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.

What gets me this time of year is always the light. I’m talking about the rich luminescence of late summer light reflecting off the dark green leaves oak trees or burnishing the wheat-gold seed heads of tall grass. This time of year the light where I live in the Upper Mississippi River valley gives off a honey hue. It is warm and looks like it would even taste sweet too. This light is a gift and a blessing. This light represents Leo to me.

The current lunar cycle* began in the late degrees of Cancer (cardinal water) and transitions into the golden light of Leo this week. My New Moon practice is to set a mindful intention to follow through the shifts and changes of each lunar cycle. The astrological season informs the intention. We began this cycle influenced by Cancer themes and finish with Leo (fixed fire) ones. In Cancer, we established and tend the garden, watered it well, so that in Leo the Sun may give the first fruits of that garden a sweet kiss. The Sun, which rules Leo, is the inspiration for this lunar cycle. The intention is to expand from internal experiences of Cancer into life-force expressions of Leo.

The Sun as the center of the solar system represents the organizing, central position of self, creative expression, and life purpose. Leo influences often make us wonder whether we matter to the world. The light of Leo reminds us that the Sun, even the small Sun of each individual life, is a gift. With Jupiter transiting through Leo from July 2014 through mid-August 2015, we have the opportunity to understand this truth in a more realized way. Jupiter is the expansive energy of exploration, inviting us to take risks, and daring to shine brighter.

This week Mercury and the Sun conjoin at zero degrees Leo. This superior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun is a seed moment. Beginning at the very beginning of the Sun’s journey through Leo, we have the opportunity to plant a seed of golden energy. The Leo mystery is that we can’t hold or hoard this light, it must be passed along. The Sun is generous and teaches us to be generous as well. Mercury in Leo aids expression of joy and appreciation of others. The intentions we follow now are reaped in the first harvest season of Virgo next to come. Find ways to lighten up and infuse your thoughts with solar generosity. Relationships may bask in the golden light of Leo as Venus begins a retrograde journey thought Leo this week. How easy is it for you to receive and give affirmation in your relationships? We are able to refocus on giving and receiving life’s joy. Leo rules the heart. Venus’ journey may help us open the heart chakra where we open to the exchange of energy with others.

Find a way to anchor into the heart light of Leo while Mars in Cancer is square to a stationary Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) at the end of the week. Fuses are short. Those who feel threatened or defensive may act violently. All of us need to pay attention to pent up anger or extreme distractions that could lead to accidents. Try to stay grounded and heart centered as waves of frustration hit the shores.

Forecast for July 20, 2015—July 26

Moon Virgo
Monday, July 20.
After the emotion of the weekend, Monday begins with a desire to get to work. Virgo (mutable earth) Moon is industrious. Already we may be thinking about fall plans. The summer may seem too short today. Don’t worry, summer isn’t over yet, but you may want to take advantage of a day that feels focused and productive. The Moon makes a sextile aspect to Mars and Mercury in Cancer (cardinal water). Take care of communication, your home, and your wellbeing today.

Moon enters Libra 8:23 am CDT
Tuesday, July 21.
The Sun in Cancer (cardinal water) is trine Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water). This easy flow between water signs encourages self-reflection. Sun and Saturn create a container for getting to the bottom of how we feel right now. This work is part of the Cancer theme of securing the home base before expansion into Leo’s self-expression. Here “home” can mean a lot of things: where we feel safe and secure, where we nurture our souls, where we create a solid foundation for our loved ones. Saturn helps give these efforts a structure. Work may flow easily, especially if the work comes from a place of emotional satisfaction. The Moon in Libra wants balance and harmony from our lives.

Moon in Libra
Wednesday, July 22.
Reality rears its head. It could be that you are asked to wake up from some form of denial today. The Moon in Libra (cardinal air) is sensitive to maladjustments and will nag us to find a new equilibrium. With the Moon squaring Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth), this may mean confronting a shadow. Mercury in Cancer (cardinal water) trines Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water), giving us permission to express what is really weighing on us. This is the last day of Sun in Cancer. Tonight, the Sun enters Leo (fixed fire) at 10:30 pm CDT. In Cancer, we established the garden, watered it well, and tended it carefully. Now, the Sun in Leo blesses the first fruits of that garden with summer’s sweet kiss. The transition to Leo may be bumpy with the Moon creating a square to Mars in Cancer. Are you ready to compromise? If not, can you at least surround the issue with an intention to radiate your best wishes upon the other?

