Fishing Guide to the Stars for the week starting 12.30.2010

“Thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above.”
Shakespeare’s As You Like It [III.ii.4-5]

Mercury isn’t retrograde anymore but you can’t say I didn’t warn you about the fallout.

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The coming year?
Subtitle? 2011 in an astrological nutshell: Mercury enters Aries around March 10, but turns retrograde March 30 until April 23. Mercury enters Virgo on July 9, but appears to turn backwards August 2 through August 18, starting in Virgo but winding up in Leo for almost three weeks. Mercury then enters Sagittarius November 3, and turns retrograde November 24, still in Sagittarius, until December 13. Saturn gets to 17 degrees of Libra. Stops and goes retrograde in January, uncoiling itself the first week of June.

In big planet news, Uranus moves into Aries March 10, achieving a point of 4 degrees of Aries July 9, before retrograding back to that zero degree of Aries (point) December 10 and turning around again. On April 10, Neptune enters Pisces. Doesn’t get far, but Neptune hasn’t entered Pisces since 1847. Neptune never achieves a full degree of Pisces, going stationary then retrograde from June 3 to finally exiting Pisces August 4. By November 4, Neptune starts crawling forward. Pluto is retrograde from April 9 until September 15, covering about 5 degrees of Capricorn, from 9 to 4.

That’s the location of the planets. What does it mean? More specifically, how does it all apply to this coming week? Read on. But first, a momentary caution and urban mythology. From the “private reel.”

The oral tradition behind this is just that, I heard it as lore. Whatever a person is doing on New Years’ Day, the First of January? That is to be repeated, over and over, as a theme, for the rest of the year. I spent one New Year’s Day with a certain female companion. Never saw her again. Theory doesn’t hold.

New construction: the following scopes, while intended for the coming week, there’s going to be a buried plot element in an attempt to address what the coming year will look like for each sign. Capricorn: Ceviche is a traditional — as far as I know — Mexican dish. Typically, it’s saltwater fish of some kind, usually snapper or white fish, and I’ve used Redfish, onions, peppers, and lime juice. The fish is “chemically cooked” in the lime juice. Or lemon juice. With the way the planets unfold, and the uncertain weirdness that’s free-floating now in Capricorn? I have but one word of advice. “Order a large.”

There’s a trendy little place in South Austin, used to be a dive with good, greasy TexMex, but now it’s been overhauled and it’s hip, urbane and cool. Like most of Austin. The waitress, though, she was cool. I asked about the signature ceviche. Should I get a small or a large, only a dollar difference in price.

“Order a large,” she explained, “the cook, it varies, sometimes a small is tiny, like only about half a cup and sometimes, a small is the exact same size as a large. If you order a large, you know you’ll get enough.” I nodded. She had that hasty, hurry and make decision look, the pregnant pause. “I order a large, it’s a meal in itself,” she said. That was useful information, about the cook. I could belabor the point and ask the waitress to harangue the cook and get a small that was large, or, Capricorn, pay attention: order a large. Faster, smoother, and the information is important. Pay attention to the tip.

Order a large. Thematic points: quick, concise, direct.

Order a large. It’s only a dollar more and you’re happier, it’s like three dollars or even five dollars more food. Aquarius: Jupiter and Uranus are conjunct, in Pisces. Venus, in Scorpio, will square Neptune/Chiron, here in Aquarius. Several evenings, early in December, I was out, walking home after meeting clients, and I would pass this one bus stop. A nicely attired gentleman was there, silent in the pre-Xmas twilight. Hat, slacks, shoes with a polished glow, and, at his side? A white cane. One evening, he had on sunglasses. Another time, when I passed him, right at 5? No glasses, just clear, light blue, unseeing eyes.

I have a reflexive action, I smile. Two, three times I passed him, and each time, I would smile at him. He couldn’t see it. He has no idea that I’m the guy with the straggly ponytail, and goofy, lopsided grin. I haven’t said anything, not yet. It’s starting to get dark and cool off at that time. Had a brief cold snap, a few days and it was cold enough for long pants and boots, for me. I’m not sure if he could tell it was me. What I was thinking about, in respect to Aquarius?

It was me, smiling, at a person who clearly couldn’t visually recognize the smile, okay? Understand? No forms, no vague shapes, nothing. Can’t tell that I’m smiling. However, that’s the visual clue. Having been around enough “entertainment industry” people, I wouldn’t always trust a smile. However, the smile I was grinning at that blind guy? Open and genuine. No malice. Might not even have been visible, not one time, it was after the sun had set. Still, there has to be some non-verbal clue. Change in the cadence of my step? The un-practical metaphysical clue of “energy,” that could be it. The blind man’s psychic powers? Don’t knock it, I’ve witnessed that before. Pisces: I toy with the charts, and I look at various influences. There’s the mercurial influence of the moon and the inner planets, the longer-lasting flavors attributed to the outer planets, and the generational impacts of the material that’s even further out. I was working with this, and trying to tease out something that made sense.

