means Venus is as high in the sky as it will get before sunrise during this part of the Venus journey. If you get up early, look for the bright light of Venus. In Aquarius, Venus is adding hope to relationships that create more freedom, more authenticity, and more possibilities. She blesses our visions for the future.

*The Pisces lunar cycle began on March 1 at the New Moon. See more about the beginning of this lunar cycle at: http://tinyurl.com/kcakdq7
Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Follow the Moon: March 9, 2014 – March 15

The stories we tell ourselves have a bigger impact on our realities than we might think. By story, I mean the running narrative inside my head—what I am telling myself about how I am feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally. Stories are told by the talking self within, the part of me that explains, describes, and evaluates every moment of everyday. This storytelling is such a big part of who we are that clues to our own storytelling style is found in every part of our natal charts. Every planet and sign and house adds to the plot development. However, one planet stands out as a key player in how we frame our realities and tell our stories. Mercury, the messenger god, intercepts what is happening to us and gives it a spin to make it our own story. This small planet is deceptively powerful. Mercury’s influence is felt this week and will impact the ongoing intention of this lunar cycle.*

This lunar cycle is colored by the hues and moods of Pisces. Regardless of weather patterns where you live, this season is about flowing from frozen winter dormancy into tender stirrings of rebirth. This process takes time; we don’t get there right away. The path into spring is not straight. The Pisces path into spring twists and winds around stuck places, asking us to surrender and soften before moving on. Even the act of forgetting helps us shed the past to make room for new growth. Imagine this mutable space of time as a moment to lose ourselves before we find ourselves again. Imagine this softening is also self-care—a needed time to tend our souls so we may be awake and aware in the coming year.

How does this hit you? Are you happy to jump into these waters, do you struggle to stay attached to firm ground, or are you like me noticing some days are enchanting and others are hard from beginning to end? What are the stories you tell yourself about succeeding in your intentions and failing at them? Do the stories you tell yourself need to be shed before the new growing cycle begins?
Mercury has recently finished a retrograde journey that began in a Pisces dreamscape and moved backwards into the conceptual terrain of Aquarius. This backward movement reminds us that our stories can also be unwound. We can stop the forward momentum of old scrips and re-pattern the way we talk to ourselves. Now, Mercury is moving forward through Aquarius recovering the same area of the zodiac but with a new perspective. We may not consciously notice what this new perspective is. And still, something has shifted. We are preparing for new stories and new realities.
This week as the Moon approaches fullness, I propose we accept that we are ready and able to shift from stories that say our own well-being is insignificant to stories that honor the practice of self-care. With Mercury in Aquarius reaching its greatest elongation from the Sun this week, we sense that illumination is building. What story will you tell with this new inspiration?

Forecast– March 9, 2014 – March 15

Moon enters Cancer 8:33 am CDT
Sunday, March 9. It feels good to be home and even better to turn off your devices and soak up some quality alone time. The Moon in a water sign makes a harmonious trine to the most watery planet of all, Neptune, which is also inhabiting Pisces. With no other major aspects today, soak up this energy by tending to your own needs first. Invite in cellular healing. Our cells are mostly water and we can sense, even at a cellular level, what will bring us the most nourishment in this moment. If you can find quiet time today, take a moment to give your cells gentle support by relaxing, breathing and visualizing well being.

Moon in Cancer
Monday, March 10. Lately, Mondays have been a little rough. This one is no exception. The Moon in Cancer may trigger the planets of change and challenge—Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn—which are in a tense aspect pattern. In April, these planets joined by Mars in Libra, will come into a nearly exact grand cardinal cross, provoking the next round of revolution and change in the world. To build resilency for uncertain times ahead, self-care becomes even more important. If you are feeling extra sensitive, give yourself a break. A Cancer Moon is like a Jewish mother who wants to heal all our hurts with a nice bowl of chicken soup. Be your own Jewish mother; you know what you need. Don't be surprised if the nurturing extends to a larger group who also need your attention.

