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– March 9, 2014 – March 15
The stories we tell ourselves have a bigger impact on our realities than we might think. By story, I mean the running narrative inside my head—what I am telling myself about how I am feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally. Stories are told by the talking self within, the part of me that explains, describes, and evaluates every moment of everyday. This storytelling is such a big part of who we are that clues to our own storytelling style is found in every part of our natal charts. Every planet and sign and house adds to the plot development. However, one planet stands out as a key player in how we frame our realities and tell our stories. Mercury, the messenger god, intercepts what is happening to us and gives it a spin to make it our own story. This small planet is deceptively powerful. Mercury’s influence is felt this week and will impact the ongoing intention of this lunar cycle.*

This lunar cycle is colored by the hues and moods of Pisces. Regardless of weather patterns where you live, this season is about flowing from frozen winter dormancy into tender stirrings of rebirth. This process takes time; we don’t get there right away. The path into spring is not straight. The Pisces path into spring twists and winds around stuck places, asking us to surrender and soften before moving on. Even the act of forgetting helps us shed the past to make room for new growth. Imagine this mutable space of time as a moment to lose ourselves before we find ourselves again. Imagine this softening is also self-care—a needed time to tend our souls so we may be awake and aware in the coming year.

How does this hit you? Are you happy to jump into these waters, do you struggle to stay attached to firm ground, or are you like me noticing some days are enchanting and others are hard from beginning to end? What are the stories you tell yourself about succeeding in your intentions and failing at them? Do the stories you tell yourself need to be shed before the new growing cycle begins?
Mercury has recently finished a retrograde journey that began in a Pisces dreamscape and moved backwards into the conceptual terrain of Aquarius. This backward movement reminds us that our stories can also be unwound. We can stop the forward momentum of old scrips and re-pattern the way we talk to ourselves. Now, Mercury is moving forward through Aquarius recovering the same area of the zodiac but with a new perspective. We may not consciously notice what this new perspective is. And still, something has shifted. We are preparing for new stories and new realities.
This week as the Moon approaches fullness, I propose we accept that we are ready and able to shift from stories that say our own well-being is insignificant to stories that honor the practice of self-care. With Mercury in Aquarius reaching its greatest elongation from the Sun this week, we sense that illumination is building. What story will you tell with this new inspiration?

Forecast– March 9, 2014 – March 15

Moon enters Cancer 8:33 am CDT
Sunday, March 9. It feels good to be home and even better to turn off your devices and soak up some quality alone time. The Moon in a water sign makes a harmonious trine to the most watery planet of all, Neptune, which is also inhabiting Pisces. With no other major aspects today, soak up this energy by tending to your own needs first. Invite in cellular healing. Our cells are mostly water and we can sense, even at a cellular level, what will bring us the most nourishment in this moment. If you can find quiet time today, take a moment to give your cells gentle support by relaxing, breathing and visualizing well being.

Moon in Cancer
Monday, March 10. Lately, Mondays have been a little rough. This one is no exception. The Moon in Cancer may trigger the planets of change and challenge—Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn—which are in a tense aspect pattern. In April, these planets joined by Mars in Libra, will come into a nearly exact grand cardinal cross, provoking the next round of revolution and change in the world. To build resilency for uncertain times ahead, self-care becomes even more important. If you are feeling extra sensitive, give yourself a break. A Cancer Moon is like a Jewish mother who wants to heal all our hurts with a nice bowl of chicken soup. Be your own Jewish mother; you know what you need. Don’t be surprised if the nurturing extends to a larger group who also need your attention.

