A February Letter from Lance

Friends,                                                                                                                            February 11, 2020

You’ve got to have webbed feet and be waterproof to live in western Washington this year. And I guess we do as we enjoyed the rainy days. We had over nine inches of rain in January (average is 5+ inches), and it rained every day. Rivers have risen, and some folks flooded out as the days rolled on. The snow in the mountains was awesome. Mt. Baker got 198 inches of new snow in just 18 days and now has the deepest snowpack of any mountain in the country.

We got an enjoyable snowstorm here in early February. It was the day after the groundhog made a forecast that won’t hold up. Spring will be late this year as the ruler of the winds, Mercury, does not enter Aries, the sign of Spring, until April 10 and that’s almost three weeks late. So, don’t plant early this year. Our snowstorm was so lovely; huge flakes filling the air—it was a fabulous sight and the best part was it didn’t stick on the roads. We drove up to the post office in Blaine that day with the snowflakes getting heavier and heavier as we neared the city which sits on the Canadian Border. (the high school is known as the Blaine Borderites.) And this is the Evergreen State. I thought it just meant the evergreen forests, but we also have green grass in our front yards all Winter long. Out on the backroads, the white snow covering green alfalfa fields was lovely. So we got to enjoy a full-on snow event and not suffer at all—the temperature stayed right at freezing and the winds were calm. One of the true pleasures of Winter in Birch Bay is getting a glass of water from the kitchen sink. Our water is from deep wells in Ferndale, a nearby city, and has no chemical taste at all. It’s rich, clean and damn cold now and refreshing (makes great coffee and tea). The other sensual treat I enjoy now is the smell of woodsmoke. I think it’s the perfume of the country as folks here and in the cities all get their heat from gas and electricity. But on the backroads, most houses have huge stacks of firewood undercover and use fireplaces and woodstoves to heat their houses. Another benefit of the winter days is getting closer to the huge trumpeter swans that are now in the flooded fields. It’s like their own private swimming pools and they feel comfortable enough to be swimming in one of these fields right next to the road, maybe 25 feet away. So you can really see how beautiful and stately they are at close range. We see hundreds in the corn stubble fields on the way to Lynden—you can’t miss the white plumage and long necks even at quite a distance. There’s a bit of sad news to report, too. It seems another huge Orca has died. Named L41 by the biologists, this huge male was father to most of the calves born in the last few years. He was looking bad last year and skinny from lack of food. Now he is nowhere to be found and the biologists here keep a really close watch on this dwindling pod of extraordinary whales. Orcas are so powerful and the real killers in the ocean—sharks leave the area Orcas swim in and won’t come back for a year. Part of the reason is their size. Remember the shark in “Jaws” who tipped the scales at around 5,000 pounds? The male Orca missing from our waters is estimated to weigh 10,500 pounds. A big boy. Happiness is in Leslie’s voice as she sees fresh bags of mulch and topsoil out in front of the hardware and garden stores now. She is in the planting mode but will take her time getting plants into the ground. Maybe. Leslie is a Cancer, and this is a cardinal sign which means: Go to Action. You know the energy if you know Aries, Libra and Capricorn folks—all with the same temperament. “Do it right and do it right now.” is one of their mantras. I’m staying busy with readings and reading a new author for more information on timing. Check out Steven Forrest. His first book, “The Inner Sky” is a great introduction to astrology and what the planets and signs mean in your chart. I’m reading “The Changing Sky” right now which is about timing, transits, and progressions. He is a straightforward author with a clear understanding of all the elements of Astrology and is very good at explaining them in plain English. Lance

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Looking ahead to February…..

Mercury begins another Retrograde cycle on Feb 16 that will last until March 9. However, the rest of the Skywatch in February contains more kisses than quacks. The headliner is a lovely sextile between lucky Jupiter and creative Neptune—a dream can come true if you have prepared and done the work under this aspect. It’s especially helpful for Pisces natives as Jupiter and Neptune are this water sign’s rulers. And all of us have Pisces in our birth chart ruling one house or area of activity in our life—an area that can show some real improvement in February. Where is the sign Pisces in your chart?

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A January Letter from Lance…..

