The May letter……………

Friends,                                                                                        May 11, 2018

What a difference two weeks makes here in Birch Bay, Washington.  The Sun is out today and likely will hit 80+ this weekend.  And everything is growing and making our back road runs so lovely.  The forest is now green, green, GREEN – every branch and tree is covered with new growth in every shade of green.  The raspberry vines have a bright collar of new leaves when they were naked sticks just two weeks ago.  Farmers have already cut the hay in their alfalfa fields and if they haven’t the pastures are feeding large herds of black and white Holstein cattle who graze and then sleep in the sweet meadows.  Hydrangeas are in full bloom all over – pink and blue blossoms so bright you can see them in many front yards from way down the road.  My favorite flowering bushes are the bright RED rhododendrons – the color is so intense you almost have to blink when you see one.  Leslie has planted flowers front and back.  We just need a little color, she says.  And she delivers.  Blue, white, red, yellow and purple faces fill the front flower bed and big pots she has planted out on the back porch.  The snapdragons in front are just about ready to explode in color.  And our Lilac bush is starting to put out lovely blue flowers and a wonderful scent.  It’s fun just to drive through the neighborhoods to see all the flowers and beauty in so many front yards of the houses here.  We adventured to check out the Anacortes farmers market last week.  This city is only an hour and a half drive south and is the main ferry terminal to go explore the San Juan islands.  We didn’t stay long in the farmers market as the drum group there was pounding way too loud for me and it ruined the ambiance of checking out veggies and local wares.  However, we found the city of Anacortes to be a great find. 1891 was the date on one building there and that’s when the city was founded.  It’s a real downtown with lots of shops and activity.  It’s the same story with Bellingham, our nearest big city.  These old downtowns are still vibrant and great places to shop and eat – so different from Texas where most of the small towns are empty shells.  For certain we’ll go back to Anacortes and check out a great Mexican spot our friends recommended.  And of course, it’s picnic weather and we’ve been to the local park to celebrate.  Just five minutes from our house is Birch Bay Park.  It’s an incredible strip of land right on the bay with a free-flowing stream on the backside and a huge wall of towering trees on the other side of the stream creating a dark green backdrop.  Across the blue water we see the snow-capped Cascades and the San Juan islands in the distance.  Cooking hot dogs in the fire pits made a fabulous lunch as we watched folks digging for clams out on the wide beach that’s exposed at low tide.  The parks here are clean, kept up and totally worth the 30 bucks a year you pay for a park pass – that was the first thing I bought when we moved here and I found this wonderful park so close to our house.  May 19, 1948, 10:20 am, Dallas, Texas.  That’s my birth data that one reader wanted to see.  If you are good with addition you know I am turning 70 this month.  How this happened I still don’t know, but I am so glad to be here with dear Leslie, the forest and the flowers, and my work – it’s what keeps me going.  And I want to thank you for your support that makes it possible to keep Skywatch in print.  Leslie does want you to check your mailing label to note your expiration date – so you don’t miss the next issue.  And times are changing as you will read.  We have a rare double Retrograde of Mars and Mercury at the same time up ahead.  Best then to get things moving in your life in June before this delay period begins.  We both send you best wishes and love from the Great Northwest.

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Heads up! We have a lovely string of kisses and lots of good days to boogie in the first three weeks of June—get as much as possible done then; because two different planets are about to turn Retrograde which will complicate your plans and delay forward motion in the weeks ahead. The main event is the beginning of Mars Retrograde on June 26. Just like an old light switch in the cellar—sometimes it works, and the lights come on…and sometimes it doesn’t—your energy level will rise and fall as Mars continues to back up on the bases until August 27.

Mars begins this Rx cycle in air sign Aquarius, but he finishes in earth sign Capricorn. Put two signs together: the new ideas of Aquarius need to pass the practical test of Capricorn at the end to be valuable. This can be a critical time in the lives of two signs as Mars rules Aries and co-rules Scorpio. Often old matters resurface as Rx cycles tend to bring back people and conditions of the past. Whether it’s trouble or a windfall depends on how these planets fit into your birth chart and whether they agree with your planets or challenge them.

Additions: Neptune turns Retrograde on June 18. It’s not as difficult a five-month cycle as the personal planets, but he does throw up a cloud bank in the house he occupies in your birth chart. The positive part of this Rx cycle increases our ability to imagine and create from our own wellspring of talent. And we all have some.

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An April Letter from Lance……….

