For the week of: 7/9-15/2001
“What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?”
Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing [III.iv.87]
The English statesman is credited with this particular comment, and I used it once as a trivia question — so I could could get a valid source for my data. Let someone else do the work, that’s what I say. So, with Mars and its apparent backward motion, this is not the beginning, nor is it the end, but it’s the end of the beginning. Something like that.*
Order up a report. Buy a T-shirt. Or hit the PayPal donate button [it’s like dropping a dollar in the tip jar, a time-honored Austin tradition. Like the sign says at the coffee shop, “Good tippers have better better karma.”]
Aries: Here in my hometown, we get these summer showers which are less like a real rainstorm, and a lot more like a dash through a lawn sprinkler. It’s a gentle, limp, quietly invigorating rain. It sort of cools things off for a little while. And it makes the city streets as slick as ice. Now, it’s not like Texans are good drivers in the best of conditions, but add a little bit of slick moisture to the surface of the asphalt, and the combination is not stable. And just as that Aries red truck begins to drift a little out of control, just as soon as the TV program begins to make the screeching sound effects, just as soon as you realize the steering and the road don’t have a lot in common, you are tempted to slam on the brakes. I hate to give northerners a nod, but you know, they are just chuckling away as the brake lights flare, and that simple skid becomes a much worse situation. Take some yankee advice right now, when you hit a slick patch of something in your road, just ease off the accelerator pedal. Don’t hit the brakes and make a bad thing worse.
Taurus: When the psychologists, particularly the early guys, started talking about the “shadow self” I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the ominous side of everyone’s subconscious. When I talk about about my shadow self, I’m referring to my observations taken under a shade tree. I’ve found the respite from the hot Texas sun on a weekday afternoon is best taken under the branches of a willow tree as the shade under just such a tree, the weeping willow, always feels about five degrees cooler than it does under any other kind of tree. It could be a trick of my imagination, going back to long summer days at the lake, or it could be some kind of a biological fact, like graceful willow trees use more sunlight to grow therefore it is always cooler as less heat and radiation penetrates their canopy of leaves. Whatever. I could use some help with this study of shade trees, and your Taurus assistance would be gratefully accepted. Besides, with everything stirring up at work, helping me conduct just such a scientific experiment about the coolest shade would help get you off the hot seat.
Gemini: It’s not like relationships have been the easiest thing in the world, not lately. Not with this pesky, pernicious and persistent Mars thing going on. Now, there is a chance, a slim glimmer of hope, which is starting to make its way through your sign. Actually, I think of it more as a “her” as in, “She’s making her way through your sign.” Venus is sliding around, getting comfortable, and getting ready for the big deals. Problem being, our Gemini selves aren’t completely done with Mr. Mars. He’s taken perfectly good dirt road, rained on it, baked it in the sun, rained on it some more, and then come barreling along to cut big ruts. In other words, we’re not out of the ruts left by someone else. It could Mars, or it could be some other form of peerage. I hope you get the idea. Just about the time you think it’s okay to start negotiating this dirt road at a respectable pace, just when you think it’s okay to get back up to speed in our Gemini truck, just when it looks like the road will smooth again, there’s still one or two little bumps. As long as we go slow, it’ll be okay.
Cancer: Happy birthday, baby! Or happy birthday, Bubba! Apply whichever one you like. Now listen carefully, and I’ll tell you a cautionary tale. Forget the tale, let’s just use a little caution right now. Mr. Mars is still playing his dirty tricks over yonder, not quite opposite you. This makes for unsteady balance, like, this is not the time to be trying to stand up in the little fishing boat I use. You could tip us over. To make matters worse, this week’s big deal, much later in the week, alas, but this next big thing is Jupiter as he makes a grand entrance into Cancer. All Hail Mighty Caesar! If you don’t get the historical reference, don’t worry about it. I don’t understand it completely myself. Jupiter, though, is going to be a big deal. And you’re going to think, in the coming weeks and months, that I moved heaven and earth, just to make things right for you. I can’t take all the credit, the planets have their own agenda, but the coming weeks are going to be good. Only, I’m talking plural, and you’re still wondering about this week. Slow down, Mars is still being pesky, and Jupiter has only just arrived. Don’t jump up in the boat yet, you can still tip us over.
