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.

Life likes to throw us paradox, or at least the unexpected. On some days, I find this amusing and even wonderful. On other days, frustration, disappointment, self-judgment, and blame are the result of things not turning out the way I expected. The heavens are a mirror for this paradox, just as our communities are too. Point yourself in any direction (this is a metaphor for intention) and behind you in the opposite part of the sky is another equally valid point of view. Opposing signs in the zodiac mirror this quality of life. Point in any direction in your community—this can look like a shared intention or value—and lo and behold, the opposite thing arises. How do we navigate these tensions or pulses in our communities and in our selves?

The Moon is waning through the last week of this lunar cycle dedicated to the Aquarian theme of community.* This last part of the cycle is about evaluating and letting go of attachment. That, in and of itself, is a paradox. The process of evaluation means we care about improvement, about doing it better next time, and that our actions make a difference to outcome. The process of letting go means we surrender to the fact that we can never really know nor recreate the impact our actions and intentions have had. We try our best and move on. At the end, we release so a new cycle can begin.

Perhaps the best way to navigate through paradox is to develop attunement to cycles. I certainly believe this is one of the major gifts that astrology offers. The stars do not compel us to act in any particular way; yet when we align with their cycles, the way becomes easier, we develop the muscles that help us swim through the currents of paradox rather than be swept away by them.

Sometimes when things don’t turn out the way we plan, something even more wonderful happens. This week, Venus, a retrograding Mercury, and even Pluto and Saturn are orchestrating a week that could hold a lot of the unexpected mixed in with a dose of wonder. Certainly paradox will also be present. Are you willing to take the plunge?

Forecast March 3, 2013 – March 9. 

Moon enters Sagittarius 3:10 pm**

Sunday, March 3. The morning may be a good time to process deep emotions with someone close to you. A somewhat slow, internally focused day turns more energetic towards the afternoon/evening when the Moon enters Sagittarius. Flights of imagination may take us on mind-expanding journeys.

Moon in Sagittarius

March 4—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. How idealistic are you that communities have the power to change the world for the better? That question may be part of the evaluation of this lunar cycle. Does involvement in community seem like more trouble than it is worth? Or is there something inherent to the experience of community that helps us do the changing we need to do? Perhaps community is the petri dish of evolution. Perhaps we really do need each other. And perhaps you realize how important community is and have still been disappointed by it. All that is fodder for new understanding. Mutable energy stimulates our desire to learn and understand, and that energy is strong now. With so many planets in mutable signs today, we may be over-stimulated but there is also the potential to be surprised with new information.

Mercury reaches the heart of its retrograde journey today as it comes into an inferior conjunction with the Sun at 14 degrees Pisces. The Sun stands for consciousness, ego, and our ordered understanding of the way things are. Mercury can help us achieve better understanding of these parts of ourselves but also may work as the Trickster, providing the paradox that forces us to change our point of view. Be open to unexpected insights. 

Venus in Pisces is square to Jupiter in Gemini. With the Moon in Sagittarius, a configuration called a t-square is formed, which adds even more to the story of needing to see from a different perspective. Mutable signs are about perception too. Oceanic feelings meet instinctive action, meet abstract intellect—at the very least we will have interesting encounters with other people today. And at the most, we integrate new understanding about something that has been troubling us. If more confusion arises in your communications with others, give it time to resolve after Mercury turns direct on March 17.

Moon enters Capricorn 6:13 pm

Tuesday, March 5. A little bit of tension starts the day. The last aspect the Moon makes before turning void-of-course until the early evening is a square to Mars. Conflict may have us wanting to run away. With conscious choice, what do you really want to do? Venus conjunct Chiron today opens up our hearts. This may be uncomfortable too, but the lessons may be very important. Can you stay open?

Moon in Capricorn

Wednesday, March 6. Feelings are bubbling up all over—all sorts of feelings. What do you do with them? The Moon in Capricorn encourages us to find useful form for these feelings. As the Moon contacts both Uranus and Pluto today, the form we may want to create could be to make change happen in profound and even revolutionary ways. Mercury—the god of thought and communication—and Venus—the goddess of love and beauty—join together in Pisces. Both of these planets are too near the Sun’s glare to be visible. An interesting thing to contemplate is that from the Earth’s perspective, Mercury is in front of the Sun and Venus is on the other side of the Sun. However, they are still conjunct because they are at the same degree of the zodiac. I love the image of Venus and Mercury making a Sun sandwich. As these planets and the Sun align, we invite big transmissions of understanding and heart opening. Another big boost to this alignment is Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in a supportive exchange with Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn. Today and tomorrow, things come together in strong and powerful ways.

Moon enters Aquarius 9:01 pm

Thursday, March 7. It is common for folks to complain about Mercury retrograde. Some hate the disruption to the way things regularly proceed. Others hate that everyone is always blaming Mercury retrograde for when things don’t turn out the way they planned. The haters may not have reason to hate today. Even though Mercury is still moving retrograde (from the perspective of Earth), the alignment that Mercury makes to Saturn and Pluto today makes it all better. Expect things to go pretty well if you are willing to take responsibility for the outcome.

With that said, the paradox I mentioned in the introduction to this week’s forecast may be presenting itself to us in a big way. This past Winter, a Yod aspect configuration formed between Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter. Yods stretch our perceptions; we have to account for paradoxical experiences. This same pattern is present again from now until the first week of April. Jupiter in Gemini challenges us to surrender dogmatic truth. If we let go of cherished beliefs, we might find a deep source of transformative power.

Moon in Aquarius

March 8—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. The Moon returns to Aquarius at the end of this lunar cycle. What have we learned about community? The ways we are connected are more mysterious and vast than any human can possibly understand. I invite you to release trying to manage your communities and trust the process. Mercury contacts Chiron today. Chiron often provokes an experience of initiation. Are you being initiated into communal awareness?

Moon in Aquarius.

Saturday, March 9. The dark of the Moon, before a new cycle begins can be a great time to vision about your next soul journey. It is coming soon. The Moon in Aquarius encourages visioning. Mercury and Jupiter form a square to each other, and because they are in each other’s home signs, we say they are in mutual reception. This strengthens the exchange and collaboration between these two planets. Express what you are feeling in your heart. Someone else may need to hear that message.

* 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


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