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 December 8, 2013 – December 14

Stir me, furnace of stars,
see through my dense and transparent center.
generate something that shines in the night of me
opalescent, generative, true
by marna, published in We’Moon calendar for 2013

There is nothing like looking up into a night sky full of stars on a cold winter night to infuse my soul with expansive wonder and possibility. My heart leaps. I soar. This is the felt sensation I most associate with Sagittarius—the desire to move outward, to quest for truth, and to embrace with joy the wonder of the world.

The darkness of this season allows for the sparkle of starlight to show us something new in ourselves. This lunar cycle*, I am holding an intention to see with new eyes the picture of who I am. As a fire sign, Sagittarius reminds us that each self is a generator of energy and creativity. Through the fire signs we have the opportunity to discover a healthy way to value ourselves and recognize our impact. Fire is an essential element to life and there is an essential need to know the self in order to support the whole of life. Looking at the small sparkle of stars in a vast darkness of space, we see a picture of each individual’s significance. Sadly, this is not often how we honor every individual—not ourselves, not those who are on the fringes. If fire engenders love, where does love begin?

The poem above invokes another aspect to seeing ourselves anew. We are constantly being transformed like stars that are born, die, and are born again. We are star stuff, both darkly dense and opalescent. Simultaneously cold and hot, bright and dim—this season of stars invites us to become aware of paradox. We are mere specks in space and we are essential lights.

The week’s transits may increase a sense of paradox, thus bringing us closer to truth. A quincunx aspect between the Sun in Sagittarius and Jupiter (the ruling planet of Sagittarius) in Cancer invokes dueling desires to hit the high road of adventure and snuggle deeply into our nests. The liberating thing about paradox is that if we are able to see beyond good and bad, we open new doorways to the possible. New possibilities hover around the themes of freedom and commitment. Another paradoxical aspect forms between Mars in Libra and Neptune in Pisces. This doorway opens up new possibilities in relationship around conflict and connection. In the midst of stretching between poles, a trine between Jupiter and Saturn anchors us in hope and reality. Where does this point you in your journey of self-seeing?

Forecast December 8, 2013 – December 14

Moon enters Pisces 2:34 am CST
Sunday, December 8.
Shorter days and longer nights (here in the Northern Hemisphere) invite us to dream more. The Moon in dreamy Pisces adds to that impetus. Today, the Moon conjoins Neptune, the co-ruler of Pisces encouraging even more drifting and dreaming. As the Moon is now waxing in brightness, notice the expansive desire to travel through mystical, spiritual, or fantastical realms. Think of this impulse as a mirror of your Self. What do you see reflected? Rational communication may be fuzzy today. Better to use an intuitive, receptive approach.

Moon in Pisces
December 9—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
As the Moon and Sun form a square in mutable signs today, we notice the ways that water and fire interact with each other and how this interaction affects our lunar intentions. The Moon in watery Pisces and the Sun in firey Sagittarius have a lot in common concerning the quest for truth. All mutable signs are seeking resolution, understanding, and wisdom. However, each of the four mutable signs is influenced by their unique elemental nature, which offers different approaches to similar ends. We notice the tension between these approaches. We may experience frustration as we encounter other ways to access wisdom. Conflict reveals a lot about ourselves. Notice your patterns around conflict. Especially with Mars now in Libra, we will be reminded often of the need to balance between expressions of anger and conciliation. Too much of either will get us nowhere. If we adapt a mutable approach, able to adjust our positions, we learn through trial and error to honor both self and others.

However, not all is discordant today. There is a Grand Water trine aspect pattern between the Moon in Pisces, Jupiter in Cancer, and Saturn in Scorpio. Water signs encourage empathy and compassion. Watch out for victimization or caretaking. If either or both show up, how can you make room for the authentic desire underneath? Knowing what that desire is will help us to make adjustments through the rest of the month.

Moon enters Aries 7:05 am CST
Tuesday, December 10.
In spite of a dreamy time yesterday, you may be starting the day with a deficit of sleep anyway. The morning starts speedy and doesn’t let up. Try not to over-caffeinate to get going. Better to increase your movement, maybe through exercise, when your energy sags. Activity could help even out the potentially disruptive events of the day and help you harness the high level of creativity that also will be present. The first of the week’s quincunx aspects gives an unpredictable quality to events. On one hand, we feel like spreading our wings to range far and wide, and on the other we just want to snuggle into a cozy nest. Restless energy is pulling at the edges of our awareness. Don’t fight it, but don’t be surprised if it isn’t always comfortable either.

Moon in Aries
Wednesday, December 11.
If fire signs drive us to better self-knowledge, we should be learning a lot about ourselves today. The Aries Moon confronts Pluto and Jupiter through square aspects. The learning style of an Aries Moon sometimes looks like getting into trouble and then finding a way to back out of it. The extraction process can feel clunky, but it reveals a lot about who we are and forces us to reinvent ourselves from time to time. How do you feel about your mistakes? Pluto gets under the surface. Jupiter makes it seem so much bigger. The trine between the Sun and the Moon gives us optimism, however. We believe we can come through our challenges with energy to spare. A phoenix rising from the ashes comes to mind.

Moon enters Taurus 2:40 pm CST
Thursday, December 12.
Both Saturn and Jupiter are in water signs right now. Back in July, these two planets were trine to each other from these signs for the first time. Today, due to Jupiter’s current retrograde status, they are in trine again. [The third and final trine will happen in May 2014.] These two planets hold energy that is often understood as oppositional. Saturn is constricting and Jupiter is expansive. We get to leave behind the notion that responsibility is burdensome and adventure is escapism. Let yourself weave a new story about following your dreams. The soul journey is highly productive right now. With the Moon in Taurus we are encouraged to find the stability that hides within the journey. It isn’t a cop out to seek security.

Moon in Taurus
December 13—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting.
The quest for greater self-knowledge is a bit like learning to spin fire. There is a certain amount of risk-taking inherent to the journey, but if we are respectful of fire and practice good safety measures, the flame is free to dance. Like juggling, like any balancing act, fire skills take focus. This phase of the Moon is about that kind of tension. We understand that discernment plays a huge role in attaining our hearts’ desires.

The energetic baseline today is provided by the Moon in earthy Taurus. Earth gives fire a container and fuel for burning. Honor your containers and resources for self-discovery and expression. Mars in Libra is quincunx Neptune in Pisces—this is the second paradox aspect of the week. We’ll need to test our assumptions about how to achieve harmony and connection to others. Sometimes conflict helps to clear the way to deeper relationship, but only if we hold a value of working through it. The heart is a good guide. Fire gets us moving, even when we don’t know where we are going.

Moon in Taurus
Saturday, December 14.
Let’s address shopping, shall we? It is the holiday season and culturally and seasonally, we want to share. I have a theory that sharing abundance creates more abundance. As we go into the lean times of winter, we increase our chances of survival by giving. The Moon in Taurus helps us tune into the magic of resources and the flow of abundance. However, we don’t have to maniacally over-shop in order to contribute to this flow of abundance. Today, we are aided by the Moon’s opposition to Saturn to help us say no to overspending. The trine between the Moon and Venus helps us to appreciate beauty and value even more. Experiment with the type of giving that doesn’t break the bank. [This advice is for me more than anything; you get to hear me talking to myself! Wish me luck.]

*To read more about the intention of this Sagittarius lunar cycle, visit:

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at