Leo: One of the easiest ways to really, really irritate a Leo — regrettably I have great personal knowledge about this one — but one of the easiest ways to get that Leo dander way up is to ignore them. It’s not a pretty sight, and maybe you should just trust me on this one, trust that I have managed to get more than my allotted share of Leo’s mad at me. Now, what’s my lack of Leo reverence got to do with your week? Guess what? You’re being ignored right now. Nothing could be worse. The spotlight is on someone else. You have to occasionally share the limelight, the Leo Limelight [note that the Leo version is capitalized, as it should be], sometimes, you have to pretend to share center stage with other, lesser signs. In that great big old Leo heart of yours, let someone else shine this week. Their fifteen minutes of glory is but a brief moment. In the due course of nature, things will return and you can assume your normal, regal role as the titular head soon enough. But for the moment, just for the briefest time being, let someone else shine. You’ll get you due accolades soon enough, I promise.
Virgo: I always have high hopes for the Virgo section, but frankly speaking, the planets have just been stacked in a pejorative way, making events and the timing of said events in Virgo land a little less than comfortable. Slowly, ever so slowly, there is a break coming along, and it starts this week. While it’s not the biggest of breaks, and while it’s not the best offer yet, it will seem like there’s a little ray of hope shining in Virgo land once again. You can attribute this to Mars slowing down, but I was really looking at the relative position of Jupiter and Mercury. In plainer language this is a good thing. You’ll look at this week, in hindsight, and say, “Yes, he was right, that was when things changed for the better…..” The only problem you’re facing, though, is that this week doesn’t seem so hot when you’re in the middle of this mess. It is getting better, but these are small degrees of change, not the giant leaps forward. Keep putting one Virgo foot in front of the other, and be prepared for things to get better, if only by a fraction. Improvement is improvement, no matter how small it might seem.
Libra: For a long time, part of my schedule included doing lectures about astrology. It’s sort of hard to combine a lifetime of experience, an introduction into astrology, and impart some useful material all in one 45 minute lecture. Try to do that, and be entertaining, witty, funny, and include a little bit of Shakespeare as well as some home-spun advice. It’s an impossible task, but I have Libra planets, and I do okay — usually. Nothing is worse, though, than being in some small town in the furthest reaches of West Texas, a desolate and barren stretch of land, and facing slightly hostile audience of about three people. Two of the folks are sure they know a lot more than I do because of age and years spent playing around with astrology. Do they publish a column? No. Do they do readings, putting their butts on the line, day after day? No. See what I’m getting at? You’re just like me, with that hostile audience. Now, I know, and you know, that certain amount of charm can smooth over just about any situation — usually. The problem is that your charm has taken a vacation, only it forgot to tell you. Look on the bright side: that audience is only got three people in it, and you won’t have to suffer for very long. You might even win some of them over — keep talking nice.
Scorpio: Welcome to a personal version of hell. Since the term “hell” is so strong, maybe a softer, kinder, gentler version would be better. A personal version of heck [to lamely borrow from a popular comic strip]? it’s not so much bad as it’s not really that good. To be fair, it’s not really the Scorpio’s fault. It’s everyone else. Sure, they don’t get it, do they? If they would only follow your instructions, life would be a lot easier. If they would only do just what you want, then their lives — and yours — would go much smoother. If only they would just listen. As a traveler, I’ve found making an effort to adopt to the local color of place really helps. Making an effort to speak the local language helps. Even if my tongue has hard time fitting around the way they say things, making some kind of an effort to understand the native language is useful stratagem in getting by. In order to get out of your version of heck this week, try my travel trick. Try speaking to them on their terms. Put metaphors into something they can understand. “If you don’t do it my way, you might hurt really bad,” is one such example.
