For the Week starting: 12.29.2005

“If I be served such another trick, I’ll have my brains taken out and buttered, and give them to a dog for a New Year’s gift.”

    Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor [III.v.6-8]

The year ahead? In short? Venus has started a retrograde pattern in Aquarius, but on January 1, 2006, she’s going to slide right on back into Capricorn. So for all of January, Venus is backwards in Capricorn, covering the last half of that sign, and in effect, impacting the cardinals, Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Venus rights herself February 2, just in time for those of us who’ve made bad decisions under her influence to beg for forgiveness by VD. Mercury goes retrograde in March, along with Jupiter turning retrograde. Combined with Saturn, already RX, it’s going to be a retrograde month, but mostly, it’s just Mercury. Mercury goes direct March 24th. Saturn goes stationary, or direct, depends, in the first week of April. In July, much to the delight of the Scorpio crowd, Jupiter turns forward, but mercury goes backwards again, from July 4th to July 28th. In At the end of October, Mars enters Scorpio, to much cheering. However, Mercury goes retrograde one more time, from October 28 to November 17th, in Scorpio. However, two days after Sagittarius starts, November 23, Jupiter goes into Sagittarius. Much rejoicing will be heard throughout the land.

Aries: Hey, I got an idea, and this isn’t like a truly new idea or anything, but I thought about it, you know, and I figure it’s a good call. Go shopping. Sure, That Venus thing is not necessarily a good time to shop, but after the dispirited holiday season, there’s going to be a ton of stuff on sale. Cheap. Next to nothing. Costs less to unload the material, rather than to pay shipping and return it. Coming up, next week or two, you’ve got to remember that your taste is not what it could be. Unless you were selecting fishing wear for someone like me, maybe the more tasteful products should be left alone. However, there are always a number of items, maybe even the very things you wanted for your holiday, and now, while everything is on sale, it’s a good time to get out and shop. This advice goes against conventional, astrological wisdom, but I’m playing an Aries long shot here — Venus: backwards for you, but backwards for them, too.

Taurus: Right before the holidays, I was at work, an event, with a Taurus guy. Early in the morning, he took a swig out of his paper/plastic cup of coffee, and he noted that there was a hole in the cup, a slow leak, which dribbled coffee all down his shirt. He groused about it, then looked over at me, and I commented on the upcoming Venus going backwards thing. He smiled. It’s not a critical situation. As it was, he wound up making money that weekend, even with the coffee drips on his shirt. That Venus going backwards? That’s like the hole in the coffee cup. It’s a minor inconvenience, but it’s not a major problem. Of course, it’s a major problem to at least some of the fine Taurus folks I know, those are people who will make a big deal out of having to go home and change cloths, then spend a portion of the evening complaining about how hard it is to get coffee stains out of that blouse or shirt. Think about my buddy, at work. He kept right on going, stains and all. Little setbacks aren’t much of a problem. Keep going, it’ll pay off.

Gemini: Part of the punch line? “And if you don’t quit fishing so much, your elbow will never get better.” Seeing as how you’re Gemini and all, I won’t bore you with the rest of the joke. But that’s a sentiment, and that particular punch line, it all fits well with the end of the year and the beginning of the next. It’s really a rather arbitrary time, calling this the beginning of the new cycle, what with all the Capricorn energy floating about. Plus, there’s that pesky little Venus Retrograde. The funny bit about the punch line, though, at least to me, I suffered with “tennis elbow,” or tendonitis, at one time or another, due, no doubt, to excessive practice with a rod and reel. It’s not a really too sore, and I just got used to the pain. Plus, if I would ever just not fish for about three of four days, the elbow would quit hurting at all. Part of the problem is a heavy-duty fishing rod that I tend to favor, plus its heavy-duty reel. But if I would just not fish for a while, that elbow pain would go away. Like my elbow, there’s a repetitive action, and if your Gemini self would just quit doing whatever it is, then your elbow will not hurt so much. Expecting me to fish less, or expecting you to not do whatever it is that you do? Good luck in cutting back in the new year.

Cancer: I was watching, the day after Xmas, as a neighbor began to take down his Xmas lights. What’s a trailer park without Xmas lights up — year round? I think that it’s in the terms of service, or the fine print, someplace, about holiday lights that are supposed to be kept up all year. But my Cancer neighbor, he was busy unstringing his lights. It’s part of the Venus cycle, we’re all now entering, and it’s time to consider what can be done to enhance by taking away. Like Xmas lights? Sure. It’s like that. Now then, the tastes of some of my neighbors, and our strict adherence to traditional decorations? With the way the planets stack up, I’d suggest some kind of action, not unlike my Cancer neighbor. There he was, the day right after Xmas, December 26th, undoing what most of us feel like should be left done. With certain situation, taking away, or taking down, or otherwise simplifying, that’s the easiest way to make improvements. Consider it, like my Cancer neighbor. Made his place look a lot better — even though it’s probably against some kind of code.

