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–August 3, 2014 – August 9

Last week I wrote about energy, wondering what it was (I still am wondering). For the sake of this exploration I am looking at the relationship between energy and life force. This week my questions are leaning towards why. Why is energy important? Right now, I am breathing, my cells are dividing, my body is beginning to digest the almond I just ate, skins cells are sloughing off and new ones are replacing them—all these systems require life force. Even after I die, life force remains as my body transforms to its next state. Life force goes on, even when I don’t. Energy can be released, it can feed other energy, and eventually it can transform into other manifestations. Physicists ponder whether energy is a constant or eventually diminishes. From my point of view—a single human life—I notice energy moving but not diminishing. What do you see?

Life force is about my own life and it is about life itself. This brings up more questions. Does life force require “life” to exist? Can there be life force on cold and apparently lifeless places like Mars and Saturn? Is everything alive with life force? I suspect so, although I have to fight my cultural conditioning at times to remember that. This leads to my real question for this Leo* lunar cycle: Why create greater capacity for experiencing life force? What happens if I connect more strongly to this energy? How might that impact my life? For me, it really isn’t about living longer, though that is good. My sense is that life force is a wellspring for joy, creativity, and connection to all other things that also emanate life force. Energy is a gift that reminds me that life is a gift to be cherished.

Energy is a gift and a resource. The sign of Leo is the guardian of that gift. Every fixed sign (Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius, and Taurus) has a stewardship thing going for it. Fixity’s desire is to protect a vital part of life. For that reason, we can think of each fixed sign as the guardian of its element. Leo’s is fire. Fire is energy. Energy is life force. The Leo lunar cycle invites us to explore energy and to answer our own questions about it. As the ruler of Leo, the Sun shows us how to shine: freely and purely. The Sun’s energy makes life possible. The varied expression of life on Earth is a beautiful reflection of what this energy can do. And it is generous. No one else is diminished when someone emanates their own light. There is no less energy, no less life force when we open to the flow. In fact, what I notice is that others also shine a little bit more when they are around someone who has expanded their capacity to emanate life force.

Another question about why: Why would any of us shy away from experiencing greater capacity for life force? Why would any of us forget that our birthright is to shine? As the Moon waxes this week, taking on more light itself, I invite you to notice your questions about energy and the times you know your capacity for energy is enhanced. What caused that? The Sun and Mercury, both in Leo, are very busy this week contacting other planets. Perhaps the challenge and the gift of these contacts will be an increased awareness of energy. With both Mars and Saturn currently transiting through Scorpio, the guardian of water, we develop discernment around the necessity for darkness to complement what the light of Leo offers. Interactions could be surprisingly intense by the end of this week. We are helped by knowing that the dark and light are not enemies and make peace with diverse parts of ourselves.

Forecast–August 3, 2014 – August 9

Moon in Scorpio

August 3—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. Paintings are so much more interesting when there is shading and shadow. This Leo lunar cycle is a chance to embrace the life force light of Leo. But that only works if we take in the shadows as well. Today, we have an opportunity to see the shadows around this light. Challenging transits from the Moon, Mars and Saturn in Scorpio provide more complexity. Today the Sun (ruler of Leo) is quincunx Pluto (co-ruler of Scorpio). This aspect of paradox shows how these two energies contrast yet contribute to each other. Both Leo and Scorpio are passionate, and feelings can be bruised by misunderstanding another’s passion. Conflict can help us build capacity for holding energy and intention if we are willing to be vulnerable and authentic with others. Sometimes this means speaking our truth. Sometimes it means listening to another’s truth. With the Moon contacting Mars and Mercury, after yesterday’s square between Mars and Mercury, we are still processing passion and conflict today.

Moon in Scorpio

Monday, August 4. Last night (CDT) Mercury in Leo made a quincunx aspect to Neptune in Pisces creating an atmosphere for interesting dreams. Our dreams are mostly about us, right? Last night’s dreams feel even more so. Mercury in Leo gives voice to our growing and sometimes hungry egos. Isn’t it all about me? Neptune challenges the ego to merge with a greater consciousness. How does that feel, exciting or challenging? What did your dreams tell you? The Moon’s contact with Saturn early this morning gives a serious start to the day. Later a trine between the Moon and Venus helps to sooth rough edges if we give emotions space to exist.

