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.

About a week ago, the New Moon in Libra initiated a cycle influenced by Libra’s desire for balance and fairness tinged with Scorpionic broodings about power and death. Libra is often described in airy, positive ways and Scorpio in dark and mistrustful ways. However, every sign has its shadow, and Scorpio’s propensity for seeing the shadow can bring out this side of Libra too. This may be the real work of this lunar cycle: Getting underneath the façade of Libra niceness. Right now, the Moon cycles are following a pattern where the New Moon falls near the end of a sign so that the following Full Moon is in the next sign. (e.g., in the last lunar cycle, the Libra/Aries Full Moon occurred in the Virgo lunar cycle.) Next week, the Full Moon in Taurus is opposed by the Sun in Scorpio, thus our lunar intentions are colored by the relationship between conjoining signs: Libra and Scorpio (with Taurus providing the light of illumination). This jumble of signs has us noticing that true balance may be achieved if we go beneath the surface to get at the root causes of those imbalances.

Scorpio’s specialty is the purging of dead matter. We can use this Scorpio skill to transform “dead” attachments to niceness and hollow forms of harmony. It is time to get real. Libra, you may sometimes be afraid to rock the boat, but you’ve also been given a righteous anger about injustice. We need to tap into that right now. This week, when the Sun enters Scorpio, we get a nudge out of complacency. Balance is only a virtue when it encourages response. Like being able to shift my stance when I notice my impact on another. Or being able to adjust my position when I see the bigger picture. Balance is virtue when it is fluid and adapting. Scorpio can help us see when we’ve become frozen and formulaic.

The transit this week that perfectly sums up the contrast between Libra and Scorpio is the square between Mercury in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn on the 22nd. Mercury made two previous squares to Pluto during the recent retrograde period, and with this aspect reaches some kind of conclusion. How can we say what is really in our hearts while at the same time being mindful of how this truth might strike another? A confrontation between Mercury and Pluto is about truth and the power of words. Some things need saying. Other truths need to cook a little longer. Sometimes we just can’t tell which is best until we let a few words out of the pot to see how they do. Watch out for blurting. From yourself and others. It may take Libran diplomacy to back out.

Forecast for October 19, 2015 — October 25

Moon in Capricorn
Monday, October 19.
There is a high level of efficiency and expectation wrapped into this day. This is the best of earth energy: proactive, pragmatic, and poised. The Moon in Capricorn (cardinal earth) makes trines to the Virgo (mutable earth) planets: Venus, Jupiter, and Mars. The Moon also contacts Pluto in Capricorn lending an even stronger dose of no-nonsense to the day. This is a great day to notice what brings you the greatest satisfaction. It could be anything from the simplicity of cleaning your home to the grandeur of aiming for the sky. Stand back and see what you can accomplish through putting muscle behind your dreams.

Moon enters Aquarius 8:38 pm CDT
October 20—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. There’s no reason we can’t bring yesterday’s efficiency into today as well. The Moon remains in Capricorn (cardinal earth) for most of the day (CDT) and there aren’t any other aspects today except for the square between the Sun in Libra (cardinal air) and the Moon. This marks the First Quarter phase of the lunar cycle and is a good time to notice where you are in your Moon magic for this cycle. What are you noticing about your ambitions? Ambition is a strong Capricorn quality but is shared by Libra as well. Both of these signs have high standards and have high expectations. Squares are challenges, so this combination may challenge us to negotiate between different types of expectation. On one hand, Capricorn influence asks us to consider our foundations: What makes us stronger? Libra influence invites us to consider beauty and relationship as we aim for manifesting our heart’s desires.

Moon in Aquarius
Wednesday, October 21.
With the Moon in Aquarius (fixed air) making favorable aspects to Saturn and Mercury, concepts sparkle. We become more interested in ideas than the work it takes to manifest those ideas. It can feel liberating to fly through realms of thought but eventually we’ll need to land somewhere. Perhaps it would be a good idea to take one of these thoughts and make a single concrete step to manifest a better world.

