For the week of: 10/1-7/2001
“Society is not comfort
To one not sociable.”
Shakespeare’s Cymberline [IV.ii.12]

Mercury makes society a little less sociable right now. Trivia is in Libra. “Demographics” is a term bantered around by the marketing department, such as it is. Most horoscopes are targeted for women [last quote I got was 71% of the readership was: female, median age 34, single, divorced once.] Now, judging from the e–mail we get here, those aren’t exactly the right numbers, not for this site. Here, we get a pretty even split on the gender [50/50], and the marital status [about half are married]. Guys: you need our lucky hat. Girls: you need to get one for your lucky guy.

Aries: The stuff in my CD changer is appropriate for explaining what’s happening to you. See, I have a somewhat eclectic sense of musical taste. I will have a stuffy, hard-boiled German Opera CD right next to some techno rap right next to some very classic country music. Weird combination, right? Just as I’m swaying to some sounds of lyrical country music, along comes the hard guitar chords of a postmodern rap, a discordant noise that shakes the trailer up a little. The two kinds of music don’t seem to go back to back, making this a music programmer’s nightmare. The beats don’t match up. The style is entirely different. Add a little bit of slow moving classical music, just to throw the mix off a little bit, then hit the random selection button, and you get the picture, right? Welcome to Aries land. Mercury is throwing a lot of oddball stuff your way, and it’s going to sound like my musical tastes. Get used to it. Be prepared to shift your dance steps as soon as you hear the CD shuffle in the player.

Taurus: Two steps forward, one step back. It looks like a slow, country dance step, but you’re finding that you have to move about twice as fast, and that you feel like you’re barely keeping up with the arcane and intricate dance step. And this is just at work, too. Makes for an uncomfortable start to the week. Not really bad, in and of itself, but it’s not the best start that you get. It’s as if you get off on your left foot, and everyone else on the Taurus dance floor is starting out on their collective right foot. Feels like you’re about half a step off, right? I mean, seeing as how I have no rhythm (and probably fashion-challenged, too, if you believe what you see), I do have a larger than usual degree of sympathy for you. Maybe it’s really empathy. But just like I get screwed up in this week’s dance routine, like you, and just like I select the wrong attire for any given situation, you’re finding that just about everything is off by a degree or three. Worried? Don’t be. If you look, the very first suggestion I had was “two steps forward, one step back.” Do the math: you’re still ahead, it just takes a little longer.

Gemini: Not happy about Mercury’s apparent lack of direction? Having a few troubles communicating with the Mr./Ms./Mrs. Significant Other? Yeppers, how I know that one, and how I’m glad I’m not seeing that one Gemini right now. She still has blond hair and blue eyes, but I’m not involved with her. Nope, and for a good reason. Relationships are stressed. Not stressed as in “the emphasis is on” stressed, but “stressed” as in “strained.” In as much as I would like to suggest it’s anyone else’s fault, the real problem, if you go back and check, the real problem is that they don’t understand you. There’s not much that can be done to help this scenario in your sign, but you can double up your efforts, which means you will find yourself repeating what you’ve already repeated. Means you’re doing four times the amount of talking necessary, but I don’t see that there’s much other solution. It’s just a cycle of Mercury, you know.

Cancer: Between the several astrological influences — like Mars, which is in Capricorn, opposite Jupiter, which is in Cancer, Mercury doing his backwards thing, Jupiter slowing to a crawl, the Sun in Libra — I couldn’t help but think of an old fashioned Saturday morning cartoon. There’s this cartoon coyote and he tries to catch this cartoon roadrunner, using Acme products, and the products fail, the cartoon action depicts great acts that defy rational physics, and there’s always an untimely, usually a very sudden, end to the action. It’s okay, the cartoon coyote always walks away, bandaged, but still alive. Sometimes, his furry face is singed. Sometimes he falls off a cliff. Sometimes the bomb blows up too late. It’s high comedy in a lowbrow fashion, slapstick meant to entertain. But with everything happening, you’re going to feel like that one character, the antagonist in the strictest analysis, and as you look down and realize you’re standing on nothing but air, you look down, that comic expression crosses your face, and you plummet. Now, in the cartoon story line, you always survive. In real life, you will survive, but the more cautious you are, the better off you are. Careful with your slapstick comedy, Acme products, and fireworks.

