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.

Forecast for November 15, 2016 – November 27

I’ve noticed this question, inspired by the Scorpio lunar cycle, What really matters? can easily shift from a quest for understanding to a sigh of resignation. What really matters, anyway? I see despair beckoning. The Scorpio season is informed by death. It touches on the absolutes, removes the veils that separate the surface world from the other realms below, it empties us and leaves us to wait in the dark. In the Northern Hemisphere the days are getting shorter even if the temperatures are staying abnormally high. Our animal selves respond. The dark is powerful. Our very souls feel the crossroads of choice. Are we on a quest for meaning or do we just give up? Neither choice is altogether right. Neither choice is altogether wrong. Surrendering to the dark can be the very thing that ultimately brings us back to ourselves. If there is anything left when we’ve totally let go. Surely that matters. Surely, something will be left. Right?

What I noticed right after the U.S. Presidential election was a strong need to tell my beloveds that I loved them. That expanded into telling acquaintances, which then expanded into wanting that to be the message for all. Love. Perhaps that matters most. I am not going to say I even understand this need fully. Perhaps I am using the sentiment of Love to feel better. Perhaps it truly is what matters. There are no safety nets in this darkness. But there seems to be an orientation, a desire to affirm the things in life that matter most. The compass seems to point to Love. For Love, we might change the ways we’ve been doing things. For Love, we might come back from the edge of despair. For Love, we could risk waking up.

This lunar cycle has plenty of time left to feel deeply into this place of wondering if anything matters. What are you noticing? As a water sign, Scorpio invites us to be aware of emotion: the ways our emotions shift, the many patterns of seeking emotional comfort, and honoring emotional rawness. Water is the teacher. Water is the precious resource that may help us navigate the darkness and return us to a life that knows what really matters. Watery feelings are strong when Neptune in Pisces stations direct on November 19. Venus in Capricorn supports a knowing awareness of when we want to use emotion to escape and when our emotions give us grounded, useful information. The Sun will enter Sagittarius on November 21 while there is still a week left in the Scorpio lunar cycle. This fire sign will ignite expression about our beliefs. The time we spend in uncertainty tempers righteousness and helps us to listen better to others. On November 24, Jupiter makes the first of three squares to Pluto in Capricorn while at the same time Venus conjoins Pluto. Pluto in Capricorn has been revealing the shadows in our governments, our leaders, and our systems. How much more shadow is there to see into? We may feel that we are at capacity. Jupiter pushes us to new edges. Jupiter’s mission in Libra is balance and justice. We are nowhere near those values at the moment. The Scorpio journey this lunar cycle may teach us something valuable about reaching the bottom and using that to find again what really matters. Stay tuned.

Forecast for November 15, 2016 – November 27.

Moon in Gemini
Tuesday, November 15.
Is your mind going a mile a minute today? The Moon in Gemini is busy taking in and probably sharing a lot of information today. This mental energy is very much supported by a sextile aspect between Mars in Aquarius and Mercury in Sagittarius. Air and fire combine to ignite the drive for visionary truth. But just because someone is passionate, doesn’t mean their ideas are worthwhile. Watch out for too much of a good thing when the Moon squares Neptune in Pisces and makes a trine to Jupiter in Libra. Thankfully, the opposition between the Moon and Saturn gives us enough pause to judge for ourselves. This is only a temporary influence, but may help us avoid being swept up by ill conceived plans.

Moon enters Cancer 6:57 pm CST
Wednesday, November 16.
It is possible we are feeling a bit hung over from over expressing ourselves yesterday. The release of our words may serve to help us sink deeper into silence today. We start the day with a stimulating sextile between the Moon in Gemini and Uranus in Aries. Then, the Moon makes no more aspects until it enters quieter Cancer this evening. The Moon is waning and it feels appropriate to spend time at home if possible replenishing our bodies, minds, and spirits. Many people are experiencing grief, trauma, and actual oppression since the presidential election. The Moon in Cancer turns our hearts to defending those who need it. As we ask ourselves what really matters, listen to the heart that cares for others.

