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–June 29, 2014 – July 5

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” ~ Pema Chodron (From When Things Fall Apart)

Recently, this quote from Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron caught my attention. I recognize this pattern. This what I experience as I follow the Moon through its phases—things come together and they fall apart every lunar cycle. The Moon counsels how to make room for this pulsation of emotion and experience. As the Moon waxes and wanes, I follow an intention through a variety of emotion, relief and joy as well as misery and grief. I appreciate Chodron’s teaching of non-attachment. I can allow all these feelings space to move through by making more room for them inside. The Moon shows me that whatever I am feeling in the moment will eventually pass.

The influence of the Moon is always strong, but is even more so during the Cancer lunar cycle,* which is ruled by the Moon. We have the opportunity to develop stronger relationship to the cycles of coming together and falling apart this month. Chodron writes that “healing comes from letting there be room for all this to happen.” This resonates. I want to learn how to make room for emotional experience evoked by these cycles of coming together and falling apart. I imagine that this inner spaciousness of acceptance is my true home—the place I allow myself to be and feel all that is true to me. After all, Cancer is the sign of the home, both external and internal—but especially internal. Think of the crab, covered in a hard shell, always at home and always turning attention to what is inside the shell. The season of Cancer is time to let the waters of emotional awareness turn our gazes inside as well.

This investigation has added potency this month. Jupiter has spent the last year in Cancer and will be leaving this lunar cycle to spend the next year in Leo. Jupiter is the guru of the solar system. Steadily throughout the year, Jupiter’s been teaching us about home. What spiritual truths have been revealed to you? In astrology, all symbols are literal and metaphorical. As Jupiter prepares his final illuminations, will you join me in turning our gazes to the inner home where healing is found? This is not a simple pursuit. Masterful teachers like Pema Chodron have dedicated their lives to it. But as she says, it isn’t about passing the test or overcoming the problem, it about letting there be more room.

Forecast–June 29, 2014 – July 5

Moon enters Leo 3:43 am CDT

Sunday, June 29. Mixed messages could challenge our composure today. In the central time zone, we have a night of dreaming inspired by the trine between the Sun and Neptune. We start the day sensitive and open, perhaps ready to bring healing to a wound. Then, the stressors and possible conflicts kick in around how to really help. Venus in Gemini enjoys more social, light-hearted interactions. This impulse rubs up against those whose emotions are more raw and unprocessed. To top it off, boundaries are not as clear as they could be. Step back from assumptions and ask for clarity. By the evening, we just want to let off steam, which could be a good thing.

Moon in Leo CDT

Monday, June 30. The whole week is influenced by the direct stationing of Mercury. Planets become stronger when they change directions. Mercury in Gemini is preparing to turn direct tomorrow. Strange communication and travel mix-ups are possible. However, we can invite a sense of curiosity and humor to help us through. The Moon in Leo energizes us to take creative action. Not much patience will be in evidence. Considering the trickster energy of the day, things may not turn out the way you thought they would, but can you accept that there are hidden benefits in the confusion? The square between the Moon and Saturn contributes to the wish that we could have more control over outcome. The task will be to more room for delight and disappointment.

 Moon enters Virgo 4:23 pm CDT

July 1—Crescent Moon: Beginning. Have you been able to give more room to the feelings that are arising for you? This phase of the Moon encourages us to begin practices in support of manifesting intention. We dare to act as if our dreams are indeed possible. What practice or action will support inner acceptance as we get in touch with deeper feelings?

A persistent challenge for the next few days will be the pressure of perfectionism in the face of chaos. The Moon will stay in Virgo for almost three full days, while Mercury stations direct. No matter how hard we try, and we will try, we will not achieve perfection. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo. In Gemini, like a magician, Mercury delights in slight of hand tricks. In Virgo, like a librarian, Mercury delights in creating systems of order. What a split personality this god has! Even though Mercury can bring stress and upheaval, we’d be lost without this inventive, clever ally. What new point of view has Mercury given you in the past three weeks? This kind of expansion makes more room for our true selves. Give thanks.

Moon in Virgo

Wednesday, July 2. Virgo is the sign of the dedicant. The Moon in Virgo asks us to become a dedicant in service to hearth and home. Remembering that home can mean both our physical and metaphorical homes, what is the state of your true home? How will you dedicate yourself to this home? What acts of beauty and strength will honor this home? Housecleaning goes deeper than we think. Sweep out the old and invite in the new.

Moon in Virgo

Thursday, July 3. One feature of a Mercury retrograde period is the clean up after it is over. Miscommunications, system breakdowns, car and computer troubles, all these kinds of things are sorted out as Mercury turns direct. The Virgo Moon encourages us to take care of such details. What new systems will bring more ease into your life? Many will be planning for the 4th of July holiday tomorrow. Even if you have the day off, you might still want to work. It feels better to get things in order. Disagreements with partners may involve misunderstandings about power and commitment. Growth happens when we begin to see the other’s point of view.

Moon enters Libra 4:43 am CDT

Friday, July 4. U.S. Independence Day. For the first time since the United States gained independence, Pluto is transiting opposite the nation’s Sun in Cancer. The Solar Return for the U.S. shows this Pluto/Sun opposition right along the Ascendant/Descendant angles of the chart. This will be a year of accounting for our actions and impact in the world. It is also a year where, as a nation, we can heal power imbalances. To add to this powerful transit, the square from Uranus brings a desire to upset the status quo. History is impatient at the moment. The U.S. has always been a Cancer nation. Patriotism and protectionism are strong manifestations of this energy. However, we can also use this same energy to ensure that every being thrives through broadening our notion of what it means to nurture all. This Pluto/Uranus transit represents being at a crossroads for the U.S. The choice before us: How will we use power? How will we take responsibility? The collective choices begin with personal ones. How do you use power? How do you take responsibility?

Moon in Libra

July 5—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. At the Crescent phase, we begin a practice in support of intention. At the First Quarter Moon, we face an obstacle to manifesting that intention. Remember what Pema Chodron wrote about how “things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again.” This happens with intention and mindfulness practices too. Obstacles are not always a sign of failure. If the goal is to make a home for everything that arises in us, then even the obstacles are helping us. The Moon in Libra encourages equilibrium. Big transits to Pluto, Uranus, and Mars today from the Moon may challenge that sense of balance. Hearts are growing. We learn new ways to support each other.

*The Cancer lunar cycle began on June 27 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 to schedule a reading with her.