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.

Jumping ahead to the next new thing is an unfortunate addiction in the U.S. We are constantly being bombarded with messages about the future, needing to be on top of the latest innovations, planning for progress that never quite comes. Many have lost touch with the gifts of pausing and letting feelings arise. We’ve become accustomed to numbing out the uncertainty or painful memories that can come from emptiness. This week, we may notice the tension between needing to linger a little longer in Pisces emptiness and jumping ahead into Aries action.

It isn’t as if moving forward is a bad thing. Astrology’s wisdom about appropriate action in appropriate seasons reminds us that at times, the right thing to do is to leap, even without a plan (Aries is good at that). But, geared as we are to the shiny and new, it is good to question ourselves, is this the time to take that leap? What business from this waning Pisces lunar cycle, which ends on April 7th, is still left for me to do? Appropriate action in the Pisces season is to release the past. At times this shedding can take longer than we think. Aries impatience may have us moving ahead into the spring season before we are ready. Notice where your heart really resides this week. Not every birth begins with a clap of thunder. Considering the emotional work of the past lunar cycle (made more poignant by two eclipses with Chiron conjunct the South Node and Saturn stationing retrograde in Sagittarius), it is OK to ease into spring’s awakening. If you can.

Uranus, the planet of awakening, plays a major role in the Aries lunar cycle coming up. When the Sun makes its annual conjunction with Uranus this week, it may be hard to remember the spaciousness of the previous lunar cycle. We are raring to go. Battles must be fought. Revolutions must be sparked. Under this antsy energy, Mars, the ruler of Aries, will station retrograde in Sagittarius on April 17. If we don’t watch it, ordinary frustrations could light bigger fires. Pluto stations retrograde the day after. The days right before the Full Moon on April 22 could be tense and brooding. Before the Aries lunar cycle is complete, Mercury will station retrograde too. All these planets turning retrograde after the Uranus/Sun conjunction could feel like needing to back up to undo impulsive choices or reconsider rash action. Perhaps the thing that helps temper impulsive acts that we later regret is to take care at the end of the Pisces lunar cycle—listen to what your heart says about letting the past truly go.

Forecast for April 4, 2016 — April 10

Moon enters Pisces 12:45 am CDT
April 4—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. This Pisces lunar cycle comes to a close. What is left for you to surrender? Don’t be dismayed if you’ve reached weariness with this whole emotional release thing that has been going on this lunation. It is almost over. The Aries initiative begins in earnest this week with the next New Moon on April 7th. Before rebirth, allow for the pause that regenerates the soul. The Moon conjoins Neptune in Pisces today making this directive even more important. Grief may suddenly rise up. A desire to numb out or give up could too. Be gentle with yourself. The anxious contrast of the day comes from two aspects: Moon square Mars in Sagittarius and a quincunx aspect between the Sun in Aires and Jupiter in Virgo. One part of us is done with waiting, weighing our choices, being pragmatic. The other part is afraid we’ll plunge into something we won’t be able to get out of gracefully. The paradox is solved by trusting in our imperfections. Although it may not be prudent to plunge in yet, this tension is priming the pump for later this week when “the readiness is all.”

Moon in Pisces
Tuesday, April 5.
Spring weather can be variable. One moment it’s warm and luscious, the next a wintery chill comes in on the wind. Today is like that. Variable. The Moon in Pisces starts the day with a square to Saturn in Sagittarius. All is seriousness. The Sun in Aries contributes to the earnest tone by making a trine to Saturn. If fire (Aries and Sagittarius) is a resource, then we want to use it responsibly. What adjustments do you need to make to enhance vital energy? Then the weather shifts again. Venus enters Aries. We are less concerned with pleasing others and feel OK about pleasing ourselves first. Less caretaking and more assertiveness is born with this shift that lasts for the next three and a half weeks. However, this isn’t the only change in weather. The Moon conjoins Chiron in Pisces. Remember, the Moon is still in sensitive Pisces, right? Venus’ self-assertion might also cause hurt feelings. Luckily, Mercury’s ingress into grounded Taurus provides a pragmatic point of view to negotiate uncertain weather.

