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 24, 2013 – March 2.

What are the cords that link us? Communities function within complex webs of connection. Think about your communities, the ones you love and the ones you hate—both feelings often live side by side in the realm of community—and sense into these connections. Some are blatantly overt and others more subtle. Some are matter of fact and some are mysterious. Some connections come from the practical side of life and others are linked to the heart. The Aquarius intention* of becoming more mindful of the place of community in our lives for this lunar cycle is now being colored by a strong shift into the energy of Pisces. This mutable water sign is expert at sensing connection. Encouraged by this sensitivity, we dive into the ocean together. And though it can be hard to retrieve a conscious thought from this sea, with intention and mindfulness we have the opportunity to understand our selves and our communities in much deeper ways.

Pisces’ intuitive gifts help us develop the sensitivity to understand currents of feelings within community. However, to make these messages more useful, we benefit from developing practices that encourage us to question the messages we are receiving. You could say that it helps to put our feelings into analysis, finding some way to sort them out, to check out their truthfulness and usefulness. Some of our messages aren’t useful to anyone else in community but ourselves. So how can we tell? The gift of intuition is strengthened by discernment. The sign opposite to Pisces—mutable earth sign Virgo—anchors us in practices of discernment. The Full Moon in Virgo this week gives us the opportunity to find balance between insight and usefulness. The two days this week that the Moon is in Virgo will give us important information about how to achieve this balance.

Forecast February 24, 2013 – March 2. 

Moon in Leo

Sunday, February 24. Give yourself the gift of creative play today. You won’t regret letting go of outcome for once and surrendering to the fun of process. Get messy, take wrong turns, laugh at yourself, smile foolishly at others … Today’s Leo Moon, under the influence of a newly-retrograde Mercury in Pisces, encourages us to step into the flow to find our distinct gift of spirit. We have greater impact than we think, use that power to bring light to others. Who does that for you? That person is your teacher.

Moon enters Virgo 1:52 am**

February 25—Full Moon: Illuminating. If you have any tendency to get overwhelmed by big feelings and big ideas, then this Full Moon should be a wonderful opportunity to bring awareness to what helps you to ground and center in the midst of all that. Mutable signs are emphasized in the chart for the Full Moon. The Sun and four other “planets” (when we include Chiron) are in Pisces, the Moon opposes in Virgo, and Jupiter in Gemini is exactly square to the Sun and Moon. Mutable signs love discovery, love learning, crave integration, but sometimes under this influence we can get over stimulated and lose all those wonderful new insights. Big stuff is all around us, how do you discern (Virgo word, right?) what is truly important? Time to practice letting go of what doesn’t serve overall intention.

Another possible response to being overwhelmed is the attraction of checking out entirely. Sometimes too much input makes us want to turn off our senses altogether. When this happens the other side of Pisces—escapism, addictive behavior, and even martyrdom—can surface. My suggestion is to take notice when you want to deaden feelings and a find a way to accept even that. This expansion helps to create more room for our whole selves. As we expand into that, community also can expand into accepting more reality too. One of the most troubling aspects of community can be the tendency to conform and limit what individuals are able to do within community. If we practice acceptance within, we are able to extend that acceptance to others. 

Later today, Venus joins the other planets in Pisces. It’s a love fest! Or is it? What do you feel? How do you accept those feelings without judgment? How do you discern what information is useful? Another side of Virgo, which may help us all, is the path of the dedicant. What will you devote your journey to? How will you acknowledge your devotion? There is surprising comfort in remembering your intention.

Moon in Virgo

Tuesday, February 26. Moon, Mars, and Mercury are having a conversation today. Due to retrograde motion of Mercury, this is the second time that Mercury and Mars have joined together. The first time was on February 8. The third time occurs after Mercury turns direct and catches back up with Mars on May 7. This connection between Mercury and Mars is a significant signature for this particular Mercury retrograde cycle. What might we learn about our wills, passions, and tempers during this period? Mars in Pisces is a great time to develop empathy. Yet, it can be a hard time to know when and how to act on personal desire. Are we forcing too much? Not enough? We are not alone; others share the same questions. Notice the fuse on your temper. Mercury might provoke outbursts today. The Virgo Moon encourages balance and then we let go when the Moon goes void-of-course at noon for the rest of the day.

Moon enters Libra 7:02 am

Wednesday, February 27. Chiron’s transit through Pisces can bring up many themes around wounds, from the personal to the collective. As the Sun joins Chiron today, notice these. Chiron’s mission is to make us aware of what needs healing. In the sign of Pisces, we become aware of the wounds to our oceans, rivers, and lakes. All water is sacred. Perhaps personal healing depends on realizing that we must also heal these waters. We are interdependent. When the Moon opposes Uranus today, we are sparked to act, especially to achieve justice and fairness.

Moon in Libra

Thursday, February 28. Under Piscean influence, we can open to a lot of emotion from others. Psychic antennas go up, we can be awash with feelings that we can’t fully process. When this happens, it is good to take time out for solitude, silence, and restoration. Today, take a little time for your self. The Moon is void-of-course all day. That means it may be hard to get a full head of steam going for any projects or activities you have planned. Merge with the flow today and see where it takes you. As Venus also joins Neptune, expansive feelings of love, compassion, and bliss are possible. The other side that may also surface is sadness and disappointment. Be loving towards what is showing up for you.

Moon enters Scorpio 11:33 am

March 1—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. There is a distinct difference between the signs of Pisces and Scorpio, even though they are both water signs. Being a fixed water sign, Scorpio brings perhaps a little more grit to a flowing situation. Today’s signature energy comes from the relationship between these two water signs. We get to apply this energy to this next phase of our lunar intention to be mindful of community’s place in our lives. Looking back over the lunar cycle since it began on February 10, what have you learned about navigating the waters of community? For this has been a watery experience and continues to be. Even in unconscious ways, we are developing new skills. The Sun trines Saturn in Scorpio and makes a sextile aspect to Pluto in Capricorn. We can know what we feel and give it definition. Things are a little less nebulous. Notice the concrete ways you use emotion to create and manifest. Fluidity can also be a strength.

Moon in Scorpio.

Saturday, March 2. Boundaries. Is it time to think about your boundaries in your relationships? Scorpio reminds us that there is a good reason to step out of the communal waters long enough to make sure we haven’t surrendered our essential truths to the collective. Feel good about establishing good boundaries. They help us to be effectively compassionate towards others.

* 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