Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Hello everyone! I've been enjoying some R&R in Burien Washington, a suburb of Seattle, waiting for my son Arian to arrive on the plane so he can join the adventure. I managed to find him a cool TREK bike, similar to mine, on Craigslist and the guy who was selling it delivered it to me at Araya's Vegetarian Thai restaurant in the University District, how cool is that? Astrologer Kriss Shellman and I have been hanging out having amazing conversations and cooking great food shared with her craftsman husband Jon. I've been working on getting caught up on charts at local coffee and tea shops.
Anyway, while I was enjoying some down time I wanted to tell you about my friend Ram Dev, a fellow seeker and traveler, who sold everything and went off to India, Thailand, and Nepal on his own unique journey of locational independence. I met him online when I was preparing for my own spiritual quest and he was traveling in India and having some amazing experiences. At one point he had encountered so much suffering, like a mother who lived with her children on a sidewalk and the whole family spent the day begging, that his heart was moved to do something about it, to improve the world in some small way. He eventually contacted all his fellow web/blog peeps and asked the one's he respected to write three things we do everyday that helps to improve the world or add quality to our lives. He also asked us to forward the request to other spiritual folks who might like to participate, and so I sent it to my good friend Peter Roth, the astrologer, web designer, computer programmer, and chi gung healer from Seattle. So Peter and I both sent contributions to the FREE e-book entitled Small Ways to Make a Big Difference, organized by Raam Dev and authored by people who care. I'm proud to be in the same book with my spiritual brother Peter, Raam Dev, as well as all these great contributors.
In the end, Raam spent three painstaking but amazing weeks in a cafe in Asia putting together our collective responses and now you can download it for free right here! Enjoy the heck out of it!
Friday, August 20, 2010
I rolled into Leavenworth (the town in Washington and not the prison) at around 5 PM after hustling up Highway 2 from Wenatchee WA. It was 90 degrees or more and I was sweating waterfalls and the only thing I could do was pull into a diner along the way and order an iced water, iced tea, and an iced lemonade, some garlic fries, and some onion rings. I was thirsting and starving and felt like I was dying inside. The Moon in Scorpio sign of death and rebirth wasn't helping! My friend and spiritual brother from Seattle who was living in Colorado now instant messaged me on my Droid over Skype as I was sitting there and I confided in him how I felt. I told him that I had thought of running my bike in front of a diesel to see if death felt any better than the relentless heat and pain of the ride! He comforted me and said that I was exploring a new way of being in the world, as he was, and that there would be times of testing to see if we were committed to the path ahead. He said I'd have to demonstrate more faith in the universe than ever before. He said that it felt like I would have to live more spontaneous than ever before to continue on this trek. It all felt very ominous but potent. After his bold but true encouragement and several free refills of iced tea and lemonade, I went out to jump on Magellan to continue my trek towards the Bavarian-themed town, but Magellan's back tire had a slow leak and was almost flat!
Luckily there was a gas station right next to the diner with free air! So I filled up the back tire and it held. Wondering what had cause the slow leak, I hoped I could make it to Leavenworth without a blowout. On the way, things got worse as I heard a back spoke snap, one of my tough new spokes that I had totally replaced in Missoula! This was not good. I didn't know if they even had a bike shop in Leavenworth and it was a long way through the Cascades to Seattle beyond, over 100 miles uphill. The tire held the air but it began to wobble and I rolled into Leavenworth and opened my intuition to seek a bike shop, glancing down side streets populated with Bavarian style buildings. It was a cute little town but had the smell of an over-priced tourist town that didn't cater to backpackers or cyclists. When I passed 12th street, something told me to stop so I did. I stood there on the side of the road straddling Magellan arguing with my intuition. I said, "The town is over that next hill," and I heard back from within, "But you just passed it!" I was like, "passed what?" So I powered up the droid and checked the GPS for bike shops. Turns out that the bike shop in town was a block to my left down the street I had just passed about ten feet ago! My intuition was razor sharp! My ego was dense...
The bike shop was called Das Rad Haus, and it was the dubbed the best bike shop in the entire Cascade region! The two workers there had Magellan's new spoke installed and ready to roll within a half hour and only charge me $15 bucks. Quick and effective service that's economical. Way to go! They even told me about a great campsite about 9 miles out of town along my route! Then I made way into the little Bavarian town center to see hundreds of tourists walking around exploring the mecca of zaniness. A lot of people were staring at me walking Magellan through the cobblestone streets as if I were the attraction. I did look like a fierce futuristic warrior in my salt-laden shirt, alien bike helmet, strange padded bike shorts, and pushing along my loaded mechanical steed with sweat pouring down my legs in streams. I quickly ducked into a Bavarian Starbucks and hooked up to cyberspace to write a blog post, the previous one. By the time I finished writing about my adventure back across the US border, I looked up and realized that the Sun was quickly fading. I might not make it to the campsite before nightfall...
I gathered my things quickly and headed out of town, only to realize that my slow leak had been leaking the whole time and was down to half a tire full of air which made the bike wobble strangely. I tried to air it up with my little pump and got it functional, but it still felt strange. But I had no time to spare if I was to make it to that campsite nine miles up the 2. However on my way west I passed a hotel with a large Knight statue outside that I knew my kid would love to see! So I turned around and crossed the street and took the picture you see above. That's for you Arian! Then I turned my bike toward the canyon and raced the setting sun once again. But this time the Sun won the night!
I got about five miles down the road with no light (my back light was stolen in Nelson and my front light was solar powered and not charged!), so I broke out my camping headlamp and stretched it's band over my bike helmet and hoped the cars behind me saw the intense bright reflectors on my panniers. Eventually it got so dark in that beautiful canyon that I started scanning the sidelines for a campsite next to the raging river. It reminded me of Boulder Canyon and I felt serene and at home despite the accompanying panic. My emotions were like a symphony inside raging between ecstasy and fury. I had wanted to do some stealth camping in the campground but decided against it since it felt awkward to try and hide the fact that I was camping in an actual campground. Who does that?
But this night I would have to attempt it, because it was getting too dangerous to stay on that road with cars whizzing by around hair pin turns in the darkness. The moon was in the last degree of covert Scorpio void of course and was traversing my 12th house of secrets, so I decided then and there that this was the perfect astrological alignment for stealth camping, especially since the void moon would signify that nothing would come of it, as I didn't want anything to come of it, like local rangers discovering me in the National Forest and giving me a ticket or sending me packing. I finally saw the perfect spot, a roadside turn off with a trail leading to a little campsite. There were no signs that indicated no overnight camping was enforced, but just in case, I went deeper into the woods where I could hear the river stronger than the traffic and hid my bike behind two great rocks. Then I set my tent up in the shadows under a creepy but huge pine tree. At that point I was more worried about what kind of bugs would be trying to infiltrate my fabric fortress than the authorities. After setting up my tent poles wrong due to hurrying, I had to reset up the tent, and finally got it right. I took a deep breath and calmed my mind, listening to the river. I tossed all my panniers and backpack into the dark hole and climbed in after them after I locked Magellan to a nearby tree.
Once I was in my little hidden shelter I felt safe. I opened up my droid and used the Tropical Skies astrology app to check the position of the Scorpio Moon. It was at 29 degrees and 16 minutes of arc. I knew if I went undiscovered until the Moon transitioned into Sagittarius that I'd be fine for some reason. Maybe my Jupiterian luck would kick in. So I kept waiting and watching the Moon get closer and closer, listening to the river and calming my mind amidst the buzzing insects. Eventually around 11 PM, the Moon entered Sag and an overwhelming feeling of relief saturated my being and I drifted into a peaceful sleep, even though the ground was uneven and there was a rock poking into my back through the tent and thermarest matt. I used it to massage my sore spots. When life gives you rocks, make rock massages!
