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 28, 2012 – November 3.

Soul is “that unknown component which makes meaning possible …” James Hillman, Re-visioning Psychology.

With the Sun in Scorpio it is time to attend to our souls. This is the season of death when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead thins to the point that we are able to merge those worlds for a time. We have the opportunity to restore ourselves to wholeness when we commune with the dead. This is a crucial time of exchange and rebalancing of the forces of death and life. This restoration is the work of soul, the mysterious component Hillman speaks of above. This essence of self, the soul, needs this deepening process. Missing a connection to soul, our lives become dry, brittle, and inconsequential. It is time to get juicy again! It is time to restore soul.

Although it sounds terribly mysterious, this communing with the dead, it isn’t. This work is about remembering our beloveds who have passed on, honoring the fields and animals who through giving their lives made ours possible, and it is about acknowledging that each of us will pass on too—our lives will also become the flesh and fields that feed those who come after us.

Why does death restore soul? Imagine a world without death. Fantasy authors have written stories about this very idea. The outcome is usually horrific. We need death for life to be renewed. Death gives us relevance, longing, and intensity. It provides darkness when too much light is exhausting. Knowing that we are more than creatures of light and life, knowing we are mortal, knowing that we are part of a larger pattern than our brief lifespans would indicate, all these things develops soul. Soul is mystery. It is the unknown component that gives meaning.

This week, there will be a Full Moon is in Taurus (the opposite sign to Scorpio). Taurus is the springtime energy of life renewing. The Moon is illuminated by the Scorpio Sun, revealing how death feeds life. In the Spring, the Full Moon in Scorpio, which happens when the Sun is in Taurus, mirrors the opposite principle: life feeding death. Feel this pulsation. Honor this cycle. Just a few days after the Full Moon, Pagans celebrate Samhain or Halloween while others celebrate the Day of the Dead. This is the week of the thinnest veils. As the worlds merge, seek to honor and listen to the wisdom of death. Notice the effect on your soul.

Sunday, October 28. The last day of the Gibbous phase of this lunar cycle zips along as the pressure of the impending Full Moon builds. Last week, a huge emphasis on water signs lent a somewhat dreamy tone to the week. Not much about today reminds us of that energy. The Moon is in Cardinal Fire sign Aries and the ruler of Aries, Mars, is opposite expansive Jupiter too. This energy is impulsive. We have shorter fuses. This can create misunderstanding or impatience, but it can also be the impetus to make a necessary change. There is a quality of restlessness and a strong desire to understand or make yourself understood today. Mercury, the ruler of communication, enters Sagittarius bringing our conversations to the far reaches of the world. How will you expand your horizons? Will it involve listening to a point of view different from yours? What if listening alone could help us be more peaceful?

The idea of peace floats around the edges of all this impulsive energy as Venus, the planet of harmony, moves into Libra today. Venus’s influence is strong in this sign. We have an opportunity to reconnect meaningfully with our intentions set at the New Moon in Libra on October 15.* This month I am seeking the liberation of the balanced scales, claiming the freedom to make choices based on the balance I create in my life. Venus supports balance, exchange, and collaboration. This planet helps us see and value the opposite side.

October 29—Full Moon: Illuminating. To find balance, we include the opposing force. Every sign of the zodiac is seeking the opposite sign for completion. This phase of the Moon is illuminating, not just because the Moon is brightest now. This phase is illuminating because the signs opposite each other, inhabited by the Sun and the Moon, have a chance to realize some piece of understanding that is only possible when they integrate. There are several oppositions in the Full Moon chart. This tells me there is a lot of potential for illumination right now.

The core symbolism of this Full Moon is the relationship between death and rebirth. There are other ways this pair of opposites can manifest, such as through release and attachment, decay and growth, or transformation and stabilization. For balance, we need to understand the ways these forces work in our lives. Saturn joins the Sun to add emphasis to the importance of this opposition.

Mars in Sagittarius opposite Jupiter in Gemini brings illumination to how we understand and communicate truth in big and small ways. Every one of us has a small piece of the puzzle. We can feel isolated and insignificant until we realize that each of us is crucial to the big picture. We are greater than the sum of our parts. We get an illuminating vision of that truth right now.

Venus in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries. Uranus is the planet of awakening. In Aries, Uranus seeks to awaken the authentic self. It says, “Be true to yourself. Follow your destiny. Don’t wait for anyone.” Alone, this courage and daring can become belligerent and foolhardy. The opposite forces of relationship and collaboration help us to balance action with consideration.

The square between Mercury and Neptune indicates that we may not have as much clarity as we think we need. Some details are fuzzy. It becomes hard to get a handle on what we want to say. In just a few days, Mercury will turn retrograde, signaling a time to use the intuitive side of our brains more. Begin that practice now. This aspect may not be great for rational mind, but it helps the work of communing with the dead. Be receptive.

Tuesday, October 30. The Moon is Void-of-Course the whole day today and into the morning tomorrow. This means, the Moon has no more important aspects to make with other planets until it leaves the sign of Taurus on Wednesday. The last aspect the Moon made before going into this void period was a trine to Pluto. This aspect colors the day. Pluto co-rules Scorpio. Even if the day feels a little off course, it is possible to do some deep powerful soul work. As you go about your day, take random, small moments to honor the transformative power of death.

Wednesday, October 31. In my spiritual tradition, we celebrate our New Year today. Halloween is a time to honor endings and beginnings as well as pay tribute to our ancestors. The Moon enters Gemini, bringing a desire to make connection. We get to work further on the Full Moon integration of opposites. The third path of creativity opens up when we refuse to choose between right and wrong. What other false dichotomies reveal themselves? What new pathways open up? Practice saying, “Yes, and … .”

Thursday, November 1. Venus is not a pushover. Just because there is a desire to create harmony, doesn’t mean the Goddess of Love and Beauty won’t also take risks, go to the edge, in order to balance the accounts. That kind of dedication is abundant today. Stick to the desire to find liberation through balance.

November 2—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Election Day is five days away. What message about these important decisions do you want to share with others? Effective communication, on all levels, is easier with clear intention and a calm mind. Those things may be hard to find as the last aspect the Moon makes before going Void-of Course for the day is an opposition with Mars. What has given you a sense of balance this lunar cycle? Use that knowledge to live a life of beauty and meaning. Share that joy with others.

Saturday, November 3. Attention turns to security. Notice feelings of fear and reactivity, and see if you can replace them with a centered sense of connection with home and hearth— what and who matter most to you. The hearth can be our homes, our families of blood or choice, communities that we value, and special places that feed our spirits and bodies. The hearth is a resource today if you are feeling off-center or afraid. Honor that healing power.

* Read the forecast for October 15 to follow along with this lunar cycle.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at