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.

Note to readers: I am starting a new format. I will publish my weekly forecast on Sundays, as usual, but the forecast will be for Monday through Sunday (not Sunday through Saturday as before). That is why I’ve added next Sunday to this week. 

Forecast for February 22, 2015 – March 1

What should I call this lunar cycle? Aquarieces? Piscarius? The current lunar cycle is a hybrid, a mixture of Aquarius and Pisces. My column is structured to follow the Moon through a lunar cycle from the seed dream planted at the New Moon to the harvest of that dream during the Moon’s waning phases. Most New Moons make it easy to align intention with the signs and seasons of the moment. This lunar cycle does not. This New Moon happened in the portal between two signs. Last month, the lunar cycle began at zero degrees Aquarius (about as new as a sign can be). This month, the lunar cycle begins at 29 degrees Aquarius about as “old” as a sign can be. In these two months we are seeing two sides of Aquarius, brand new and very old. My take on it is that Aquarius, a future-oriented sign, is more naturally attuned to that very young energy. But what does “old” Aquarius offer? What dream seeds were planted by the old Aquarius/young Pisces Moon on February 18* at the New Moon? Young Aquarius is idealistic. Young Aquarius thinks that change for the sake of change is a good thing. Naively, young Aquarius also thinks there is a perfect plan out there to solve our problems, we just have to find it. Young Aquarius feels ready. Old Aquarius recognizes that every idealistic mission doesn’t work out. Old Aquarius has suffered some disappointments. Old Aquarius can be a little bitter. But…what other stories can we tell? What kind of encouraging wisdom can old Aquarius share with us? Age gives perspective. We have the opportunity to reap the dream seeds of this wisdom.

Pisces asks us to surrender. The Pisces process, in the last season of the astrological year, is to release the past. Young Pisces hasn’t really learned everything there is to know about surrender, but is willing to try. The edge between old Aquarius and young Pisces describes the potential of this lunar cycle. There is a fine edge between open-hearted surrender without bitterness and plain old giving up. Are you at that edge? What helps you draw away from cynicism and move toward sacrifice? (I like the reframing of the word sacrifice to mean “making sacred.”) This fine line is important, the choice we are able to make will impact the harvests of this lunar cycle.

Sensitive Pisces lives between two brash and bold energies: Aquarius the revolutionary and Aries the pioneer. Both Aquarius and Aries give us the confidence to leap into the unknown. It would be easy to skip over the Pisces lessons and jump right into Aries boldness this month. The trick will be to honor both sensitivity and boldness. Many edges will be worked this lunar cycle. Venus and Mars are now in Aries and will be stimulating the fire planets of the moment. These are Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Leo, and Uranus in Aries. The dam is breaking. Fire energy will release passion and action. Some of it (the trine to Saturn) will encourage structure and commitment; other aspects (the conjunction with Uranus) will encourage disruption of structures that feel too confining. The trine to Jupiter will encourage noble actions like heroism, generosity, and creativity. In the midst of the fire, we also touch upon the Pisces lessons as the Sun in Pisces makes a square to Saturn and conjoins Neptune. These moments are important for the opportunity to integrate emotional experiences.

Forecast for February 22, 2015 – March 1

Moon enters Taurus 6:28 pm CST
Sunday, February 22. The void-of-course Aries Moon for most of the day (CST) could have us wanting to get things done but not having the energy to do them. Focus less on productivity and more on releasing energy. You might find you need to clear out stagnant energy, both in your environment and your body, before you can grab hold of the wild ride that comes later in the month. What will boost your energy? Think of this preparation as building capacity for the rapidly increasing momentum of the next few weeks. If you take advantage of this opportunity to clear the channels, the Moon in Taurus tonight will feel like a much-needed reward. Find sensual enjoyment this evening.

Moon in Taurus
Monday, February 23.
What are you forgetting? The Sun in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius are pulling our attention in two directions. On one hand, we are learning to surrender to heart-felt experiences that feel vulnerable but powerful, on the other hand, Saturn in Sagittarius is critical of drifting too far away from the objective—to discover and share the unifying truth. The goals of Pisces and Sagittarius are not that far apart (meaning and union are values of both signs) but the methods of achieving these goals are quite different. Use this transit to make mid-course corrections, adding more accountability if you’ve been missing this component or adding more serendipity if your life is too structured. The Moon in Taurus emphasizes the benefits of firm foundations. Find the balance between being fluid and grounded. The Moon contacts Mercury in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo. Mercury contributes detached observation. Jupiter contributes noble action. Too much ego and too much cold-heartedness could trigger stubborn refusal to play well with others. Soften hard stances if you can. 

Moon enters Gemini 10:54 pm CST
Tuesday, February 24.
I’m so proud of you. Notice this feeling today. Venus in Aries trines Saturn in Sagittarius and we feel a little more confident about stepping out into the unknown, especially if the purpose is to defend the truth. I have a theory that we can boost our own daring spirit by praising that same spirit in others. See if that works for you too. 

