For the Week starting: 12.28.2006

Fishing Guide to the Stars
by Kramer Wetzel
(c) 2005, 2006 by Kramer Wetzel for
For the Week starting: 12.28.2006

“Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend
The wondrous architecture of the world
And measure every wand’ring planet’s course”
Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine (II.vii.21-3)

2007, in short? Mercury will be retrograde from February 14 to March 7th, starting in Pisces but backing down into Aquarius, then June 15th to July 9th, in Cancer, and finally from October 12th to the 31st, starting in Scorpio, but sliding back into the tail edge of Libra. Venus bumps into Virgo, mid-July, but starts backwards July 27th to September 7th, mostly in Leo. Mars will do his thing, from November 15, 2007 to January 29th, 2008, starting in Cancer, but sliding as far back as Gemini. But what does it all mean? Stay tuned.

Aries: Before Xmas is one of my least favorite times in the calendar year due to a number influences. Some are purely astrological, some are more long the lines of the marketing hype associated with the season. But after Xmas? This becomes one of my favorite times. It’s still cold, although there will a one or two days that could warm up to shorts weather. And then there’s the shopping. After Xmas sales, deep discounts, and all that stuff I saw that I thought I needed and no one delivered? I can go and the special point, to a cheap person like myself, it’s all heavily marked down. Usually. If it’s not on sale, then it’s not likely to be acquired. Still, the places where shoppers congregate are less crowded, the open spaces are more open, and there’s a decidedly more leisurely tone to the matters at hand. Consider with the shift in planets that the Aries world is like this. This little window of time is marred by the sun itself, but even that, if you deal with its influence, a certain tension, in an even-handed way? Gloss over the tiny problems, or, at the very least, don’t give those tiny problems any more attention they are worth? You’ll be surprised at what a nice time you can have. Leisurely, even.

Taurus: The bulk of the holidays are over and we’ve got a little window of opportunity to knock out some tasks that we all want to accomplish. In my case, it’s simple, I’ve got to close the books and open up a new batch of books, the way I have to file paperwork and such, getting tax documentation ready, and getting everything that looks official looking all official-like. If I really had a rubber stamp (and its ink pad) I would be spending my days “rubber stamping” the year-end paperwork. There’s joy and sadness mixed in with the tasks. Year-end wrap-up material gives me a chance to look back at where I’ve been in the last year, plus, where I hope to chart a course for the future. That’s the issue, too, in Taurus. You have enough year-end crap to occupy your mind, but there’s something up ahead that you can start planning for, a new year is opening up. Looks good, too, simply put. Take a little bit time away from end-of-the-year chores and look at plotting where you’re going. Goals, destinations, possible outcomes, far-flung dreams that you have no hope of achieving, but want to dream some? I’d look at those a little more. Might seem far fetched, right now, but with the way the odds are stacking up, over time, like in the span of the next 12 months? There’s a shot at one of those dreams, and you have a chance to make it a reality.

Gemini: As soon as I suggest that this is a true story, remember, I heard from a guy who claims to know a guy who claims he knew the guy it happened to. Some interloper, moved out to the farm land, south of town, intent on starting a catfish farm. Supposedly secured contacts and possibly contracts with one or more restaurants to supply farm-raised catfish. Had himself some acreage, irrigation and water rights, and finally had hundreds of catfish delivered. Planted them in little rows with their heads sticking up. All died. Had another batch of catfish delivered, and planted them with their heads sticking down. All died. Mars and Jupiter are still opposing kind and gentle Gemini, and you’re still thinking about planting catfish. Or a similar activity. When the would-be catfish farmer went to the “fish & game” department for assistance with his dead catfish crop? Way I heard it? After listening to his tale of woe? The agent in charge requested a soil sample before he could render an analysis.

