For the Week of 10/17-23/2002

“The worst is not
So long as we can say ‘This is the worst.'”

Shakespeare’s King Lear [IV.i.27]

Aries: It’s a great weekend coming up — maybe a great weekend to try and hide out. That’s going to be particularly difficult because the moon will be so big and bright, that huge orb floating in the sky, pushing all the Aries “party” buttons. However, Mr. Mars is also floating around in the sign that’s on the opposite side of the heavens from where you’re at, and that’s creating some tension. Maybe it’s not tension, so much as it’s friction. Of course, a little friction is nice — that’s how were all get some traction. The problem is, you’re not too sure that this is good traction,. This is more like an old, dirt road — on a hot summer’s day, or a dry afternoon in the Texas desert. The sand, gravel, and even the fine particulate dust is not good traction. It does, however, provide some friction. The most expedient way to deal with a dirt road like this, is to slow down. In some spots, sand has drifted a little deep, and while you need a certain amount of forward momentum to carry your through, you don’t want to go to fast, as you’ll wind up out with the sage and cactus bushes. At best, you’re then faced with prickly proposition. Slow down a little, just because you’re on a bone-dry track doesn’t mean that the surface might not be a little slippery.

Taurus: I was in an Indian Casino [a fairly common scenario in the South and the West], not so very long ago, and I was intending to sample some of the local cuisine, although, to be honest, the cafe’s menu looked just like any other restaurant chain’s menu — I didn’t see any foodstuffs or menu items that seemed particularly unusual. However, after hours of that special music of the slot machines, I’d worked up a powerful appetite. “Kramer, I think that waitress likes you,” my companion pointed out. “I’m in love,” I replied hastily. Of course I was, the waitress brought out food. I don’t know what color hair she had, nor her eyes, I just saw the grub piled high, an answer to my problem. Even though there’s that pesky Venus Retrograde pattern going on in Scorpio, there’s still some solution to your problems. Some of these solutions are lot more simple than you think. It could be something as direct as a waitress bringing out your food. I don’t think you’ll win big at the casino, but you never can tell. I figured that plate of food was like a jackpot.

Gemini: In strictest astrological terms, a couple of key players are moving backwards — Saturn and Venus. This doesn’t spell out doom and gloom, though, it just refers back to a time that has gone before. Flip open your own Gemini history book, look back at last week, maybe dig way back into Gemini prehistory [like the week before last week] and see what clues you have there. It’s time to go back and try to figure out what’s the best way to plot out your actions for the coming weekend. Then, look forward to next week. Things all begin to pick up in pace. Conventional astrological lore suggests that new relationships should be put off until Venus is moving in a more orderly direction. Loathe as I am to stick to this suggestion, I would at least give it some Gemini consideration. Maybe now isn’t a time to embark on a new romantic encounter. Now flip that idea around in your Gemini brain, maybe now is a good time to go back to what was once before, and think about it. Careful with this line of reasoning, that’s an adage much bantered about in Shady Acres Trailer Park [where social lives are more hotly discussed than politics or world events], “They’re an EX for a reason, don’t go back.”

Cancer: You have a current love interest, a new interest, or even just a passing obsession, and you’re sure that this is the time to take it to a new level. You’re sure this is the time to do something with that interest. You’re sure this is the time to be something, time to climb that mountain, or whatever expression, dear, sweet Cancer’s use. In as much as I’d like to suggest that, yes, this is a good time to act on your romantic inclination, I’m afraid I can’t — in good conscience — agree with you. I realize this means my date with a Cancer is off for this next weekend, but that’s not all bad, it surely would’ve ended in tragedy. Tragedy in my dating life is when the event ends early, or when I get stuck someplace where I can’t actually walk home. Nothing is worse than calling for a cab from some desolate pay phone in the middle of nowhere, having just walked seventeen miles to find a phone. I can save you the pain and blisters of that hike, too. All you have to do is delay your planned actions. Don’t act on it right now. Don’t take that first step, don’t make that call, or if you do make that call, plan for some adventure, maybe about six weeks from now. I understand that a long time off, but it wouldn’t hurt. Not everyone is sharing your ebullient enthusiasm.

