For the Week of: 4/1-7/2004

“How now, my headstrong: where have you been gadding?”
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (IV.ii.16)

Aries: I was digging up some older digital images, just pictures buried on an obscure hard drive, laying about the office. I was looking for one particular photograph, I thought I had it scanned in. Never did find that one picture. But I did come across a veritable treasure trove of images done at the lake, by me, of one of my fishing buddies. He used to ask, “How come you always get a picture of my smallest fish?” Just always worked out that way, I would manage to snap my “action shot” when he was just about to toss the fish back, and he would be saying something like, “No, wait until I have larger, more prestigious fish in hand.” If it’s a big fish, then we’re all excited and in the heat of the moment, we can forget to grab camera. That’s a problem. There’s a lot of heat in the Aries chart. Mostly the Sun, but then, there’s this leading edge of other planets, too, and that’s also adding some drive to what you’re doing. You can be either one, the fishing guide or the fisherman, or fisher person, as the case may be, but with all those planets, you want to make sure that you have a camera ready, just in case you do land a big fish. Photographic evidence is wonderful. Every picture tells a story.

Taurus: I was like, so primed for a wonder-filled spring time. Still am, but the other week, when I was working on this scope, the sky filled with gray clouds, and there was a persistent hints of moisture. Now, all that moisture is good for the skin, makes what’s left of my hair curly, but it doesn’t make for a very sunny disposition. I prefer light and uplifting horoscopes, myself. And I prefer to write morally uplifting scopes. But my fine Taurus friends are set to encounter a bit of dour spot, courtesy of the heavens. It’s not evil, it’s not long lasting, it’s nothing to get too disturbed about, but there’s still a little bit of a problem. Your attitude. As of late, your attitude has been less than wonderful. Bad, might be too strong of a word, but you’re still not getting it. Venus exeunt Taurus. Mars is cooking along in Gemini. Mr. Sun himself is coasting through Aries. Lots of stuff around you, but no light on your little Taurus self. That’s the singular problem. Plus there are some other items that are a little confusing. Instead of trying to figure out what the message is, be a good Taurus, and roll yourself up with some of your favorite comfort substances. Personally, I’ll console my Taurus self with a big plate of chicken-fried steak, as for me, that works like nothing else for a little comfort food. Might not be comfort food that you’re looking for, but take whatever pleasure you can find, when you can find it, wherever it is.

Gemini: Looks like the odd gods of the universe, or whatever your belief systems involves, looks like they are all out to have a good laugh at your Gemini expense. Before long, both Mars and Venus are in your sign. The love planets. The dynamic duo that can bring, peace, harmony [and improve your sex life]. Just about the same time, Mr. Mercury, the planet voted to be the Gemini favorite, starts rolling backwards. Let’s suppose that life is like a pinball machine, and let’s suppose you’ve got your Gemini game on, courtesy of the love planets. Now let’s suppose that the ball in play is Mercury. One flipper is Mars and the other flipper is Venus. On this one (Gemini) pinball machine, there’s a target that voids all play. In other words, hit it just right, and the little ball drains back into the machine and those points you just racked up roll back to zero. It’s only a game, and all those points? You can do it again, but it’s going to take a second try to make everything work right. Most of the pin machines I’ve owned or played, they all have an opportunity to get a second a try. There’s always the hope that you can get another ball into play, even if the first one drains away. You do get a second chance, but remember that Mr. Mercury is sometimes the evil trickster, and he’s trying to have some fun with your game.

Cancer: Saturn’s lessons are not always fun. Saturn’s lessons are not always easy. While I can’t deliver a Saturn sermon without invoking heinous words [that never belong together] like “hard work,” I can promise that the recent conflict with Saturn will be a little more clear. In a few weeks. Mercury starts its apparent backward swing in one sign then slides down into another, and the whole time, Mr. Mercury started with a tiny little boost to Saturn’s influence. Ya’ll with your Sun in Cancer are going to feel it. Then there’s that Mars and Venus thing, happening right after sundown, and you get to feel that one, too. I was trying to figure out a nice way to suggest that the beginning degrees of Cancer, like, mostly the June Cancer birthdays, are going to feel this the strongest, but the whole sign gets some tickle from these planets. It’s all about what Saturn, and whatever his individual message is to you, and it’s also about the portion of that message, which you forgot. It’s like that motor, half assembled, under a tarp, on a table, in the backyard. Been meaning to get back and figure out where I left off. I ran out of silicone seal sealer, or maybe it was the assembly oil, used to grease everything up before it all gets put back together. But it’s been so long, and until this week, the project was pretty much forgotten. Time for our Cancer selves to go back and look at that.