Moon enters Leo 9:08 pm CDT
Tuesday, March 11. The impact of the stories we tell ourselves about self-worth is noticeable today. Mercury forms the third square to Saturn due to the recent retrograde journey. This aspect, which carries a serious and almost oppressive tone, has been the heart of Mercury's mission for this retrograde period. (See the introduction to this week's forecast for more about the impact of the stories we tell ourselves.) Mercury first squared Saturn on January 25, then while moving retrograde made a second square on February 19, now the aspect completes. What have you noticed about negative self-talk? Have you been beating yourself up more than usual? What is the real take away from this experience?  Saturn helps us to focus, but too much self-criticism prevents that focus from helping us accomplish anything at all. Where is the balance? There is a lot of water emphasis in the transits today. Add in that the Moon also forms a square to Mars and we have the recipe for touchy feelings all around. Give yourself and others a little more space.

Moon in Leo
March 12—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. Here is a challenge for you: What happens when the intention to practice self-care meets a hungry ego? This phase of the Moon encourages us to stick with our intentions—to meet another challenge before the illumination that comes with the Full Moon in a few days. Our egos are the prime defenders of our sense of selfhood. Ego helps us to thrive and ego can be the hungry beast that doesn't know when to turn off survival instincts. As we work to counter all the internal messages about not deserving self-care or feeling that no amount of self-care could really make a difference, we meet our egos, which can sometimes be inflated and sometimes deflated. The Moon in Leo provides a good background for noticing our own ego states. How do you make peace with your ego? I suspect that when I am right-sized—valuing myself without fear there isn't enough attention to go around—I am best able to practice self-love in a way that extends to others. This is not an easy dance. We begin the dance of today with the Moon in Leo opposing Venus in Aquarius. We may encounter feelings of not being likeable enough, or getting ruffled by the neediness of others. My prime objective today will be to believe that there is enough love and self-love to go around. We do not have to compete for attention. The more we dare today, the more daring we will feel. Embrace a new point of view.

Moon in Leo
Thursday, March 13. How did you do with yesterday's care of the ego? The journey continues. I regularly recommend the writings of Brene Brown. If you are feeling stuck around knowing you are worthy of self-love, check out her book, Daring Greatly. This is big work, we all deserve to live wholehearted lives of joy and worth, yet this attitude doesn't come automatically to many of us. Today the Sun in Pisces is trine to Saturn in Scorpio. Support for real progress comes from emotional self-honesty. With a Leo Moon, we are encouraged to shine; the challenge will be to avoid censoring who we really are as we let ourselves be seen.

Moon enters Virgo 9:17 am CDT
Friday, March 14. Yesterday's Saturn transits provided a tone of serious commitment. That energy continues with the Moon entering Virgo, a sign of pragmatic practice. Virgo is opposite Pisces, the sign inspiring our New Moon intentions. The Full Moon in Virgo happens on Sunday; we get a slow build up to illumination in this cycle. Opposing signs give each other important perspective—just like looking in a mirror gives shape to who we are in the world. This is the time to begin the integration process of our Pisces journey. Perhaps in this journey you have identified the necessity of practicing self-care. Perhaps you have benefited from the softening and releasing that Pisces encourages. Virgo asks us to evaluate these experiences and make plans for ways to keep the practices going in our everyday lives. Have you noticed how the stories you tell about self-care impacts your ability to commit to this practice? Have you also noticed a new story emerging? Today, Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun after its recent retrograde journey. This is a symbolic moment to acknowledge new insights from that experience. (Mercury was retrograde from February 6 through February 27.) In addition, Mercury trines Mars for the third time in this process. This aspect encourages mental function and expression as we embrace big lessons.

