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.

Breathing. Grounding. Breathing. Grounding. I sit down to write this week’s forecast on Sunday afternoon (June 12). I am finding it hard to focus. Feelings run from deep sorrow to high anxiety, the news in the U.S. this week has been intense. Social media, which sometimes feels like a collective nervous system, has been firing message after message like jolts of adrenaline through the collective body. Messages about rape culture. Messages about racism. Now, this hate crime against queer folk. It feels like our collective nervous system is overwhelmed by trauma right now. At least that is how it feels to me.

The Gemini New Moon and a powerful configuration of planets called a grand mutable cross have been the seed energy of the current lunar cycle. All the mutable signs—but especially Gemini as the air mutable sign—are focused on receiving and sharing information. I’ve used the metaphor of “antennas up” to describe the pervasive feeling that we are on alert, taking in and trying to understand more and more information. The nature of a grand cross is that all the elements of the same modality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable) are represented in this pattern. Each element has its own wisdom and ways of doing the work of receiving and giving information. Mutable signs are the sensitive ones. These signs seem to know that there is more influencing us than our eyes alone can see. Traumatic events are triggers for this heightened awareness. With so much bombarding our nervous systems right now, it is very important to have the tools of self-care and self-love. I’d like to offer one source of inspiration and information. My friend, Uncle Bear has recently begun a video blog—Five Minutes with Uncle Bear. These two on the benefits of gratitude practice are brilliant. As Uncle Bear points out, research shows that a gratitude practice can help shift humans out of trauma response, opening new neurological pathways out of fear and despair. Part 1Part 2. We need this.

A major transit this week is stretching the ways we seek understanding and connection with others. Saturn in Sagittarius makes the second of three exact squares to Neptune in Pisces (first time was in November 2015 and the last time will be in September 2016). Saturn and Neptune are concerned with defining paradigm—a collective cognitive framework, the way we think things are, the ways we try to find meaning. Mutable signs in and of themselves (Sagittarius and Pisces) are concerned with perception, add in these planetary heavies and we know we are in for changing the way we see things. Think of this as a liminal time when new understandings are manifesting. Mutability feels slippery. We aren’t sure where we are headed, we don’t know if current understandings are going to stick. This can create stress and anxiety, but there is an enormous opportunity here too. Each of us is influencing the whole. Each of us has the ability to contribute the thought forms and constructs that we desire for this world right now. None of us has to be perfect to do this. None of us has to understand the whole pattern, even if the mutable signs are stimulating us to know more and more. What if you could add just one drop to the collective stew of understanding, what would that drop be? What will you add? This lunar cycle is not even half over. The work of the waxing lunar phases is to bring intention into manifestation. What practices, actions, thoughts, and values will help you do that? Let that guide you through this week.

Forecast for June 13, 2016 — June 19 

Moon in Libra
Monday, June 13.
A planet’s influence is stronger when it stations to change direction. Today, Neptune in Pisces turns retrograde, making this day all about the influence of the ocean god. Later this week, on Friday, Saturn in Sagittarius will exactly square a still powerful and stationary Neptune. We are swimming in deep waters. A magical, mutable atmosphere encourages deep expressions of connection, collective grief, as well as universal experiences of beauty and spirit. Venus in Gemini has been active this lunar cycle making many significant aspects to the other planets in the mutable grand cross. Under this influence, new understandings of rape culture and oppression of women have surfaced. Today, Venus makes a quincunx aspect to Mars in Scorpio and a square to Chiron in Pisces. The connection to Mars creates a tension between a desire to connect and a need to express anger, perhaps even rage. The square to Chiron re-opens wounds. Be gentle with yourself and others.

Moon in Libra
Tuesday, June 14
. The Moon in Libra riles up a sense of injustice when the Moon makes a square to Pluto in Capricorn and an opposition to Uranus in Aries early in the day. The sextile between the Sun in Gemini and Uranus would normally be a positive embrace of change. But with tensions high, this aspect may also trigger people who are deeply afraid of change. Perhaps the best response to the planetary influences today is to endeavor to be the change you want to see in the world. By the way, it is Donald Trump’s birthday. Do your own magic around that.