Moon enters Scorpio 9:07 pm CDT
July 23—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. The first quarter phase of the Moon is often a time when we are goaded into taking action. Something about this season of Leo (fixed fire) is asking you to react. Influenced by Jupiter in Leo, it could be a new creative project or a dream of self-expression. Under the influence of the upcoming Venus retrograde journey through Leo, it could be to find more authentic exchange of love and support in your relationships. With Mercury’s superior conjunction with the Sun today at zero degrees Leo, it could be planting a seed inspired by the golden light of Leo. What action will you take to support your inner Sun?

The day starts with an opposition between the Moon in Libra (cardinal air) and Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). Conflict, impatience, or anxiety could be the result. However, this snarky energy shifts into optimism and action when the Moon makes a sextile aspect to Jupiter in Leo and the Sun and Mercury conjoin. The energy may shift to embracing creative possibilities.

The Moon’s entry into Scorpio (fixed water) at the end of the day (CDT) is a shift towards introversion and reflection. Emotions reveal hidden fears or needs. Dreams may help us see where we need Leo’s regenerative light.

Moon in Scorpio
Friday, July 24
. The Moon in Scorpio (fixed water) creates a contrast to the Sun in Leo (fixed fire). Shadow and light aren’t easy companions. However, when we accept both parts of ourselves and others, we round out the ways we experience joy and creativity. We can’t be lighthearted or light-filled all the time. Trust is developed when we accept the forbidden parts of ourselves too. The Moon is trine Neptune in Pisces (mutable water), encouraging a dreamy state of receptivity. Make space for spacing out. The hard edge of Scorpio emotion may peek out. The sextile between the Moon and Pluto (Scorpio ruler) encourages self-honesty.

Moon in Scorpio
Saturday, July 25.
The Sumerians saw the planet Venus as their goddess, Inanna. The myth of Innana’s decent into the underworld is inspired by the retrograde journey Venus takes every 18 months, moving from its position as the Evening Star to the Morning Star after a brief disappearance into the glare of the Sun’s rays. This myth tells a story about queenship and death. At some points in our lives, we must surrender exterior forms of success to find what is really in our hearts. Today, Venus begins that journey and we have the opportunity to reenact Inanna’s courageous mission if we choose. In the sign of Leo (fixed fire), the exploration of inherent nobility vs. surface expressions of privilege is particularly relevant. How do you see the difference?

Mars in Cancer (cardinal water) forms a square aspect to Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). This tense transit could spark unexpected reactions that could be disruptive and even dangerous. The trigger may be protection of home or family or something that feels vulnerable within. Watch out for over-reactions. A good way to release this tension would be to make conscious changes in those same areas.

Moon enters Sagittarius 7:25 am CDT.
Sunday, July 16. The Mars square Uranus transit that happened yesterday still resonates through the next few days due to the stationing of Uranus (retrograde) today. We respond to the desire to change parts of our lives, maybe even parts that previously were supportive and essential. The desire is to be free. With the Moon in Sagittarius (mutable fire), the road to freedom may look just like a road leading out of town. The far horizon offers a truth. Perhaps you will take that journey. It may be hard to settle on any particular path. Look for the one that shines with an inner fire. The Moon in a fire sign is trine to the Sun in Leo (fixed fire) offering a great opportunity to notice energy and to follow our instincts. The day ends (CDT) with a trine between the Moon and Mercury stimulating our minds to research, conversation, and perhaps even a bit of enlightenment.


*For the next few months, I am focusing on intentions inspired by the cusps between signs for each New Moon since the lunar cycles are beginning near the end of a sign. This means the Sun moves into the next sign soon after the New Moon thus the influences in the lunar cycle are a blending of signs. Read about the beginning of the current Cancer/Leo lunar cycle on my website


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