Leo: There are, really, only about a half dozen bass who live in the lake in front of my place. I was counting, you know, year end and all, that I’d caught, let’s say for round numbers, that there are ten bass that dwell right in front of the trailer. Just at the edge of the dock. So, in my year-end accounting, I figure, if I caught forty fish in the last year, right here, that means I caught the same fish, four times. Makes sense, and it works out pretty well. I never hurt the fish, and I put them all back in the water as soon as I get picture, and, on some occasions, the fish get back into the water before I get picture. There’s one, and after I caught him, I’m pretty sure he had a bit of an attitude. “Kramer! (many fish expletives are censored out) Not again!” He’s back, with his finned brethren, and maybe they are all plotting to get even, or maybe they’re plotting to not bite my bait. And in a few months, he’ll bite again, and he’ll have that look, and he’ll be swear to his fish self that he is not going to fall for the old plastic worm trick. Again. And he will. He’ll probably dig some Large Mouth Bass teeth into my thumb while I get his picture. Then he’ll be swimming again, a little pissed at me, and perhaps a little irritated with himself, too, for falling for the same trick. Again. Which one are you going to be this year? Fisher-person? Or my little friend, hooked? Again?

Virgo: I was getting a hookup in the trailer, not a hookup to the trailer, and not that kind of a hookup, it was cable — no, I didn’t buy a TV — it was for a cable modem. I switch broadband providers every time there’s a new, special low price. DSL, Cable Modem, back to DSL, back to a cable modem, whatever’s cheapest. The installer guy was supposed to be here, between 9 AM and noon, the day after Xmas. He didn’t show. She didn’t show. She was a day late, and she had the wrong time. “It’s marked, ‘after 5:00 PM’ on the work order,” she offered by way of an excuse. She shrugged, and I couldn’t help but fall prey to her charms, and so the installation, late, was done. We’re back online. She’s gone (Virgo, no really, I asked.) The holidays do that to work orders. The holidays also do that to the Virgo slice of heaven. It (doesn’t matter what “it” is) is going to take an extra day, there will be a delay, and no, Mr. Mercury is not retrograde. But Venus is headed that way. Which means, no one seems to be paying close attention to your schedule, commitments or what you want done, when you want it done. Relax. Take it easy. Slow down. It’s going to happen, but getting all fired up over the details of exactly when? That’s like watching the New Years’ Eve celebrations, as they cross the time zones. It’ll hit, correctly, on one of them.

Libra: Just a few days before Xmas, I was listening to a dear little Libra and her singular complaint. “He broke up with me, like, two days before Xmas. How cold is that?” Then came a long string of “I hate all men — all mean are scum” type of comments. The details about this one Libra lass, and her complaints about mates? It was predicated on understanding that she always felt like she was dating a guy with a little bit better station in life than her own. Doesn’t mean that love can’t conquer the perceived inequities, just means, she couldn’t afford the first-class air-fare overseas. Or the fine dining, not if she was buying. I’m not saying she didn’t have class, that one girl has a lot of class, she just doesn’t make a lot of money in her position. Apparently, that was a sticking point in the relationship, which, to my mind, means that the now ex-boyfriend is certainly a lot less classy that she made him out to be. There’s just no accounting for tastes. But I’d watch out for bad timing, on the part of other people, as this year wraps up. Or as the new year unfolds. You can bet that at least one person, who promises to perform a much needed function, you can bet that the person fails. It’s not bad, just bad timing. (That Libra lass? She got back together with the boyfriend, right after Xmas.)

Scorpio: “First it’s Mars, then it’s Mercury, and now it’s Venus! Isn’t anything good ever going to happen for Scorpio? Ever?” About a year ago, I did suggest that you’re entering period of time when life will be all good all the time, no exceptions. I’m holding to that prediction, for my Scorpio quarters. The little stuff is what goes awry with the little planets making uncomfortable movements. Big stuff is still on track, although, I would suggest that the good train Scorpio might be running a little late. Doesn’t deter the goodness of what’s going on, but it will slow down the delivery. This is also less about romance and more about how you communicate what you communicate. Content versus packaging. The message, not the medium, that’s the key point. Very simple. Very straightforward. Now, thanks to that little misstep by Miss Venus, This weekend, next week, and the next month or so is off to a less than salubrious start. That does not mean the rest of the year is waste. But does mean that your usually impeccable Scorpio timing is going to be off. Imagine, you’ve a got a whole month of this: you start blowing the new years’ noisemaker while everyone else is still counting down from ten.

