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 February 17, 2013 – February 23.

This Aquarius-inspired lunar cycle* is dedicated to community. I invite you to journey along with me, noticing the role of community in your evolving life, noticing the role of community in the evolution of life on this planet, noticing the importance of community regardless of your love or hate for community. The choice to make our communities more vital, joyful, and more in service to all creation might be the most important choice we could make. The road is not simple, but it can be very rewarding.

Perhaps we need to rethink our common understanding of what community is. In my dictionary, the first three definitions involve human communities—people living, working, being together, the fourth definition goes to nature: “community is a group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specific habitat.” The picture of community in nature shows us how we are linked in complex, diverse systems that depend on and impact one another. The complexity is so dense that every single action affects the whole. Everything depends. Everything we do will impact everything else, and every action taken by another impacts me and you. That’s a big concept. The mind can be overwhelmed by the complexity; the heart understands it intuitively. My heart says, of course we are all connected; don’t you feel it?

The heart is a useful tool to cultivate while we invoke a mindful, non-judgmental, stance towards our communities. The predominant planetary energy right now comes from Pisces—several planets occupy this sign and Mercury will be stationing retrograde on February 23rd in Pisces too. Don’t be alarmed if your heart, feels a little more expansive while this is going on. At least, everyone is in the same boat. As mystic poet, Rumi says to us: “So the sea journey goes on, and who knows where! Just to be held by the ocean is the best luck we could have. It’s a total waking up!” Here’s to that awakening.

Forecast February 17, 2013 – February 23. 

Moon enters Gemini 3:50 pm**

February 17—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. This Moon phase is about the first challenges of the lunar cycle. What challenges your intention? If the intention is to cultivate the tool of the heart in learning to be mindful in our communities, then the Gemini Moon presents the first challenge. Gemini is the Mutable air sign that is square to Pisces, Mutable water. Both are Mutable, both want understanding, integration and wisdom, yet the methods they use to get there are so very different. The air approach creates distance, feels more comfortable with some perspective. The water approach is to merge and lose the distinction between things. Notice how these two approaches create friction with each other but also give needed balance. The evening is a great time to notice what we assume to be true and investigate whether it really is.

Moon in Gemini

Monday, February 18. This day is a strange combination of greasing the chute to let everything flow and putting the brakes on big time. Flow comes from the Sun’s entry into Pisces and the Moon, still in Gemini, contacting Jupiter to expand our social instincts. The Moon is square to Mars and this increases some of the friction I wrote about in yesterday’s forecast. The brakes come from Saturn stationing retrograde today at 11 degrees Scorpio. If that degree impacts your own chart, you will be feeling the Saturn pressure more strongly. Energetically, the sometimes frenetic Gemini Moon creates friction with this somber Saturn energy. If we let it, Saturn helps us focus and ground when mental stimulation is overwhelming. And if we are ready, we receive new ideas that help us in our Saturn quest for mastery.

Moon in Gemini

Tuesday, February 19. It may have been hard getting to sleep last night. The stimulating Moon in Gemini contacted Mercury early this morning. Could you stop the mental chatter? Today the Moon goes void-of-course midday, this presents a perfect opportunity to slow down and release yourself from the pressure of getting too much accomplished. Time for integration.

Moon enters Cancer 4:45 am

Wednesday, February 20. More water in the forecast. The Moon enters a water sign and the Sun conjoins Neptune today. After some mental stimulation from the last few days, notice what you are feeling. And that just might be that you want to stay home tonight and make a nice soup. Find where you feel emotionally supported and restore yourself there. Any distress felt in the day can be assuaged by self-care. As we hone the tool of our hearts, pay attention to what you feel about the larger communities you belong to. Where does your heart lead you today? 

Moon in Cancer

February 21—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. What is the lifeblood of community? Some say that every community needs a communal hearth around which to gather, celebrate each other, and feel welcomed and at home. With the Moon in Cancer, what role do you see the hearth playing in community? Does your communal hearth need tending? A grand water trine between the Moon, Mars, and Saturn presents an opportunity to tend to the needs of self and community in an energetic yet sustainable way. If you need something, you can be sure others do too. Welcome the wisdom of water.

Moon enters Leo 4:12 pm

Friday, February 22. The last aspect that the Moon made yesterday was a trine to Mercury in Pisces at 8:08pm. After that, the Moon is void-of-course until it enters Leo this afternoon. There are no other aspects today. We are invited to pay special attention to Mercury as it slows down to station retrograde early tomorrow. Mercury rules the stories we tell ourselves about what is happening. Many of these stories are based on past wounds. If we let the wounds be in charge of telling our stories, we may miss what is really going on. Mercury’s retrograde journey through Pisces is an opportunity to practice ways of knowing based on what we feel and then getting clarity by asking others if they see it that way too. Attention paid to communication will help us feel more connected.

Moon in Leo

Saturday, February 23. The days surrounding the station of Mercury (both retrograde and direct stations) are the strongest parts of the retrograde cycle. Today, Mercury stations retrograde. Around the Spring Equinox, Mercury will station direct. From now till the equinox, we can devote ourselves to the refining the skills of sending and receiving messages in all the realms.  With Mercury in Pisces for this extended period, we can expect our psychic antennas to be more open to picking up signals. But notice what happens when the signals get mixed-up. We will have the opportunity to understand each other on a much deeper level if we also are patient and aware that this business of intuitive, feelings-based communication is very subjective and hard to interpret clearly. How do you know what you know? Where does this knowing come from? What are the gifts and the challenges for community? With the Moon in Leo, our messages may be influenced by a need to be welcomed, seen, and appreciated by our communities. Can you extend that welcome to others? With the Pisces compassion, we understand much better how everyone needs to be seen and affirmed.


* To follow along with this lunar cycle, please read the New Moon forecast of February 10.

** All times are CST.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at