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13th moon



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by Elaine Kalantarian

autumnHow astrology works is a mystery. An ancient art honed through thousands of years of practice, it is based on the Doctrine of Unity: the notion that the universe is an interwoven fabric. The astrological concept of a celestial-terrestrial interconnection has been with us throughout the ages, reflected in many of the world's 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.

I realize that because I am 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. So 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. As 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.

The Square Dance of Change  URANUS SQUARE PLUTO + VENUS  Dec 14, 2014

starsUranus and Pluto are at it once more — approaching yet another exact alignment. Number six of seven exact squares, this one will fall at 12° 35' Aries/Capricorn with Venus, newly in Capricorn, joining the dance: perfecting a conjunction to Pluto and square to Uranus on December 20th.

For this sixth square, Uranus will be in retrograde motion, but only one minute of zodiac arc away from its upcoming station direct on the 21st, the Capricorn Solstice. Pluto and Venus are both direct. It is notable that Venus conjoins Pluto and squares Uranus from the sign in which she last retrograded a year ago, a cycle which also began on December 21st, on the day of the Capricorn Solstice 2013. So this particular alignment, with Venus translating the Uranus-Pluto square, Venus-related concerns, collectively as well as in our own personal lives — crises regarding what we value, how we handle money, and how we relate to others, including that important "give and take" balance in our most private, intimate circle — are being put through the Uranus-Pluto wringer this time around.  Read more....

The Better Angels of Our Nature  THE GEMINI FULL MOON  Dec 6, 2014

starsWe are swiftly approaching the culmination point of the lunar cycle, the Full Moon, when the Sun and Moon form a perfect, dynamic opposition emphasizing two complementary signs. An opposition signifies just what one might presume: potential conflict, clashing values, contradictory and sometimes incompatible urges that can pull in entirely different directions. Yet oppositions are also complements, magnetically attracted to one another and ultimately seeking balance through some kind of creative integration and synthesis.

This fundamental relationship of opposition and integration is directly encoded in astrology through every polar pair on the zodiac wheel which share the same polarity and "mode of energy" — one of the basic building blocks of the zodiac signs, expressed in three variations: cardinal, fixed and mutable. Opposite signs also fall in elements that are compatible, either a combination of water and earth or fire and air. So this phenomena of opposition and integration is demonstrated in all six polar zodiac pairs, each pair highlighted every month at the Full Moon.

So we could say that the cosmic challenge at each Full Moon is for us all to do just that: find a way to bridge our own internal conflicts, as well as collective, societal differences — and transcend this human propensity for separation and division. Each month's pair of opposites highlighted are therefore important clues as to each month's specific integration challenge. And this time around, at this high tide of the lunar cycle, Gemini and Sagittarius are emphasized — and in more ways than one.  Read more....

Illumination  THE SAGITTARIUS NEW MOON  Nov 22, 2014

starsSagittarius, the sign of tomorrow's New Moon, is represented by that hybrid creature, half-man, half-horse, the Centaur-archer, a symbol of the quest for wisdom and enlightenment.

Ruled by philosophical Jupiter, Sagittarius represents none other than the search for the meaning of life, but in a horizon-expanding, active and adventurous way. Where Scorpio (sign ruling the cycle now ending) 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 traveler, in mind and body, the ever-restless spirit, Odysseus taking the long way home.  Read more....

Beauty  THE TAURUS FULL MOON  Nov 6, 2014

viewAt twilight for the last few nights, flashlight in hand, I've walked down through the garden to the chicken coop to remove two delinquent hens from nest boxes. The evidence of this new, unauthorized sleeping habit are two boxes littered with poo the next morning.

When you build a chicken coop there are a few important things to keep in mind. Discovered over time and experience by generations past, they help support desired chicken behavior. The roosts, or perching poles, for one, need to be installed horizontally and at a certain height, in particular higher than the nest boxes so as to discourage their use as a cozy nook for the night. Despite this attention to detail however, Dora, one of our Dutch Wellsummers, and Roxy, a big White Rock hen, have for some reason began a recent rebellion against our careful design. And so I have a new nightly chore, one I'll have to repeat each night until they get the message and rejoin their better behaved sisters.  Read more....