Moon in Cancer
November 17—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. The mind may be the last part of ourselves that knows the answer to the question, What really matters? You may already know your answer, even if you don’t have the words. The Scorpio lunar cycle implores us to listen to deeper sources of wisdom. We need these sources—the ancestral realm, the mysteries behind the veil, the dark, our bodies, our souls—to know how to answer this question. With this deep-rooted knowing, what is your next move? This phase of the Moon invites us to share the merits of our lunar commitment to mindful intention. The world has changed and we must change with it. What matters is that it matters what we do now. The Moon in Cancer is a place to start. This Moon is protective. Perhaps our sense of family is expanding. Perhaps we extend the desire to care for others to complete strangers. Perhaps we know that everyone deserves a secure home and the connection of beloveds.

Emotional weather is variable today. Sometimes feeling idealistic as the Moon makes a trine to Neptune in Pisces. Sometimes feeling impatient with others as the Moon opposes Venus in Capricorn. Sometimes feeling overwhelmed as the Moon makes a square to Jupiter in Libra. Sometimes feeling fear as the Moon opposes Pluto. Plan accordingly.

Moon enters Leo 9:14 pm CST
Friday, November 18.
Mercury in Sagittarius makes a square to Neptune in Pisces today. An interesting twist is that Neptune exactly conjoins the South Node of the Moon as well. This means that the karmic quality of the day is amped up substantially. The Nodes of the Moon indicate where we’ve come from (south node) and where we are headed (north). With Neptune in the past placement, we need to look at mass illusion. Neptune can feel altruistic, only concerned with how we are all one and ultimately the same. This point of view can be beautiful but also dangerously deluded. A major delusion in this realm is the idea that white people are not responsible for systems of white supremacy because their intentions are to dissolve differences. Here, the idea that we are all the same is not productive, or safe, to those who don’t have the privilege of white delusions. The north node in Virgo implies that we need to use our faculties for discernment and pragmatic solutions. We can wake up if we value what is useful versus what makes us feel better. Mercury is a trigger point to this axis between the nodes. The messenger god highlights a choice. Some will want to keep following the path of fantasy. Some will choose the path of service.

Moon in Leo
Saturday, November 19.
Yesterday’s transits gave us the opportunity to examine our delusions, thanks to Neptune conjoining the South Node of the Moon and squaring Mercury in Sagittarius. Today, Neptune stations direct, signaling a time to redirect our desires for oneness. Neptune is a tricky god, expressing beauty and illusion at the same time. What impulses do we trust? The Scorpio lunar intention to know what really matters helps us to discern. Some answers are too glib. We can be suspicious of easy and empty gestures. If the vision requires work, we can be more trusting of it. Venus in Capricorn makes a sextile aspect to Neptune. In this sign, the goddess of beauty is focused on hard work that pays off. She is both an ally and a temptress. Perhaps we need to let ourselves dream a little as we commit to the work ahead. The Moon in Leo adds playfulness if we get too confused about esoteric choices.

Moon in Leo
Sunday, November 20.
A grand fire trine burns away Neptune’s fog. Neptune has been influential the last few days. Intuition and identification with other’s suffering is strong under this influence. The Moon in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Aries recharge our batteries. We’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotion lately. This trio helps us to feel re-energized. They represent an alignment of creativity, responsibility, and authenticity.

Moon enters Virgo 3:34 am CST
November 21—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Sun enters Sagittarius. We are shifting into the last week of the Scorpio lunar cycle as the Sun shifts into Sagittarius. We might be feeling a little dissonance between these two concurring energies, but that is to be expected. It would be disrespectful to the dark journey we’ve been on this lunar cycle to snap into the jovial Sagittarian season too quickly. There’s no doubt the sensations of the thinning veils and connection to our beloved dead are fading as those portals begin to close again. We are left with memories of deep connection. These connections matter. The next lunar cycle will be seeded by Sagittarian dreams. These dreams have a better chance of taking root if we continue with the Scorpio journey before us. This phase of the Moon looks critically at what has gone before. I don’t know about you, but I find constant rehashing of mistakes to be exhausting. It feels like we’ve done nothing but that since the presidential election. How else can we honor the journey we’ve been on? How else can we reap the wisdom that has been sown?

The question is, “What really matters?” Even with our defeats, there are still examples of everyday activists and warriors standing up for what really matters in this world. There are examples of people daring to live lives of beauty and connection. We need to shake off the setbacks and failures and remember these. The Moon in Virgo encourages getting down to work. As the Moon opposes stationary Neptune this evening, find the balance point between what we want to believe and what we must do next to ensure what really matters survives.

