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.

Approach growing edge and stick one toe over. That’s how I’ve been treating this Aries Moon cycle.* I’m not feeling particularly courageous at the moment, nor even particularly energetic, however, I do want to claim new space for myself in this season of emergence. I want to shed an old layer of skin and see how far out I can grow. This growth might not even look like much on the outside, but inside I feel the change. In honor of Aries, I am honoring what feels like boldness to me, not someone else’s notion of boldness, but my own awareness of my growing edge and my commitment to move beyond it, even if it is just by a toe.

How do you recognize your growing edge? It seems important in this work of boldness to identify what the edge feels like, just so we can know we are at that moment of daring. For me, I recognize my growing edge by being aware of my standard patterns of action and reaction. For instance, noticing what triggers me is a way to know that I’ve reached a point of potential where I can make a new choice. What if, instead of reacting as I usually do, I choose a different response to the trigger? There is an element of frustration and even boredom at my growing edges. I’m tired of the same old thing happening. I’m tired of my same old responses to it. Invoking the April Fool, what do I have to lose by trying something new? It is all part of the trial and error of growth. Some of our experiments succeed and some don’t. The time of Aries growth isn’t about surefire success; it is about risking something new.

Not every growing edge is about dissatisfaction. Every one of our gifts wants to grow bigger. It is as if the gift itself is taunting us by saying, “Come on, show us what you got. Come on, this is so rich and juicy, don’t you want more?” It is entirely appropriate in the season of emergence to want more, to dream of being bigger, to take a bold leap, even if it is by only a toe’s length. I love Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day, for this enticing call into the joy of being. At the end of the poem she asks:

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Would we really want our lives to go by without a least one or two magnificent failures? This poem by Antonio Machado, Last Night As I Was Sleeping, celebrates our failures as sweet gifts:

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

As the Moon waxes, it is time to be bold. We can account for our failures later.

Forecast April 14, 2013 – April 20

Moon in Gemini
April 14—Crescent Moon: Beginning. The Moon joins Jupiter today and that should help us dare to be bolder. Hold the image of a seedling in your heart today. Like that seedling, each of us is emerging into a new season without any guarantees of where we will ultimately end up. Honor the vulnerability of this state of being and the shear joy of life force that makes us act this way even when we know better. While holding that image of a seedling, what resides in your heart that longs to grow just a little bigger and be just a little bolder? This lunar phase of daring to begin fits with the Aries season perfectly. While the Moon is in Gemini, we can expect mental stimulation to be high. There are lots of ideas and plans for what we’d like to see emerge in our lives. Find a way to center and capture these ideas before they flit away.

Moon enters Cancer at 9:49 pm**
Monday, April 15.
Venus shows up as the Evening Star after a long disappearance from the sky. Look for the bright star of Venus in the western sky at sunset and welcome the planet of beauty and abundance. Following our hearts into the exquisite longing for beauty is a bold surrender to life. We can embrace that desire. Venus is also entering Taurus, one of the signs of her rulership. We feel stronger and perhaps braver when we embody what we love.

Moon in Cancer
Tuesday, April 16.
Recklessness meets protectiveness today. Do you feel that you need to disregard messages about safety in order to be bold? Or do your fears get in the way of pushing past growing edges? The relationship between the Moon in Cancer and the Sun in Aries today heightens the tension between being bold and being safe. This feeling peaks on the 18th when the Moon enters its First Quarter phase. Notice where this tension lives in you. Neither point of view is wholly right or wrong. To embrace the energy of Cancer, honor the role that your home or family plays in your emerging growth. The urge to protect or defend our homes could be a strong factor in the bold actions we take today.

Moon in Cancer
Wednesday, April 17.
Mars joins the Sun today at 28 degrees Aries. This is a “seed moment” for the two-year long Mars cycle. We begin a new journey in our relationship to will, desire, passion, and action. Mars as the ruler of Aries is an ally of boldness. On a primal level, Mars represents energy. It can be helpful to release excess energy today in the form of exercise or physical activity. Exercise releases endorphins that help us to appreciate the gift of Mars energy—feeling alive and capable of acting on behalf of our strongest desires. When we are not in touch with this energy, we are more prone to fits of anger or frustration. With the Moon in Cancer, we are extra sensitive about anger. Allow this energy to move through you in positive ways.

Moon enters Leo 10:13 am
April 18—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. Challenge. How do you react when you’ve taken a risk, stuck your toe out past a growing edge only to be discouraged at the very first moment you try something new? What happens when those tender seedling leaves meet a cold snap, or a drought, or an animal that eats them up right away? Unfortunately, no guarantees means no guarantees. And that kinda sucks. This phase of the Moon is when we learn that we will be challenged on the way to manifesting our hearts’ desires. This is when we get to develop our real strengths. Yesterday was probably an exciting, energy-filled day. It may have also been a day of overwhelming emotional reactions. Notice what discourages you right now. Even that is an ally of bold action because it is teaching something important. As the Moon enters Leo, we become sensitive to feeling discouraged. Try to remember the gifts that are urging you to expand. Don’t give up. Venus and Neptune conspire to inspire us. The beauty around us is a reflection of the beauty within.

Moon in Leo
Friday, April 19.
The season of Aries shifts into Taurus today with the Sun’s ingress into this Fixed Earth sign. Because we are still working through the waxing phase of the New Moon in Aries, we get to use this Taurus energy to infuse our bold actions with grounded integrity. This can be a welcomed addition to the unsettling impulsivity of Aries or it can be a frustrating slowing down of forward momentum. Both are true and both are necessary. The need to make adjustments in how we are doing things is also reinforced by a quincunx aspect between Mercury in Aries and Saturn in Scorpio. Even though we may have to broaden our point of view, the new input will help us in the long run.

Moon enters Virgo at 8:08 pm
Saturday, April 20.
Mars joins Venus and the Sun in Taurus today. We get to remember what the body knows. One of the lessons that Taurus offers is how to make our efforts sustainable over time. As you’ve been inching past your own growing edges, what have you begun to identify as ways to sustain this expansive growth? We get more pragmatic this evening as the Moon enters Virgo. To be whole in body and mind, what adjustments do you need to make? The wild card today is the Mercury/Uranus conjunction in Aries. Open to brilliant new insights.

*See to follow along with the themes of this lunar cycle that began on April 10

** All times are CDT.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at


One thought on “Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

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