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.

It’s not just you. Or me. Or them. No, things do feel more intense right now and there are reasons.

The lessons and experiences of this Scorpio lunar cycle* are tied to larger cycles and forces acting upon us. Or in other words, this month feels intense for many compounding reasons, not just the standard one that Scorpio is an intense sign. While the Sun is in Scorpio and the Moon is completing the Scorpio lunar cycle, we are being reminded of the larger stories influencing us. These larger stories told by other planetary cycles create a resonant field of greater sensitivity contributing to the subtle suggestion that choices and events of this lunar cycle are more important than usual. The stakes seem higher. And perhaps they actually are.

Saturn is primary to any in-depth astrological analysis. Although we may want to ignore this planet whose influence can be confining and critical, we can’t for long. Saturn’s influence is large in our lives for a good reason. Saturn provides the foundation for reality, and our instructions for mastery. Not small things. Saturn has been transiting Scorpio since October 2012. In December, Saturn leaves Scorpio for about six months (then returns to Scorpio for the conclusion from June to September 2015). As Saturn prepares to do this back and forth dance between Sagittarius and Scorpio, it is a good idea to reflect on what Saturn in Scorpio has taught us. This Scorpio lunar cycle is a potent opportunity to notice the type of mastery Scorpio offers. If you happen to have planets or important points in Scorpio in your birthchart, this reflection becomes even more crucial. We ignore Saturn’s lessons at our own peril. Not because Saturn will punish us, but because Saturn truly does offer mastery and purpose.

Last week I wrote about the Scorpio rules. These are: make your way back to source, acknowledge the shadows, let the things die that need to, and welcome in the experience of the other even when it is unsettling. Scorpio and Saturn both make us uncomfortable from time to time. Whether we are conducting the soul search for ourselves or another Scorpio agent is doing the undercover work on us, there is a level of threat, danger, and fear that arises when we near essential parts of ourselves. When I encounter this frisson of energy, my primary response is respect. Respect for the power, the ultimate realities, and for the ways each of us deal with this energy. This is the dance of our lives, isn’t it? Creeping towards a new understanding of ourselves—shadows and all—and then backing away when it gets to be too much. Scorpios are known to have magnetic personalities. Perhaps that magnetism is necessary to get us to creep towards those fears.

As we reflect on Scorpio mysteries this week, another very influential planetary cycle is activated: the ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto transited by Mars in Capricorn. The Scorpion stinger could come out this week. This part of Scorpio nature can serve our fierce commitment to uncovering what is hidden, and it can be the automatic defense when we’ve been pushed too far. The Uranus/Pluto square has created a resonant field of unsettling change—still not knowing how to respond, still not knowing if we are doomed or on the verge of bold reorientation to new structures and hope. Some defensiveness is a natural response to these big unknowns. The way to ground our reactions in the Scorpio season is to go deeper, see below the first response, let things die that need to.

Forecast for November 9, 2014 – November 15

Moon in Gemini

Sunday, November 9. The release valve for pent-up pressure can be found in Gemini interests. Relief could come from a good conversation, a good book, or a really good insight. Venus plays the role of downer today making a square from Scorpio terrain to Jupiter in Leo. Often this connection between these planets does nothing more than brings a little more expansiveness to relationships and spending. (Perhaps shopping will be the way you let off steam.) However, because Venus in Scorpio doesn’t have easy access to her usual charms, this square could be a bit nastier. If people are simply annoying you more than usual, perhaps the good book is the way to go.

Moon enters Cancer 2:38 am CST

November 10—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Water instructs water. This ‘sharing’ phase of the Moon coincides with the Moon’s ingress into a water sign—Cancer. This lunar cycle has the imprint of water all through it. Scorpio, the sign of this lunar cycle’s New Moon, is the fixed water sign. Cancer is cardinal. Both Cancer and Scorpio have instinctual wisdoms to share about emotion. Both signs have instinctual wisdoms to share about energy— the intangible force that emanates from heart and soul. Yet each sign is different from the other. Cancer, like a good cardinal sign, takes initiative, asking: How can we best support our emotional experiences? What container will make this awareness safe? Scorpio has an interesting relationship to safety. Rather than create a container, Scorpio asks: What relentless faith will keep the soulful journey true? Fixed signs hold on. What emotional truth are you holding? What emotional awareness is holding you?

Mercury leaves the retrograde ‘shadow zone’ today. In other words, Mercury is now at the degree it turned retrograde back in early October. Communication and thoughts progress unimpeded. We slip back into what we think is normal. Perhaps this point of view will release inhibitions as Mars contacts Pluto in Capricorn today. These planets are the co-rulers of Scorpio. Both can show a violent side. Both offer power to transform. The situation involves the Capricorn domain—how will we transform our hierarchies, traditions, and judgments about what constitutes success and influence? The Pluto process says: First, toxicity must be recognized before it can be transformed. We deserve healthy Capricorn systems. Such systems serve the whole rather than the elite. While the Moon is in Cancer, today and tomorrow, we see the stark difference between these two intentions.

