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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Life, Well Crafted  THE SUN ENTERS VIRGO  August 22, 2016

artVirgo, symbolized by the Virgin — one who is "whole and complete" all by her lonesome — is the zodiac sign associated with work. Everyday work that is, not the ambitious and impressive 10th house* aspect of vocational aspiration and life purpose, but all those necessary tasks we must attend to each day, like it or not, to keep the boat afloat.

Virgo oversees the 6th house of the natal chart, associated with all those mundane chores that fill up a large portion of our day: keeping the checkbook balanced, scheduling appointments, writing up agendas and endless to-do lists, schlepping the kids to and fro, making meals, doing the laundry, taking out the trash, helping with homework. Chores that the rich and famous hire servants or staff to do for them, but the rest of us "peasants," for the most part, have to do for ourselves. All of this kind of work falls within Virgo's domain: what we must do each day to make life work.

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Tightrope Walkers  THE AQUARIUS FULL MOON  August 18, 2016

artAs a parent, one of the things I struggle with is setting reasonable limits without triggering exhausting power struggles. I do know the "right way" to handle it, that's not the problem. I've taken parenting classes where I learned how to craft those awkward "I-messages" (example: "When you tie a rope around kitty's neck and drag him across the floor, I feel very sad"). I realize too that it's best to offer choices rather than dish out ultimatums. I know this stuff. But at the end of a long day, faced with a two-day old stack of dirty dishes, crumbs left all over the floor from the latest snack raid, my chocolate stash missing from its hiding place, ultimately, inevitably, what tumbles out is certainly no I-message.

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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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Courage and Conviction  THE LEO NEW MOON TRINE SATURN  August 2, 2016

artNot far from where I live, a stretch of highway winds abruptly out of the redwood forest into an expansive, sunny valley. The transition from forest to valley is striking almost every time, even after living here for almost 20 years. But I've noticed, accompanying this, is a subtle emotional reaction, best described as the kind of apprehension a deer might feel when doing exactly the same thing: venturing beyond the safeguard of the forest into the open meadow, exposed. When the lunar cycle shifts from the sheltered waters of Cancer and begins anew in fiery Leo, which it will do later today, it is an analogous transition.

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Something in Me, Dark and Sticky  SUN-PLUTO CONJUNCTION  July 7, 2016

artTomorrow, the mighty, life-giving Sun will perfect an opposition to deepest darkest Pluto, the planet that astrologically represents the chthonic, underlying, sometimes devastating forces of Mother Nature. Profound change, death, rebirth, power issues of survival, the use and abuse of resources, sexual power, all things hidden and taboo — everything buried deep in the vast underground circuits of the psyche are associated with this small and distant, but nevertheless powerful, dwarf planet. All of these Pluto-related themes are being stirred up right now, illuminated by the Sun in the Moon's sensitive, self-protective, water sign of Cancer, swiftly moving towards crescendo, its the exact opposition to Pluto. Embedded in this week's New Moon chart, this Sun-Pluto opposition is the second of three major themes in this critical lunar cycle.

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