January 16, 2020

We got up last Wednesday morning and found three more inches of snow on top of the two inches we got the day before. The temperature was 13 degrees. The wind chill was minus five due to north winds blowing 30 knots straight out of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. This is the coldest day I’ve ever seen and reminded me that I did forecast a Winter blast. I just didn’t think it would hit us, and therefore hadn’t stocked up properly—my beer supply was low. And we weren’t going anywhere. Leslie, god bless her, sprang into action. First, she loaded up the bird feeders in the front and back yards for the scores of “little birds” that come flying in very hungry. Then she retrieved the hum­mingbird feeders she had out front and back—both were frozen solid. So she thawed them out and put them back out. Hummers appeared within five seconds and loaded up on fuel. Of course, the glass bowls of nectar froze up again in about two hours. Leslie then got creative. She cut the toes off old socks and covered the bowls with two socks each for insulation. Then she had some small hand warmers that she taped onto the bottom plastic perches to keep the juice from freezing. I watched her hang the feeder in the front yard bush and watched a hummer almost immediately appear and get to filling up his belly. It’s amazing that some hummers do winter over here. And some don’t make it—the neighborhood website reported folks finding dead birds in their front yards. Not here. One guy in the front yard and two in the back yard are alive and vocal: Leslie said one “fussed” at her when she took down the feeder. When you can’t get out and get to the store, you start to take stock of your provisions as well as beer—got enough to eat? Again, I was so thankful I found Leslie, the Cancer, who stashes food like the apocalypse is tomorrow. We have a pantry filled with stuff and the coat closet in the living room also holds enough pasta to feed the Italian army. In the garage, we have another small fridge and freezer that is stocked and it sits next to an industrial set of shelves loaded with beans, tomato sauce, sardines, and various groceries. We weren’t going to starve, I realized. And that’s not counting our fridge which is already packed. Moreover, she bought 20 pounds of birdseed just the week before. Cancers are water signs, and like their brothers and sisters, Scorpio and Pisces, are “vibey”— they are somehow in touch with what’s ahead. So it is the coldest of worlds but the best of worlds, too. We have plenty to eat and enjoyed watching the birds and hummers come by. I made three pots of coffee—it tasted so good.

Two days later, still four inches of snow on the ground , and it’s 23 degrees. But we did make it out yesterday to mail some readings and pick up milk and beer at the local market. Likely we’ll get out today but stay local. I’d like to get to Freddies in Bellingham, the big local market, where they have Dungeness crabs on sale. The crab season just opened, and I am ready to crack some claws. Leslie again was up filling the hummer feeders at sunrise even before she had coffee! And troops were waiting for their first drink of the day. The weatherman is certain we’ll have warm rain this weekend—we’ll be happy to see it.

We’ve all just passed through a stressful Saturn Pluto event. And worked through five planets in Cap­ricorn, which froze us, killed some, and dealt some really bad cards to others. Times change. The next two major events in the Skywatch create healing energy or a time of miracles for those who are ready. My suggestion is: Let’s get prepared. Make a list, write down some good things you’d like to have happen over the next 60 days. It doesn’t have to be formal or in complete sentences—notes on a bar napkin will do—write it down. Now is the time to place your order: How could you use a good blast of energy that’s ahead? What possibilities are out there? Lucky Jupiter is in both events creating a stellar time in your life to adventure, look for opportunities, gamble on your talents, and to find new ways to grow and prosper. Place your order. As times change. Lance

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Lance’s December letter

We had a quiet and lovely Thanksgiving.  Just Leslie, her son Pete and I enjoyed shrimp cocktails and t-bone steaks with a good bottle of wine. It was a simple to cook and clean up meal that satisfied us.  And then I turned on the football games.  The weather has been mellow with highs in the low 50’s and lows in the high 40’s.  We get some rain two or three days a week but no wind or really difficult days.  It is dark at 4:30 pm and dawn doesn’t arrive until about 7:15 am.  This is the “Big Dark” of Winter.  Lots of clouds on most days but we don’t care.  It’s still lovely here and there is a lot to see on the back roads. The raspberry vines are all wound up into a semicircle and sleeping until Spring wakes them up.  The blueberry bushes are cranberry red. – It’s a strange sight to see fields of red leaves, stems, and plants against the green background of cedars and pines.  Lots of pastures are bright green as farmers plant alfalfa as soon as the corn is harvested and get a jump on growing a crop as the hay grows in these low light months and later becomes the number one crop around here.  It’s easy to see why with so many dairy farms and ranches in this county.  The Kodak moment was last week.  We’ve seen small flocks of great white swans out in the stubble fields, but we were stunned when we turned down a two-lane backroad and saw well over a thousand white swans out in a field in one huge gathering.  They fly down from Canada during our Winters and are fabulous to see. We found a small Lutheran church on of the backroads and the sign out front interested me.  The top message noted the times of the service; underneath that, it said: Quilting, Wednesday, 9 am.  There’s an old craft and social experience.  I would love to see what they are making.  Most of the flowers along the driveway are gone except for some white faces from a flower I don’t know.  And there are pink blossoms on Leslie’s Thanksgiving cactus in the living room.  She says it only blooms once a year.

