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.

Daring. Deepening. Dedicating.

This next week—the last week of the lunar cycle seeded by Gemini on June 4—the Moon moves through the first three signs of the zodiac. These are Aries, Taurus, and Gemini. These first three signs set the pattern for the wheel of the year through the modalities of Cardinal – beginning (Aries), Fixed – holding (Taurus), and Mutable –adapting (Gemini). The wheel of the year is an anchor to the natural rhythms, transitions, peaks and vales of living on the Earth. As a Pagan astrologer this pattern teaches me how to navigate life with intention and harmony. It is as simple as that. The signs and the seasons are my roadmap.

I’ve been paying attention to the mutable signs this lunar cycle. Not only was this cycle seeded by the air mutable sign of Gemini, but we’ve had a powerful mutable grand cross aspect pattern impacting our experiences. A grand cross includes every sign of the same mode (cardinal, fixed, mutable) through planets occupying those signs and being in square and opposition to each other. This means that every element was represented in the energy signature of this cycle: Gemini – air, Virgo – earth, Sagittarius – fire, and Pisces – water. The modes are the rhythm of the year. The elements are the building blocks. We need them all. This framework of the modes, elements and wheel of the year is surprisingly simple and deliciously complex. It forms my practice and is what I hope to communicate to my readers. You can see this framework everywhere. It is a useful roadmap.

Dare. Deepen. Dedicate. The three modalities are a pattern of action and reflection we take through the turning of the wheel of the year. It is a roadmap for aligning our intentions and actions. In the seasons of the Cardinal signs, we dare to begin something new. In the seasons of the Fixed signs, we deepen into the wisdom of element and season. And during the seasons of the Mutable signs, we dedicate the experience of the season to the betterment of all.

We’ve had the opportunity to attune to modality and element this lunar cycle. Because the mutable signs are about moving us from one season to the next, perhaps you are noticing the change in your point of view. How are you different now than you were at the beginning of Spring? It is essential to note this progression as we move more fully into the Summer season at the next New Moon in Cancer on July 4. I suspect this reflection will help us through the next turning of the wheel of the year. Given what you have learned through the mutable signs this month, how will you commit to new projects and passions? What will you dare to initiate?

This week sees two planets changing direction and another entering a new sign, contributing to an overall sense that we are shifting to new phase of the wheel of the year. Chiron in Pisces stations retrograde on June 27 and on June 29 Mars in Scorpio stations direct and Mercury enters Cancer. All of these shifts happen in water signs. Feelings come first. These emotions have several agendas: safety, soulfulness, empathic connection, and intuitive insight are some of them. Mars influence is especially strong. Scorpio uncovers repression or creates the breaking point when we refuse the emotional reality Scorpio reveals. Eruptions could occur. Along a similar vein, Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto this week as well. The issues of safety, home, and gender could surface again this week. People may choose sides in the struggle. This is a good time to remember that we are wrapping up a lunar cycle and preparing ourselves to begin new actions inspired by the lessons of the previous season.

Forecast for June 27, 2016 — July 3 

Moon enters Aries 2:08 am
June 27—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. We’ve got work to do. This phase of the Moon is about critiquing what has gone before so we can regroup and refine our work. This sensation is strong as the Moon leaves behind the last mutable sign of the zodiac, Pisces, and enters the first cardinal sign of the zodiac, Aries. Critique takes many forms, intellectual as well as emotional. What is your emotional state? Don’t disregard these feelings. They are an important component to your plans for the future. Chiron in Pisces stations retrograde today. This strong influence from the Wounded Healer in the mutable water sign, is asking us to sense into our common wounds to create greater empathy. Mercury makes a square to Chiron today. Perhaps you are inspired to give voice to this greater empathy. Perhaps the wounding you feel is the frustration that we are missing each other as we try to express the message that heals. Venus in Cancer makes a trine to Neptune in Pisces, both are water signs. Poetry, music, even a well-cooked homemade meal are expressions of longing for greater union. You may have the experience that opening to beauty opens you to vulnerability. If so, don’t back away. You are near a truth.