Friends,                                                                                                           April 9, 2018


I dumped three inches of Winter from the rain gauge last week and looking out this morning I see that there is now another inch of rain in the cylinder.  Hard winters across the country this year means cloudy days and rain in western Washington.  Temperatures are very mild, in the 40-50’s.  Today we get lucky and hit 66 which feels fabulous, and we’ll take PBJ sandwiches and grapes to the Peace Portal Park and enjoy the flowers and ocean view.  And when it rains, we are still in Disneyland - but now the “Big Bud” is on.  Naked raspberry vines have a light green scattering of new leaves.  Daffodils are all over, even volunteers on the verges of I-5!  Our maple trees have green buds the size of your little finger. And we saw on tv news the tulips are out and fabulous.  Suspect we’ll be there soon. I missed seeing a strange event last month.   Mt. Baker belched a big blast of gas and steam visible down here in the lowlands, as they call our area. This is a frequent occurrence they say and reminds us that this huge, cupcake snow cone mountain that’s only 30 miles away is an active volcano.  “Added value” is how Leslie describes this local mountain when driving down Bakerview Road (they aren’t kidding) and this inspiring snow covered upside down cupcake fills half of your windshield.  Being an active volcano, the state agency is going to drill five deep wells nearby looking for a source of geothermal energy to make electricity.  The local university is involved, too.  The topper here is flowering cherry trees all over town.  It’s weird to me that folks in a sturdy evergreen world would plant flimsy but beautiful flowering cherry trees.  They love flowers here, and the nurseries are back open with new faces and colors.  Leslie has the front flower bed in good order waiting for warmer days.  In other places we lived, temperatures rising brought Spring.  Here, it’s the increasing daylight that generates new leaves on the berry vines because the temps have remained constant over the last three months, but now we get 13 hours of daylight, and it will grow to 16 hours mid Summer – a big reason things grow so well here.  So, Spring here is a little sneaky. And we were surprised. All of a sudden abundant dandelions sparkled on green lawns while apple trees are beginning to bloom as we cruise down the back roads.  We check them all out and so enjoy the drive through the open fields, farms, ranches, orchards, dairies, dark forested stretches and magnificent estates perched high on the hill.  Lots to see on every road and then more when you go back the other way and see the other side of the street. Two farms we spotted on the back roads make artisan cheeses with the milk from their cows, and it’s about as pure as you can get.  Local healthy stuff is always available here – the public demands it.  I was unaware of the Orca pods that return to the Puget Sound each year – amazing animals and in recent decline.  So the Gov passed a law to do things to protect them and to help increase their numbers.  I want to give you the words of the Suquamish tribe Chairman who testified to the commission writing the law:  “The orca whales are vital to our culture and spirituality as we are the first people on Puget Sound.  They act as sentinels, observing our behavior and its impact on the health of these waters.  They bless us with their presence and depend on us to keep our sacred pact with the Creator to care for this beautiful land.”  Reading this makes me cry.  The passage of the Orca bill does highlight the fact that environmental concerns are top shelf here.  And I also like that we get to hear from all the tribes and get their point of view.  We should all be listening.

One thought on “An April Letter from Lance……….

  1. Sandy

    Thanks so much, Lance
    Beautiful letter as always – and touching ending quoting Suquamish Chairman
    about the Orca Whales.
    You and Leslie chose a heavenly home….


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There’s a little magic in the air this month. You’ll have to reach for it and be tuned in to really benefit. Dreams may show you something important to consider or understand, and your hunches are more likely to be on target in May. All due to expansive Jupiter making a trine to psychic and spiritual Neptune on May 25. Neptune fuels the creative and imaginative elements in our psyche and can inspire artists in all fields to produce a masterpiece. This trine also sets up a stellar month for spiritual studies and retreats.

This is a good month to set your intention and to work for something positive in your life to develop over the next three months as this trine reforms and powers up in mid-August when again “dreams can come true.” Small victories at this time can give lifetime benefit.

Add dancing, swimming and all water sports including fishing to the positive list—Pisces ruled, too.

A major change in the Skywatch this month is rebellious and unpredictable Uranus entering Taurus, the money sign. This last happened around 84 years ago and suggests changes in our financial systems and changes in what we value. This new era will last seven years and suggests that a lot of money will be made by investors in the tech field as everything electrical is ruled by Uranus, Stocks of high tech outfits will be good stocks to own over the next seven years is my bet.

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March Letter

Friends,                                                                                                       March 9, 2018

“If Winter comes can Spring be far behind?”

That’s the thought around western Washington right now and Shelley doesn’t even live here.  We got the worst Winter slap in mid-February when the temp went down to 26 and we got four inches of snow which kept us housebound for a day.  But that was it.  The snow melted the next afternoon.  We got to enjoy the beauty of white fields and evergreen branches heavy with white powder, but we did not suffer at all.

