For the Week starting: 7.28.2005

“[You are] the confirmer of false reckonings.”
Shakespeare’s As You Like It [III.iv.29] Mercury is (in apparent) retrograde (motion) in Leo. Mars squares off and moves into Taurus, too. Venus opposes Uranus.

Aries: As Mr. Mars, the putative ruler of your sign, slides his happy self on over into Taurus, you’re going to feel like a burden has shifted. For years, I used a “messenger bag” type of gear bag for travel. Not being a bike messenger, though, presented me with a problem that I never could figure out how to rig the extra straps. Shoulder bags, that’s easy, a strap slings over my shoulder, usually, but not always, the left shoulder since I’m more or less right-handed, unless I have a fishing pole or mouse, then I’m left-handed. Don’t ask; it’s complicated. So I was trudging back from the train station, and I had a weekend’s worth of goods in my bag, change of shorts, change of shirts, toothbrush, computer & various power cords. Normal gear, I’d say. I was walking along, thinking about Mars and his shift, then I was trying to adjust the sternum strap so it fit properly. I clipped it in one place, walked a few paces, stopped, adjusted the load a little, and tried it for a quarter mile. Train station is two miles. I stopped 8 times to adjust that strap. To this day, I still never get it quite right. But that shifting load? The weight never changed, but the way I carried it did. That’s the clue. See, the weight remains a constant, but the way you tote the Aries burden? That’s going to change. Matter of fact, it should feel a lot lighter, thanks to Mars and his shift.

Taurus: Parking is a problem at Shady Acres. Like most urban settings, there are too many cars and not enough spaces. One of my neighbors has taken to edging one of his vehicles over into my space. I keep a visitor spot open, out in front, just in case some one wants to stop by, client or friend. One night, unbeknownst to me, the neighbor (he’s definitely not a Taurus) parked his car in my guest spot. The next morning, I offered a solution to the problem, and little explanation, too: “Look buddy, see, a girl was coming over here last night to see me, and she saw your car in my spot, so she assumed that I had other company. No girl for me. No action. As long as you park in my spot, I don’t get any action, and that makes me cranky.” I put it in terms that the guy could easily understand. Simple, straightforward, all fiction (good thing he doesn’t read the scopes), and it has worked. The story was a bit of stretcher on my end, but I had to frame the tale in a way to get the point across. You’re going to be face-to-face with a tough call. Might be something as simple as how you park in your neighborhood. Could be other arrangements, but don’t hesitate to make up a story that goes with the scenario. Or borrow pieces from my tale. It’s worked so far.

Gemini: A buddy of mine was doling about advice on a certain home improvement project. Where to start? “You start at the beginning.” Simple answer. Most of my Gemini friends think it’s stupid to start at the beginning because, being Gemini and all, their Gemini minds have already visited the beginning and are ready to move onto the meaty part of the project. Normally, I’d just let that go and not bother to explain. But Mercury is backwards, Mars is making a tension angle with Saturn, and the whole milieu is making for some problem in the Gemini arena of life. So, let’s go over the point to this week: start at the beginning. Find the starting point, and begin working there. Don’t jump into a project and decide that the halfway point is where you should start exerting effort. This creates a problem. It’s like that now-legendary half-assembled outboard motor on the workbench in back of the trailer, it’s a project that will, someday, be finished. The motor will probably be a museum piece by then. Don’t try and pick up where I left off, either. Doesn’t work that way. The parts are scattered in a specific order, for a reason. If I can just find the right gasket, I could finish the job, too. But I started at the beginning. Likewise, don’t try and pick up task, and commence to work at the halfway point, begin where you are supposed to start, not where you think you should just pick up and pitch in.

Cancer: Weird little influence happening these days. Even though I regularly consult astrology charts to aid in my “naked eye” observations of the heavens, it’s still a weird one. Mars is going to make a little ruckus as he eases on into Taurus. More like the “thump” you car makes on dark country road, late at night, hitting some unknown — maybe unknowable — shape that might be live. Or recently live. Or just something large and smelly. So like hitting something on dark road, late at night, this isn’t the time that you want to get out and examine what it was that you hit. Life is supposed to be careening along just fine, like that car, running down a dark, deserted road in the backcountry, only, when you hear that thump? Ever notice, like in horror movies, that the trouble starts when they (the kids on the screen) stop, and “investigate.” Sometimes, you know, it’s better not to get out and see what made the noise.