Moon in Virgo
Saturday, March 15. Take advantage of a weekend day with favorable aspects to the Moon, to get some aspect of your life in order. The Virgo force is with us. It feels great to achieve a little more organization and order in our homes. Notice the impact this may have on self-care. We may be moved to begin a new health regimen. Or simply notice what seems to be missing and what could bring more wholeness and balance to our lives. Integration of body and mind gives power and purpose. Go forth!

*The Pisces lunar cycle began on March 1 at the New Moon. See more about the beginning of this lunar cycle at: http://tinyurl.com/kcakdq7

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

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– March 2, 2014 – March 8


What gets in the way of self-care? For me, there are lots of answers. Perhaps the most common stumbling block is that I forget self-care is as important as keeping my commitments—being a good parent, a good friend, a good partner, a good daughter—or as vital as what I create, what I do for my spiritual work, or even my relationship with the Earth. I put self-care at the bottom of the list and wonder why I run out of energy to do all those other really important things. Self-care is talked about often and is a topic that usually makes my eyes glaze over. Do you have the same reaction? I tell myself that self-care is trite or even one of those pet concepts that is a luxury of privilege. I am an expert at excusing away anything to do with self-care.

I have a suspicion that the reason I conveniently “forget” to practice self-care actually goes much deeper. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with self-esteem and self-worth. Following the intention to practice self-care leads me to much more uncomfortable terrain than simply remembering that care of self helps me care more for everything else. I quickly want to jump ahead to my self-worth being based on what I can do for others. I need to justify my existence. I bet there is some good work for me to do here.

Last week, at the New Moon in Pisces,* I set an intention of self-care for this lunar cycle.  This theme fits with this time of year. In many traditional cultures this season—late winter to early spring—is set aside for cleansing diets and lifestyles. The practice of fasting during Lent may have roots in the seasonal wisdom of preparing ourselves to emerge from winter’s dormancy into new growth. As the mutable sign that leads us into spring, Pisces offers wisdom about how to do this preparation. Pisces evokes themes of love, empathy, compassion, and a longing to shed the armors of defensiveness and isolation. Images of ocean paint Piscean realities where we dissolve the boundary between self and other. Self-care becomes feeds a larger purpose. It works the other way as well: The more I listen to the cries of others, the more I hear my own. Turning to self-love, we turn to Love itself. May this ocean cleanse us as we move through the final shadows of winter.

Forecast– March 2, 2014 – March 8

Moon enters Aries 9:40 am CST
Sunday, March 2.
We are in the midst of four planets stationing right now (slowing down to change direction). As a consequence things could feel stuck for a few more days. (See the introduction to last week’s forecast: http://tinyurl.com/kcakdq7  to learn more.) Saturn stations retrograde today. When a planet stations the energy of that planet is more intense. A more intense Saturn can feel like a lot of pressure to do better; we can get mired in self-criticism or to take on too much work. This is a perfect opportunity to practice both self-love and self-care. Saturn isn’t called the Great Teacher for nothing. These pressures are invitations to surrender perfectionism to the great ocean of being. In Scorpio, Saturn encourages us to develop soul wisdom. With the Moon in Aries self-care takes the form of standing up for ourselves. We don’t have to go so far as to fight about it, but we might anyway. If anger shows up, it is also a teacher. Venus in Capricorn squares newly-retrograde Mars in Libra today. The tension of the day may take place in our primary relationships. Where does balance between self and other reside?

Moon in Aries
Monday, March 3.
What does self-care look like when you notice that others are not practicing self-care themselves? It is easy to get caught up in the herd mentality of doing more, doing it faster, and feeling like we are competing for the carrot being dangled in front of our eyes. What a good day this is to step back and breathe. The Moon in feisty Aries may trigger the ongoing t-square aspect pattern between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto today. The favorable sextile between the Sun and Pluto gives us extra power to make better choices for ourselves. Draw upon the reserves of vitality that become available when we do one good thing for ourselves. The Sun joins the shamanic healer, Chiron, this evening (CST). If your tendency is to offer healing to others before yourself, reverse that pattern. What happens?

