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.

I want to look at the word vigilance today. The Online Etymology Dictionary tells me this about the word: from Latin vigilantia “wakefulness, watchfulness, attention,” from vigil “watchful, awake.” Have you been staying awake lately? By this, I don’t mean insomnia or an inability to sleep. No, what I mean is an awakened awareness that demands a response, a need to pay attention more, a desire to do what is right in regards to the information. That kind of wakefulness has come to visit, not just me but the whole world, it seems. A brand new level of awakening is happening. I am going to get overtly political here. I am explicitly talking about waking up to racism and white supremacy structures. This is the waking that is needed and is ongoing right now in the U.S. The recent videos of police killing black men has been a wake up call.

There is an instructive pattern flowing through the signs and seasons of a year, which helps us navigate life. The pattern goes like this: At the end of a season, the mutable signs collect information about the past season, integrating it into collective wisdom. This wisdom is passed along to the next cardinal sign at the beginning of a new season. Cardinal signs initiate action in response to what was learned. The fixed sign, which comes next, will anchor it, leading back to more mutable integration. We’ve just finished a super-charged mutable lunar cycle in the air mutable sign of Gemini. A grand mutable cross formation opened all the senses to collective experience. It is as if our nervous systems got an upgrade forcing us to be more attentive. Now, the current lunar cycle seeded by the cardinal water sign, Cancer, is a time for taking action given what we have learned.

I know this pattern. As an astrologer, my question is, what kinds of action align with this season? I know that Cancer’s primary action is to nurture life and repair foundations through the wisdom of water. It feels important to align with this point of view and this brings me back to vigilance. Cancer is a vigilant sign. If you’ve ever taken care of children or nurtured any vulnerable thing into a stronger existence, you know the kind of attention I am talking about. Water is a funny element, so gentle and seductive, it can feel harmless, safe, sweet. But water is not only that. Water is the only element that takes on all states of being, flowing from liquid to solid to gas as it will. In a vigilant state, water does what it has to, assumes the forms that is necessary, to nurture life and repair foundations. That is strength.

Some of us are waking up. Perhaps this season we learn how to stay woke. Imagine that water can be an ally here too, if you are willing. The transits this week encourage staying woke, Mercury, the planet of mind and word, makes a square from its sign Cancer to Uranus in Aries (another signature of awakening if there ever was one). The Moon begins the week in the sign of Libra (cardinal air) seeking justice and stimulating the paradigm changers, Pluto and Uranus, to wake us up some more. On July 12, the Moon dives deep into Scorpio, another water sign. Here, the Moon conjoins a newly direct Mars who encourages us to not go back to sleep and to see with clear eyes the real power dynamics at play in our culture. The Sun in Cancer will square revolutionary Uranus on July 16. This influence adds fuel to the fire of vigilance and feels particularly powerful as the GOP convention starts just two days later. Both Mercury and Venus leave the sign of Cancer and enter Leo this week encouraging our passions and creativity to take center stage in our work to nurture life and repair foundations.

Forecast for July 11, 2016 — July 17

 Moon in Libra
July 11—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. At the New Moon, I stated my intention for this Cancer lunar cycle: Tend to the roots; follow water’s wisdom. At the time, I did not know another round of awakening was in store for this nation as we are reminded again of the constant peril Black bodies suffer under systemic racism. Systems and foundations need changing. Cancer is the sign of the nurturer who attends to the foundations supporting us. If there is something wrong with the structures beneath us, Cancer is a good sign to enlist to root out the flaws. Under the influence of the First Quarter Phase of this lunar cycle, this desire to heal our very roots is strong. Practice visualizing the foundations you wish for the world. From visualization we are able to manifest firmer and more just foundations. The Moon in Libra is concerned with just that. Where are we out of balance? Where is justice needed? The Moon forms a square to Pluto in Capricorn this morning (Central time zone). Under this influence, the passion for justice is tinged with a desire to expose toxic power. Those in abusive power positions may try even harder to keep the imbalance of power in their favor. The square between Mercury in Cancer and Uranus in Aries sparks a revolution in word and ideas. Yet, with a trine between Mercury and Chiron in Pisces, we are reminded that through our hearts we are all connected, all suffering from systems of injustice. Some would say that to change the world, we need to be willing to change ourselves. Perhaps this trine between Mercury and Chiron offers the perspective that objectification of an enemy does not help us make lasting change for the better.