Moon in Gemini
February 25—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. It is time to check in with the dream seeds of this hybrid lunar cycle. We’ve been working a little bit of Aquarius mixed with some Pisces. What important new crop comes from mixing these genes? My own intention has been a little fuzzy, perfectly appropriate for Pisces time. Emotional awareness and release is part of it. I’ve been noticing that if I don’t pay attention to how I am feeling, my emotions can get stuck, inhibiting my ability to see outside my little bubble. Emotion can connect us to each other; they can also be a vehicle for healing if we are willing to move them out. The Pisces season is a time to practice opening to emotion while at the same time surrendering them to mystery. We may not know where they “go” when we let them go, but we can feel a release when we do. Surrender does not mean to abandon or discard. The framework that I use is to sacrifice or “make sacred” the thing I am releasing. Practice saying, “I honor this (feeling),” and let it go.

This is an active day by transit and some of the energy is contradictory. The Sun in Pisces conjoins the co-ruler of Pisces, Neptune. This is a strong imprint for making our emotional experiences sacred. If you are drawn to spending time alone today, please take it. This influence is sending messages to our souls that we can only hear when we are really quiet. The Moon in Gemini is a very busy and talkative influence. The effort to still that busy voice will benefit your deeper self. Throughout the day, the Moon, Saturn, and Neptune make a t-square aspect pattern. It may be hard to land in one place. Although it can bring up conflict, all these planets really want to integrate wisdom. Writing practices could help uncover hidden truths. Mars in Aries makes a trine to Saturn in Sagittarius. Another part of us wants to act confidently and with commitment in service to the truth we find.

Moon in Gemini
Thursday, February 26. Curiosity is a great quality when we can invite in non-attachment along with it. Lately, I’ve been trying to be more curious and less certain. Although certainty feels like security, it is a short-sighted version. We live in times where it can be really helpful to be adaptable and where curiosity opens us to new relationships. Perhaps curiosity will help us heal. The void-of-course Moon in Gemini today provides a great opportunity to practice open-minded curiosity. I wonder what we will notice?

Moon enters Cancer 6:49 am CST

Friday, February 27. I recently saw this meme passed around on Facebook, “You can’t always make everyone happy, but making everyone angry is a piece of cake.” We might notice this truism today. The Cancer Moon activates the desire to make others happy. This can take the form of manipulating others to do what is good for them, whether they want it or not. It is frustrating when they don’t appreciate our efforts. This Cancer Moon provokes independent Venus and Mars in Aries today. If someone sends you signals to lay off, better to listen. We are still feeling all that watery empathy from the Sun in Pisces trine the Moon, so we will have to figure out how to empathize without fixing. The quincunx aspect between Jupiter in Leo and Pluto in Capricorn adds to the stress of trying to please everyone. Our egos could be hurt when others perceive our good intentions with suspicion.

Moon in Cancer
Saturday, February 28. Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn are getting close to making the final square aspect (in a series of 7 squares that began in 2012). The Moon today acts as a trigger for that paradigm challenging connection between these outer planets. In “Making the Gods Work for You,” Caroline Casey writes, “ Uranus is the god of uniqueness, intuition, innovation, ingenuity, rebellion, and rascalry.” For Pluto, she writes, “Pluto burns away the conditioned voice of family and society that limits our vision of what is possible for us and for the world.” This bit about the conditioned voice of family and society applies even more to Pluto’s transit of Capricorn. All our conditioned voices are under investigation. Uranus in Aries is even more intent on uniqueness and rascalry. How will you invoke these agents of change in your world? Today, we may be really tempted to start the next revolution.

Moon enters Leo 5:34 pm CST
March 1—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The edge that has been working us this lunar cycle is between the forces of change (Aquarius) and the forces of surrender (Pisces). This is a paradox. How can we bring change while surrendering? Isn’t surrendering the same as giving up on making change happen? Aren’t feelings incompatible with strategic planning? Can we trust our feelings? (That question always gets me.) Can we trust our strategies? This phase of the Moon is when we really dig into paradox. What else do we need to do to achieve the potential of this lunar cycle?

The Sun, now in Pisces, has been out of Aquarius for a week and a half. You might think those Aquarian ideals have finally fallen away, but Mercury now fills the bill. Remember that Mercury in Aquarius took a retrograde journey through this air sign from January 21 to February 11. Since the 11th, Mercury has been retracing its steps. This final pass is a chance for breakthrough and resolution of mix-ups and confusion of this cycle. Today this is especially strong possibility. Mercury is in a supportive aspect to Uranus Aries and an illuminating aspect with Jupiter in Leo. Jupiter has been in Leo since July 2014 but I still don’t have a clear sense of what this transit is really about. We get some clues today. The Mercury opposition today could provide some light. Some themes to inquire about: How do we know we are making a difference? What is the role of a healthy ego? How do we co-exist with other people hungry to be significant too? What are the noble actions that are required in this moment? The Moon moves into Leo today, making this exploration even more important.

*Read about the beginning of the Aquarius/Pisces cusp lunar cycle on my blog

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