Moon enters Aries 1:46 am CDT
Wednesday, April 6.
On the last day of the Pisces lunar cycle, which began on March 8, acknowledge something new about your intuition. These muscles have been developing this lunar cycle and they come in handy today as the Sun in Aries forms a square to Pluto in Capricorn. Something may be really bugging you. The source could be deep in your psyche or deep in the toxic power structures of our culture. It may be possible to bring what’s wrong to light. What if we believed that corruption is conquered by an open heart? What if we practiced that belief today? The Moon in Aries and Mars in Sagittarius give us the green light. Spring really dawns tomorrow with the Aries New Moon, but we feel frisky today.

Moon in Aries
April 7—New Moon: Dreaming. A dream is catching fire right now. It has been dormant in the darkness for a while. You may already know what it is. You may not have a clue, but life’s own momentum moves it out into the world. A dream is catching fire. This dream is quite possibly about the intersection between the world’s great need for transformation and your own personal need for authenticity. There can be such an intersection, where our personal paths of becoming lead to changing the world. The metaphor of a butterfly’s beating wings causing a hurricane on the other side of the Earth applies to this moment of small actions and intersections. We just don’t know where it will take us, what affect it will have. But a dream is catching fire with the joining of the Sun and Moon in Aries.

This Sun and Moon are lit up by Uranus in Aries in the chart for the New Moon. Since 2010, when Uranus entered this sign, revolutions have caught fire all around the world. We are still in upheaval. Something is trying to awaken. Uranus is prodding. If you could wake up to one thing this lunar cycle, what would you wish it to be? How do you want to greet the new day? What do you long to pass along to future generations? Let that answer be your wake up call.

Pluto is guardian of the shadows until we are ready to look into them. Pluto presents in two ways. One way is obsessive and controlling. The other is liberating and revitalizing. The side of Pluto each of us experiences has to do with how ready we are to look into the shadow. At this New Moon, Pluto in Capricorn forms a square to the Sun and Moon. This isn’t a test of how good we are, or how evolved we are. This aspect is a chance to check in with our own shadows, to know ourselves in all our parts and be renewed by soulful acceptance. Pluto is preparing to station retrograde on April 18. Even as Aries calls us to emerge into the light, it is good to remember the underworld we’ve recently emerged from.

Mars in Sagittarius is also preparing to station retrograde on April 17. Every two years, Mars replays the mythic journey of the hero leaving behind the ordinary world to seek something deeper within. These inward journeys fuel the dreams that are catching fire this Aries season.

For some lunar cycles, I know right away the intention I want to work for that cycle. For others, need more time. I call this phase when the lunar cycle begins, the Dreaming Moon. Sometimes it is best to let an intention percolate through dreams and desires until we know it. I know a dream is catching fire. I plan to watch the dream ignite and see what it wants to tell me. How will you begin this cycle? How will you engage your dreams?

Moon enters Taurus 1:10 am CDT
Friday, March April 8. There’s just enough passion and just enough pragmatism in this day to get things done. The Sun in Aries approaches a conjunction with Uranus tomorrow. That’s the part about passion, especially passion for change. The Moon enters Taurus and conjoins Mercury right away. That’s the part about pragmatism. Words matter. What we say and how we say it will make a difference in manifesting the change we desire.

Moon in Taurus
Saturday, April 9. Let’s get to work. The Moon in Taurus is willing to do whatever is necessary to begin the personal and global revolutions we are ready for. The Sun conjoins Uranus in Aries today. I imagine this is the real beginning of spring. The New Moon in Aries is past and this spark of awakening gets us moving. The Moon provides just enough grounding to help us steady the course. The trine between the Moon and Pluto in Capricorn lends us power and strength. What is the dream catching fire for you today? It may not feel quite as impossible as it once did.

Moon enters Gemini 12:59 am CDT
Sunday, April 10.
With the Moon in Gemini, all four mutable signs are activated by a grand cross aspect pattern. Some of the orbs are large (the distance from exactitude) but the effect will be noticeable. Mutable signs have been preparing us to sense and understand more and more information. Each element has its way of understanding—through our minds, emotions, and through our physical and energetic bodies. It is easy to be overwhelmed. The Moon creates a need to learn, Mars in Sagittarius is questing for the truth, Neptune in Pisces erases the boundaries between us, and Jupiter in Virgo attempts to bring health through integrated wellness practices. There is a lot going on. Added to the tension is a perplexing quincunx between Mercury in Taurus and Mars. Expansive belief meets skepticism. Mercury has to work extra hard to lend a sense of groundedness to the day, but that is just what we need. Don’t believe everything you think.

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.