Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

by Teri Parsley Starnes

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.

Forecast September 16, 2012 – September 22.

The Sun moves across the celestial equator at the end of this week—this is when Fall begins in the northern hemisphere and Spring begins in the southern. For a brief time, days and nights are equal in length. This is the pause of equilibrium, a chance to root deeply in the present and sense how finely calibrated our balancing scales are. With just the weight of a feather, the scales tip and the moment passes. But before that feather is placed, we have the opportunity to sense into the potentiality.

My dictionary says equilibrium is “a state of equal balance.” In chemistry, it “is a state in which a process and its reverse are occurring at equal rates so that no overall change is taking place, for example when ice is in equilibrium with water.” What an interesting conception of balance—where there’s a lot happening yet no overall change is taking place. It’s a kind of stasis. The question I’m asking myself: Is equilibrium even possible right now? The season calls for it, yet my mind boggles when I think of the kind of extraordinary effort that is required to maintain a state of equilibrium in the world. How do we counterbalance global warming? Riots? Genocide? Greed? These are big forces to take on just to keep things the same. No wonder many of us are feeling overwhelmed. Is this state of balance just too much to hope for right now? If equilibrium is a state of no change, then how in the world do we move beyond stasis to solving and healing these big problems?

Ready to give up? OK, so it goes without saying, despair is possible. However, I don’t practice astrology in order give up. The sky and the seasons offer guidance: how to keep going, to hold intention, to be mindful, and to honor all the feelings that come up in the process—the hopeful and despairing.

Big job, small steps.

My New Moon* intention for this Virgo cycle is to honor the ways I know that I am doing my work, the ways I know that progress is being made, the small ways I apply the lessons I have been learning. Giant energies move through this week. I am grateful for the smallness of everyday efforts. It is reassuring to know that I don’t have to create equilibrium all by myself. I just need to do what I do. That’s true for every single one of us.

Sunday, September 16. Discernment comes in handy. This skill of making appropriate choices is quite valuable. There are times to speak the truth and times to keep quiet. What helps you decide? The Moon is in Libra and there is a strong desire for equilibrium, however this desire meets the challenge today of Uranus square Pluto [] head on. Once a week, when the Moon enters an action-oriented Cardinal sign (such as the signs where Uranus and Pluto reside), there is another trigger to react quickly. Since the Uranus/Pluto square is approaching another exact contact this week, this trigger may be more sensitive than ever. We are seeing this in Middle East already. Other things, big and small may snap this week. Breath, balance, and calm are allies.

Monday, September 17. Not all the messages we receive today make sense. An attitude of openness and curiosity may help us deal with the confusion. Given the transits of the day before and the building pressure of transits for the next three days, it may be difficult to respect an opposing point of view. When we re-spect we are “looking again” at an issue or person, not necessarily agreeing with them. Just the act of looking again can give us enough time to craft a wiser, more gentle response.

Tuesday, September 18. On the last day of the New Moon phase of this lunar cycle, have you formulated your intention? For me, intentions arise from my depths. They are soul desires. My soul longs for wholeness, vitality, meaning, and acknowledgement of all the hopes and dreams I’ve ever held. The soul remembers loss and hopes for purpose. Today will be a very “soul full” day as Pluto stations direct after traveling retrograde since April. Pluto is the god of the underworld, the place of soul loss and soul recovery. When a planet stations (changing direction), it strengthens. Much of the world’s pain right now could be framed as a loss of world soul. We’ve forgotten a piece of our essential natures and that piece wants to come to back.

The Moon enters Scorpio today, only adding to the yearning for a connection to our deepest parts. Sometimes this yearning is an intense but quiet force, taking place entirely below the surface. At other times it feels like a volcano erupting. However it moves through your life today, recognize the renewed vitality that comes after. This is the gift.

September 19—Crescent Moon: Beginning. The second exact square between Uranus and Pluto occurs today. With yesterday’s Pluto station still very much in force, this square seems more intense than the first one in June. We might feel a lot is at stake today as we break away from the past and begin the work of this lunar cycle. How do we honor our small, faithful steps toward creating the world our souls long for? It is time to know what sustains you for the long haul. Is it Love? Beauty? Community? Nature? Truth? What is it? How do you make those things a part of your everyday, ordinary human life? Remembering small steps, what is one thing you could do today?

Feelings and passions are strong. Over the next week Venus in Leo is hovering near an exact square with Mars in Scorpio. The Moon in Scorpio touches both. Egos can be inflamed. Notice a desire to control uncertainty. When these two planets figure out how to deal with their passions, fireworks explode. Sometimes dynamic tension is incredibly sexy.

Thursday, September 20. If Scorpio brings us into the underworld, the next sign in the zodiac, Sagittarius, brings us back into the open where the sky is big and far horizons call to us. We’re blinking and trying to adjust our vision to the brightness of daylight after spending a couple of hours in a dark theater. That shift happens today as the Moon enters Sagittarius. What did these last few days mean? Did they even really happen? We really want to understand. Mercury in Libra, the planet of learning and communicating, triggers the Uranus/Pluto square today. We are learning about the changes we each need to make to live more authentically and in wholeness. If events are upsetting, what small steps help you to deal with them?

Venus and Jupiter support the quest for truth. This means, in spite of challenges, we are also given insight into what matters most to us and how we can support its survival.

Friday, September 21. Thank God it’s Friday. The light-hearted Sagittarius Moon emphasizes the encouragement from Venus and Jupiter. What star guides you? Affirm your sense of adventure as you pursue that dream.

September 22—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. The Sun enters Libra today at the Fall Equinox. Why is balance important? The seasons give us an experience of wholeness. With light, there is dark. With growth, there is decay. With expansion, there is contraction. The Equinox is a time to notice that pairing and the shift into the other side of things—to create balance. Looking over your life during this past Spring and Summer (Fall and Winter in the southern hemisphere), what “other side” needs your attention for the next six months? How will you create balance?

Today the solar cycle (the seasons) and the lunar cycle intersect. The First Quarter phase of the lunar cycle asks us to put effort towards our intentions. This effort could be a practice of balancing. How does your work feel unbalanced? Do you feel as if you need to create equilibrium all by yourself? Or have you abandoned the hope of finding that counterbalance to the world’s current chaos? Let’s not give up hope today. A new solution is waiting.

* See the forecast for the week of the New Moon September 15 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at


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