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.


Even after decades of observing astrological influences, I can still be surprised by them. Last week’s Full Moon Eclipse, coupled with Saturn stationing retrograde while squaring Jupiter, was one of those times. Perhaps it was the accumulation of transits or perhaps it was due to having these degrees activate points in my own natal chart, but the recent celestial events seem to have walloped a lot of folks I know. Including me. As I reflect more, I think my lunar intention had something to do with it, too. I asked for the vulnerability of being seen. Ah, the hubris of such an intention! I seem to have got what I asked for. The waning phases of a lunar cycle is a good time to notice what resulted from our intentions. It is also a good time to look back with a little more wisdom upon simpler times—all of two weeks ago. Funny, how sometimes just two weeks can make a lot of difference.

What are you noticing?

Two weeks ago, I set an intention influenced by a desire to drop some of my emotional shielding. The lunar cycle, seeded in the sign of Pisces seemed like a good opportunity to let dissolve some of those shields. Having done work like this before, I know this can feel incredibly vulnerable. Not hiding away in a tower of correctness, I have experienced the self-doubt of wondering if my mistakes were causing harm, whether anyone would still like me, wondering if my imperfect offerings had any value. Saturn is the planet of self-doubt. When Saturn stations (appears to be standing still before appearing to change direction), its influence is huge. Even if we didn’t choose an intention around vulnerability, this lunar cycle has felt more vulnerable for a lot of folks.

We are living in mutable times. Since the beginning of 2016, I’ve written a lot about the mutable sign emphasis of this year. Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire); Jupiter and the North Node of the Moon in Virgo (mutable earth); and Neptune, Chiron, and the South Node of the Moon in Pisces (mutable water) are stirring things up so that we may adapt to the changes going on in our world. Antennas are extended, even when we think they aren’t, to pick up on the signals. What do we need to know to go forward into uncertain times? Nervous systems are stretched to the max, wondering if we might miss some vital piece of information. This level of attention can be exhausting. Notice what you need to replenish yourself.

Now that the Sun and Mercury have entered Aries (cardinal fire), sensitive nervous systems may be more reactionary. Small sparks can light big fires. This week Mercury conjoins Uranus in Aries. Uranus, a planet just waiting for the next revolutionary spark, riles up our reactions even more. Uranus is the great awakener. The more we’ve been asleep, the greater the jolt. The positive manifestation from a conjunction of Mercury and Uranus is a quick start to ingenious invention. Be ready to act on inspiration. Mercury, the master of information, is busy this week making a quincunx aspect to Jupiter, a trine to Saturn, and a square to Pluto. The challenges are around perfectionism and power struggles. The gift may a solid plan for using some of the information we’ve been collecting.

Forecast for March 28, 2016 — April 3 

Moon in Sagittarius
Monday, March 28.
All the mutable signs are gathering and integrating information in the style of their element. In other words, the Moon in Sagittarius (mutable fire) encourages the spontaneous knowing of the fire element. Fire apprehends wisdom through energy. Energy is simply what gets noticed. What stands out today? Where will the energy lead you? Be willing to let it take you on a journey. The Moon conjoins Mars in Sagittarius, reducing hesitancy and increasing spontaneity. This fire could bring an upswing in vitality or a release of frustration. The Sun in Aries (cardinal fire) makes a trine to the Moon as well. We can use this energy to burn away lingering doubts. When the Moon forms a square this evening (CDT) with Neptune, we are reminded of the water element’s way of gathering information through our emotions. Misunderstandings could arise if we fail to be sensitive to this information as well.

