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– May 11, 2014 – May 17

Shoes are dropping all over the place this week. We’ve been waiting since the beginning of this lunar cycle* for the other shoe to drop and release expectations engendered by the grand cardinal cross aspect pattern of these last few weeks. The first shoes dropped when the cross was exact at the end of April and then at the solar eclipse at the New Moon. What seemed to occur for many folks during this time was a slow boil rather than a big eruption. The planets of the grand cross, Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars, were pulling equally in four distinct directions. It felt like ominous storm clouds sitting over our heads but never actually raining. It was intense, but not much happened to change the pressure. The transits of this week, involving Venus and Mercury, may end the planetary standoff and move things along for both good and bad. Isn’t that the way it always goes? We can’t stay stuck forever. Choices will be made—some of them mindfully and some without much thought. Isn’t that the way it always goes too? Both types of choices will move us along our evolutionary journeys.

Venus in Aries will be contacting all the planets of the grand cardinal cross this week and next through aspects that tend to provoke reactions—conjunctions, squares, and oppositions. All the Venus areas of concern, which include: values, money, resources, relationships, women, and justice, will more noticeably provoke strong reactions. Venus normally feels more comfortable in Libra, the sign opposing Aries, so people may not be very gracious as they go about expressing dissatisfaction. This is a good time to try and remember our manners when we need to get a point across or to give someone who is being uncharacteristically rude a little more leeway. The pressure could be getting to us all. The good news: We get a push to engage with the forces of change. Everyone is less likely to feel ambivalent about injustice. The challenge is to use our skills for negotiation and activism mindfully.

Mercury in Gemini is very busy this week. Think pollinator. Think instigator. Life speeds up. We have a lot of networking to do. Mental energy is high. However, a grand water trine between Saturn in Scorpio, Chiron in Pisces, and Jupiter in Cancer mellows this frenetic energy. This water is grounding us into heart-centered being in the midst of stress and uncertainty. The goal is to soulfully bring healing to our deepest selves. There is a felt sense that self-love leads to a larger sphere of connectedness. From this place, our choices are informed by our impact.

This lunar cycle, I have dedicated myself to falling in love again with the Earth. Love creates vulnerability when I expose myself to disappointment. Even though it is uncomfortable, this vulnerability signals I haven’t shut down. I’m still alive and able to be in relationship. This past week, scientists confirmed that climate change is already well underway. Many of the negative effects, like species extinctions and rising sea levels, are now unavoidable. The transits this week: Venus in Aries contacting the grand cardinal cross, Mercury in Gemini activating us to learn and connect, and the grand water trine sensitizing us to our feelings, play a role in how we go forward into this future on our beloved planet with our hearts fully open.

Forecast– May 11, 2014 – May 17

Moon in Libra
Sunday, May 11.
The day begins with Venus in Aries opposing retrograde Mars in Libra. This is a crucial stage of this retrograde journey for Mars, which essentially began when Mars entered Libra in December 2013. Mars will not leave Libra until July. While Mars has been spending extra time in this sign, we’ve been evolving the way we do relationship. We’ve had to spend more time realizing that we are not alone, our actions impact others, and we need to bring a greater sense of fairness to our partnerships. Frankly, I think one reason the grand cardinal cross has not been more calamitous is that this Mars has moderated our reactivity. Now, with Venus and Mars opposing each other from the sign that the other rules, we have the opportunity for big aha moment. What is it all about? I talk a lot about balance. This transit takes balance to a new level. What will bring better balance into your life? The continuum is between selfhood and partnership. Finding our own balance between these extremes may help us see each other for who we really are.

This is only one part of the dynamic of today. The Moon contacts the planets in the grand cardinal cross also, so we can expect that the relationship focus of the day may mean we need to talk out big feelings. Be careful. With Mercury square Neptune, it could be hard to find clear words. Feelings rise up that are hard to capture in any kind of rational way. Try to be patient with your heart.

Moon enters Scorpio 8:08 pm CDT
Monday, May 12.
After yesterday’s muddled attempts to communicate, we may really appreciate the clarity coming from a trine between Mars and Mercury today. Know what you want and trust the words to come that will help you on your way.

Moon in Scorpio
Tuesday, May 13. The momentum of water leads us to the lowest point. That’s a good direction to head today and tomorrow with the Moon in depth-seeking Scorpio. This doesn’t mean we have to be glum or sad. In fact, if we can readily acknowledge our true feelings, no matter what they are, we may be able to tap into the vitality inherent in this Taurus season. The Moon’s contacts with Neptune and Pluto favorably prepare us for the illumination of the Full Moon tomorrow. Pay attention to your intuition; treat your insights as serious information to be acted upon. Have you been denying what you know? Take a different tack.

