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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Spring in the Belly of Winter


By 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, 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 Still Point

artIn just a few days, we arrive at the Full Moon, culmination of a cycle that began at the Capricorn New Moon two weeks ago. But no ordinary Full Moon is this!

As the second Full Moon to fall in January, it is a Blue Moon PLUS a Super "perigee" Moon — falling near Luna's closest approach to Earth and bringing more of those especially high King Tides. It also falls on Imbolc eve, one of those four powerful, cross-quarter days (more on that in a separate post); and, last but not least, this Leo Full Moon is also a TOTAL lunar eclipse.

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THE CAPRICORN NEW MOON  January 16-17, 2018

artLuna will soon catch up with the Sun in Saturn-ruled Capricorn to begin a new lunar month. One of four cardinal signs — boundary posts that guard the seasonal gates of the year — Capricorn's ruling planet, Saturn, was for millennia the outermost "wandering star," marking an ancient boundary: the outer limits of the known solar system. Relatedly, Saturn and Capricorn rule our personal boundaries and physical structures: foundations, walls, fences — what supports, but also delineates and separates: this from that, inside from outside, mine from yours.

And Capricorn is especially emphasized at this New Moon with a very large group of Olympians here, including the Old Devil, Saturn, himself, newly in his own sign. So Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Pluto are all here amplifying the Capricorn signal.

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Something in Me, Dark and Sticky

artThe Sun, our central star, will soon form a perfect conjunction with Pluto, distant dwarf planet that 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, outlying planet. And all of these Pluto-related themes of life are currently being stirred up right now, illuminated by the vital Sun in formidable "take no prisoners" Capricorn.And this year, Venus joins the party, making the annual Sun-Pluto conjunction a triple one.

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Beware of Darkness

artWe begin a New Year on a big beautiful Full "Wolf" Moon beaming from the cardinal, water sign of Cancer: the Moon's own sign, where Luna is STRONG. A "Super Moon" or perigee Moon, and one that falls right on the yearly "perihelion" point, at the time of the Full Moon, the Earth will be at its closest point to the Sun (perihelion), and the Moon at its closest point to Earth (perigee).

So this Full Moon will bring those particularly powerful "King" tides, which I wrote about in the previous December Solstice article. If you live close enough to a coast, a special way to ring in this New Year, and witness the power of Mother Nature, is to catch, and work a little magic, on this impressive, astronomical King tide.

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Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New

artWhen our central star glides into the cardinal, earth sign of Capricorn, it marks an important turning point in the solar year: the winter solstice and longest night — for those of us north of the equator. At the Capricorn solstice tomorrow, the Sun concludes its long, half-year descent into the southern sky. High noon on this day, it shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn, its southern-most extreme: 23.5° latitude, south of the equator.

The triumph of darkness over light at this time of year is tempered with the knowledge of the never-ending, turning of the wheel. For after the December solstice, our days gradually lengthen until eventually summer solstice arrives, six months from now, marked by the Sun's entry into Capricorn's polar complement: the feminine water sign of Cancer.

While those of us in the north huddle by the fire sipping hot toddies and peering out at a stark winter landscape, our friends in the south are enjoying the peak of the Sun's strength, the lush, high greening of the land. If there's ever a time when the fundamental, dual nature of life here on planet Earth is most evident, it is at the two solstices — the "Sun extremes" of the year.

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Back Into Port

artWhen Saturn leaves lofty Sagittarius for formidable, no-nonsense Capricorn, his very own earth sign, we somewhat reluctantly bring our ship back into port and return to the more mundane realities of life. The last two and a half years while transiting Jupiter's horizonless realm, Saturn has helped us glean a larger perspective in some way, clarify our personal truth. And now it will be Capricorn's important task to help us transform these new, somewhat fragile insights into something of practical value in the REAL WORLD.

Sagittarian heady idealism and the high value it places on abstractions and other forms of open-ended adventure is all anathema to solemn, grounded Capricorn, who sees this as rather frivolous. And indeed it is frivolous to stay in Sagittarius's realm of ideas, neglecting to do anything tangible or realistic with our grand visions. (Mind-f&%king as Saturn calls it.)

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