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.

So, comrades of change, have you been girding yourself for the coming battle? Do you feel ready to engage in the joys and struggles that 2017 is sure to bring? How marvelous that we stand upon this precipice of creation—for change is creation, isn’t it? Destruction is its other face. Something ends and something else immediately begins. There is opportunity here. We are in the middle of the first lunar cycle of 2017 and it feels like we’ve been preparing for this moment our entire lives. Heck, this moment has been in the works for all time—brought to us by every choice ever made past and present. Now. This moment. A precipice and an opportunity. It is dire and delightful. Perhaps this moment feels too full. Perhaps we don’t feel ready. I think that is okay. I am learning some things in this Capricorn-inspired lunar cycle that are helping me get through the doubts:

  • I am not alone;
  • I do not need to be perfect, or even brilliant;
  • and the descendants need me to do the best I can.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

The Capricorn season is a good time to check in with Saturn. Saturn rules Capricorn. On bad days, Saturn is the inner judge we will never please. We can get caught up in over-expectation during the Capricorn season. How many New Year’s resolutions have you failed at? But, you’ve got to hand it to us over-achievers for trying, right? Saturn also represents the best side of ourselves, too. The side of integrity. The side that works hard. The side that keeps an eye on how well our descendants will be at the end of our efforts. The side that won’t back down from hard choices. I think it is this good side of Saturn that motivates us to set these goals for ourselves. But something happens along the way. Saturn is the potential for authorship—what we will make of our lives. Unfortunately, many of us give that authorship to an external authority and must learn to take it back. This is also a good reason that the Capricorn season is the right time to take on systems of oppression.

That brings us back to the precipice of change. Saturn has been transiting through Sagittarius since late 2014 (retrograding back into Scorpio for three of those months). The external authority Saturn has been telling us what to believe and where to place our hopes. External Saturn has been shifting the stories through a square to Neptune in Pisces. External Saturn under Neptune’s illusions has given us “fake news” and false leaders. This year, Saturn is energized by rebellious and impatient Uranus in Aries through a trine aspect. Perhaps this rabble-rousing influence will shake up dependency on external authority. Perhaps it will help us reclaim our own.

On January 19, the day before the Inauguration, Mars in Pisces makes a square aspect to Saturn. Mars in Pisces is the fighter who feels for their opponent. We have some thinking to do about how we frame the fight. Strength comes from compassion, and the ways of water teach us how to use this strength in our battles. The days from the Full Moon on January 12 up to the Inauguration are brimming with Piscean influence. Venus in Pisces conjoins Neptune; Mars in Pisces conjoins Chiron and makes a quincunx aspect to justice-seeking Jupiter in Libra. Pisces is good for mass movements and mass consciousness. We are able to feed into this energy of connection wherever we are.

The first lunar cycle of 2017 is an opportunity to reclaim our own authority through the indirect methods of Piscean awareness. Self-care, compassion, intuition, and ecstatic states of connection and inspiration are the secret weapons. Here’s another thing that a Capricorn/Pisces conspiracy could hatch—self-forgiveness coupled with accountability. Holding onto our failures doesn’t ensure we won’t repeat them. Completely forgetting them won’t either. We are meant to be awake, whole-hearted, and imperfect as we face this monster of a year. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Forecast for January 9, 2017 – January 22.

Moon in Gemini
Monday, January 9
. “Stir it up, little darlin’, stir it up.” This Bob Marley song popped into my mind when I looked over the transits for today. The Moon in air sign, Gemini, is really good at stirring up the pot, adding ideas, new directions, and new associations. This busy Moon is challenging all the planets in Pisces today: Venus, Neptune, Mars, and Chiron. Watery influences open our hearts but also can create a muddle of emotion. If you find yourself in stuck places or despairing places, then use the gift of curiosity to stir it up.

Moon enters Cancer 4:49 pm CST
Tuesday, January 10.
The Sun in Capricorn makes a square to Uranus in Aries. Since Uranus entered this sign in 2010, we’ve been on notice that things have to change. Aries has contributed a sense of urgency and willingness to throw out the rulebook. Aries is really good at going in new directions without much of a map. Embrace that feeling. Feel the willingness of it. Then pay attention to Capricorn influence, which is much more strategic and focused on the long haul. This is a conflict and paradox, but it can also be incredibly powerful. Uranus goes along with the desire to create new territory. Resistance meets wisdom. Dare to compost perfectionism. Dare to dare. This very jittery day calms down (a bit) when the Moon enters Cancer. We are building towards a Full Moon in two days. Take moments of calm whenever you can.

