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 January 6, 2013 – January 12. 

The last week of a lunar cycle is a good time to sit with the experiences of the past few weeks. So much of our lives are about pushing forward into the future. I personally take so little time to reflect on where I’ve been. But if there was ever a time to slow down and remember, now is that time. We miss important pieces of ourselves when we fail to “re-member” the past. It helps to put our experiences in context so we don’t “forget” — a word that comes from the Germanic, meaning “to un-get, to lose one’s grip.”

I am aware of painful memories from this cycle: the killings at an elementary school, a death of a dear friend of mine, a hunger strike by a First Nations chief in Canada, the report of tens of thousands killed in Syria in their civil war, and more. Yet, even in the middle of this cycle, there was beauty and wonder too.

What does it mean, this pain and beauty? If I fail to remember it all, even the pain, I might never get to grasp the meaning. I might lose my grip on my role in this great act of co-creation. Each of us plays a part. Each of us needs to find a way to hold on to that vision. Perhaps the final effort we make in support of this lunar cycle’s intention** “ to embrace the Magician within as a co-creator of the manifesting cosmos” is to remember the important things—both the painful and the joyous.

This week, transits involving Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto recall the themes of this lunar cycle. Mercury and Jupiter in Mercury’s sign, Gemini, have served up the archetype of the Magician—the one who stands midst paradox and pauses between stimulus and response to choose consciously. Saturn and Pluto are constant reminders of the fertile depths in our souls. We are stretched between these two states: the wonder of magical possibility and the responsibility we hold for the actual world we live in. Last week I wrote: “’Wallowing in doomsday scenarios is not the solution,’ says the Magician.” This week, I believe the Magician is saying: “Denying the realities we see around us is a forgetting of true purpose.” Wherever we feel such paradox, the Magician is dancing through the worlds.

Forecast January 6, 2013 – January 12.

Moon enters Scorpio 12:09 am*

Sunday, January 6. Mercury in Capricorn and the Moon in Scorpio reinforce the sextile aspect that has been ongoing between Saturn and Pluto. Last week, I wrote about this aspect seeming like a plow turning over whatever has lain dormant and hidden within. We are plowing the fields of soul to prepare the soil for new life. With the Moon and Mercury’s help, we feel this strongly today and are able to give it voice. This is a great day for journaling, remembering, and honoring our visions.

Moon in Scorpio

Monday, January 7. Today, I invite you to develop the faith that even when nothing much seems to be happening on the outside, a great deal is going on underneath. Mars in Aquarius is concerned about seeing vision put into action. What new world are you working toward manifesting? Don’t get frustrated today if it feels like you aren’t making progress. Saturn in Scorpio challenges our assumptions about progress. The Moon in Scorpio goes void-of-course early in the day and stays that way until tomorrow. Better to practice quieting the mind. Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio, enters new territory (reaches a new degree in the zodiac since turning retrograde last fall), making the transformation of culture a priority. With all things Pluto, however, change comes from the depths. Honest self-assessment helps us see those depths.

Moon enters Sagittarius 2:28 am

January 8—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. The challenge in this phase of the lunar cycle is to surrender our defenses around remembering the pains and joys of the past few weeks. The Moon in Sagittarius lights up a fiery arrow pointing towards understanding. We want to understand what has happened to us. Everyone wants a sense of control over chaotic experiences. Yet having control may be a failure to truly feel our whole selves. Honor how much of your heart is available to you right now and honor the ways that you simply can’t feel any more. It is OK to be where we are. The Moon is opposite Jupiter today. Signs and portents are everywhere if we look—in the small everyday occurrences as well as in the big moments of understanding and insight. Tonight, Venus enters Capricorn. We find beauty in accountability and determination.

Moon in Sagittarius

Wednesday, January 9.  The Moon makes no aspects today, and so is void-of-course until tomorrow when in enters Capricorn. Since the Moon also is in the last days of this cycle, it may be best to use this day to complete things, to find time for reflection, or to do your exploring through a good book. Even though we may be drawn to quieter activities, this is not a gloomy day. A lovely sextile aspect between Venus and Neptune inspires us to find the beauty that connects us.