The next morning I woke up feeling sore but refreshed and the insects had stopped buzzing. I guess they enjoyed sleeping during the day. I got out of the tent to check on Magellan and the back tire was totally flat. I rolled him out of the woods to a flat area near the road and turned him over for a quick roadside operation. It was much easier to change a flat when you were confident of what to do! Once I got the tire as full as I could get it with my little portable pump, I loaded up the campsite into the panniers, and started my long journey to Seattle over the Cascades. It was at least 30 arduous miles to the top of the pass over Highway 2 called Steven's Pass, but I'd rather have the stiff incline at the beginning of the day anyway when the legs are fresh. So I embraced the ride and enjoyed the majestic scenery, keeping a sharp eye open for a gas station with an air pump to get my tire full. A fellow cyclist named Russ pulled up beside me and we talked for about ten minutes and he heard my story. He was staying in Leavenworth with his wife and doing the Lake Wenatchee Loop back around the the Bavarian town. Then he sped ahead and bid me farewell. I told him about my tire situation and that it felt kind of unusually wobbly.
The next thing you know, several miles down the road, he was waiting at a gas station in the middle of nowhere about to turn down the loop road. He assisted me with examining my tire and saw that I had not pushed the stem up to get the tire into the groove and showed me how to do it right so I didn't blow out my tire! Thanks Russ. He took a picture of me by the free air sign and then departed. I went into the store to fill up my water but the lady there said it had foul tasting sulfur in it! So I bought a couple of large Gatorades instead, thinking I might need them to make the pass. Late I would wish I had bought three!
The pass was easy at first making gradual ascents toward the apex. I mocked the pass for it's easy incline, laughing and saying "You're not much of a pass now are you?" I knew I would soon be eating my words, but laughed about it. But the heat was blazing down at 95 degrees and I was leaving a river of sweat in my wake. I went through both my water bottles and both Gatorades and then came across a sign that said, "Grade Steepens Ahead." That's not what anybody wants to know after just running out of water. But according to the maps and the lady back at the gas station, the apex had to be within the next five miles, so I didn't panic. I just pushed ahead hoping for a rest area with water at the top! After many grueling moments of fighting the slopes and enjoying the scenery, I finally reached the end of the line and saw a construction crew building a great stone road over the pass. I pulled into a garage where they stored tools and asked if they had any water. The foreman took me to the back where they had this great pipe with a valve and he turned the valve and invited me to take as much of the sparkling pure spring water that I could carry! Thank you Poseidon! First I downed enough water bottles full of the delicious liquid to make my stomach act like it was going to pop, and then filled my three liter camel back and topped the water bottles off, feeling grateful. I shook the worker's hands and told them about my epic journey and they were indeed impressed. They told me it was all downhill from here and I responded with something like, "I'll believe it when I experience it!" They all laughed at my exhausted self. But I mounted my faithful repaired steed and went charging through the underpass into one of the most dramatic descents of my entire journey.
I could have easily broken my speed record of 46 MPH set in Wyoming had I not been utterly terrified of the angle of the descent. I kept puling on the brakes. I couldn't give Magellan his head of steam for fear of losing control and tumbling over one of those treacherous mountain ledges. I was tired and I wasn't feeling too courageous, so I just sucked on my spring water and took it as steady as I could for a good 13 miles of bliss, enjoying every bit of scenery and even stoping to take some amazing pics, which I uploaded to Facebook to receive breathtaking comments. The Cascades were amazing, marvelous, effervescent in their beauty, giving the Tetons a challenge, but eventually I got tired of seeing yet another group of mountains ahead of me in the distance. I began wondering if the range would ever end. It just went on and on as if someone was playing paint by mountain along my path. I tried to remember what the Cascades looked like from Seattle when I had last visited but could not form a grand vision of them in my mind's eye. They just seemed distant and far away, not so grand and spectacular as they actually were.
As the day wore on and the Sun approached the Western horizon, the mountains finally did give way to the plains and many little towns enticed me to stop and have a rest break, but I refused. If I was going to make it the full 103 miles to Redmond, I had to keep pedaling even through my rear war chapped, my legs were burning, my vision was blurring into twilight, and I didn't know which route to take from a town called Monroe. I did finally stop to have a wild berry smoothie at McDonald's of all places and was able to charge my devices. It seemed appropriate that my devices were all down to 1 % energy, which is how my internal battery felt. But I knew I had two hours of riding to go, and the day was failing. I decided to go south through a town called Duvall which would route me into Redmond from the east instead of trying to go down the busy 522, which I had heard was a nightmare for bikes. The route south promised a nice bike path and everything. But the Google maps didn't tell me how steep the final hill would be over Novelty Hill road nor that the bike path was unpaved and rough and that I couldn't really trust it. I rode along harder and harder not knowing where I would even stay in the busy suburb of Seattle. I would be hard pressed to find a campground and the only two people I knew in Redmond, astrologers Jeff Jawer and Rick Levine, were both overwhelmed with their writing project to host me. They were staying up till 5 AM editing and writing and talking on the phone with editors and there was no way they could take any time off for me. I respected that but I stubbornly persisted toward Redmond determined to check out this possible location for settling that ALisha said was amazing and full of good energy.
At first I felt resentful that my two friends couldn't even give me a yard to camp in, but one of them didn't have a yard and the other just moved into a new place and was hosting his 21 year old daughter, so I just resigned myself to whatever happened. But still, if any astrologer was within a hundred miles of my home and heading toward me I would prepare to treat them like a visiting royalty offering them a delicious stir fry, a hot shower, and a wonderful and comfy place to stay. I just knew I had to make it to Redmond by nightfall, even if I ended up on the streets with the bums staying up all night exploring the town. I was prepared to do that. My spiritual Brother Peter and I had said, "You'd have to live with even more faith and trust in the universe than you ever had before and more spontaneous than ever before."
Just when I thought of that, I saw one of those roadsigns along the 203 toward Duvall that said, "Please don't drink and drive!" and it had the name of someone who had died there named Angela. I didn't catch the last name as I sped by, but the name Angela hit me deeply. I have a spiritual sister named Angela who prays for me and loves me deeply and I said a prayer to this Angela, tapping into the Underworld of the dead in the process. I closed my eyes quickly and reached into the depths with my consciousness to contact her soul. I said, " Hello Angela. I know you're dead and all, and I too scorn alcoholism as my dad drank way too much when I grew up and it pained me deeply to have to fight with him and watch him destroy himself with his addiction, but I'm sure you can help me. I know you've haunted this region and was wondering if there was anywhere I could stay for the night that would be safe and guard my soul as I enjoyed the city of Redmond?"
I don't know if I was delirious and imagining having a one-sdied conversation with the dead or just desperate, but I prayed to the dead for guidance hoping her soul would guide me to the right spot, even if it was a secluded corner of a park where I could do some more Stealth camping. But with the Moon in grand and inspirational Sagittarius crossing my planets of spiritual fortune and initiation, I knew something cool would happened when I reached Redmond. I just had to stay open and watch for the signs. There had to be a reason Alisha wanted me to come here, and I was destined to find it. I turned onto Novelty Hill Road and was instantly dismayed by the intense slope of the road. Exhausted, dirty, and discouraged I had to get off Magellan and slowly push him up the most intense hill I'd experienced, with cars whizzing by like I was a mere nuisance to their passage. Where were all these people hurrying to, I wondered? I guess I was in a hurry too, but not able to go that fast. I had to sit with my every emotion at this pace and watch beads of sweat drip off my helmet down into my glasses blurring my vision and then onto the ground.
I have to admit that I was scared. I didn't know where I would sleep and I was entering a dangerous metropolis. This was no Wisdom, Wyoming where you could pitch a tent in the middle of nowhere. This was a giant sprawling city of apartment complexes and plazas full of people hungry for deeper living and I had powerful realizations for those who were open to hearing about planetary cycles and the magic of astrology. In all my travels on the bike I had not experienced the intensity of that kind of crazy traffic except maybe along the Interstate in Wyoming. But then I had a nice wide shoulder to navigate. Now I had a few feet and maybe a bike lane. I was grateful that there was at least a bike lane on some roads.
I finally reached the road called Avondale, and it had a mythic vibration. Avondale. It sounded like a fantasy novel name of a kingdom. I began to meditate on its vibe as the Sun went down and the darkness of the city encroached about me, forcing me to draw my camp light and stretch its band over my bike helmet again. So there I was alone in a faraway metropolis, haunted by shadows, beaming a tiny light into the darkness, with Magellan faithfully cutting a path through the unknown night, praying to the dead for guidance. I thought of the statue of the Knight back in Leavenworth and tried to summon my warrior's courage. I thought of my first principle: Something will always happen next...and continued pedaling through mad traffic. I must have looked like a medieval knight on a stallion with my helmet and head lamp looking like a visor. People were staring at me through car windows like I was the novelty and I was staring back at them like they were strange beings trapped in mettle prisons spewing deadly gases out the aft. Who was the true weirdo here? Of course I knew I was the strange one, the one who followed the road less traveled, the one who walked in faith amidst the deepening shadows. Maybe this is where I would die, out here in this terrible night, pillaged by urban brigands when I finally collapsed from exhaustion in some dark alley.
