For the week of: 5/14-20/2001
“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.”
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, line 3.

What an apt way to express what is about to happen as dear, sweet, kind and benevolent Mars starts a backwards pattern which seems to upset a few things in life. Mars is like that hot, dry wind that comes whipping out of the west, bringing a hint of stinging sand with it. What could be a more perfect metaphor? I’ll be in the middle of the middle of Texas, next weekend. It used to be an unknown place until one of the former residents got hisself elected president. If ya’ll ain’t going to be in the Permian Basin, and you’d still like to support this web site, then there are variety of options. Order up a report. Buy a T-shirt. Or hit the PayPal donate button. Don’t want to part with any cash? In a brief e–mail, explain to me where the term “Hell on Wheels” originated. Be brief, but find the correct historical context for that term. Winning entries might just get a free “Planet Profile, FGS Style,” [Offer available via electronic mail, only.]

Aries: I did a double take on your chart this week. I was about to write glowing words, about how everything was going to be better, and then my eye caught a familiar, but not particularly welcome, symbol riding underneath the Mars position in the chart. I’ve known about this for some time now, fully aware of what’s about to transpire, planetarily speaking. But that doesn’t help you any, other than I would heartily suggest, and with as much bravado as I can muster, I would really, strongly, urge you to slow down. I hate backtracking. I hate having to go over old material. From the state of what I turn in from time to time, it’s also apparent that I hate spell checkers and proof reading. But with Mr. Mars starting a backwards slide in a compatible Fire Sign [Sagittarius], you’ve got just that to look forward to. Spell check all your stuff. Maybe run it past an unbiased eye on occasion. You get the idea — be prepared to show all the work you used to come up with your facts and figures.

Taurus: There’s a subtle reminder going on right now, a planetary suggestion that you remember way back when. “When what?” you ask. That’s up to you, but this is a moment of reverie brought to you by a maudlin stroke of the celestial orbs as they turn in their airy firmament. “What? What do you mean?” You’re brain is going to take a quick trip down a dusty road and recall times gone by, back when life was more simple, and back when what was right, and what was wrong, was much more clearly defined. Why are we trucking along, even blasting down, memory lane? And why are moving at such a high rate of speed, the dust trail leaving our mark against the sky? Mars. Before you get too happy with this momentary mediation about the past, be forewarned, it’s coming back. And along with this stuff that is returning, that definition about what is right and wrong might be a little muddy now. Careful with making decisions based on what used to be — instead of the current state of affairs.

Gemini: Call it what you want. Mars. Saturn, whatever. The problem is the planets, and the way they seem to stack up against you. I hardly think that the planets are really against you, but it looks like one of the days when I was overbooked. I had one party to guide, early in the morning. I had another one for a lunch engagement, I had still another one for an afternoon reading. Then there was the sunset crowd. After that, there was some night fishing. Ever feel like that? All work and no play? What’s worse, the groups I was guiding, I kept having to take them back to the same spot, five times in one day. I know the fish were starting to get suspicious of my boat’s hull. But my stealth worked out well. The only problem I had was acting suitably surprised every time I came back to the same spot. That’s the trick, too. Even though the planets are making you work long, hard hours, act like task is a new challenge. Keep you client entertained. Act surprised — trust me, it works wonder for both you and them — as an added bonus, all this work pays money.

Cancer: My weekly missive goes to dozens of publication outlets. I was worried that some folks didn’t really like it that much. I was worried that the editor was about to can me. I was worried that I would be hanging out a “will think for food” sign soon. I might still do that, given the way my life is going. You feel exactly like I do, like you’re on the edge of the cliff, looking down at the lake several hundred feet below you, and thinking, “I should have taken those cliff diving lessons last year in Mexico….” Okay, enough foreboding about work. It ain’t bad. No, you’re not really on the edge of a cliff. And if you are, the person coming up rapidly behind you is here to help, not to push you over, as much as it feels otherwise. But I can only be so reassuring while you’re standing there, looking down at the earth, several hundred feet below you. My best suggestion is to step away from the edge, and retreat to the relative safety of… the relative safety of… the relative safety of someplace else. No need to recklessly endanger yourself now.

Leo: I learned, the hard way, a long time ago, when I had a significant other throwing a tantrum, having a hissy fit, or otherwise engaged in an outward display of consternation, the best thing to do was to act contrite. The one phrase that never earned me one little bit of recognition — unless you call a right cross and a left hook recognition — the single phrase to avoid is, “You look really cute when you’re mad like that.” The Sun, along with some other planets, are all in Gemini, or just fixin’ to be in Gemini. So there’s a dual nature of this week’s message. You can be either person, the one who is supremely upset, stamping their Leo paws, and making a dramatic scene. Or you can be the person calmly observing this act. But do take a tip from me: if you are watching someone else having a little outward display of angry emotion, don’t tell her how cute she looks. The expression just doesn’t work, but an ice pack on the jaw does offer some relief.

Virgo: I wish I knew more about the delicate art of hand to hand combat. The only combat I engage is against fish, hook to jaw, hand to fin, and frankly, I like the odds a little better. I’m usually bigger than the fish, and some would suggest I’m a lot scarier, too, other than the occasional three-eyed catfish found in some area lakes. But the delicate art of hand to hand combat is something you’ve really got to watch out for. You’re inclined to let one too many little comments drop out of your mouth, one too many comments loaded with a little too much sarcasm, a little too much caustic word play, and, as I’m sure you’re well aware of, such pointed little barbs can elicit a physical response. Be prepared to duck. Doesn’t always work, and I had one girlfriend who learned to go low with the punch. Given that Mr. Mars is determined to make something of this week, I would suggest you take it easy with what you taunt us with. Weigh those words, and then think a second time before launching them like missiles at other folks.