Moon in Cancer
Wednesday, January 11.
Full Moon energy begins today, even though the actual Full Moon is tomorrow. Read both days of forecast if you are curious. The influences are complex. The cardinal sign planets (Sun – Capricorn, Moon – Cancer, Jupiter – Libra, and Uranus – Aries) are asserting themselves. Cardinal signs want to be in charge, they drive us to assert ourselves too. We might encounter open enemies and those who want to take our power from us during this influence. We might want to give up because the obstacles are too high. We might also over-extend ourselves, forgetting that micro movements are powerful. Strong passions invite us to find our ground of being. The Moon in watery Cancer finds allies in the Pisces planets (Venus, Neptune, Mars, and Chiron). Emotion and empathy may help us through the conflicts and into our strength.

Moon enters Leo 6:08 pm CST
January 12—Full Moon: Illuminating. The urge to create something lasting is strong in a Capricorn season. This desire creates expectations. Over-culture messages creep in to thwart our efforts and just plain bum us out. What are you noticing about your own expectations? How do you keep going in spite of the obstacles and messages that can feel overwhelming? Full Moons are illuminating. We have the opportunity to see our desires and patterns with clarity. This lunar light can be a blessing, releasing the things we can’t control and bathing in the soul light of self-love.

Contractions become opportunities at this Full Moon. A dynamic grand cross aspect pattern may force us to break through inner and external sources of contradiction. When push to comes to shove, are you going to listen to the voices of external authority or your own soul’s longing? This is a good time to stand up for your dreams and desires for the world, especially if you feel isolated and alone. The Capricorn season is a good opportunity to notice the messages that systems of oppression send to those who would challenge the system. One of these myth/messages is the idea that we must do our important work alone. The Capricorn season is also a good opportunity to dismantle these messages. A grand cross square represents a crossroads and a turning point. The planets involved are Sun in Capricorn (with Pluto nearby), Moon in Cancer, Jupiter in Libra, and Uranus in Aries. The significant, new influence in this planetary line-up is Jupiter, which entered Libra in September. Jupiter will be squaring Pluto and opposing Uranus two more times this year, so we get multiple tries to integrate this influence. Jupiter brings fresh energy. Sometimes it pushes too much, but probably right now, we need this influx of resource. The burning issues for this Jupiter are justice and balance. Imbalances in power and in the ways we live on the Earth motivate us to fight for change. Just as the Pisces planets of the moment are encouraging self-care and empathy as tools for change, Jupiter encourages a sense of equilibrium and harmony as we continue to be active creating the world we desire.

Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, and an important teacher in this season, is finding a way to get along with Uranus and Jupiter. Change is possible, even at the darkest hour. We haven’t exhausted all our options. Innovation and hope are working with the desire to make a lasting difference.

Moon in Leo
Friday, January 13.
What happens when a lot of energy encounters a vacuum? What if the vacuum has a Leo flavor? These are the questions I am pondering for today’s forecast. There really isn’t a vacuum in today’s transits but nearly so. There are no aspects. The Moon in Leo makes no connections with any other planets. However, the Moon is not Void of Course, which means it truly has no direction until it changes signs. Tomorrow, the Moon will kick things off with a trine to Uranus in Aries. But today, nothing much changes from yesterday. The Full Moon energy still resonates. The Leo flavor could manifest as playfulness, need for attention, creative ideas, or willingness to burn everything down. It is Friday the 13th, a wonderful time to claim your witchy powers.

Moon enters Virgo 9:52 pm CST
Saturday, January 14
. A grand fire trine of Moon in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Aries infuses the day with energy. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any conflicts. That could happen too. Egos could be tender. False assumptions could derail relationships. Hurt feelings could surface. If you find yourself in such tricky waters, do the courageous thing and confront the issues head on. Fire is resilient if we air our grievances. Joy is the reward.

Moon in Virgo
January 15—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. At this phase of the Moon, I like to encourage people to stop and look at what they’ve learned or accomplished through following intention from the New Moon. This is especially important to do in a Capricorn lunar cycle, for a couple of reasons. A) Capricorn wants to achieve. How do we know we’ve achieved anything if we don’t step back and look? B) Capricorn can encourage the voice of the inner critic. To disarm this messaging, give yourself a pat on the back. Be your own millennial Mom. No matter how little you actually achieved, tell yourself it was great. Really, we all need that from time to time. It helps dismantle systems of oppression.

So, how have things shifted since the New Moon on December 29? The Moon in Virgo is looking for pragmatic, concrete benefits. Be mundane. This helps balance the Pisces influences of Venus and Neptune, which tempt us with fantasies and feelings. These feelings are not necessarily wrong, but we could all use a reality check.

