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excerpted from the book Astrology Is Real

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Is astrology real? Of course! Yes! Astrology is very real—although not in the same sense that the orange vermillion steel towers of the Golden Gate Bridge are real, or the lavender soap you used for your last shower, or the great horned owl you saw roosting in a juniper tree.

Astrology is real in the way that an Emily Dickinson poem is real, and psychology's theory of the unconscious mind, and the dream of your dead ancestor you had last night, and the myths of Gilgamesh and Inanna, and the story Toni Morrison told in her novel Beloved.

Is astrology true? Of course! Though it's not true in the same sense that the binomial theorem is true. Not true like the speed of light is 186,282.39 miles per second or like every molecule of water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Astrology is not true in the same way as the fact that 55 big American corporations pay no federal taxes.

But astrology is intensely and intimately true in a trillion other ways. It's as true as the epiphany you had when you realized you wanted to move to a new location or get married to a person you loved.

Astrology is true like the mix of delight and melancholy that seeps into you as summer turns to autumn. True in the same way that you feel cheerful and frisky when the first spring leaves appear on oak and maple trees. As true as the fact that you are sleepier in the depths of winter than at other times of the year.

Astrology is very much true, deeply and gloriously true, in the sense that Patti Smith is true as she sings her song "Radio Ethiopia.” True like the inspiration Georgia O'Keeffe tapped into as she painted Flowers of Fire. True like the wrathful hope that motivated Martin Luther King Jr. to write his "I Have a Dream" speech. True like the Indigenous Anishinaabe trickster spirit Nanabozho, an unruly, gender-changing hero whose job it is to learn the names of all creatures.

Astrology is as real and as true as your imagination. As real and as true as the story you tell yourself about your life. As real and as true as your never-ending cavalcade of yearnings.

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