How astrology works is a mystery. An ancient art honed through thousands of years of practice, it is based on the Doctrine of Unity: illuminationthe notion that the universe is an interwoven fabric. The astrological concept of a celestial-terrestrial connection has been with us throughout the ages, reflected in many spiritual traditions and epitomized by the Hermetic maxim, "As above, so below."

Even though there is compelling circumstantial evidence for astrology's underlying principle of interconnection, we have yet to discover the scientific mechanism that can account for it. We are living in exciting times, however, when fields of modern physics and mathematics, are moving towards interesting, parallel understandings regarding the seemingly magical interplay of energy and matter. We are beginning to see validation for some of the observations mystics have been alluding to for thousands of years.

There are many aspects to this great big universe of ours we have yet to understand; and the underpinnings of astrology, the how and why it works, is one of those mysteries.I realize as an astrologer many people will automatically brand me as a lunatic; and yet here I am sticking my neck out anyway, risking ridicule. For even though astrology does seem inconceivable, nevertheless, over and over again, I personally see it working. I see its accuracy and usefulness when I apply it to my clients' lives and my own. However outlandish astrology's claims are, there does seem to be something to this crazy old art. There are many aspects to this great big universe of ours we have yet to understand; and the underpinnings of astrology, the how and why it works, is one of those mysteries.

We live in an age in which too many people do not respect, or even tolerate, the unknown, mysteries. If something has not been proven, it must certainly be bunk. This judgmental (and actually unscientific) narrow-mindedness is exactly what Carl Jung was getting after when he stated: "I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud." It also reminds me of something Iain McGilchrist wrote in his book on the two hemispheres of the brain, The Master and His Emissary:

"Certainty is the greatest of all illusions: whatever kind of fundamentalism it may underwrite, that of religion or of science, it is what the ancients meant by hubris. The only certainty, it seems to me, is that those who believe they are certainly right are certainly wrong."

blue moon art

What is a Blue Moon?

"Once in a Blue Moon" — we've heard the phrase and know its colloquial meaning implies something improbable, something rare, absurdly rare even — an event with the probability of occurrence falling at slim to none, as likely as pigs taking wing or hell freezing over.

Yet a Blue Moon is more than just some improbable event. Officially — and yes there is an official Farmer's Almanac definition — a Blue Moon is the third Full Moon in a season that contains four. Seasons usually sport three Full Moons, one each month, but every couple of years or so we get a bonus Full Moon due to the roughly 11-day difference in the number of days between the natural, lunar month (28 days) and the calendar month, which is, as we know, on average 30-31 days, excepting February of course.

But why is it the third Full Moon and not the last one designated as Blue?

The answer is complicated and due to the Christian ecclesiastical calendar which is, surprisingly, lunar. The dates for Easter and other Christian holy days, those moveable feast observances, are calculated in reference to the Moon rather than a set calendar date. And a year with an extra, 13th moon skewed the calendar, and so the solution was to call it "Blue" and not count it.

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Turning Point, Boiling Point THE SAG FULL MOON + MARS  May 21, 2016

photoThe Sun just entered Mercury-ruled Gemini, setting the stage for tomorrow's early degree Sagittarius Full Moon — which is quite the confluence of events.

At the time of the full moon, the monthly Sun-Moon opposition, Luna will be in a close, volatile conjunction with Mars, one day away from its own exact opposition to the Sun, marking the midpoint — and major turning point — of its retrograde cycle. What's more, Mercury is simultaneously at standstill, nearing its station direct on the same day the Sun perfects its opposition to Mars (22nd). At station, Mercury is powerful, a time when all those classic Mercury-retrograde effects tend to constellate. And Mercury is now ruler of the Sun, which adds to its central importance and prominence right now.

So we have two retrograding planets at critical phases, both dovetailing with the lunar cycle just as it culminates in a perfect full moon: the high emotional tide of the month. This is a big fat serving of intensity I'll wager YOU are feeling too.

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photoThe last couple of New Moons have been turbulent to say the least. The Aries New Moon last month was conjunct wild Uranus and square "truth-serum" Pluto, coinciding with the Panama Papers release, and the one before that, a total solar eclipse in Pisces. Today's Taurus New Moon, however, is a departure from all that, a respite and much needed time out, flowing stability and downtempo jazz: slowing it WAY down. Precisely what the doctor ordered.

This is definitely a special New Moon in many ways. Cradled in a loose conjunction with both Mercury and Venus, all four in Taurus, one on either side of the Sun-Moon conjunction, plus, Venus, ruler of the lunation, is very strong. Widely conjunct the New Moon, she also shines from her very own sign, in serene, earth goddess aspect. Moreover, the New Moon is also part of a lovely grand trine in stable earth, a celestial equilateral triangle, as lovely as it sounds. There is no more stable element than earth, nor is there a stronger structure than the triangle. Strong, stable, flowing harmony: the earth grand trine forming in the heavens right now. If it made a sound, it would be Om ॐ.

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photoToday is May Eve, a time — here in the Northern Hemisphere — when Mother Earth demonstrates a no-less-than magical ability to bring forth life. Associated with the much older Celtic holy day, Beltane, at this time we mark another turning of the solar wheel of the year as our central star reaches a critical phase in its yearly passage: the midpoint between spring equinox and the coming summer solstice. At Beltane, we celebrate a fertile, waxing sun moving towards its zenith, the height of its power.

Commonly celebrated on May 1st, the Sun actually strikes the exact "equinox-solstice" midpoint, a few days later, when it arrives at 15° Taurus. For those of you who prefer preciseness, this year the Sun will reach this magical midpoint on the 7th of May.

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In a couple of hours, Mercury will station retrograde* in Venus's earthy Taurus joining Mars, (as well as Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto) currently slogging backwards through the zodiac wheel. Five planets will now be moving contrary to the usual direction, but also the two planets most associated with movement will be retrograde at the same time. So, the slow down, sluggishness, the impulse towards contemplation, to "go within" we are already experiencing with Mars retro, coupled with the Sun and Mercury both now in languid Taurus, will increase over the next three weeks with this Mercury-Mars retrograde overlap.

So much for spring time enthusiasm for those of us in the Northern hemisphere. Folks down below, however, this forced retrograde-Taurus slowdown seems ideal as the languorous mood definitely lends itself to the increasingly cooler days of autumn, hanging out by the fire sipping hot toddies, a lovely stew perhaps simmering on the stove.

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Out of the Depths  PLUTO STATIONS RETROGRADE  Apr 18, 2016

Mars stationed retrograde yesterday, and earlier this morning Pluto did as well, both hovering at standstill. huichol artCo-rulers of the Scorpio Full Moon coming later this week, as the lunar light increases, glimpses of what these two, introspective, retrograde cycles mean for you personally may rise from the depths, Pluto style. As Pluto is already associated with what's hidden and buried, with psychological depths, in many ways its retrograde cycles seem to increase its "diving-into-the-depths" strength. Makes complete sense doesn't it? Perhaps we should start thinking of Pluto retrograde as its normal motion. After all Pluto is in retrograde motion for almost half the year, every year.

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The King and the Knight  MARS STATIONS RETROGRADE  Apr 17, 2016

We are less than two days out from Mars' station retrograde now with the God of War moving at a snail's pace, inching its way to a stationary halt. Are you feeling the slowdown yourself: that lag in energy, motivation, get-up-and-go? Mars retrogrades every two years, and this year its backwards journey will begin in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius. A big part of the retrograde review then may involve examining the underlying motivations for our goals, actions and behavior. Are they sound and realistic enough? Are they goals that enhance or detract from establishing enough meaning and real substance in our lives?

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