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 23, 2014 – March 29

Spring in Minnesota. Where I live, right now, the snow is still several feet deep where the Sun doesn’t shine and there are patches of exposed earth where it does. We’ve had a hard winter, much colder than it has been for many years. They say, this too, is a result of global warming. Does it seem to you like the earth’s atmospheric systems are trying to attain equilibrium by swinging wildly between extremes? I am not a climate scientist, but this is what I am noticing and wondering about. The weather may seem like it is a metaphor for our lives right now—big fluctuations that are attempts to restore balance and stability—but I suspect that there is an actual one-to-one relationship. What happens in the weather does happen to us and inside us. We are, just like the climate, trying to find stability in the midst of change.

Because of this change and because it sometimes feels like the only way to find equilibrium right now is to be swept up in big waves of compensating energy, I’ve set an intention for this Pisces lunar cycle* to attend to self-love and self-care. I am finding that the more I care for my self, the greater my capacity to be present to whatever is happening in the moment. Being present is a state of equilibrium.

The astrological year begins at the spring equinox when the Sun enters Aries. The month before, during Pisces, we let go of the preceding year and especially the preceding season of winter, to be ready to merge with energies of expansion and growth in the new cycle. The last week of this Pisces lunar cycle is about bringing this process of shedding to an end. We notice and complete what is left in our process of softening and preparing.

Another feature of a hard northern winter is a pretty significant ground freeze. It went several feet deep this year. Now with the warming, the soil thaws slowly from the surface down as the Sun melts the snow and then begins to warm the ground beneath. The surface is spongy with water that can’t sink any deeper due to an impenetrable layer of still frozen earth. Hard and soft places are right next to each other, around us and within us. Self-care and self-love allow for a gentle softening so that emotion and energy (states of water) can flow again.

Notice the edges in your life right now. It can feel like the contrast of hard and soft, but also cold and warm. Wherever these edges of energy systems meet, a spiral is formed as a way to disperse the contrast. We don’t need to push against the change but rather need to remember to twirl and dance with it. After this final week of the Pisces lunar cycle, the spiraling winds of spring will rise. The work we do to soften and shed now is good preparation.

There is one week left before spring begins in earnest at the Aries New Moon on March 30. Transits through the water signs and the waning phases of the Moon will help us continue the Pisces process of self-care. Mercury will be in Pisces till April 7. This planet, which influences our thoughts and dreams, supports this intention. When the Moon returns to Pisces for the last two days of this lunar cycle, the 28th and 29th, we complete our preparations.

Forecast– March 23, 2014 – March 29

Moon enters Capricorn 3:03 pm CDT
March 23—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
With the Moon in Capricorn, we could turn the evaluating process into the type of self-criticism that doesn’t actually help us evaluate anything at all. Where is the value in this lunar cycle experience for you? What did you notice that really helped, was really valuable, that gave you clarity or strength? With Capricorn determination we are able to incorporate this value into our lives. Our experiences become actual resources for us. Notice the fine line between substantive evaluation and needless self-criticism. Create an anchor to remembering that distinction.

Moon in Capricorn
Monday, March 24.
Let’s continue the practice from yesterday—creating an anchor to remember the distinction between substantive evaluation and needless self-criticism. We have real work to do in the world and we need tools for those times that we doubt this or feel hopeless about our progress. The Moon contacts Neptune and Mercury while we sleep (Central time zone). Dreams are significant as we wake this morning. High energy takes off early with the Moon opposing Jupiter, squaring Uranus, and conjunct Pluto, all by 2:00 pm CDT. We notice the stressors of life. The choice is to freeze up or grab the opportunity to do concrete work. Taking small steps away from inertia are just as good as grand efforts.

