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 for June 22, 2015—June 28

The recent terrorism in Charleston has revealed once again the undeniable existence of racism in the U.S. The magnitude of the tragedy leaves me wondering how, and if even if, to frame this event through the lens of astrology. Astrology often gets thrown in with an assortment of “new age” philosophies whose main intent seems to be to comfort those who need to take responsibility and blame others who are actually the victims. We don’t need that kind of analysis. Collectively, White people need to wake up, take responsibility, and act with integrity to change the way things are. Astrology can give us the context for this. It is my hope that I can use astrology this way to help me frame current influences to develop better understanding and a stronger commitment to making these changes. Often in this column, I am writing for myself.

This lunar cycle, which is rooted in the edge between Gemini and Cancer*, is about the “homing instinct”—the need to return to our origins to find solace, self-understanding, and connection. The Cancer “homing instinct” becomes so much more poignant when I think of how the African Methodist Episcopal Churches have provided a home for so many in the Black community. The massacre that happened on June 17 was an assault on a home. (At the time of the killings the Moon was in the middle of Cancer exactly opposing Pluto in Capricorn.) Cancer describes our roots, the deepest influences in our lives. Seen through this framework, I realize how deep the pain must go in the Black community and how deeply we need to look to see the root causes of this event. Pluto has returned to the same sign it occupied when U.S. independence was declared in 1776. Pluto’s role is to reveal and transform hidden toxicity. Racism, which threatens everyone’s home, is being revealed now as a toxic undercurrent of our country. A lunar cycle doesn’t last long, but the world can change in a moment when we are ready to do so. In this lunar cycle, we have the opportunity to re-see our connections to each other and recommit to healing our homes.

Jupiter, Venus, and Uranus come into a powerful relationship this week. Jupiter and Venus, both in Leo (fixed fire), can be seen in the western sky inspiring our noble ambitions and the feeling that even just one person can make a difference. Sadly, this same influence was working on the killer in Charleston. It is up to each of us to make the right choices under all astrological influences. This is why mindfulness practices are so important for discernment and right action. Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) is in an empowering trine to both Jupiter and Venus this week. This connection further inspires our desires to revolutionize the world. Fire sparks passion and action even when we feel despairing. Leo emphasis creates the opportunity to act big even when we feel small. We act small when it is about ourselves and big when it is about all of us.

Pay attention to the messages you receive this week, especially through the news media. For the third time in the last six weeks, Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) squares Neptune (mutable water). This signature transit of Mercury’s recent retrograde cycle is hypnotic. It is easy to let the dominant cultural message seep into consciousness with ways to refocus this event as not being about racism. But this transit also helps us see beyond the smoke and mirrors. What is your heart telling you?

Forecast for June 22, 2015—June 28 

Moon in Virgo
Monday, June 22.
Here’s the good and bad news about the Virgo (mutable earth) Moon today. Helpful: It can really help us think small but strategically about the big changes that Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire) trine Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) are sparking in us. On the other hand, stronger passion for change could trigger the anxiety of perfectionism or over-committing—Virgo’s challenge. Notice your anxiety levels. Re-center mind and body, then try again. This Moon is stressed by Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) and Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). The tendency may be to get lost in the fog or forget we want to focus the helpful energy of today. Prioritize.

Moon in Virgo
Tuesday, June 23.
Here is a good experiment for today. Question the media messages. Ask yourself, whose point of view am I hearing? How are the messages framed as universal truths even when they serve a particular point of view? And then, when do you want to just tune out of all the messaging? How can you take care of yourself while staying awake? Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) makes the third square to Neptune (mutable water) today. This is the signature transit of the last Mercury retrograde cycle. It is easy to fall under the spell of the message. But we’ve been practicing re-wiring our brains, so we might have better skills at seeing the illusions. Stand up for communications that speak to the heart but don’t lull us to sleep again. The quincunx between Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water) challenges us even further to get to the bottom of words and thoughts. The stakes feel high and we have to work at our own assumptions and manipulations too. 