Moon in Virgo
Tuesday, November 22.
One thing Americans do not seem to struggle with is the desire to express our opinions. Perhaps Facebook was invented to satisfy this national characteristic. We tend to love our ideas. We tend to think we know a thing or two. Even when it is painfully obvious we don’t. The sextile between Mercury in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Libra encourages us to share opinions. As an experiment, what if we tried to keep from doing that for one day. Rather than say what we think, how can we cultivate curiosity and wonder? The natural world has many things to say to us. Perhaps we could devote this day to listening to these voices? The Moon in Virgo does not tolerate fools today. Silence is a virtue.

Moon enters Libra 1:42 pm CST
Wednesday, November 23.
If we did our silence work yesterday, we may be able to reap cogent, useful insight today. Yesterday, with the sextile between Jupiter and Mercury, I suggested we try to silence our unending need to express our opinions and listen to nature instead. Today, Mercury conjoins Saturn in Sagittarius and we see the value of grounded wisdom. Saturn is instructing us about how belief shapes reality. Saturn is usually the voice of unpretty truths, we might even say harsh realities. Many are waking up to the truth these days, while others are deep in denial. Neptune in Pisces is still powerfully conjoined the South Node of the Moon, asking us to turn away from delusion toward better, unified visions. Like it or not, Saturn will hold us accountable.

Moon in Libra
Thursday, November 24.
U.S. Thanksgiving. We are supposed to be gathering with loved ones and giving thanks today. The dining table may not be the calmest place this year. We have things to discuss and if we not, then the undertow of tension might be too much. Don’t back away from reality today. Yes, we need self-love and self-care. Yes, we need to know our own strength. Yes, we need to believe it matters what we do. And, we still need to look with clear eyes at the world right now. Jupiter in Libra makes the first of three squares to Pluto in Capricorn today. (March 2017 and August 2017 are the other two times.) With Pluto, there is always a dance between what is hidden and what is revealed. The issue is fear. The potential, when we can embrace fear, is to release transformative power. Jupiter is reminding us about balance and justice. Where is it? What gives us access to it? What fears keep us from it? What power helps us claim it? Today and tomorrow, Venus in Capricorn conjoins Pluto and makes a square to Jupiter and the Moon in Libra. Women, gender rights activists, artists, and lovers play an important role in revealing fear and power.

Moon in Libra
November 25—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. The entire Scorpio season feels like an exercise in surrender. What I mean by surrender is to cease resisting the pull downward, the time of letting intention go, the space of opening to what comes next. For myself, the best outcome I can expect from this lunar cycle is to truly know what matters most. I had to let go of what I thought that meant in order to find it again. What about you? What have you found through the Scorpionic process of surrender?

Venus conjoins Pluto in Capricorn. When Beauty supports us, and when we support Beauty, we have greater capacity to see toxic power structures. Jupiter in Libra, along with the Moon reinforces the need to confront those who would obstruct justice and beauty. This kind of beauty is transformative. Transformation leads to a desire for change when the Moon in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries. People are not calming down, they are becoming more resolved, with issues becoming more clear.

Moon enters Scorpio 2:01 am CST
Saturday, November 26.
The Moon returns to Scorpio for the final days of this Scorpio lunar cycle. Some things, ideas, illusions, and beings have died this month. We lost Leonard Cohen. Loss is not easy. We may be feeling vulnerable about loss with Mercury in Sagittarius forming a square to Chiron in Pisces. It may shake our faith. Mercury also makes a trine to Uranus in Aries, an aspect that supports innovation and breakthrough. One struggle today may be to integrate mental activity with emotional insecurities.

Moon in Scorpio
Sunday, November 27.
Tensions could be strong today. The Moon in Scorpio makes a square to Mars in Aquarius. And even though the aspects are not exact, there is a tense t-square pattern with Jupiter in Libra opposing Uranus in Aries with both square to Pluto and Venus in Capricorn. Rebellion, reactivity, covert control are ingredients that fuel unease and dissatisfaction. Know your base. Know what matters. Be willing to show up.

To read about the beginning of the Scorpio lunar cycle go to Starsdance Astrology.

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