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.

We can easily see poor expressions of Leo’s authentic need to be recognized around us all the time. From Donald Trump, who has a Leo Ascendant, to Hitler, who had Saturn in Leo conjunct a Leo Midheaven, we know ego can be a very dangerous thing when we aren’t in right relationship to it. This human desire to be seen for who we are and valued for what we contribute isn’t the source of toxicity. But perhaps the way we hoard and squander our attention is. Perhaps we can change the way we seek attention and give it to others. Perhaps nature already provides the instruction. Leo, ruled by the Sun, represents life force. The Sun shows us how to be generous, how to shine unapologetically, and how to support life with our gifts. Solar power is a flow of energy that enters the living systems of the Earth and keeps circulating through them, feeding life through reciprocity and complex relationships.

What if we were more like the Sun? This lunar cycle, seeded by the New Moon in Leo, is an opportunity to mindfully pay attention to the lessons of the Sun. It isn’t easy to be in right relationship to ego. We are culturally programmed to think there isn’t enough. Not enough money, not enough love, not enough affirmation, not enough security. We are culturally wounded by this programming, hence we struggle to know authentically that we are valuable and necessary to the whole. Even in our woundedness. Even in our blindness.

Yet the Sun can heal us. That is the gift of this mid-Summer sign (Northern Hemisphere): to drink in the abundance of life force and be renewed. The opposite side of the year, mirrored by the Southern Hemisphere experiencing mid-Winter right now, completes the potent lessons of this lunar cycle. The Full Moon in Aquarius (August 18) illuminates the ways we are drawn to each other in community, the ways we each add a piece of the light, the ways we use that light to envision other possibilities. Perhaps one possible world to envision at the Full Moon is one where there is enough. Through all the mysterious ways we participate in this complex dance of life that leads to death that leads to compost for new life, there is enough and we are enough.


Forecast for August 8, 2016 — August 14 

Moon enters Scorpio 11:51pm CDT
Monday, August 8
. In the central U.S. time zone, most of the day falls under the influence of a Libra Moon. The need for balance meets the need for radical change in the square between the Moon and Uranus in Aries. This stress could manifest as a desire for justice. We may be feeling the effects of injustice more strongly. Find an outlet for this passion. 

Moon in Scorpio
Tuesday, August 9.
Yesterday’s desire for justice could become today’s impulse to exact revenge. This description is really too strong, but there is a shift with a Moon in Scorpio to the darker side. We can hide our shadowy impulses or we can go deeper, acknowledging our shadows to become healers and transformers. We are helped to choose the path of healing by the Moon’s sextile to Venus in Virgo and the Moon’s trine to Neptune in Pisces. Acts of devotion and compassion help us discover our healing potential. 

Moon in Scorpio
August 10—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. The Moon in Scorpio (fixed water) forms a square aspect to the Sun in Leo (fixed fire) to initiate this phase of the Moon. The path we initiated at the New Moon—perhaps to find our magic, perhaps to dare letting our magic be seen—reaches the challenge stage of manifestation. Magic only works if we are willing to support our intentions with action. At this phase of the Moon, we dare to act on behalf of the magic we bring. This means being willing to face the darkness.

The challenge comes from Scorpio, and it is a good thing, too. Scorpio reminds us of our shadows. If Leo is about sharing our light, then it is a very good thing to be aware of the shadows we cast when we step into that light. They are always there. We’ve got lots of help today to accept all the parts of ourselves. The Moon makes favorable aspects to Mercury in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn. Both Mercury and Pluto are in a reinforcing trine with each other. As one of the rulers of Scorpio, Pluto offers the healing balm of acknowledging our shadows. Great transformative power (Pluto) is released when we express (Mercury) real emotion (Moon in Scorpio). The power of expression becomes a little more poignant today since Mercury enters the pre-retrograde zone of the zodiac. Another retrograde period will start on August 30. Mercury transits through the first part of that cycle from now till then. Time to notice the words we speak and hear.

Moon enters Sagittarius 12:24pm CDT
Thursday, August 11.
With a flash, the energy shifts again. From Scorpio’s inner landscape to Sagittarian horizons, the Moon leads us into the hope of discovery. It isn’t enough that we discover our hidden shadows, there is a world of differences and diversity that is waiting to show us how to grow past limitations. We feel the upswing of fire energy as the Moon conjoins Mars today. Notice the value you place on personal freedom. What will you do with yours? Will you battle oppression to protect freedom for others?

Moon in Sagittarius
Friday, August 12.
Back in June, we had a slew of mutable planets in aspect to each other asking us to up our game around perception and integration. Every mutable sign uses its elemental signature to take in and redistribute information. Today’s transits recall that download to our nervous systems, which occurred then. The Moon in mutable fire sign, Sagittarius, makes a square to Venus in mutable earth sign, Virgo; conjoins Saturn in Sagittarius; squares Neptune in mutable water sign, Pisces; and finishes the day with a square to Mercury in Virgo. Fire, earth, and water perception styles cycle through the day. Fire is instinct, earth is sensation, and water is emotion. These ways of perception are vying with each other, sometimes coming into conflict and then going back into synthesis. Notice your style. The opposition between Jupiter in Virgo and Chiron in Pisces envelops this awareness in a larger-than-life experience of the world’s pain. Being gentle with yourself is the beginning of being gentle to others. 

Moon enters Capricorn 11:11pm CDT
Saturday, August 13.
Mutable sign emphasis continues today (see yesterday’s forecast). For most of the day (central time zone), the Moon is in mutable Sagittarius. The desire to expand could be constrained by Saturn stationing direct today. Planets are stronger during a stationary period, which lasts for several days. Saturn’s nature is to reel in wasteful or unfocused energy. This planet wants results. Since March, Saturn has been moving retrograde, now we shift forward into putting what we’ve learned during this period into effective action. This energy leads us right into the elections this fall. More and more people decide whose side they are on. We get more clarity about the work ahead. Venus in Virgo forms a square to this stationary Saturn today. We might feel pressure in our relationships. There is a desire to bring more commitment into them. Not all will be ready. Another important transit influences us—Jupiter in Virgo forms a quincunx aspect to Uranus in Aries. The tension between deliberate and impulsive action creates stress on nervous systems. We want to incorporate more options in our activism. We see the benefit of multiple approaches. 

Moon in Capricorn
August 14—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. What else can we learn about bringing our magic to the world? This phase of the Moon tweaks our intentions a little bit more. Perhaps we’ve tried different approaches to manifesting intention. Perhaps we’ve encountered some successes and some setbacks. We take all that information and try yet again to get it. As the Moon waxes into fullness we are far from done with the experimental phases of our projects. Contrasts lead us to discovery. The Moon in Capricorn values success. The Leo seed energy of this lunar cycle values creative attempts. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes not. What kind of pressure do you put on yourself to be good at something before you’ve even let yourself have the stage of being dreadful at it? Our magic doesn’t arrive fully formed to be delivered to our judges. Perhaps our magic arrives through trial and error, and mostly error. Without failure, there is no success. Promise the gods of Capricorn that you are headed their way but let yourself take a little more time before you expect success.

Venus in Virgo opposes Neptune in Pisces. The Moon supports both planets through favorable aspects. The magical act of blending beautiful pragmatism with transcendent states of consciousness is a little more possible. Some may fantasize about a relationship, others will devote themselves to service. Magic needs inspiration, there could be plenty of that today.

Read about the New Moon in Leo here. Contact Teri at and visit her website at to learn about booking a reading of your chart.