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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.

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....

Spring in the Belly of Winter
IMBOLC: CROSS-QUARTER STATION OF THE SUN  Feb 3, 2015

starsBy early February, here on the north coast of California, there are signs that winter — mild as it is — is losing its grip. In the vineyards that cover much of our rural valley, rows of winter cover crops show the first haze of bloom. They form careless bands of incongruous, shaggy growth between the neat, ordered lines of hard-pruned vines. Where the vineyards end in open pasture, newborn lambs walk on tentative legs. They hang close by their mothers who munch grass a shade of impossible green, luminous in the warm afternoon sun.

At this time each year, our little corner of the world transforms into an emerald earth, a vivid reminder of how miraculous plants really are. Soaking up the increasing sunlight and nourished by winter rain, their green pigment waxes with the sun and functions as a natural solar panel that absorbs energy for alchemy: the transformation of sunlight into sugar. In the process, plants perform another feat: "inhaling" carbon dioxide and "exhaling" precious oxygen. The ewes both breathe and eat the products of their green meadows, and in turn perform their own alchemy, converting green grass into milk for their young.  Read more....

Belonging  THE AQUARIUS NEW MOON  Jan 20, 2015

starsThe summer before my sophomore year in high school, we pulled up roots and moved 3,000 miles east from California to Virginia, reversing a migration route we had taken only three years before, returning to my old hometown. We had moved to California for my mother's health, the cold winters were hard on her arthritis, but after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, what she needed more than warm weather was a supportive circle of family and old friends. Likewise, when I started school that year, I too hoped to be reunited with old friends, but only a few former classmates remained, none of which were close. So you can imagine how lucky I felt when, two or three lonely weeks into the school year, I was plucked from obscurity and invited to join the "alpha girls" clique.

A covey of the super popular, the girls flocked together each morning in the school library — not to study, but to be seen. In our open floor-plan school, the library skirted a main artery for students to cut from one side of the building to the other. So I joined the girls at their prominent post, each of us fully preened and on alert for the cute boys to stroll by on their way to homeroom. And it was fun for a while until I learned of the group's other, darker purpose.  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.