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I’ve learned that discovery rarely involves finding something you’re actually looking for. It’s more like suddenly seeing something that’s been there all along, as I came to understand one star-filled night courtesy of my dogs.

I’ve also learned that just because you’ve been shown something new doesn’t mean you have a clue what to do with it. It took a subsequent discovery a few years later—yes, that was years—to understand its meaning for me. Both of these revelations contributed hugely to the foundation for my new dog astrology book, Canis Astrologicus, now in the “chute.”

I grew up with great fascination for the stars and, thankfully, the opportunity to learn much about them: clear skies for viewing, a father who knew the constellations with the myths behind them, and three generations of women above me on my mother’s side with strong but quiet tendencies to the medial arts connecting the seen and unseen worlds. As the recipient of the talents of these women, I find their tendencies I’ve inherited aren’t so quiet in me. In fact, as my life progresses they press for louder expression.

Growing up there were many nights far from city lights during which the entire starscape was visible from horizon to horizon, like thousands of diamonds glittering on a jeweler’s enormous spread of dark velvet. The stars’ pulsing vibrations were palpable, calling to me, flooding me with a fullness I couldn’t then explain, that the poet in me still struggles to express. Meanwhile, the astrologer in me slowly gains ground as interpreter.

Lounging under the Southern California night sky, our dogs (those who are part of our pack at the time) stick close by as dogs do. While I look up at the night sky they focus, as I’ve observed over the years, on things earth-bound: me, my husband, and chasing down intruders—rodents, raccoons, possums.