Uranus is on stage again this month—changes are in the wind. And it’s likely an important truth will come out as well. Mercury is finishing up his Retrograde cycle that started in August and as he slowly stations in the heavens, he makes a lovely trine to Uranus that is in power over the first six days. Mercury stops on Sept 5 and resumes direct motion holding on to the positive energy in the trine for at least another day. Uranus rules the truth and usually brings an unexpected point of view. This is a good period of time to plan your future, or to schedule important matters. New ideas/connections that come to you could be winners—take notes, investigate new options/possibilities in Sept. Mars links up with Mercury and also trines Uranus as the month begins. Venus will also trine Uranus on Sept 17.
Heads up! The most difficult marker in the Skywatch this month turns exact on Aug 4 as Jupiter in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn. The energy in this square promotes overindulgence in every way possible: promises, expenses, expectations, on and on. This square has been “creeping” into power over the last three weeks, and we’ve seen it before. This is the last pass. But caution lights are up in the face of this square. Jupiter rules the law, travel, foreigners, and bullshit. Pluto rules death/rebirth and the positive side of this square is to end something detrimental to your mission in life FOR GOOD!
This message to teenagers is: clean up your room and take out the trash. (I can hear my father’s instructions from long ago.)
Most helpful is that we have two more powerful Eclipses in the heavens and both are connected to other planets in positive trines. Yes, yes, yes. The Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse on Aug 7 makes a lovely trine to lucky Jupiter. We only get four Eclipses a year usually and they are the most powerful New and Full Moons. Their connection to the other planets varies and is a determining factor in whether the Eclipse is helpful or is “A bad Moon rising.” Jupiter helps you make a graceful exit wherever needed and encourages you to think of your future—how long will you put up with a person or situation that does not fit into your future plans?
The Solar Eclipse and New Moon this month on Aug 21 makes a very tight trine to Uranus, the planet that rules changes. Note events around these lunations. Endings and conclusions—“I love you”—the words shine in the face of a Full Moon. Seeds planted in the dark of the New Moon are power packed with the Sun and Moon together in the same spot in the Zodiac. This pair will encourage and help to expand/grow your new plans and initiatives as the Moon gains light in the heavens in the days ahead. Bottom line: this is an excellent month to end the unnecessary crap in your life, and to begin something unique, experimental and outside the box from your own creative gifts. This is the time to speak up and to place your order. Just double-check the details.
Complication. Mercury turns Retrograde on Aug 12 in home sign Virgo. This Rx cycle is not difficult as the Twins make no squares or challenging aspects as they back up on the bases. However, Mercury backs into Leo on Aug 31 and will end the Rx roaring like a Lion on Sept 5 after meeting Mars in the heavens and making a trine to Uranus. This is a power packed ending to the Rx cycle after a fairly quiet beginning.
A sextile in astrology is a 60-degree angle between two planets and signals a time of opportunity here on Earth. Lucky Jupiter and realistic Saturn form a sextile in the heavens on Aug 27. This marker fills the space left by the Jupiter square at the month’s beginning and will be in full power even with Mercury Rx. Good timing is a hallmark of this marker—tune in to opportunities that come up during this sextile as this is when you meet the person who can help you—Jupiter is in Libra, the sign of partnerships. It also signals a very good time for starting new classes this Fall and all matters ruled by Jupiter.
Saturn leaves his Retrograde cycle and resumes direct motion on Aug 25. He turned Rx on April 6 and now kicks on the green lights to put new energy into priority ambitions over the next eight months. You may have to wait until Mercury turns direct in motion to get any satisfaction from Saturn’s revival. Capricorn and Aquarius birth signs ruled by Saturn, especially.
Friends, May 12, 2017
Paradise is regained! The explosion of green everything and so many flowers you couldn’t count are all a colorful splash of joy in our neck of the Great Northwest. Even the dandelions were magnificent…pure yellow sunshine faces almost covered the hillsides and pastures: millions and billions of gold flowers made a rainy day much more fun. Flowers are everywhere. Go to any grocery store, and you walk around fifty trays of flowering plants, tomato starters – all waiting for a home.
And you can be sure Leslie got her share and is now Farmer LuLu. The tomatoes (four varieties) are planted in the big tubs with basil and placed on the side yard where we get the most sun. Nearby she planted runner beans, carrots, and Italian broad beans. Plus chives, thyme, oregano, dill, and parsley. Her idea of a garden is what she calls The English Garden Cottage look: colorful and messy. To that end, she planted daisies, white and blue lobelia, marigolds, impatiens and more that I can name.
Folks here plant flowers right and left, and it’s a joy just driving down the streets in Blaine as so many yards have fabulous tulip displays and gardens/yards. However, a juvenile black bear was also spotted in this little town last week. We live about ten miles away from the spot so we are not worried and the authorities said just leave him alone and he’ll drift back up into the forest.
