Friday, August 20, 2010

The Emerald City & Castle Aquarius


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!


  1. Wow, that is just mind-blowing. Half the time I think you just might be making this stuff up just to test us, hehe - but I know it is real! Good thing you are telling your story here, it is truly incredible Kelly! HI to your awesome Cappy son Arian too when he arrives!

  2. Is this the Microsoft Developer Charles Finkelstein!?

  3. Nevermind! I commented before I was finished reading your IS the MS guy!

  4. Kelly, what a great adventure; thanks for sharing it with everyone.

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