Then my intuition kicked in and screamed in my head, "Pay Attention!" I looked around and saw that I was passing a restaurant called Angel Thai, and immediately thought of Angela, the dead spirit as well as my spiritual sister in North Carolina. Angel Thai indeed, as I turned my bike into their parking lot and pulled up to tie up my horse and walk inside. There was not a soul in the restaurant and I assumed it was closed, but then a little Oriental lady came scurrying out of the back room surprised to see me.
"Are you closed?"
"Oh no, not closed, we mostly do take out at night?"
I doubted that. I knew I was a mile away from the Redmond town center and if this place was any good, it would be loaded with people. It must not be that good, I thought. But I was hungering with a fierceness and my stomach would translate anything to delicious at its current level of deprivation. So I plopped down and plugged in my devices at Angel Thai, hoping for the guidance of angels. It was 9 PM and the night outside threatened to swallow me. So I called Rick Levine, my fellow astrology brother, a Magi himself, often going by the name Merlin. I said, "Hello fellow Magi, Rick Merlin Levine, I know you are busy and I don't want to disturb your important writing deadlines, but I just arrived in Redmond and I don't know a soul and I was wondering if you at least knew anywhere I could stay?"
He responded with a disgruntled but amazed, "Kelly you are so lucky indeed. If you would have called 20 minutes ago or 20 minutes from now I wouldn't have answered the phone. I've got a three hour session with my editor coming up, where are you?"
I told him Angel Thai. And he said he was hungry and would be right down.
He showed up right when my Mussaman Curry arrived and he sat across from me watching me devour my food. He laughed when he saw my Droid phone, I-pad and Macbook Pro all sitting there being nourished by electricity. We both share a love for technological gadgets as my Gemini Moon sits right on his Gemini Ascendant. I must have looked like hell other than being in really good shape. In a few moments they brought his Panang Curry with Shrimp and he wondered out loud what he would do with me. He was Merlin. I knew he could work some magic. He had to know somewhere or someone that would host me for one bitter night. After eating, he picked up his phone and made a call to his good friend Chas, short for Charles Finkelstein, a fellow lover of astrology and sacred geometry who had apparently built a castle based on the principles of the Golden mean ratio up on a hill overlooking Redmond on five wooded acres of land. Merlin asked if he would host a fellow World Class Astrologer, allowing me to pitch my tent on his land. After verifying that I was sane and safe to be around his two children of 14 and 12, he agreed and gave me the directions to the castle.
After hanging up the phone and writing the directions down I looked up and said, "Is this guy for real?"
Rick smiled slyly across the table, and said, "You'll be in good hands tonight Kelly. You'll both do some good for each other." He repeated the directions adding some landmarks and said to definitely take the first road because it was less of a hill. He told me the dog's name was Raven, and to call him by name to calm him if he charged at me down the long driveway. He bid me farewell and said that Charles and I would hit it off magnificently, and then disappeared to write as quickly as he had appeared. A true Merlin to the core.
I stumbled out of my chair and gathered my things and loaded Magellan for one final five mile journey north to this enigmatic house built like a castle on a hill to the north. I rode the bike through the river of traffic back the way I had come, crossing over Novelty Hill road again but this time veering north instead. After many arduous moments my sore body pedaled my exhausted self full of warm spicy Thai food toward the castle. I had reached the outskirts of the Emerald City of Seattle and was now searching for a castle on a hill in the darkness. How much more mythical could it get? I thanked the Spirit of Angela for the perfect connection and thanked Rick again in my heart. He had indeed redeemed himself in my eyes as a noble and caring wizard.
When I got to the road that lead to the castle it rose into the night and disappeared into the shadows. It was steeper than Novelty Hill road and it winded up into the trees forever. I had to push Magellan slowly but steadily toward the heights where I finally found the road that supposedly lead to this mythic structure. I got back on the bike, but eventually had to get off again. After over 103 miles, I probably broke my old record set in Montana of 107.21 miles, but I didn't know for sure. I was too weary to puzzle it out and do the math and too tired to even try, so I just placed one foot in front of the other and trudged upward. Eventually I found the rock wall that "Merlin" had warned me about and turned into the secretive driveway and continued up the dirt road where I could see a large house rising up through the trees with towers like a castle. A tall man walked out the front door to greet me with his dog Raven at his side. He had broad shoulders and was taller than myself.
We introduced ourselves and he observed me cautiously, sizing me up to see if I was dangerous or crazy or whatever. He apparently decided that I was cool, and we walked around the lot looking for a nice place to pitch a tent and got talking about astrology, life, the universe, and my quest. After about ten minutes he decided I was worthy enough to be invited into the actual castle and we parked Magellan in the garage across the way. I gathered my things and followed him on a tour around the house first. It turns out that the house was blessed by the Zodiac. He and his queen were both born 8 days apart in 1962 when a cluster of planets were aligned in Aquarius. Those were the babies that would give birth to the Internet in their lives ushering in the Age of Information, and Charles himself had helped it become a reality. He was a chief Executive at Microsoft and made his fortune in the world of computers. He and his wife had joined forces back in 1992 with the intention of helping bring in the rising tide of the Aquarian Age through communications. They had met at a new Science ideas conference over a conversation and a book about astrology. I was in the perfect place! I felt an uncanny sense of home here.
We came back around to the front door and he asked if I noticed anything out of the ordinary. I got closer and saw a huge design of a mystical woman pouring water out of an urn and the symbol of Aquarius was etched below her: It was Aquarius engraved into the archway leading into the great door of the castle! So damn awesome! Then we continued around the castle where we came to Scorpio then Leo and then back around to the garage where Taurus shined above the road that separated the detached garage from the house. The moon gleamed through the distant trees in the sign of Sagittarius. The smile on my face was obvious. They had built the symbols of the four living creatures before the throne of God from Ezekiel's vision in the Bible, the Lion, the Bull, the Eagle, and The Man (in this case they chose a woman to symbolize humanity). I made comments on each of the signs and Charles began to realize the depth of my astrological vision, and invited me into the house, explaining that the entire structure, every room was built in line with the principles of the Golden Mean and the Fibonacci sequence. I thanked Eternal Being that there were still conscious people on the planet that put the spiritual teachings of the ancients into practice and life.
After a tour of the house, Lauren the High Priestess healer/hypnotherapist came home and we all stayed up late talking about astrology. They were both pushing fifty but looked in great health. Lauren had a face of vision draped with beautiful blonde hair and she gleamed like a princess in her dramatic dress and high heels. She was popular in the community for organizing conscious groups and women's groups, and artist groups. I had easily managed a third or fourth or even fifth wind given the amazing synchronicity that unfolded before me. Charles led me to a guest chamber that was above the entrance in the Aquarian wing of the castle and I was overjoyed to see a king-sized bed with zodiac constellations patterned over its starry blue surface. I would sleep amongst the stars this night.
Turns out that I spent several nights there and Charles and I bonded quickly. We were both defensive linemen in high school, physics and math nerds, and astrology enthusiasts devoted to bringing in the Aquarian age. His wife Lauren had 6 planets in Aquarius while he had five, and they were both Virgo Rising, wearing the mask of the sacred humble healer and servant, alive with technical and ritual precision. And they both had watery moons. Their two children were home for summer and busy doing what most modern teens do: watching TV, surfing the net, or texting their friends. They didn't pay too much attention to our amazing conversations, but the children are always listening in the wings. Charles escorted me into the dungeon where he had a weight room set up with exercise machines and all, and he showed me his cycling bikes. I longed for an upper body work out after two months of focusing on the lower body. My legs were like rocks and my waist was thin, so I didn't need any exercise, but the weights were music to my arm muscles. He had a scale and after weighing myself three times, I was 247 pounds, the lowest I've weighed this century! When I left Christina in North Carolina I had bulked up to 294. After returning to my homeland in Boulder and hitting the gym everyday, I got down to 268. Now after my sweaty quest, I was down to 247! I could easily make it down to 230 if I continued down the 101 with Arian and reclaim my true body. I did a handstand in the weight room and held it tight and then leaned over to stand on one hand for a moment. Then I did the splits. Charles was amazed and I was too! He was inspired to get in shape and reclaim his life too.
