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 25, 2013 – August 31

Zip! Zap! Pow! Whoosh! Bursts of energy shift stagnant forms this week. Mercury in Virgo and Venus in Libra are the instigators of this tectonic shifting. In the hierarchy of planets, Mercury and Venus are often under-valued for their influences. Astrologers get very impressed by Saturn transits, or this Uranus/Pluto square we keep talking about, and sometimes overlook how essential and influential the faster, more personal planets are. Thought and Love, under the purview of Mercury and Venus, are not minor things. In fact, I really can’t think of anything more influential. The week is big in minor ways. When the planets are stimulated by new encounters with each other, it is a mirror for how we also are being stimulated by new encounters. As in all new experiences, there can be a blend of delight and upheaval as we make adjustments.

What happens when thoughts are introduced? How do you respond when a new perspective on love suddenly appears? I invite you to expand your notion of what Thought means and what Love entails. I will be joining you, and at the same time observing how Mercury and Venus may influence my lunar intention* for this cycle. This intention began as a vow to share my gifts with the world and has become this simple thought: I dare to live wholeheartedly.

I am learning that a whole heart means I don’t turn my back on my imperfections. It is important to invite them back into my heart where they originated. Wholeheartedness also means I am embracing my power and gifts. What might Mercury teach me this week concerning this intention? In Virgo, I expect that I will be even more sensitive to my imperfections and even more desirous of improving my methods. We can also expect to notice how influential our thoughts are to the task of radical self-acceptance. New thoughts are coming our way. What state of mind and heart helps you to prepare to best use these thought forms?

I invoked the name of Love, but Venus has a way of showing us new sides to this essential emotion. Aleister Crowley famously declared, “Love is the law, love under will,” and he was right. Love is more than emotion and it is all emotion. Love runs the world. What does Love make you do? Venus is feeling fierce as this planetary ally completes a Grand Cardinal Cross with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. This aspect pattern is provocative. Notice your own fierceness about fairness, justice, and love. If you were to be guided by Love this week, how might this impact your wholeheartedness?

Forecast August 25, 2013 – August 31

Moon enters Taurus at 8:13 am**
Sunday, August 25.
If you have a strong urge to get yourself organized today, run with it. The stars are aligned to support all kinds of earthy endeavors, like putting things in order, committing to a health regime, or making plans for the Fall. There’s also an interesting blend of responsibility and escapism today. What happens if you allow both? Think like a spiral. The straight path may not be the most productive. With Mercury in Virgo opposite Neptune embrace this line from Yeats: “In dreams begin responsibility.”

Moon in Taurus
Monday, August 26.
The Moon in Taurus provides grounding today. Good thing, because Neptune is inviting in dreams as it opposes the Sun. As the symbol of wholehearted self-acceptance, the Sun reminds us that this solar journey of enlightenment also includes moments of shadow. Strength does not come from an impenetrable shield but from the resilience created from accepting all our contrary emotions. Keep that thought in mind as Venus gets all up in our face, provoking other responses. Venus is quincunx Chiron and opposite Uranus. When faced with people or situations that seem unfair we want to both fight and to empathize with our opponents. Notice this paradox; it may help us evolve other ways to create change in the world.

Moon enters Gemini at 6:08 pm
Tuesday, August 27.
There’s a high quotient of Mercury and Venus influence today. (See the intro to this week’s forecast.*) Mercury in the industrious sign of Virgo is in a favorable aspect to Saturn. It feels good to get things done, especially in the realm of purging our environments of needless chaos. Be gentle with yourself concerning perfection. Small steps can be celebrated. Venus square to Jupiter (following on yesterday’s opposition to Uranus) is still touchy. Not only is our sense of injustice peaked, but anything that seems unharmonious must be addressed. Notice how Love and Balance are related. Where do you find the balance in your life? Tonight, Mars enters Leo where it will remain until mid-October. Mars in this sign is the champion of our wholeheartedness. We get another boost of energy on the quest for self-love.

Moon in Gemini
August 28—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
As the last week of this lunar cycle begins, we notice that the energy has shifted. Perhaps what felt like a grand adventure of self-discovery beginning just three weeks ago, now might feel now like a foolhardy experiment. Since we are human, we know not everything we tried was successful. That isn’t the real challenge at this phase of the Moon. The real challenge is how we embrace that imperfection. I write often about Brene´ Brown’s brilliant writing on the subject of wholeheartedness and the gifts of imperfection. In case you are new to my writing and don’t know about this source of inspiration, I’ll plug her again []. Even though the lunar cycle is winding down, there are still important things to discover about accepting our inherent worth. The Leo mission isn’t over.

Last night (in the Central Time Zone), Mars entered Leo, the sign of the New Moon that began this lunar cycle. Sometimes Mars asks us to take risks—to step out just a little farther than we are used to—to claim new territory. What scares you the most when asked to identify why you are important to this world? Dare yourself to be the steward of that gift. We get a boost from Pluto today. This comes in the form of aligning ourselves more strongly with our values. The Moon in airy Gemini is stimulating our thoughts. Yes, this can be exciting, and can you slow down just a bit to enjoy the moment?

Moon in Gemini
Thursday, August 29.
Although the Moon is void-of-course the whole day, this is far from a lackluster, get-nothing-done kind of day. Paradox and possibility sparkle through. I sometimes experience paradox as walking into a brick wall and then realizing I don’t have to keep going that way. There is a perfectly fine path leading me in another direction. Mental flexibility is an asset that may even help us respond with more compassion to the needs of others. The Sun and Saturn say, “Keep working; you are doing great!”

Moon enters Cancer 6:33 am
Friday, August 30.
Another quality, strong in Virgo, is the desire to be of service. Mercury in Virgo is in complete agreement with Jupiter in Cancer, that being useful for the benefit of others is a worthy ambition. It feels good to step outside our ego desires to devote ourselves to serving others. That doesn’t mean that service is automatically an egoless action. Far from it. As we make peace with our wholeheartedness, observe whether you are bringing a hungry desire for attention into your service. The balancing act doesn’t end there. We must also notice whether we are trying to escape what our healthy egos require by disappearing into another’s need. To be involved in just the right service in just the right way is a blessing that feeds the soul.

Moon in Cancer
Saturday, August 31.
Yesterday’s harmony might give way to annoyance today. If we are lucky, that is all it will be. Today, the Moon antagonizes the Cardinal planets. These are Venus in Libra, Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn. The touchiness stems from emotional sensitivity and perhaps a needless sense of urgency. The way to resolve tension may be to cultivate these planets as allies: to find balance with Venus’s help, to honor our deep emotions with Jupiter’s help; to claim our authentic selves with Uranus’ help; and to live into our power with Pluto’s help. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Don’t worry; we don’t have to get it all right in one day. These planets will be offering these opportunities for a good while more.

* 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