Fishing Guide to the Stars
For the week starting: 12.31.2009

“The devil it is that’s thy master”
Lord Lafew in Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well [II.iii.244]

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2010, the year in preview:

The calendar new year means that there’s a fresh start available. A new way, put the best foot forward? With Mercury and Mars in an apparent backwards motion, though, well, I wondering what that step will be like.

Mercury started a retrograde pattern weeks before the year’s end, and that pattern holds up — in Capricorn — until 1/15/2010. Again — in Taurus — 4/18 to 5/10. And continues — in Virgo — 8/20 to 9/12. The pattern’s completed in December, when Mercury goes retrograde in Capricorn — but backs into the last third of Sagittarius — 12/10 to 12/29. For more about Mercury Retrograde, see the text.

Venus has a retrograde pattern starting in Scorpio, but in the long six weeks? Backs down into the last part of Libra, 10/9 to 11/17.

One of the most important planet patterns, to me, is the long Mars retrograde, started before Xmas ’09, and continues until March 10. However, to make sure that Mars spikes the ball on this one? Mars appears almost stationary at Zero Degrees Leo for the first part of March. Mars backwards isn’t bad, per se, but the weekly scopes detail ideas on how handle the resultant energies.

Jupiter hits Pisces 1/18 making fast tracks all the way to Aries 6/6, then appearing to go backwards from 7/22 until 11/17. Jupiter doesn’t make it back into Aries until 1/2/2011.

Saturn appears to retrograde — starting in Libra — from 1/13, entering Virgo 4/6, and finally appearing to move forward again 5/29, entering Libra again 7/22.

The patterns, in a big way? Here’s an overview, by signs:

astrofish.net Capricorn: Graham Crackers were an invention of a Rev. Graham, as part of a diet that was supposed to help suppress carnal urges. The name is owed, in part, to the original ingredient, which was “Graham Wheat,” or, as it might be known today? “Whole Wheat,” coarse, ground whole wheat. Except, the modern version of the Graham Cracker is usually bleached and processed flour, quite unlike its originator’s intent. Then, too, the folks I know who follow a similar regimen to what that Rev. Graham was suggesting, those folk do it for the benefits of the healthy lifestyle choices, which oddly enough, includes increased libido. Just the opposite of what Rev. Graham was baking for, more than a hundred years ago.

With the “Earth Element” centered Mercury Cycle, like last year and going through this coming year? What you set out to do and what the net result is? Two entirely different critters, be my best bet. What was intended to mitigate the urges? That original Graham Cracker? Eventually, over time, it served to become a, well, to this day, in the grocery store, there, on shelf, the Graham Cracker Pie Crust.

So much for health food that gets rid of sexual urges. Between two basic influences, one would be Mercury and the other would be the effect of Pluto on the Cardinal qualities, between those two, you keep trying to go one way, and yet, forces greater than yourself, like the American buying public, they push you in an entirely different direction. Like the original idea behind the cracker and what it is now.

astrofish.net Aquarius: Mars entered Leo in October of ’09. Mar is in Leo until June of ’10. Mars is hammering home a point to your little Aquarius self, and at some time, you might be receptive to whatever the Mars message is. At one point or another, Mars will exert an energy on your Aquarius self. How you adapt to this? Understand that Mars is in the sign opposite your fine Aquarius self. As such Mars is like, okay, I had this one girlfriend. She would would ask a pointed question with definite destination in mind. “So the stars say ‘yes,’ don’t they?” My answer? No.

She would rephrase the question, all the while still pushing for that answer she wanted to hear, not what lay there in the chart in front of us. “So the planets do line up with an opportunity, right?” Probably not. “But there’s a one in ten chance, right?” More like one in a hundred was my answer. “But there is a chance, right?”

I can only read the stars and charts. All I can answer is what I perceive to be obvious. The answer was “No,” straight on down the line. This isn’t about what’s right or wrong, or what answer you’re seeking, it’s about listening to Mars. Or listening to me talk about Mars. An what’s up ahead.

