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 April 7, 2013 – April 13

In the place I live, the first green of Spring is a fierce chartreuse. We need such a color in Minnesota. This vibrant green pierces the old skin of Winter, which lingers for so long here. It demands room be made for new growth. It carelessly discards the long season of darkness with its parceling of resources. It is a bold commitment of a color—a color that dares.

Perhaps this is the true color of Aries, the sign of Spring’s daring. I am embracing such boldness and daring this Spring as my own recommitment to life. The planets are supporting this intention. Right now five planets are in Aries and later this week the  Aries New Moon will take place on April 10. Another resurgence of Aries boldness comes from Uranus, one of the five planets in Aries. From now till Uranus turns retrograde in July this planet is forging ahead into brand new Aries territory—between 8-12 degrees Aries. Uranus is the planet of authenticity—if something doesn’t feel right in our cores, Uranus demands we do something about it. This planetary ally on the side of daring is by itself a fierce energy. 

That bright green is such a happy color. But underneath is a question, a fear that perhaps it won’t be enough. Can a color really do all this? Wouldn’t it be great if we could feel bold and daring without also feeling vulnerable and afraid? Wouldn’t it be great to barrel ahead with confidence, sure we will succeed, sure we will cause no harm? Don’t you know people who seem to be able to do that? What is their secret?

One of my teachers describes Aries people as those who have to “Do it afraid.” Notice the words, “have to,” because I’ve found that most Aries people would much rather not have to step out into a new environment and claim space. Most would really love it if someone else would do that for them. But that drive to begin a new cycle of growth is stronger, stronger than fear, stronger than doubt. There is no wonder to me that April Fool’s Day happens when the Sun is in Aries. This is the most foolish energy there is. So, I submit to you the idea, that those people who seem to have it all together, the ones who look confident, the ones who look like they enjoy forging new pathways really don’t feel that way at all. And that actually is a beautiful thing.

Forecast April 7, 2013 – April 13 

Moon in Pisces

Sunday, April 7. Yesterday’s forecast* still resonates today. Water is an ally for opening to the New Moon energy that is on its way. Pay attention to the emotional tenor of your surroundings. There is a clue here about your next daring emergence. Listen to what that inner voice is telling you. Even the boldest acts must start small and in the darkness. Allow yourself to be curious rather than certain. Appreciate your own flexibility.

Moon enters Aries 2:02 pm**

Monday, April 8.  The first indications of Spring can be very tiny. It helps to keep our attention focused on the smallest things. Even in warmer climates than where I live, you are also at the beginning of something tenderly new. What shows you the energy of Spring today? We’re still in the time of the old Moon, the Balsamic phase, but once the Moon enters Aries today we are drawn to expand out into life. How will you nurture what is emerging in you?

Moon in Aries

Tuesday, April 9. We might feel more uncomfortable today with the boldness we need to dare greatly. What are the potential costs to taking a stand? Pluto is slowing down at 11 degrees Capricorn this week getting ready to station retrograde on Friday. Pluto’s effect on us strengthens. The life affirming expression of Pluto is to believe deeply in the power of transformation. This gives us strength to dare change. However, if fears begin to paralyze us, we revert to trying to control the outcome of our choices and transformation is stifled. There are real risks to taking a chance. Honor the courage it takes to let this happen. Forgive yourself for the ways you aren’t yet ready. 

Moon enters Taurus 10:22 pm.

April 10—New Moon: Dreaming. The New Moon in Aries begins today. As a way to honor this new beginning, why not practice cultivating an appreciation for courage? We might first want to think about what type of courage we admire most. For me, knowing that courage does not mean feeling fearless, I so admire those who have to do act even when they are afraid. The root of the word courage is to give heart to something. When we give heart to those who are courageous, we encourage acts of daring that affirm the life force of regeneration. By encouraging others, I find I too am strengthened and encouraged. Sharing this gift helps sustain courage.

In the chart for the New Moon:

Uranus is square to Pluto. This aspect between these two outer planets strengthens as the Spring progresses (becoming exact on May 20). We’ve been noticing that this transit is a signal that we urgently need new responses to crisis and change. This isn’t a time for denial and it isn’t a time for the kind of reactions that put us right back in the same place—in other words, a perfect time to tap into heart-centered courage.

The Sun, Moon, Mars, and Venus in Aries are quite close to each other. A lot of stories are merging into one mission—to dare greatly in a recommitment to life. Now is the moment to act.

The restraint in thought and communication that we may have felt over the Winter while Jupiter has been in a Yod aspect formation with Pluto and Saturn is over. Jupiter begins to move quickly through the last half of Gemini until the end of June when it enters Cancer for a year. The benefit we may have gained from the Yod was around an appreciation for complexity and paradox. The frustration may have been around not feeling certain about our beliefs. This is not such a bad thing. Jupiter works best when it encourages a search for truth and causes trouble when we revert to fundamentalism.

There is a quincunx between Saturn in Scorpio and Uranus in Aries. This aspect forces us to make an adjustment between these two planets. One adjustment could be between the need for personal authenticity and personal responsibility. Freedom chomps at the bit. Mastery says slow down and make real changes, not superficial ones. The tension can teach us important lessons.

Pluto is stationary, stronger now and insistent that we take our own lives more seriously. The stakes are high; we can commit to our own significance.

Moon in Taurus

Thursday, April 11. The season of Spring never feels long enough to me. Some of that may be due to the tendency to yield to life speeding up. I sometimes forget to stop and enjoy the moment. Today is a good day to slow down and immerse ourselves in the physical pleasures of Spring. If you’ve been wanting to change your diet, clean out your house, prepare your garden, the Moon in Taurus gives support. Watch out for the inner critic that says you “should” do these things and embrace the good way you feel when you do them with joy.

Moon in Taurus.

Friday, April 12. You may be familiar with the myth of Persephone. This goddess shares time between two realms—her life on Earth, when the growing season is strong, and her life in the underworld, when the growing season is fallow. In the underworld, she reunites with her lover, Hades (also known as Pluto). Recently, at the dawning of Spring in the northern hemisphere, we celebrated Persephone returning to the Earth’s surface. However, a final farewell reverberates from the depths of the underworld as Pluto stations retrograde today. Pluto stations once a year. Since 2002, this has been happening in the springtime. During a season when the Earth comes alive and begins communicating to us about growing, Pluto stationing reinforces that these messages are tinged with the memory of death and longing. Commune with the Earth today. What do you hear?

Moon enters Gemini 9:13 am

Saturday, April 13. Life is buzzing. The Gemini Moon encourages us to make connections. This is stimulating energy and helps us to act boldly even when we don’t necessarily feel brave inside. Mercury leaves Pisces today after an extended stay in that sign. The last traces of Mercury’s retrograde through this dreamy sign in February and March are completely gone. Are you noticing chartreuse? Fully awake, what does the day have in store for you? Intuition and curiosity play a big role.


** All times are CDT.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at

Astrologer Teri Parsley Starnes’ weekly astrological forecast following the 8 phases of the Moon. To read previous posts visit the Starsdance blog [].