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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No Words For

artAlready at a slow crawl approaching station retrograde on June 18th, Neptune links up with the New Moon through a compelling, siren-like square. Connecting rational Gemini with dreamy Neptune in Pisces, the square is somewhat wide, but still a predominant influence, given Neptune is particularly potent right now nearing its station. Denoting challenge and cross-purpose in need of integration, a square, on the positive side, can release tremendous, pent up energy and dynamism when the two ends find a way to collaborate. And therein lies the trick.

The two signs involved in a square are important clues as to the special nature of the challenge. Gemini is concerned with relevant information, essentials: facts, ideas, and knowledge; whereas Jupiter- and Neptune-ruled Pisces' natural affinity is with quintessentials: the big ideas and ideals.

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Sailing Into the Doldrums

art Mars' retrograde cycles are neatly bookended by two Sun-Mars trines, and tomorrow, the first glides into place. Unlike other Sun-Mars trines, which fly past without much notice, this one, however, is an important signal. For we are moving into a special period of time, and it's helpful to know what to expect and to plan accordingly.

This pre-retrograde trine is unique to Mars, as astrologer Erin Sullivan noted in her book, Retrograde Planets, for all other "superior" planets (Jupiter and beyond) are already in retrograde motion when trining the Sun. This seemingly trivial detail is in fact significant because of what a Sun-Mars trine can bring: gobs of energy, and often at inflated amounts. This can lead to a shocking surprise when the sudden withdrawl of energy and enthusiam kicks in, from this point onward, as we move closer and closer to the retrograde station on June 26th. While you may feel you can take on the world right now, beware: you are sailing into the doldrums. The biggest decline in vital energy and enthusiasm, in a two year period, is sweeping in; and if you aren't prepared for it, the down shift in energy over the next four weeks will be very difficult.

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Wild, Precious Life

artMerry May Eve, Walpurgis Night, Beltane — the wheel of the year is turning. The Sun, our central star, nears a critical phase in its yearly passage: the midpoint between spring equinox and the coming summer solstice — here in the north that is. On May Day, north of the equator, we celebrate a fertile, waxing Sun swiftly climbing to its zenith, the height of its power. For those of you who like precision, the Sun actually strikes this exact "equinox-solstice" midpoint, a few days from now, arriving at 15° Taurus on the 5th of May.

Beltane is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and Welsh literature. Doors, windows, barns, and cattle were decorated with hawthorne, primroses, cowslips and other flowers in bloom at this time. In parts of Ireland, people would make a May Bush or "Clootie Bush" — a thorn bush decked with flowers, ribbons, rags, bright shells and other votive offerings. Holy wells were also visited, and dew was gathered on the morning of May 1st for increased beauty and youthfulness. Maypoles were erected in villages across parts of Europe, obvious symbols of male-female fecundity, they include both the phallic pole protruding through a floral wreath, rung at the top, with another circle of dancers on the ground below. Our earthy pastoral ancestors weren't at all squeamish about sexual symbolism: the fertility of the earth was critical to honor at the beginning of the growing season, a matter of life and death.

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The Saurian Tail


In just a few day's time, we'll arrive at the Scorpio Full Moon, the culmination/illumination point of the current lunar month. At the Scorpio Full Moon every year, we are meant to embark on a special sort of hero's journey: to dive down into the realm of darkness in order to retrieve some very odd riches, riches of a Scorpionic variety.

Vastly different from what we usually think of as treasure, Scorpio riches stem from the darker aspects of life that are very difficult to face. Taboo curiosities and desires, unexpressed anger, rage, and greed, and the many temptations and inclinations we don't want to admit, not even privately to ourselves, that lurk in our hearts — all of this belongs to Scorpio's dark, inner sanctum. No wonder the sign attracts such negative sentiment, for Scorpio does seem to carry this burden, this collective shadow material, and it permeates their very being, whether they are monsters or angels.

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The Tao of Taurus

artWhen the Sun, our central, life-giving star, departs the cardinal fire sign of Aries to enter the tranquil pastures of Taurus — it is the beginning of a new solar month flavored by this sensual, stabilizing sign.

A fixed, earth sign, Taurus could not be more UNLIKE bold, on-the-go Aries. Well known for being rather stubborn and somewhat inflexible, Taurus the Bull's higher purpose is not to irritate but to consolidate — to identify the nonessentials and start snipping away. There are four things the Bull detests the most and they are: clutter, complications, distractions, and being rushed.

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Beware the Wraithing Process


The Aries/Libra axis, highlighted at this Full Moon, describes the inherent tension that exists in all relationships, but within ourselves as well. How do we maintain personal freedom and autonomy, while preserving important intimacy in our lives? How do we balance our own needs and opinions without stepping all over or negating others? We all need the emotional support, approval and appreciation found in healthy partnerships, but if we choose to live the Libra extreme, that is solely through our key alliances, we can end up bitter and resentful, having sacrificed too much of what we need, of WHO WE ARE. On the other side of the equation — Aries unchecked — we can become far too independent and self-centered, unable to work WITH others, to compromise. Too fearful to surrender the self enough so that trust and true partnership can bloom.

So, that is the general thrust of a Libra Full Moon, which swings around once a year. Looking at the chart for this particular lunation, we see other compelling influences which also describe the special insights streaming in at this high tide in the lunar cycle. First and foremost, at the time of the Full Moon, Mercury will be sliding into the Sun. Perfecting its retrograde conjunction to our central star the very next day, April Fool's Day and Easter Sunday, the Sun and Mercury will meet at 11°56' Aries. Secondly, and from another direction and another cardinal sign, Mars and Saturn are swiftly sliding towards their own conjunction, both to square the Full Moon opposition AND Mercury. Their conjunction will perfect on April 2nd at 8°57' Capricorn. This weekend's Libra Full Moon then illuminates not only Mercury's current retrograde cycle in Aries, what that means, as well as what Mars and Saturn conjunct in Capricorn represents.

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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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