Leo: I am, on certain occasions, a little hard-headed. I can admit that. I’m man enough to be open about my stupid stubbornness, especially when I get caught. With the world situation in total flux, and looking worse all the time, I needed a break. I phoned up a fishing buddy and suggested that the weather was nice enough to warrant a good trip to the lake. Something came up and I almost didn’t roust myself out of bed in time to make it to the lake. Now, there are certain rules, and I’m probably better-versed in the local fish and game laws than most. But that one, fateful morning, and this has happened more than once now, I got off without a fishing license in my pocket. On that one lake, I’ve never, ever seen a game warden. I’ve never, ever seen a duly deputized peace officer in a boat, checking fishing licenses and boat registrations. That little Mercury apparently moving in a backwards direction? That’s like having those nice gentlemen from the fish and game department show up. I was unfailingly polite — but I still got a ticket. Damn, that’s twice that’s happened now. You’d think I learn, right?

Virgo: A “slide rule” was a device used to perform calculations. The best slide rule I owned was accurate to 4 decimal points, of you could read the little, fine lines well. And after that, you were supposed to estimate. After you slide the little bar around, did the calculations, and had the answer all lined up, then the point where the red crosshair wound up, that was, at best a good guess. That accurate to four decimal places was only good at one end of the slipstick, too. The other end, where the numbers all ran together? Nothing worked down there past three points. And a good, educated guess, like, maybe a “point five” or some similar type of estimate. With the advent of calculators, and the introductions of the digital age, all those slide rule skills went away. I’ve got thumbnail-sized calculator accurate to 8 decimal points. Battery would probably last longer than me. Astrology and slide rule calculation have a lot in common. I can be very precise about the degree of the planet, but what that will do to you is best left as an estimate. Mercury is flipping around, making mockery of your best Virgo estimates these days. Add the lucky star to those calculations, and you’re going to find that you’re a tad bit optimistic when everyone else less enthralled. You might want to run your figures through a real calculator before you broadcast the results.

Libra: Arrogance is a terrible vice. I was fishing with a buddy the other afternoon, and I knew, in my heart of fisherman’s hearts, that I was supposed to catch more fish than him. I just knew that I was divinely inspired by the phase of the moon, the relative position of Jupiter, I mean, the planets lined up to make me the one. I caught zero fish. Had a wonderful time, the lake in its springtime glory was nice, but zero fish. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. What a loser. Shut up. To exacerbate the situation, my buddy? Using a lure a I would never suggest? He caught a half-dozen, maybe more. None of them keepers, of course, nothing to brag about. But he was doing, in sheer numbers a whole lot better than myself. “What do you say to that, Mr. Fishing Guide?” Muted snickers. Consider the pretty spring day, consider the sheer beauty of nature, consider the camaraderie, think about the fun of sitting in a boat, chatting about world events so far removed from the location, the intellectual discourse, the prurient comments about girlfriends. It’s all in good fun. The goal? The goal was to fish. And while the actual goal of catching fish was never realized by myself, it was still a good day. Excellent day by my fishing buddy’s standards. Or pretty good, anyway. What standards are you judging by?

Scorpio: A catalyst is a substance that has to present in order for a reaction to occur. As such, you’re finding that you’re a catalyst. You walk into a room, and the timber of the conversation changes. The tone gets more serious, muted. Your Scorpio self wonders, “Is it me?” Well, yes, actually, it is you. You’re the causative agent. But like a chemical catalyst, nothing happens to you. You’re inert. Stable. After what you’ve just been through, though, isn’t it nice to know that you can still stir up a room full of people by your mere presence, without having to lift a single Scorpio digit to make this happen? Plus, you’re on the lighter side these days. If you’re not on the lighter side, then you should be, or will be, soon enough. Enjoy some of this effect that you have on other people. Enjoy what’s going on. Take note. Then, when a few people move away from you? Do like I would, amble on over to the buffet line and start helping yourself to free food. Kind of nice to have all that power in your presence, now isn’t it?

