Sunday, July 23, 2017

Follow the Moon: Forecast for July 23 - July 29

By now you’ve undoubtedly heard that there is a great big solar eclipse happening August 21. It’s been coined the Great American Eclipse because the eclipse path of totality will move in a narrow band across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. This eclipse is rather a big deal. Astrological lore says that eclipses, which happen a minimum of twice a year, are potent when they make an aspect to a chart but are most potent in the location where they can be viewed. It isn’t often a total eclipse can be seen over this much land and even more rare that it will be viewed from so much of the U.S.

Here is what Fred Espenak, an eclipse expert who worked for NASA, says about this rare opportunity to see a total solar eclipse in the U.S.:

“If we only count total eclipses visible from the lower 48 states, we have 4 eclipses from 1951 to 2000, and 4 more from 2001 to 2050. Put another way, there are 8 chances to view a total eclipse from the USA in the period spanning just over a single lifetime.” 

(Also on this site are maps showing eclipse paths from 1951 to 2045 The next total eclipse to go over a large swath of the U.S. occurs in 2024.)

Eclipses stoke our imaginations. They evoke wonder and a little dread when the light of the Sun is extinguished. Something important seems to be happening. People want to know what it means. We begin to tell stories, look at patterns, find correspondences, and create meaning. This was true at the dawn of time. It is still true. I want to use this moment of wondering to set mindful intention to work with the unique opportunities offered by totality. The eclipse happens at next month’s New Moon on August 21, but the work begins this month. And that is because there will be two Leo New Moons this year. One occurs on July 23 and the next on August 21. The Leo New Moon of July 23 sets the stage for the magic of the next New Moon of totality.

Eclipses are magical. An eclipse is a potent opportunity to shed or transform the past in a moment’s time. The sudden darkness is a cauldron of transformation. Ordinary life is paused, whether we choose it or not, and something new is born in the odd darkness. When the light returns, we are on our way, traveling new paths, seeing life through new eyes. The Sun is the guide to magical intention for this Leo Eclipse. The Sun will be eclipsed in the sign that is ruled by the Sun. The Sun and the sign Leo represent the very essence of selfhood. Through following the next two Leo Moons, we can unpack issues around ego, self-worth, and creativity. We can compost outworn ideas of isolation and scarcity. We can remember that the Sun is our star and we are made of stars meant to shine together.

I’ve been thinking about right-sizedness lately. What does it mean to have a right-sized ego, a right-sized sense of myself, a right-sized relationship to my gifts and challenges? I long for clarity around my size and impact. This balanced sense of self seems key to integrity. It seems key to turning around the ways we’ve inflated individualism to the point that we may destroy our environment before we admit we are in interdependent relationship with all beings. A moment of humility could help us find correct action. A moment of pride could help us remember we are conduits of illumination. This Leo lunar cycle I plant the seeds of right-sizedness, to know my worth and be responsible for my impact.

Moon enters Leo 3:33 am CDT
July 23—New Moon: Seeding. The New Moon occurs at 0 degrees Leo. This first moment of a sign epitomizes the pure potential of any New Moon. We plant possibilities now to be further transformed through the total eclipse of the Sun at the next New Moon. Perhaps you sense that we are standing at the brink of change and possibilities. What will you dedicate yourself to at this time? There is a certain amount of risk involved. With eclipses you never know what you will get, but the potential is great. Leo rules the heart. This is a time to invoke wholeheartedness, even if it is risky. Mars in Leo conjoins the Moon and Sun adding a willingness to risk. Leo is a risk-loving sign anyway. This lunar cycle is an opportunity to study energy, what adds life and joy, what takes it away. Sometimes we resort to risky behavior in order to feel alive again. What else kindles your aliveness? What kind of risk is worth taking?

At this New Moon, Venus in Gemini opposes Saturn in Sagittarius. Venus sociability meets Saturn stoicism. Judgment can obstruct connection on one hand. On the other hand, we are evaluating our connections to see which have real value. Feeling squashed by judgment interferes with the wholeheartedness of this Leo New Moon. Saturn has a job to do and this influence right now is important. Saturn will turn direct during this lunar cycle. After that, Saturn continues through the rest of its transit through Sagittarius until entering Capricorn in December. We get to reflect on what we have learned from Saturn over the past two years. Saturn has challenged Sagittarian desires for freedom, but has also given us the gift of discernment about truth and values. We can turn that discerning eye to our relationships this lunar cycle. What is true? What supports meaning? What diminishes it?

Dates that trigger the eclipse. Mercury plays an important role in this lunar cycle that leads to a solar eclipse on August 21. Mercury may be the trigger for unexpected events, which are associated with eclipses. On July 24, the day after the New Moon, Mercury reaches 28 degrees Leo, the degree of the solar eclipse and the degree where Mercury will station direct on September 5. Mercury turns retrograde at 11 Virgo on August 12. Tomorrow, Mercury not only triggers the eclipse degree but enters the pre-retrograde “shadow zone,” during which we begin to feel the disorienting effects of Mercury’s impending retrograde. Mars reaches the eclipse degree on September 2 and makes a trine to revolutionary Uranus in Aries at the same time. Mars and retrograding Mercury conjoin at the eclipse degree on September 3. We might very well be feeling the effects of the eclipse when Venus reaches the eclipse degree on September 18. If a spell is a prayer backed by action, the spell we begin at this eclipse will reverberate through these moments.