Moon enters Leo 9:08 pm CDT
Tuesday, March 11. The impact of the stories we tell ourselves about self-worth is noticeable today. Mercury forms the third square to Saturn due to the recent retrograde journey. This aspect, which carries a serious and almost oppressive tone, has been the heart of Mercury’s mission for this retrograde period. (See the introduction to this week’s forecast for more about the impact of the stories we tell ourselves.) Mercury first squared Saturn on January 25, then while moving retrograde made a second square on February 19, now the aspect completes. What have you noticed about negative self-talk? Have you been beating yourself up more than usual? What is the real take away from this experience?  Saturn helps us to focus, but too much self-criticism prevents that focus from helping us accomplish anything at all. Where is the balance? There is a lot of water emphasis in the transits today. Add in that the Moon also forms a square to Mars and we have the recipe for touchy feelings all around. Give yourself and others a little more space.

Moon in Leo
March 12—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. Here is a challenge for you: What happens when the intention to practice self-care meets a hungry ego? This phase of the Moon encourages us to stick with our intentions—to meet another challenge before the illumination that comes with the Full Moon in a few days. Our egos are the prime defenders of our sense of selfhood. Ego helps us to thrive and ego can be the hungry beast that doesn’t know when to turn off survival instincts. As we work to counter all the internal messages about not deserving self-care or feeling that no amount of self-care could really make a difference, we meet our egos, which can sometimes be inflated and sometimes deflated. The Moon in Leo provides a good background for noticing our own ego states. How do you make peace with your ego? I suspect that when I am right-sized—valuing myself without fear there isn’t enough attention to go around—I am best able to practice self-love in a way that extends to others. This is not an easy dance. We begin the dance of today with the Moon in Leo opposing Venus in Aquarius. We may encounter feelings of not being likeable enough, or getting ruffled by the neediness of others. My prime objective today will be to believe that there is enough love and self-love to go around. We do not have to compete for attention. The more we dare today, the more daring we will feel. Embrace a new point of view.

Moon in Leo
Thursday, March 13. How did you do with yesterday’s care of the ego? The journey continues. I regularly recommend the writings of Brene Brown. If you are feeling stuck around knowing you are worthy of self-love, check out her book, Daring Greatly. This is big work, we all deserve to live wholehearted lives of joy and worth, yet this attitude doesn’t come automatically to many of us. Today the Sun in Pisces is trine to Saturn in Scorpio. Support for real progress comes from emotional self-honesty. With a Leo Moon, we are encouraged to shine; the challenge will be to avoid censoring who we really are as we let ourselves be seen.

Moon enters Virgo 9:17 am CDT
Friday, March 14. Yesterday’s Saturn transits provided a tone of serious commitment. That energy continues with the Moon entering Virgo, a sign of pragmatic practice. Virgo is opposite Pisces, the sign inspiring our New Moon intentions. The Full Moon in Virgo happens on Sunday; we get a slow build up to illumination in this cycle. Opposing signs give each other important perspective—just like looking in a mirror gives shape to who we are in the world. This is the time to begin the integration process of our Pisces journey. Perhaps in this journey you have identified the necessity of practicing self-care. Perhaps you have benefited from the softening and releasing that Pisces encourages. Virgo asks us to evaluate these experiences and make plans for ways to keep the practices going in our everyday lives. Have you noticed how the stories you tell about self-care impacts your ability to commit to this practice? Have you also noticed a new story emerging? Today, Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun after its recent retrograde journey. This is a symbolic moment to acknowledge new insights from that experience. (Mercury was retrograde from February 6 through February 27.) In addition, Mercury trines Mars for the third time in this process. This aspect encourages mental function and expression as we embrace big lessons.

Moon in Virgo
Saturday, March 15. Take advantage of a weekend day with favorable aspects to the Moon, to get some aspect of your life in order. The Virgo force is with us. It feels great to achieve a little more organization and order in our homes. Notice the impact this may have on self-care. We may be moved to begin a new health regimen. Or simply notice what seems to be missing and what could bring more wholeness and balance to our lives. Integration of body and mind gives power and purpose. Go forth!

*The Pisces lunar cycle began on March 1 at the New Moon. See more about the beginning of this lunar cycle at:

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at