Moon in Virgo
Monday, January 16.
Now, more than ever, we need to return to the strategic activism employed by Martin Luther King. He made an impact because he was pragmatic, strategic, and inspired. He was also human. Let’s remember we don’t have to be perfect to change the world. Today, the Moon opposes Mars conjunct Chiron in Pisces. Notice the impulse to make big sacrifices. Perhaps you do join the Peace Corps, or just feel like you should. Relish the balancing influence of the Virgo Moon. It makes it safer to give way to our feelings, knowing there is a tether to the real world. The square between the Moon and Saturn tells us something important about the obstacles we face. A blend of faith and pragmatism is called for. Pluto enters new Capricornian territory today. From now till it stations retrograde in April, Pluto is turning over fallow fields. Be willing to look at your shadows.

Moon enters Libra 5:16 am CST
Tuesday, January 17.
Three days till the Inauguration. How are you feeling? The Moon in Libra invites a moment to pause. Recognize fleeting sensations of equanimity. Yes, the crisis feels imminent but we are in it for the long haul. Resist panic. Breathe, center, and move on.

Moon in Libra
Wednesday, January 18.
OK. Now panic (see yesterday’s forecast). No, I really can’t recommend panic, but today we may feel pushed to the edges. The Moon in Libra sets off the t-square pattern of Jupiter in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries and squaring Pluto in Capricorn. Remember, so many things happening right now are not normal and not satisfactory. We must believe a better world is possible. And from that belief, act. Mars in Pisces makes a quincunx aspect to Jupiter on top of it all. This introduces an element of mystery and synchronicity. We can’t control everything. Chance plays a role in leading us to the right place for the right choice, although we may have a hard time believing it.

Moon enters Scorpio 4:09 pm CST.
January 19—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Sun enters Aquarius. Back on December 29, we planted some seeds into the Capricorn soil of this lunar cycle. I believe this happens whether we consciously engage with the lunar cycle or not. We can’t help but be impacted by the cycles and seasons we live in. The year turned over. Many of us looked behind and in front and set New Year’s resolutions based on the way we wanted to live in 2017. We confronted our own expectations. Perhaps we did some work dismantling the voices of external authority telling us we better not try to change anything, much less the world. Somewhere along the way, perhaps you confronted your mortality or personal limitations. Perhaps you decided to act anyway because the work is about future generations and we must do something. Hopefully, you remembered you are not alone. Perhaps you took stock of your successes and failures. Perhaps you learned something useful. At this phase of the Moon, we gather the seeds of wisdom that these successes and failures have produced. Capricorn is the season of high expectation and lofty goals. Perhaps you’ve noticed that you are stronger than you thought. What brought you that awareness? That is a true gift. Keep hold of it as the Sun enters activism-oriented Aquarius. In a week, we plant the Aquarius seeds at the next New Moon. Now, we reap the work of Capricorn.

The square between Mars in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius contributes to the serious tone of the day. You might even want to give up. If Mars is the will, this Mars has a hard time knowing what it wants. Complexity comes from identification with others’ suffering. Add to that the ways Saturn throws up roadblocks, we may be feeling discouraged. Take inspiration from water to keep flowing past these blocks. The Moon in Scorpio helps us to go under the surface. Be sneaky. Be true to life.

Moon in Scorpio
Friday, January 20.
First of all, the Moon in Scorpio begs us to be as snarky as we want to be today. Do not pretend you are happy about anything, if you are not. Purge any sense that you should be good or take the high road. Wallow in your bitter disappointment, if you must. But don’t stay there. The Moon moves on and we have other emotions and visions to honor. The sextile aspect between Venus in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn creates alliances of beautiful resistance. My secret desire at this moment is that women take the reins of activism and that white feminists learn to be truly intersectional in vision and action. Pluto gives strength to connections. Venus in Pisces asks, Where is our common struggle? Let’s feed the vision of a new world.

Moon in Scorpio
Saturday, January 21.
Protests today fall under the beams of a waning Scorpio Moon. Expressions of raw emotion seem like a good way to honor our true feelings. The aspects today favor not holding back. The Moon makes a sextile to Pluto in Capricorn and a trine to Venus and Mars in Pisces. Expressions that evoke empathy and common connections will have a bigger impact.

Moon enters Sagittarius 4:45 am CST
Sunday, January 22.
The Moon in Sagittarius is a good motivator to let off some steam and get out of our heads. Whatever you do, make it an adventure. Expand personal horizons. Get fresh perspective. This is a renewing day. There is a square aspect between the Moon and Neptune in Pisces, so we might not know when to pull back from escapism. Keep your explorations within manageable dimensions and it should be a positive experience.


To read about the beginning of the Capricorn lunar cycle see Follow the Moon.

Contact Teri at and visit her website at to learn about booking a reading of your chart. Like her Starsdance Astrology page on Facebook to receive these forecasts daily and learn of other offers and events.