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.

An outdoor Halloween puppet show  staged annually alongside the Mississippi River where I live got me thinking about the class of creatures that eat dead things. This puppet show occurs after sunset. Although lit by stagelights, there is plenty of darkness coming from the woods around us. We sit on hay bales, snuggled in our blankets and watch a pageant of death and rememberance of loved ones who have passed. This year, there was a remarkable sequence of bugs and beetles eating a human skull. It may not sound like it, but it was beautiful.

They’re called detrivores, according to Wikipedia. And there are many of them, animals and plants that eat the decaying stuff. Thank goodness for these folks! Can you imagine a world where the dead are not consumed, but stick around in their same forms forever? There would be no room for the living. The metaphorical leap here is that this is what Scorpio excels at: clearing away the decaying stuff. I’ve been thinking a lot about clearing and cleaning. I just recently moved and I’ve got lots of stuff all around me, just sitting there, waiting for an infusion of Virgoan order or Scorpionic purging. Luckily both of these energies are in good supply astrologically. This week, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are in Virgo. The Sun and Mercury are in Scorpio. These two signs generally get along with each other, but I am noticing that there is a distinction that perhaps is causing you as much consternation as it is me. Do I find a place for everything or do I give it away? Am I being called to surrender the detritus of my past life to the forces of decomposition or do I heed the call of Virgo to tidy them and discern how they can best be used?

Both of these impulses are useful, just like the bugs that eat dead stuff and the honeybees who store the summer’s warmth in their honey fulfill a good purpose. As a silly human, I have a hard time choosing sometimes. When presented with astrological conundrums like this, I often choose to do a little of both. I will purge, and I will sort and store.

Since the Moon is waning now, purging feels just right as we use this time to let go of the lunar cycle intentions. However, big energy occurs in Virgo, which will stimulate the desire to sort and store. On Monday, Venus and Mars come together at 24 degrees of Virgo. Mid-week, the Moon enters Virgo for two and a half days of sorting and storing. This energy brings out everyone’s introversion. The Hermit, the Tarot card that corresponds to Virgo, calls us to follow our inner lights to the right balance of letting go and storing away the bounty of the recently passed growing season. Time to begin contemplating the winter mysteries.

Forecast for November 2, 2015 — November 8

Moon enters Leo 9:48 am CST
Monday, November 2.
Fire fuels passion. The Moon in Leo (fixed fire) adds just enough heat to the waning phase of this cycle to spark passion in us today. The conjunction of Venus and Mars in Virgo (mutable earth) doesn’t hurt either. Conjunctions signal the start of a cycle. These two planets won’t come back together until October 2017, so take a moment to notice your passions. The Virgo influence brings a passionate interest in health, wholeness, service, and devotion. The virginal aspect to Virgo does not mean prudish or repressed. The Virgin is true to themselves, a pure aspect of passion that can inspire us today.

Moon in Leo
November 3—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Another leaf drops from the tree. Perhaps you are experiencing loss this season. Perhaps you are experiencing the richness and the fears of darkness. Perhaps this moment, when yet another leaf falls causes you to wonder, how much more can I take? Perhaps this moment is when a type of grace enters. Not to push the grief or darkness away, rather, the grace to allow it to come a little closer to our skins, to work its way into our hearts. This lunar cycle began in Libra (cardinal air) and has transitioned into Scorpio waters. Perhaps you have been thrown off by the contrast. Libra air is orderly, mathematically balanced and refined. The mind understands this terrain. Scorpio is about the soul and rational thought does not do well here. We must feel our way through. At this phase of the Moon, we begin to let go but to also evaluate what has gone before. Take inventory. What are you learning? There has been strong Virgo (mutable earth) influence during this cycle. Mutable signs are the integrators and weavers. Mind and soul are woven into a new cloth.