Leo: For one, shining moment of glory, you appear to escape all the perturbations of Mercury’s little antics. For one, shining moment, the Life of Leo, the rich, good life that is derived from being the majestic, the mighty, the one and only Leo, for a brief moment of time, all is good. Then, you’re going to start asking questions, important questions, questions like, “Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?” Now, this is the merest of little Mercury Retrogrades, and it doesn’t happen anywhere close to you, nor does it happen in place which is particularly bad for you, but it does indicate someone is not listening to you, not the way you should be listened to. Got that? Someone should be taking notes, but that one person isn’t taking notes, and that one person will forget some rather important detail, after you’ve explained it to that person twice. Given what I’ve said, consider having to explain everything in painful detail at least three times. Maybe four or five times — you can never be too sure that the one person who should be listening is really getting what you’re saying. I’ll listen, but I might not respond as I’ve been kind of busy lately.

Virgo: I got all my notes in order. I arranged for a large mailing announcing that I was going to teach my astrology class again. I got everything all lined up and ready — “Stand Up Astrology with the Fishing Guide to the Stars” — it was a popular class a few years ago. Advance sales looked good. Money, fame fortune all danced in my head. There was a small problem with the ticket sales outlet, though, and then there was another problem with the place with the classroom, and then there was another problem with getting copies of my favorite texts to teach from, and then, I finally gave up on it. All that interest, all that work, it was all a waste. Not entirely, because the next time I was doing readings, all the folks who signed up for the class, just came and gave me money for readings, instead. What does my tale of woe, with an ultimately happy ending, have to do with you? Same thing. No, really, with the Mercury starting backwards trek, a few of the plans you’ve put into place are not going to turn out as expected, not right away. It does work well in the long run — no one can escape the Virgo charm right now, but the payoff might be a little delayed, and it might not work the way you think it should work.

Libra: “I, poor I, the messenger.” I don’t think it’s a real line of Shakespeare’s prosody, but it’s certainly how I feel. Just as soon as the sun begins to shine on the Libra section of the sky, there’s the malicious, malignant, Mercury mayhem, unleashed like the dogs of war. So maybe that’s a bit overly dramatic, but there is more than the usual amount of care which should be exercised by your Libra self, and especially starting now. In a special nod to a certain, slightly outlaw individual musician, I would suggest a famous tune from long ago, hey, name the tune, the singer, the songwriter, and the first year it was recorded, and I’ll see about sending along [e-mail only, for free offers, pending answer verification] an FGS Planet Profile, “I wonder if anybody think I’d flipped if I went to LA — via Omaha.” The sentiment about the song sort of describes the theme for your pending Mercury time. How you deal with it is up to you. But that little musical reference? It can give an idea or two about helping yourself along for this time being.

Scorpio: This is going to be one of those Mercury Retrograde periods you will remember. In the far, distant future, I will appear as some sort of prescient, omnipotent master because you did, indeed, heed my warning. The deal is, it’s not really Mercury, but the side effects can be attributed to it. Slow down, act more cautious than you usually do. Take it easy. Thoroughly asses every situation for its far ranging, long term potential. Be extra careful. Make sure you think through everything before you open your mouth. You’re tempted to pop off a normal, scalding, scolding Scorpio comment. Sit on it, instead. In the distant future, we can both have a good laugh about it, because it was sarcastically funny, and in hindsight, then, but only then, it sounds funny. But right now? Keep it to yourself. You can amuse yourself, but don’t try to share you wickedly funny insight with other people — you’ll only appear mean and vindictive. Keep until later — it’s Mercury (and Mars and Jupiter and so forth) — but you get the idea.