We talked about the astrological alignments that were creating such great transformation in the world and about how we were dealing with it in our lives. When Lauren, his wife, came home she invited us into the sacred tower at the top of the castle and it was decked out with a rare astrology rug and we sat in a circle and drew Tarot cards and astrology cards. I drew Venus in Capricorn in the 9th house symbolizing the need to love and make commitments in love while on a journey, and that was exactly what I was experiencing by contemplating moving to Redmond with ALisha. I told them that I was going to possibly move there and they said they built this castle to host workshops and metaphysical events and told me the guest list of all the amazing people who had spoken there or stayed there over the years. I was wowed, and honored that they were open to me teaching there. I mean it seemed perfect, the three of us Aquarians sitting in the circle in the magic tower of Castle Aquarius. I thought of the dead spirit I had prayed too, and imagined her laughing in the underworld in glee for this connection. I thanked her in my heart silently and looked at my two hosts.
I told them I had come to Redmond to scout it our to see if I wanted to live there for a time with ALisha, and Charles offered to drive me around on a tour of the area with the kids. Lauren had to do a healing session, so we told her we would meet her later for a home-cooked dinner. Charles drove us down to the town center and they took me by all the cool coffee shops and showed me where the Thai restaurants were at. We even ran into Rick Merlin at the coffee shop where he and Jeff do their monthly stand-up astrological forecast. Then we went to a park and hiked through the woods on mystical fantasy trails. Redmond seemed like an acceptable place for my spirit to reside for a time. The Castle had a separate apartment that they rented for $750 a month but it was already occupied by a healer woman tenant. I could imagine living there with Alisha and doing a weekly astrology workshop in the grand hall of the castle and Arian practicing archery with their prince and Ammalia dancing with their little princess. That would be amazing indeed. We could all hang out and cook delicious food and Charles and I could run up hills and work out in the dungeon!
His son, the prince, reminded me of Arian, and he showed me around the yard and we talked about video games and fantasy weaponry. He hacked away the thorny limbs of the blackberry bushes with a machete so I could get at the blackberries. Then he took me by the apple tree, the plum tree, the pear tree, and more blackberries. By the end of our sojourn through their yard I was completely full of fresh fruit right off the vine, a vegan dream. His daughter, the princess of the castle, was into anime dolls and artistic expression and felt so attuned to the character Kira, the druid Gelfling form the Dark Crystal, that she wanted to change her name. They were very interesting kids with larger than life imaginations and dreams, and of course they fought like all siblings but with more noble fierceness because they both had Mars conjunct there sun signs!
But alas I had to end our connection because I had told my astrological mom, Kriss Shellman, who was hosting me in Burien Seattle to the south by the airport, that I would be there soon. Charles told me it was very dangerous riding a bike all the way south and would take three hours or more so he offered to give me and Magellan a ride in the family van, a red carriage he had bought for his queen the day their princess was born. After all these years it was still in great shape. But the next morning I woke up feeling like I needed to finish the last leg of the journey like I started it, riding my bike the whole way. They agreed and sent me on my merry way. I rode back down past Angel Thai and went to the town center again where there was this large circular arena-like area covered in shops, and just as I sat in a cozy chair to down a soy chai, Charles texted me and informed me that I had forgotten my charger for the I-pad in the guest room. I was disappointed in my lapse in discipline and forced myself to ride all the way back up the hill to the castle to retrieve it. This time I pedaled up the hill and sweated intensely. When I got there, Lauren and Charles and I sat down to lunch and began talking and the afternoon rolled by. Before I knew it, it was 4 o'clock and I had told my host in Burien that I would be there by 5 PM. So I asked Charles if that ride was still available and he wholeheartedly and enthusiastically saddled up the crimson carriage and drove me south to help me continue my journey. I told him that our paths would cross again and thanked him and Lauren for their incredible hospitality. They thanked me for sharing lots of astrological insights about them and their children and Lauren said I was one of the most brilliant astrologers in the world. I bowed my head and told her that my chart made it so, with my Grand Air Trine to Uranus on the Midheaven. I must have studied voraciously in past lives.
After assuring himself that my host was legitimate in Burien, Charles bid us farewell to attend a dinner party with his queen, and I got to meet another Magi who reminded me and treated me like my own mother. Kriss Shellman had two sons about my age, and she had been reading my blog and rooting for my spiritual journey form afar. I had met her briefly in 2003 when I had traveled to Seattle to speak for their astrology group, but that was long ago. Little did she know, that I would one day be staying at her place in Seattle! Kriss was a true Aries Moon with Cancer Rising, but also a fellow Aquarian and a professional astrologer like myself. She showed me through her garden where there was a perfect place for my tent, and she let me park Magellan in the covered garage in the backyard. After I set my tent up realizing that my son Arian would soon be joining this magical quest, in this very yard, we went to the kitchen and began cooking a marvelous meal together. I even learned some tips form the old professional Cancerian cook like how to use a paintbrush to paint olive oil over garlic bread. I made a veggie stir fry and she cooked some exquisite brown rice mixed with veggies. We also had lush cantaloupe and delicious pink lemonade! Her granddaughter was visiting and they were also busy with a craft project in the living room designing a Wizard's Chest, which was being built from the specs in a book of magical crafts. They had just come from Michaels to gather their creative materials. I knew I was among fellow Magi again!
Her husband named Jon (Just like my dad) came home form his metal-smithing and enjoyed a wonderful dinner with her granddaughter, his wife, and the Traveling Magi. He had read my blog too and knew my story and laughed with me about certain events that had transpired. He also had many stories and I really liked him as a kindred spirit. Turns out he has Sagittarius Rising (like myself) with Jupiter in Sag in the first house (Mine is in Sag but in the 12th house of dreams). And I respected him as a craftsman married to a Magi. Burien had a more industrial feel than Redmond, and it looked like many people there practiced a trade of some kind.
You could hear airplanes flying into Seatac and grew excited awaiting Arian's arrival. That night in my tent I logged onto Craigslist and began my search for a tour bike for Arian. I needed to find a used one that would carry him down the Pacific Coast 101 route to the City of the Golden Arches, San Francisco. Mercury was going retrograde in Virgo in my 9th house of Journeys and I had gained a respite form my quest for a time while I rested and recharged my soul. I longed to work on my astrology book called the Tao of Astrology that I've been laboring over and researching for twelve years. I felt like I could write it in three weeks once I got caught up on my astrology charts for clients.
I am grateful for my astro-mom and her family and her house near the Pugit Sound. I saw the waters of the Sound when I came down her street and felt the call of the ocean that Arian and I would explore. Kriss told me to make myself completely at home and that we could come and go at will and use her house as a home base if we wanted to explore the Olympic Peninsula. That sounded deeply comforting and warm. Arian would be here in ten days. I look forward to the arrival of that musical archer healing Apollo-like son of mine. We had some high adventure and exploration ahead of us!
Monday, August 16, 2010
When I finally arrived at Christina Lake they had a campground with over 100 spots! I went by it to the next one and they charged me 30 bucks for one night with a tent, a royal rip off and insult to a cyclist. This was the most expensive campground I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. I generally try to avoid them for nature unless I'm there with other cyclists. I mean, who really has the right to charge someone to sleep on a parcel of earth. I know, I know, they gotta buy toilet paper and clean the place! But 30 bucks to pitch a tent plus more money to take a shower, plus more money to do laundry, plus more money for laundry soap. I plopped down my debit card in utter disbelief. It figures that a town called CHristina Lake would want more money out of me, given the debt that Christina, my companion for the last four years, racked up. But we're selling our house to pay it off and moving on. We once shared a dream of having a Roadtrek travel van (made in Canada) and just having this mobile lifestyle, but our relationship crashed before that happened. Now I'm leaving the most economical version of that dream possible pedaling across mountain ranges. Incidentally, an RS Roadtrek Agile van pulled up to the campground as I was leaving the next morning!
