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

Here we go. This week we get the clear message that change is afoot and we can’t stand on the sidelines anymore. The wheel of the year has turned and it is time to engage our wills to work towards the change we want to see. The Sun is now in Aries. North of the Earth’s Equator, this means the growing year begins. It’s time to emerge from winter’s introspection. Not so long ago, at the New Moon on March 8, a seed was planted in the Pisces season. I personally infused that seed with the intention to break down old myths through vulnerability and allow myself to be seen. Breaking down and breaking through old constructs so that new identity can emerge is exactly what the transition between Pisces and Aries is about. The Pisces way to break down structures is not to hit them over the head with a hammer, but to let them dissolve. We can feel exposed and uncertain when this happens, yet that vulnerability is also a potent ingredient for living a wholehearted life.

Getting off the sidelines can feel vulnerable too. Transits this week may surprise us into taking action, even if we didn’t expect to. A lunar eclipse on Wednesday, March 23, adds an unsettled energy to this spring’s beginning. Jupiter and Saturn square off exactly this week. This particular relationship (the waning square) happens every twenty years. Saturn in Sagittarius is presenting the somber reality of our cultural stories. Where have they gotten us? Jupiter in Virgo is presenting a belief that we can create positive outcomes through service and diligence. The tension between these two may force a slipping of stuck places. Right now, in the U.S. we are struggling between extreme points of view. Conservative politicians are digging in their heels. The bizarre candidacy of Trump may be a result of this stagnation. Other people are putting their faith (Jupiter) in candidates they see as working towards a better world. Since this square happens on the same day as the lunar eclipse, we may see even starker differences come to light. The rising energy of spring encourages action. Thoughtless reactivity could be a danger, but acts of heart and brilliance are possible too.

On Friday, March 25, Venus in Pisces will join the aspect pattern between Jupiter and Saturn to form a challenging t-square. Venus will oppose Jupiter and square Saturn. These mutable signs can be slippery. They encourage adaptation and are quick to respond to information. Here the information comes from the realms of pragmatic realities, paradigm-shaping beliefs, and fluctuating emotions. We may be quick to accept a version of reality based on feelings alone that don’t check out. Others might be overly attached to the facts. Still others may feel that if they control the story, they can control the outcome. This aspect may increase a feeling that we are being manipulated through media. It is good to question our first assumptions and to think well of others as we try to create healthier relationships and healthier sources of information.

Forecast for March 21, 2016 — March 27

 Moon in Virgo
Monday, March 21.
The Virgo Moon stimulates and triggers response to the square between Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius. The response to difficult choices may be to work really hard to find the perfect solution or system. Virgo is industrious. We can tap this energy of wanting to work a little harder to break through some of the stalemates we are encountering. If you are feeling stuck between two choices or points of view, this could be the Jupiter/Saturn influence. The Moon also taps into the recent conjunction of Venus and Neptune in Pisces. Venus and Neptune are conspiring to soften the shield around our hearts. You may be feeling more tender. The response could be to harden into self-criticism or judgment of others. If you are grieving, don’t try to fix it but notice the feelings. If we prepare the ground of our hearts well, something beautiful can grow from this Virgo dedication to healing. Mercury enters Aries today. Communications speed up. We see the passion and sometimes anger behind words. That passion is also communicating.

Moon in Virgo
Tuesday, March 22.
A void of course (VOC) Moon all day is a chance to pause and regroup. A VOC Moon is a period of time when the Moon has completed all the aspects it will make while in a sign. In a sense, the Moon has done its job in this energy signature and we get to integrate and perhaps rest from the input. The Moon is still in Virgo, so we may use this energy to tidy up, whatever that means to you. My recommendation is to be gentle with your expectations. Small steps are powerful. We are on the cusp of a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, so honoring any calm and peace you find may be a good way to get ready for the next upheaval.

Moon enters Libra 12:23 am CDT
March 23—Full Moon: Illuminating. Lunar Eclipse.
Eclipses are wild cards. They affect people more strongly when the degree of the eclipse hits on a part of the natal chart. However, even when an eclipse is more personal, we still don’t know how it will play out. The sudden darkness and illumination may come as a welcomed reset of our lives. It could arrive with an opportunity or a brand new way of looking at things. It could also arrive with tremors of change that feel unsettling. It is not for nothing, that ancient astrologers said a dragon was eating the Moon (or Sun) during an eclipse. Dragon energy is strong at eclipse time. Humans can’t control dragons, but it is possible to become their friends. This is a good opportunity to talk to a dragon and listen to their counsel.

