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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.

"The ancient perception of unity between the human soul (the microcosm) and the vast world soul of the cosmos (the macrocosm) has become impossible for most people today, and the ancient formulation "As above, so below," has been relegated to the junk heap of "outdated superstitions."

— Stephen Arroyo

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 — founded on superstition; nevertheless, over and over again, 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 see its accuracy and usefulness when I apply it to my clients' lives and my own. However outlandish astrology's claims are, it does indeed work. 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 era with a troubling lack of respect and intolerance for the unknown, the wild, and the mysterious. If some idea or notion has not been proven, it must certainly be bunk, rubbish. This — 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, 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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RECENT ARTICLES

Deep Adaptation
THE VIRGO FULL MOON QUINCUNX CHIRON  February 19, 2019

artAt every full moon, our two luminaries gaze at each other across the wide expanse of the zodiac wheel, highlighting a different pair of complementary signs each month. This time around, a Pisces Sun will be reflected through a Mercury-ruled, feet-firmly-planted, eyes-wide-open, Virgo Full Moon.

A combination of earth and water, Virgo and Pisces form a polar pair that symbolize no less than the intersection of the mundane and the sublime, the real and ideal, the temporal and the eternal. These are the springs from which full moon insights are currently flowing. Are you struggling with any of the more adverse aspects of Virgo? too self critical or too critical of others? rigidly earthbound? working too much or too hard? Or perhaps overly practical and reliant on the mental-intellectual? too much in your head? Conversely are you struggling with the more harmful aspects of Pisces? escapism, impracticality, over-indulgence, and a lack of self-discipline?

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Holy Water
THE SUN ENTERS PISCES  February 18, 2019

artMystical, ethereal Pisces is one of four mutable signs, along with Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius. Characterized by a freeflowing, adaptable nature, mutable signs occur at the end of the seasons when life is in flux and instability and change are in the air.Unlike the other "mutables" however, Pisces is also a responsive, intuitive water sign. Mutability, combined with the sensitive, formless water element — it is no wonder Pisces individuals often feel surreal and insubstantial, as if they are made of nothing more than fairy dust. With one foot on earth, the other in the clouds, Pisces is drawn to the numinous realms, where the earthy illusion of separation recedes like some vague dream.

Ruled by both horizonless Jupiter and misty, otherworldly Neptune, Pisces is the 12th sign and culmination point of the zodiac wheel, the last astrological stop in the human journey towards higher consciousness. Pisces is where we learn to connect with the eternal.

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Spring in the Belly of Winter
IMBOLC: A CROSS-QUARTER STATION OF THE SUN  February 4, 2019

artBy 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 neat and ordered lines of hard-pruned vines. Where the vineyards end in open pasture, newborn lambs walk on tentative legs and 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, they 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 magic, converting green grass into milk for their young.

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The Shape of Each Soul
THE AQUARIUS NEW MOON  February 4, 2019

artWhen I was a kid, I was drawn to the unusual. At the ice cream store, given a choice between chocolate, vanilla, or something altogether new and different, I almost always opted for the weirdest, most off-beat flavor, even though I had to endure some amount of ribbing from my sister who would sneer over her standard scoop of chocolate chip at my "disgusting" pink bubblegum or strawberry cheesecake.

I was born with the iconoclastic sign of Aquarius on the Midheaven, which is the "public sector" — that piece of horoscope pie that represents our true place in the world: our public role, calling and life purpose. To have Aquarius here, in the number 10 house, is to be compelled to reject a life that follows easy, conventional lines, and to push against the status quo in some way. But being different can be a lonely experience, even for cool, intellectually-detached, mad scientist Aquarius.

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Comfort
THE CANCER FULL MOON  December 22, 2018

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The bright side of Moon-ruled Cancer illuminates all things cozy and warm: close friends and family, that innermost circle of intimacy where emotional support can be found, where we can retreat and recover from the harsh, demanding world. Cancer has a long memory and can be rather moody, so watch out for a tendency to dwell on the ghosts of the past, to compare this year's festivities with past holidays, leaving a wake of loneliness, regret and sorrow. Keep an eye on irritability. For all the joy the holidays are supposed to bring, it can be a rough time, overflowing with busyness, unwise spending and other over-indulgences, and too many gatherings. So use the best aspects of the Cancer Full Moon to be a good mother to your self: eat well, say no when you must, take your vitamins and immune supplements, get enough rest, and keep up the exercise routines.

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Benedicto  JUPITER ENTERS SAGITTARIUS  November 8, 2018

artTomorrow, Jupiter will emerge from the deep waters of Scorpio, dry off and enter his very own sign: "sunny-side-up" Sagittarius, represented by that hybrid creature, half-man, half-horse, the Centaur-archer, a symbol of the quest for wisdom and enlightenment.

Sagittarius and Jupiter both represent the search for the meaning of life, but in a horizon-expanding, active and adventurous way. Where Scorpio finds her answers in the deep caverns of the soul, Sagittarius meets them like a friend on the open road. The Archer rules all hope-filled and inspiring, vista-widening experiences, including religion in its higher function as a source of divine guidance. Sagittarius is the eternal traveler, in mind and body, the ever-restless spirit, Odysseus taking the long way home.

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