For the Week of: 10/15-21/2001
“Never did mockers waste more idle breath.”
Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night’s Dream [III.ii.168]

Invariably, when Mercury is backwards, I get stuck in some in improbable situation. My hotel on Saturday night was full, and they bounced us out on the street to another hotel, and the cab driver was amusing, to say the least. Cab drivers are veritable founts of information. “What’s the strangest request you’ve ever gotten?” I asked. Being in Amsterdam, a town noted for its loose lifestyles, he thought about it, then replied, “I had this one fare, and she asked me to go up and open her apartment door. No problem. Except when I got there, there were bullet holes in the door. Then she asked me to go inside and open the bathroom door, and maybe check in the closet….” We’d like to keep our doors open, too, so there are a couple of ways to support this web site, to keep it up and running: 1] buy a chart report 2] buy a T-shirt or hat 3] donate a buck or two. Without your support, we might not make it back from the next trip.

Aries: There is a certain unpleasantness which introduces this week. You can do like I do, I blame Mr. Mercury and his errant ways — and his miscreant actions — which are occurring just opposite you in the little astrological wheel thing. Means you are, like as not, going to encounter one of those stupid obstacles during the next few days. When the weather’s warm, I rarely wear footwear, manly or otherwise. But when we get a cool burst, even if it’s only for a day or two, I drag out my trusty endangered-species (not really, but it sounds good) cowboy boots. Now, when it warms back up again, these boots are still in the middle of the trailer’s living room floor, and I wind up tripping over my own shoes. “Who left these here?” I angrily demand of the cat. She just gives me a cat look like, “You talking to me, cowboy?” Be careful you don’t trip over your own footwear, and when you try to blame someone else, remember whose boots those are, in the first place.

Taurus: Just take a vacation. Maybe that’s not such a great idea, and there’s at least one reader who claims this is the worst time to be away from that dreaded place called work, but I can’t agree, and especially not during this week, and extra especially for Taurus. Ever heard about one of my mental health days? Lacking a valid medical (I’m not really sick) excuse, no vacation time (used it up last summer), I take a mental health day. I’ve suggested to the guys at the office, this is time which prevents me from coming in and firing them all. I usually get the time off, but I’m the boss around here, more or less. I’d suggest the same thing for you, even if you’re not the boss. There will be a problem at work, but you know, that can wait. Maybe they will appreciate you more. Maybe they will take a dim view of your time off, as well. Maybe it doesn’t matter. But the problems at work recede like some peoples’ hairlines… just give it a little time.

Gemini: Mercury makes everything feel like you are stuck in amber. Know what that stuff is? It’s where prehistoric insects and bugs and stuff all get caught in this really, really old tree sap. Then it sits around in a rock, and it’s like, you know, like a fossil or something. Frozen in time. Nice. Sorry about that, yes, you feel frozen in time, or rather the rest of us feel like we’re frozen in time, and you keep trying to struggle forward. Some of the non-Gemini types you have to deal with are going to appear like they are stuck in a rock, waiting to fossilize. I realize the direction here changed, you thought you were stuck in amber, and suddenly it’s the rest of us who are stuck. But that’s the nature of the times, and the stuck feeling persists the rest of this week. There is hope, maybe a little, as there’s a funny little echo which suggests you start feeling better even if you have to deal with people moving as slow as rocks. Something besides Mercury lets you feel better about the rest of us.

Cancer: Don’t strain your voice. In fact, a great idea would be feign a little bit of laryngitis at this point in your Cancer cycle. It’s not a pretty time, not over all. In particular, you have tendency to stridently, loudly, and most emphatically declare that you are right. You might actually be right, but that doesn’t mean your audience will understand. My audience is a single, overfed, much beloved and pampered cat. But according to her, I’m not right, unless I’m opening a can of cat food. Got that? I’m just plain wrong, according to her, unless, of course, I’m petting her, but even that has to be done just right. Most of the time, she sings to me. That means she makes this hideous noise at the top of her cat lungs, sounds like she’s in pain or something. She’s just letting me know she can see the bottom of her food dish — she’s not out food — but the end is near. Technically, I’m right. There is food in her bowl. But in the spirit of the moment, I’m wrong, the end is near. Likewise for Cancer, you may be technically right, but your words are wasted on deaf ears. If you can keep quiet long enough, you’ll win — unlike my battle of wits with the cat.

Leo: Latin is a great language. I was lucky, once, having exchanged a large quantity of e-mail with a real Classics Scholar, I got some of my favorite quotes translated into Latin. Yes, it’s a dead language. That’s right, we really don’t know exactly how it was pronounced. Yes, the V and U get confused, as sometimes do the S and the F. And yes, if I have to count in Latin any higher than five, I get confused — most of the plays I work with only have five acts, anyway. Why worry about a dead language which might be the root of lot of stuff in our Leo lives these days? You’re going to find, at one point during the next few days — maybe several times — that you feel like you’re speaking Latin to an audience who just doesn’t understand the reference. Or the language. It’s like speaking in a vacuum. Worse, it’s like speaking in a dead language that no one understands. A little later, you can go back explain that it was Latin — the language of Rome and the Caesars — and then you can look like the regal, erudite and educated Leo royalty that you are. But until then? Maybe learn to cuss a little in Latin, now there’s an idea.

Virgo: Ever been shopping with a Virgo? It can be a painful experience, watching them weigh the various merits and downside of every purchase. I’ve seen Virgo’s carry in their purses: a tape measure, a ruler, an actual color samples [stuff painted on real wood, not color chips], and a magnifying glass for checking thread count. Better yet, I’ve watched as a Virgo has gone in, picked out three new outfits, taken them all home, hung them up, looked at them a for a day or two, then taken all three outfits back. I was going to suggest this was just a woman thing, but I’ve seen one of my Virgo buddies do it, too. Since you’re in a shopping mode, and since you’re not listening to me suggest that Mercury will oil your attempts and ruin your normally perfect selection process, then maybe you’ll at least save all your receipts. Got the idea? Due to one or more of the planets, anything you select this week is probably going back for a full refund. And all the while, I thought the color looked really good on you.