This is the first real Winter I’ve been through in many, many years.  The last time was in 1978 when I was a tv news reporter in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We had a terrible Winter that year and I had to wear long underwear while shooting film stories outside for the evening news.  The worst of it was when I got in my old VW bus one frosty morning, started it, and quickly realized the gas pedal was frozen to the floor of the bus. So, I went inside and got a teapot full of hot water and finally worked the pedal free.

Nothing that difficult happened to us this Winter.  We really enjoyed the crisp days.  And after all the rain and grey skies, our sun breaks are glorious and push the temperature into the high 40’s in the afternoons.  But now…everyone is ready for Spring.  The grocery stores here have wide, covered porches where they stash the shopping carts and huge racks of blooming flowers: hyacinths, primroses, crocuses and daffodils in every color of the rainbow.  Our neighbor has Crocus sativus blooming in his front yard now, the plants that give us saffron – something I never knew.

The tv weathermen now are all counting the days to the Vernal Equinox on March 20.  And it won’t be long before the daffodils and then tulips will fill the fields in LaConner.  We went last year and will go again.  Put a note on your calendar to check out:  www.loveLaConner around the first week of April and you’ll get some good pics of the beautiful flowers.  Right now they have huge, snow white trumpeter swans and snow geese wintering over in their fields.  They are both a common sight on our back roads, too.  And we’ve seen three bald eagles in the last two weeks. They are so awesome. The way to see them is to look UP as they are usually sitting in the top of huge trees scouting out the landscape for meals, which can easily include small dogs if you don’t keep them near you and safe.  Woof!


Newsflash – the poet was right.  The high on next Tuesday is forecast to be 66, just under the record high for the date.  Lots of sunshine, too.  Thank you, Lord.


I want to alert you to some special days ahead in the Skywatch.  Take some time to read this issue all the way to the last paragraph and you ’ll have the dates for two major kisses or positive planetary connections to lucky Jupiter that show up in the heavens over the next two months.  This is unusual, very helpful, and is energy you want to take advantage of.  Looking for a companion, a new job, house or car?  Make some plans to adventure/explore and to check out new associations, groups, job listings and opportunities of all kinds in April and May.  There are no big blocking squares in the Skywatch in this time period, just the end of Mercury Retrograde to deal with in the first half of April.  Yes, yes, yes.  Take action and start something positive in your life over the next two months – Jupiter is on your side and things can work out better than you suspect.  As times change.

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Healing energy. There’s a big-time planetary alignment in the Skywatch this month. Expansive and lucky Jupiter lines up in a sextile to healing Pluto on the 14th. But nothing good happens unless you take action; that’s the message from a sextile. This welcome aspect will be in power all month long and brings a fabulous time to get married or to start any new health or dietary program. This is also a good month for elective surgery, also ruled by Pluto. This sextile is powerful as Jupiter is in Scorpio now, the sign ruled by Pluto, which doubles the power of this most useful marker. Pluto is also the ruler of investments, insurance, taxes and goods of the dead. Jupiter rules the law, travel and education—all favorable avenues in the light of this sextile.

But you’ve got to double-check the details as Mercury is still Retrograde from last month until he resumes direct motion on April 15th. And surprises are likely on this date as there is also a New Moon in Aries which sits next to Uranus, the planet of changes and the truth. Looks like Tax day will be favorable news to some folks and a bad surprise to others.

The Full Moon this month is also a positive event. It will be in earthy Capricorn and makes a complementary sextile to ruler Saturn on the 29th. Again, this combination is extra powerful and brings us a very good time to make a final decision (popping the question) and/or to ending a chapter in your life that is unhealthy or negative.

More Retrogrades: Saturn begins to back up on the bases on the 17th. Pluto turns Retrograde on the 22nd. Neither planet has a personal connection and you might not feel these events. However, they will slow down the signs ruled by these two planets and urge the natives to be more deliberate and reasoned in their actions during this Rx period.


3 thoughts on “LOOKING AHEAD TO APRIL:

  1. Joanne

    Sounds like a good month, but I’m a little confused about the full moon in Capricorn. Wouldn’t the sun have to be in Cancer if the full moon is in Cap? Don’t expect that in April but who knows the way things have been happening lately. Have a wonderful spring!

    1. Julie

      Joanne, you’re right. My astrological calendar (Jim Maynard’s Celestial Guide) says the Sun will be in earthy Taurus and the Moon will be in watery Scorpio. The Scorpio Moon will sextile Saturn in Capricorn a little more than an hour before the Full Moon is exact.
      – Another place to double-check lunation signs and aspects is this page at Cafe Astrology (charts set for New York):
      – There’s also a Cafe Astrology page,, which has many years (1900 to 2050) of lunations in a list to scroll through. These are set for GMT. To easily jump to the year of interest, input Ctrl-F or Cmd-F to get a “Find” search box where you can input the year, like 2018. With the arrows you can jump to that part of the list.


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