Cancer: End of the year, beginning of a new one? The day after Christmas, I was walking along, and I overheard a snippet of conversation, not that it bothers me not having all the facts at my command, it was two women, approaching ion the dark. The only portion of what I heard was, “(dot dot dot) you purposefully didn’t tell me about….” And that’s the beginning and end of what I actually heard. The tone was more or less friendly, and it was dark, but I’d place the age in the “young adult” category. In my mind, an absence of hard facts has never bothered me. It was about boy, a party, some perceived over-sight that might have had some terrible implications, but judging from the tone, it was still friendly. Suddenly, I was tempted to follow and listen to the rest of the conversation, but my destination was in the opposite direction, and it was under the cover of the night, so maybe following them would result in pepper spray — or worse. As I turned this tiny phrase over in my mind, I considered the legal — and moral — implications. A time when a lie isn’t a lie but for the fact of omission. Was that the cased? Did this involve a possible mate? I’ve been at my business too long to trust humanity. My extensive mental occupation with this one overheard comment? Just a part of sentence, really? The story left untold? That’s where the secret is for Cancer. It’s not about what you say, sometimes, it’s about what you leave out. Consider what you’re going to edit out for the next year, then take steps to start that process. Cutting out some information isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Leo: There’s a quiet reserve of strength you have. That’s going to be necessary to help make it through this part weekend. New Year’s Eve, the big one, as the clock and time march forward? Time to call up that quiet reserve of energy. Maybe a big party night isn’t called for, or maybe it is. Maybe a little less talk, and little more quiet is called. I realize you want to jump on the next year because it’s supposed to be looking better than the year that’s closing, but I’m still urging a little silence. Or quiet time. Pause, reflect, see where you can actually do better next time around. What’s acceptable, and what’s clearly beneath your Leo dignity. What might be below your dignified status, but needs to be done, anyway? Instead of trying to get some other person to handle his or her job more effectively, sometimes, with a silent resolve, it’s just faster to do it yourself. Do so. Do so with little expectation of being immediately rewarded. Will there me notice of your quiet actions? Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. And often as not, it takes a while for anyone to notice. Fear not, you will be rewarded. Eventually.

Virgo: I was on potions of the hike and bike trail that I don’t normal traverse, out on the east side of town, behind the power plant. The holiday consumption had ramped up the plant’s output, so the water was flowing, and I was having a moment’s reprieve, stranded with no phone. Alas, no fishing pole, either, but I was just trying to shake out the last of the old and in with part of the new. I was lost in thought as I rounded one corner and noticed that a huge swath of brush had been cleared. Been a while since I’d been along that little section of trail, so the missing brush caught me by surprise. Down at the water’s edge, there were dead rushes and so forth, and it offered a clear view of shoreline I hadn’t ever fished because the cover was too dense. Then my gaze wandered upward, and there was a beautiful vista, previously covered by the tangled growth. A new view. New to me, anyway. New shoreline, again, just new to me, and previously unexplored territory. The possibilities are limitless. Same applies to Virgo. Someone else has come along and cleared away a spot of tangled brush, and in that clearing, you gain new vistas. New, unexplored terrain for the Virgo who likes adventure. the problem is doing this solo. Unlike me, I demurred that afternoon, you’re set to go places that you haven’t been before. It’s like seeing something old, but for you, and me, it’s like it’s brand new. Act fast, too, as that brush will slowly reclaim the space.

Libra: December weather in Austin is weird. Shorts one afternoon, long overcoat the next afternoon. I was ambling along the downtown streets, as close as a Austin has to a “Main Street,” and I was noticing people. There was this one guy walking along with two roses in hand. Close examination, long overcoat, hair in a “do rag” — under a baseball cap. Which is a certain ethnic look, common in the strongly Hispanic (or Latin, or whatever) neighborhoods. I may be passing judgment, but then, that’s what I do, and I find that “look” reasonably attractive, sort of elegant and relaxed at the same time. Along with the roses, though, what’s the story therein? The two roses were more than buds, less a full floral arrangement. Loosely wrapped in a newspaper. Pale yellow hue, more pastel than the common “yellow rose of Texas,” and so forth. But what was the story? New love? Old love, rekindled? An after Xmas gift to warm up a relationship of some sort? Or maybe a lover had given hi the roses? In my romantic’s heart, I was hoping the guy was off to tender his warm affection, and I was hoping that two roses, instead of one, was a symbol of something stronger than mere affection. Look: Libra, if one (item here) is a good idea to warm up a situation? Think what two (items here) will do. Redouble the effort as the year closes and new one starts.

