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 November 18, 2012 – November 24.

The world we see around us is partnered with an unseen world. I think of this unseen world as the source of soul, the thing that gives the seen world meaning and purpose. Most of our lives, we forget about this vital partnership between the seen and unseen. An emphasis on the sign of Scorpio, this lunar month as well as over the next two years with Saturn moving through this sign, means we have an opportunity to tend and deepen this relationship.

As the Moon waxes into the crescent phase, I am ready to begin a practice of tending my relationship with the unseen world. [Please see last week’s forecast for more background.] This idea seems quite mysterious, doesn’t it? Yet somehow, I think it is the most ordinary thing we can do. All relationships need tending. We know almost instinctively that the way to tend a relationship with a beloved is to listen, spend time in their presence, to follow through on promises made, to ask for forgiveness when we don’t, to praise and admire that beloved, to give gifts, and to give support. That is what the unseen world wants from us as well. So, the question before me isn’t how do I tend the relationship. The question is what will I do consistently, and how may the planetary guides help me and challenge me in this work?

I know that I want acts of beauty to be part of this intention. Years ago I read a fascinating by an interview with Martin Prechtel in The Sun magazine: “Saving the Indigenous Soul.”  He talks about the shamanic practice of mending the tears between this world and the unseen one. He says that damage in this relationship is caused by our failure to repay our spiritual debts. This debt comes from continually taking from the unseen world without paying back what we owe. Prechtel says that one way “to try to repay that debt (is) by giving gifts of beauty and praise to the sacred, to the invisible world that gives us life.”

The payback of debt is another Scorpio mission. What debt do you owe to the sacred? It isn’t about guilt or overwhelming burden. That world does not want or need our shame. No, that world needs our acknowledgement of relationship and our acts of devotion and beauty. Even in feeding that world, we are in turn fed. This flow and symmetry is beauty.

I suspect that these debt-reducing acts of beauty are not so different from what we do everyday in our lives, we simply need to do them with awareness. This week of Thanksgiving is a perfect time to practice things that strengthen relationship with the unseen world. Making things by hand, like cooking or decorating for the meal; expressing gratitude for our gifts; tending our hearths and connection with our families; and using the time off to listen to what the unseen world wants us to know—these things are a great beginning to this work. I recommend observing “Buy Nothing Day”, the day after Thanksgiving. It is important to recognize that good relationship is not about consumerism but rather about having open heart and soul. When we treat our own souls as sacred, it is easier to honor the sacred around us.

Sunday, November 18. Is there a way for you to carry your lunar cycle intentions into your communities? The Moon in Aquarius stimulates our interest in collective action. As a group, can you dedicate an act of beauty to the unseen world? There is a fascinating tension between Aquarius’ desire for transparency and Scorpio’s desire to be hidden. That tension may surface today.

Monday, November 19. Remembering that Mercury is still retrograde in Scorpio, when the Moon squares the trickster planet today, there may be confusion around communication. Did you assume your message was clear? How might you take another’s point of view into account? We can learn a lot today if we let go of being right.

November 20—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. The rest of this week is busy astrologically. Planets are teachers. Their lesson plans may hold some challenges, surprises, and support for manifesting whatever began consciously or unconsciously at the New Moon.

Today, Mercury (moving retrograde) reaches the degree of the Solar Eclipse on November 13. This is the second of three times that Mercury will pass over this degree. The first time was October 21 and the last will be December 3. Mercury is boosting the signal of this lunar cycle. Think of it as a super-charged lunar cycle; there’s more unpredictability and a greater possibility for profound shifts in our lives.

When the Moon enters Pisces midmorning** it contacts Neptune immediately. This watery energy supports listening to the unseen world but may make any kind of concrete planning for the holiday weekend more difficult. There is a strong desire to accomplish something however. Can you find a beautiful way to do what needs doing? The quality of our actions may prove more meaningful than the efficiency or productivity of them.

Wednesday, November 21. Sagittarius is a feel good sign.  Some of us are definitely going to appreciate the uplift in mood as the Sun enters this Mutable Fire sign today. After so much emphasis on the dark in the previous month of Scorpio, we get a boost of optimism. Others of us who still feel a pull to the dark will resonate more deeply with Venus’ ingress into Scorpio, also today. There’s a little of something for everyone. However, misunderstandings between these different approaches could occur. Venus is the ally of beauty. In Scorpio, Venus shows us the beauty in darker places not usually broadly appreciated. If something at first repels you, look again. There may be message about tending relationship in it.

Thursday, November 22. Thanksgiving in the U.S. begins as a dreamy and possibly confusing day and only kicks up a notch in energy in the evening (CST). Pay attention to what you long for in your relationship to the unseen world. As we spend time traveling and visiting today, it may be difficult to perfectly align our ideals with what is really happening. However, it is all useful information. Be an investigator. Observe when you know something is pleasing to the unseen world and when something isn’t. Without provoking conflict in the moment, can you make note of how to bring more beauty into your life in the future? Mercury has been in the invisible world since disappearing from the evening sky since around the 5th of November. Now, Mercury reappears in the morning sky. The messenger god returns with missives from the unseen world. If travel or communication is difficult today, take it as a sign to find some quiet time to listen to these messages.

Friday, November 23. Get moving today, and if possible, try not to do it shopping in a mall. Buy Nothing Day is a collective action that helps us remember that our consumption creates debt to the unseen world. How much do we really need? How can we share more of what we have? The choices we make create relationship and healing. The Moon is in risk-taking and impulsive Aries today touching off a trigger-happy square between Mars and Uranus. Hopefully, nothing violent will happen around you today, yet notice within you the desire to make something happen right now. This energy can also be a wake-up call. What we do matters.

November 24—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. High expectations don’t necessarily guarantee success. But without goals, we have a hard time making the changes we need to make. Today as Mars sextiles Saturn, we have the possibility to notice what a perfect balance between expectation and action feels like. The unseen world wants us to be conscious co-creators of this potent partnership. The work is to strip away the doubt that we are doing it.

* Read the forecast for November 13 to follow along with this lunar cycle.

** All times are CST.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at