Moon in Sagittarius
Tuesday, March 29.
This is a busy day astrologically. The Moon in Sagittarius activates the close square between Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius. Conflicting information is coming at us. Jupiter and Saturn represent fundamental approaches to life. Jupiter opens; Saturn constrains. In extreme, both approaches are problematic. The square is time of rebalancing and refining our approaches to life. Everything is under investigation adding to the sense that we need to learn our lessons well, right now. Notice what you need, more structure or more leniency. Mercury in Aries stimulates the desire to acquire new information and use it well. First Mercury makes a quincunx to Jupiter and then a trine to Saturn. This combination could lead to resolution of perplexing problems. It may be necessary to hold conflicting messages to do so. Venus in Pisces (mutable water) conjoins the South Node of the Moon while the Moon makes a square to both. Relationship issues may surface. We are still feeling vulnerable underneath. 

Moon enters Capricorn 12:45 pm CDT
Wednesday, March 30.
Chiron is not a planet, but the influence of this celestial body in our solar system is large. Chiron entered the sign of Pisces (mutable water) in 2010 and remains there till 2018. The Wounded Healer, as Chiron is sometimes known, seems to be uncovering the impact of trauma in our lives while transiting this sign. Water holds memory. Our cells, comprised of mostly water, hold memories too. Today, Venus in Pisces conjoins Chiron to stir up memories. While pain may be part of this experience there are treasures here too. Venus encourages relationship. Cherish the relationships that honor your healing journey. They are precious. The potent sensitivity of this day is challenged by a square between Mercury in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. If you are feeling up to it, this may be a good day to fight for a cause you believe in. No worries, however, if you aren’t up for the fight, you may learn something valuable about your core beliefs anyway. 

Moon in Capricorn
March 31—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. One of my criteria of wellbeing is having a balanced access to all the elemental qualities. Since the key word here is balanced, it is important to me to make room for the elemental expressions that I resist as well as make the best use of the elemental expressions I naturally gravitate towards. Today, we could say the conflict is between fire and earth expressions. But the gift is the opportunity to balance these elemental expressions. What might that look like? Could it be passion married to effectiveness? Could it be energizing our structures with life force? Or might it be commitment to resolving conflict? Whatever the potential, the fire and earth aspects today are strong. First of all, Mercury conjoins Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) setting off sparks of revolution. This pair is ingenious together. And impulsive. The Moon in Capricorn (cardinal earth) tries to put a brake on reckless passion today and tomorrow. Although it could feel like frustration, this is actually a good thing when we think about sustaining our passions over the long run. The Moon also contacts Jupiter in Virgo (mutable earth) and Pluto in Capricorn, increasing our access to earthy wisdom. Under this influence, we shift into the evaluation phase of the lunar cycle. What worked well for you? What do you regret or wish you had done better? Resist shaming yourself and use this moment to balance the qualities of insight with forgiveness. This lunar cycle, seeded in the time of Pisces flow, is about letting go so we may begin the process of renewal in the next lunar cycle seeded with Aries passion. What is left for you to do to get ready for the next cycle?

Moon enters Aquarius 8:37 pm CDT
Friday, March April 1.
While most of us were trying to sleep (U.S. time zones), the Moon in Capricorn contacted the conjunction of Uranus and Mercury in Aries. If you’ve been feeling fairly impulsive or mentally stimulated this week, you may have awakened to a sobering reality this morning. It could feel like someone has just doused your fire with a pile of dirt. But this could be a good thing too. Reconsidering things could make them even better. Check your details. Put a better plan in place.

Moon in Aquarius
Saturday, April 2
Planetary conflicts and challenges ease off for the weekend. Whew. The Moon in Aquarius supports a detached approach. We are able to take things less personally. The focus changes to the broader world of community: political, spiritual, or special interests groups. The secret to being effective under this influence is to be in conversation with like-minded people. Organize to change the world.

Moon in Aquarius
Sunday, April 3.
Perhaps the tricky parts of the past week can be seen as an initiatory experience for the breakthroughs we make today. Certainly we encounter fewer obstacles to our brilliant insights. Hopefully, that is a good thing! The Moon in Aquarius makes an encouraging connection to Mercury and Uranus in Aries helping us to move forward with innovation and change. Seize the day.

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.