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 diverse spiritual traditions the world over 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 the claims of astrology do seem inconceivable; nevertheless, over and over again, 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 it. 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 a time in which too many do not respect, nor even tolerate, the unknown, the wild and mysterious. If some idea or notion has not been proven, it must certainly be bunk, garbage. This judgmental (and 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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The Flowers and Fruits of Our Labor

artHow did July slip by so fast! The wheel of the year is turning once again, and we are fast approaching another seasonal milestone, the midpoint between solstice and equinox. One of the four "cross quarter" days which, along with the solstices and equinoxes, mark the progression of the Sun, the seasonal shifts of the year. Maybe it's my age, a well-seasoned 57, but it does seem like these milestones come and go in a flash. Time keeps zooming by faster and faster.

This year's Lughnasadh is particularly powerful as it coincides exactly with an eclipse, adding an even stronger emphasis on the notion of "reaping what one has sown." The day the Sun reaches that magical midpoint, August 7th, we will also arrive at the Aquarius Full Moon and partial lunar eclipse. Also adding to the wild intensity right now is Mars, which conjoined the Leo New Moon just over a week ago, and is still very close to the Sun, further stirring up the choppy waters and upheaval that you must be noticing in your neck of the woods as I am definitely seeing in mine.

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Rìo Abajo Rìo  THE LEO NEW MOON  July 23, 2017

artThis is the first of two Leo New Moons in a row, the second of which will be a kick-ass solar eclipse we'll be able to see here in North America. So we've got one New Moon coming soon at the very beginning of Leo, the other at the tail end. A powerful emphasis on one sign with an eclipse and a double lunation. Leo is an critical force for growth and development for us all right now. So what does this mean?

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The Way Through It  THE CANCER NEW MOON  June 23-24, 2017

artOverall, the lesson of Cancer — which becomes the cosmic assignment for all of us when a New Moon falls in this sign — is to learn how to better balance the emotions with the intellect, not confuse the two so much. For what is felt or intuited must not automatically be given relevance and power (nor dismissed out of hand either). Cancer individuals, along with the other sensitive water signs, Scorpio and Pisces, often have that difficulty because they are so powerfully intuitive and so often correct. Regardless though of one's psychic batting average, it is important to remember that feelings are sometimes picked up from who knows where and not necessarily connected with anything to do with us. With a New Moon in Cancer we will be challenged to harness our sensitivity without being at its mercy, and not as easily blown off-kilter by whatever storms may be brewing within OR around us.

And storms are definitely brewing....

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Where the Wild Thyme Blows  THE JUNE SOLSTICE  June 20-21, 2017

artWe are fast approaching summer solstice, for those of us who live topside Mother Earth. Marked by the Sun's entry into the cardinal, water sign of Cancer, we've reached the culmination point of Sol's yearly journey north. At this Northern Hemisphere peak of life-giving solar power, the masculine Sun glides into the arms of the feminine Moon, entering Cancer, the sign she rules — a blending of our male-female luminaries adding to the potent love magic at this, almost too heady, time of year.

Magic crowns this time of year for Midsummer has long been considered a night when the veil between the worlds is thin, when the green spirits of the dark hollows and lonely woods venture out. It is said on this night the fairy host once again roams Middle Earth to wreak havoc and remind all that the forces of nature are powerful, unpredictable, and not to be trifled with. Because of this, much of the associated Midsummer lore has to do with protection, but of equal importance is love, for fiery passion and benevolent magic also abounds at this invigorating time of the year.

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art"Happy Up!" is my Gemini Sun / Sagittarius rising husband's common retort when I start to grouse too much about life's assorted problems. Although his well-intentioned directive almost always results in an immediate desire on my part to give him a light pummeling, or stick my tongue out at him like some bad-tempered two-year-old; he is, of course, right about the futility and counter-productivity of complaining and maintaining a bad or otherwise "poor me" attitude in the face of life's ever-present challenges.

With this week's Full Moon falling in "sunny-side-up" Sagittarius with ruler, Jupiter, at super potent station direct on the same day — indeed stationing less than an hour from the exact Sun-Moon opposition — "Happy Up" may be the perfect mantra for us all.

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Sleight of Hand  THE GEMINI NEW MOON  May 25, 2017

artEvery month the Sun and Moon meet and mark the beginning of a brand new lunar cycle. At the New Moon, we embark on a fresh round of growth, both outward (Sun) and inward (Moon) flavored by the sign in which the conjunction falls, the condition of its ruling planet, and further influenced by other planets that form important links to the New Moon degree.

This week's New Moon falls in versatile, cordial Gemini; and so we trade in the slow, deliberate, earthy-sensual vibe of Taurus, the sign of the lunar cycle just passing, for the breezy, quicksilver razzamatazz of nimble Gemini. Yet, this New Moon is not a complete transition, for Mercury, ruler of Gemini and planetary ruler of the New Moon, is traveling behind the Sun, recovering from a recent retrograde in the fixed earth sign of Taurus. And, Ceres, grounded, nurturing Mother Nature herself, is widely conjunct the Gemini New Moon.

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If the Owl Calls Again  THE SCORPIO FULL MOON  May 10, 2017

artI few years ago, I had one of the those wild, vivid dreams. The kind of dream that, even while it is happening, you realize it's important, that some extraordinary message is being conveyed and you need to take notice. I'm not exactly sure what sets these dreams apart. It's not only what happens in the dream, but also the quality of the projection screen: the light seems clearer and brighter, and every facet, down to the smallest detail, is in sharp focus.

At the crazy culminating point of the dream, I woke suddenly, sat straight up in bed, and glanced around the room to get my bearings. I remember looking at the clock and it was exactly 3 am. I took the time to review the dream in my mind, and then went back to sleep. The next morning I wrote it down as I remembered it.

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Where Heaven and Earth Meet

artThe current Venus retrograde "contemplation project" — re-evaluating all matters of the heart — will be shifting gears very soon. Nearing that power point, most cardinal of cardinal degrees, Zero Aries, the genesis point of the zodiac wheel, Venus will float over this "alpha" degree to the "omega" — 29° Pisces — in 36 hours. The retrograde cycle will not only shift signs, but flow backwards over the zodiac's starting point to its end, while ushering in a distinctly different Neptune- and Pisces-flavored final journey.

Exiting through the back door, Venus leaves this fiery, yang sign with objectives and impulses very much at odds with our demure, receptive Goddess of Love, who'd rather avoid such brash and impatient (to her, ill-mannered) "Mars-y" methods. No, Venus's strength lies not in direct action but attraction: drawing what she desires through a passive, but no less powerful, magnetic process. In this post-feminist world of ours, we tend to think of this kind of behavior as wrong or manipulative, but it isn't always. In some situations it can be the wiser, more effective approach.

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artWhat a week! We began with a solar eclipse, the next day, Mars conjoined Uranus ratcheting up the buzzy restlessness, then Jupiter and Uranus arrived at their second exact opposition — and just a few hours ago, Venus stationed retrograde. That's quite a lot of swirling activity in one week!

The star of the moment, however, is Venus at station standstill in the cardinal, fire sign of Aries, ruled by Venus's favorite guy, Mars. We don't get a Venus retrograde every year, there's about 19 months between them; so unlike Mercury, which seems to be going retrograde all the time, when Venus begins her backwards waltz through the zodiac, it can be especially disorienting. In Venusian ways, and one of the biggies is relationships: thinking about them, longing for them, longing to get out of them, longing to improve them. Whatever our particular romantic situation is, when Venus stations retrograde it is the beginning of a major contemplation project regarding love. The matters of the heart.

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