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.

“I’ve ever heard wise people tell us that life is not about the success but about the buoyancy, the bounce back, the get-back-up-after-you-get-knocked-down.
What if it is not even the bounce back,
but the fall better, fail better, crack more whole,
break less, heal better, get up, fall again….”
Omid Safi from On Being

In the springtime world of the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve been watching it unfurl leaf by leaf, growing bolder every day—life force is waking, green is regenerating. I admit my experience of spring from the perspective of Minnesota, where I live, is vastly different from the experience of other more temperate places. Undoubtedly this impacts my astrology and the way I understand the astrological season of Aries. The seasons are loud mouths here in the Upper Midwest. They make their points with little ambiguity. Life regenerates in the spring. One day, everything is gray and lifeless, the next there is a green glow, the barest hint that, in spite of the bleak outlook, life has a will of its own and has decided to show it.

During the last week of the lunar cycle,* which has been a hybrid of Pisces (Mutable Water) surrender and Aries (Cardinal Fire) emergence, we can look at our experiences of regeneration—our expectations, our successes, and our failures and setbacks. The end of a lunar cycle is when we begin to unravel the hopes and dreams to look at what we really experienced. Some of it may have been the glorious promise of regeneration—the stone pushed away from the tomb, the miraculous resurrection. But not all of it ever goes perfectly. As the Moon wanes, we may be noticing the failures a little bit more.

This morning, a friend posted the quote from Omid Safi, above. That got me thinking about expectations for regeneration. It got me thinking about regeneration as possibly not about conquering the darkness to overcome death, to do it better, to live life as a victor, but …. perhaps regeneration is the ability to forgive, to be present, to get out of the way of what needs to emerge into life at this moment. Whatever that is, even if it is failure.

Mercury and Mars in Taurus (Fixed Earth) provide the perspective of sustainable regeneration. Taurus gives Aries a reality check. This theme becomes an important part of the next lunar cycle that begins on April 18. The momentum of spring’s emergence is undeniable when the Sun enters Taurus, so the focus moves from pushing outward to anchoring and pulling back a bit. The Earth itself is communicating forcibly. Pluto stations retrograde on April 16. This once a year occurrence is another profound opportunity to receive messages from the underworld. We hear about the relationship between death and reemerging life. To reunite these partners brings healing and vitality.

Another energy—the Mutable signs of Gemini (Air), Sagittarius (Fire), and Pisces (Water)—snakes its way through the week. Venus, Saturn and Neptune are talking about information, truth, and sacrifice. The mission is to be adaptable, curious, and open during the final days of this Aries-inspired lunar cycle. Notice what triggers Taurean bull-headedness. Notice what triggers a Mutable desire to escape. The tension between these impulses will yield greater self-knowledge.

Forecast for April 13, 2015—April 19

Moon in Aquarius
Monday, April 13.
Yesterday, the favorable aspect between Mars in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces encouraged easy interactions. It probably felt so good that you let your guard down a bit. Perhaps you even overindulged a bit when given permission by sensual Mars in this Fixed Earth sign. Get ready for a cold entry into the new week. Monday starts off with potential conflict. Mars is now in a t-square aspect pattern with the Moon in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo. All these Fixed signs have a strong point of view and don’t feel like backing down. Some of the tension may center around resources. Scarcity thinking can influence attitudes about money (Taurus), whether we are being appreciated (Leo), or whether we are being heard (Aquarius). In a way, it is all the same. What helps you step out of a destructive cycle of fear and attachment?

Moon enters Pisces 3:12 pm CDT
Tuesday, April 14
. One day can be so different from another. Yesterday’s potential for conflict is soothed. The Sun in Aries (Cardinal Fire) is supported by the Moon in Aquarius (Fixed Air) early in the day. Independence is encouraged. Mercury says good-bye to Aries and settles into Taurus. The edge between these signs will be a focus for the next lunar cycle. From fast and unpredictable Aries, we slow down to the speed of snails. Mercury in Taurus promotes solid speech and thought. Where’s the proof? Can you say that more clearly? More simply? Words are not to be wasted. Mercury will stay in this sign until April 30. In the afternoon when the Moon slides into Pisces (Mutable Water), it may be much harder to get a firm grip on thoughts or words. Emotions will run the show for the next two days. Some of us may feel bruised. The Moon forms an agitating t-square aspect pattern with Venus in Gemini (Mutable Air) and Saturn in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire). Mutable signs can be jittery and have a hard time focusing when under stress. Find the calm amid self-doubts, hard feelings, and too much information.

Moon in Pisces
April 15—Balsamic Moon: Surrender. This is the phase a Pisces Moon was made for. This lunar cycle began at the very last degree of Pisces with a Solar Eclipse. My image for this cycle has been: Emerging through the portal of change. Change has been made possible by our willingness to let go and stick our necks out into a new world. To complete the process of emergence, we are now encouraged to simply get out of the way and let regeneration happen on its own.