Showered and laundered I headed for the next town of Grand Forks to make my daring border crossing back to America! When I got to Grand Forks I decided to stop at a cool little cafe and have a sweet salad and chai. After charging my devices I mounted Magellan and road hard for the guards at the border. Since I had mailed a box to Canada before leaving, I had all this extra gear that I was longing to offload and send back home to be stored in my storage locker. After the polite guard welcomed me home, I made my way into Danville, a town that will not be there if you blink on a bike, and hit the post office up for a nice large box. I packed allt he extras in there and realized I had forgotten a whole box in Canada with important stuff like my backup CDs and a game Arian and I like to play called Colonization. Oops! I emailed Alisha and she said she would send it to Seattle! Thanks ALisha!
When I got back on the bike and felt a ton lighter that was my first moment of perfection...I felt like Amalie after she helps the blind man cross the street and gives him an audio tour of the city! A moment of sheer en-LIGHT-enment. I rode down the road through beautiful green country and with hardly any cars crossing the border, it was nice to hear the tranquility of the mountains and the forest, another moment of perfection without the loud rumble of engines flying by you at high speed.
I didn't know where I was headed, just to Seattle. But I noticed a lake called Curlew Lake on the map with a State Park so I made my way for that, hoping they would not ream me, since my finances were getting low, and not only did I have to make it to Seattle, I also had to figure out a bike and gear for Arian by the time he arrives on the 29th, nothing beyond my manifestation powers, but tight on the mind when you still have 300 miles to go over rugged terrain. My strong new spokes that I had installed back in Missoula were indeed doing the job, not a single broken spoke while riding through the wilds of Canada up and down some intense hills. The road that left the campground in Castlegar where I wrote my last blogpost, was rough. 33 Kilometers of uphill grind until finally I crested the apex at Paulson Pass, and began a rapid descent. I couldn't even stop for photos except for when I roared down this mountain and saw the most picturesque blue steel bridge connecting the road on my mountain to the road on the mountain far across the gorge. I was going 40 MPH toward that bridge and it was a hard right turn toward bridge which I had to break to make! I made it across the bridge without the diesel hitting me, and worried that the bridge would collapse while I was on it with the semi. Falling 3000 feet to my death with a diesel did not appeal to me, so I pedaled hard and crossed the bridge and was going slow enough to actually stop and snap a few pictures which I still need to upload to Facebook!
Anyway, when I got to the State Park at Curlew Lake, the kind ranger said it would be 14 bucks and that the cyclist/hiker camp was up at the top of the hill. Problem was, that I had just spent all my Canadian cash, and all I had was debit card, and they didn't take plastic! The guy had compassion. I said, "Well, is there anywhere in the woods I can camp up the road?" But his heart was too big to answer, and just said, "I'm not gonna send you down the road in the dark man, just go up there and camp, it's okay." Awesome! Free Camping at an amazing spot on a beautiful hill overlooking a grand lake! Take that Canada Camp grounds!
Then again I really appreciated the kindness of Canadians. Everywhere I went I found only kind people, despite having my back light stolen in Nelson. I love the Canadian accent as it sounds very British and I love that! If I was ever in need of defection, I know where I'd go now! British Columbia is amazing! And they have a leaf on their flag honoring nature. We have stars and that is cool too, but I could make my own hybrid flag with stars and leaves. In fact I think the fantasy kingdom of Meldran in my novel Brazenwood has that on their flag...
But I digress. WHile I was at the campground at Lake Curlew, people kept walking by commenting how awesome my camp site was with the view from up high of the lake. I stir fried some mushrooms and onions and Thai noodles and had a hot Chai with it that you see in the picture above. Plus I got to do some writing by hand, which was heavenly bliss. Another moment of perfection! Then that old tea bag quote from the beginning of my journey ell out onto the picnic table that said, "You must live for something higher, bigger, and better than yourself." As I was sitting there contemplating those words again two real life skunks walked right by and I kinda froze, wondering if they would spray me with their stinky stuff, but they were just chasing each other along frolicking and didn't even notice me! For a second I thought I was a bit-part in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It was swell!
I took some pictures of the Moon in Libra conjunct Venus setting over a mountain in the West but you could barely see the Moon. Then the Sun went down and I got out of my tent where I was resting and just gazed up at the stars, opening my heart to them. Ever since I was seven, I have had a relationship with the stars, one of the defining moments of my childhood that prophesied my calling as an astrologer. As I stood there with my arms over my head embracing my brothers and sisters, the stars, I had a vision of thousands of worlds whirling about the billions of stars all swollen with life and people worrying about petty problems. It was truly a humbling moment of perfection. The sky and its cycles was who I served that was indeed higher, bigger and better. I crawled into my tent after that and my cell phone chimed that I had a message. It was from a client who I had done a chart for. He had written one of those long emails in amazement over the interpretation I had sent him by mp3, especially since it was a new client who I interpreted blind from afar without asking him any questions as usual. I trust the chart and its magical symbolism over the human heart any day. His message began:
Duuuuuuuuude. Sooooooooo good!
I want to write you a longer email in response, but for right now, before too much more time passes, I just want to reply and say that this interpretation was very enjoyable, clarifying, and inspirational.
At one point, you said I'm like a bard, which was pretty cool. But you've actually played the role of bard for me, with this reading. You have sung a song that's inspiring me for the next phase of battle!! So awesome.
I actually did download and listen on Monday night, during the Leo new moon. I know my chart placements and knew I was Leo and everything, but I had no concept that this was basically a "new year" type of event for me, so I'm glad I chose to get the reading at this time! I want you to know that I took your advice to heart about forming an intention and then doing something about it the next day. I actually was feeling ambitious and formed not one but three intentions: one that I had been thinking about all day anyway, and two that were inspired by your reading.
He went on for a page or so...then ended with...
Thanks again, Kelly. This recording is truly awesome, and I hope to explore it more in-depth and maybe get my Gemini motor running by writing to you more about it, if you don't mind! There's seriously so much I would like to say. Pretty much everything you said was spot-on, and I'd love to respond to all of that. (I'm pretty interested in ordering follow-up readings, too. Just so you know.)
I was feeling kinda guilty because I've looked up a ton of your stuff online (and I actually just watched your episode of Wife Swap, too!) and almost felt like I know you. And here I am, just a stranger walking up and asking for an astrology reading, but it turns out you kind of know a lot about me just by looking at when and where I was born. Go figure, right?
That was the next moment of perfection. I love helping clients unveil their authentic selves! What an amazing responsibility to help humanity wake up to their true potential. I love it.
So I went to sleep on that wondrous little magical hill wondering where tomorrow would take me. I didn't know. Just down the road somewhere. The Moon would be crossing into my 11th House of Community so I hoped to meet some cyclists at least. We would see indeed.
The next morning I felt great, even though my aches and pains from riding were starting to complain in unison. But I just kept going and going and riding hard and steady up to a town called Republic in Washington. I rolled into town and parked my bike to go into a hardware store to seek out a fuel canister since I knew mine was low, but they didn't have the right one for my little SOTO stove. I was hungry and asked where I could eat and they told me that the Natural Foods Coop across the street opened at ten, a half hour away. So I bided my time in a cafe with a chai, and then hit the store up for more Thai noodle packets and mushrooms and onions...delicious combo! I ate some sweet potato chips and hummus in preparation for the hard ride ahead. I had decided to veer west up the 20 instead of going south on the 21 because a post office employee in Danville, who was an avid cyclist, told me that the pass was a tough set up three stairsteps where you go up and then flat and up and then flat and then once again, but then it was literally all downhill to Tonasket 20 miles. That sounded like heaven. I would have never believed her if she wasn't a cyclist, but when you hear something like that from a cyclist they are incredibly more specific than motorists who don't know the pain of even 1 degree of inclination!
That lady was right, and the stairsteps were intense but doable and I reached another moment of perfection during the last ascent. You would think that the moment of perfection in cycling would come right after you crested a rise and saw the next horizon revealed and got to coast down the hill, but there are two others that seem more perfect. The first is when you are struggling up a hill for hours on end, or a series of hills, and you reach the last incline and it seems like you will never make it, and suddenly you shift down to your last low gear, and you reach out and place your hands as far forward on the handlebars as possible, you push your butt back on the seat, and you let your legs do their burning meditation on the pedals, and you simply surrender, a wholehearted deep let out the breath surrender! This was even more complete since Sarah McLachlan (a Canadian I think) is singing Sweet Surrender, which happened to me on this particular hill.