Sagittarius: One New Year’s Eve, I had to work New Year’s Day, the first of the month (astrologers get a lot of calls, trust me), and my big plans were to sleep through the big celebration. Instead, at a few minutes before ten, a couple of my neighbors took it upon themselves to get me out of the trailer park, and down to Austin’s Sixth Street, a legendary entertainment capitol. Just me, the neighbors and about half million of my closest Austin friends. Very long, “right,” goes here. It was not my plan, not my intention and certainly not where I wanted to be, not really. So there I was, in the teeming mass of thousands, celebrating, as it were. New Year rolled over, and I got in kind of late, then I didn’t get enough sleep before I had to roll out for the next day’s work. Are you weary of me being weary yet? What I’m suggesting, when the big night comes along? Maybe follow my original plan. Stay home. Why? The new year is packed full of goodness. No hurry in getting there from here. Besides, timing is going to be a little off for us Sagittarius types, so this year, when the neighbors try to drag me out? I think I’ll follow my own advice and stay home. Want to get a fresh jump on the new year.

Capricorn: What’s this whole “Venus” thing mean to you? It’s simple, really. January 1, 2006, I’ll hit the trail again. I’ve been bouncing back and forth across Texas, doing readings on various circuits for a long time. More than a dozen years. I’ve covered a lot of ground. Looking at a battered suitcase, though, I wonder, do I really want to load and go again? Of course I do. It’s all a matter of priorities. When I fetched that suitcase out and started tossing in materials, flyers, clothing, toiletries, and so forth, there was a rhythm and a sense that I knew what I was doing. I was getting back into the swing of business. My busy season is fast approaching. I’ve enjoyed downtown. Not too much work, more time to play around and goof off, and now, it’s back to the grind again. One of the most frequent questions I get is, “So what’s your day job?” This is my day job. Such as it is. It’s what I do, and it’s what, deep down inside, I really do love. Even if it seems like a burden to begin getting ready for the next round. That’s what this Venus retrograde is all about. It’s really what you love, so go ahead, seems like a chore right now, but pretty soon, the sound of the tires on the highway, the departure lounge in the plane and train stations, the same cab driver, three weekends in a row? It’s back in the saddle, and sometimes, that feels good. Despite Miss Venus and her machinations.

Aquarius: One of my business compatriots is an Aquarius, and this particular person has been calling just about every week, just to check in and see what the heck Venus was going to do. “Oh no, it’s retrograde in my 12th House, what will I do?” How about nothing? Why worry? Can’t change the way the planet moves, unless you can reach up and alter Planet Earth’s trajectory. So what’s the problem? Sit back, kick back, relax. There’s going to be some tension in your life. Probably related to that silly romance question. Doesn’t mean it’s time to rush out and find a new relationship, or for that matter, is it time to flush the old relationship. Just understand that your non-Aquarius significant other probably “doesn’t get it” these days. Now, there’s no need for worry. My old cat, she had a perfect solution for this. She would stir, after being dormant for hours, get up, dash outside, discover that it was really cold outside, and despite her girth, decide that the outdoor litter box was not nearly as inviting as it had been before. She would dash back in, grab bite, and then take another four-hour nap. I’m not sure that a four-hour nap is humanly possible, but as long as it’s cold outside, and as long as Venus is backtracking like this, maybe do just like that old cat. Check it out then go back to whatever you were doing before.

Pisces: You wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff, crap really, that folks give to me. Most, if not all of it, has that “fishing motif” embroidered, emblazoned, etched, digitally mastered, or otherwise printed on the item. Shirts. Hats. Jackets, jeans, boots, pens, pencils, lighters, ashtrays, cups, mugs, glass, coasters, silverware, kitchenware, even, a kitty litter box with a bass sticker on its side. Yeah, the stuff we get. The stuff we give, too. I’ve got more than one dear Pisces friend who is rapidly becoming a favorite Pisces because she loves the fish stuff. So I’m into a recycling, except, that one Pisces? She thinks everything is for her. From me. We get a little crossed up in signals. “This is for Xmas, and this is for Hanukah, and this one is for Solstice.” Then this one is for Valentine’s Day. Elvis’ Birthday. And so on. First point, I don’t think she’s so unenlightened that she perceives that I’m just giving her al this out of the goodness of my heart. We both understand — I hope — that most of this is merely recycling of one sort or another. From one fisherman to a Pisces. Second point: recycling. Most of the gift-giving holidays are over for a spell. Take it easy. Look at your stash of loot, if there is such a thing in your world, and see what needs to be recycled. I’m sure you’ve got a place — or person — that is more than willing to help.

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

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