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 22, 2013 – December 28

Here is what I am planning this holiday week: expect the unexpected, take more time to do everything, be more patient with others, and when possible, avoid conflict situations. Whatever feels like a crisis can probably be more manageable if I just breathe before reacting. This week is an excellent time to really observe the season and slow down. The voices of vision and change will speak to us in every encounter. We can avoid massive miscommunication if we give ourselves a buffer zone to reconsider what we think we just heard. This week is a test of mindfulness and choice; and here is why: Mars will oppose Uranus on Christmas Day, just when our expectations can be high and our margins of error can be low. Mars and Uranus have a tempestuous relationship. They like to see who can cause the most sparks—the rebel or the fighter. Sometimes it is hard to tell them apart. This interaction between Mars and Uranus is part of a bigger story that really heats up this spring, but I am thinking of this first encounter as a taste of “no turning back.” We are on the cusp of change. I like to think we can meet that change with conscious choice and intention.

Please, don’t overreact; I am not an alarmist astrologer; the world is not ending, but I think it might be helpful to share this information up front. And, if this week turns out to be the mellowest, most laid back holiday week you’ve ever had, then no problem. We do have ameliorating circumstances that could help with the stress. One, Mars is in peace-loving Libra while this is going on. There will be an extended focus on action through cooperation while Mars retrogrades through Libra. The consciousness of “We first” will help us seek solutions to conflict. Another contributing factor is the current retrograde journey of Venus in Capricorn. Periods of retrograde invite us to reflect and internalize. Both Mars and Venus (in their very different ways) contribute to a restructuring of relationship. We may make breakthroughs in relationship struggles; finally decide to make relationship changes; or retrieve something we’ve been missing in our relationships. Because Uranus is in the equation, we learn that radical change comes through the give and take of collaboration, however we won’t be able to dismiss independent action. Balance and accountability play a big role in how we move forward into the next year.

Additional context for the transits this week is that we are in the waning days of the Sagittarius lunar cycle that began on December 2.* My intention for this cycle was the quest for self-knowledge. Often Sagittarius is focused on the far horizon, searching outside the self for the core of truth that reflects back who we are. This year, I felt the desire to turn this around. Through the darkening days of late fall, I’ve shifted that gaze inward to see the big truth inside. A starry sky appears within and reflects back the eternal. This image, though not fully understood, seems to be an important anchor for my choices ahead. As you gaze inward the last days of this cycle, and I hope you do find the time to do that, what shows itself to you? Will this vision be your anchor to carrying forward your true self, your true gifts, and your true values as we enter another year?


Forecast December 22, 2013 – December 28

Moon enters Virgo at 1:19 pm CST
Sunday, December 22.
With the Moon in Virgo, we always feel better if we can deep clean or tidy at least one thing in our surroundings. There is a lot to prepare for with the holidays upon us. We get a full three days of Virgo Moon this week so let the industrious energy of Virgo inspire our efforts. Turn off the noise of perfectionism, which is just Virgo satisfaction on steroids. More is not better. The Sun and Moon form a nice trine (both in earth signs) helping us draw needed boundaries.

Moon in Virgo
Monday, December 23.
See yesterday’s entry about Virgo. That applies to today too. The Moon trines Pluto and is sextile to Jupiter later tonight. Look at your wellbeing from a holistic perspective. Self-care is the root of caring for your family and loved ones. Notice how health and wealth are linked and what each of us can do to be healthier and wealthier through attending to the things that really matter. Time to let go of the distractions if possible.

Moon in Virgo
Tuesday, December 24.
The next two days are the Christian holy days celebrating the Virgin birth of Jesus. With today’s third full day of Virgo (the Virgin) Moon, notice what you think a virgin birth signifies. The concept of purity is a tricky thing that can be used to shame ourselves and others. But there is another way to look at a core value like purity—the power of the clean slate is one of them. What old patterns do you wish to wipe clean at this time of expectation? As the year comes to an end, as Venus retrogrades, as many of us gather with family and loved ones, will you take a moment to honor the power of beginning anew? The Sun is sextile to Neptune; opening to inspiration and compassion comes naturally.

Moon enters Libra at 12:17 am CST
December 25—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
What are the gifts of self-knowledge? If we know our patterns and triggers better, without judgment, how does this impact our choices and ability to change even those familiar patterns and triggers? Since the energy may be tense today due to transits between Mars, Uranus, the Moon, and Pluto, (please see the intro to this week’s transits here for more information), it is a good idea to be aware of these patterns. Everyone’s reaction times may be shortened due to the nature of these planetary aspects. At times, this can be exciting and at other times exhausting. Give yourself a break when you need it. There is more afoot than noticing personal patterns. The larger story that will develop into the spring season is about change. We are on the cusp of those changes. Let’s bring our whole selves to the next chapter on this earth. In spite of potential stress today, a great deal of authentic joy is possible too. Notice what makes your heart leap in love and wonder. Make a plan to cultivate this joy.

Moon in Libra
Thursday, December 26.
In the central time zone our dreams are influenced by a delightful aspect between Mercury and Neptune in the middle of the night. The dreams seek to communicate visions of compassion and connection. If yesterday was stressful, we get a chance to even out those feelings. With the Moon in Libra, notice relationship dynamics that you appreciate and that you can improve. What do you need for balance?

Moon enters Scorpio at 7:58 am CST
Friday, December 27.
If you are an introvert, the Scorpio Moon calls you back into your shell to recharge after the holidays. That is just fine. We may need to smooth out ruffled feathers. We may just not feel like talking. But that doesn’t mean that hearts aren’t connecting anyway. The influence of Neptune from yesterday into today asks us to listen to our hearts. Even if you aren’t an introvert, it may be easier to be alone today as we acknowledge tenderness.

Moon in Scorpio
December 28—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
We are letting go of the year at the same time we let go of this lunar cycle. With the Moon in Scorpio, surrendering the past may take the form of purging and releasing to make way for the new. Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity and shedding unnecessary baggage. If we are making room for a new world in 2014, what do you need to surrender right now? Attachment and detachment show us essential things about ourselves. We never stop learning who we are. The Sagittarius cycle is ending but the journey continues.

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

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at