We begin the year with three planets in their home signs which lets their power shine through in a big way.
Lucky and expansive Jupiter is in Sagittarius encouraging some kind of expansion and growth in your life depending on which house in your chart this most helpful planet transits. Conservative and practical Saturn is in Capricorn increasing the demands on your life to stay committed and responsible even in the face of tests and challenges which are likely to show up in the months ahead.
Spiritual and creative Neptune is traveling through home sign Pisces now and for the next five years. Of course, each planet has a dark side as well as helpful energies.
Jupiter feeds dogmatic thinking and greed in some folks; Saturn awakens a cold, selfish attitude in some pilgrims. While Neptune fogs up our thinking at times and leads some to deceit and perfidy, along with alcohol and drug problems.
And it’s very likely you will see both sides of these planets in January as we have a complicated and busy Skywatch.
Friends, November 12, 2018
Autumn is a slow dancer in Birch Bay, Washington. Leaves are still falling, and the scenery is fabulous. Our backyard is covered with golden maple leaves the size of your hand sitting on a carpet of green grass. It’s a Norman Rockwell painting at least. And there are still lots of leaves left on the maples to come down. The birch trees gave up their leaves weeks ago, and that means you can see into the forest much deeper than before. It’s strange how in an evergreen world a large area of the forest is composed of birch trees, tall and slender – thus the name of this bay and neighborhood. We had rain last week and will again later this week. In between are glorious days of sunshine that warm us up driving out into the sticks enjoying the beauty of green lawns, verdant pastures, and the fall colors. The weird sight is the blueberry bushes which turn red-orange in the winter – you can spot these fields from miles away. Most of the raspberry canes are now tied up in a half bow so they will be ready for harvest next year. The raspberry harvest this year was the second biggest on record, but farmers are having a hard time finding a market to buy them. Other producers from foreign farms dumped a big supply of berries just before harvest here and depressed the prices farmers get for their fruit. Last year they got 73 cents a pound. This year it’s down to 67 cents/lb. Prediction is that some farmers will go broke at that price. Reading all this in the newspaper I hear my mother’s words: “farmers are the biggest gamblers of all.” We strolled through the Farmer’s Market in Bellingham last Saturday. Leslie scored some beautiful carrots, lettuce and a new kind of apple that’s pink inside – it is pretty but not very tasty, and we won’t get another. At present, Leslie is looking up recipes to make mincemeat – we both love it and would enjoy a pie or two. I’ve never liked cake; a good piece of pie is my favorite. A hummer showed up outside our window yesterday. Leslie immediately filled up the hummer feeder for the Anna, a species that hangs out here all through the Winter months. The female returned that afternoon and loaded up at the bar. Beautiful Canadian snow geese have returned to the fields in Skagit County, just south of us. Some will show up in our area, too, before long. We do have a big flock of Canadian geese who hang out in the vacant golf course across the street. They fly over our house and circle back to the pond that’s on the course. Leslie says they are training the young ones to get into formation when they fly out over the bay. And four days ago, there must have been at least five hundred big honkers floating out in Birch Bay, feeding on something the tide brought in. Whatever the food source is the ducks love it, too, as there was a massive group of ducks, thousands, in the water feeding two days later. Leslie’s green thumb has successfully grown a small avocado plant from one of the seeds. I’ve seen lots of folks try to get them to sprout and just end up with a slimy ball they can’t get to grow and finally throw away. But we have a foot high plant with a dozen leaves on the kitchen window ledge growing from an avocado seed she watched over and then planted in a flower pot. Amazing to me. She also bought three banana plants and has them in pots on the walkway. And she bought a lemon tree that now has a flower and seems to be fine in the nippy weather, although she brings it inside when we have a freeze, which is rare. I am extremely lucky to have found her and am deeply thankful she is my wife. I have been fairly lucky all my life, and she is the topper – a lovely lady with great skills and brains who keeps our website, and me, up and running. I couldn’t do all this without her. She is the flower in my life and a love. Hope you have a merry and tasty gobble.
We’ll be back in the high life again after Mercury resumes direct motion on December 6. Because again all planets will be in direct motion on this date until Uranus Turns Rx in early January 2019. Expect an active and busy holiday season, likely one of the best financially and spiritually in some time. The most difficult days are nearly all in the first half of the month.
There’s good news in the Skywatch at the Winter Solstice which creates a positive chart for the Winter season. And astrological skies are pleasant on Christmas Day. However, suggest you make important preparations early and get settled in on Christmas Eve as Mercury squares confused Neptune that afternoon and it’s a guaranteed to be a difficult day/time to tie up last minute stuff.
The Moon is in generous and loving Leo on Christmas day and the only problem I see in the Skywatch that day leads to giving in and eating the second piece of pie.
We get a special burst of energy New Year’s Eve as fired-up Mars leaves watery Pisces and enters home sign Aries at 6:20 pm! It’s a great way to start a new year with the planet that rules new beginnings moving into his home sign. Likely it will be a night to remember.