Sagittarius: Happens from time to time, I get these intense, really vivid dreams. It’s almost lucid dreaming, too, in that I can control some of the action of the adventure unfolding in dreamland. Used to be I figured that these dreams were nightmares, and I wake up in a cold sweat, worried about the deep-seated psychological implications, or, on a grander scale, the end of the world, or whatever the spooky-spiritual, metaphysical-meaning was. Dr. Freud allegedly suggested that sometimes a cigar was a just a smoke. Likewise, I’ll suggest that sometimes the strange movie playing in the back of the Sagittarius skull during the sleep hours is just that, a strange movie. It’s possible to deconstruct the symbolism until you’re unable to carry analogies any further, and you still don’t arrive at a Sagittarius satisfactory conclusion. My current belief is that weird dreams lately? It’s just my mind–our collective Sagittarius minds–sorting through some mental compartments. It’s like cleaning out the desk, or straightening up the trailer, only on a slightly more cosmic scale. And that’s all it is. Ultimately, this is good mental hygiene, unless you choose to publish the data.

Capricorn: I met one of my Capricorn buds for drinks one evening the other week. He got limbered up and he was telling me a story about his DVD player, “You know where it says ‘Danger, electrical shock’ on the warning label? You know what happens?” This buddy of mine, he’s bright enough, and he’s a good Capricorn, and usually he would do the right thing, namely, take that jammed player to a repair person who knows what to do. Instead, my buddy tried to pry open the DVD player to remove the jammed disk. In doing so, even though he thoughtfully removed the plug from the electrical outlet, he did manage to touch a capacitor with a high voltage charge. Which discharged into the screwdriver that was probing the internal bits of the player in order to retrieve the disk. Lots of volts, no amps. Or whatever those things are called. Just a little spark, a little fry, and now that DVD player is next to useless. To make this bad a situation even worse, the little spark startled my Capricorn buddy so badly that he ruined the mechanism that had the original disk in it, and thereby, turned a harmless chore into a minor fiscal disaster. If–when–you’re faced with a repair job like this, don’t ignore the warning label. “See qualified technician for service.”

Aquarius: I’ve got this one Aquarius client, and she doesn’t look a bit like a model Aquarius. When I see her, she’s usually attired in a short but rather conservative cut business dress, matching jacket, white blouse with a minimum of frills, and sensible shoes. Not what I expect from an Aquarius. But that begs the question, is there really such a thing as an average Aquarius? Trying to be the unexpected is quite the chore, and appearing to be a conservative businessperson is a perfect guise for an Aquarius. Particularly these days, times being what they are and all. If it were any other sign with this kind of an influence, I’d suggest that they try and think differently. But it’s not any other sign, it’s that wonderfully odd Aquarius sign. I’m not about to suggest that you try and think like anyone else. In fact, you’ll find that you are uniquely suited for acting as if you fit in with mainstream society these days. Quite a little concept there. Our Aquarius selves should think that we’re just like everyone else. You know what? Want to bet that will fool a lot of people?

Pisces: Sweet Pisces. Dear Pisces. Darling Pisces. Much put out by every other sign these days Pisces…. Going to be one of those weeks. Just when you thought it was okay, and life was going to be normal, along comes a week like this. It’s not big things, it’s little things. “I lost a file,” or “what ever did you mean by that e-mail?” I have one Pisces friend who reads a lot meaning into a bumper stickers. While I’ve never actually contemplated this sort of activity, she claims she can work up a sound psychological profile based on what stickers adorn a vehicle. “A bumper sticker reading?” Sure, why not? There is a problem, though, as sometimes a label, or a bumper sticker, is just that, some message on adhesive plastic paper applied to the back of a vehicle. On some occasions, I figure that’s all it is. But then, as I got to thinking about this, I realized that I have family member who–at one time–was a picture perfect vehicle for her sign. Now, there are two cautions that go with this week’s line of thought. One, be careful about applying labels to everything, and two, like the message on that one Pisces vehicle, “Normal People Scare Me.”

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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