What is Astrology?

Most people have a very limited understanding of astrology. At the same time, most people are curious about astrology. Some call it a science, some call it a pseudo-science, some say it is an art form.  Most astrologers prefer to call it an art form. We astrologers have to tread lightly. We have to be careful and conscious of our word choices. This is because astrology has been stigmatized. It has been dumbed down and fed to the public in an insincere manner to make money.

Nearly all of us know what sign the Sun was in at the moment of our birth. The Sun changes signs approximately every month on around the 19th, 20th, or 21st of the month. Those born from March 21st to April 19th were born with the Sun in Aries, those born from April 20th to May 20th were born with the Sun in Taurus, so on and and so forth. To a lot of people that is all that astrology is. Many people believe that astrology simply categorizes people into 12 signs and that is the whole of it. I certainly cannot blame these people for having their doubts about such a simplistic practice. Of course, astrology is far more developed than that.

In order to talk about astrology you have to first talk about archetypes. Archetypal energy is energy which is pure in its simplistic nature. It encompasses a recurrent theme in human existence, a primordial need which evolves into a way of being. Despite being rudimentary, archetypes are multi-fasceted in their manifestation and are beyond definition. To understand archetypes as fully as we can, we have to observe them at work within the complex characters we encounter in our lives each and every day. We also have to recognize them and study them within our mythology.

A character that we all know well from modern-day mythology is Darth Vader. Darth Vader is a nearly pure example of the archetypal Scorpio energy–in both its positive manifestation and its negative manifestation. As a child Vader is intense, driven, able to delve deeply into his pursuits. As Vader grows he loves with fierce passion and intensity and mourns with just as fierce of intensity. He needs, above all else, to be in control of his life. His inability to protect the people he loves eviscerates him. In order to protect himself from the intensity of his emotions, from the extreme depth at which he is able to experience pain, he seeks control through his greatest strength and his greatest weakness: POWER. Once he gets a taste of this power he has gone to the dark side. This is Scorpio.

The vast majority of us to do not come even close to a pure model of an archetype. We are each a mixture. Astrology is the analysis of the position of the celestial bodies, mainly planets, at a given moment in time, generally at the moment of a person’s birth. The natal chart maps the Sun, the Moon and the planets on a circular chart in the shape of a wagon wheel with twelve slices, or houses of influence.  The twelve signs of the zodiac are charted as well and the houses fall under the influence of different signs depending on the time of day and the place in which the event or birth takes place. Mathematically, the number of possible combinations within the natal chart is endless. Two people born on the same day in the same place but at different times will still have quite different lives as projected by the chart.

Here is my natal chart:

Natal Chart

Does it mean anything to you? Don’t feel bad if it doesn’t. You can probably guess which symbol represents the Moon, and most of us are familiar with the symbols for Mars and Venus (they are oftentimes used to represent male and female.)

There is a wealth of information available to the trained eye in this chart. This simple chart will never cease to reveal new insights to me. I am sure that when I am in my 80s there will still be much to discover here. My natal chart, or horoscope, is like a comforting friend. It makes me more aware of both my strengths and my weaknesses, and it reassures me that it is okay to have both.

Don’t ask me how astrology works. I don’t know. What I do know is that the more I study and practice it, the more I am convinced of its validity. The proof of the pudding is in the eating!

On a spiritual level, through the lens of an astrologer, I imagine birth as a journey of the soul. Of course, not all astrologer’s believe in the existence of the soul–and belief isn’t exactly the word I would use to describe my views on life, the Universe, and the powers that be. I know that the truth is beyond my ability to comprehend. I am of the opinion that there are forces at work in the world that we have no instruments or methods with which to measure or detect. Call these forces God, call them the metaphysical, call them what you like. It doesn’t matter to me. In my mind the soul is like a light beam that begins its journey from somewhere–a center point or nucleus from which all energy and life originates and returns to. This cosmic nucleus is believed to exist in many forms and has many names. Some call it heaven, some call it Zion, some Elysium, some Nirvana. Some believe that it takes the form, energetically, of a lotus flower. Some believe that it is nowhere and everywhere at the same time. I have no idea really, but I do know that I gravitate toward the idea that our souls are a type of energy.

I like the idea that all energy is borrowed and one day we will have to give it back. In my mind’s eye, when we die not only do our physical bodies decompose and provide nourishment for the worms and the plants, but our soul energy also goes back to its source, melding with the infinite. From ashes to ashes, from dust to dust, from light to light so to speak. It is interesting to think about the experience of being born in comparison to what we know about death. The vision of the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ that has been recounted numerous times from near-death experiences can easily be compared to the emergence of the child from the womb through the birth canal and into the bright light of earthly existence.