Sagittarius: I’ve used it before, but it’s such a good picture, I’m just going to rerun my horoscope because a little recycling isn’t such a bad idea. Vintage horoscope images from the past — might be a market there. Anyway, you set out to go fishing, you motor across the lake to one spot, drop a line in, and nothing’s happening. You start out to motor on over to another secluded cove, get into the middle of the lake, and the big Mercury on the Sagittarius boat quits. Out of gas — should’ve checked that before you left. So you hook up the trolling motor, and get ready to move at a more leisurely and environmentally safe pace. Trolling motors are electric and as such require batteries with a full charge. Your battery is dead. You’re supposed to have a set of oars stowed in the onboard lockers for just such exigencies — you start digging around, and suddenly remembered you took them out for cleaning last fall, and the oars you desperately need are now in your garage, a long way from here. Hoist a white flag and surrender. And while you waiting on a kindly soul to bail you out, drop a line over and see what you might catch. It looks better than just sitting there, doing nothing. A little emergency planning can go a long way this week.
Capricorn: Hang around some teenagers sometime. Watch their stance, posture, actions, gestures, the inflection in their speak. In fact, if you are teenager, then just be yourself. In you’re not a teenager, get yourself out to likely spot and observe the behavior. Watch that sneer, the cynical posture, and then combine that with their utter lack of sensibility about marketing hype. I mean, would you look at those fashions? Who thought this stuff up? You can imagine me rolling my eyes and saying, “Kids these days….” Got the image? Now, try some of that posturing yourself. Try some of their language on for size. Try that sneer. Try suggesting that something is so hopeless out of date, out of fashion, and out of place. Be cynical. Try that exasperated look. Throw up your hands in disgust. All the modeling and posturing, working out the correct stance, getting your pants to hang just so, all of this is for a reason. Teenage angst is a common Capricorn feeling at this point. Instead of making a futile attempt to escape it, why not revel in it? Why not be that teenager stuck in a hormone hell, driven by forces beyond your control? If you’re not a teenager, you have my permission to act like one for the next week.
Aquarius: On the river which runs in front of my trailer, there are a plethora of leisure crafts that ply the waves. On the lake of life, there are any number of boats which serve as an apt metaphor for your week. The fun ones are small, have a shallow draft, and are able to nose into the little creeks around the edge of the river’s frontage. John boats are particularly nice for this sort of adventure, silently gliding up to a shaded spot at the river’s edge, noiselessly gliding along in a few inches of water. The bigger boats, there’s a replica stern wheeler paddle boat, though, that replica riverboat is more what your like, about now. It’s stately, elegant, has plenty of room for a big party of friends, and comparatively speaking, it doesn’t draw much water. But it does have to stick to the middle of the river because it can get hung up on a sand bar real easy. And it’s not exactly a tightly maneuverable craft, either. Good Ship Aquarius is just like that riverboat, the big, really cool looking stern wheeled paddle boat. It doesn’t exactly turn on a dime. The person at the helm, they are usually called a pilot, although, this is more like pointing and plodding, rather than any reference to soaring. Plan your trip accordingly, remember to leave yourself plenty of room to move, and try to stick to the center of the channel — those mudflats are treacherous.
Pisces: While my sun sign might not be Pisces, with a title like “Fishing Guide to the Stars,” I get any number of questions about my basic Pisces nature. So I have a degree of empathy for Pisces, a far greater degree than most astrologers, other than the real Pisces astrologers. Means I care, too. No, really, I do care about the sign that is affectionately called, “The Fishes.” Given where the planets are stacked up, though, you’re beginning to think I don’t care. You’re also beginning to feel like a lot of people don’t take your sensitive nature seriously. You’ve encountered just about the last of this brusque, abrupt, behavior. You’ve also already had your fill of rude people in the last few weeks. Forgiving is one thing, forgetting about it, is a different kettle of fish, as the expression goes. Let me urge the Pisces quadrant of the sky, those folks with plethora of Piscean influences in their life, let me urge them (best Southern Preacher voice), let me urge ya’ll to be kind and forgive. Then, sotto voce, let me remind you not to forget. Got this picture? Them folks who’ve done wrong by you, please let it be. Just remember the next time they come around, you need to get it in writing first.
*”Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Day Luncheon London (November 10, 1942). (c) Kramer Wetzel, 2000, 2001