Leo: I was cruising around on the web, doing “research” (such as it was), and basically just clicking through sensational news stories, one after another. Don’t ask, I doubt my browser’s cache kept the actual site’s address, but one place had the cutest ad I’ve seen in a while. It was a picture of a precious kitten, cuddly, fluffy, and maybe six or eight weeks old. Just as cute as could be. Beyond words. Being a person who enjoys the independent ways of a cat as a domestic companion, I must admit that the idea of new kitten was thrilling. But remember that Mercury, and Saturn, and all that other stuff? I’m all for going down the local humane society and adopting a pet, and having that pet cared for in a proper manner. I picked up my current roommate, held her up to the computer’s screen and asked her what she would think about a new roommate. She was not pleased that I was holding her, not pleased that the food dish was almost one-third empty, not pleased with the current brand of cat food in the first place, and certainly not even the least bit amused by the very idea of a kitten usurping her domain. While it may tug at the heart strings? That doesn’t mean it’s a good decision. So, for the time being, that picture of a cute kitten, probably just a stock photo, is nothing more than an idea. Think twice, or better yet, ask before you make an irrevocable decision. Like adopting a new kitten in a full cat-house.

Virgo: “Look at this Kramer, it’s like a frozen tableaux: a wedding ring, an old fishing lure, a tiny pen knife with a purple handle, a Sharpie, a mechanical pencil, a pen with a cowboy hat, and a paper calendar that’s two years out of date. It’s so you.” A Virgo girlfriend had come by to collect me, gather me and a pocketful of my stuff for a trip someplace. What caught her eye, as I was grabbling stuff to leave the trailer, was the material sitting on one corner of my desk. I pointed out that there was a floating fishing bobber that glows in the dark — it has a tiny light inside it. Or that there was also a dive knife, one that I use when I’m swimming and hiking around in the summer. Lip balm, oil for a fishing reel, more collected odds and ends than she knew how to catalog. Looks like a loose, unaligned, useless crap that inhabits that one corner of my desk. The Virgo life feels like this is what her (or his) life is like, an odd collection of items that seemingly bear no resemblance or connection to each other. But delve a little deeper. Each item has a story. As long as Mercury is retrograde, as long as the stars are all stacked up in Leo, and what with Mr. Mars making times tense, stop and examine each item in that disparate list. Are they really so unconnected? Each tiny fixture, each item, it has great importance. Significance, what’s in your Virgo tableaux?

Libra: Last week, I explained about shopping for technology. About how not buy the biggest, brightest, most expensive toy there is. (“Tool, dammit, it’s a tool, not a toy.” Whatever.) To continue with what happened after the purchase? If I’d been the one driving, I’d have rolled by her place, reached across, opened the truck’s door, and given the girl a good shove. New toys, got to go home and play. But I’m not a woman, nor, apparently, do I understand the female mind at times. Just bought a new piece of technology, the first action required is to plug it in, and play with the buttons. The “Read Me First” instructions? Don’t even think about it. The actual instruction manual? Why? The details about having to charge the battery for at least 24 hours the first time? What does the manufacturer think he knows? Who’s he fooling? Can all of that stuff, along with the companion, let me alone with my new toy so I can break something, take it back, get another one, and then glance through the instructions when I can’t figure out why I can’t turn it on. Whew. Libra: I can save you a lot of pain and frustration, especially if you just bought a new phone, computer, PDA, or whatever it is that has buttons, batteries, antennas, lens, knobs, sliders, or even just an adjustment for trolling speed. Read the instructions first. While that advice goes against every fiber in my body, it seemed to have really good results for the aforementioned lady in question, the new owner of a gadget. Rhetorical question: how can they do that?

Scorpio: I read an interesting point the other night, about “coin of the realm.” See, silver is just silver, and it’s not worth anything more than whatever this moment’s price for silver is, in bulk form. But take that precious metal, beat it into a shape, stamp a picture on one side, maybe put a Latin expression (or some other language) on the other side? Then it’s a coin. Worth a certain, fixed value. I know, Mercury is backwards, and Mars is moving to oppose your happy Scorpio self. Both of those are problems, compounded by the tension between Mars and Saturn. But wait, look a little longer. Look a little further down the road. It’s as if you’re sitting on a bunch of raw material, ore of precious metal. The deal, is, that Scorpio stash of precious resources is more like the bulk form of silver. It’s only worth so much on the commodity’s market. The next couple of weeks are the beginning of a cycle. Take a chance. Take some of that raw material and see if you can’t beat it into a shape that is generally recognized as coin of the realm. With the tension from the planets, especially on the October Scorpio set, there’s a degree of something akin to metallurgy that’s required. Get out the hammer and forge and start making money. It was mint to be?

