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 August 11, 2013 – August 17

I feel pretty sure that when it comes to the ego, there must be some kind of middle ground, a place where I don’t have to keep my ego caged because I’m afraid of what it might do or be constantly feeding my self-esteem because I’m afraid that I not special enough. There’s gotta be a sweet spot right in between. I just wish it weren’t so hard to find and then so hard to maintain. This Leo lunar cycle,* I am inviting in a better understanding of audacious self-love—the kind that feeds my wholeheartedness. Using the fire of Leo, I want to burn away that which keeps me out of that sweet spot of right-sized ego.

I happen to believe that joy feeds more joy. This is the best aspect of fire, this quality of generosity, abundance, and encouragement that not only spreads joy to others but fills the givers with more joy too. There are lots of toxic cultural myths out there. One of the worst needs banishing this month: the story about how there isn’t enough joy for everyone. Not only is there enough, but the more of it we express, the more there will be. Is this the secret to the sweet spot of ego? The caged animal is no longer hungry when the prime directive is to feel and share joy.

My heart leaps to this vision, yet I also know that joy can feel very far removed from where I am sometimes. Legitimately so. Life can be really sad and really hard. Is there something else to learn about wholeheartedness from these moments too? Wholeheartedness tells me that every single way I am showing up in my life is worthwhile, in ways that I will probably never even know. The journey of exuberant joy and authentic sadness has an impact on others. It affirms and bestows the fire of self-love upon us all.

The Moon of this Leo season is waxing. See how much you can fill your heart with self-love, notice the doubts and obstacles, choose to make a greater impact, and be yourself. Mercury may be playful this week. When Mercury, the Trickster, plays, we sometimes do and say things that we wish we could undo or say. Perhaps the challenge is not to censor this natural exuberance but to learn how to graciously say, “I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant.” The sweet spot can be hard to find, but I expect that even through a week of big energy, we can recognize it when it happens. In those moments, remember to rejoice!

Forecast August 11, 2013 – August 17

Moon in Libra
Sunday, August 11.
The Moon completes a Cardinal Grand Cross aspect pattern today. What this means is that planets are occupying a narrow range of degrees in every Cardinal sign. These planets are either opposite (asking for integration) or square (presenting challenge) to each other. Uranus, Pluto, Jupiter, and the Moon are the challengers and teachers. The Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) represent turning points and major areas of life. If you have planets in your natal chart between 9 and 12 degrees of a Cardinal sign, you’ve been feeling these turning points for months now. Today, another insight or phase of the journey may occur. For all of us, we could notice being pulled in many directions, shorter fuses, or a crossroads decision needing to be made. Overall, we desire harmony and we desire justice. It is wonderful when both can be achieved at the same time.

Mercury in Leo is square to Saturn in Scorpio. There is a struggle about communication and it is likely that both sides are right. We get to practice more mindfulness concerning our words and the truth we need to share. Don’t expect resolution right away, the Moon squares Mars tonight (in the Central Time Zone).

Moon enters Scorpio 3:18 pm**
Monday, August 12.
We may want to retreat into moodiness today. This is a perfect opportunity to practice audacious self-love. How hard is it to share joy? How much do you want to pity or blame yourself for missing the mark? Compassion is the key to getting out of any funk we may be in. We are connected and we matter to each other.

Moon in Scorpio
Tuesday, August 13.
I mentioned earlier that Mercury was taking center stage this week. More unexpected exchanges, courtesy of the Trickster, could happen over the next two days. Relationships may be confusing, yet we really want to solve the puzzle. Mercury is at the apex of a Yod aspect pattern. The other planets are Pluto and Chiron. The tension may be felt between simple joy and complex emotion, which could include grief or fear. Yods ask us to stretch into bigger truths. You may have a hard time deciding if you want to be around people or all by yourself.

Moon enters Sagittarius 8:04 pm
August 14—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
The last few days of Scorpio Moon demonstrates ways we can be thrown off the goal of finding that sweet spot of self-love. The Leo cycle encourages us to embrace the light, and I don’t mean this in a New Agey way. What I mean is that the Sun of mid-Summer shows us how to be generous with our gifts—our light. Sometimes it feels really good to open wide to embrace our inherent worth. But that emphasis on light can lead us to think that ONLY the light is valuable. We need the dark just as much. If you are caught in either/or thinking about light and dark, I invite you to adopt a both/and approach. The First Quarter Moon phase is about a core challenge to manifesting intention. What comes up for you when you notice you can’t always be positive, can’t always feel joyful, can’t always recognize that you are valuable?

As the day goes on however, the mood lightens and we feel more social. Mercury trine Uranus is mentally and socially stimulating. We feel a creative surge too and may even get brilliant new insights to a problem we’ve been working on.

Moon in Sagittarius
Thursday, August 15.
Take last night’s inspiration and run with it. A Grand Fire Trine aspect pattern speeds things up quite a bit. Moon, Mercury, and Uranus are creating the sparks. All fire signs have an innate mission to understand and express identity. Through self-knowledge we are able to be authentic to truth of the moment. If we can couple that authenticity with compassion, we are able to express that truth in the best way.

Moon enters Capricorn 10:25 pm
Friday, August 16.
What do you believe? You may be feeling philosophical, or eager to plan a trip, or are suddenly interested in going back to school. The idea is that we want to know what it all means and can’t wait to learn more about it. This feeling too, helps us to know our inherent light. What inspires you? Venus enters Libra—one of the signs she rules—for only two weeks. Although the Fall Equinox is still over a month away, we may notice that fallish feeling as perhaps a desire to partner up for the dark part of the year. The shift is coming. Venus asks us to find the connections with significant others who make our lives more comfortable and more meaningful.

Moon in Capricorn
August 17—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting.
After a few days of the Moon in a fire sign, we notice the shift of the Moon into earth. Again, the contrast may bring up self-doubts concerning our essential worth. This is the work of this lunar cycle, encountering these obstacles and returning to wholeheartedness in spite of them. This phase of the Moon is about what we are willing to do to keep pursuing our hearts’ desires. And it is about noticing what really fuels this commitment. On the quest to improvement it is easy to take a detour into self-hating. The Moon in Capricorn makes us especially sensitive to feelings of not being good enough. However, the gift of Capricorn is the expectation that our dreams are worthy of our commitments to them.

This is no lightweight day. The stakes feel higher. Don’t be surprised if you feel more tension and more pressure to act. The planets involved: Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter are encouraging each of us to take it to the next level. This may involve radical change and/or radical self-knowledge. Although it may feel like a detour or an obstacle, this is a potent opportunity to inhabit that sweet spot between inflated ego and ravenous ego. What does that feel like to you, today? Remember how you got there.

* To read more about the Leo lunar cycle that began on August 6, go to

** All times are CDT.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at