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 27, 2013 – February 2.

 I live in a really cold place in winter—Minnesota. After a few months of frigid temps, I notice that my posture is affected. I am huddled, braced for cold. My stride is shortened. I am shuffling more due to icy sidewalks. Gray skies give me the urge to sleep and eat more. My body’s language is saying, get me through this time quickly, let it be over soon, wake me up when it gets warmer. Yet, I suspect that I might be missing something very important if I completely give in to this. It takes an act of conscious will to straighten my back, raise my gaze, lift my chest, and breathe more deeply; to welcome in rather than suffer through this moment. That act of being present and open is so important to this lunar cycle’s journey of mastery*.

Every journey towards mastery has a moment of yearning to lay our burdens down. The effort to stay alert and present seems like too much to bear. There seems to be too few rewards and the whole experiment seems like a failure. These messages—the ones that say we have something to accomplish with our lives and the ones that say we’ll never get there—belong to that old devil, Saturn. We negotiate with this god on the journey to authority and it takes moxie to stand up to him and say, “Enough, I accept your challenge and I refuse to believe I can’t achieve my heart’s desire.” It’s time to get crafty, inspired, and maybe even mad about the messages that say, “Give up, you never had it in you anyway. “

If you are huddled against your own desire to live a life of potent mastery, this week offers good opportunity to refuse to give in. What lifts your spine and your spirits? What is the inspiration that fills your lungs with laughter and shouts of defiance? What hope for the future trembles in the dark soil waiting to burst back into life? This journey is far from over.

Forecast January 27, 2013 – February 2.

 Moon in Leo

Sunday, January 27. Yesterday’s Full Moon energy still reverberates. The Leo Moon entices us to light the flames of creativity and fun. If you need a pick me up in the middle of this winter season, today is a wonderful opportunity to choose activities that kindle the flames of joy. We may be sensitive to the questions of our significance; what are we really contributing to the world? It is good to notice how those questions affect us and devise strategies for affirming our importance without relying on others too much to give us that affirmation. What feeds your fire? Commit to tending that fire. 

Moon enters Virgo 5:27 pm**

Monday, January 28. The day begins with passion and maybe even a little conflict. Sometimes anger is the best teacher. What is getting under your skin? Is it time to stand up to negative thoughts? Or does some injustice make you want to take action? Can you take that passion into service? The Moon entering Virgo later today sparks a desire to work towards betterment. It could be in our own lives or the greater world around us. The Moon’s contact with Neptune tonight presents a challenge: Will you stay present to a desire to improve or will you try to avoid the work by escaping? This isn’t a time to judge ourselves, but to notice what our responses are and perhaps ask, why.

Moon in Virgo

Tuesday, January 29. There’s nothing like a waning Virgo Moon to get us to question our own achievements. Virgo struggles with knowing when anything is good enough. Thank goodness we get to practice patience with that part of ourselves. Virgo is the sign of the dedicant. Rather than merely succumb to self-criticism today, can you also rededicate yourself to serving an ideal? What is worthy of your complete devotion?

Moon in Virgo

January 30—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Why do we do the work? The call to mastery is fraught with challenge. We encounter such fun stuff as self-judgment, shame, hopelessness, and despair on this journey of developing our authority. So, why do it? What keeps you going? How do you meet these challenges? What successes have you had? Our answers to such questions are what we have to share in this phase of the Moon’s own journey. Look back over the days since January 11. Acknowledge the whole experience, those times of doubt as well as the ones of confidence. Muscles are being developed. 

Conflicting energies color this day. The winds of hope fill our sails since Jupiter is stationing direct near the fixed star Aldebaran. Jupiter stands for our hopes. As I wrote last week, Jupiter spending time with this star elevates our hopes for living lives filled with honesty and integrity. In spite of visually appearing in the constellation of Taurus, tropical astrologers say that Jupiter is in the sign of Gemini. The desire to live true to our hopes involves all the things that are precious to Gemini—what we are learning, how we are making connections with others, and how we are integrating the experience. This is a social sign, other people are important to the truth we want to live. Are you developing flexibility in your approach to mastery? Jupiter would be pleased.

On the other hand, Saturn has his say today too when the Sun contacts Saturn by a square aspect. The Sun represents our evolving selves—who we are and who we are becoming. Saturn reminds us that ambition and all the subsequent feelings that the journey of mastery brings up is a necessary stage on the way to becoming who we are meant to be. Sometimes the journey is hard, but we get a glimpse of why it is worth it.

Moon enters Libra 12:36 am

Thursday, January 31. It feels good to come out from under the pressure of the Virgo Moon. However even the harmony-loving Moon in Libra may be challenged to find balance as the Moon contacts both Uranus and Pluto today. Unpredictable and possibly dark feelings ride under the currents. At the same time, feelings of sociability and delight in intellectual pursuits are supported by a trine between a stationary Jupiter and the Moon. The Sun joins Jupiter and the Moon later tonight making a Grand Trine in Air signs. Use this airy energy for inspiration—literally a breathing in of thought. Imbolc, the witch’s Sabbath that pertains to emerging creative forces growing in the darkness of winter, is coming up in a few days. This is the quickening time of the year when we kindle the flames of creativity and action. Spend time imagining what you will create this year.

Moon in Libra

Friday, February 1. The big shift today come from Mars entering Pisces and Venus entering Aquarius. Mars, the god of action becomes the Knight of Cups for a little over a month. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is a sign that you are daring to be a compassionate warrior willing to feel more deeply. Venus, the goddess of love, travels through far-seeing Aquarius for a little less than a month. Imagine the Star card in the Tarot. Will you dip your cup into inspiration and pour it out for the good of all?

Moon enters Scorpio 6:01 am

Saturday, February 2. Imbolc. This Pagan holy day is sacred to the Celtic goddess, Brighid, the goddess of flame, inspiration, social justice, poetry, and craft. She is an ally for our developing excellence and is willing to walk with those who are creating a world of beauty and delight. Pledges to Brighid and to a year of creativity are influenced by the depths of Scorpio today. We feel a strong commitment to healing and transformation as we bless the seeds of the coming year. How does your desire for mastery influence what you will pledge to Brighid? This journey is about more than ourselves. The expansive energy we feel today supports the awareness that this journey is about the community too. The Moon contacts several planets. It is as if many gods want to get in on the action too. Mars, Venus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn are consulted. Answering the call of mastery takes us on a complex journey that touches many parts of ourselves.

* To follow along with the story of this lunar cycle, read the forecast for the New Moon on January 11.

** All times are CST.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at