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 September 29, 2013 – October 5

Where does true beauty reside? What is the most potent moment of all? What is the key to unlocking true happiness? Who doesn’t want to know the answers to these questions? I could be wrong, but I really think the sign of Virgo* has an inside lead on the answers. This is the sign of the dedicant, the apprentice, and the pragmatic worker—which I suppose can sound too ordinary, but to me has always seemed like the very best way to live. I am not a Virgo myself, but have always longed for these gifts. If I can find the beauty in everyday life, beauty will always be available to me. If I can remember to dwell in the present moment, I have access to my power. If my work is satisfying and meaningful, I am happy.

This doesn’t mean that every Virgo person is supremely happy. The sign, whether you are born a Virgo or not is pointing us in the direction we should go; it isn’t an automatic acquisition of the gifts. You know that feeling when you are so close to something you can taste it, but you don’t have it yet? That kind of squirmy, nervous anticipation that grips your insides? People with a Virgo emphasis in their birthchart can easily succumb to this kind of stress. So close to perfect happiness! Yet there is always more to be done, fine adjustments to be made, and more to learn. This squirmy quality points to a common problem for Virgos and for anyone trying to bring more awareness and meaning into life. When handling the details gets too stressful or when paying attention feels like sensory overload, then it is time to step away from expectations. Those hopes for the future distract us from embodying the present. As the Moon of this Virgo cycle wanes completely into the next New Moon on October 4, it may be a good idea to practice stepping away from managing everyday life and learn to love everyday life just for itself.

Forecast September 29, 2013 – October 5

Moon enters Leo at 2:57 am CDT
Sunday, September 29.
What feeds your fire? What rekindles the sputtering flame? Given that we are in the waning phase of the Moon, you may feel like the juice is going out of life. Today’s Leo Moon is here to add the sparkle back. Don’t underestimate the importance of play or the excitement of romantic attraction. This energy will help us remember why we are doing the work of conscious co-creation. The Moon is square to Saturn today, so we get to combine the Leo sparkle with the transformative soul work of Scorpio (the sign Saturn is in currently). Mercury moves into Scorpio today as well, where it will spend an extra-long period of time due to a retrograde cycle that begins in three weeks. There is a shift towards the darkness. Notice the contrast between the sparkle of light and the allure of shadow.

Moon in Leo
September 30—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
This lunar cycle did you discover just the right balance between work and devotion and commitment and longing? These qualities have been threaded through this lunar cycle. Happiness in work is a balancing act and the weight is shifting constantly. The best way to balance one day probably won’t work the next. We can use the Balsamic phase of the Moon to release unproductive assumptions and expectations about ourselves and our work. Let’s shed that old skin. Use the Moon in Leo to restoke your passion. Kids are wonderful teachers for unbridled joy. Be a kid. It is good to cultivate our kid natures because life feels fraught with tension right now. This tension is likely to keep building until the New Moon on October 4. Take breaks and breathe.

Moon enters Virgo at 1:52 pm CDT
Tuesday, October 1.
You might notice a subtle change in communication today. Mercury reaches the degree where it will station direct after the next retrograde cycle that begins on October 21. This is a foretaste of what Mercury will turn up in the fertile fields of Scorpio during this particular cycle. The experience will touch on deeper emotions. And though this can be uncomfortable as we explore hurt feelings due to communication problems, or notice jealousy or suspicion arising more often in our interactions, we also have the opportunity to get to the core issues that deepen relationships. With a trine between Mercury and Neptune today (the first of three due to this retrograde), listen to your dreams and inspirations. Let your heart melt just a little. Be brave. Intuition and empathy are allies for dealing with toxic power dynamics that could be revealed today. The Sun is square to Pluto—the fault lines are weak and it will be more difficult to control strong emotion. What do you need to let go of?

Moon in Virgo
Wednesday, October 2.
 A healing day. With the Moon back in Virgo in this cycle that began in Virgo, we are invited to reflect on the past month. It helps to take the long view. The older we get, the easier it is to see the patterns and roots of habitual responses. Perhaps it gets easier to consciously choose a better one. The waning Moon isn’t called an old Moon for nothing. Wisdom is pouring forth. Pay attention. It could really help us with whatever the next challenge will be. The best qualities of Saturn (commitment), Pluto (transformation), Chiron (compassion), and Jupiter (belief) are teased out and encouraged by this Virgo Moon. We actually feel stronger when we admit to being vulnerable.

Moon enters Libra at 9:59 pm CDT
Thursday, October 3.
Perhaps the other shoe drops today. The Sun opposes Uranus, just a few days after making a square to Pluto. Uranus and Pluto are coming close to another exact square on November 1. The Sun is giving us a preview. Although the New Moon in Libra doesn’t happen until tomorrow, we are already feeling the major issues of this next lunar cycle dedicated to the sign of Libra. One of these themes is the dance, or perhaps we should say conflict, between individuation and partnership. With the rebellious energy of Uranus moving through independent Aries, many of us are pushing back against people and institutions that want us to conform, play nice, or compromise. There is value in having the strength to go your own way if necessary, but too much opposition is isolating and ineffective. We need relationship. What is happening in your relationship dance? Look for the balance between freedom and commitment—that is sweet spot for sure.

Moon in Libra
October 4—New Moon: Dreaming.
Balance is a dynamic, responsive dance with all things. I used to think balance was a static state of equality; all we have to do is balance everything with its opposite quality and stay there, don’t move. That kind of balance lasts about a second and doesn’t cultivate the real reason that balance is a gift. Balance is a fluid state. It is the ability to pay attention and be responsive to others. I think this is why the balancing sign of the scales is also about relationship. How are your relationships doing? How is the fluid dance of balance going for you? This lunar cycle we have the opportunity to do some adjusting to these qualities. It will be an interesting journey.

A call to attention. The chart for the New Moon features a t–square aspect pattern. The Sun and Moon in Libra are opposite Uranus in Aries and square to Pluto in Capricorn. Much has been written about this three-year series of square aspects between these planets. Suffice it to say, this transit symbolizes the crossroads we find ourselves at right now. Choices and changes need to be made. This Libra lunar cycle emphasizes the effect these choices will have on our relationships and reaffirms that relationships make change possible and sustainable. If balance is a dance, then we get to become much better dancers this month.

Another important influence lasting all month is the retrograde journey of Mercury through Scorpio. Right now Mercury is making the first direct pass through the area it will be retrograding through later. These initial contacts begin the conversation that will twists and turn through Mercury’s travels. The most important contact is with Saturn and the North Node of the Moon. All three are close together now. The North Node represents a new experience or truth that we are hungry for. Scorpio, a sign of mystery and not just a little danger, holds treasure. Saturn is the guardian standing at the portal like a dragon demanding we take this opportunity seriously. In myth, Mercury often plays the thief or trickster who gets the treasure by cunning. It sounds like The Hobbit, doesn’t it? Play with that idea. Each of us, no matter how small, is a hero in our own story.

There will be a Lunar Eclipse at the Full Moon in two weeks. This adds to a heightened sense of potency mixed with unpredictability at the New Moon too. Twists and turns, indeed!

The quincunx aspect between Saturn and Uranus, exact today, forces us to limit choices and actions in order to be effective. There is a great desire to break free but it is as if we only get one chance to do it. Choose that action carefully.

Moon in Libra
Saturday, October 5.
The dance begins. What would bring the most fluidity and balance to your relationships? The Moon squares Jupiter this morning—strong emotions could help us realize where we need to focus next. Later in the day, a supportive sextile between the Moon and Mars helps us to take action.

* To read more about the Virgo lunar cycle that began on September 5, go to

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at