I let the tears flow again as I crested the apex and stopped to take a quick pic of the pass sign. My brother once asked me why I cried so much on my journey. It can't be that painful? He said I'm supposed to be enjoying the ride. I think I did all my physical exertion crying in Wyoming when I almost died a few times. Then I did all my emotional letting go crying of my old life in Montana, preparing for the renewal in Canada. When I left Canada with my tail between my legs, a starry eyed romantic with dashed hopes, but richer for it, I did my mental crying. Now I was down to spiritual crying. Shrek once said that ogre's have layers, and so does crying. My heart and soul are being slowly peeled like an onion on this journey. The whole world is experiencing a great transformation according to the great Cardinal T-Cross configuration in the heavens. We are all receiving new marching orders, or in the words of brilliant astrologer Jeff Jawer, an initiation into a new life.
I feel the heart of the planet bleeding and the people continuing on the treadmill of life pretending nothing is changing, or resisting the change, the great spiritual tidal wave that is crashing down on all of us right now! There are other Magi like me out there like my spiritual brothers Peter Roth, David Alexander English, Brett Melchior, and Gary Caton, Eric Meyers and all my astrologer homeys, who are all riding the tide in their own unique ways. Check out their blogs and Facebook for more insights into the journey ahead. The wold is rebirthing and I feel like I don't belong anymore. Something has to give? Do I return to my home amongst the stars, or do I stay and watch the show? For now I think I'll keep enjoying the synchronicities and watch what unfolds. I don't want to help pay rich people who own property pay off their mortgages. I don't want to ever work and feel like a slave with people telling me what to do. I am a human being, and I want to fight for the dignity of all human beings who are involved in this psychic slavery in the middle of of dividing up the rights to land and quality of life. I want to help forge a new path ahead, not some Utopian pipe dream, but a new set of systems for the Aquarian Age that honors the miraculous nature of the individual in his or her spiritually needed qualities and contributions to the community. I want to tear down the walls of fear dividing us as nations and cultures. I want to help people like the client above realize their genius and inspire them to go for it!
So now my tears are for humanity. I'm tired of overhearing shallow conversations while I sense earthquakes happening inside!
Let the earth quake. Let the music play through your soul! Let the creative individual rise up and claim its dream!
There's another moment of cycling perfection and that comes not when you're flying down the hill coasting with natural wind AC cooling your body. Almost, but that's just sitting on an object with wheels and rolling with gravity. The moment of perfection comes when you begin to level out or go back up hill and you start to peddle again and you are in the perfect gear to match the rhythm of the wheels against the road, and your legs turn in perfect harmony with the pressure that's needed to get up the next hill or over that rise. That feels like perfection when it happens. You try to prepare for it by shifting into a high gear when you head downhill, but rarely is it the perfect gear at the perfect moment when you need to pedal again as if your legs never stopped pedaling at all.
As I got hal way down the 20 mile hill I was pleased with the postal ladies assessment. There were a few places where the road slightly inclined, but for the most part, she was right, it was all downhill! I stopped in a little country market to drink a Gatorade and heard that there were cyclists ahead of me in Tanasket, a whole group from my recent home state of North Carolina. Holy Moon in my 11th House. I chased my Gatorade with a Monster and rode like a madman down the last 13 mile stretch hoping to catch them. I heard they were eating at a subway from some travelers who told me this out their window as we sped down the mountain together! I imagined rolling into a parking lot full of North Carolinian cyclists and raising my right hand and giving a great inspiring speech like Aragorn did before the Black Gate saying, " Men of Gondor, Rohan, my brothers!"
Unfortunately, by the time I got there, they had left. I missed them by thirty minutes and they were headed north. I was going south. Boo hoo! Plus they took all the buns, there was one six inch cheese sub left...rough. So I turned my bike deflatedly south and rode for the town of Omak, another 23 miles away, wondering where I would sleep.
When I got to Omak I was exhausted. The shoulder was composed of a strange substance called Chip Seal which is like riding your bike on those rugged gym matts that protect the floor from the metal weights, and your tires sink in and it feels like you have to pedal twice as hard to go the same speed! WHoever invented chip seal should be...no I won't say it. But it's a pain in the legs. SO I asked where I could camp at the first gas station and they directed me to a city park where camping was allowed.
With the Moon really in my 11th House there had to be some cyclists there. I was feeling lonely and needed the communion of cyclists again. Meeting cyclists is like meeting astrologers, we speak the same language and endure the same challenges. So I rode into the park after helping some locals fix their flat tire (good karma I suppose), and there they were: two cyclists who had been traveling the Northern Tier across northern America together since Wisconsin. The elder cyclist, about my age was named Barry and he had incredible gas that you could hear fro two campsites away, and the younger tattooed guy was named Matt and he was outspoken about what he liked and didn't like. They were sitting at a picnic table both working on their little netbooks when I pulled up and said, "Hello fellow cyclists, mind if I camp with you?"
They were surprised by my appearance out of nowhere, a true Magi entrance, and I sat down across from them and whipped out my I-pad to connect to the campground's wi-fi. They were impressed with my digital nomadic flow. And I was impressed with theirs. We shared stories and meals and had a great night together! The city park was sketchy as we had all noticed a certain impoverished neighborhood essence and had spotted some unsavory characters in the wings. Indeed, Barry dropped his guard and left his mp3 player plugged in wih the charger in the scummy bathrooms and had it stolen while he slept. There was nowhere really to lock Magellan, so I laid the bike down next to my tent and locked him to one of my heavy panniers inside the tent and stuffed the hole in the screening with a shirt to keep the bugs out. That way, if someone tried to steal my trusty steed, my whole tent would go with them and I would awaken. From the crazy sounds of the park, I was truly worried. I even prepared my zipper to be unzipped quickly and got my knife out and laid it ready by the tent door. Luckily, the night went by uneventful except for a couple of drunks who stumbled over my fly strings. But they meandered their drunken way onward.
The next morning we all woke up, packed our stuff and sailed on down the road. We parted when they turned to go up the 20 toward Seattle and I went down the 97 A toward Chelan valley so I could go up Highway 2 to come into Seattle near Everett. I heard the 2 had less passes and inclines than the 20, so I naturally chose the scenic easy route. My legs were tired and I had not had a rest day since Nelson. Nevertheless, it was a sweet ride down through the Chelan valley after I got over the first big hill. I was traveling alongside an amazing lake through wonderful smelling orchards growing all manner of luscious fruits. I didn't know the eastern cascades valley was so dry, but should have expected it based on geography where the Eastern slopes are always deprived of rain. But the Eastsiders as my friend Peter called them know how to work that long lake to grow amazing fruit. I wanted to reach out and pluck an apple or pea off a tree but decided against stealing when I could just stop at a fruit stand. Away with you Gemini Shadow side of the Moon. It never gets to live out its dark fantasies with all my Sag truthful honest tell it like it is and as blunt as possible side outgunning i in my character makeup.
I heard the night before that the NFL Preseason football games were on, and so excitedly searched for a sports bar in Chelan where I could catch the game. Unfortunately it was only broadcast on the NFL channel and they didn't have it. SO I logged onto the net at an Oriental restaurant called Bamboo Shoots and got to at least hear the game on KOA radio and chat with my football friends on Bronbcotalk.net's live chat. Another experience of community!
After that it was 7 PM,a nd the SUn was sinking behind the mountains already and the next town was 20 miles away! I didn't know what to do, because the town of Chelan seemed uppity and high class and no parks allowed camping. There was a state park 6 miles out of my way so I had to make a tough choice. Ride hard toward the next town even though it was uphill in the dark or ride six miles north along the lake to the state park, or hide in the bushes somewhere, or ask someone if I could camp in their yard? A very tough decision, but in the end my intuition told me to make for the State Park along the west shores of the lake. I made it jus as the Sun disappeared and found the campground to be full. So I snuck off into the woods behind one of the bathrooms and found a nice stealthy spot to camp, even though the forest rangers saw me pull into the camp. It was a large popular camp with hundreds of campers everywhere. Where could I blend in? After debating setting up in the woods in stealth I decided that I was still a human being, and I didn't deserve to be lurking in the woods with so much beautiful green pasture by the beach wide open for camping. So I went back up the rode and rode Magellan right up to the park ranger and said, "Hello! I just rode from Boulder COlorado and I was wondering where the cyclists and hikers could camp?" He was a very friendly ranger and we talked for a while after he said, "Oh, you can camp right down their by the beach out in the open under the stars!" I was amazed. That was exactly where I wanted to camp, another experience of a moment of perfection! And he didn't take debit cards either and waived the 14 bucks...whew! Perfection stacked on perfection!
