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 December 30, 2012 – January 5, 2013

Night closed my windows and
The sky became a crystal house
The crystal windows glowed
The moon
shown through them
through the whole house of crystal
A single star beamed down
its crystal cable
and drew a plough through the earth

From The Plough of Time by Lawrence Ferlinghetti 

A plow. I keep seeing a plow when I think about the current sextile aspect between Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn. A plow cuts through soil, breaks open hard clods, turns over what has been hidden below the surface, and prepares the earth for new crops. A plow is an apt symbol for these two planets. Some real work is being done right now. It is time to turn over what needs airing in preparation for growth.

Two planets in sextile aspect to each other are giving each other mutual support. This supportive relationship between Saturn and Pluto is a great boon to creating something sustainable and important. Both of these planets let us know what matters most and what is ultimately most satisfying if we agree to the missions they offer. Saturn in Scorpio’s mission is to reap the power of self-awareness through fearless internal exploration—to dive deep and then go deeper still. Pluto’s mission in Capricorn is to transform the consensual reality that gives culture its structures, meanings, and values—to be ready to let these structures die. Both of these planets urge us to turn over the topsoil and look deeper. Underneath, where we’ve either been too frightened or too complacent to look, we find potential. Pluto’s name means riches.  Saturn’s name is derived from Latin meaning ‘to sow.’ Sounds fertile, doesn’t it?

To continue the metaphor, someone’s hands need to be on the plow. Interestingly, Jupiter in Gemini fits this role perfectly. Jupiter amplifies the energy it contacts. Jupiter has been amplifying the active mind of the Magician, which has been seeking truth, honing tools, and shaping new perceptions this lunar cycle. Inside each of us is a Magician, a co-creator of the manifesting cosmos, who is doing this work with Jupiter. Gemini is a sign well-suited to magic. The sign of duality, trickery, and the mind is a much more light-hearted energy than either Capricorn or Scorpio. So, while Jupiter has been in aspect to both Saturn and Pluto, it has been inviting us to open into new perspective and to lighten up even as we realize the stakes couldn’t be higher.

That Mayan calendar thing was a good chance to laugh at our tendency to project fear, while at the same time being compassionate about our concern for a world in jeopardy. “Wallowing in doomsday scenarios is not the solution,” says the Magician. Being quickly adaptable, having a sense of humor, and cultivating curiosity about everything gives us the tools we need to face reality (the domain of Saturn and Pluto).

The week begins with the Moon still in the Full phase. Since the Magician is all about learning, use the illumination of this phase to become more aware of how every one of us matters in this work of plowing the fields of the future. The new year also begins this week. Even though the date of the new year seems somewhat arbitrary in the realm of astrological time, it is true that Capricorn, the sign where the Sun is on New Year’s Day, lends itself well to reflecting on the past and setting intention for the future—a good energy to begin a new cycle. What magical tools will you use for this work?

                                                                                                Moon enters Leo at 1:45 am

Sunday, December 30. The Sun illuminates both Pluto and Saturn today and events may be significant. What are you learning about your self and others? We might be feeling extra sensitive with the Moon in Leo too. Sometimes Leo energy is playful and sometimes ultra sensitive to being appreciated by others. Notice what shows up for you. Take the time to affirm that in spite of doubts, you are essential to the great work of co-creation. 

                                                                                                                        Moon in Leo
Monday, December 31. New Year’s Eve.
Mercury transits are important this week. Mercury rules Gemini, the sign of the Magician. This planet sometimes tricks us and sometimes entices us to learn about our own minds. Today, Mercury enters Capricorn. How will you develop authority in the ways you express yourself? While Mercury is in Capricorn (till January 19), get serious about honing skills of expression. Later tonight, Mercury contacts Neptune through a sextile. This aspect supports inspiration and contemplation. The Leo Moon tonight gives a tone of playfulness to New Year’s Eve gatherings. Mars and Uranus encourage conversation about changing the world.

                                                                                    Moon enters Virgo 11:35 am
January 1—Disseminating Moon: Sharing.
New Year’s Day. The holidays have a way of extending time. It might seem like a really long time ago when this lunar cycle began.** But it has only been about two and a half weeks. On this first day of this new year, the Moon enters the Disseminating phase—the next stage after illumination. The feeling of getting back to routines and creating order in our lives is strong today. After an incredible experience of transformation during the first part of the cycle, we desire to make it apply to our everyday lives in a meaningful way. Yet, we are also being impacted by the cosmic ocean of Neptune and trickery of the Magician. An ideal approach may be to play and daydream while you clean house, make lists, and generally get yourself prepared for what is next.

                                                                                                                        Moon in Virgo

Wednesday, January 2. The day starts with a favorable connection between the Moon and Pluto and Saturn. The practical matters of life help us to anchor metaphysical realities. We know we are getting somewhere when we can take care of business while holding magical intention. We feel a strong desire to clean up our diets and get back to an exercise routine. Yield to that desire!

                                                                                                Moon enters Libra 7:11 pm
Thursday, January 3.
While the Moon is void-of-course for most of the day, there is space to enjoy ourselves if we don’t give into the anxiety of achieving perfection (always a concern under Virgo’s influence). The predominant aspect today is a square between Mercury and Uranus. When these two planets challenge each other, nerves can get frayed, unexpected setbacks can occur (much like a Mercury retrograde), yet we are also subject to brilliant insights. Adaptability, humor, and curiosity help us ride the waves. The evening is good for social events or experiencing the arts when the Moon enters Libra.

                                                                                                            Moon in Libra
January 4—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
When the Moon moves into this phase, we get a little critical. Early this morning, the Moon squares Uranus and later today squares Pluto too. Notice your impatience around things that are unsatisfying to you. Has change not reached deep enough for you? Have you been unsatisfied with your abilities to be a conscious co-creator? Do others annoy you or is it really yourself that you feel a slight disappointment in? This is all information, and is not the final analysis. We are evolving along with the world we are dreaming into existence. Mars trines Jupiter today and gives us a boost in positive thinking followed by positive action (and vice versa). Mercury sextiles Chiron today, too. We want our efforts to be for the healing and well-being of all.

                                                                                                            Moon in Libra
Saturday, January 5.
Mercury joins in the planets of the Yod (involving Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn) that has been in place this entire lunar cycle. Today Mercury forms a quincunx to Jupiter. (See the posts since the New Moon on December 13 to read about this Yod.) We have another opportunity to practice our Magician skills of pausing between stimulus and response in order to make a conscious choice about what we really want to do. The overall goal today is to create harmony. Our friends, family members, and loved ones can help us see new sides of ourselves and give us the impetus to create more peace in the world.

* 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