 Moon enters Sagittarius 5:18 am CDT

Tuesday, August 5. While the Moon is in the mutable fire sign, Sagittarius, for the next two days, we get to experience a grand fire trine (Sun, Mercury and Jupiter in Leo, Uranus in Aries, Moon in Sagittarius). The Moon contacts Jupiter in Leo today setting off a round of fiery adventures. My astrology teacher, Cynthea Jones, often pointed out that fire was the most vulnerable element. It needed just the right conditions to burn sustainably. If fire is energy and energy is life force, this is a pretty important thing to pay attention to: What conditions do you need to sustain your fire? Today and tomorrow, notice what feeds your flame. The fuel can come from surprising places. Fantasy might play a role as the Moon squares Neptune; just don’t let that fantasy keep you from engaging with life force today.

Moon in Sagittarius

Wednesday, August 6. How did you sleep last night? The Moon’s next contact in the grand fire trine was Mercury right after midnight. This transit may have stimulated your creative mind even if it was in the middle of the night. Then Moon next contacted the Sun and Uranus, all before 10 am CDT. What are you noticing about energy this morning? It is all information even if it isn’t what you expect. Remember that fire needs tending. Keep noticing your flame. Amidst all this energy, Mercury makes a quincunx (paradox) connection with Pluto. Communication may be difficult but rewarding.

 Moon enters Capricorn 8:38 am CDT

August 7—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. Astronomical Lughnasad (Lammas). The Sun reaches the exact middle of Leo today. This placement within a fixed sign signals the astronomical center of a season, which is attached to a cross-quarter Sabbath—Lughnasad, Samhain, Imbolc and Beltane. We are in the exact middle of summer and already the shadows are getting longer and the days shorter. This is a wistful and beautiful season where I live in the upper Midwest. The Moon in Capricorn increases a sense of needing to make good use of the remaining growing season because winter is on its way. How does this color your experience of life force energy? The gifts of the Sun are precious. Mars in Scorpio trines Neptune in Pisces. This aspect encourages the heartfelt journey. Inner experiences of ecstasy and expansive connection are potent. The Moon in an earth sign supports this experience by creating a strong container.

Moon in Capricorn

Friday, August 8. The Sun and Mercury come together at 16 degrees Leo to make their superior conjunction. (The superior conjunction happens when Mercury forms a conjunction with the Sun while on the far side of the Sun from Earth’s perspective.) Potent meetings are happening behind the scenes. This mythic image may strangely reflect what is happening in your life. Behind the scenes, life energy is making itself known, encouraging us to take a leap into the unknown (a trine from the Sun and Mercury with Uranus), and challenging us to take responsibility for feelings that may not be altogether nice (Mercury and Sun square Saturn in Scorpio). Things are not at all simple and it takes finesse to make good use of all these connections. In addition to this influence, the Moon in Capricorn is quincunx to Sun/Mercury and sextile to Chiron in Pisces all morning. This configuration is called a Yod and signals a period of time that feels significant and probably stressful. Think of it this way, all of the gods have something to say today. When in doubt, remember that Mercury and the Sun are burning away resistance to a greater capacity for life force. Chiron’s influence gives a desire to use this capacity to help others.

Moon enters Aquarius 8:52 am CDT

Saturday, August 9. I might be wrong, but I suspect yesterday was a bit intense with so many aspects—some supportive, some not—between so many planets. I’d like to tell you that today will be calmer, but it probably won’t be. With the Moon entering Aquarius this morning we already feel the unpredictable energy of tomorrow’s Full Moon. Aquarius is the sign opposite Leo and therefore provides a great mirror for Leo’s journey. There are times when ego gets in the way of energy. Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of how life force is a gift freely given, to be freely given in return. Aquarius reminds us of the bigger picture, how we are connected in intricate patterns of giving and receiving. This pattern illuminates energy and emotion. The Sun squares Saturn and the Moon activates the Mars and Jupiter square too. All these planets are in fixed signs. We might feel serious and impatient, passionate and suspicious, detached and triggered all at the same time. The blessing comes from the Sun in Leo reminding us to step into joy even as we meet the challenges around us.


*The Leo lunar cycle began on July 26 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