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.

I am writing this a week before the so-called end of the world, which was feared to occur when the Mayan calendar completed its long cycle on December 21. Although I feel certain the world will not end, it is funny to think about how if it does, this week’s forecast is pretty much pointless. There will be no one to read it; no more lunar intention to follow; no more spiritual development to pay attention to, at least in this realm anyway. And if I let myself believe in apocalypse for even a second, I gotta ask myself the question, What’s the point?

Nothing we do comes with a guarantee. We cannot be certain that any amount of effort will pay off in the end. Ironic, that even though I practice a craft based on looking into the future, I really don’t know and can’t know what will happen. I have no absolute assurance that any of it—the intentions, the practice, the developing awareness—will matter. Uncertainty becomes an obstacle at times. It is easy to give into despair. However, uncertainty also forces me to develop more powerful tools than merely knowing the future. It forces me to reach down deeper into magic. This lunar cycle, as I work to cultivate my Magician self,** I am reminded of a very important Magician’s tool:

Acting “as if.”

In spite of uncertainty and bleak events in our world, we still can act as if what we do matters. I’ve found that by acting as if I feel brave or wise or powerful it kick starts the experience of actually being those things. Acting “as if” is more powerful than wishful thinking, which for me carries some connotations of burying my head in the sand. Acting as if my practices and attitudes make a difference in this world says that I am committed to supporting my dreams with active belief even if there is not guarantee. When I act “as if,” then doubt becomes a powerful part of the equation, not an indication that I am weak or delusional.

The Moon waxes to Full this week while the Sun is in earth sign Capricorn. The seasonal teaching of this sign is about the need to create systems geared toward survival through the lean times. We set goals for what we want to achieve and then look realistically at what we will need to do to get there. Since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, we’ve become fully aware that the stakes for survival are high. Although we know that change needs to happen, on the collective level we’ve been unwilling to make the changes that are needed. Perhaps this resistance is now shifting. Through grief and compassion, through identifying with others and expanding our hearts, it is possible to use this moment to choose a new path.

Forecast December 23, 2012 – December 29

                                                                                    Moon enters Taurus 12:25 pm
Sunday, December 23.
Our bodies are wise. The Taurus Moon encourages us to listen to the wisdom of the body. This could mean paying attention to what gives pleasure as well at what sustains us. As the holiday season peaks, notice what is necessary and what is simply over-indulging due to the stresses of the season. We know where balance lies if pay attention. Give yourself the luxury of knowing that balance and enjoying it!

                                                                                                            Moon in Taurus

December 24—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting.  A certain amount of conscious effort is needed to manifest intention. However, during this phase of the month, I encourage you to also practice being and flow. It is easy to fall into the trap of more effort equals more success. Perhaps the equation is more like, Just enough effort equals more success. Or even, Being is greater than Doing. The Taurus Moon supports us to hold this value.

Continue with the practice of listening to your body today. Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese” reminds us that we have an instinctual animal body that knows what it loves: “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” When we remember what our soft animal bodies love, we spread that love into the world. This is a balm.

                                                                                                Moon enters Gemini 1:13 am
Tuesday, December 25.
Christmas Day is much more social and scattered than the two days leading up to it. How would the Magician approach this day? Can we fulfill family obligations while at the same time nurture the dream we are dreaming of a new world? Chatter can distract us from our inner wisdom. We will be challenged today to find the still places where wisdom walks. Yet, visionary insight is strong as Mars enters Aquarius and the Moon conjoins Jupiter. Impulsive and possibly argumentative energy snakes it way through the day too. Consider if the battle is worth fighting or not. May Peace fill our souls.

                                                                                                            Moon in Gemini
Wednesday, December 26.
The Yod configuration that I’ve been writing about this lunar month,** is strongly felt today. The dissonance is between expansion and contraction and the Magician work we’ve been doing may help us stay centered and aware through it. When we remember to use the Magician’s tool of pausing between stimulus and response new possibilities arise. We create new patterns in our lives by making different choices.

                                                                                                Moon enters Cancer 2:06 pm
Thursday, December 27.
The Moon is void-of-course until it enters Cancer this afternoon.* I’m thinking that it may be good to practice grounding and centering during that time. Boy, our minds can jump to conclusions quickly! As the Moon moves into Cancer, find your home place. We yearn to recharge our batteries and nurture our loved ones. This evening, the Moon squares Uranus. If you are able to see the near-full Moon tonight, say a prayer that we may consciously use the energy of change and revolution to create a world where we all take care of all the children everywhere in this world.

                                                                                                            Moon in Cancer
December 28—Full Moon: Illuminating. The Moon is full at 4:21 am. The energy of last night carries into today. The Sun is in Capricorn and the Moon is in the opposite sign, Cancer. I think of these signs as the parental energy of the zodiac. Capricorn nurtures through high expectations and being confident that the child will develop into excellence. Cancer nurtures unconditionally, giving support emotionally so the child knows they will never be abandoned. Our hearts have been broken by the shootings in Connecticut. May the light of this Full Moon remind us that all the efforts we do in becoming conscious co-creators of this world are on behalf of our descendants—all children everywhere.

At the Full Moon, the Sun and Moon activate the square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. We move closer to being ready to do whatever it takes to bring the world into alignment with our values. A configuration of planets also emphasizes that our emotions provide the tools to shift us into heart-centered action. This configuration is called a Kite, it is composed of planets in every water sign forming what is known as a Grand Water Trine, with the addition of an opposition to one of the points in the grand trine. The planet that opposes the point in the grand trine holds a key to unlocking the potential inherent in the configuration. The key this time is the conjunction of Pluto and the Sun, which is opposite the Moon in Cancer. Remember the parent that hold us to our own excellence? We unlock the heart-centered potential of the water trine by firmly holding both our selves and others to their obligations. Many are tired of the same old greed, cruelty, and short-sightedness that shows up often in our world. We are ready for change. Whatever we have learned, thus far in our journey toward Magic, let it go towards being the change we want to see.

                                                                                                            Moon in Cancer
Saturday, December 29.
The Full Moon phase brings illumination. We have the opportunity to understand something in a new or more profound way. The Sun provides the light of illumination today when it joins the Yod configuration that has shaped so much of the energy of this lunar cycle. Be available to the complete range of emotion you may be feeling today. If that means taking time to be alone, or to practice self-nurturing, or to become more centered and less reactive, then please do that. We can not help others if we don’t know how to help ourselves.

* All times are CST.

** To follow along with the story of this lunar cycle, read the forecast for the New Moon on December 13.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at