An Elemental Afternoon

Tuesday in Toronto. Cold. A high of 11° C for a mid-October day. The sun is brilliant, cutting the sky with golden light. Not much wind. Just enough to rustle the trees and shake orange, yellow and red leaves one by one to the ground.

Shirt, sweater, jeans, sturdy sneakers, hat, half-gloves, double fleece jacket on in a flash. Grab the dog, car keys and sun glasses. Out, out and out into the light. Traffic on the Gardner uncomplicated and light, making our way to the outskirts of Etobicoke. Drive down Brown’s Line to a deserted park with a wide expanse of Lake Ontario.

Merlin and I together in solitude, except for a stray squirrel and a distant biker dressed in spandex red on the paved trail. We turn to the water, full sun high in the southern sky warming the expanse of field, beach and suburban forest. Oh Lake Ontario. This living, breathing body of water is crystal clear today and shimmers in waves of blue sapphires, gently breaking on the shore.

The elements of fire, earth, air and water surround and pulse with life. A stray Monarch butterfly dips by. Merlin buries his nose deep in a patch of ground, throws himself down and rolls belly up over and over again. Comes up for air with a loopy grin, tongue to one side and eyes bright. He disappears among a patch of trees and vegetation and I turn once more to the lake. A pair of geese flies low, honking in near unison as they merge with the horizon.

Gazing into the southern sky, closing my eyes against the sun’s full gaze. The fire signs leap to mind: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. All alit with solar radiance. Earth signs follow: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Each grounded into some degree of the material. Gemini, Libra and Aquarius chatter and declare their resolve on the breeze, while Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces bob on the lake in emotional resonance. Twelve signs dancing on the rim of the horizon forming a sacred wheel of fire, earth, air and water.

The reverie is broken as Merlyn dashes out of the rustic grove and tumbles towards me covered in burrs and brambles. Patiently, he stands still as I take one, then two then a half dozen out of his wiry coat. We move on.  The magic of the day shatters with our motion.

The echo of it remains.

Squaring the Circle in Astrology

Circles and squares are just a few of sacred geometry’s gifts integrated into the symbolic language of astrology. Understand the meaning behind the holy shapes and intuitive apprehension becomes possible.

The circle is the sign of infinity. With no beginning or end it aligns with planetary orbs and in particular the Sun. A dot added at the center point of the circle signifies the soul’s inclusion in infinity. Step into the middle of the circle and align yourself with the four directions: east, north, west and south. These are the cardinal or prime directions that inform and direct our soul’s energies. Add above and below and it becomes a multi-directional conduit. We have created sacred space.

A sacred circle brought to life may be sectioned off into 360 degree points that shimmer with star lit dynamism. Place planets within the apportioned sphere and you have created a sky map filled with story, myth, archetype and hidden wisdom. Time is fluid here allowing for the significance of a natal chart to direct the soul’s purpose, while the past and future shape the relentless ebb and flow.

This astrological framework is inclusive, allowing for multidiscipline intersectionality that includes archeology, astronomy, anthropology, physics, mathematics, philosophy, ethics, history, art, poetry, song and dance. It is nondiscriminatory making room for any and all cultures, classes, ethnicities, faiths, gender expressions, and sexual preferences. The circle embraces and includes by the very nature of its infinite contour.

The square has four equal sides that imply structure. It is measurable with a rational beginning and end. Reason and knowledge is manifested; brought to life in concrete form. Its purpose is to contain and its nature is to attempt to surround infinity.


To “square the circle” is to manifest the spirit in our everyday world.  Taking compass and straightedge a circle encased by a square can be drawn. Ancient geometers and modern computer programmers come to the same conclusion: it is impossible to perfectly encase the circle within the square. The sacred circle remains divine and implies our search for unity remains unending.

East, North, West and South. Above and Below. All the sacred points between. The circle held within a square speaks to the infinite possibility of life. Open your eyes, unplug your ears, loosen your tongue, sniff the winds of change and open your arms to the life around you. Dance in celebration. You have become one with the cosmos for this brief, perfect moment in time.

Now…go out and do something wonderful.