Driving the back roads now is paradise. Every tree and shrub in the forest now have new leaves, and the dense wall of foliage is in every shade of green there is. Just three weeks ago the raspberry vines were naked sticks. Now they have an eight-inch collar of new green leaves covering every stalk. The Kodak moment on our last drive was spotting a pair of Canadian geese with five fluffy chicks following them – both mom and dad were herding the group and feeding. Leslie’s favorite spot was a small pasture where we could pull off the road and see a flock of sheep and the new lambs munching the new grass. Covered in soft light brown down, you just wanted to get in there and kiss them on the nose. A black lamb was there, too, and it made me realize what the black sheep of the family really means. Duh.
The drive takes you into the heart of the forest and up on ridges where you have a fabulous view of the valleys below – some lucky folks have their house perched on the top and have a view that is breathtaking. We also see driveways leading into the forest, but you can’t see where they go and it makes for a very private setting for the houses there. Once we get off the ridge tops the two-lane farm road cuts across a huge swatch of farmland with acres and acres of raspberry vines and then further down the road is a dairy-farm with weathered red barns and big farm houses surrounded by green, green fields of alfalfa hay that’s almost knee high now.
Along the way, we see little huts or lean-tos by the road in front of some houses – shelter for their kids waiting for the school bus in the rain. And it’s easy to spot the old timers as their houses have two chimneys and moss on the roofs. There’s usually a huge woodpile near the house, too. Lots of pastures hold horses here along with cattle, goats, sheep and llamas who have a dumb look on their faces.We also pass blueberry farms, some with hives of bees sitting on the edge of the field to make sure every plant gets pollinated. In the background we see the snow covered mountains and it amazes me that the diversity of topography in this area is so great. The ridge lines are steep, and the views are stunning, but when you get down to the valleys, the land is flat, and the soil is fertile. The forest is always nearby, and we both love every part of the drive and the land here. Then add that everyone plants flowers and hangs flower baskets from their front porch roofs and we are in heaven.
However, puff goes the dandelions, and now there are millions, billions, trillions of seeds blowing in the wind – next year’s crop of gold is guaranteed.
This is an excellent month to catch up on anything that has been delayed of late. It’s a very good time to get your message out and to handle important financial matters. There are no major squares or challenges in the Skywatch in June; the most difficult maker appears on June 24th when Mars squares Jupiter. Just stay under the speed/drink limit that Saturday night, and you can ride past this event without getting into trouble. The only other difficulty in the Skywatch this month is that again we have frequent Moon Void of Course cycles. However, they are not terribly long and therefore dealing with them will not really be that difficult.
Clever Mercury enjoys returning to full speed and traveling through home sign Gemini from the 6th to 21st. This once-a-year part of his cycle gives us all a stellar time to come up with new ideas, plans and possibilities—and to communicate our needs and wishes to others. Note that Mercury trines/agrees with lucky Jupiter in the morning of the 13th, but squares dreamy Neptune that evening suggesting a touch of confusion.
Green lights are also up this month for making financial decisions and for buying and selling. Venus enters home sign Taurus on June 6th and will travel through this earth sign until July 4. Venus attracts love and money and she brings us all a very good time to find both in our lives. Venus loves nice things: chocolate, massages, making good deals and finding bargains at the flea market. She helps us in the social arena to meet the right people—this is a stellar time for introductions and throwing your hat into the ring of love. And this setup is helpful to Taurus and earth signs Virgo and Capricorn.
Retrogrades. The good news is that Jupiter ends his Rx cycle on the 9th. The planet of expansion is back in business at this moment until the next Rx cycle begins in early March, 2018. The day itself won’t matter, but this is a good sign that kicks on the green lights for travel, education and handling legal matters in the weeks and months ahead. And for reaching out for more and better in whatever you attempt.
Neptune turns Retrograde on the 16th. This Rx cycle is quiet but suggests we pay attention to the spiritual side of our lives; this is when we should not be afraid to let emotions and feelings from the past surface so that we can attempt to heal the part that hurts. Neptune rules charitable organizations who may need more help/support than usual during this Rx cycle that ends in late November.
Dear Friends, April 15, 2017
Rain is the middle name of Washington. We are breaking records in rainfall this month; the old timers say they have never seen it so wet. And snow? Mount Baker is stunning with a white mantle in the distance as we turn a corner on the backroads and suddenly get to see the whole monty. The view is always stunning. They have measured 718 inches of snow on Kulshan (the Lummi Indian name for the mountain) this season, the most snow on any mountain in the U.S.
Sunshine has been scarce but it is really appreciated when we get a “sun break” as they call it. What astounds me is that Spring is here whether we feel it or not. There are new leaves on the raspberry vines, and buds on the maples in our back yard. Trees all over town are crowned with pink flowers; most of the apple trees are covered in white petals.
Even better, the daffodils are everywhere and we had a lovely trip to La Connor to see the daffodil festival a week ago. La Connor is in Skagit county which is a super fertile valley between the mountains and the ocean. This is where they have huge daffodil farms and even bigger tulip farms. The drive is short and within an hour we were in this fabulous little town of 9,000. The whole city is on the national registry for preservation. It was busy, hardly a place to park. You would think you were in Carmel California as the sophistication and style in the little downtown shops is high, with lots of good choices on places to eat and drink.