Moon enters Scorpio 3:52 pm CDT
Tuesday, July 12
. At 4:30 am, the Moon in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries. The night might be a restless one for many of us. Perhaps you wake in an agitated state. If the Moon acts as a trigger today, the trigger may be to finally break the dam of complacency. A lot needs to change. There is a sense of urgency. It doesn’t help that the Moon will form a square to Mercury in the last degrees of Cancer early in the day as well. There is a tendency to say the wrong thing or to get annoyed by communication styles. When the Moon moves into Scorpio, these annoyances could become resentments. Resentments could make us aware of deeper patterns that need to be addressed. Choices will be influenced by Venus’ ingress into the fiery sign of Leo today. To get us off to a flashy start, the Moon squares Venus soon after. Venus will encourage us to live life larger. This isn’t a time to live small. Dream big and let creativity flow.

Moon in Scorpio
Wednesday, July 13. Bigger personalities may get our attention today. Mercury enters Leo, joining Venus who entered this fixed fire sign yesterday. Fire signs are more impatient but can let go of the past easily. Perhaps this works in our favor as the Moon in Scorpio (fixed water) continues to stir up deep feelings and resentments. The tension between water and fire is continued through a quincunx aspect between Mars in Scorpio and Uranus in Aries. If you are feeling disrespected then do something about it. You may get better results if you employ humor and fun than a heavy-handed sense of injustice. Remembering the foundations that need to be healed, accept all the shadows that are revealed today. Joy is stronger than despair.

Moon In Scorpio
Thursday, July 14.
A grand water trine of Sun in Cancer, Moon and Mars in Scorpio, and Chiron in Pisces attempts to smooth out the rough edges. Water can erode jagged places but we may not feel like totally surrendering to the flow. As the Moon and Mars conjoin, we get in touch with some real passion. This passion has roots deep in the psyche and their release could be transformative. Mars has recently turned direct after spending five weeks retrograding through Scorpio. This is the first time since turning direct that Mars has conjoined the Moon. Mars is reporting back from the long, lonely journey. Scorpio represents the deepest parts of our souls. Be open to hearing from yours. 

Moon enters Sagittarius 4:14 am CDT
July 15—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The Moon transiting through Scorpio the last two days has paved the way for a real reworking of our deepest foundations. This lunar cycle has been an opportunity for tending to the roots. These roots influence our possibilities. And they keep us bound to injustices. When we ignore them, we continue to cycle through the same old problems. Systemic racism is such a root. With the wisdom of water, we may be able to shift some of those foundations. This phase of the Moon encourages us to keep trying. Such a reworking of our foundations will not happen overnight, but if we can “stay woke” we have a better chance. Water is the wise guru of our awakening this month. Water sinks down, changes the channels, adapts it form as necessary. It is subversive and it nourishes, replenishes, and heals.

The Moon moves into mutable fire Sagittarius today. Those deep channels carved by water are ready for integration into the intentions of this lunar cycle. What have you learned since the New Moon of July 4? What do you know to be true? It is especially important to place high value on emotional intelligence. What are your emotions telling you is true? The Moon makes a trine to Mercury and Venus in Leo. Be daring, be creative, be joyful as you integrate this wisdom.

Moon in Sagittarius
Saturday, July 16. Get out of the way! This is a dynamic day with lots of influences. The mutable sign Moon is curious and active. Approach the day with a sense of discovery as we navigate shifting energies together. The Moon touches upon Saturn in Sagittarius, Neptune in Pisces, and Jupiter in Virgo, reminding us of the work of the last lunar cycle: opening our channels of perception and integrating more information. This can be over-stimulating to our nervous systems. We want it all: compassion, pragmatism, and accountability. The real awakener is the square between the Sun in Cancer and Uranus in Aries. Tension, violence, agitation are some side effects that could be produced by this transit. If this lunar cycle is an opportunity to rework our foundations so we may nurture life, then Uranus could give those foundations a jolt. Uranus is called the great awakener. What more do we need to see? A tempering influence is the grand water trine of the Sun, Mars in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces. If foundations are jolted, they can also be healed under this influence. Be open to couching your messages of revolution and healing in delightful, beautiful, and creative forms. Mercury and Venus conjoin in Leo to add sparkle to our interactions.

Moon enters Capricorn 2:33 pm CDT
Sunday, July 17.
The grand water trine I wrote about yesterday is still in effect. The Sun in Cancer, Mars in Scorpio, and Chiron in Pisces add strength to our lunar intentions. Water signs are not pushovers. Just because you cry easily does not mean you don’t also know how to kick butt. This may be true today more than ever. As the Moon moves into Capricorn, we near the Full Moon release of energy. The balance between Cancer and Capricorn encourages the integration of high expectations with strong nurturing. Both these signs can be fighters for the survival of kith and kin. Mars influence adds passion and strength to this fundamental desire.

Read about the beginning of the Cancer lunar cycle here

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