The Moon in Leo (fixed fire) takes the stage. Notice a desire to be appreciated, to be creative, to share the joy of life. When the Moon trines Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire), the excitable nature of this day only increases. Then there is the emotional aspect. Jupiter in Virgo opposes Chiron in Pisces (mutable water). We could experience the extremes of emotional release and emotional control. Where is the balance point between? How do you find that spot where you are open yet connected to choice?

Moon enters Virgo 8:22 pm CST
Wednesday, November 4.
A few days ago, Venus and Mars conjoined in Virgo (mutable earth). We are still under the influence of the lovers in this sign of purity and devotion. Some say, that Virgos make good lovers because they pay attention to the details. Try it yourself. Light the flame of devotion. Become focused on sharing and receiving pleasure down to its smallest particle. Align body, mind, and soul with your attention.

Moon in Virgo
Thursday, November 5.
Mutable signs (Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Gemini) are adept at sensing energy. In fact, they often have a hard time tuning out the background noise. Each mutable sign, based on its element, has a different style of sensing and coping. Virgo (mutable earth) has a thing about order and chaos. Some Virgos are fine with chaos, but many need to create order around them to keep up with the sensory information they’re receiving. Today is a high-load day of sensory input. The Moon in Virgo squares Saturn in Sagittarius and opposes Neptune in Pisces. This t-square aspect pattern in the mutable signs may over stimulate those in chaotic situations. But it may also provide interesting opportunities for synthesis and understanding. Intuition and reason must find a way to co-exist. We need to tinker with the details, but at some point will need to let go. The quincunx aspect between Jupiter in Virgo and Uranus in Aries is part of the problem but also part of the excitement. Uranus, as the planet of chaotic change, is goading us to revolutionize our lives. Jupiter is fine with that as long as we can maintain a little order too. Is that too much to ask? You be the judge. Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) interjects strength and longevity into the day, perhaps saving us all.

Moon in Virgo
Friday, November 6.
There’s a nice mixture of fluidity and form in the aspects today. Mercury in Scorpio (fixed water) makes a trine to Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). This inspirational connection is great for poetry and trance. We are still deepening into the Scorpio season when the veils between the worlds are thin. The seen and unseen worlds comingle. Messages are sent and received. Be a receiver today. What are you picking up on the airwaves? Form comes from the conjoining of the Moon and Jupiter in Virgo (mutable earth). Each month, the Moon contacts Jupiter, giving us just a little more context to this gas giant’s transit through this sign. Remember the Virgo themes: wholeness, health, devotion, service, apprenticeship, work. Which one resonates for you? Good fortune may come today in this arena. 

Moon enters Libra 9:14 am CST
November 7—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. Astronomical Samhain. The cross-quarter holy days: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasad represent the midpoints between the equinoxes and solstices. Together, these eight days are celebrated as the sabbaths by some Pagans. Today, the Sun reaches the midpoint of Scorpio, which is halfway between the fall equinox and winter solstice. Those who celebrate this Sabbath notice the powerful connection we have to our beloved dead at this moment when the veils are the thinnest between our worlds. This year, Samhain occurs in the Balsamic phase of the Moon, which is already a time of deepening and listening. The dying season of Scorpio is a time to remember our mortality. Bittersweet beauty surrounds this time of year. With the Moon in Libra, we notice the balance and imbalance around us. Are we in good relationship to our ancestors? Are we leaving a better world for descendants? As we visit the unseen worlds, we have the opportunity to bring this question of balance and justice to our beloved dead. Our ancestors made plenty of mistakes. Perhaps they have good information about how to avoid ours.

Moon in Libra
Sunday, November 8.
Venus moves into Libra (cardinal air) today. Don’t get me wrong, Venus enjoys Virgo (in her own way) but I’m sure she will enjoy spreading her wings a little bit more in her own sign. Honor the goddess of love and justice. She can be fierce, and she can be charming. The many faces of Venus will be shown during the month of Venus’ transit through Libra. Perhaps we will notice the edginess of the Moon square to Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) and opposite Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). Will Venus try to smooth over the bumps or will she inspire us to lead the charge for justice?

* 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.