We can make this relatively painless, or your Aquarius self can turn this into an epic struggle. The deal is that Mars won’t change his tune, like I didn’t. The answer is still the same, as Mars opposes you and Mars rolls backwards and forwards, and what all. The strictest term I could use? Cowboy-up. Or, better yet, Aquarius up! Walk through it now, or this will hang on your poor Aquarius head for the rest of the year. Or until June, anyway.

astrofish.net Pisces: I was in a girlfriend’s kitchen, making my famous “Roadkill Chili.” I’ve published directions elsewhere, and I’ve got variation of the recipe up on the website. It’s basically stew meat and peppers. I prefer “fake salt” to real salt, as there’s the question of potassium chloride versus sodium chloride, and properly prepared? My chili recipe is relatively healthy.

While I was in the girlfriend’s kitchen, I grabbed some “fake salt,” only, I read the label incorrectly. I interpreted it wrong. I thought it said “fake salt,” and it was really labelled “light salt.” Half and half. Half potassium chloride, half sodium chloride. Maybe it’s not a big deal, but to me, it is. It affects the flavor. My recipe is tuned for the real fake salt, not real salt. If I was using real salt, I’d use a lot less. I discovered this after I’d measured a heaping tablespoon into the chili pot. The chili needs either a little bit of real salt, or a heaping tablespoon of fake salt. I prefer, I tuned that recipe for the fake stuff. That little bit of extra salt, although no one else could taste it? I could.

What’s going on this year, and it will hit worse in the fall, you’re going to encounter a situation where you might make the mistake, like the imbalance with the amount of salt in the stew, could be that simple, and yet, it could also ruin a whole pot of chili. There are steps to take to prevent this from happening. It’s easy to blame Mercury and Mars for being in an apparent retrograde motion, but that’s not the point. It’s how to deal with that kind of reluctant energy. Big kettle of chili simmering on the stove? Read the ingredients, follow my recipe, but don’t just blindly dump stuff in, hoping it will turn out. While that change in salt didn’t affect what that girlfriend though about the delicious flavor of my chili, it bothered me. I knew. You know, too. “Light” and “Fake” are two different labels. Read the instructions. Read the label.

Look before you dump.

astrofish.net Aries: One of the ways, especially in person, when I’m trying to describe Aries energy? The metaphor I use, with appropriate gestures, is, “Shoot from the hip.” Usually, it’s both an apt analogy as well as an accurate description of energy, and that’s our problem this year.

There’s a “Cardinal Cross” appearing in the heavens. The big issue is “authority” as symbolized by Saturn. Factor in a tension angle from Pluto and then, add that dollop of Jupiter luck in the middle of the summer, sort of adding an emotional (hopeful) kick? Stop and think about that before shooting from the hip. Maybe a better way to see this? Imagine them fishing guys on TV, and how they pull a fish up out of the water for the money shot? Last time I tried that, to swoop in and lift the fish up? Big old Red Drum.

Busted that light line clean in two. My problem? I didn’t wait on the net, I kept horsing the fish. My fault. Too hasty, too eager, too ready. As this year starts, let’s begin by thinking about the big one that got away because I acted too rash. Don’t follow my example. You will, I promise, see a big fish swimming towards the boat with your Aries hook in the fish’s mouth. Wait and use the net. Not really a good year to trust, “Shoot from the hip.”

astrofish.net Taurus: I just bought a new (electrical device) because the old one was worn out. Or shorted out. Or I lost it. Or, after Xmas? I wanted a new one. On sale, cheap. Cheaper than before. That’s the compound effect of Mercury in (apparent) Retrograde Motion alongside Mars, backwards as well. The deal with Mars? Mars entered Leo in October and doesn’t leave until next June.

