Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

Teri’s interest with astrology lies with helping people see how following a practice of intention and self-awareness leads to a fuller relationship with Mystery. Astrology is a wonderful tool for this. Her weekly column orients readers to the seasonal energy of each month’s Sun sign in order to set magical/mindful intention for the lunar month beginning at the New Moon.

Each week Teri will write about the unfolding energies that support and challenge our intentions. The ebb and flow of the lunar cycle resides deep in our souls. Through following the phases of the Moon, we remember the natural cycles that guide us.

Astrologers divide the lunar month into eight phases. These are:
New Moon: Dreaming
Crescent Moon: Beginning
First Quarter Moon: Manifesting
Gibbous Moon: Perfecting
Full Moon: Illuminating
Disseminating Moon: Sharing
Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating
Balsamic Moon: Surrendering

Come follow the Moon as we practice intentional awareness together.

At the New Moon in Taurus on April 21, a new cycle began in this seedtime of Spring. Our dreams in the initial phase of the lunar cycle have been influenced by the qualities belonging to Taurus: stability, steadfastness, and grace. From these dreams, a new beginning has emerged—whether it is conscious intention or life simply moving us along. This week the Moon guides us to the next stages of this Taurus journey: Manifesting, Perfecting, and Illuminating.

Forecast for April 29, 2012 – May 5, 2012

April 29—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. Taurus is a fertile sign. Whatever we want to bring into being at this time, we also want to infuse with stability, steadfastness, and grace. There are moments we are able to fully experience the pleasure of these qualities and at other moments we are off center and unable to remember this delight. During the manifesting phase of the Moon, we experience challenge—a give and take.
Roadblocks might come from outside forces like a boss, a friend, a relative, or they might come from personal demons like fear, shame, or despair. What are you noticing about your challenges? When an obstacle appears, what is your reaction? These patterns can be changed. The First Quarter Moon phase is about the battles we need to fight to manifest intention.

As this phase begins, the Moon is in Fixed Fire sign, Leo. Leo needs to shine through expression of our gifts and talents. When we can share this light, we experience a deep sense of self-worth. The gift does not need to be grandiose; it just needs to be shared. Consider the importance of sharing your gifts as you seek to navigate the challenges coming your way. Self-worth is a great tonic for the frustration or shame we can experience when we have a setback in our dreams. What helps you remember you are worthy of your heart’s desire?

May 1 is Beltane—the seasonal celebration of the Earth, fertility, and the sacred gift of pleasure. On this day, a Kite formation (an aspect pattern that looks like a kite: a triangle of planets in all the Earth signs, bisected by an opposition of Mars and Moon in Virgo with Chiron and Neptune in Pisces) calls special attention to our spiritual connection to the Earth. Beltane celebrations on this day can attune us to how we are not isolated from the Earth, but how our fates and souls are interconnected. What harms the Earth, also harms the human realm. What heals the Earth creates healing for all.

May 2—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. On the way to the illumination of the Full phase, the Moon fills with more and more light each night. During the Gibbous phase, the Moon looks pregnant, almost ready to burst. This phase encourages us to keep at whatever we are creating at this time. We’re working on the details and are almost ready to release it into the world, but not yet.

The Moon is in perfection-oriented Virgo at this time. What are the details you need to attend to now? Putting in place a personal practice or even cleaning your house can help you achieve a calmer state of mind as you work on perfecting your intention.

May 3. Mercury in Aries is sextile to Venus in Gemini. This aspect encourages us to connect with others, share stories, learn and teach. Find someone to process your New Moon journey with.

May 4. The last day of the Gibbous Moon is punctuated by Moon in Libra contacting Saturn in the middle of the day* and then several hours of a void of course Moon where energy slows down and deepens until the Moon enters Scorpio in the early evening. The
lightheartedness of the previous day shifts into a more serious tone. Pay attention to what matters most to you. Is it a relationship? An injustice that really bothers you? A desire to bring more balance into your life? Whatever it is, this is Saturn’s work for you.

May 5—Full Moon: Illuminating. Full Moons bring understanding and release. The understanding offered by this Moon is the integration of opposing signs—the Sun at 16° Taurus and the Moon at 16° Scorpio. This season of Beltane is mirrored by the opposite
season of Samhain—the end of the growing season when the green world retreats and Winter begins. This is the Full Moon of Death and Rebirth. The Scorpio Moon tinges our experience of beauty and youth with the realization that everything dies eventually. The cycle of life, death, compost, and rebirth is powerful. It deepens and matures our intention to live with the Taurean qualities of stability, steadfastness, and grace.

Mercury opposite Saturn. Along with the integration of life and death themes at this Full Moon, Mercury in Aries and Saturn in Libra invite us to balance another pair of opposites: the expression of self-reliance with the commitment to partnership and interbeing. We might experience this opposition as frustration in communication or a sense of isolation from others. We might feel particularly charged to express anger or rail against authority. If these feelings show up, invite in balance and commitment and patience to be able to see the other side of an issue. There is one more opposition present at this Full Moon—between Mars in Virgo and Neptune/Chiron in Pisces. This balancing act is between the call to practical service and the ecstasy of transcendent salvation. One method honors simple, effective action and the other honors change that comes from faith and sacrifice. What happens when you marry simple, effective service with transcendent inspiration?

This Full Moon occurs the closest to Earth of any Full Moon this year. It will be potent. The ocean’s tides will be stronger, and our emotional tides will be strong as well. Notice again how easy or difficult it is to maintain stability, steadfastness, and grace. What pulls
you from your center? What helps you to return to it? When there are lots of planetary oppositions it is helpful to hold a graceful, gentle stance that allows us to shift and balance subtly as the world spins around us.

*All times are CDT.

Teri Parsley Starnes is a consulting astrologer doing readings in her Minneapolis office and by phone or Skype internationally. Teri has worked as a priestess in several earth-based Pagan communities, including the Reclaiming Tradition, the Tree and the Well, and Diana’s Grove Mystery School. Find out more about her practice at She writes this weekly column found here and on her blog. Read other astrological musings on her Starsdance Astrology Facebook page.