Moon enters Aquarius 5:39 pm CDT
Tuesday, March 25.
The Moon doesn’t enter Aquarius until the early evening hours (CDT). Most of the day, the Moon is void-of-course with the last aspect from the Moon being a square to Mars in Libra in the morning. Tension is present, but we may not have enough energy to do anything about it. Don’t let this unnecessarily frustrate you. We have a good opportunity to notice how we habitually react to pressure or stress and choose a different path if we want. Experiment. Mistakes are good today.

Moon in Aquarius
Wednesday, March 26.
Mercury in Pisces is cordially visiting the planets in water signs until the first week in April (Neptune, Jupiter, Chiron, Saturn). The planet of thoughts and dreams is supporting our final work of self-care and preparation for the forward momentum that will begin in earnest with the next New Moon in Aries on March. 30. Today Mercury is trine to Jupiter in Cancer. Big feelings can overwhelm, but they can also cleanse us. Where does the water go? Where do big emotions go when we no longer want to hold them? The Moon in Aquarius gives us some distance from being overwhelmed by watery experience. A part of us wants to describe and evaluate these feelings. Try that approach on, and see if it helps.

Moon enters Pisces 7:10 pm CDT
March 27—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
Between the worlds—the Balsamic phase can feel like this. The Moon doesn’t enter Pisces until this evening (CDT), and most of the day the Aquarius Moon is void-of-course. A void Moon can invoke a state of limbo, which fits well with the energy of the Balsamic phase. When the Moon finally returns to Pisces, the surrendering of this cycle is felt strongly. Letting go of letting go. What does a clean slate feel like? What is the state of your thawing from winter? Are you ready for new growth? Be gentle with yourself during the last days of this lunar cycle. I’ve discovered that self-care can look like a lot of different things. It can look like going to bed earlier, or forgiving myself for missing a deadline. It can look like trying to eat healthier and it can look like forgiving myself for using food to comfort myself. It isn’t just one thing and I am finding self-care is less about what I do and more about how I value myself. I’ve also come to realize that self-care is a radical act. We receive countless messages every day about how we are secondary, not good enough, and need to fill the emptiness with material things. For the last three days of this cycle, refuse to believe any of this. With the Moon squaring Saturn this morning, we get ample opportunity to gently release negative self-talk.

Moon in Pisces
Friday, March 28.
Mercury in Pisces makes a favorable contact with Pluto today. Pluto is in earth sign Capricorn. The relationship between the elements of water and earth can enhance the strength of each. When we build strong containers, the water of our souls can flourish and nourish ourselves and others. Claim the power of self-love today. Notice the clarity it brings to relationships. Notice the healing it brings to you. This day is all about flow. Who are your allies in developing self-compassion? They can be human, animal, plant, mineral, or spirit. Today, if we pay attention, we see our allies encouraging us to open. The day ends with Moon joining Mercury. Evening plans could include writing, conversing, or learning about self-love.

Moon enters Aries 8:53 pm CDT
Saturday, March 29.
This is another mostly Moon void-of-course day. Exhale and release to prepare for the next phase of growth. Mercury conjoins Chiron right after midnight (CDT). Dreams could influence our journeys toward compassionate living. Water is transformative. It is essential for life, it can be supportive of work we do to release, and water can be overwhelming. Since Chiron entered Pisces in 2010 we’ve experienced the pain of death in the ocean—the BP oils spill, the tsunami in Japan, the recent loss of the Malaysian jet are a few notable events—we are linked by common experiences that open our hearts. Chiron is initiating us into increasing our capacity to hold more compassion. What are you noticing?

The watery emphasis of today’s transits is modified by planets in air signs. Venus in Aquarius is trine to Mars in Libra. Air gives us perspective when water feels too strong. Relationships of all kinds are serving to give us perspective at this time. Our relationships can feel like a lifeline. Venus is also square to Saturn in another water sign, Scorpio. We need to adjust how we are relating. We may be challenged to make room for both emotion and analysis. Some of us will make deeper relationship commitments today. Others will realize that relationship dynamics need to change. What do you need?

*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