Leo is a fixed sign, a fire sign, but fixed nonetheless. And Taurus? Earth sign. Fixed as well. Softly pliant yet stubborn as can be. Which one? Either. But this is about Taurus and the effect of Mars pushing and pulling, in some fashion exerting pressure, on Taurus. Which is why I was talking about the (electrical device) I bought. After Xmas. Big sale. Worked well for me. However, the sales girl? She had an accessory she thought I really needed. I liked the idea, but the accessory wasn’t on sale. I skipped that purchase. What I did? After I took the (electrical device) home and toyed with its features? I discovered that I did, indeed, want that one accessory the sales girl pushed off on me.

What’s important, though, was I waited until I unpacked and tried the (electrical device) before I bought the accessory. Simpler, easier, better choices. As Mars fries along? Consider sticking to the basic plan first, before you add the accessories. There’s a time for that, but don’t do it, not at first.

astrofish.net Gemini: I’ve got an aging aunt, lives here in town, not really an aunt, but you know, for the sake of harmony? Just call her an aging aunt. She’s a big Texas Longhorn fan, having both graduated from that hallowed institution and endowing a chair. At the close of the regular college football season, she developed a strange way — to me — of watching the games. She would, like a good Gemini, listen to the game on the AM channel because the sport network would have detailed analysis between plays.

She’d still watch the game on TV, usually, but the audio was off. Tracking two different lines like that? Same game but two very different forms of data input, the TV and the AM Sports Talk Radio. However, as we look at the retrograde planets and the way Mercury is just generally messing around? Got a good picture here? Consider that, especially as a Gemini, the way the planets are? Two sources of data. At least two data streams feeding the Gemini mind — preferably, the streams are supposedly reporting the same game. Event.

Whatever data that the Gemini needs. Make sure you’ve got at least two streams of incoming information. AM radio is a little scratchy to my ears, but the vigor of the announcers, it’s great. Not always objective, either, but that’s not what this about. Just think that you need a minimum of two identical data streams. Watching the game on TV and listening to the radio guys.

astrofish.net Cancer: I was walking along the edge of the creek here. Trail. Whatever. I noticed an “office lady” coming around the bend. I was dressed in typical December attire, shorts and a ragged t-shirt, and my well-worn walking sandals. I had on my iPod, and she had the tell-tale white earbud wires dangling, too. I nodded at her, and she plainly said to me, “That was very considerate of you.” She just kept on trucking, too.

What was considerate? What did I do? I didn’t move off to one side, I mean I didn’t walk down the center of the trail like I would if I knew I was alone. But I didn’t make any other allowances for her. I was also momentarily struck by her appearance, the pencil skirt, the expertly coiffured hair, the studied and casual outfit that was all business, all the time. Relaxed yet not leisurely pace she as keeping as she passed me going the other way, and the way I looked back, over my left shoulder, to check out what she meant. Or look at the skirt’s form-fitting shape. Implied shape. I wandered along the edge of the creek a little further.

There’s a big office building there, and workers typically take afternoon strolls. I suspect there’s a company incentive, too. I was befuddled, and since we’re dealing with Mercury and Mars retrograde, I was seriously befuddled as to what this woman meant, like, was she kind, considerate, sarcastic, snide? I walked at least another mile or so and my phone rang, and I pressed the ear piece microphone to answer, and I was walking along, talking to a client about arranging a reading time, apparently, though, looking like I was talking to thin air. And it never occurred to me, that she might’ve been on a phone, and that the moment might not be directed at me. Never occurred to me. Make sure it really directed at you before you do like I do and grasp at hasty (faulty) conclusions.

astrofish.net Leo: A little south of the Alamo, in the Alamo City, on a street called South Alamo, or just off that street, there’s a quaint restaurant called Mad Hatters. As both tourist and tourist guide, I liked the place because it offered a Tex-Mex breakfast while utilizing linen napkins. Just an odd combination. Then, too, while I find the standard menu a little pricey for my own tastes, Mad Hatters does have, as its literary antecedent would imply, High Tea.

