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 31, 2014 – September 6

Parts and wholes. This week I’m thinking about small actions that impact large structures. I’m thinking about parts and wholes and alchemical powers. Virgo knows about these secrets: the way things are really connected; the way we can access the whole through its parts; and the way that even a small part can affect the whole. There is a Virgo secret hiding within the relationship between parts and wholes that I think will help me this month with my Virgo* lunar intention—a dedication to daily wellness, balance, and joy. The Virgo archetype, through the power of sovereignty and purity, is the organizing and healing energy of whole thinking and whole being. This is an alchemical power. Virgo tells us that in every part the whole is mirrored. Incredible potential can be found in that truth.

Another way to put it: I get overwhelmed when I think about how much healing we need in our world. I even get overwhelmed when I think about maintaining my own daily practices for personal wellbeing. Overwhelm gets us stuck. We need Virgo’s healing powers in this moment. Virgo asks us to remember the connection between the small parts and the big whole. Wikipedia tells me that Arthur Koestler coined the term, holon, as the concept of “something that is simultaneously a whole and a part.” Ecologist and Buddhist, Joanna Macy, writes and teaches how to make structural change in our relationship to the Earth by embracing “holonic” systems. By changing the parts, we can change the whole. She writes: “All living systems—be they organic like a cell or human body, or supra-organic like a society or ecosystem—are holons. That means they have a dual nature: As both systems and subsystems, they are wholes in themselves and, simultaneously, integral parts of larger wholes.” On her website dedicated to the Great Turning she offers 12 qualities that can create a holonic shift in the current and dismal state of affairs around our relationship to the Earth as a whole. The Virgo imperative says to us, Create daily practices that support wellbeing and healing. These 12 ideas fit in nicely with Virgo’s love of small steps towards a large goal.

Last week was a challenging one for keeping up daily practices. The intense inner experiences of Mars and Saturn coming together in Scorpio gave us clear reason to want practices of wellbeing, but didn’t exactly make doing them easy. Sometimes the slogging is hard and small acts to stay connected to our intentions is all we can muster. Struggles are present but that doesn’t mean we have failed. Just knowing how we are feeling at any given moment is a small healing act. This week’s transits may be more supportive, especially when Venus enters Virgo on September 5. Find beauty in the relationship between the parts and the whole. A devotional practice of gratitude or sacred art may infuse our wellness practices with power. Mercury, ruler of Virgo, enters Libra this week. Insight comes from the exchange of inspiration or support from others. Macy writes about one step to the holonic shift that may be governed by this Mercury in Libra: “Open to flows of information from the larger system. Do not resist painful information about the condition of your world, but understand that the pain you feel for the world springs from interconnectedness, and your willingness to experience it unblocks feedback that is important to the well-being of the whole.” May the experience of feedback in this waxing phase of the Virgo lunar cycle give us experiences of hopeful possibility.

Forecast–August 31, 2014 – September 6

Moon in Scorpio

Sunday, August 31. The Moon contacts Saturn and Mars in Scorpio today, possibly dredging up emotion, memory, and stuck energy from places we may have forgotten. If you have capacity to stick with the downward pull, you may find transformative healing that can be of service to others who don’t have this capacity. If it feels overwhelming, know this too will pass shortly. The Moon’s entry into Sagittarius tomorrow will lighten things considerably.

 Moon enters Sagittarius 12:17 pm CDT

Monday, September 1. Labor Day. Time to thank the workers and the unionizers. This holiday always occurs in the Virgo month. Virgo rules everyday work and workers. It also rules work that is service. May our work feed not only our bodies but our souls. I am grateful for the workers. The Moon’s shift from Scorpio to Sagittarius could not happen sooner. There is a reason to look up and look ahead. What is your next adventure? The Moon squares Neptune this evening, before we achieve that lofty dream, we may feel like taking a break for some escapist entertainment. Most likely, if you are drawn to this tonight, you need it. If you are drawn to solitary pursuits, be gentle with your heart.