So I rode down to the beach and found another cyclist down there that I hadn't noticed before, and set up my tent next to him. He was traveling the forest trails of Washington and just slept out under the stars with no tent. He even showed me a short cut on the map where I didn't have to backtrack 6 miles and it was perfect too. The next morning he was gone already when I woke up, so I brushed my teeth again, splashed water on my face, and headed up the intense three mile trek toward Highway 2 and Seattle. I was excited to see the little Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth that everyone had been telling me about!
IN a few more days, I would be rolling down the bike paths of Seattle to stay with a friend. I had put it out to the universe and to all my friends in Seattle that I needed a place to stay while awaiting Arian, and many answered. But the one that I chose to stay with first (I'll be visiting the others!) was fellow astrologer Kriss Shellman, who has become my astro-mom. She has been following my journey with the heart of a mother, as her son was born the same year as me, and I thank her deeply for hosing me in Seattle. She even lives in Burien, which is right near the Seatac airport where Arian will be flying in. How perfect is that?
There's perfection all around if your eyes are open...
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Journey Continues
I arrived in Nelson BC the day after the Full Moon in Aquarius and I left yesterday a day after the New Moon in Leo, a full 14 days of rest and recuperation and 118 miles of riding while in and around Nelson. The photo there is a view outside the window in the corner of the Dock and Duck Tavern at the ferry in Balfour on the edge of Kootenay Lake where I was able to catch up on all my astrology charts that people ordered over the last three weeks.
The first week I spent at the Nelson campground where I encountered the magical being of my desire, ALisha Michell, who is a female Magi of my caliber and whom I've had the opportunity to share some amazing and loving moments with. In fact, the second week of my time in Nelson, she was able to finally move into a beach apartment about five miles from the ferry. We shared the most amazing connection and meeting of minds, bodies, hearts, and spirits possible, and yet the timing was off. She has had some intense transits with Pluto crossing her moon (death and rebirth of the soul) and Saturn square her moon (the need for solitude and aloneness and a little depression) which are the same transits Christina was undergoing over the last year as well back in North Carolina. I thought I recognized the same movie playing out in Alisha that I saw in Christina.
At first, we were both amazed by our connection. We talked about going back to her favorite place in Washington called Redmond and joining forces as parents and astrologers thriving in a lively community. But after spending some quality time together we realized that we needed time to think about it. I'm used to giving up my dreams to go be with a woman where she wants to go (my last two wives come to mind) and I always end up depressed and wanting to die or leave! So this time before I just throw in my lot with another, I'm committed to finishing the journey I began as the Traveling Magi. I will continue my dream.
I left yesterday instead of on the 20th when I originally wanted to because ALisha was really needing some alone time to heal after moving so much and so often and going through a nasty divorce. I'm grateful that Christina and I were able to part in peace and I will always love that girl. In fact, today I'm riding south after I post this from Castlegar, Canada right by a lake called Christina Lake on my way to Grand Forks where I plan to re-enter the home of the brave and the land of the free.
Love can be a complicated thing for sure. You heart swells with emotion for this other being and it makes you crazy! It is a drug for real, but a beautiful one that tricks us into latching onto each other to continue the evolutionary imperative of bringing spirits into bodily form. I think I'd rather make sure that this bodily form is living its full potential before I invite another soul in who needs my love and support. I felt a little strange inside about being around Alisha's six year old daughter Ammalia because part of me doesn't want to go back to that stage of child training after Arian, my son, has reached his Saturn Opposition at 15 and is capable of being his own adult now as his mother and I planned. I don't want to interfere with someone else's strategy for child rearing either, especially with a jealous ex-husband in the wings who still claims that Alisha is HIS woman and that his love is undying and passionate for her and that it hurts him that we are together.
I don't want to be a target for that kind of wrath, as I've got better ways to spend my precious days on this planet besides fighting over a woman. And long ago when a girl came between me and my best friend and ruined our relationship as bros, I vowed to never fight over the love with a woman again with a brother. There's just too many amazing fish in the sea to enter poverty consciousness. But once in a while you meet someone like ALisha where all levels are clicking like never before, and that my friends is the big dilemma I contend with in my heart.
Anyway, on another note I'm excited that Arian is flying into Seattle on August 29th, and that I'm riding to meet him as fast as I can, even though I have plenty of time to get there. I've contacted several friends and colleagues in the Seattle area (Where's Peter when you need him? Oh, he moved to Colorado partially so we could be together....ooops!) I guess I'll have to eat enough vegan buffet at Araya's Thai restaurant in the University District for the both of us! So Arian is flying into Seattle on the night of the 29th. I'll be there to receive him at 11:30 PM that night after he has spent the day riding three planes from Mobile Alabama, starting his journey that morning on Dauphin Isle in the gulf surrounded by oil.
Do you see the dilemma here? Arian is coming to join me and at first he was going to join ALisha and me in Redmond and go to school there. But now that Alisha and I have decided to take a deep breath and just think about such a quick and faithful move, I'm back to being the Traveling Magi and headed down the Pacific Coast scenic 101 route, which I heard form many cyclists is the best ride in the world with tailwinds the whole way going south! So there we will be at the airport at 11:30 PM, midnight closing in. My bike Magellan will probably be parked at a friend's house, maybe on an island or the Olympic Peninsula somewhere, and my task is to get the kid outfitted for the journey ahead to San Francisco and possibly Hawaii if we can scrape together the funds.
Part of me feels bad that I'm depriving him of his first semester in high school somewhere, and another part of me feels proud that I'm depriving him of his first semester of high school somewhere. I've been through that system and know it's a babysitting job. You can learn more on your own and follow your own interests to the core. Arian is already smarter and more mature than most high school students anyway. And he's found his passions in Archery and Music. He is also a great poet, dancer, artist, and advisor. He would be a boon to any company right now and improve their work. Not that I want him to sign up for corporate slavery or anything like that. I want him to follow his talent and learn music from teachers wherever we go and live his passion. We can homeschool and get the algebra and history and the rest of it on the road, as he has an I-pad too and I plan on downloading lots of educational apps for the journey ahead. Audio Books for the I-pod anyone?
Meanwhile, we still need to outfit him with a touring bike like Magellan, some panniers, and other cycling gear like water bottles, cycling shorts, etc. So here is where I'm putting out the call to donational arms once again. Cause all that gear is going to cost about $1000 and I'm sitting on about $500 right now, and we still need to eat and pay for the occasional campground and chai at the internet cafe so I can write the blog and work on books and movies! So who wants to see the little Magi join his father in an amazing quest down the 101 that will knock the socks off him sitting in a classroom with a bunch of puberty-stricken teens being taught to follow orders and spit out meaningless facts on soul degrading exams? You can make donations right on the home page of the Traveling Magi website or better yet you can order a chart at my astrology website DIvine Inspiration Astrology, as I don't mind working for a living by delivering you an mp3 interpretation from a random Internet cafe that will blow your heart and mind wide open into the cosmic field of vision!
I hope to visit the bike store in Seattle ready to drop some serious cash on outfitting the Arian Brazenwood, hero of the elves!
In the meantime, I ride south and then west my friends, my heart uplifted from my time with ALisha and a little broken, because I never really felt welcome till the day before I left, when she told me that she needed alone time to heal, and wanted me to leave! Doh! It happens, and I honor where she's at in her process. Maybe I go to fast for my own good and need to take some time to honor my healing process before I dive into the deep tricky waters of love again too? I will think about Christina as I ride by her lake today in Canada, maybe I'll stop my bike and dive into the lake and feel her spirit from afar. I still love that beautiful plant-whispering soul despite our transition. Hopefully by tonight I'll re-enter the good ole US of A and find a decent campsite with wi-fi. Then it's down the 21 over to Highway 2 and on through the Cascades to the Emerald City of Seattle. I would love to take Arian up the Space Needle while we're there, but we'll see what happens! I told him I'd take him there one day when he was little.
