Kristi Rodriguez’ ten-year-old son Sean was struggling with reading in school. One day Rodriguez, a program coordinator for the Animal Rescue League in Berks County, PA, had an inspiration. She decided to bring Sean in to read to the shelter’s cats. He loved it so much – and so did the cats – that she knew she was onto something. So Rodriguez launched The Book Buddies Program in August 2013. Since then Sean has shown great improvement in his reading. And, over 20 children grades 1 to 8 visit the ARL on a weekly basis, where they enjoy reading to and bonding with an appreciative feline audience.
The program is a win-win for all concerned, especially kids struggling in school, who receive small prizes for each book they read aloud. And, the shelter’s cats enjoy the rhythmic vocal sounds, while they get some much-needed company and socialization. “One little boy has autism and his mom home schools him,” says Beth Ireland, the shelter’s marketing director. “He’s blossomed while he’s here. It’s so sweet to watch.”
Soulful communion, interspecies bonding, joyful learning—all depicted by the upcoming Pisces New Moon in exact trine to expansive Jupiter (March 1, 12:00 am PST). Watery Pisces connects us all at the deepest level, while stationary Jupiter in connective Cancer brings the urge to bond as it prepares to turn forward within a week. Plus, messenger Mercury turns direct on Feb. 28, just prior to the New Moon, bringing greater mental clarity and helping us release internal frustrations from the last three weeks. Sounds like cause for celebration, eh? Yes, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Tough love planets Mars and Saturn turn retrograde on March 1 and 2, respectively. Mars’ retrograde turn in Libra (through May 19) demands that we review and re-evaluate agreements and partnerships, while Saturn’s backward turn in Scorpio (thru July 19) plunges us into deep waters to heal old wounds and reassess emotional or financial commitments we’ve made since last fall. This combination will require finesse and patience, especially through May. Yet the transcendent nature of the March 1 New Moon suggests that great blessings are coming if we just keep the faith, stay centered in our hearts and have compassion for one another. Still, it’s wise to be extra cautious this weekend, especially when it comes to travel, finances and relationships, as Mars and Saturn both station retrograde.
To tap into the mysterious, psychic nature of the Pisces New Moon, try this Water Gazing ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. On that page you’ll also find a mini-video of my Health gua makeover at the center of one couple’s home – which led to a whole new life for them.