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.


This week’s forecast will be shorter. I am catching up after spending a week in the Oregon wilderness teaching and learning at Free Cascadia Witchcamp, a marvelous magical experience!

Moon in Leo
August 2—New Moon: Dreaming. Traditional Lughnasad/Lammas. What is the flavor of your magic? I suppose I define magic loosely. At times, I think magic is about changing consciousness at will. At other times, magic, for me, is the unique combination of tools, skills, and whimsy that help me impact the world for the better. My magic is me. When I love myself and accept that I am having impact, I am magic. So are you. The flavor of our magic is the unique way each of us brings our magic forward. The Leo lunar cycle is a good opportunity to ask ourselves: What is the flavor of my magic? How can I steward my gifts to impact the world for the better? What practices will help center me in a healthy exchange of creativity and appreciation?

The last lunar cycle seasoned by Cancer’s inner searching was a reflective period that asked us to feel into our roots and sources. Leo’s lunar cycle asks us to expand outward—to shine and celebrate our first fruits. This New Moon begins on the traditional day of Lughnasad or Lammas, a Pagan festival celebrating our first fruits. This is a potent beginning.

Another moment of expansion comes with Mars’ re-entry into the mutable fire sign Sagittarius. Due to retrograde motion, Mars has trod and re-trod the soulful and intense pathways of Scorpio for a longer period than usual. During June and July, Mars in Scorpio has influenced passion and rage, feeling much like a pressure cooker slowly building steam. In its healing modality, Mars in Scorpio allowed some to purge deeper wounds. In its triggering modality, Mars in Scorpio provoked some to violence. We come out of this period with a clearer view of all this. Now in Sagittarius again, where it stationed retrograde in April, we are moved to explore and share our truths.

The relationship between Leo and Sagittarius is a theme for this lunar cycle of acknowledging our magic. Both are fire signs. Both shine a light on our perceptions of Self. This New Moon forms a trine to Saturn in Sagittarius. Saturn entered Sagittarius in December 2015, and except for a period when it retrograded back into Scorpio for three months, Saturn has been applying its disciplinarian approach to this freewheeling sign of discovery. To make the story more interesting, Neptune in Pisces has been in square to Saturn this year, returning for the last exact aspect in September. This square is a major part of this lunar cycle’s journey. If Leo helps us discover our magic, this square between Saturn and Neptune offers us the opportunity to undo the spells of delusion. As we work to dismantle illusory mental constructs, like the pervasive influence of white supremacy, our magic becomes more potent. Any aspect involving Saturn says that we must work to reap the rewards. Since Saturn is in harmonious aspect to this lunation, the effort flows more smoothly. We are eager to work towards liberation from illusion.

Mercury in Virgo is strongly placed and is strongly influencing this lunar cycle as well. As ruler of Virgo, Mercury boosts the Virgo qualities that ask us to use our magic for the benefit of others. Virgo is a service sign, a priestess in devotion to the sacred. And the sacred can take on many forms, from a clean work environment; to a well-designed computer program; to the integrated wholeness of mind, body and spirit. Since Mercury forms a square to Saturn and Mars in Sagittarius, there are worthwhile challenges to being in alignment with service. Part of dismantling illusion may be finding the appropriate expression of our devotion. Too much fuels fundamentalism. Too little wastes the opportunity to heal. Feel the desire to serve. Let it inform your own flavor of magic during this lunar cycle.