Moon enters Taurus 1:12 pm CST
March 4—Crescent Moon: Beginning.
The Crescent Moon is meant to infuse our intentions with optimistic faith. The morning’s energy (CST) may reverberate with a bit of the jagged energy of yesterday but settles into a nice groove when the Moon enters Taurus. The relationship between Taurus and Pisces is very supportive, offering the embodied wisdom of the Bull to complement the oceanic feelings of the Fish. Although the Moon will move out of Taurus by Thursday, we can create an anchor to this supportive energy today. The anchor can be an actual physical sensation or place in the body that reminds you of your intention and the possibility of changing old patterns. If you are also practicing self-care this lunar cycle, it is really important to notice what feels grounded and good to you today. Rather than put off doing that for yourself, make it the top priority.

 Moon in Taurus
Wednesday, March 5.
As I am writing the forecast for the week, I am already uncomfortable with the advice I am giving. I’ll reveal a  not-so-secret secret; I write this forecast for myself, and I am getting a little nervous about this self-care intention for this lunar cycle. The challenge of today is to follow the body’s desires into wisdom. Notice which activities enhance vitality and which only bring numbing. This isn’t about perfection. I’m pretty sure I won’t be as mindful in this intention as I’d like to be. Yet, it is all information. Taking only one step towards vitality is a huge act of self-love. Venus moves out of Capricorn today where the planet of love has spent an extra-long period of time. Perhaps we learned more about our expectations in relationship, made some big commitments, or used personal charm to move toward our goals. Now, Venus in Aquarius gets very excited about diversity, freedom, and innovation in relationship. Support for our intentions will come from surprising places. Get ready to shake it up.

Moon enters Gemini 8:37 pm CST
Thursday, March 6
. Early this morning before most of us wake up in the central time zone, Jupiter stations direct in Cancer. Perhaps a dream is sending you a message. Since early November 2013, Jupiter’s movement through home-centric Cancer has been drawing us inward. The importance of emotional security may have influenced you more than you realized during this time. Now, like a wind-up toy that has finally been let go, the energy of these feelings is released into the changing world. Indeed the world is changing and it is critically important to know the role that emotional security plays in our choices. That way we can act more from choice than defensiveness. As I practice self-care this lunar cycle, I want to honor the central importance of hearth, home, and family to my wellbeing. Sociability increases as the Moon enters Gemini tonight.

Moon in Gemini
Friday, March 7.
Now would be a good time to remember your anchor to embodied wisdom in support of intention for this lunar cycle (see the forecast for March 4). The Moon in airy, mutable Gemini may distract us enough that we conveniently forget what that intention was. I am choosing to follow a month of self-care based in self-love. Not a very easy intention for me. Distractions are welcomed. What reminds you to come back to yourself?

Moon in Gemini
March 8—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
Astrologer Dane Rudhyar described this phase of the Moon as a “Crisis in Action.” Crisis may be too strong a word, but it does confer the idea that we reach a turning point at this phase of the Moon—the first real turning point of the lunar cycle that began on March 1. At this turning point we need to adjust to new influences, whether they are simply distractions or real challenges to our intention. We might be tested in this phase to see if we really want to keep the intention of this lunar cycle. Do you? There is no shame in deciding the intention isn’t for you at this time. In fact, that is a valid choice. However, if you want to give up and at the same time, don’t want to give up, then what allies will help you stay the course? What new actions do you need to take?

The Moon in Gemini suggests the challenges and perhaps the answers as well to this crisis. One challenge is a struggle to focus. One answer may be to open to learning a new practice that will inspire us to continue on. This is a mentally and socially active day. How does this energy support self-care? How does it detract?

*The Pisces lunar cycle began on March 1 at the New Moon. See more about the beginning of this lunar cycle at: http://tinyurl.com/kcakdq7

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