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by Elaine Kalantarian

springHow 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.

Till Human Voices Wake Us
THE PISCES NEW MOON & SOLAR ECLIPSE  Mar 20, 2015

starsMany years ago now, when I was in college, I unwittingly irked my speech communications professor big time by selecting T. S. Eliot's poem "Prufrock" as one of the pieces to read for the final exam in his class. The course was the Oral Interpretation of Literature and each of us were required to present a complete poem plus selections from a novel in order to pass the class. "Oral interpretation" is not reciting, nor is it entirely acting either. It's a kind of quasi-theatrical cross between the two.

So when it was my turn to stand and deliver, I announced the poem's title and author — "The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S Eliot" — and immediately from the back of the room came a loud groan from my instructor, along with this pointed question-cum-statement, barked out in his characteristic gruff tone: "Why do you young people like that poem so much! It's about old age and decay!"  Read more....

The Square Dance of Change  THE URANUS-PLUTO SQUARE  Mar 16, 2015

starsUranus and Pluto are no cosmic lightweights. They are the pair that were active in the sky during "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" of a decade, the 1960s. Conjunct at that time in the Mercury-ruled, earth sign of Virgo, the 60s marked the genesis and starting point of a very long cycle between these two planets: a long, slow dance performed as they inch their way around the zodiac wheel, a dance that will last over a century.

The square aspect in astrology is associated with conflict, stress, and change, big change — all the more so given who is squaring off. Astrologer Dane Rudhyar noted that an opening square in a planetary cycle, as this one is, signals a time of "crisis in action" and a call for "managerial, forceful activity" — or in other words, time to take the bull by the horns! Personal bull as well as collective bull that is, for outer planet transit effects are both individual and global. The fundamental drive with the opening square is the building of new and better foundations that will support the escalating growth of this waxing, building phase.   Read more....

Sailor's Warning
MARS & THE FINAL URANUS-PLUTO SQUARE  Mar 11, 2015

starsThis morning we had one of those beautiful, but rather unsettling, "sailor's warning" red dawns. Fitting, I guess, as Mars, the red planet, is swiftly striding towards two major aspects which will perfect tomorrow: a conjunction to wild, unpredictable Uranus and a square to that diver of the emotional depths, Pluto. One of the most formidable planetary triggers, Mars will be setting off Uranus and Pluto as they, in turn, approach their own "crisis point" — a square which will perfect next Monday, the last in a series of seven exact squares between these two outer planet dynamos since 2012.

An apt finale, next Monday's square will not only involve Mars, but will also be the first alignment with both Uranus and Pluto in direct (overt) motion. Adding to the intensity, a total solar eclipse occurs four days later, on March 20th at 29° Pisces, the very last degree of the zodiac wheel.  Read more....

Wondrous Strange!  THE VIRGO FULL MOON  Mar 5, 2015

starsOn the day of the Full Moon, Venus, currently in Mars-ruled Aries and just past conjunction with Mars, will conjoin Uranus while squaring Pluto, activating these two powerhouses, who are in turn slowly moving towards an alignment of their own: their last perfect square in a set of seven total since 2012 (March 16th). Jupiter, in retrograde motion, also recently aspected Uranus and Pluto as well, trining Uranus (exact only yesterday) and quincunxing Pluto a few days before; and Mars, not far behind Venus, will be making its own connections to this volatile pair next week. Weird, but related, events have been happening over the past couple of weeks in this little rural valley in which I live. Many people have been seeing strange lights in the sky, both night and day.   Read more....

Where Past and Future are Gathered
THE SECOND AQUARIUS NEW MOON  Feb 18, 2015

starsIn a few hours, the Moon will catch up with the Sun to begin a new lunar cycle, the second in a row in Aquarius. Four weeks ago a New Moon fell in the early degrees of this fixed air sign, while today one will fall on the final, anaretic 29th degree, the last degree a planet transits before advancing into alien territory: the next sign.

Adjacent zodiac signs ARE alien to each other, they have nothing in common. They possess different qualities (cardinal, fixed, mutable), different elements (fire, earth, air, water), and different polarities (yang/active or yin/receptive). So the shift from one sign to the next represents a huge transition, and it is on this very liminal point that our lunar cycle commences, neither the very end of one sign, nor the beginning of another.  Read more....

The Japanese woodblock print, "Kiyomizu-dera Temple" — temple of the Goddess of Mercy — is the work of Ito Yuhan (1882-1951). The temple was established in 778 and is located halfway up Otowa Mountain in the eastern part of Kyoto City. It is part of the historic monuments of ancient Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here is an official website with more information about this lovely temple, as well as an informative Wikipedia page.