Being human is a dance of adaptation. The imperative and strategy at the beginning of a lunar cycle is usually quite different at the end. What are you noticing about your own experiences of the last three weeks (since March 20)? Over the next three days, use your intuition, felt senses, and dreams to tell the story of this season’s emergence. The Moon conjoins Neptune in the early morning hours (CDT). Hopefully you were able to wake slowly and grab a feeling or image from your dreams. What does that dream tell you about change and surrender? Later in day, the Moon makes favorable contacts with Mars and Pluto. The Earth’s regeneration is felt and celebrated.

Moon enters Aries 4:00 pm CDT
Thursday, April 16.
The day starts quietly, perhaps even too quietly. The void-of-course old Moon in Pisces doesn’t have much energy left in it. Don’t worry. That feeling won’t last. When the Moon enters Aries for the second time this lunar cycle we get a boost of energy. Where shall we leap next? Mercury in Taurus (Fixed Earth) makes a quincunx aspect to Saturn in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire) creating a strong desire to get the message just right. Saturn is aiming for truth; Mercury wants there to be no loopholes or fuzzy arguments. We can cut through obfuscation and get to clarity if we are patient and determined. Once a year, Pluto changes apparent motion to station retrograde. Today’s station can be felt in the ground beneath our feet. The Earth is alive. The connection between the hidden world below us and the living world around us is strong. Transformation is not only possible, it is likely.

Moon in Aries
Friday, April 17.
Whenever a planet stations (slows down to change apparent motion), its influence is much stronger. Pluto, which stationed last night, is quite strong. That means we feel the intensity of power dynamics and the potential for complete transformation. Pluto, whose domain is the underworld, often evokes the kind of pressure that is felt far below the earth’s surface. Anything under pressure in your life may suddenly erupt as the Moon in Aries (Cardinal Fire) adds spark to Pluto, the transformer, by a square aspect and inflames Uranus, the awakener, by a conjunction. This isn’t the only influence to provoke us. Mars and Jupiter face off. The battle is between will and faith, between stability and influence. There is an edge to this day. Mars in Taurus can dig in his heels and not budge. Jupiter in Leo may demand to be seen and valued. These transits are a powerful way to end this lunar cycle of emerging through the portal of change. Tomorrow, another cycle begins.

Moon enters Taurus 4:31 pm CDT
April 18—New Moon: Dreaming. For the rest of the year, the lunar cycles will be doing a little dance between adjoining signs. Because the New Moons will occur near the end of a sign, the lunar cycle immediately blends into the next sign. Adjoining signs are usually blind spots, places that we have a hard time seeing or integrating. But they are important steps on the road to manifestation. Each sign builds upon the one preceding it. These are the edges I will be exploring as I follow the Moon this year. The edge of this lunar cycle is the one between Aries and Taurus. I am naming this one: Grounding our beginnings into sustainable manifestation.

The previous lunar cycle was predominantly an Aries experience even though the New Moon occurred at the very end of Pisces. We emerged through the portal of change. The lunar cycle that begins today near the end of Aries is about how the next sign, Taurus, takes over the Aries mission of leaping into life. What needs to happen next? Aries is Cardinal Fire. It likes to begin the action but often loses interest in taking it to completion. This is where we need the stable energy of Fixed Earth to help us stay the course. Taurus keeps an eye on resources and values sustainability. The exchange between Aries and Taurus goes both ways, benefiting both. Taurus benefits from the last embers of Aries fire. In Taurus, the Earth blossoms into the season of the senses. Smells, touch, tastes, everything is swelling into plump juiciness. All that goodness needed Aries to get started.

In the New Moon chart, Aries fire is furnished by the Sun, Moon and Uranus. The impact of the last square between Uranus and Pluto is still reverberating through the mind-boggling changes and speed of life we are currently experiencing. If you have stepped into the whirlwind, then this lunar cycle is a chance to take stock, slow down, and find the sustainable roots that will support you. Mercury and Mars in Taurus are allies for this stability. Mercury in Taurus aids clarity. Perhaps conversations move a bit slower and we have to be more comfortable with pauses, however silence is a gift to be discovered this month. Mars in Taurus is square to Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Fire). Jupiter has recently turned direct and will begin to move quickly through the rest of Leo. We have a chance to learn something about this transit right now. Mars in Taurus asks us to check our egos. Ego desires may distract us from the expression of our true gifts. When fire and earth collaborate, the exchange fuels transformation and sustainable creation. We know our place and who we are.

Moon in Taurus
Sunday, April 19
. Important insights come from unexpected places. Neptune in Pisces (Mutable Water) influences the early hours of the day. This planet communicates as if by water to reveal unquenchable longing. Mercury the messenger god makes a favorable aspect to Neptune, enhancing intuition. Venus in Gemini (Mutable Air) makes a challenging square to Neptune. This aspect evokes sublime encounters that may be illusory. Think before falling head over heels in love today. These dreamy feelings are fleeting. The rest of the day is more solid as the Moon in Taurus contacts Mercury (come to your senses), Jupiter (get over yourself), and Mars (clean the house for pete’s sake). A solid, grounding Moon trine Pluto completes the day.
*Read about the beginning of the Pisces/Aries cusp lunar cycle on my blog

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

Contact Teri at and visit her website at