La Conner is on the Swinomish channel sitting on the mainland with Fidalgo island on the far bank. So, it’s protected, was settled in the 1870’s, and that’s probably why all the old buildings are still there. In the fields surrounding the town are the daffodil farms. Blazing yellow faces are a sunshine of their own as we stood next to a football sized field packed with daffodils in full bloom – one of the most beautiful sights I have ever experienced. Check the label if you buy tulips as the odds are good they came from Washington and the farms in the Skagit Valley. One farm alone planted 250,000 bulbs this year.
We will make the easy drive next week to see the tulip farms and get a fabulous blast of color, have a lovely lunch in La Conner and not be too concerned if it rains. You can see a picture of the tulips at www.LoveLa Conner.com and get more info there along with pics of the town. I was totally surprised at how cool this town was – the Museum of Northwest Art is there along with a quilt museum in the oldest Victorian house in town.
We are getting to be vets here in Birch Bay…and so enjoy the back roads, the green forest, the blue bay and the snow-covered mountains, rain does not diminish the fun and beauty. The flowers in front yards all over town tell us it’s Spring and we are delighted to be here.
Leslie has planted new flowers in our front bed and brought home three huge tubs now sitting in the side yard in which she will plant tomatoes. Diggity. We really love our little house and are cozy. Leslie’s favorite benefit: a heating vent under the cabinet that is under the sink, so while you are doing dishes, warm air flows over your feet – a small but very welcome design feature.
You don’t have to go far to find a cup of coffee in this area. We have our share of Starbucks, many are in grocery stores here. Then we have a local chain called Woods Coffee. They are as numerous at Starbucks but much more fun as they have stone fireplaces with a fire going that makes a seat inside welcome and warm. Plus, their grilled cheese sandwiches are unbeatable. And then we also have the independents…at least as many tiny little coffee shacks are scattered all over – “cool beans” is one of them. So, you are never far from a good cup of coffee and can buy from locals and enjoy a fireplace seat if you wish. Life is good in Washington and Spring is just beginning to bring color and life to the farmlands and orchards. As times change.
Friends, February 21, 2017
Big time Winter here in Western Washington….coldest December on record and we were snowed in for three days…only 6 inches of snow but it melted and became ice at night…we finally got out one afternoon and got supplies. We fed the birds and critters.
Leslie took down the Christmas wreath on the front door, brought it inside and strung apple halves on it smeared with peanut butter and covered with bird seed then hung it on the fence in our back yard. Suddenly we had a hungry crew out there snarfing the apples, including two seagulls who weren’t interested but wanted to see what was going on. A wood duck came by, too, and he scooped up the birdseed in the snow. By Sundown the apples were gone, so she reloaded it for the next day.
We were cozy and cooked up a storm and really enjoyed the beauty of the snow-covered trees and yards. Now, we have rain and will set a new record for the month – the old record was 8 inches and we are already there. We don’t mind the rain as it is still so beautiful here – the snow-covered mountains turn pink and magical in the fading sunlight at dusk. The good news is that the days are getting longer at 2 ½ minutes a day and when the Sun is out, it is glorious.
Check out the park just down the road from our house at www.birchbaywebcam.com. The beach in the foreground extends out 50 yards from the shore at low tide which gives us a huge area to dig for clams and walk. Lots of wandering two lane roads here and one of our faves goes to Sumas, pop 3,000 or so.
After driving out of the hills we come upon acres and miles of farm land. The topography amazes me as there is so much valuable farmland and pasture flat as a table just before you get to the forested foothills of the Cascades and snow covered mountains. Dairy farms line the road and you can smell them way before you get there. Something like 100 small dairy farms just in this county.
So, when you get to Sumas, signs are up: Milk @ $1.99 a gallon, butter for $2.49/lb. The Canadians live four miles away in Abbotsford, BC and come across the border to stock up on these goodies and gasoline, all much higher where they live. There’s a big train yard there, too. Filled with stacks of lumber that comes in from Canada. Trains are everywhere carrying wood, oil, and coal. The locals are fighting the coal shipments as they are so dirty.
It’s nice to live in a blue state where they really care about the environment. In the cities, there are two signs before you cross a bridge over a stream. One sign names the stream. The other sign has a picture of a fish and the message: This stream is in your hands. Enough said.
They serve tartar sauce with fries here. But I haven’t seen one state flag. They are everywhere in Texas. Not here. The only flag they fly other than the Stars and Stripes is the one for their pro football team, the Seahawks. The Mexican food here is better than we had in Corpus Christi – amazing and delightful. In general, everything is much more sophisticated here and our state leaders were the first to fight Dump’s immigration orders. Bravo for Washington! Bottom line: we have been acclimatized by the cold north wind out of Canada and snow, and now really enjoy the normal temps of 50 in the afternoon and the low of 40. it’s also amazing how temperate this area is for being so far north due to the ocean current nearby – it rarely freezes. And on the radio, the CBC, cousin to the BBC) broadcasts informative stuff, but I have to get used to the Celsius temps- “what? It’s only going to be 5 degrees today” cluck, cluck, cluck. We’re happy and staying.