Moon in Aquarius
Thursday, October 22.
A shift happens today. Do you feel it? The first days of this week have focused on manifestation through earth and air qualities of hard work balanced with vision and inspiration. We dive into deeper waters today. Mercury in Libra (cardinal air) forms a square to Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth), preparing the way for the Sun’s ingress into Scorpio tomorrow. This is the third time Mercury has formed a square to Pluto since beginning the retrograde journey in September. Pluto has a way of pulling out the shadow from any planet. What is underneath your words and thoughts today? Are you satisfied with them? There is a strong urge to speak the truth. Consider the consequences. There is also a strong urge to claim the power of your words. Do so. 

Moon enters Pisces 12:17 am CDT
Friday, October 23.
Sun enters Scorpio. I invite you to chew on these words written by Jungian psychologist James Hillman as he defines soul: “First, “soul” refers to the deepening of events into experiences; second, the significance soul makes possible, whether in love or in religious concern, derives from its special relation with death. And third, by “soul” I mean the imaginative possibilities of our natures, the experiencing through reflective speculation, dream, image, and fantasy—that mode which recognizes all realities as primarily symbolic or metaphorical.” (cf Re-visioning Psychology). Scorpio time is a soul-making time—a time of deepening; a time of death; and a time of dream, image, and fantasy feeding the seen and unseen worlds. With the Moon in Pisces (mutable water) and the Sun in fixed water Scorpio, we can feel the veils between the worlds dissolving and what we are left with is soul. This is a powerful day. Venus in Virgo (mutable earth) gets a taste of soulful desire through a trine with Pluto. Mars in Virgo opposes Chiron in Pisces bringing a desire to be of service, even if it involves sacrifice. The Moon also squares Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire) and conjoins Neptune. How do you separate dogma from truth? Beliefs are colliding, causing war and hatred. As the veils thin, we can ask for the wisdom of the ancestors to discern the truth. Paradox and mystery are everywhere. As Mars makes a quincunx aspect to Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire), we are forced to temper our passions even as we dare to make strong changes in our lives. On a complex day, think about what makes soul for you.

Moon in Pisces
October 24—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. As busy as yesterday was with transits, today is open and receptive. The Moon in Pisces (mutable water) makes an early morning opposition to Mars in Virgo (mutable earth), perhaps getting many of us off to a cranky start, but then the Moon moves into an extended void-of-course period lasting the rest of the day. We have a chance to discharge the energy of yesterday. Under this phase of the Moon we want to fine-tune things. The soul-making season of Scorpio is here. Perhaps we are fine-tuning our souls. Are you experiencing the journey downward as an initiation? Or is it a chance to turn inward and visit quietly with your beloved dead? However you are experiencing this season so far, take a moment to honor your process. One of the gifts of this season is the awakening memory that we are creatures of the Earth. Each of us responds physically and emotionally as the Earth goes to sleep in the fall (in the northern hemisphere) and awakens in the spring (southern hemisphere). We remember we are animals and, strangely enough, that feels like soul. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, please take a moment to honor this season of deeper connections.

Moon enters Aries 1:21 am CDT
Sunday, October 25.
The two benefic planets, Venus and Jupiter conjoin in Virgo (mutable earth) today. We can see these two in the pre-dawn sky with Mars nearby.  Virgo issues are blessed by this pairing. These include the skill of finding integration and wholeness, the ability to discern and refine, and the call to be of service and to do meaningful work. These humble gifts can change the world. And changing the world just might be on our minds today. Mercury in Libra (cardinal air) opposes Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). When Mercury and Uranus touch, sparks can fly. These are the sparks created by thinking outside the box and challenging the status quo. The Aries Moon only adds to the fire and sparkle of this day. Dare to be. Dare to do.

* Read about the beginning of the Libra/Scorpio lunar cycle on my website

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




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