Moon enters Scorpio 8:18 am CDT
Wednesday, June 15
Today, the Sun mirrors the exact same transits that Venus made yesterday: Sun in Gemini quincunx Mars in Scorpio and square to Chiron in Pisces. From our hearts (Venus influence) to conscious awareness (the Sun) we see the effects of unbridled anger (Mars) and the wounds upon our collective psyches (Chiron). A Yod aspect pattern points to Mars in Scorpio (with the Sun sextile to Uranus as the other planets in the pattern). This pattern increases the tension felt in paradox and forces us to see what we may be avoiding. Mars is on a retrograde journey through Scorpio. This is a soulful journey of exposure, bringing to light root causes of violence, offering the chance to change. The Moon in Scorpio intensifies whatever we are feeling, and it is a lot. Don’t stuff emotion. Find a way to transform it into healing action.

Moon in Scorpio
June 16—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. I use the descriptor of “Perfecting” for this phase of the Moon because I want to capture the tension between desire and self-love. If we are following a meaningful intention planted at the New Moon and tended consciously until the Full Moon, we understand the tension between desiring something so much we can taste it and needing to love ourselves enough to let it go. The Full Moon is when we let intention go. The Gibbous phase is right before we reach that point. Tension can sometimes be good but during this hyper-aware lunar cycle, perhaps you feel it as too much. Perhaps I do too. So what else are we to learn? How does self-love trump whatever desire for perfection you may be experiencing? The Full Moon next week will be in the expansive sign of Sagittarius. Before we open to the wide vistas offered by this sign, the Moon in Scorpio leads us inside to feel what we are feeling. And it is a lot. The Moon makes a simple trine to Neptune in Pisces today. However, this influence will most likely not be simple. Neptune is strong and stationary this week and will perfect a square to Saturn in Sagittarius tomorrow. Neptune is the god of surrender, revealing that the ocean of connection is vaster than any single ego. Ego desires need to yield to a bigger reality. This can feel like grief. It can also be ecstasy. Imagine these feelings as being necessary to the great sea voyage of life.

Moon enters Sagittarius 8:34 pm CDT
Friday, June 17.
Earlier I said that Neptune and Saturn were the paradigm definers of the solar system. Actually, all the planets want to claim that role, but these two have special powers in this realm. A paradigm is a construct of belief that influences reality. Neptune rules the fantasies and dreams we have for reality. Saturn rules the despair and aspirations we have for reality. Fantasies and despair. Dreams and aspirations. Where do we trip ourselves up in creating the world we hope for? Where do we lift ourselves up so we may live into that world? These are the possibly good questions to be asking ourselves right now as Saturn in Sagittarius makes the second of three exact squares to Neptune in Pisces today. What we believe is important. We are shapers of reality. Venus leaves Gemini behind to enter Cancer today. Mutable emphasis is not over but we are drawn to the refuge of home and family as we meet a changing world. 

Moon in Sagittarius
Saturday, June 18.
Mercury in Gemini begins to take Venus’ place in the mutable grand cross pattern today. Since, the Moon in Sagittarius contacts all the planets in this pattern today and tomorrow, this could be a volatile day. Hopefully, we are given the opportunity to integrate, a real skill of all the mutable signs. The Moon in Sagittarius is especially drawn to telling the stories that give meaning to our lives. This is an important part of making sense of our world. What reminds you that your life is precious? I refer you to the gratitude practice I mentioned in the week’s introduction in the video blog, Five Minutes with Uncle Bear. Part 1. Part 2. Finding gratitude is a way of finding meaning.

Moon in Sagittarius
Sunday, June 19.
For all intents and purposes, today feels like the Full Moon, even though it doesn’t really happen until tomorrow. One of my favorite metaphors for a Full Moon is an arrow released into the sky. The tension leading up to the Full Moon is released. The effects of our efforts at manifestation are revealed during the last two weeks of the cycle. Today’s Moon in Sagittarius is especially attuned to this arrow imagery. The glyph for the sign is an arrow. The constellation is a centaur pointing an arrow into the galaxy’s center. Release tension, grief, the search, the work of learning and communicating. Let go of the effort. As I write this, I am thinking of the delicious feeling of letting go of a rigorous yoga pose. We need first to make the effort in order to feel that wonderful release of effort. Let that be your day.

*Read about the seeds of the Gemini lunar cycle here.

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