Moon in Scorpio
May 14—Full Moon: Illuminating. The Full Moon in Scorpio opposes the Sun in Taurus today. These two signs remind us that death and life are inexorably linked. We can’t have one without the other. Illumination comes from the realization that we can’t control any of it—the impulse to live nor the reality of death. There are forces larger than our dreams, larger than our resistances, larger than us. And somehow, rather than being discouraged by this primal exchange between death and life, I am filled with wonder and gratitude. I am awed by this power.

Mixed in with this power are the seeds of this lunar cycle’s intentions. What is growing? What is dying? What is the nature of the exchange between you and these forces? I intended to fall in love with the Earth again in this Taurus cycle. I knew that would not be hard to do. What is hard is staying open to this love even as death creeps into everything that I cherish. Perhaps you are noticing this solemnity as the backdrop for a busy and dynamic Full Moon chart.

In the chart for the Full Moon the planets of the grand cardinal cross have moved out of orb, indicating that some of the pressure we’ve been feeling the last month is releasing. Venus and Mars play a big role in how we move forward. Venus in Aries is square Pluto. With Venus in this combative sign being provoked by forces outside our control, we feel more defensive and likely to react. Suspicions are aroused. We need to get to the bottom of things. Since Venus rules Taurus, there is a possibility that a strong desire to uncover corruption will end up regenerating parts of our lives that really need to be transformed. The way out of dark feelings may be to move right through them. Mercury is also aspecting Pluto through a quincunx. This aspect emphasizes paradox and truth telling. It may hurt to expose a secret we’ve held for too long, but the truth can set us free. Mars in Libra is stationary at this time. This means the red planet of passion is slowing down to turn direct on May 19th. At the stations, a planet is stronger. In the sign of justice and balance, Mars adds pressure on us to find these qualities in our lives. In spite of strong impulses to act forcefully, we also must attend to the impact of our actions. Jupiter’s trine to Chiron sensitizes us to shared feelings. The dichotomy is between feelings of personal injustice and the realization that all of us are injured when toxic systems are in place.

Moon enters Sagittarius 12:43 am CDT
Thursday, May 15.
With the reverberations of yesterday’s Full Moon still resonating, we get another jolt. Venus conjoins Uranus today. Daring to dwell in freedom and authenticity is the prime directive. Beauty is an incredibly strong force. As the planet aligned with beauty, Venus has stronger impact than we might think from the standard way beauty is trivialized in our culture. Uranus helps us realize the ways we have compromised ourselves into superficiality. And we want to break free. We have help to overcome stagnation from Mercury in Gemini. The quicksilver, trickster planet is making helpful aspects to both Venus and Uranus. Let us encourage acts of creative ingenuity—a quality of the Compassionate Trickster that astrologer Caroline Casey often speaks about.

Moon in Sagittarius
Friday, May 16.
Go to the edge of your comfort zone and discover a new unifying truth. The Moon in adventurous Sagittarius is encouraging travel of all sorts. We don’t have to go far physically, to go far mentally. Diverse and surprising perspectives may challenge, as the Moon opposes Mercury, but we also find new allies with the Moon in trine to Venus. The desire to be expansive on a fine spring day at the end of the standard work week has us crowing, TGIF!

Moon Capricorn
May 17—Disseminating Moon: Sharing.
Every lunar cycle is a story, a myth of our own telling. I am committed to tracking the phases of the Moon each lunar cycle because the framework helps me to envision where I want to go, to reflect on where I’ve been, and to be aware of where I am right now. The disseminating phase of the Moon is a great time to reflect on where we’ve been recently and what we are taking away from the experience. Think back over the Taurus lunar cycle that began on April 29. Did the beauty of the Earth call you into life? What were the struggles? What were the gifts? Another way to think of this: What are you grateful for, right now in this moment? A part of that gift was given to you at the New Moon, because that happens at every New Moon. We are moving through transformative times. There is evidence of this in the transits today. The Moon in Capricorn attunes us to the long vision of history. We want to follow through with significant, structural change to the important facets of our lives. Things matter deeply. Mercury is square to Chiron. Communication could be difficult but the difficulty is only an indication of its importance. It matters that we are true to our whole selves.


*The Taurus lunar cycle began on April 29 at the New Moon. Read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle on my Starsdance blog

Contact Teri at and visit her website at