Moon in Cancer

Tuesday, November 11. In the U.S. time zones, the Moon triggered the Pluto/Uranus square while we slept (early this morning). However, further east, say in Iraq, these transits happen in the early afternoon. Will we wake in the U.S. to discovery of some new violence or radical action in that part of the world? The reason for the question is that Mars is involved too. My approach to astrology is not about predicting bad things but about encouraging my own (and hopefully others’) awareness of skillful and unskillful responses to energy. Tense transits today could make us more defensive, reactive, and frustrated. But not everything is stressful. A trine between Mercury in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces serves to increase empathy and compassion. We can open to new pathways of heart. There is a lot to feel.

Moon enters Leo 12:44 pm CST

Wednesday, November 12. The Cancer Moon of the last two days may have dislodged some stuck emotions. Today, with the Moon entering into fiery Leo, we could be activated to discharge these emotions in a dramatic way. This impulse is further agitated by a square between Mars and Uranus this afternoon. Please be careful. As the planet that wants us to wake up, Uranus sometimes uses accidents and sudden events to make sure we are paying attention. The combination of Mars and Uranus can be volatile. Notice your own impatience. To honor these planets, commit to living more awake and aware. The grounding comes from a conjunction of Venus and Saturn in Scorpio. Even though it may feel like our focus has shifted significantly since the lunar cycle began, this is our chance to remember the Scorpio imperative to go deeper into the shadows and let die what needs to die.

Moon in Leo

Thursday, November 13. The desire and need to release frustrations, impatience, and despair continue. It is like we are being purged of the yuck. The square between the Sun in Scorpio and Jupiter in Leo encourages the process. Let go of all the crap. We don’t have shadows because we are bad people. The shadows exist because the seen and unseen worlds need each other. Even in our shadows, the light is waiting to be born. Even in our light, the shadows wait for transformation. Leo is a sign that loves the light. Ruled by the Sun, we recognize in Leo that we each have a reason to shine. This impulse meets the shadows of Scorpio today and we get to integrate light and dark to become more authentic and powerful.

 Moon in Leo

November 14—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. The contrast between Leo and Scorpio plays a role in the evaluation of this Scorpio lunar cycle. Today, the Moon in Leo connects with Jupiter in Leo and squares three planets in Scorpio (Sun, Saturn, and Venus). Rarely do we come to the Last Quarter phase of the Moon completely satisfied with how we’ve followed the lunar intention thus far. Even with the best of practices, we arrive at this phase of the Moon with a list of things we’d like to change. Notice that. This list is being influenced by the goals of Leo. In Leo, we get a visceral sense of life force energy: our birthright to thrive, create, and enjoy ourselves. There is a reason we are here—a spark of purpose and a joy in expressing that spark. Scorpio can feel threatening to that spark. Will the decay process ever end? Will we find ourselves again or stay stuck in the underworld? Each of us must find the balance between these forces of light and dark. The transits today will offer us insight.

Moon enters Virgo 1:08 am CST

Saturday, November 15. Did this week leave you in a bit of a mess? Passions were high, releases happened, and maybe even a little more fun that usual was had last night. Not everyone experienced this week in the exact same way but still we find ourselves on the shore of the weekend thinking we need a little more order and calm in our lives. (I suspect.) The Moon in Virgo wants us to find that order and calm. It will help us to integrate. Neptune stations direct today in Pisces. Planets are more potent at their stations. Today, this Piscean influence is a sharp contrast to Virgo’s desire for order. We also may want to drift away in reverie, escapism, or elevated states of transcendence. These contrary energies give us a great opportunity to find balance: just enough order and just enough dissolution. Enjoy this day as a stopping off place to soothe your soul.


* Read about the beginning of the Scorpio lunar cycle (October 23) on my blog

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


2 thoughts on “Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

  1. nickolano says:

    As I was reading my mail this evening I came upon the story of the Steilneset Memorial of the Witches tortured and killed in Finnmark back in the 17th century and was tremendously moved, for reasons I shall not discuss now. I also was glad to discover a mention of “Follow the Moon” and would like to follow your reflections on how astrology affects our life-being. I realize you address issues affecting women’s consciousness and am wondering if I can participate, as a man ex-
    ploring a “new” consciousness of the male (and gay) self? I would refrain from doing so if you feel that it would not be appropriate. Please advise me re: this. I shall meantime light a candle in their memory and in thanks to you and Grandmother Victoria Slind Flor. With thanks and bless you.
    Nino Nick Romano

    • teriparsleystarnes says:

      Hi nickolano, thanks for the comments. I welcome you following the Moon along with me. Although I am a woman, my column or point of view is for all genders (there are more than two!). The Moon’s wisdom is for everyone. I do appreciate your level of respect in asking if it is OK to participate. Please do.

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