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 June 30, 2013 – July 6

I am thinking about the Buddhist practice of invoking good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end. Here ‘good’ means effective, the best we can do, and the action and attitudes that will further the practice itself. At each phase of our practice, whether it is to sit in meditation or to engage in conscious manifestation of intention, it is good to acknowledge what helps us achieve goodness at each phase. At the beginning, what will help me to make best use of my practice? In the middle, what will help me to stick with the practice? In the end, what will help my practice create goodness for others?

The beginning, middle and end are described by astrology’s modalities—the way a sign acts in accordance to its placement in a season. Cardinal signs dare to begin. Fixed signs deepen into the center. And mutable signs dedicate the experience of the whole to a greater understanding. The current lunar cycle* that began in a mutable sign (Gemini) is coming to an end in one week. The question that resonates for me is, How do I best practice “good in the end” as I complete this cycle? What we do at this phase impacts more than our own lives, desires, and experiences. Our journeys impact everyone else’s, and theirs impact ours. Mutable signs invoke this sort of awareness—how we are connected and how our wellbeing is linked to the wellbeing of others.

“Dedicate” is a word that comes from the Latin meaning to devote or consecrate. Acts of devotion help us achieve goodness in the end. I am partial to small, daily acts of gratitude to do this. The planets this week have some suggestions too. We can’t ignore that Mercury is now moving retrograde through Cancer—a sign that calls attention to hearth and home. If home systems are going awry, honor Mercury by a small acts of devotion to your home. Also this week, the Sun in Cancer will oppose Pluto and square Uranus. When strong defensiveness arises in connection to our homes or families, it is best to acknowledge that all of us feel fear sometimes. Sending out compassion for this fear in self and others is a way to consecrate our very real shared experiences. Venus in Leo shakes up complacency this week too. This planetary ally tells us that joy, love, and desire are acts of devotion too, even when they rock the boat. Good in the end may revolve around finding delight, being compassionate, and honoring how important hearth and home are to us.

Forecast June 30, 2013 – July 6

Moon in Aries
Sunday, June 30.
Short fuses and repercussions may sizzle through the next few days. Moon in Aries is not particularly patient. And with retrograde Mercury forming a square to the Moon today, people may easily snap. It especially doesn’t help that the Moon is also playing into the Uranus/Pluto square today too. I have a friend who enjoys saying, “How fascinating,” when things don’t turn out the way you expect them to. This is definitely a “how fascinating” type of day.

Moon enters Taurus 4:43 pm**
Monday, July 1.
Relationships need our attention. Recent events may have put a stress on them. Core to the problems may be a feeling of not being appreciated or feeling stifled by the other. The fire of Venus in Leo—encouraging creativity, romance, and fun—can help burn away illusions and help to clarify what you really want from your relationships. The trick is to find the balance between commitment and freedom that works for you. The Sun opposes Pluto today adding more intensity to any discussions we have. How do you keep your center intact when feelings are strong? We see a hidden truth. Healing is possible when we integrate that revelation.

Moon in Taurus
Tuesday, July 2.
We aren’t done with the processing and negotiations of yesterday. The Moon activates the discussion and takes it deeper. The emphasis on fixed signs: Venus in Leo, Moon in Taurus, and Saturn in Scorpio tells us that any conflict we experience is around core issues. Whether or not we fully resolve these issues, we are able to learn more about ourselves and about the significant others in our lives. Don’t sell yourself short. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Moon in Taurus
July 3—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
With the beginning of the Balsamic phase of this lunar cycle occurring in the sign of Taurus, the metaphor of compost fits today’s energy perfectly. As you seek to find “good in the end,” what needs to be composted in your life? Compost is the gift and magic of earth’s transformative energy. We don’t have to hold onto everything. Good in the end is letting go. Neither success nor failure is what matters now. Everything becomes food for the next cycle of growth.

The Sun squares Uranus today. This July 4th holiday of independence is flavored by restless desire for another revolution. Uranus is the great awakener. This planet will push us out of complacency if we aren’t paying attention to the changes we need to make. This is a crucial time to ask yourself what you are ready to do differently.

Moon enters Gemini 4:21 am.
Thursday, July 4.
As the Moon comes back to Gemini to complete this lunar cycle, what are you noticing about your connections to others? Gemini is the great pollinator. Ideas have been exchanged with others. Now, comes the fruit of that exchange. Holiday gatherings take their energy from this Gemini Moon. This is a good day to enjoy lighthearted conversations and breezy summer fun. Since Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, is retrograde, don’t expect all your plans to come off perfectly. It could be quite fun to let go of expectations and see where the god of travel wants to take you.

Moon in Gemini
Friday, July 5.
A storm cloud may move over what is a mostly delightful day of Gemini fun. Venus in Leo makes a quincunx aspect to Pluto. This paradox aspect impacts how we relate, not only to humans but to the earth, to our resources, and to all other beings. How do you resolve the paradox between consumption and conservation? Between taking what you need yet leaving enough for others? Who gets to tell you what is right and what is wrong? How do you live in right relationship? Rather than be overwhelmed with questions like these, find a new way to think about them.

Moon enters Cancer at 5:13 pm
Saturday, July 6.
Today we learn about the transition from Gemini’s pollination to Cancer’s gestation. The Moon in Cancer contacts Jupiter in Cancer today for the first time since Jupiter entered this sign on June 25. Jupiter will stay in this sign for the next year. From Jupiter we are encouraged to believe, to dare, to find the larger story. What is the larger story for you? Consider these Cancer regions to be prime territory for expansion: gestation, tending the hearth, protecting precious home turf, recovering memories, and nurturing others. The New Moon in Cancer will happen in a few days. Begin to dream about your intention for that new beginning.

*See to follow along with the themes of this lunar cycle that began on June 8.

** All times are CDT.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at