Sagittarius: I was planning on a road trip for this week, as I could see that the planets’ seem to have evil intent in their planetary eyes right now, but at the last minute, the deal fell through, and I’m not going anywhere. Or I might be. Likewise, you planned on escaping some of the planets’ actions, but nothing seems to be working right. At the last minute, whatever it was you were planning on? You’ll find it’s either the weather, the traveling companions, the truck itself, the airline, something seems to go horribly awry. Time for Plan B. Being a good Sagittarius, you have an alternative plan worked out. Only, the way the things keep stacking up, you can’t seem to tear yourself away from work long enough to find out that Plan B isn’t going to work either. And you know what follows that? You go spinning through the rest of the alphabet before you realize that nothing is working the way it is supposed to. Now, I have a solution. There’s a little movie theater near me, the place plays only those art films, you know, the kind with subtitles or better yet, the stuff is dubbed in English, but the actors’ mouths never match the dialog? Find something like that for the escape plan, looks like it will numbered Plan AAA by the time you get to it.

Capricorn: On some occasions, I sit down to do a reading for a particular Capricorn, and instead of me doing any talking, this one Capricorn has a lot to say. At the end of the allotted time, as the hour-long cassette tape clicks off, that Capricorn has said their piece (or peace, by the end of the time), and I’ve never had a chance to work a word in edgewise. Not edgewise, not sideways, not even an oblique-wise way. Most of what the tape consists of is a long diatribe about various situations, significant others, the pet cat, the last adventure, fashion as it is called these days, and so forth. But my fine, Capricorn friend feels better, and I am richer, in at least in a monetary sense. Now, if you’re paying an astrologer to tell you things about planets, then why are you doing all the talking? Take a lesson from my schedule book, if you’re booking time with a professional, let them do what they do best. You do what you do best. In this case, this week, middle of the week, to be exact, be quiet and listen to the advice you’re paying for. Failure to do so, failing this, when you find that tape and listen to it, you’ll hear nothing but your own voice, and while you usually are quite right, you’ll ask yourself, “My dear Capricorn, why didn’t I listen instead of talk?” It’s your nickel, you make the call.

Aquarius: Both big [Uranus/Neptune] and little [Mercury] planets are moving in a way so as to appear to be moving backwards in the sky, in their relative positions to our home, here on Earth. One, or more, of these backward appearing planets will bounce off your Aquarius world. It’s not really a bad thing — it’s just part of the natural cycle, but there is a small problem, or, if you fail to deal with the small exigency, then it becomes a big problem. Ever heard of the expression, “Oh, just let it go man”? Easy enough to let the words fall sprightly from your tongue, but actually letting it go, that’s a whole other problem. I don’t have an easy answer for this, either. It’s not so much a bad thing as it’s a persistent problem that comes up at an inconvenient time. It’s a problem you and both know you should’ve dealt with weeks ago, but you just sort of put it off…. Small problems are nothing more than big problems, struggling to get out. Well?

Pisces: In my brickwall definitions (one of the ways I describe various signs’ characteristics) I’ve suggested when a Pisces is faced with a seemingly insurmountable wall, a fixed obstacle, that this problem is not a problem for Pisces. And, in most cases, it’s not a problem. But you’re going to borrow a page from the Leo book, or, at the very least, borrow a page from the Leo way of handling a problem, and sit there while squawking loudly that someone had better get their fancy buttocks in here to fix whatever this problem is. What I’m suggesting is a degree of more Pisces-like discretion. What? In other words, before you start blaming someone else for not fixing the problem, before you create a loud uproar about some impediment, before you generate a certain amount of discordant noise about some perceived problem, take a deep breath. Maybe take two or three. Don’t hyperventilate, but make sure you thoroughly assess the problem before raising a white flag and surrendering. I made a very expensive computer house call, in just such a case, to fix a problem. And all I had to do was plug the computer’s power cord back into the wall. The hardest part about that? Not making the other party feel totally stupid. Which one are you?

(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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