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 August 3, 2015—August 9

Sometimes being told, “No,” can be a relief. Contrary to the conditioning of our western culture which is constantly reinforcing the idea that bigger, better, newer, and more is the only way to happiness, we actually need to hear a firm “No” from time to time. This way, we know the boundaries of what is possible. We don’t spin out, wasting our energy on false hopes. We get an idea of what actually makes us happy. Saturn provides a clear “No” message this week and many of us will appreciate it.

Jupiter is the planet of bigger, better, newer, and more. This planet serves a really important mission: to help us dream up the impossible. Every manifested idea needs to gestate in the realm of imagination. Jupiter provides that gestational environment. In the national chart for the U.S. that I like to use, Jupiter is the chart ruler (conjunct Venus and the Sun). No wonder Americans gravitate towards Jupiterian excesses. Saturn provides the counterweight to that expansiveness. Like a lead balloon, Saturn can drag us down to Earth. In this same national chart, Saturn is square the Sun, so as a nation we get Saturn pressure too. But not everyone likes it. At the time of declaring national independence in 1776, Jupiter and Saturn were widely square each other, testing the yeses and nos. About every 20 years, these two planets return to the same closing square. This week, Saturn and Jupiter square up again. (This will happen two more times in 2016). There is something familiar in our national story about the struggle between too much and not enough.

Since this square happens when Jupiter is nearing the end of its year-long transit of Leo, and since Venus is retrograding nearby in Leo with Mercury, we are deep into learning about the pains and rewards of hearing “No.” The pain could be around not feeling important enough, or that our creative contributions aren’t good enough or recognized enough. We might slip into scarcity thinking around being appreciated. The rewards are the ability to know where we really belong, finding the right environment for our creative efforts, and nurturing our life-force energy with discipline. Lately, I’ve been noticing that I don’t have the necessary energy it takes to nurture resentments. It is too exhausting. This allows me to move out of stuck places faster. I thank Saturn for that. This week, practice seeing the silver lining to the “Nos” you may hear. The reward could be a realistic achievement of the Leo gifts this lunar cycle* promises.

Forecast for August 3, 2015—August 9

Moon enters Aries 6:24 pm CDT
August 3—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. It all comes down to this: What is the source of your self-love? Is it only from the external validation from other people? Or are you one of those rugged individualists who shun anyone else’s attention or support to go it alone? Extremes here don’t really serve us. Self-love is both accepting the love of others as well as knowing, no matter how dark it can get, that we are worthy. This lunar cycle, infused with Leo life, provides an opportunity for us to cultivate self-love that is both solidly individualistic and at the same time fully integrated into relationship. As we enter the reaping stage of the lunar cycle, notice what you have learned about self-love and what you long to share with others.

Today, Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire) makes a square to Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water). This theme of self-love is felt deeply. Saturn presents roadblocks or possible feelings of inadequacy. That really isn’t Saturn’s purpose. The gift is to banish the ways we sabotage ourselves with stories about unworthiness. Psyches are tender this week. In the mundane world, we may notice the extremes of maniacal egotism and oppressive control. A good antidote is to cultivate joy. Religiously.

Before moving into Aries this evening, the Pisces Moon (mutable water) forms a grand water trine with Mars in Cancer (cardinal) and Saturn in Scorpio (fixed) encouraging emotional release.

Moon in Aries
Tuesday, August 4.
This spunky day is infused with fire. The Moon in Aries (cardinal fire) trines the Sun in Leo (fixed fire) creating a greater sense of bravado than we may be used to. The real gem is that retrograding Venus in Leo conjoins Jupiter for the second time (of three). Too bad both are too close to the Sun for easy viewing. Venus retrograde gives us a second chance at integrating Leo themes into our values and relationships. A not so big secret is how much we humans need each other to live. Thriving life-force comes from connection. Claws might come out when the Moon makes a square to Pluto in the late afternoon (CDT). There’s no benefit to being superficially nice just so others will like you.