Astrologically speaking, one might envision the journey of the soul at birth as the journey of a ray of sunshine. On its way down to Earth that ray would pass through the atmosphere, its light bouncing off the gases of the ozone, it might beam its light through a number of clouds, each one imparting a bit of its own nature and energy upon the sun ray until it finally reaches the Earth where it’s now wholly unique energy is absorbed by a plant, or a rock, or a person. Now, imagine that the gases of the ozone are planets, and the clouds are the energy fields ruled by the signs of the Zodiac. This analogy isn’t perfect, but it is kind of nice to imagine it that way I think.

In my humble opinion, our task here on this Earth is to be true to who we are, to love who we are, and to love our fellow man–because, while we are all different we truly are one and the same. Astrology can help us with this.

If we do this I believe that the Earth will vibrate at a higher frequency. The frequency of LOVE.


If you are interested in having a professional astrological consultation I would love to hear from you.

Give me a call at: 650.731.6037

Signing off,


I want my children to know…

My mother died when I was a baby. She left me and my three sisters when I  was 4 months old. Growing up I had one wallet-sized photo of her. That is all. Her shirt was stained and she looked tired. She was a mother.

I became a mother when I was 26 years old. As I held my infant daughter in my arms and nursed her from my breast I thought often about the mother I lost. When my daughter reached 4 months in age I thought, “This is when I lost her.” When she turned one and a half I thought, “This is when Patrice lost her.” As she neared three years old I thought, “This is when Elysia lost her.” It was hard to imagine the devastation my daughter would have experienced if I were to have suddenly disappeared from her life at these ages. It made the tragedy even more real than it already was. I knew in those intimate moments when my baby lay curled up next to me in the bed, tucked into the protective curve of my body, that I had never been loved so deeply by anyone. That I never would be. It hurt. But,at the same time I was so thankful that I had been given the opportunity to experience this much love in my life. Now I have two beautiful babies and a loving, caring husband, and my days are defined by love.

Newborn Oliver    Chani Newborn

I never used to fear death. Now I do. I don’t want to leave my children. If something does happen to me I don’t want them to be left with only pictures. I want my children to know…

I love you! I love you! I love you!! I’ve said it thousands of times and I will say it a million more if I get the chance. I want you to grow up knowing that you are perfect in your imperfection; that there is nothing you could ever do to make me stop loving you. Thank you for the incredible, life-affirming gift of loving you! I am no longer just Mindy I am Chani and Oliver’s mom. It took some time to adjust to, but I didn’t lose my identity when I became a mother…  I found it.

The Golden Rule is truly golden. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When interacting with others you should stop and ask yourself if you would like it if someone were to do the same to you. Of course, while the Golden Rule is golden, it is not perfect. We are not all alike–something that you would like to have done to you may very well be something someone else would hate–but, the Golden Rule is still a good guide to live by.

The Earth is more than your mother. It was so amazing to look at you during your infancy, when you were exclusively breastfed, and to think, “Wow!! Everything that you are has first passed through me! My body gave you life.” The Earth does this for each and every one of us, and not just for 15 months, for our whole lives!! If that doesn’t deserve love, respect, awe, and conscious care I don’t know what does.

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being  superior to your former self. This is a quote from Ernest Hemmingway and I think that it is as golden as the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, it seems that many people choose to live their lives trying to prove themselves to be better than others. They seek to prove this in a variety of ways; through credentials, through possessions, and through forceful displays of superior strength and power. I seriously doubt that any of this brings true fulfillment. Competition is not the salt of life. The only person you need to compete with is yourself. Set your sights high, but the goal should be personal growth not glory.

You should eat your veggies! I want you both to live long, healthy lives. A salad a day will definitely help you get there (as long as you stay away from those nasty pre-made dressings.) Here are some super veggies that I would love to see become staples in your diet: dark leafy greens like collard greens, spinach, kale, and chard, cruciferous veggies like cabbage, and brussel sprouts, root veggies like beets, carrots, potatoes and turnips, and fruit-veggies like squash, tomatoes and avocados. Hopefully I won’t need to coerce you into eating fresh fruits!

Never underestimate the power of conscious breath. I brought you into this world with the help of conscious breathing. When I take the time to meditate and focus on my breath I am a smarter, healthier, happier, more loving, and more intuitive person. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!

Money is no substitute for love.  Many people, in seeking to fill a void in their hearts, convince themselves that if they only made more money and had nicer things, they would be happy. I suppose this is an easier path towards happiness to choose–there is no need to put your heart on the line. The problem is that this path doesn’t actually lead to happiness. True happiness can only be experienced when the heart-soul is flooded with the light of connection–LOVE.

Different is good. To me being different means thinking for yourself and being creative. Being different is not always easy. I see around me a world largely divided into two opposing sides. The decisions in this arena are not that complicated–you simply need to choose which team you are on and let the talking heads be your guides. It takes real courage to look deep inside and decide where you really, truly stand. If more people had this type of courage the world would seem more like a giant spider web–with all of the parts working together to make a whole–than a football field with each team poised at the center line ready to duke it out. Be brave. Be yourselves.