I thought about pleasant exchange, recently. A friend was discussing the Texas Rangers. To me, that’s a law enforcement group, a super state cop. We have a big state, we need good cops to patrol our various barren wastes. There’s also the myth associated with the Texas Ranger, one man, one badge, hundreds of villains, looting hoodlums and criminals, all dispatched and subdued.

True story. One man, one badge. However, it shows where we are located. The term, “Texas Rangers” came up in that conversational setting. It didn’t mean the state cops with extraordinary legal powers. It was about a sports team. Baseball. In my defense? Honest misunderstanding.

As the first week of the new year starts to unfurl, think about the mistake I made. Didn’t jump to a conclusion, as it’s a sort of a generational, time and place kind of mistake. Not so much a mistake, but ask any two natives, and find out that the term, “Texas Rangers” have very different meanings. When I lined up your year ahead? Watch out for little miscues, wherein you think the person is addressing you is talking about one kind of Texas Ranger, and in your apt, fluid and quick Pisces’ mind? You think the other. Aries: I’m thinking this was an early 1990’s model LincolnMercury. The styling suggested that. Town Car type of model, long, large, dark 4-door. With tinted windows and tinted headlights and extra chrome, it was a heavily modified car, in one of those understated ways.

When I saw the car, parked in the post office parking lot, it wasn’t lowered. However, I’d be willing to suppose that it could be lowered or raised on pneumatic pumps, as need be. It had that look. The driver’s door was swung up, open. Someone had taken the modifications even further and added the unusual door hinge arrangement, the upward-swinging door on-rails. Which is pretty trick, in my way of seeing it. Cool, even. However, Capricorn, as Mars makes merry in your sign? The driver of that car, that afternoon?

A shapely lass, long dark hair swaying in the winter breeze and cold sunlight. She was messing around with the “oh-so-cool” driver’s door. I’m guessing it wouldn’t slide shut. Somehow, it slipped off its rails. Or whatever those doors are mounted on — upward swinging hinges. I couldn’t help but think of this image while watching the astrological events unfold in Capricorn. Something’s a little off. Not bad, just a little. Can be very unsettling, like an expensive door that won’t close against the winter’s cold. Or, I paused and watched. She did something, then eventually, slapped the door and glided back into place. It might take a little bit of fiddling with the settings, the wires, the guides, something, but it will, eventually, slide back into place. Aries: be prepared for a similar, Mars-inspired delay. Taurus: Combining two words to make a new word, that new, single word is called a “portmanteau.” Examples? “Motor Hotel” became the chain name, Motel. What is it when breakfast and lunch are combined? Brunch. Web Log? Blog.

This is The Portmanteau Year for Taurus.

Starts now. Looking at the agents of change on the horizon, and looking at where Mercury has been retrograde? Mostly, looking at Mars and the other stuff concentrated in Capricorn? I keep thinking the Taurus symbolism for the year?

Take two words and combine them. Take two items and put them together.

Two words, two disparate objects, two ideas that don’t belong next to each other? There’s a sense that this can be a good year, a banner year, a truly wonderful year, despite the somewhat incongruous start thus far. It’s about combining different elements to make a new and better, perhaps shorter, perhaps longer, what length is needed, making a better one.

Matter of getting these two words and combining them. I hate to admit it, but I was there when the word “blog” emerged. Never liked the word, not me. However, as tool, the web journal and log, blog, has proven to be a useful avenue of expression. I just don’t like the name. Sounds like a body function that we don’t discuss in polite groups. I’ve wandered completely off track. Follow my example but maybe don’t follow my lead. This is a theme, good for this week, but in a broader sense, as a thematic element for the coming year.

This is The Portmanteau Year for Taurus. Gemini: It was polite dinner-table conversation. We were discussing a number of local restaurants, as my companion that evening was looking for a good, non-TexMex restaurant. I can’t imagine looking for a restaurant that wasn’t Mexican, TexMex, or some variation on theme, like between those extremes.

One of the guys, he mentioned a place. He footnoted his comment that most of the places around here, they eventually get turned into a taqueria, sooner or later. “No,” continued another friend, “we went by there last week. It’s serving TexMex now.” So much for good Italian, Greek, or, for that matter, any type of food that isn’t loosely TexMex in one variation or another. Not that I have a problem with that, either.