For this day, I load my bike, I don my gear, I prepare to sweat and struggle up hills against the wind, my old friend. I embrace it all now with an open heart. The Traveling Magi rides again!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Crystallizing Romantic Visions
When Alisha finally showed up at the Nelson Campsite, I was talking to some travelers situated at a picnic table, feeling the universal flow of humanitarian energy under the Aquarius Full Moon vibe. Back in February, I saw that the new moon was in Alisha's 7th house of companionship and asked her to plant a seed for love then, and maybe we would grow into something down the line 6 months later when the Full Moon showed up in her field of love. Little did I know, that I would be delivering myself to Canada on a bicycle 1435 strenuous miles under that exact flowering of seed potential! I saw her walking toward us wearing one of those little caps looking perfectly compact and sexy in a pair of jeans and some stylish combat boots. I excused myself from the table and went to her, hugging her deeply for the first time ever. We tried to keep it cool and just talk, but we had built such a charge of love and admiration between us over the last 6 months, that we kept giggling like teenagers and just hugging. Then in the middle of saying something she hugged me and lifted her shapely mouth to mine and started kissing me passionately. A wise man once told me that discretion is the greater part of valor, so I won't go into any intimate details, but we hit it off great! We really did like each other, despite the forces of resistance (our exes and their families) arrayed against us.
We quickly realized that we were being brought together under one of the most intense astrological alignments of the century to perform a great work, and share an interesting, fascinating life. We not only liked each other, we loved each other! We had already developed a deep bond long before we had met in person. Meeting in person just sparked the relationship into a full blown blazing fire of creative communion. I could not stay at her current house due to the landlord situation and her roommate being weird about it, but she was moving out in a week anyway up to some beach house near Balfour, the way had just come on my bike from the ferry. I was content staying at the campground anyway, just biding my time and exploring Nelson on my bike.
I had a good week of exploration, with an eye to spending some time in Canada working on creative projects like the next astrology film and my next book on astrology. I had all my research with me. I just needed to log some intense coffee shop time. I hoped Alisha needed the same. She had a busy chaotic week ahead so I saw her when I could and we quickly ascended into love. I knew my son Arian would absolutely love her. Her daughter acted very shy to meet me, but I taught her how to spin the Fun Stix (Devil Sticks) and juggle them around at the park where Alisha practiced dancing for her upcoming performance.
I explored various coffee shops starting with one called Grounded, just to get grounded. I had to go to the Bank of Montreal to withdraw money from the ATM so I could pay my $108 for six nights at the campground. Looks like the earth and I were going to have a nice bonding experience. I kept meeting unique people, mainly Canadian tourists, back at the campground. They were all amazed that I had ridden my bike from Boulder to check on a girl. They kept asking me how it was going every time I came "home". The lady who ran the campground was named Bonnie (same as my now deceased astrology teacher) and by the end of the week she was very familiar with my coming and going and even asked me to help her install a shelf in the commons area of the campground where people bring their computers at night to plug in and surf the web. Some campers were glued to their tech while others left everything like that at home just to really experience the natural vibe on their journeys.
I would start my day with a fresh shower and a hot cup of chai, talking to the friendly campers. Then I would get on my bike and explore the town until Alisha was available. Then we would hang out talking and mingling until the deep hours of the night, when I would return to my tent. At first I kind of felt isolated, like she was not really into it, but it was because she had a lot of guards up as she had recently experienced so much suffering through the experience of the end of her relationship. I had experienced the same so I could relate. We joked around that maybe we should introduce our exes because they were both born in 1980 and would be the same age with the same interior maturation levels.
I found a great health food store downtown as well as the best coffee shop in town called Oso Negro, which had vega delights to go with your chai like cookies, muffins, and other treats. Alisha said that all the locals favored Oso Negro as well and I met a lot of amazing people there like this runner who runs up three mountains a week. He was into extreme training and his name was Mike. He had a pair of Nike Airs on and proceeded to tell me about all his cycling and running adventures. He told me that they had an outdoor weight training area down by the beach, so I went down their the next day and had a pretty complete workout using a series of about 20 bizarre machines designed to use your own body weight as resistance. It was cool! My muscles were burning and I felt great to have an upper body workout to go with my rock solid overworked legs! Then this tan young woman came running down the trail and stopped by the lake and began stripping down to a swimsuit. Next thing you know, she dives into the Kootenay Lake and swims down the shore. I was amazed. It turns out that many of the locals take lunch break swims all the time. They say you can even drink the water!
So after a full week in Nelson and lots of interacting with Alisha, she ended up moving out of her place and into a little beach cabina up the coast near Balfour. I missed seeing her on the way out of town by about ten minutes. It seemed like our timing was always off in terms of getting together. But once we got together it was pure magic. It was amazing to share romance with a beautiful fellow astrologer, making dinners and enjoying each others company. We spoke the same cosmic language and had great fun communicating in it. We both felt like we were 14 all over again!
I decided toi ride my bike up to the new beach house 12 miles or so instead of waiting for her to come pick me up with the moving truck. I had just ridden my bike 1435 miles and I felt weird about sitting there at a coffee shop waiting for a moving truck to come take me 12 miles! So I jumped on my bike and trusted that intuition and our amazing connection would guide me home to her. The Sun eventually set and I found myself knocking on random people's doors asking if I could use their phone or internet to try and find her. I didn't know if she had gone back to Nelson to get me or whether she had stayed out there at the new place. I knew I could find her if I had faith, but she was not answering her phone and sent no emails.
So there I was, sitting on a picnic table at a closed bakery in the twilight wondering if she wanted me to find her. Our connection was so miraculous that I knew I would find her. I thought about my Traveling Magi mission and wondered if I should even be trying to pursue a relationship with someone who was obviously still struggling with her ex. They had not had a peaceful split like Christina and I. Maybe I should just collect my things and head over to Vancouver to begin my trek south down the 101? My heart was torn inside because I know we both felt magic when we were together. So I approached another house to ask if they knew Alisha, and this wealthy family invited me in for dinner. I used their phone and finally got through to her. The place was farther than she had thought. She had told me to go 16 KM (about ten miles) when it was actually about 18.5 KM! I knew something felt off. So I jumped on my bike with just a tiny glow of light still out and rode like a madman up the road to beat the traffic. Someone stole my backlight while my bike was parked outside in Nelson. I guess they needed it more than I did. Luckily not too many cars were heading east on Valhalla road, and I passed several telephone pole where Alisha had hung up signs with my name written in large letters with instructions. I kept going and found her standing on the roadside waiting for me. It felt good to arrive, and have somewhere safe to stay, as I had given up my campsite to some tourists who needed it. The whole town was buzzing full with tourists for three separate events, so I was lucky to even get a campsite I found out later.
Alisha had a wonderful Thai meal ready to go when I arrived and I ate it slowly and let the spicy tastes soothe my soul. It was good to be with her, and the lady that rented her the upstairs apartment was kind and had a daughter of her own for Ammalia to play with. So here I was about to spend a month of my life with an amazing beautiful fellow celestial characterologist in a little apartment overlooking the beach, surrounded by mystical towering peaks. When I set out on this quest I said I would do my best to resist the allure of her amazement, but I wasn't doing very well. Her mind was stimulating and our connection was out of this world. We didn't know what would happen or how our lives would change if we joined forces, but we both knew it would be a magical journey.
Meanwhile, the next morning I got on Magellan and rode five miles up the road back to the ferry and found an Old World Bakery and an Internet Cafe/Tavern overlooking the ferry dock and surrounded by picturesque views of the Canadian Rockies. I sat down to work on astrology charts for clients and opened my heart and soul to the poetic rhythms of the cosmic muse, thinking of sharing my life with Alisha. Kelly and Alisha. It sounded good. My first love's name started with "A", Andrea, and I had not met anyone else with an "A" name. "K" and "A" spelled KA, which was the Egyptian word for spirit! Hopefully we would make a great spiritual companionship of it!