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.

Hear the words of the Star Goddess,
the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven,
whose body encircles the universe:

I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters,
I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.
From me all things proceed and unto me they must return.

Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.
Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and
I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

-from The Charge of the Goddess, by Doreen Valiente, as adapted by Starhawk

From time to time, I’ll add this poem to a forecast. From time to time, the stars just beg me to remember what is found at the end of desire. That word, Desire, could be the title for the current transit between Venus and Mars, which are conjoining in the passionate fire sign, Leo. Venus, retracing her steps through the zodiac through retrograde motion, has been on a journey of discovery. The meeting with Mars on September 1 may be the culmination of that journey—the end of desire. This is the second of three conjunctions between these two planets, but it just may be the lustiest since this conjunction is punctuated by Venus retrograde and the influence of the Full Moon in Pisces. This week, we have the opportunity to experience wonder and mystery amplified by a Supermoon. Beauty abounds. Yearning is palpable.

If Leo is marked by lust, Virgo, the sign that follows Leo, is marked by devotion—the kind of devotion inspired by the poem above. The current lunar cycle intention was seeded by a Leo New Moon and is now transforming to Virgo expressions of work and dedication. Leo’s desire fuels Virgo’s devotion. This transition was marked by Jupiter’s ingress into Virgo last week. This week, the Sun and Jupiter conjoin in Virgo bringing even more emphasis to Virgo issues such as wellness, service, and learning. Taming the demon of perfectionism is the real challenge of this month and year (with Jupiter transiting through Virgo for the next year). Are you up for the task of knowing when your efforts are good enough? Venus and Mars joining in Leo may give us a hint. The Full Moon in Pisces (the sign opposite Virgo) helps us find balance.

Forecast for August 24, 2015—August 30

Moon enters Capricorn 11:22 pm CDT
Monday, August 24.
Most of the day, the Moon is in Sagittarius (mutable fire). Freedom is the name of the game. Early this morning, the Moon trines Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). Do you feel like hitting the road for one last summer fling? If you can’t get away, turn this energy into activism. Values lead us to action and change. The square between the Moon and Mercury in Virgo (mutable earth) presents a challenge. Take care in your communications about your values and visions of change. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s. The extra care will go a long way.

Moon in Capricorn
Tuesday, August 25. Today, the Moon inhabits Capricorn (cardinal earth) in earnest. And the Moon is very earnest in Capricorn. This sign has high expectations. What are yours? The relationship between the Moon and the Sun in Virgo (mutable earth) encourages getting our lives in order. Even if you do only one thing today, put something in order, make a plan for your wellbeing, apply yourself to a dream. With favorable aspects between the Moon and Jupiter and Neptune, dare to dream big. The chakra of the third eye gathers light and envisions a brighter future. Tune into the visionary part of you. The good news is that with the Moon in an earth sign, we may be dreaming something that can actually be accomplished. The Moon conjoins Pluto later this evening; the opportunity is to gather power through confronting our shadows.

Moon in Capricorn
August 26—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. There is nothing wrong with being serious. The Moon in Capricorn (cardinal earth), coupled with the Gibbous phase of the Moon, means we are trying extra hard. With the emphasis on Virgo (mutable earth) this lunar cycle, we may be expecting even more from ourselves than usual. If only there wasn’t a tendency in our culture to sink into shame and perfectionism, this just might be the perfect energy under which to tackle any endeavor. How about we make a pact to call each other out on our unreasonable expectations of ourselves and find a way to celebrate just how glorious we truly are. With the seed of this lunar cycle in Leo (fixed fire) and with Venus and Mars traveling towards each other in Leo too, we may learn this lesson of self-appreciation if we dare.

The Sun and Jupiter come together today for their once-a-year meeting, this time in Virgo. Both of these heavenly bodies help us expand into new possibilities. Together they push us over the top. Although Virgo isn’t known for its exuberance, today may be the exception. Pay attention to the ways you want to commit to your own wellbeing. If you have ever wanted to take a spiritual retreat, now may be the time. The inner realms are rich with insight. Tune in. Mercury in Virgo makes a favorable connection to Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water), enhancing this desire to tune out the external noises.

Moon enters Aquarius 3:03 am CDT
Thursday, August 27.
The element of air is the focus of today. The Moon in Aquarius (fixed air) and Mercury’s ingress into Libra (cardinal air) are all it takes to bring a fresh perspective. That is air’s gift: the ability to rise up from the details of life to get the big picture. Patterns help us to know where we are and how to get to where we want to go. Keep a journal handy to record the insights that come your way today.

Moon in Aquarius
Friday, August 28. The emphasis is on concept. Sometimes we have to let our imaginations run wild. What is the wildest thing you can think of for a solution to one of the world’s many problems? Sometimes, hidden in a wild idea is a kernel of brilliance. Look for that kernel today. If you have been feeling a little touchy lately, perhaps unappreciated or overly self-conscious, the Moon in Aquarius encourages a new perspective. There is a way to crawl out of that hole.

Moon enters Pisces 3:51 am CDT.
August 29—Full Moon: Illuminating. Today’s prescription: Read Rumi’s poem, Buoyancy.  The whole poem is an illumination, but the closing lines capture the essence of this Full Moon in Pisces (mutable water). Here:

Why should we grieve that we have been sleeping?
It does not matter how long we have been unconscious.

We are groggy, but let the guilt go.
Feel the motions of tenderness around you,
the buoyancy.

This is a Supermoon, the first of three this year. Learn more about supermoons here.  Astrologically, a supermoon is a more potent expression of the Full Moon’s power to release pent up energy and illuminate the lessons we need right now. Pisces is the antidote to Virgo obsession. When Pisces and Virgo are in balance we know how to put the heart’s tendernesses into perspective. We remember we have tools to navigate the ocean of emotion and we learn to surrender to any thought that we must be perfect.

Sometimes we feel bound by our small egos, feeling alone and disconnected. Pisces reminds us that we belong to a vaster reality. We are not alone. The Moon is conjunct Neptune in the chart for this Full Moon, further enhancing transcendent connections. How do you sense into the ocean of being? How do you let yourself feel the buoyancy?

The Virgo (mutable earth) Sun conjoins Jupiter to create dynamic tension and balance for this Piscean expansiveness. This is the best kind of balance, where we are able to bring lofty ideals into concrete expressions. It isn’t just about pie-in-the-sky idealism. We are ready to get to work to manifest better relationships to all creation. This better relationship may start with our own health. This year is a great one for starting new practices of wellbeing.

Venus and Mars are nearing their conjunction in Leo (fixed fire). They remind us of the New Moon seed for this lunar cycle. Noble generosity sheds light on the essential worth of each being. Leo fuels the flame of joy and creativity. Venus (self-esteem) and Mars (self-direction) come together to enhance this flame. The quincunx between Mars and Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) helps us to be honest with ourselves. The interplay of light and shadow creates complexity and truth. Not everyone’s motives are pure, including our own.

Moon in Pisces.
Sunday, August 30. Yesterday’s oceanic Full Moon in Pisces (mutable water) may have created big waves in the psychic fields. Let today’s gentle aspects calm those waves. The Moon in Pisces trines Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water). We have deeper resources than we may have known we had before. Let yourself feel that support. Don’t push yourself too hard. You are enough.

* Read about the beginning of the Leo/Virgo lunar cycle on my website

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