Moon in Aries
Tuesday, June 28
. With the ruler of the Aries Moon stationing direct tomorrow, it is best to get anger, frustration, and passion out in the open. It can be so messy to let these feelings surface. I find I am not very skillful at expressing my anger or passion after a period of repressing them. Retrograding Mars in Scorpio may have loosened some of those passions that are just waiting for a spark to ignite them. That spark could happen today as the Moon makes a square to Pluto in Capricorn and conjoins Uranus in Aries. Although not exact, Venus in Cancer is included in these aspects to create a tinderbox t-square aspect pattern. Venus represents the undervalued gender expressions in our culture. In Cancer, she (imagine a fluid identity for she) is very protective of her family (imagine a fluid definition of family). Passion is a teacher.

Moon enters Taurus 5:03 am CDT
Wednesday, June 29.
Just because the Moon is waning and has entered the stable sign of Taurus, it doesn’t mean we can’t get stirred up by our emotions today. Mars in Scorpio stations direct. Mars turned retrograde on April 17 in Sagittarius. On May 27, Mars reentered Scorpio digging a deeper path in our emotional landscapes. I don’t like to give a lot of airtime to murderers but perhaps this information will help us understand this Mars retrograde. The man who massacred 49 people in Orlando and wounded many others, had his Sun at 24 degrees Scorpio. On the day of the shooting, retrograde Mars was at 25 degrees. I suspect this person could no longer handle his repressions and because the message of hate and violence is so pervasive, and our gun laws are so woefully inadequate, he went off. A repressed Mars will do that. [By the way, his natal Mars was at 23 degrees Aquarius, squaring both his Sun and being squared by transiting retrograde Mars.]

If this lunar cycle is about taking in new information, synthesizing what has gone before, and preparing our next initiatives, then this would be a good day to dedicate yourself to releasing repression and changing the messages and the laws that foster violence.

Moon in Taurus
June 30—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. I invite you to read yesterday’s forecast for today with the added influence that the Moon in Taurus is opposing stationary Mars. Anger isn’t going away. Today, presents a good opportunity to find a structure to hold our anger. That doesn’t mean a structure to repress our anger but to give it a constructive container to be useful for change. There is a grand earth trine of the Moon in Taurus, Jupiter in Virgo, and Pluto in Capricorn helping us find that constructive container. Venus in Cancer opposes Pluto. If we think of Venus as representing gender dynamics then we may notice that issue coming to the forefront. Cancer’s influence on Venus contributes a sense of needing to protect that which feels like family and home to us. Pluto shows up as oppressive power but it can also show up as transformative challenge. We are letting go of this lunar cycle. When we let go, we make room for the next thing. The next thing is about Cancer’s desires. Rooted in family, we move forward into change. That which threatens the family will feel like it is threatening our future. This influence doesn’t just apply to like-minded folks. Reactionaries and haters are feeling threatened too. Remembering the connections of this last lunar cycle, we are challenged to hold our loved ones near as we move through fear. This is a great time to remember Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Awards statement after Orlando: “Love is love is love is love …”

Moon enters Gemini 6:44 am CDT
Friday, July 1.
The lunar cycle is winding down. The airy nature of the Gemini Moon lifts the weight off our shoulders a bit. It doesn’t hurt that Venus in Cancer is making an encouraging aspect to Jupiter in Virgo. Notice the gifts of air. Curiosity, perspective, insight, clarity, spaciousness. Breath is a good ally for achieving these states if the chaotic aspects of air pay a visit. Spend time with dear ones, rest at home, or doing self-care to take advantage of the Venus/Jupiter connection. 

Moon in Gemini
Saturday, July 2. The Moon touches upon the vestiges of the grand mutable cross aspect pattern today. A fluttering of unsettled energy may pervade. Saturn in Sagittarius is most influential. This means we may be feeling the oppression of fundamentalism and close-mindedness a little bit more. The quincunx between Saturn and the Sun in Cancer may feel a bit depressing. Perhaps you notice how beliefs shape reality. Perhaps insights that come to you today inform your intentions for the next lunar cycle beginning on July 4. There is work to do based on the experiences and wisdom gained from this last lunar cycle. Use Saturn’s commitment to make your own.

Moon enters Cancer 8:20 am CDT
Sunday, July 3.
Water has the power to wash away energy. The last few days have been a seasonal mixture of fair skies with periods of high pressure. Storms have passed quickly. Sense into this last day of the Gemini lunar cycle and then let water wash it all away. I recommend spending time by the water, but it is possible to do this work emotionally and magically with intention. Let confusion, overwhelm, and depression flow away. The Sun in Cancer makes a trine to Neptune in Pisces. This harmonious aspect opens our heart doors. Remember how to be gentle with yourself.

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


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