At the Mirk and Midnight Hour

starsHere we are at yet another turning of the wheel of the year: dark Scorpio's own solar festival, Samhain, is upon us. Marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter here in the north, at Samhain (pronounced SAH-win or SOW-in) we dive into the darkest portion of the year.

One of the four Celtic solar festivals, or "cross-quater" days, along with Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh, as we drop into the dark of winter, folks south of the equator are, in turn, celebrating the beginning of the growing season: Beltane. In the lands "down under," old Sol is reaching higher and higher in the sky, the days are lengthening, summer will soon be kicking into gear.

As the last of the tomatoes, cucumbers and other summer crops are picked in my dying garden, it's hard to believe six months have passed since they were planted out, when we were celebrating Beltane. Gardening, perhaps more than anything else, links me with these never-ending cycles of Mother Earth.  Read more....

What Really Matters  THE SCORPIO NEW MOON & SOLAR ECLIPSE  Oct 23, 2014

starsA lunar eclipse fell two weeks ago across the relationship signs of Aries and Libra, and now a solar eclipse looms ahead, this one in intimate Scorpio. The last eclipse of the year, and also finale eclipse in Scorpio, not another will fall in this Pluto-ruled sign until 2022.

Looking at the chart for tomorrow's New Moon and solar eclipse, the most significant aspect is its close ties to Venus, which approaches conjunction to the Sun. This Sun-Venus conjunction will perfect just two days after the New Moon and marks an important phase in Venus's cycle: the Full Venus." And this will be the last Scorpio Full Venus in quite some time, the conclusion of a cycle that began back in 1926. This eclipse then represents two Scorpio conclusions: the last Full Venus as well as the last Scorpio eclipse in our current eclipse cycle. What Venus signifies and what a "Full Venus" signifies are central motifs in the workings of this eclipse.  Read more....

The Ties that Bind  THE ARIES FULL MOON & LUNAR ECLIPSE  October 8, 2014

horizonTomorrow's Full Moon, also a total lunar eclipse, will fall across the relationship signs of Aries and Libra, with the eclipse degree intimately linked with those two, outer planet troublemakers: crazy, eccentric Uranus and deep, dark Pluto, currently drifting towards their next exact square alignment. At the time of the eclipse, Uranus will tightly conjoin the Aries Moon, while Pluto squares both ends of the Sun-Moon opposition from Capricorn. Eclipses, due to their own inherently wild nature, operate similar to Uranus and Pluto without any help at all; but this one, conjunct Uranus and square Pluto, is an undeniable statement of the potential for big change to sweep through our lives. Ready or not.  Read more....

Balancing Light  THE LIBRA EQUINOX & NEW MOON  September 22-23, 2014

This evening, here in Pacific time, the Sun will enter the cardinal, air sign of Libra where our central star will stay until October 23rd. The Sun's entry into Libra each year marks the time of the equinox, the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere, the first day of spring south of the equator.

At this time of the year, the length of day and night throughout the world are nearly the same length, but not exactly. Equinox is Latin for "equal night;" however, because the Sun takes longer to rise and set in places that are further from the equator, daylight is still slightly longer or shorter in these locations. So equinox is as close to perfectly equal light (and dark) as we get. So issues of justice, balance, and harmony — and facing how our own light and dark aspects balance out — become fundamentally important when old Sol waltzes into equinoctial Libra. Archangel Michael symbolizes these Libran concepts. In this late medieval painting, we see him weighing souls on Judgment Day, and catching the devil trying to cheat by placing more weight on his side of the scales!

This year, the Libra New Moon falls just one day after equinox, at 01° 07' of this cardinal sign, and Lord of the Underworld, Pluto, arrives at its potent, station direct just two hours prior to the equinox: two powerful turning points and a new lunar cycle coinciding.  Read more....

The Japanese woodblock print, "Egrets on a Snowy Night," shown above, is the work of Ohara Koson (1877-1945). Koson is considered by many to be the foremost 20th century designer of bird and flower prints, or kacho-e.