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 October 14, 2012 – October 20.

Congratulations, Libra! You have successfully navigated the demands of Saturn transiting through your sign. Certainly, you have been tested. You might even have felt like giving up, but here you are on the other side able to reap the satisfaction of good work and solid accomplishment. Saturn has moved into Scorpio and Libra gets to gloat a little.

It’s my belief that all the signs reside in us as archetypes. We may not have a planet in Libra in our charts, but every chart shows Libra somewhere and every one of us has been asked to improve that little bit of ourselves over the last 2 ½ years during Saturn’s transit. So, give yourself a pat on the back and shine up those newly-acquired Libran skills. Let them sparkle this lunar cycle. The New Moon in Libra on October 15 is a wonderful opportunity to honor them.

The usual Libra run down of qualities includes harmony, grace, balance, even justice. Of course, we’ve been applying ourselves to improving partnership skills as well, but the Libran quality I want to honor after this Saturn work is freedom—the freedom of knowing how much is needed and how much is too much. This is the freedom of the scales. The Libra scales have two plates suspended from a single point between. When the plates are empty the scale swings freely, when something is placed on just one of the plates, the other side rises up and locks in place. There is no movement until balance is restored by adding an equal weight to the empty plate. When Libra is working well at supplying balance, we experience harmonic freedom. We’re flexible. We are in alignment. There’s a chance to clear the balance sheets. We’ve paid what we owe and we’ve been paid what we’re due. Freedom.

The U.S. election happens this lunar cycle—another reason I plan to work with freedom. I want to invoke it for myself and visualize it for the world. Rather than face the debt we owe as a nation with dread and despair, I want to get excited about the freedom that comes from living in balance. We deserve this freedom; Saturn says so.

Sunday, October 14. Even though the New Moon isn’t until tomorrow, we are in the Libra dream during this dark Moon time. Let yourself dream of freedom, of the opportunity to balance the scales. There is a bit of agitation this morning as the Moon triggers the square between Uranus and Pluto, which impels us to take action. Mars in Sagittarius squares Chiron in Pisces. Are you being tested right now? Wounded feelings can bring out defensiveness or a desire to get away from it all. Noticing these patterns helps us attain wisdom.

October 15—New Moon: Dreaming. Liberation is another word for freedom. This month, how about we liberate our essential goodness? It’s been imprisoned by despair. Is this an alluring invitation to you too? I invite you to use this New Moon to liberate your essential goodness. How will you affirm your amazing contributions?

The New Moon chart shows our allies in the quest for liberation. It is time to dare something new in the service of transformation. The ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto has been preparing us to let go of the rigid past. We see fewer and fewer reasons to cling to old ways of doing things. Even as we honor our ancestors, even as we honor our traditions, we are seeking to have a fresh outlook.

Mars in far-ranging Sagittarius wants us to focus on the growing edge. How far will we go to learn a new way of thinking? This expansive energy squares Chiron—a wound motivates us. The feeling of collective pain and despair provokes action.

Saturn, now in Scorpio, trines Neptune. The planetary ally of reality encourages the planetary ally of faith. In Scorpio, Saturn says don’t buy into illusions; be real. Neptune uses this dose of reality so we may align our hearts with substantive action. We can go big, with our critical functions intact. An influx of compassion feeds our liberation.

Jupiter in Gemini has recently stationed retrograde. It will travel back and forth over the first half of Gemini until the end of April. The gift of Gemini is the ability to make endless connections, follow countless paths of information to contribute to our body of knowledge. The challenge is one of focus. Too much stimulation takes us off course. The act of balance here is to notice and respond in ways that bring us to the center. At the New Moon, Jupiter squares Venus in pragmatic Virgo. This tension encourages us to establish practices that help us with our focus. Mercury plays a role here as well. Mercury has a special affinity to both Gemini and Virgo. So, it wants to influence the possibilities of new discoveries as well as establishing our systems that sustain us. Since Mercury is now in Scorpio, the help comes from depth. We should not overlook what resides deeply within. We tie these loose ends together when we respect ourselves.

Choose an ally for your work of liberation. A chart is a complexly woven web. Working with any of these pieces eventually leads us to all of them.

Tuesday, October 16. The aspects between Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter are exact today. The way may be challenging, but there are very interesting possibilities hidden at the root. The tension is between a scattered and a focused approach. The call is to honor our whole selves, every single piece, leave nothing out. This includes embracing our imperfections, our mistakes, the times we’ve lost our way, the times we’ve been afraid. Liberating our essential goodness requires us to see all of this and to love it.

Wednesday, October 17. It might seem like nothing much is happening today, but it would be a big mistake to undervalue what goes on under the surface. The Moon is in Scorpio today and void-of-course until this evening. Get used to looking at the old roots of attitudes and behaviors. We’ll be following these trails for a while. The great news it that getting to the source releases power that can liberate us from fear. The New Moon phase ends tonight with the Moon entering far-reaching, far-seeing Sagittarius. Have you set your intention for this lunar cycle?

October 18—Crescent Moon: Beginning. An intention creates a longing. That longing takes us on a journey. Now we begin to see that journey unfolding. As the Moon is in Sagittarius, we embark on a journey that will change us. From strange lands a new philosophy arrives. Be open to releasing old beliefs.

Mercury in Scorpio is preparing to station retrograde on November 6. Mercury encourages us to reorient our assumptions. The mind is the essential creator of our realities. The Trickster is afoot in challenging those assumptions. Today Mercury enters the segment of the zodiac where it will trace and retrace its steps three times due to retrograde motion. We will be back here on November 26 when Mercury stations direct. This particular Mercury retrograde may have a big impact on our national elections since November 6 is Election Day. We simply don’t know what effect this will have but we can work our own magic. Caroline Casey, an astrologer and activist, works with Compassionate Trickster energy. This is her prayer:

Oh spirit of Compassionate Trickster

Open up the path for each of us to do the greatest good while having the most fun.

Let’s have fun as we work to transform this world through the experiment of democracy. Since Mercury will be in Scorpio, we can include a visualization that secrets be uncovered. May those who wish to hide, be exposed for all to see. Let us claim the power that comes from secrets revealed.

Friday, October 19. Following a path of integrity feels good today. The Moon in Capricorn encourages us to be true to our values, our words, and to claim responsibility for our intentions. Be ambitious for liberation. We are able to commit to the long haul and feel good about it.

Saturday, October 20. Yesterday’s good feelings may shift today due to challenges. This always happens. The cosmos seems to love testing us when we claim our desires. That’s OK. Perhaps the testing is really a way to show love for what we humans can do as we practice intention-based mindfulness. We often underestimate what we have accomplished and what we can accomplish. Take any challenges today as an affirmation.

All times are CDT.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at