Last time I was there, High Tea cost less than $20. Compared with High Tea that I’ve had in places like San Francisco and London? That’s cheap. Not “inexpensive,” comparatively speaking, dirt cheap. Tea quality wasn’t quite as good as the British, but the fresh baked goods were every bit on par with other High Teas I’ve been served. Proper finger sandwiches, proper scones, and so on. Good tea kettle; although, offering to substitute coffee for tea is a little unorthodox.

High Tea in South Texas? Weird. Mars backwards, as a point and detailed example? Mars entered Leo last October and Mars will be in Leo until next June. It’s about looking for the best possible solution to a Leo problem, and it’s all about looking in the least likely places. Like High Tea — South of the Alamo. No, really, it’s good.

Be willing to try, experiment and be pleasantly surprised. However, like I discovered the hard way, the regular menu at that one place is a little on the expensive side, at least, to me it is. More than I would be willing to spend, normally. Except, of course, for High Tea. This time, this whole “Mars is backwards in Leo” thing? It’s all about going over old ground, looking over places you’ve already explored, and seeing what new angles there are. Unexpected (and cheap) delights in the oddest of places. Sometimes? No further than a little south of where you’re at right now.

astrofish.net Virgo: I live in Central Texas. South Texas. One of those. Below the 31st parallel. While we do get snow, ice and occasional freezing weather, that’s not the standard. There will be a cold day. Days when the icy north wind send temperatures plummeting close to freezing. However, most of those days, it will warm up enough, during daylight hours, so that even a light jacket isn’t necessary. One reason I love where I live, I like the subtropical climate.

I get a catalog from a well-known outdoors brand of clothing and equipment. There are cool pictures and images of models frolicking in the snow, wearing heavy, outdoors, branded clothing. Smiling, sipping coffee around the snowboards. Cute little hats and goggles, and boots. The company must sell a lot of furry socks, fuzzy hats and totally cool “all-weather” jackets, coats, scarfs, and just imagine the rest of the winter line.

I looked at the catalog when it arrived. One heavy winter coat caught my attention. Over a period of days, I referred to that coat’s picture, read the paragraph describing the coat and I thought about it. Then I got rational. I have no place to store such an article of clothing, as I already have two heavy winter coats. There are — at best — a few days in the year when I could really wear such an item. Cold days like that? I tend to huddle near the space heater and not go out — at all. Both points argue against me buying another heavy winter coat, albeit a cool-looking one that would portray an outdoorsman image, a rugged yet jovial image. Probably, looking at the picture, make me look ten years younger, too. Hide the winter weight.


What I can do? I can stop wasting time wondering if I buy a new, very expensive, casual winter coat. I want to know, every Virgo wants to know, will this matter? If I order now? I might get to wear it once before the weather warms up. Last two winters? I haven’t even needed to get out either of my winter coats. All about choices we have. As this year unfolds, as we look at the planets that are going retrograde, have been retrograde or will be retrograde? Think about that item you’re so sure you need. Do you need it, really? Better yet, follow my example, I tossed that catalog in the trash.

Saved me money and time.

astrofish.net Libra: In the last month or two, you’ve received a little extra notice. Publicity. Attention. Accolades, and, for that matter, furtive glances in your Libra direction. All of this is a function of Mr. Mars entering unto the Libra Eleventh Solar House.

But Mr. Mars, he’s slowed down, turned around and now headed in a backwards motion. That means the attention, accolades and other positive reinforcements that you’ve gotten lately? Probably going to stop. Might have already ground to a halt. Might feel like you’re slipping in the polls. Might feel like you liked the undeserved attention, and now that it’s all gone? You feel like you would like it back. Where’s that spotlight now? And how come the positive attention never netted any financial rewards? I just report on the planets, I try not to be judgmental. Well, I am judgmental, but then, I’m only human. No, that’s not what this is about. It’s about that attention that seems to be directed towards everyone except your Libra self.