Libra: You’re not going to get a lot of sympathy from me this week. Nope, it looks like you’re face to face with a pile of work. Some folks would suggest this pile of work resembles an aggregate amount of organic fertilizing compound. Or by product from a male bovine. Worse yet, this work think is heaped up and frankly, you just don’t care. You can always use one of my favorite lines, “An emergency on your part doesn’t make it an emergency on my part,” but the problem is, yes, it’s an emergency on both parts. Only you don’t feel much like tackling the problem, much less the source of the problem or any of its related problems. So work continues to stack up in front of you, and you’re busy reading a magazine article — probably about those new outboard motors that deliver you to the fish faster. In my case, that is work, so I can get away with it. In your case, though, I’m not sure any of your fellow employees, clients, bosses or whatever see it the same way. The first step is to put your feet down from the desk, sit up straight, and put the keys on the keyboard. The sooner you tray and tackle this stuff, the sooner we can both go back to that article.

Scorpio: I live in a trailer for a reason. Should I decide that I don’t like my present position, in theory, I could just hitch up my house to my truck and be off to a new location. Problem being, what with mobile home construction, heavy weather always seems to scare the cat, with loud drumming of the rain on the thin aluminum siding, the thin metal roof, the foundation of cinder blocks. This is an older model [the trailer, not me], and the front window, the one where the trailer hitch used to be, has an awning which folds down for travel purposes. The term “batten down the hatches” has real meaning for me. It’s also going to have real meaning for Scorpio, too. Lower those storm shades at home. In my case, I’ll latch the front awning in place. Just to be on the safe side, I’ll also close the bathroom door. There’s still a recent reminder, a safety sticker that reads: Do not operate lavatory while trailer is in motion. Get the idea? You’re preparing for the worst. Preparing for a long, dark night at home. A night which could last up to three weeks, maybe more. Get yourself cozy, latch that bathroom door shut, and curl up with the cat and a book. It doesn’t have to be bad, but you can avoid the storm outside by staying home, safe and sound.

Sagittarius: Darwin, you know that guy who came up the evolution theory and all? And then, his idea caught on, and there were these little bumperstickers, car plaques, and so forth made that had the little symbolic fish with two nascent feet poking out of its belly. Remember seeing those? I’m not about to take a stand on the evolutionary debate, or any of its related causes. No, this about those fish with the little legs. Seems like one of them has crawled up beside you, and it’s opened up a whole can of problems. You were just sitting there, one day, and this fish crawled up on the shore. This could be a sign from the heavens. This could a missing link in the evolutionary chain. This could also be a nuclear power plant, just upstream from where you’re sitting, and something has leaked into the water, hence your new friend. Doesn’t much matter where it came from, you’ve got something that’s been covered up and needs to be dealt with — whether it’s a sticky theological debate or the result of raw industrial waste, you have to deal with the problem.

Capricorn: Some of the most important folks on a movie set are people who don’t get a lot of credit until the very end of the film, and even then, it’s usually only their names up on the screen, buried in the credits. There’s make–up, costumes, catering, the stars’ astrologer, the food people, the guy who found all the locations, the folks who built the sets, not to mention agents, writers, and various other assorted support people. The girl who does the hair, just because the starring role has messed up hair, don’t you think it took a lot of work to make it all look so casual? It’s all this work behind the scenes, literally, that makes the magic on the screen happen. Mr. Mars is doing his backwards tango in a place where you need to be concentrating on working behind the scene. The show cannot go on without you. But do you get credit for your efforts? Right now? Does anyone notice how hard you’re working? Give me a break. No one ever seems to pay attention to those of us who’ve worked so hard to make the magic moments appear. Keep working, your day will come, but probably not this week. You’ll get the credit due to you at the end of the film.

Aquarius: Looks like you don’t much care, looks like you’re pretty much happy about everything. I know, I know, there are few things which you ain’t so very happy about, but other than them, you’re basically in an okay place right now. So maybe you’re not really, but you just can’t be bothered by some of the details other folks seem to be bothered by. You’re not interested in making their problems your problems at this point. A phrase you’ll be tempted to use, and one that I find rather useful, is, “But look at the big picture, the overall scenario….” Sometimes, it’s a “good thang” to step back from the problem. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to look at everything with a valiant overview. Sometimes, it’s okay to be an egalitarian Aquarius. But in looking at the big picture, there are some important and very finite details you’re going to be missing. If I can just drag your feet back to solid firmament, if only for a moment, and if we could just clear up some of the spurious little details, if only for a moment, I’m sure you can go back to dream state soon enough.

Pisces: This week is like a trip to the doctor’s office, like when you were a kid. Some of us still act childlike, but that’s not the question now. There was always that one nurse who came along with a syringe about the size of your arm, and she would swab close to a quart of rubbing alcohol on your arm, then say, “This won’t hurt a bit….” She lied. She lied through her teeth. It hurt. It hurt a lot. Then, you could feel you arm doubling in size as she pumped at least a half gallon of some type of medicine, a serum, an inoculation, a dose of penicillin, something to make you feel better. Of course, you felt pretty bad from the shot, and you would learn later that it was the exact same equipment used to administer medical dosages to large farm animals, either cattle or horses. So the medicine hurt a little. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I thought it hurt a lot, and I was much happier just being sick. This week, you’re making a trip to the metaphorical, metaphysical doctor’s office, and this week, the medicine hurts at first. But as an adult, you know that it helps in the long run. I hope that takes a little sting out of the dosage.

(c) Kramer Wetzel, 2000, 2001

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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