Sagittarius: This is some spooky stuff. Usual Mercury going backwards time is fraught with tales of woes and missed opportunities. But that’s not what I was really looking at in Sagittarius. The spooky stuff is that there’s going to be one of those “weird coincidences” that’ll occur. I was in a pub the other afternoon, or tavern, and I’ll imagine that it was a place of mythological proportions with sawdust on the floor, and an innkeeper serving grog. It was just another local dive with country & western on the jukebox. I have a good imagination. In walks a client I haven’t seen in years, literally. He was wearing nice slacks, a pressed shirt and a tie. Hair was cut short and slicked back, not an item out of place. “Kramer! What’s up?” I was sitting with some friends, and then the conversation turned around to work, as in career work. “You know Kramer’s work?” one of the others asked. “Kramer? Work?” Loud and raucous laughter. “He doesn’t work, he just….” It was, at the time, actually a good plug for my business. At a time and place where an outside plug was some of the best advertisement possible. Mercury being backwards and all, plus the moon getting tinier and tinier, and all that pile of planets in Leo, it still adds up to a magical coincidence. What comes of that? Right now? I have pretty low expectations until Mercury turns his happy self around. But the magic is there, if you look for it. Or, in some situations, even if you don’t look for it.

Capricorn: “Yes, but not yet.” It’s a simple, foolproof answer to the unasked Capricorn question. Whatever it is, that’s the answer you’ve been looking for. Let’s break that answer down into two parts. “Yes.” It’s an affirmation. An affirmative answer to the question you’ve been afraid to ask. Or the question that’s been asked so many times, and you’ve gotten so many negative answers that it’s driving you crazy. I’m willing to fly in the face of convention and suggest that there will be the very answer that you’re looking for, the one you’re seeking, coming along. Now, as the second part of that answer I just gave you? “Not yet?” This is the ticklish part. But you’ve gotten a negative answer when you’ve wanted an affirmative note, for so long, here it arrives, and I’m admonishing you that there will be a delay. Not much of a delay, just a week. Or two. Really, the way I added it up, I was looking at about ten days from now. That’s pretty close, isn’t it? You’ve gotten a “no,” for so long, that my “yes” should be a welcome sight. So you can expect positive results, or whatever it is that you’re seeking. Just not yet. Close, but not quite.

Aquarius: First off, when Mercury is backwards? Just as a general guideline? It’s not a good time to purchase big-ticket technology. Like a new computer. Just as a thought, more guideline than a hard-and-fast rule. Buddy of mine, a lot younger than me, an Aquarius, purchased a new computer on a credit card. It was — at the moment of purchase — state-of-the-art, super-fast, extra-cool, and-how-many-hyphens-can-be-inserted superlatives? To my Aquarius friend, this was nothing more than a blank slate. The original purchase wasn’t even half of it. It became a project computer. Decals, like paint, were added. An aluminum body fan was added. It was turning into a hotrod project, in no time. The case — the new case — was surgically altered to accept more wires going in and out of its body. Then there were LED lights. The computer, about six weeks later, looked like the finest of Low Rider art I’ve seen in a long time. The problem? The central processor was dated. At six weeks old, it was no longer the coolest, fastest, most advanced chip available. I stopped by to check out the latest, and he was fiddling with water-cooling. He was determined to make it the coolest again. “Then I can tweak some more speed out of it, too.” Devilish grin. Tweaked Aquarius at work. While I’ll admit that it’s certainly a work of art, and I think pictures are on a modder’s site someplace, I’m not sure the expense is worth it. It is to him, my Aquarius buddy, but to an outside observer? Technology moves so fast. Are you sure you want to dump that kind of investment, time, money, more time, hard work, and cash, into a piece of technology that’s going to be obsolete before the project is done?

Pisces: Mercury may be in apparent retrograde motion, but I hardly think that’s what’s hitting you these next few days. It’s more about another influence, a weird one, weirder than usual. When Venus is opposite your sign, like she is right now, there’s usually a little spike in aberrant behavior. You get a proverbial “wild hair up your” whatever and take off in a strange direction. The effects of Venus on the Pisces brain space is heightened — accentuated — by the already strange Uranus in your sign. I tend towards rather diverse sources for information. One Pisces runs a multi-million dollar company. Another one is just a few paces away from pushing around a shopping cart and camping in the park. Both are in their respective places by choice, although, to discuss the matter with either one, they’d tell you that it was the forces of the Fates that pushed them wherever they are. But with this strange Venus-effect going on, and having its effect land directly on your Pisces head, there’s something to watch out for. Impulse control. I’m all for certain impulses hitting you and you running with that idea. Like sending me money. Or taking me on a long trip someplace. But that’s rather selfish of me, to take advantage of a Pisces like that. So if it’s not to drop an extra dollar in my tip jar, then I’d suggest you stop and think about the action — and its reaction — before you take that step. Maybe run it by a non-Pisces person and ask if it’s a good idea.

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person. More at KramerWetzel.com.

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