There are no guarantees that the desires we infuse with this magic will manifest in the ways we can envision now. Within the fertile darkness of an eclipse, undreamed of options will arise. Eclipses impact people who are not paying attention as well. Because the path of totality covers the U.S., shifts are coming to this nation. I am quite interested in how this eclipse will impact Donald Trump whose Mars and Ascendant are very near the eclipse degree. As they say, stayed tuned. And stay open.

Moon in Leo
Monday, July 24.
Mercury reaches the August 21st eclipse degree, which also happens to be the degree Mercury will station direct after turning retrograde on August 12. Pay attention to mercurial messages that could foretell what effects this eclipse may have on you. Under this New Moon phase of the lunar cycle, dream about the seeds you wish to plant in Leo’s soil. Venus in Gemini opposes Saturn in Sagittarius. We can use the discernment of Saturn in Sagittarius to evaluate our relationships, not only to people, but to values as well. Venus in this sign encourages curiosity. Perhaps Saturn is challenging us to take curiosity to the next level. What does that mean to you? Most likely you are chomping at the bit to create change. Mercury at the eclipse degree is making a trine to Uranus in Aries. This revolutionizing influence is curiously softened by empathy and compassion as Mercury also makes a quincunx to Chiron in Pisces. Don’t hold back the feelings, they may help us make the breakthroughs we need.

Moon enters Virgo 5:32 am CDT
Tuesday, July 25.
The Moon and Mercury enter Virgo today. This reinforces Virgo influence. Mercury, as the ruler of Virgo, makes a strong impact. We look at our harvests. We begin to notice that this growing season has taken a shift and look to making improvements or creating order so we can enjoy the outcome of work. You may notice an uptick in nervous energy as we get the first inkling that our lives need our attention right now. How will you honor your work and this season of ripening into fullness? Mercury is preparing the retrograde road and will be returning to this spot in the zodiac on August 31 and September 9. We are weaving a pattern into our lives.

Moon in Virgo
July 26—Crescent Moon: Germinating.
Under this phase of the Moon our lunar intentions take flight. We feel this energy even more at this time due to the conjoining of Mars and the Sun in Leo. A two-year cycle of Sun/Mars energy begins with this transit. Think of it as the new moon phase of Mars impact. Mars represents will, passion, energy, and anger. We can use this charged moment to feed our lunar intentions. Leo teaches us about the gifts of fire. Fire can bring uplift and transformation. It infuses our lives with joyful participation, it helps renew flagging energy, and illuminates what we truly desire. Fire gives life just as the Sun, Leo’s ruler, gives life. This phase and transit is a wonderful opportunity to cultivate the tools that help us rekindle our fires. It is important to notice what energy looks and feels like to you. This is less mysterious than you might think. Energy is what gets noticed first. Are you drawn or repelled? Are you excited or bored? Is it an effort to move your body or is there ease and excitement about moving even a little? We can begin to notice what helps us have more energy. And even further, can cultivate the type of energy that supports our intentions. Be inquisitive about energy today.

For instance, what will we notice about the energy of the Moon in Virgo today? This mutable earth sign is actively integrating pragmatic discernment. A square between the Moon and Saturn in Sagittarius may feel like a lot of pressure to get it right. Virgo’s gift is order and devotion. Virgo’s shadow is perfectionism. Notice the difference between these qualities in your expectations.

Moon enters Libra 10:37 am CDT
Thursday, July 27.
Find time for beauty today. The Moon moves into Libra creating an encouraging sextile to the Sun and Mars in Leo. Let the beauty you love move you to create. Let go of self-limiting beliefs about art and artistry. What if we feed the interconnected web of relationship with acts of beauty? What if this isn’t considered a nice treat but an essential part of life? Like food. Like shelter. Let’s step up. Beauty as guide informs our choices, helping us to remember balance and impact. The scales of Libra’s Moon helps us with the Leo intention of living right-sized—mindful of impact and responsible for sharing our creative gifts freely.

Moon in Libra
Friday, July 28.
Notice the large forces in your life that challenge your sense of balance. The Moon in Libra conjoins Jupiter in Libra and then makes a square to Pluto in Capricorn. Next week, Jupiter and Pluto make an exact square with each other. Think back to November 2016 when Jupiter and Pluto made the first square to recall the intensity of this transit. For instance, remember the reaction when Trump got elected? These two planets influenced awareness about how the election was a challenge to justice and right-relationship, not to mention survival of the planet. We sense into another moment of how important our choices are right now.

Moon enters Scorpio 7:23 pm CDT
Saturday, July 29.
A few days ago, I invited you to notice energy. What are you noticing about the pressure to be actively instigating change? Sometimes the pressure is so intense, we shut down. That is OK to notice too. Perhaps our bodies are telling us something about pressure and about change. Where can you place yourself where you feel the desire to create change but don’t freeze when you entertain the idea of backing that desire with action? That is a sweet spot. Literally. Move into that. Be the change and be alive in joy. The Moon in Libra for most of the day encourages balance and sensitivity to imbalances. As the Moon opposes Uranus in Aries, we may also be aware that some things need to change. Changing our response to pressure is enormous.

About these forecasts: Through following the Moon, the planets, and the wisdom of the seasons and signs, my goal is to offer a useful practice of mindfulness and intention for the thoughtful seeker.

Contact Teri at and visit her website at to book a reading of your chart. Follow the Starsdance Astrology page on Facebook to receive these forecasts daily and learn of other offers and events.

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