I know a few places, and I can get variations on several themes. I know one place that does Southwestern (American)/Northern (Italian) fusion. It hasn’t changed yet. They just incorporated more peppers in the traditional Northern Italian fare. A rarity. Or, maybe, it was a place that was bending and flowing with local expectations, as a way to prevent the otherwise inevitable from happening, closing down and being replaced by a taqueria.

As this new year, looking at what we’ve got going, and we’re not even out of the “Mercury was retrograde” umbrella yet, but looking ahead? Are you going to just capitulate and give in? Close down and open up again as TexMex, Mexican, Central American cuisine of some sort? Or just incorporate some changes in the next week, in the next year? Maybe just add some spices that make it seem like you’re local. Local enough, anyway. Cancer: Carlos Santana. Famous guitar-playing Cancer Sun Sign people, right? Little known fact, Carlos Santana, his first instrument? Violin. First kind of music? Mariachi. He was, like eight or ten years old, playing in his dad’s band. Which leads to Woodstock and the explosion of “Latin” infused rhythms, as north meets south. Cultures clash, and, in theory, we’re both richer for the experience.

Living in Texas, I’ve seen the collusion and collision of sound machines as divergent musical genres run into each other. Not always graceful, and not always gentle, still, the clash of cultures is a fact of life in my home. I’ve found, though, there’s an inherent richness in the background with the mixed musical groups.

There are elements of many different kinds of music in the local scene, and that’s just here in my neighborhoods. From Latin to Rock to Metal to derivative and collaborative material, it mixes and melds rather well. I was using the archetypical Cancer, Carlos Santana, as an example.

As long as there’s a huge stack-up of planets in (and the Moon, &c.) in Capricorn? Think about some of that mixing of musical types. Raised with one, yet experiencing and experimenting with another. Look at how successfully two (or more) elements were blended by that one Cancer musician. Time to pick up your guitar and play. So you won’t get fooled again. Leo: “Ah, c’mon, we’ve all dated one of those,” I was backpedaling, “you know, ‘high maintenance girlfriends,’ we’ve all had one of those.”

Haven’t we? I looked around at the table full. Four women, One buddy. Me. Correct metaphor, correct analogy. Wrong time. The metaphor was intact and sound, since, all drawn out? High Maintenance girlfriends are totally worth the extra lengths that are required. Well, mostly. I’ve had high and low maintenance girlfriends. I’ll take the demanding, outwardly shrewish appearing girlfriend any day. Much easier. I know what is expected. I’ll appear dogged and overrun. Way it goes. However, in the bigger picture? Know what that kind of demanding and bossy bitching turns into?

Just like Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Some people might take offense at the way I’m painting this, but see it through. The so-called “high maintenance girlfriends” can be so totally worth it. Once she’s broken in, properly? Almost no effort what-so-ever. What was worse, though, my syllogism intact, it was all about laying the groundwork, laying the foundation, and the rest of this metaphor just fell apart.

Treat your obstacle, the way you start this year? Treat it like a high maintenance girlfriend. The payoff? Before the year is over? It’s immense, truly epic in proportions. As befits a mighty Leo. As befits The Mighty Leo. Virgo: This coming year is a full of hope and promise. “Yeah like you promised last year, and I hope your predictions are better.” Always one dissenting Virgo voice, now isn’t there? My problem, I’ll have to live with it.

The portents of the night sky, well, really, it’s the early morning sky, but in a few weeks, it will be the night sky, but this isn’t about that, it’s about the portents. For Virgo. We’ve got one, lasting symbol, triggered by Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces. It’s like the last guy, at party, the one guy who’s still there, he doesn’t realize, through varying levels of inebriation and intoxication, he just doesn’t get that the New Year has landed. Docked, landed, disembarked and saddled up to ride off again.

The guy who’s still partying on the second and third of January? Still whooping it up, later than that? Even as the next horoscope rolls over, this is the warning for — the archetype — for Virgo, for the next year. It’s about misplaced timing.

At least one Virgo will tell me she won’t be like that, but then, for two weeks after New Year’s Eve, she’s still whooping and carrying on like it was the night of the big party. The exuberance and sometimes aberrant behavior — typical of a New Year’s Eve party — that attitude and action can be carried forth into the new year This next week, the week after? It’s a flavor, a sense, more than an actual party. But the atmosphere is there. Present in Virgo. Here’s the trick: stop. Go back to being your normal, Virgo self. The exuberance is there, it’s just, it would be helpful, it’s better if you contain your enthusiasm. Libra: ASTROFISH.NET – World Tour, 1999. To be honest, there was a World Tour in odd years from inception of me writing horoscopes, around 1987, onward. Not every year. As of late, I’ve tried to restrict my travels to just within the confines of the state of Texas. Just easier for me to get around. I’m not regarded as an oddity.