 Moon in Sagittarius

September 2—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. In the introduction to this week’s forecast I included a link to Joanna Macy’s 12 qualities for a holonic shift. She supposes that we need a holonic shift in consciousness to meet the ecological challenges we face. She writes: “The holonic shift does not sacrifice, but instead requires, the uniqueness of each part, the distinctiveness of its functioning and its perspective.” This Virgo lunar cycle is a chance to impact the whole by affecting the parts. Here is quality number seven from Macy’s list: “Believe no one who claims to have the final answer. Such claims are a sign of ignorance and limited self-interest.” This is a good reminder with the Moon in Sagittarius in square aspect to the Sun in Virgo. Both of these are mutable signs and so are very concerned with meaning. One shadow of Sagittarius is a tendency to believe there is only one truth. There are many and the grand adventure is to make room for more and more of them. This phase of a lunar cycle is a test of our intentions. It may be necessary to adjust what we thought the month was about. New information is coming in. Remaining adaptable is key to learning what we need to learn at this stage of the game. Mercury enters Libra today. We want balanced and harmonious information. We also want our voices to stand for fairness and justice. Equitable negotiations are a focus since Mercury will station retrograde at 2 degrees of Scorpio on October 4 and then move quickly back into Libra until November 8. We get lots of practice at clarifying our messages this fall! You may want to begin today. The Moon in a fire sign makes energizing connections to Jupiter and Uranus, both in fire signs. We find ourselves with more energy. Enjoy.

Moon enters Capricorn at 5:15 pm CDT

Wednesday, September 3. There’s a good chance the morning (CDT) gets off to an energized start. Earth and fire are cooking together today. The Sun in Virgo (earth sign) is trine Pluto in Capricorn (earth sign) and the Moon in Sagittarius (fire sign) is trine to Venus in Leo (fire sign). Fire and earth working together are a great combination for manifestation of a creative idea. Fire provides energy for the earthy work we have to do in the world. When the Moon enters Capricorn later in the day, we can use that energetic inspiration to set meaningful goals. What is your action plan?

Moon in Capricorn

Thursday, September 4. Acting, even in very small ways, to support our intention and desires for this lunar cycle gets us out of a self-critical mindset today. We are our own worst enemy when we get stuck in perfectionism. Our dreams are valuable. The Moon in Capricorn lends support for doing something about them. Reinforce your goals with determined action. When the Moon squares temperamental Uranus in Aries this afternoon (CDT) don’t get sidetracked by impatience, yours or others. Before going to bed, take note of what you really accomplished today. Even setbacks can be valuable.

 Moon enters Aquarius 6:59 pm CDT

September 5—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The last few days of supportive transits leaves us in a good place to notice when expectations of perfection get in the way of making positive shifts in our daily lives. Virgo offers the gifts of wellness, integration, and meaningful spiritual practices. The pitfall on the way to these gifts is perfectionism. What are you noticing? What helps you shift out of stressful expectations into mindful awareness of the present? This phase of the Moon invites us to notice what more we can do to support our intentions. The trick is to embrace improvement without succumbing to crippling self-criticism. This is a paradox.

Another paradox comes from Jupiter in Leo quincunx to Pluto in Capricorn. The energetic tone of a quincunx aspect feels stressful. The planets in this aspect are seeking to resolve conflict without knowing all the facts. Sometimes it just takes a leap of faith. Jupiter is good at faith; Pluto needs to know for sure. Deep-seated suspicions impact our ability to recover lost faith. The paradox of this relationship may be to stay alert even as we risk innocence.

Venus enters Virgo today, remaining until September 29. Find beauty in the relationship between the parts and the whole. With Venus in Virgo, we welcome improvements in our relationships. What will make your relationships run more smoothly? We also look for partnerships that support our daily work and practices. We are invited to bring wellness, balance, and joy into social experiences. Find a practice buddy.

Moon in Aquarius

Saturday, September 7. Yesterday’s paradoxical aspects continue today with Mercury in Libra quincunx to Neptune in Pisces. Mercury in Libra invites clear, balanced communication. That’s the ideal, anyway. Neptune relies on intuition and assumptions. This aspect may create some miscommunication so clarify what you are hearing and what you mean. The Moon in Aquarius is concerned with ideas. Contacts between the Moon, Mercury, and Jupiter just amplify the signals. What’s your big idea?

* Read about the beginning of the Virgo lunar cycle (August 25) on my blog.

Contact Teri at and visit her website at to learn about booking a reading of your chart.