Moon enters Capricorn at 2:54 am

Thursday, January 10. Many planetary allies are encouraging us to be in the real world today. The Moon first contacts Neptune, the ally of dreaming into reality; then Venus, the ally of beautiful integrity; next Uranus, the ally of authentic commitment; then Pluto, the ally of cultural transformation; and lastly Saturn, the ally of far-reaching accountability. Take in what serves you and let go of the rest. What message will the Magician leave you with today?

Moon in Capricorn

January 11—New Moon: Dreaming. Capricorn has a tough reputation. People can feel intimidated by this sign. I admit I’ve felt the same. The self-judger in me fears I do not have the gravitas to match Capricorn’s natural authority. It is easy to let Capricorn’s innate integrity and brilliance create comparison that causes feelings of shame and guilt. This is just too bad since Capricorn has so much real goodness to share with us. The sign of the winter season is focused on collective survival at the highest level. How do we come through the lean times of winter as a group? What ancestral wisdom will help us? How do we encourage the best of ourselves through high expectations? Can we make the hard choices by holding each other accountable? Capricorn sets worthy goals, and does it in such a devilish way that we are challenged but also immensely entertained. I am convinced that Capricorns have the best sense of humor.

The lunar cycle that begins today is grounded in Capricorn presenting a good opportunity to work with Capricorn’s gifts and to transform self-judgment, shame, and guilt into realizing those gifts. What if shame were banished? How would that shift our relationship to excellence and achievement?

Challenges can invoke shame or another response, determination. The challenges in the New Moon chart present an opportunity to acknowledge our innate gifts and to commit to using them in service to excellence. The challenging aspects are:

Saturn, the planetary ruler of Capricorn, is square to Mars in Aquarius. Pay attention to frustration. Do you judge yourself when things don’t move forward easily? Saturn is the great teacher. The lesson could be to slow down, to go for quality over speed. Another lesson could be to negotiate between the need for transparency and the need for secrets. Mars may tease out some secrets; Saturn may insist that not everything needs to be aired in the open.

Uranus in Aries is square Venus and Pluto. Long simmering tensions may erupt this month in relationships. Idealized relationships are not realistic. Notice judgment and assumptions around perfection in relationship. It is possible that even conflict can improve them if we commit to integrity and fairness.

A stationary Jupiter in Gemini is square to Chiron in Pisces. It can be really hard to integrate our hearts and minds. Often we split from one to retreat into the other. Where do you escape when faced with suffering? Problems may seem large. Vulnerability is nothing to be ashamed of.

Regardless of these challenges or others in your life, how does shame get in the way? A dear friend once enlightened me to the true nature of shame. The beginning letters of the word stand for: Should Have Already Mastered Everything. When put that way, we see the absurdity of shame. Time to do some work here.

Moon enters Aquarius at 3:01 am

Saturday, January 12. Visionary energy is strong. How do we create a better world? Part of that better world is finding authenticity in relationships. As Venus squares Uranus, we may feel frustrated that we can’t be our true selves in relationship. Come out from hiding and see how to make those relationships reflect the world you envision.

* 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


4 thoughts on “Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

  1. Karina BlackHeart says:

    I’ve been following you through links on PNC. I have to say, “Thank You” for your beautifully written astrology column. I’ll be sharing your link on my Pages. Keep up the great work.

  2. witch33 says:

    Today I left behind some drama from some friends and went out for a 4 hour ride on my horse with other friends. The laughter was contagious, nature abounded and the smells of the trees blooming ( sw Florida) awakened our senses. It was over all a great day of girl bonding time and bonding time with our horses. I almost hated to leave the barn to return to reality of this mundane world. grrr. Will ride again tomorrow, it’s my sanity.

  3. witch33 says:

    Terri I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work into bring us your weekly advise on the planets that are inter laced in our daily lives. I love your insight and can’t wait until your new one comes out ready to read it. We all have our special gifts and my dear you have been so blessed with your wisdom of the stars. I hope you never stop, I’m counting on your insight.

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