Given that both Mercury and Mars are backwards? Maybe it’s okay that the attention is going some other place. This will last longer than just the Mercury Retrograde period, but this is combination of energies is going to drive you insane, if you let it. Which, after reading this, you’ll understand that maybe it’s not as important as you originally thought. And that is the point. It’s okay if they all pass you by right now.

astrofish.net Scorpio: I’d like to harken back to a time, at least a hundred years ago. Follow with me, my favorite Scorpio and let’s go back to a time when Scorpio was ruled by Mars. Only ruled by Mars. Mr. Mars was the Scorpio ruler.

The reason I want to dredge old (astrological) history is because it’s got a big influence in the coming weeks. Months, even. In the very near future, Mr. Mars will make a “square” to your Scorpio elements. I’m sure you’ve got more than a single Scorpio element in your chart. So it doesn’t much matter, whatever Scorpio elements are present? Going to be affected by this Mars flavor.

One of my neighbors was grilling steak on a little portable grill. Offered to grill one for me. I don’t turn down free food, not in this day and age, so I acquiesced. He asked me how I liked it, and as it turns out, I’m a fan of “charred on the outside, cool and raw on the inside.” He called it, “Pittsburgh Rare.” If I were manning the grill, I’d cook my steak so it was seared on the outside and still cool on the inside, as the heat and searing cooks the flavor inside. It was dark and my buddy handed me a paper plate with a smoldering piece of flesh. Steak. I cut into the steak. It was more along the lines of “well-done.” Close to “Beef Jerky.” Just a little shy of “straight carbon.” “How you liking that?” My neighbor inquired. “Mmm, good!” My reply. Here’s the point, okay, Mars, like that grill? Too hot. And like that grill, which was too hot, Mars can overcook a situation. Look at how I elected to deal with my situation: I lied.

Not really, as I wasn’t lying about the fact that I liked free steak, and I liked it was a generous cut, and I enjoyed my neighbors companionship. The fact that in the wan winter light he couldn’t grill a piece of meat correctly? I opted to let that slide. There are times when it’s appropriate to stand and fight. This — think about Mars and that grill — is not one of the times to stand and fight. As Mars swings ponderously around in Leo, another fixed sign, like Scorpio, think about what Mars is doing. Over cooked? So?

astrofish.net Sagittarius: I love the Spring, especially in Central Texas, all full of life and greenery and Bluebonnets, plus a host of other wildflowers, all blooming. Or maybe I like Summer best, as the heat index drives most of the non-natives into the AC, leaving more fish and more fun for me and my native friends. The early mornings, the cool crisp right before sunrise, the late nights fishing, it’s my favorite time. Or maybe it’s the Fall, when the summer’s heat is just wearing off a little. Or maybe, my favorite time of the year is now, in the middle of the Winter. Cold nights, long, dark, cold nights that require either flannel pajamas or someone nice to snuggle with, and yet the days can be warm enough for shorts and sandals.

To be really honest? The best time of year, for Sagittarius? For the coming year? The best time of year is now. The season doesn’t matter. More time spent in the moment and less time spent worrying about the others? That’s the way we want to approach this. This coming year has some pronounced high points. High points that remind me of a few days in this last month.

Warm enough in the day time that I can get by with my casual look, shorts and sandals and yet, winter nights cold enough to require heavy flannel sleep-wear. The real point, though, is more to be in the moment. The moment, as of the beginning of the calendar year, it’s cold and dark here. Days are gradually getting a little longer, but not so much that you’d notice. The little trick to making the most of this next year, with all the planetary influences figured in? What is our favorite time of year? Right now. Holds true for the next 11 months.

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in a trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person. More at KramerWetzel.com.

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© 1993 – 2022 Kramer Wetzel, for astrofish.net &c.

  • Sarah Smith Dec 31, 2009 @ 20:30

    Great layout, excellent words. Being present in the moment, to all that is right now, is the key. Difficult for Sag, I think, because we’re future focused and into everything, movement, adventure, ideas. Hard to center and extend awareness and be open to the moment. Good thoughts, KW. Feliz Ano Nuevo (no, I’m not talking about the donkey).

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