Darling Leo: Many good events are going on right now, thanks to Mr. Jupiter, that big planet supposedly bringing you all kinds of good luck. However, with the relative position of Venus, you’ve got one other thing going on that’s less than wonderful. Your normally wonderful sense of style and taste is not what it could be. It’s not so much a bad time, as it’s a very bad time to make aesthetic decisions. Picking a color scheme for the new house? Looking at bedroom furniture? Thinking about replacing that sculptured shag carpet? Stop. If this is a question that involves colors, designs, or other matters of beauty and taste, then put it all on hold. Your normally “better than average” sensibilities are on vacation as of last week. Don’t buy it, don’t change your interior design plans, and maybe shopping for new dinnerware is out. Buddy of mine ordered up a lot of custom work on his truck under such an influence. He — eventually — had an interesting looking truck. Deer scene on the back window, pearlescent purple paint, stripes, flames, chrome side pipes, monster truck tires on chrome spokes. It’s a nice look, but it’s also thoroughly impractical for towing a boat, or getting out to a deer blind. Sure, it looked nice, but the first dirt road started that paint flaking, and our first hunting trip was disaster, “No! Don’t put your gear in the bed — you’ll scratch the paint like … Argh!” It was supposed to be an old work truck, a practical piece of transportation. What it turned into was ugly. So maybe now isn’t the time to make those changes, you could really regret them later.

Virgo: Mercury isn’t retrograde — but Venus is. The way Miss Venus is placed has a lot to do with your communication skills. Normally, I expect nothing but an elegant flow of words from the Virgo mouth and fingertips. Problem being, you’re inclined to dash off a note — like I often do — only you don’t go back and proofread your note — like I often do — and your epic, pithy communication is full of errors. Mistakes like syntax, grammar, usage and spelling. Computers can correct some things, but the infernal machines can’t replace a human entirely, not yet. Before you send that note, before you turn in that invoice or documentation, or even something you’ve just typed, even a note to me, you might be better off if you looked over it one more time with careful scrutiny. Give it the thorough Virgo once-over to make sure it’s all okay. Make sure your intent in the message is clear. This can happen in a number of areas, but I tend to see it most frequently in written form. That would include epic manuscripts, notes to employers, and e-mail to your astrology buddy. Never hurts to take one last look-see before you hit “send.”

Libra: I’ve got a good expression for the time being, perfectly suited for you, “Anyplace but home.” That’s a succinct way to see the next few days. You can be anyplace but home. Between all the influences, Mercury, Mars, the Sun, you’ve got to get out. I’m not sure where “out” is, but wherever it is, it ain’t at home. I know you want to be home, I know you want complete something you’ve been working on, and I realize that there’s always the strong appeal of the couch. But home is not where it’s at. Get out. Stay out. If you can, arrange it so you don’t come home at all. In some domestic situations, that idea of staying out all night might cause a problem, and then there’s always the problem of a domestic partner who might desire your presence at home. In such situations, it’s up to you to use your good Libra sense to balance the amount of time at home, and the amount of time away. There’s another idea, if you live in a truly mobile home [mine’s not truly mobile anymore], then you can pick the house up and take it with you. Or, if you don’t feel like hitching the mobile home up to the truck and motoring off, and you don’t feel like leaving your partner at home, then take them with you. That’s not such a problem, now is it? Include your friends and family, roommates and whomever in the fun. But don’t do it at home. You know, it’s sort of like that old disclaimer, “Don’t try this in your own home.”

Scorpio: As long as Venus is going backwards, might as well get used to the energy you’re going to be dealing with. I know we’ve all got some Scorpio birthday’s fast approaching, but now’s not the time to worry about that. Unless, of course, you’re Ma Wetzel. Like most good women of her generation, she can find something to worry about when there’s nothing to worry about. If it’s not an actual worry, she can manufacture some situation worthy of a furrowed brow and much concern. Worrying about the Venus is backwards energy will get you nowhere real fast. Putting it to use, and getting on with what you can do to help other people, that’s a constructive way to deal with stuff. It’s less about your Scorpio self, and it’s a lot more about other people. Now, I’ll promise you a decent birthday scope, if you’ll promise me that you’ll quite worrying about this stuff. Some battles aren’t worth fighting, and that’s really a remarkable observation at this point. This weekend, do something nice for someone else. Never mind that they might think you’re just trying to earn extra bonus points right before your birthday — that’s another thing you can’t worry about. No good Scorpio deed will go unrewarded.