Libra: I can’t make everything all better, not all at once — I’m an astrologer, not a miracle worker. But there is a little break, not a big one, but a little one which comes in the former of a subtle planetary shift, “Let’s give a big, Texas-Libra-sized welcome, come on now, give it up for Venus!” As soon as I introduce a planet like that, you know what happens? I get two people in the audience, three at the most, who are willing to clap. You know the feeling right? You’re ready for something big, a warm round of applause for something you’ve done, or something you’re about to do, and what happens? Nothing. Maybe two people put their hands together, and you get a disheartened “clap, clap, silence.” But there are great things, just around the next bend in the trail. “Sure, that’s what you implied last week,” you think, then you think some unkind words which I’d rather not print. Before this week is up, though, you’ll be agreeing with me, that there are good things, just up yonder, just around the bend in the Libra trail, just over there, just — just at that imaginary moving target which seems to be getting further away the closer you get to it. Cheer up, this stuff is almost over with, and then it will be very, very good.

Scorpio: So you’re not having a fun time with this particular Mercury thing, are you? Don’t send me hate mail, I know, believe me, I know. Read the Sagittarius scope (comes right after Scorpio) and you’ll see that I know your pain. The deal is this: the little one is compounding problems right now. And it’s joined by the second smallest planet in our solar system, Venus, in the sign which is right before you, that would be Libra, so you’ve got a lot of stuff that’s about to be good, but right now? This week? You’re not having any fun. You know the routine — double check all your efforts, make sure you show how you got from point A to point B, keep good documentation at hand, and read the instructions before you cry for help. That little instruction book has more information in it than you’re willing to admit, and you can follow the instruction in the manual better than most. Look: it’s not like there is someone standing there, telling you to do something, so this makes it a little easier. Read the instructions before you start hollering for help. Or double check everything before you cry “Wolf!” (You do remember that story, don’t you?)

Sagittarius: I thoroughly prepared for this one workshop I was participating in — I learned my line, parsed the speech, practiced in front of the mirror, then I even practiced on the cat a few times. If poetry can captivate the cat, you know you have it all together. I got everything all lined up, ready for the big production. I thought I was ready to go, thought it was all prepared. There was one thing missing — the director I was doing this for? He wanted the additional half dozen lines of stuff, here’s the kicker — printed on the back. I never flipped the page over, never checked to see if the scene was complete, never bothered because the assignment, the goal, was that one page, right? Wrong. So when you prepare for this week, make sure you check everything, the back of the page, the stuff hidden under the folded page, look everywhere. Just because it sounds complete to you and me? That doesn’t mean it’s right in their eyes.

Capricorn: The only thing more frustrating than having a pesky little Mercury Retrograde time frame rain all over your Capricorn self, the only thing worse than that is to have this happen within a non-friendly environment. In other words, it’s like you know what is going on, and you know what is wrong, and you know that if people would just chill out for a few minutes, take a deep breath, maybe look at what they were trying to say, you know this would all be a lot more clear. You also know that this isn’t likely to happen. You did know that, didn’t you? Sure. I’ve said it before, and I’ll just repeat myself — I know you’re right, I know you understand that the little communication thing is in the toilet right now, and you know you’re right, and you know that no one understands this. Still, there’s this persistent thought that you’re trying to get across, and no one seems to be listening. Try harder? Nope, that’s just not going to work, even though I do appreciate your efforts. No, the real answer is to adopt a ‘wait and see attitude’; patience is much more useful than persistence right now.

Aquarius: If I could, if there was something I could do, if there was a button I could push to lower the Aquarius level of excitement, I would. You’re just like one the lakes I frequent, and the body of water is less a lake, and more like a like an arbitrary bathtub, sometimes filled with really clean, warm water — other times? The stuff in there stinks. The level of the water varies greatly, too. Supposedly, the Lower Colorado River Authority has something to do with the lake’s level, but I’m not so sure I trust authority figures. Neither do you. Sometimes, there’s a rain storm up stream, and in anticipation, the lake’s level is low, waiting on that Texas flood. Other times, like once in the middle of the month, for no apparent reason, the water was way up. That’s what you’re like, your personal lake levels seem to be fluctuating wildly — and there’s no real form of control. If I could ease your tensions a little, I’d just open up the floodgates at the dam, and let everything seek its own level. If the flood controls don’t seem to work, if some authority figure seems to be playing with your levels, just realize it’s probably — not assuredly — but it’s probably a Mercury thing.

Pisces: There’s always one, now isn’t there, I mean, there’s always this one Pisces, and this particular Pisces person is raising an unholy stink about what is happening planet-wise. After a few days, fish — particularly if said fish is not kept on ice — after a few days, the fish begin to have peculiar, aromatic quality. In less polite terms, they begin to stink. Not unlike a certain house guest I once had, he was supposed to be couch surfing for just a night, but wound up staying more than a week. You have a similar situation, what was supposed to be a very temporary arrangement, you come out of the bedroom, look at your couch, and there’s a slumbering form still there. I wouldn’t want to kick Bubba out. You wouldn’t want to kick him out, either, but you know after a few days, his boots start to have an aromatic quality about them, and the boy needs a bath. We both know it’s time to call a halt to this train of thought, but like the train, like the old fish, like Bubba on the couch, you have one too many problems right now. I chase them all out the door and ascribe the problems to Mercury. Your Pisces mileage might vary, though.

(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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