I had to look up the chart of Fred Rodgers.  (March 20, 1928, 8:20 am, Latrobe, PA) and was not surprised to see such a lovely chart.  A Pisces Sun and Moon gives him deep compassion and a desire to help others.  Add to that pair Mercury in Pisces, the ability to express it.  And sitting in between the Moon and Mercury is Venus, the planet of love, in her most powerful sign, Pisces.  That adds up to a loving heart and a kind manner.  His rising sign or personality is Taurus, another sign ruled by loving Venus.  That chart set me off to look up Tom Hanks chart.  Tom’s Sun is in another sensitive water sign, Cancer, and it linked up in a trine to his Mars in Pisces, echoing the energy in Fred’s chart.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I bet it’s very good.

Know anyone with Lyme disease?  I do and passed on to her the website of a Swedish researcher who has found a plant that is the right medicine to heal this nasty infection.  I found this info in one of my astrology magazines- odd I’ve never seen this in the news.  For her information, go to: https://www.flaatthjelp.net/to-sma-flattbitt/teasel/.  I’ll try to remember to put this up on my site, too. This is a major deal for those with Lyme.

And then, right in the middle of the Big Dark, the clouds part, the Sun comes out and we have a fabulous day.  The air is so clean and sweet, and our drive out into the backroads is our Disneyland, especially when we are in the valleys and look up and see Mt Baker covered in snow with cotton candy clouds covering the base -  everything here is always outlined in green cedars and pine trees – add the blue waters of Birch Bay and to this scene and we have the primary colors of happiness around us all the time.  Leslie and I send you best wishes and our hope you have a peaceful, loving, and enjoyable holiday celebration.

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  1. Julie

    ‘Love your monthly newsletters! So many picturesque images come to mind when reading them. Thanks for the Lyme Disease article link. Years ago I was diagnosed with a Lyme co-factor, Mycoplasma Fermentans, and since its treatment is similar to that of Lyme, I try to keep up with news about both.
    Happy New Year to you, both, too!


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Looking ahead to January, 2020

A rare, once-in-a-generation conjunction between Saturn and Pluto puts a stressful and challenging element into the Skywatch in January. This is not a good month to gamble with love or money. And pay extra attention to the kids and critters as minor mishaps can get out of hand with Pluto on deck. Save major changes and gambles for another month—let times change. The Kiss and Quack days for each month of 2020 can be found in the Skywatch Datebook.

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Looking ahead to December 2019

There’s lots of positive energy in the Skywatch in December and many excellent days for holiday festivities and shopping. The main event is generous and lucky Jupiter lining up in a trine to friendly Uranus on December 15. Uranus rules cars, computers, telephones, and everything high tech —all likely to be in high demand and favorite gifts this year. This trine also encourages and welcomes our involvement with good friends and organizations with humanitarian and charitable concerns — all ruled by Uranus.

A Solar Eclipse and New Moon on December 26 conjuncts optimistic Jupiter setting up a stellar day and following a two-week period to start a new era in your life and to plant seeds that can bloom in 2020. And it marks a lovely start to Kwanzaa celebrations as well.

Changes: Jupiter enters earth sign Capricorn on December 2 and will travel through the sign ruled by conservative Saturn until December 2020. Jupiter rules the process of expansion and is somewhat restricted in Capricorn. The message here is to be realistic and careful in expanding your business or other concerns during this year-long period. Of course, this sign change is most helpful to Capricorn natives and the other two earth signs: Taurus and Virgo.

The Skywatch on Christmas Day is mellow. The Moon is in easygoing Sagittarius early Christmas morning and turns Void of Course at 6:18 am PST. Clear skies prevail thereafter until the Moon ends the V/C cycle by entering old-school Capricorn at 4:45 pm PST. She travels on to trine friendly Uranus at 9:45 pm PST suggesting a warm and loving atmosphere around the Christmas tree that evening.

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