Every year when the Sun returns to the exact degree and minute that it was when you took your first breath in this incarnation, you get your Solar Return.
Depending on where you are on the planet, the chart changes. The planets will always be at the same degree and minute, but the house that they land in the chart will change.
Where and how you spend your Solar Returns can be powerfully initiatory for the coming year. For 5 hours before and 5 hours after the moment of the return, you have your “10 Hours of Power.”
What we do and what happens will create ripples that will imprint on the coming 12 months, so it’s very important to be mindful! The woman that we learned this technique from had an interesting experience—she intentionally created a Solar Return ceremony on a hilltop. Once she was complete and walked back to her car, she realized that she had locked her keys inside it!
Ooops! For the rest of her unfolding year, she kept encountering metaphoric and physical closed doors!
This year, when William and I looked at his Solar Return, we realized that the best place for him to usher in his new year would be in Boise, ID
Fortunately, my niece, Jen, and our dear friend, Nikki Russo, live in Boise!
We set off from L.A. and decided to spend a few nights in Bass Lake. It was the perfect way to begin William’s birthday trip and unwind from what has felt like endless cycles within cycles of work.
California’s drought became apparent with the low lake level…we are praying for lots of snow this year in the Sierras!
These photos are taken by William & myself
(note that it's too shallow for boats to be closer to the shore)
We love to explore back roads, so during our time in Bass Lake we found this sweet place called Butterfly Creek Winery, where the owner, Bob, regaled us with interesting stories of the history of the area and his family’s ownership of the winery.
There is even a sweet little chapel on the hill, which he and his brother built back in 1984, with seating for 12.
After a few days, it was time to say goodbye to Bass Lake and make our way up the historic Hwy 49.
There is a lot of history in these foothills...the California gold rush
was the backdrop for some colorful times!
We stopped at Hurst Winery in Jamestown....
We traveled over one of the passes through the Sierras into Nevada to stay in Reno, but I have to say that I am not a fan of Reno nor Vegas. The stale smoke-filled smell of desperation has never appealed to me, but Reno was a necessary half-way point.
On Friday eve, October 29th, we arrived in Boise, and William’s 10 Hours of Power were beginning, we unloaded the car (there may be some moving of matter in William’s next year) and dressed for dinner.
The restaurant Fork (one of Nikki's suggestions) in downtown Boise was wonderful…delicious salads and then this Ah-mazing cake arrived! William doesn’t normally gravitate to sweets, but this year he has the Moon and Venus exactly trine in his Solar Return, which is undoubtedly helping his songwriting/art career & is also giving him a sweet tooth!
We had lovely visits with our niece and Nikki!
Jen had us over on the morning of William’s birthday for brunch. It was so nice to just chill in her back yard and soak up the cool/lovely autumn day! She’s building a beautiful life for herself and is happily on her path. I am so happy and proud of her!
She has her own sweet home with the most gorgeous tree in her front yard. I probably should have taken this shot from much farther away, but you get the idea.
We then visited with Nikki, who took us to one of her art installations....
… for some local fun...
and later to her studio....
She’s an extremely talented and prolific painter and photographer who has made quite a name for herself in Boise! Here's her website: https://nikkirussoartist.com/
The four of us went to dinner at a lovely spot near the river that Nikki picked out for us for William’s birthday, Bella Aquila was wonderful! Unfortunately, none of us thought to take a photo., not that we need any more photos in this blog!
After our visits in Boise, William and I ventured back into the Sierra foothills.
We spent a few hours in Yosemite on what was probably the most gorgeous day that I’ve ever seen there!
This was as we were just entering the valley...
Little did we know that hazy / smoky area was a controlled burn in the valley
… from here, we just thought it was cool!
William taking a picture of the Ahwahnee Inn
WE enjoyed the fall colors!
William caught me gathering leaves...there were so many pretty ones!
We discovered this lovely creek (Tenaya Creek)
as we were exploring the grounds near The Ahwahnee Hotel
We are now on the bridge from the last photo & behind us are
a couple climbing the face of that cliff!!!!
Fortunately, after the big storm in late October, there were falls flowing...
Yosemite Falls (upper)
We even saw a brown bear after stopping behind a car and a man with a large camera aimed in the bear’s direction…it’s always quite the experience to catch a glimpse of a large animal in its natural habitat!
We had a ball in the valley … I have SO many pictures to delete! 😉
On Thursday, November 4th, we commemorated the Scorpio New Moon by driving up to my family’s favorite camping spot. My older brother, Bruce (Jen’s dad) was a firefighter. He and his buddies had the best vacation schedules, because they would trade shifts with each other and accumulate up to 3 weeks off at a time.
This spot had become our secret and sacred spot through the decades. It was just remote enough that tourists did not overrun it, and so it was perfect! The creek that we camped near had carved holes in the granite over the aeons as it wound its way down to Mammoth Pool.
The last time that we visited “The Pools,” we knew that our childhood camping spot was being devastated by the bark beetle. The beautiful green forest was turning brown, so it was sadly a matter of time.
Unfortunately, years of drought had brought the scourge that had killed thousands of trees throughout the Sierras and then last year, just 1 week after my sister, Marlee and nephew, Shane had visited there, the “Creek Fire” ripped through and decimated our favorite place on the planet.
Driving through miles of burnt forest felt like a very Scorpionic thing to do.
For a juxtaposition, we also had what appeared to be angel's wings
accompanying us on our drive...almost leading us to "The Pools!"
William and I were silent for miles as we took in the devastation…quite the contrast to the lush Yosemite Valley of the day before. We were on a mission and needed to see what had become of our woodland home.
Those angel wings continued to grace our drive
… and there were patches of survivors!
As we expected, most of our secret spot had been burned. Most of the trees were charred, but still standing. Others had left only charred stumps where they once stood.
We even found an odd, burned car that was sitting on one side.
We were told by the locals that the campers had made it down to the lake and were air lifted out, so we trust that the owner of this car drove down there with his friends.
We were very happy to find a few green trees by the creek and we brought them a new friend.
We planted a redwood near them and asked them to take care of their new addition.