Libra, you’re not an oddity, but you’re feeling a little like the odd person out, here. That’s kind of a “Saturn function,” as much as any other influence. Saturn isn’t always a “bad thing,” although at least one of the ancient source, I’ve studied? “Saturn is evil and malignant.”

What I’d get ready for is a series of false starts, like, it takes about three or four attempts to get the Libra motor started. That Libra World Tour 2011? It’s going to happen, before the end of the year. That’s the good news. It’s just that idea that it will take two, three, even four attempts to get the project, that world tour, or whatever it is that you’re working on? It will take a while to get it all together and worked out. Before too long, a couple of weeks from now, Jupiter moves into Aries, opposite you, for the rest of the year. It’s good. Just takes a few starts to get the right groove going. Scorpio: Week between Xmas and New Years is sort of dead around here. Not a lot going on. However, there is something kicking in Scorpio, and there’s not a direct line, but it reminded me of what happened the other day. I went to the dry cleaners to pick up a leather jacket. Probably had egg-nog on it. The original price for getting that jacket cleaned was $35. Pretty hefty price for my leather. The prices we pay? So I walked into the cleaners, it’s a little place close to here, run by a family. In the summer? There is no AC in the place. Really old school.

I’ve chatted amicably with the owner and during the Xmas break, he had his 10-year old son working with him. The dad was sitting next to the counter in an old easy chair. The kid was making a big show out of being able to handle the business. The kid pulled a plastic bag over the jacket, hung the package up on the counter, and handed me a bill, then punched numbers into a calculator. “$37.96,” I said. Kid looked up at me, then at the calculator’s face, “$38.06.”

I was close. Good guess. I handed him two twenties. He counted out the coins, handed me a dollar, then handed me a ten, “and forty and fifty.” I looked at the dad, his eyes were registering the transaction, but he wasn’t going to say anything. “Hey,” I said gently, “I handed you two twenties, I think this is yours,” and I handed back the extra ten. I don’t do a lot of business with that dry cleaner/laundry place. But I might. The ten bucks, was it worth it? Was to me. Sagittarius: I spend a portion of the month leading up to Xmas, some of that time is spent sorting out spurious website details. Maintenance issues. Back-end tech-support. Bit-twiddling.

I stumbled across a certain image I had tucked away, a tourist shot on another site of mine. It’s a lonely street. Middle of the Texas summer. The day is hot, with a sultry kind of heat that comes from having a few coastal clouds blow over in the morning, leaving behind a damp heat that is stultifying. Paralyzing. No breeze, still, clear, blue sky.

Hot? Sure, but it’s a wet heat.

On one side of the image is a bicycle leaning up against a bus stop. On the other side of the road, there’s a single man. Boy. I’d guess mid-twenties, and he’s leaning up against the building block, in the only slimmest margin of shade. In another twenty or thirty minutes his feet and then his legs will be frying in the noon-day sun. He looked up and nodded, “Hello,” as I passed him.

Bicycle, one side of the deserted street. He was on the other side of the street, in what little shade he could find. Just a summer’s day’s respite. In the middle of winter, it’s hard to understand why I would choose this example, but the image was fresh from scanning an old picture. It was also the perfect symbolism for Sagittarius, for this week, and as a tone, for the rest of this coming year. To find a little shade to rest? To cool off? It’s okay, go across the street. I’d encourage it, this week, this year.

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

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  • Sarah Smith Dec 31, 2010 @ 10:26

    So when things get hot, get out of the oven and go find a place to cool off/cool down/chill. It’s no shame to step away from the fire. Did I get the message?

  • Sarah Smith Dec 31, 2010 @ 10:27

    I guess it also says that 2011 is going to be plenty hot, only a sliver of shade in sight.

  • anca Jan 2, 2011 @ 7:01

    I think I understand the blending of different cultures and backgrounds, but the last statement……..”So you don’t get fooled again?” I don’t think I get the meaning behind that. Can you explain that to me?

  • Kramer Wetzel Jan 2, 2011 @ 8:52

    The last two lines are musical reference points to “The Who,” who were, at one time, rebel rock before they sold the rights to a TV franchise…

    More a footnote than anything else.

  • anca Jan 3, 2011 @ 8:05

    I remember that song.