This lunar cycle was seeded in the Pisces season, but the Sun has moved into Aries now, so this Full Moon occurs in the opposite sign of Libra. An eclipsed Libra Moon gives us the opportunity to radically review our relationship to balance and justice. How do these qualities inform your lunar intentions? My intention is concerned with dissolving myth and showing up in a vulnerable way in the world. Perhaps the lesson for me is to offer up my fears to the dragon of this Moon and to look at rebalancing my life now that I have done some of this work. (I believe it never finishes.)

A new season signaled by the ingress of the Sun into a cardinal sign (Aries), gives us the opportunity to begin again. Likely you have encountered obstruction and frustration over the last few months. Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius are coming into the second of three exact squares this week. These planets define culture through story (Jupiter) and reality (Saturn). Story influences what we think is possible just as much as the limitations of life influence what is possible. These forces are not cooperating at the moment. So we have to adjust. Stories need to change. Beliefs need to evolve. Realignment of intention is a good practice under this transit. Becoming rigid is a sign we are out of alignment.

Venus in Pisces is forming a t-square aspect pattern with Jupiter and Saturn at the Full Moon. In addition to dragons, there is a goddess of love asking us to soften and feel our connections with others. There is a caution that we will make mistakes in this area. Perhaps trust too much, or merge too deeply, or try to escape our hard choices. Perhaps these are sacred mistakes. Perhaps, even though we aren’t perfect, we need to fall from the path a little in order to accept our imperfection.

The Sun conjoins Mercury at the Full Moon increasing the sense that we are receiving messages. In Aries, these messages involve action. The Aries style of action is aligned with the Fool as much as the Hero. In other words, you don’t need to know where you are going, but dare to step out into the adventure. You are the one you’ve been waiting for.

Moon in Libra
Thursday, March 24.
Mercury in Aries trine Mars in Sagittarius gives the signal to go. Chance conversation or unusual sources of information can lead you on your next adventure. Fire encourages us to trust ourselves more and to be willing to forgive ourselves for mistakes. The Moon in Libra forms tense relationship to the revolutionary planets—Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries. This aspect following a lunar eclipse could trigger abrupt reactions and could reduce our ability to maintain equilibrium. Since a Libra Moon really wants balance, we may have to work harder to achieve that state today.

Moon enters Scorpio 1:09 pm CDT
Friday, March 25.
Do you hear the squeal of brakes? Saturn in Sagittarius is stationing retrograde today. If you have planets or important points around 16 degrees of mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces), then you are feeling the pressure of Saturn right now. Life could feel hard for all of us, however, since the period around a change in planetary direction increases the influence of that planet for everyone. With the Moon entering Scorpio today, this pressure could hurt even more. Saturn often causes self-doubt and can feel like moving through molasses as we try to crawl out of negativity. Be extra gentle with self-expectations today. Saturn is the ultimate alchemist too. There is a reason to slow down and regroup. This will help us move forward into mastery. Venus in Pisces opposes Jupiter in Virgo and squares Saturn today. This influence reminds us to release perfectionism. Look for inspiration through art, through beloveds, through spiritual practice.

Moon in Scorpio
Saturday, March 26.
Some of the recent struggles transforms into positive flow. The key word is flow. Water is the key to creating a sense of moving past some blockages. The Moon in Scorpio informs us that transformation is possible if we are willing to go deep. Venus in Pisces (mutable water) makes an encouraging aspect to Pluto in Capricorn (co-ruler of Scorpio). This connection renews vitality and strengthens spiritual connections. The Moon forms positive relationship with Neptune in Pisces and Jupiter in Virgo, easing some of the conflict we may have experienced between letting go and perfecting. Through remembering the depths in our souls, we find the balance we need. The fire influence today comes from the trine between the Sun in Aries and Mars in Sagittarius. Fire can flow as well. This is the flow that comes from energetic exchange. Practices of joy, gratitude, and generosity help this flow to take hold in our lives.

 Moon in Scorpio
March 27—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. We land on the shores of reflection and integration at this phase of the Moon. This has been an eclipse Moon cycle. Did you notice more intensity? What have you experienced? What have you learned? There are many layers and levels influencing us in this moment. Since this lunar cycle began in Pisces, most likely we are not conscious of all the levels. That is OK. Can you trust that you are in the right place now to share yourself anyway? Being vulnerable is being willing to be who we are. As the world’s needs call out to us strongly, perhaps the best response is to say simply, “Here I am.” Show up. What if everyone did that? Pisces is an idealistic sign. Scorpio, where the Moon resides now, is a realist. Both are water signs, there is a way to hold both these ways of being in this moment. What are you noticing? The Moon in Scorpio trines Venus in Pisces, providing more opportunity to work with the paradox of idealism and realism. What needs softening? What needs more structure? A good balance here strengthens our hearts and souls.

Read about the beginning of the Pisces lunar cycle here 

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