Sagittarius: We get this weird weather pattern around here, one day it’s a balmy 70 degrees, and then, that night, a cold front blows in from the frozen north [the frozen north is defined as “anything north of the Red River”], and the temperatures plummet, there’s a hint that there might be ice out, and I have to wear long pant. There’s a 20 degree drop in temperatures, and it’s not a pretty sight. The formerly distant cat becomes a real snuggle partner, seeking my warmth for her comfort. Now, we’re not due for any weather like this for another couple of weeks, but you’re going to feel like your Sagittarius social life has already experienced just such an event. When I was growing up, it was called a “Blue Norther,” and I’m not astute enough to come up with the root source of the expression. But a Blue Norther has just wafted into the Sagittarius social life. Worry about it? One of my friends observed that what was punishment for some, was a pleasure for me. “Go to your room and read book.” Sure, that’s what I’ll do. If I can’t have a social life right now, or if our Sagittarius social life looks like an Arctic wasteland, why not do something useful? Find that solitary endeavor and enjoy it.

Capricorn: At one of the seasonal, open-air markets, I bought another walking stick for Pa Wetzel. He collects canes and uses one daily. I was intrigued by this one local cane vendor as he had a display of some branches of birch tree, a small price tag, and a sign: “Just a stick.” How many times have you wanted, “just a stick”? How many times has a short piece of wood, just about so long, been the perfect piece of equipment? No, I didn’t buy a stick, as I’m sure I’d be way too tempted to beat the staff with the stick. Or some girlfriend would be tempted to grab that stick and light into me over some perceived infraction of mine. Then, there’s another local expression, “Can’t beat it with a stick.” I guess those guys didn’t have a stick handy. My hope is that you don’t have stick handy. With everything still lining up in Libra, you’re tempted to grab a stick, a cane, or even a walking staff, and your mind suggests that this is a good time to go to town on that problem, or person, and show them a thing or two. Beating a problem until its senseless is a noble aspiration. Doesn’t work too well, though, and I’m not sure it’s the best idea. What is a good idea is to find that vendor, and purchase “just a stick.” That way, when you run into those troubles, you can shake your stick at it. Sometimes, a threat is much more effective than action.

Aquarius: When I moved into my present trailer, I found that I had an extra cat litter tray. I just put it outside, a little under the trailer itself, as nice a spot as any to store the extra litter box. Gradually, the Mistress of the House [as she likes to be referred to] took up to using that outdoor litter box. There are many theories as to why this is, why she prefers the outdoor, public utility rather than the private bath afforded here in the confines of my bathroom. At least one person has suggested that the cat must hate having to share a bathroom with me. I have another theory — it’s the view from her outdoor convenience. She has the whole of Shady Acres Trailer Park that she could use, but that one litter box is positioned so that it’s both private and she has a decent view [even if it’s from under a trailer.] What you’re dealing with is similar. No, wait, it really is. If you’ve ever changed the litter in a cat’s box, you know what’s coming up. It’s not a pleasant task, but it’s one of those chores us cat people have to put up with. It’s like taking out the trash or scrubbing the bathroom, something that has to be done, even though the tasks aren’t glamorous. Consider that part of duties for this next few days. What really got me going, though, was that this is a time when you can examine some coincidence in your life, and understand it better. Near as I can tell, I want a bathroom with a view, too. The cat has the life I want. What can you do to make your life a little more like the exact life that you want? I’m thinking about cutting a hole in the roof so I can have a bathroom view, similar to hers.

Pisces: It’s that special time, that time when your actions are louder than any of your words. Good deeds will eventually rewarded. Conversely, you could, in theory, get away with some “less than wonderful” deeds, too, and probably pull it off. But I want to appeal to your higher mind, and I want you to strive for the best. There’s been an uncomfortable “relationship” bump recently. It’s like you’ve taken a giant step backwards. I was going to throw some math at you, “3 steps forward, 2 steps back,” which, if you look at it, means you’re still coming out ahead. Like me, you hate math, so let’s skip that plan. Try the idea of the good deed. Matter of fact, maybe it will take more than one action to get this ball rolling. No good deed will go unrewarded, but don’t count on the rewards being delivered exactly when you want them.

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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