Moon enters Taurus 8:29 pm CDT
Wednesday, August 5.
If yesterday was spunky, today might be downright feisty. The Moon in Aries (cardinal fire) is ready for change and action. Some of this is liberating, even thrilling. There’s a strong current of creativity and joy through the day. But other currents may get in the way. The Moon conjoins Uranus and squares Mars in Cancer (cardinal water). If people are feeling threatened, back off. It probably isn’t worth the argument. Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water) is square to Venus (retrograde in Leo) and Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire). Some of us will chaff under what feels like oppressive obstructions. But look again at those challenges. Saturn also offers a real reward if we are willing to learn a lesson. Focus on relationship, values, and self esteem. 

Moon in Taurus
August 6—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. The Sun in Leo (fixed fire) and Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) are circling each other suspiciously today. Quincunx aspects force us into accepting complexity. Challenging aspects this week involving Saturn have primed us for maddening frustration or dawning enlightenment. Possibly both at the same time. To top it off, this phase of the Moon attenuates critical evaluation perhaps contributing to a vague sense of displeasure. The trick is remembering we can reset the systems if they aren’t working for us. That is important to realize, especially in this Leo-infused lunar cycle. We can all be energy workers. By this I mean, we can all sense energy, evaluate energy, and manipulate energy. We do it unconsciously all the time. If that idea is new to you, why not begin working the energy with self-awareness instead?

Mars in Cancer (cardinal water) is supported by Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water). Empathy can be a strength for moving forward with intention. Perhaps we resolve an emotional issue that has been bothering us for a while. The Moon in Taurus (fixed earth) contributes a solid foundation. Going slow could feel like making progress. We want to be careful with our words. Mercury in Leo (fixed fire) conjoins Venus (retrograde) and forms a square to Saturn (fixed water). People are talking about themselves a lot. Notice the universal need in yourself and others to be seen.

Moon in Taurus.
Friday, August 7.
Astronomical Lughnasad. Today the Sun reaches the mid-point of Leo (fixed fire), the turning point of the year that is celebrated as Lughnasad in some traditions. Whatever the name, this is the time to notice the ripening burnish that the Sun has given to the fruits of your garden. We have the option of looking at this literally and metaphorically. Metaphor is a tool of our poetic natures, the part of us that wants to create beauty and find meaning, all at the same time. The metaphor of the mid-point of Leo is about reaping nobility, generosity, joy, and love. The actuality of our gardens shows us what the Sun (these very same Leo qualities) gives to the crops we grow. The Sun of nobility, generosity, joy, and love blesses the fruits of our gardens with the vitality we need to thrive as the Sun’s strength begins to wane into the darker seasons.

Jupiter has spent a year in Leo and will leave this sign for Virgo (mutable earth) next week. This fact makes this turning point in the year even more poignant. Mercury conjoins Jupiter today, perhaps inspiring bardic brilliance. May it be so! We’d be nowhere without our Sun’s light. Celebrate it.

Mercury immediately passes Jupiter by and moves into Virgo itself later today. The Virgo season is a time of harvest and setting our lives in order. Summer is ending, even though many hot days are still ahead.

The Moon in Taurus (fixed earth) helps us to focus on the sustainability and accountability as it forms a challenging aspect pattern with Jupiter and Saturn, which are still square to each other. The “Nos” get louder and we may be forced into choices that could feel constraining. However, in the long run, will be beneficial.

Moon enters Gemini 12:40 am CDT
Saturday, August 8.
This may have been a heavy week of Saturn saying “No” to you over and over. When the Moon moves into Gemini (mutable air) today, we may seek escape through mental and social activities. Air signs invite detachment and abstraction as a way to dispel pressure. That instinct is apparent today with the Moon also making squares to Mercury in Virgo (mutable earth) and Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). The big news today is that Mars leaves behind Cancer (cardinal water), where it has not felt very comfortable for the last six weeks, and bursts into Leo (fixed fire), eager to make an impact on important themes of this lunar cycle centered around life-force energy.

Moon in Gemini.
Sunday, August 10. Perhaps the best day of the week, that has been influence greatly by squares from gloomy Saturn. Only light-hearted aspects today from the Gemini (mutable air) Moon creates a release valve for any oppression you may be feeling. The opportunity is to find a balancing place between the “yeses” and “nos” of our lives. We need them both.


To read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle influenced by the cusp between Cancer and Leo, visit my website

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