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 18, 2013 – August 24

Opposite signs of the zodiac need each other. That mirror on the opposite side of the year reflects another side of the sign to us. Without the perspective of the opposite sign, we never really see the whole picture.  Every Full Moon offers up this illumination: to understand something in wholeness. Perhaps no two signs reveal so much about the other as do Leo and Aquarius. Leo is the individual as Star, the one who is special and unique. Aquarius is the Collective of all those stars, which become the audience and reservoir of collective instincts. Aquarius insists on equality. Leo insists on specialness. It seems like these two instincts couldn’t be farther apart yet they are really two peas in a pod, with the pod being Humanity.

The Full Moon in Aquarius this week is an opportunity to experience how collective instincts and individuated ego push against each other even while needing the other. This month, the Leo lunar intention * is to dare to live wholeheartedly while dwelling in that sweet spot of ego—not too hungry for attention and not too full or ourselves. The collective helps us to know that sweet spot. In the best situations, the group affirms our gifts and tells us we are valuable. It also tells us when we’ve got more ego work to do.

The work of Aquarius isn’t only about making sure our egos are in healthy balance, though sometimes it seems that way. This is perhaps only a by-product of what Aquarius is really going for, which is daring to take the next evolutionary leap. Humanity has not found its final destination—far from it. We’ve got a long way to go. Aquarius dreams the dream of change and pushes us to the edge of possibility. When we do our ego work. When we affirm we are essential members in this tribe of Humanity and that we have gifts to give, when we know the healthy edges of our egos, only then are we ready to take the next evolutionary steps into Humanity’s potential. The push back of Aquarius is asking us to be more, not less.

Being more, not less, is a guiding principal for the rest of this lunar cycle. We need change. Transits this week remind us of the ways things need to change and the ways that change is always happening. Wholeheartedness affirms that we can be the ones who bring the right changes forward. We can be the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Forecast August 18, 2013 – August 24

Moon enters Aquarius 11:06 pm**
Sunday, August 18.
Most of the day, the Moon is in Capricorn, so we don’t quite enter expansive Aquarius energy until tomorrow. Today, we are more conservative. The Moon opposes Mars. What provokes your strongly protective feelings? Our hearts are telling us what really matters. This feeling may be so strong that survival instincts are triggered. Another choice: use the Capricorn energy to affirm your expectations and then use the Mars in Cancer energy to act with all your heart to create a supportive environment where those expectations can flourish.

Moon in Aquarius
Monday, August 19.
We teeter between feeling expansive hope about change and being burdened by the realization of how much work it will take to manifest. Egos might get bruised today too as the Aquarius energy pushes back on any sense we have that we are special. How do these obstacles invite you into believing you are more, not less? What dream will you serve? You might want to pay attention to the messages from your actual dreams tonight. Neptune and Venus are asking us to step beyond the bounds of reality into longing.

Moon enters Pisces 11:43 pm.
August 20—Full Moon: Illuminating.
The Full Moon in Aquarius illuminates our Leo intentions. We may be experiencing a bit of the “push back” that both of these signs give to each other. If you are sensitive to feeling other people’s energy fields, you might even think about what it feels like when your aura rubs up against another’s. Is there a little friction? Do you recoil or get annoyed? It takes generous space to make room for everyone else’s energy. Give yourself that space today in order to appreciate how necessary every single one of us is to the whole. The sweet spot of ego balance can feel a lot like the sweet spot of community—not too close so we feel smothered and not too far apart so we lose connection. From that sweet spot, begin to integrate other qualities present at this Full Moon. There are many.

The only constant is change. That message seems even stronger at this Full Moon. Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, is the provocateur of change. Tomorrow Jupiter will square Uranus exactly but we feel this expansive and unpredictable energy now. Attachment to stability is wearing away. Systems are seen more and more as not working. Jupiter in Cancer calls attention especially to the realm of home. Uranus in Aries provokes change through action. The other significant influence is Pluto in Capricorn, which is moving into its next exact square with Uranus in November. This planet encourages change too, the kind that transforms through a dying process. Since June 2012, Uranus and Pluto have been moving in and out of exact square aspects with each other, which continue until the last one in March 2015. Now that Jupiter is here too, the process of change and transformation will speed up. That is Jupiter’s quality.

The influence of water, very strong in last month’s lunar cycle, is still influential. Jupiter, already noted for its importance, is in a water sign and is in trine aspect with Saturn in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces. (Neptune in Pisces and Mars in Cancer contribute are in water signs too.) We can’t leave our emotions behind in our revolutionary fervor. In fact, it is really important to retain empathy, compassion, and vulnerability as we make change happen. Water signs invite intimate connection. We can’t as easily objectify and blame another when we know we are the same.

Venus in Libra is a new influence right now and will be even more important at the end of the week. Venus rules this sign of the scales and stands for a renewed desire for justice and fairness. Notice this energy as it grows in strength this week.

Moon in Pisces
Wednesday, August 21.
Surrender to the flow. Yesterday’s Full Moon may have felt like a peak experience and most likely was mentally stimulating. Now it is time to exhale and

allow those thoughts to deepen. Breathe and sense into your heart. Our hearts are a source of wisdom that can be trusted even when we don’t know what our next steps should be. This would be a wonderful day to bless the waters and be blessed by them.

Moon in Pisces
Thursday, August 22.
In the intro to this week’s forecast, I pointed out how important the opposing signs are to understanding an integrated whole. The Sun enters Virgo today while the Moon is in the late degrees of Pisces. Next month, we will experience these two opposing signs at the Full Moon. Today is a peek at that illumination to come. We’ve been awash in Pisces Moon energy. Sensitive souls will notice their own edges are little less distinct. The urge to merge is huge. Virgo, as an earth sign, asks us to put our empathy into meaningful service. It’s quite refreshing, actually, to know we have limitations on just how much we can do to save the world. Enjoy the balance between feeling and doing.

Moon enters Aries 2:13 am
Friday, August 23.
First of all, let’s enjoy paying more attention to the details today. Mercury moves into Virgo, a sign it rules, and helps us to focus on our next steps. It is important to breathe through any stress we are under as the Moon in Aries is triggering the t-square aspect pattern present at the Full Moon (Jupiter opposing Pluto and squaring Uranus). Our attention shifts away from intuition into action and reactions. Not everything is going to go our way today. We might act hastily or witness others being impulsive. Those are the stressors, but Mercury can act as an ally. We are able to break down the process of a big job into smaller more manageable parts. Don’t sacrifice the means for the end. How we get where we are going is as important as where we want to go.

Moon in Aries
August 24—Disseminating Moon: Sharing.
This phase of the Moon reminds me of the season of harvest—what have we brought in from the garden? What do we have to share? Remember, the crop for this cycle is about living wholeheartedly in the light we have to share. Have you risked being bigger than you thought you should be? Have you learned from the “push back” coming from community about your ego demands? The light and shadows of our experiences are all useful additions to growing wisdom. These lessons invite balance. Notice your state of balance today. Venus in Libra created a Grand Cardinal Cross aspect pattern yesterday that is present today too. The planets involved are Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto and Venus. Injustice feels like a huge imbalance. And we are much more apt to do something about it with the Moon in Aries egging us on. What does equanimity mean to you?

* 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