Moon enters Libra 12:41 am CDT
June 24—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. Perhaps you’ve begun to notice your own “homing instinct” since the New Moon of June 16. Although the Moon was in Gemini, it was almost in Cancer at that time and we’ve been rapidly moving toward the instinct of reclaiming our home base. This lunar cycle is an opportunity to reconnect with home. The symbol of Home evokes a lot in us if we slow down enough to reflect on what home means and what it gives us. Themes of self-nurturance, care for beloveds, a nest of support, a place to feel completely who we are—all belong to the Cancer archetype. At this phase of the Moon, we are applying our wills to manifesting home in some way. With the Moon in Libra, the work could be about creating a more beautiful home space. Perhaps it is about the need for harmony in your home. What is the vibe in your home? Empathy for self and others is enhanced by Chiron’s station retrograde in Pisces (mutable water). This empathy extends to those without a supportive home. Home is a place to belong. With Chiron, we might be feeling particularly vulnerable around this issue.

Mars moves into Cancer today where it remains until the first week of August. Mars has a complex mission in this sign, possibly provoking a mixture of touchy defensiveness and wearing our hearts on our sleeves. Mars in this sign can be a softy, really wanting to take care of everyone, but when a threat is finally perceived, Mars raises the hackles like a bear. Mars helps us to know our boundaries. With Mars in Cancer, we have the opportunity to better know the boundaries of home.

Moon in Libra
Thursday, June 25. The fight for justice and fairness is strong today. The Moon in Libra (cardinal air) encourages such things and we are inspired by the Moon’s contact with Venus and Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire) to take on the noble cause. Leo qualities are emphasized. These are a sense of noblesse oblige mixed with child-like joy and creativity; a desire to make an impact even if we are sparring with windmills; and a tinge of romantic fancy that can inspire foolish but beautiful actions. Remember this while at the same time we may be triggered by outrageous injustice as the Moon also squares Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) and Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). Jupiter in Leo adds an expansive influence as well. Where is your passion leading you?

Moon enters Scorpio 12:57 pm CDT
Friday, June 26.
The Scorpio (fixed water) Moon can be good for catharsis. If you’ve been holding it together this week, let it out today. This doesn’t have to be destructive release. With Mars in Cancer (cardinal water) being supportive to the Moon today, chances are that the release will be healing. Think flow, think restoration. These are qualities that water can give us right now.

Moon in Scorpio
Saturday, June 27.
Today, like yesterday, offers more time for us to get into the flow of things. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all will be light-hearted. The Moon in Scorpio (fixed water) gives us permission to let those waters flow from a deep place. The trine between the Moon and Neptune in Pisces (mutable water) could trigger a release of grief as well as ecstatic connection. The sextile between the Moon and Pluto encourages healing for those things we have thoroughly acknowledged and processed. 

Moon enters Sagittarius 10:21 pm CDT
June 28—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. A return to home base (the theme of this Cancer-inspired lunar cycle) isn’t such a simple thing, is it? The last few days may have felt like a deep-cleaning process for our souls. Perhaps that is what is meant by home—a place to do our soul work. If you are in the thick of it, don’t stop now. And if you haven’t begun to listen to your soul needs yet, now is a good time to start. This phase of the Moon encourages us to keep engaged in whatever is being born through the lunar cycle. Before the Moon moves into expansive Sagittarius (mutable fire) later tonight (CDT) take advantage of the Moon in Scorpio (fixed water), to reflect on the relationship between soul and home. Remember that home means many things: a place for restoration, nurturance, connection to beloveds, a place that will support us whatever state we are in, and a link to our past through personal and ancestral history. The aspect between Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) and Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal fire) can be stressful but can also provoke a deeper attention to what our souls need. Some of this soul-need may be to tell the truth, perhaps just to yourself, perhaps to others. The Moon has a meeting with Saturn later tonight, so don’t be surprised if there is a serious tone to the day. Our experiences matter. Venus in Leo (fixed fire) is moving toward an exact trine with Uranus (cardinal fire). Once again, sparks may fly as we are motivated to create change. We reflect on relationships and our values as influences on these changes.

*I am focusing on intentions inspired by the cusps between signs for each New Moon this year because the lunar cycles begin near the end of a sign until the end of the year. Read about the beginning of the Gemini/Cancer lunar cycle on my website

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