Friends, October 8, 2018
After the hottest and second driest Summer on record here in western Washington, the grass in everyone’s front yard looked terrible, crisp and brown, just like the grass out in the pastures where cattle had little to eat. After one week of rain everything changed, and it almost seems like Spring – the grass is green in our front yard and the in the parks and fields all over. But leaves are falling. Autumn can’t be denied. It all makes our trips out into the country even more beautiful. And strangely enough, even with the dry Summer we had, most of the apple and pear trees are heavy with fruit. Our neighbor picked a big basket of apples for us and other folks on our block and still had to prop up the branches as there were still so many apples left on the tree. Leslie says lots of folks on the county gardener’s Facebook page are saying the same thing and welcome people to come by and get some of the rich harvest from their fruit trees for free. We had a lovely ride out into the country last Saturday when we checked out the Fall Fruit Festival out in the Nooksack Valley. Cloud Mountain Farm Center holds this big shindig every year showing off their harvest. This is the outfit that grows the Jupiter grapes we love and found at the Farmers Market last month. They grow all kinds of fruit and specialize in wine grapes. But we also saw twelve different kinds of apples in their little store and at least eight kinds of pears. Pumpkins lined the driveway into their farm sitting underneath huge forested foothills of the Cascades. We got lucky as the Sun was out and the day was glorious. This farm ships plants all over. Check out their website: www.cloudmountainfarmcenter.org, and you’ll see what’s available. I was mistaken on the dates of Dungeness crab season here. It didn’t really start until Oct 1. And I was enjoying a big fat crab two days later standing at our sink cracking claws, trying not to make a mess while I snarfed the sweet meat. I’ll get another one next week. Along with falling leaves, I love the smell of wood smoke in the air as we cruise down the two-lane farm roads. The scene is so fabulous. Emerald green pastures are surrounded by giant pines and maple trees with flaming red leaves fluttering in the breeze. All the horses and cattle we see have their heads down eating and enjoying the new grass. We take the long way home whenever we are driving to the grocery store and stick to the two-lane farm roads that pass farms and dairies, and that drop us into the back doors of Ferndale and Lynden, the two small towns nearby. I must admit I have a new bad habit – ice cream. Strangely, I never cared for ice cream as a kid, but they know how to make it so good here – it must be because of all the dairies. Dear Leslie got me hooked on the coconut, almond, chocolate chip flavor. Yum, yum, yum. I now see why all the Canadians are in the local ice cream stores here. I know it’s cheaper for them on this side of the border, but I also think they have the habit, too.
No end to the confusion. In a cruel twist of astrological scheduling, Mercury will again turn Retrograde on the very same day that Venus ends her Rx cycle and turns back to direct motion on November 16.
Mercury will begin to reverse direction in a sign he doesn’t do well in: Sagittarius. This is Jupiter’s sign, and he is lousy with the details that Mercury needs to function plus Jupiter exaggerates everything big time.
Result: a lot of bullshit and hot air from some folks is ahead as important details are lost in the fog during this Rx period. Plus, Mercury is sitting in a square to dreamy Neptune as he begins to back up.
Friends, September 10, 2018
Summer left in a hurry without even a good-bye glance two days ago. The daytime highs dropped from the 80’s to the 60’s, and a light rain began to fall. The air is sweet now, and the showers will continue all week. It’s not rain like in Texas, where you have to get under cover. Here it’s light, and there is no wind or thunder – that’s why most folks just wear a hoodie and can go about their daily chores and shopping without getting wet.
We need the rain after a hot, smokey and very dry Summer that made farmers keep their sprinklers on in the raspberry fields. We did have two wonderful Summer events. We always enjoy the Western Washington County Fair held in Lynden. Billed as an agricultural fair the spotlight is on the farm critters and 4H kids who bring their chickens and cows to be shown and judged. Chickens! We hit the poultry barn first and marvel at the 50 or so different breeds of chickens on display. Next stop is the donut truck and some iced coffee. We also checked out the cattle barn where we watched the youngsters bring their black and white Holstein calves into the arena to be judged. The kids are barely as tall as the calves, and all of them wear the same uniform: spotless white jeans and a white shirt. White jeans! Haven’t seen them since high school days. Half of the fun at the fair is watching the kids skipping down the tree-lined paths all excited and jazzed up. Ok, the donuts were good, too. We also took a wine tasting cruise in mid-August. We climbed aboard a 50 ft boat in Bellingham, grabbed a table and enjoyed a short cruise out into the San Juan Islands. Washington wines were served and some great munchies. The scenery looking back on shore was the most amazing. Heavily forested hills rise immediately beyond the shoreline and nestled in between the trees are lots of houses with the most incredible view and setting I’ve ever seen. The water was calm, and we totally enjoyed the cruise and will do it again. The parade of flowers continues as colorful dahlias are blooming in the parks and front yards - a local favorite. The blackberry crop this year is bountiful. Blackberries grow all over, and thick vines line most of the county roads. Just pull off the pavement, and you can pick all you want. Some neighbors down the street told us the crop this year is sweeter than usual and dropped off a jar of homemade blackberry jam. Thank you, ladies. Leslie’s garden is doing well, and she just planted more pansies in the front and back planters. So nice to have lovely colorful flowers around us – I am thankful she is such a good gardener. We also made it to the farmer’s market in Bellingham last Saturday and stumbled upon a great resource and goodie. We bought some grapes the week before, and they were so sweet and tasty we went back looking for the grower and name of the variety so we could plant some in Pete’s backyard. The grower is Cloud Mountain farms, and the variety of grape is Jupiter (the planet of good luck in astrology). This farm is close by and has all kinds of fruit and ornamental trees and plants for sale. We will drive out and check out everything next week. We want to find fruit trees to plant on Pete’s (Leslie’s son who lives down the street) property. I like crab apples and am voting for one of their dwarf varieties. Of course, this is apple country with at least 20 varieties in the stores. Full cider jugs will be on ice at every grocery outlet in the days ahead. But the best part of this apple world is the apple pie our dear neighbor, Karen, brought over last night. Folks, I am a pie expert, and her pie is a gold medal winner – I’ve never tasted one as good. Thank you, Karen. Next door neighbor, Mike, brings us ripe tomatoes from his garden. We are so lucky to have generous and talented friends and neighbors here in Birch Bay, Washington. We’re settled in and cozy – let it rain. I’ll make soup and share with Karen and Mike. Thanks for your support, friends. Leslie and I send you best wishes and love.