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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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RECENT ARTICLES

The Fool  THE SAGITTARIUS NEW MOON  Nov. 29, 2016

artWhen the Sun and Moon meet up in ebullient Sagittarius to begin a brand new lunar cycle, we are usually more than ready to lighten up. Scorpio's dimly-lit halls of the soul, where we have been residing for the past month, have left us feeling dark and claustrophobic. It's time for fresh air and a change of scenery — and sunny Sagittarius, the philosopher and quester of the zodiac, is just the ticket.

Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, represents the search for the meaning of life, but in a horizon-expanding, adventurous and light-hearted way. Where Scorpio finds her answers in the deep caverns of the soul, Sagittarius meets them like a friend on the open road of life. The Archer rules all hope-filled and inspiring, vista-widening experiences, including religion in its higher function as a source of divine guidance and wisdom. Sagittarius is the eternal traveller, in mind and body, the ever-restless spirit, Odysseus taking the long way home. The siren song of the open road, the lure of the unknown are impossible for Sag to resist.

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When Night Holds Sway  THE TAURUS FULL MOON TRINE PLUTO  Nov. 14, 2016

artTOMORROW'S FULL MOON falls in "drink-in-the-here-and-now" Taurus, whose strength lies in a steadfast ability to plod on: to remain stable in the face of chaos and disorder. An earthy, nature-loving sign with a "hobbity" knack for finding peace and beauty wherever she can find it (and no matter how depressing the news), these Taurean life skills comprise the collective homeopathic remedy we sorely need right now. In particular, here in America in the fresh turbulent wake of one of the worst, most corrupt, ethically bankrupt Presidential campaign cycles ever, one in which we ALL LOST.

But life often has to get really bad, God-awful actually, before enough of us are shaken out of our cozy slumber.

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The Great Vastness  THE SCORPIO NEW MOON TRINE NEPTUNE  October 30, 2016

artIt's pouring down rain here this morning, an awesome storm closing out one of the wettest Octobers in our 19 years in the California redwoods — a real blessing though, I've no complaints after years of scary drought.

Astrologically speaking, all this rain is entirely fitting for the water, flowing every which way, in the chart for today's New Moon. In just a few minutes, as I write, the Moon will catch up with the Sun to begin a brand new lunar month in the fierce, water sign of Scorpio.

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Into the Depths  THE SUN ENTERS SCORPIO  October 22, 2016

artTomorrow the Sun will shift signs, leaving the harmony-loving, cardinal air sign of Libra for Scorpio's deep, fixed water.

Scorpio symbolizes the process of death and rebirth, rules the time of year, here in the Northern Hemisphere, when the wheel is turning toward the darkest days of winter. The leaves are falling, the days are shorter, and the nights are long. It is a time for rest, winter's long slow preparation for a new growing season come spring. All around us are the undeniable signs that life is beating a fast retreat. Hades has burst forth from the Underworld, standing strong in his dark chariot with his smoldering good looks. He's found his love, Persephone, and they are off to their winter timeshare. Mother Demeter will have to wait until spring to see her daughter again.

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Where's YOUR Fire?  THE ARIES FULL MOON  September 30, 2016

artWe're picking up speed, Luna just entered Aries and is swiftly rolling towards a Full Moon with major fireworks. Falling in Mars' own sign, tomorrow's Full Moon gleams in a triple conjunction with Uranus and Eris, both associated with rebelliousness and operating outside accepted circles. Meanwhile, lunation ruler, Mars, nears conjunction with Dark Lord Pluto, both in Capricorn, sign of the status quo. These central Full Moon dynamics represent two very different impulses, very much at odds with each other. Can you feel the building tension?

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A Witches' Brew  THE LIBRA NEW MOON  September 30, 2016

artCongratulations, you've made it to a lunation that is NOT an eclipse. If you are hoping, however, for a break from the intensity, I'm sorry to say, not quite yet. For today's New Moon is a complex stew, bit of a witches brew with powerful ties from Sun and Moon to Mars and Pluto, drifting towards their own conjunction in Saturn's sign. And Venus, Libra's ruler (therefore lunation ruler), gliding in Mars' and Pluto's own sign of witchy Scorpio with an almost perfect, mesmerizing water trine to enchanting Neptune.

Halloween's come early this year.

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A Balance of Light  THE LIBRA EQUINOX  September 22, 2016

artWhen the Sun enters the cardinal air sign of Libra each year, it signals one of two equinoxes, and, north of the equator, the official start of autumn. Marking the heart of the harvest season, the Druids refer to the fall equinox as Alban Elued, which means "The Light of the Sea" — representing the descent of the Sun into the western seas at sunset. For the autumn equinox is the seasonal equivalent of sunset, when the fiery solar energy of the growing season gives way to telluric, earthy forces. The life force begins its retreat once more into Mother Earth for the winter's long rest.

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Effort Over Time  THE VIRGO NEW MOON & SOLAR ECLIPSE  Sept 1, 2016

artThis Virgo eclipse is a call to action: to resolve and jettison, once and for all, your particular "South-Node-Neptune in Pisces" recurring problems of escapism, self-delusion, impracticality, sloppiness, laziness (physical, mental, and spiritual), along with any other life-undermining bad habits. Any kind of disorder. With the North Node in Virgo, and this being a "North Node" eclipse, Virgo — what it represents — is the ideal we are striving towards: Virgo practicality, attention to detail, order, reliability, using the noggin better. Sloppy housekeeping but also sloppy mental habits are definitely anti-Virgo. How good are you at really facing the truth? keeping up with the routines, including really supporting your own health and wellbeing? How effective is that internal BS-detector? Do you apply sufficient skepticism or do you too often accept what people say without digging deeper? Do you do your homework?

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Making it REAL  SATURN STATIONS DIRECT  August 13, 2016

artSaturn is currently at standstill, nearing its station (August 13th), and turning direct after a five-month retrograde cycle that began last March. As I wrote in the Leo New Moon essay, what Saturn represents is a very active and critical agent right now. So let's talk a bit more about Saturn, and its retrograde cycle, here at its powerful station direct.

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