Scorpio: Everybody has bad habits, or traits that they would like to change. Sure. I picked up a little shot of espresso one place downtown, it’s, like, sort of convenient because that place, it’s along the way either to or from the post office. Picked up the mail, and I was sauntering along, and consider what caffeine does, it quickens the blood, speeds matters up. Plus, as a little known side-effect, it’s also a mild diuretic. I learned this someplace, don’t ask, I’m sure some health website has all that kind of information. But what that means is that there was a pressing matter, and the longer I held onto that empty espresso cup, me walking along, the more pressing that matter became. If you can, take a break right now and go the bathroom, your bladder will be gladder. Alas, I was in the midst of downtown, which can appear to be a bewildering array of big buildings and parking lots, with not much hope, except for a single-minded fast walk home. Fueled by the caffeine, I made it home, and adverted anything embarrassing from happening to me. My problem, my trouble, and what I’m trying to help my Scorpio friends with, as we tie up this year? Never pass up a chance to take care of something. If you can’t do it ahead of time, think about your destination before you set out, and make sure there are adequate rest stops, or places that you can do whatever task is there that needs to be done. Don’t pass up a good chance to relieve yourself.

Sagittarius: The big night is upcoming, and I’m thinking I’ll be home, in bed, alone. All alone. Safer that way. Avoid problems. Lately, I’ve been getting a number of “fishing” letters, advertising, really, for all sorts of services. Debt reduction. Offers for new credit cards. Special refinancing on the mortgage for the property located at my post office box. Which is funny, because the USPS own that land, I think. Or, at least, they have a long lease on it. What I’ve started doing is responding to the offers, my way of fighting back. If there’s a toll-free number, I’ll call them and see what they can do for me. I’ve had to decline several offers for credit cards because I don’t want any more debt. But I’ve had fun with the mortgage broker folks, as they keep coming up with alternative offers to what was suggested in the mail I received. So I get to toy with them, and in doing so, I’m wasting their time. They bothered to send me the mail, the paper, the postage, the printing, it all cost money. Therefore, I’ll burn up some operator’s time on an afternoon when I’m partially annoyed. Makes for some light entertainment. Plus, I endeavor to never be mean. Just get the deal to the point that it’s not a good deal, then ring off. Decline. It’s like shopping. I can’t stem the flow of inbound crap. But I can make it less of a good bet on the part of the people sending me this stuff, and therefore, I’m doing something to help slow the flow. Sooner or later, they’ll get the message to stop sending me unwanted solicitations.

Capricorn: I walked towards a familiar restaurant the other afternoon, intent on some nutritious fare, and as I approached, I noticed a TV van parked outside. This bodes no well. The antenna/dish thing on top of the van wasn’t extended, but the side door was open, and there appeared to be a technician getting ready for a broadcast report of some kind. “This bodes no well,” I thought to myself, despite the argument that any press is better than no press, there does come a time when there’s some unwanted attention. That one place? I could easily imagine it being shut down for health code violations. I’ve known staff members to recount harrowing tales of abuse and mismanagement. Which, if you think about it, is why the food’s so tasty. Delicious. It’s that special touch of disdain that adds the correct spice. But I was worried about the TV van, the exposure, and what that could do. Hate to see the place close the doors, just because of some stupid, inept reporter digging through the trash or something. I hitched up my bravery and entered. Inside, the TV crew — you would recognize the reporter — were all seated at a table with one empty spot, presumably the technician still outside. It was a scary proposition for me, and I’m sure that restaurant, but as it turned out, the crew was stopped for an afternoon meal, not some stupid, sensationalist, much-racking story. In the space of a few step, from when I saw the van to when I ate, I turned a simple meal into disaster for a favorite place. Disaster was averted, or might never have even happened. Be extra careful about making assumptions, although, some flights of my imagination can be pretty entertaining. To me. Or any Capricorn.

Aquarius: Progressive rock. Progressive country. Progressive adjective. In the annals of music history, I’m sure there’s going to be some commentary about the various progressive branches of music, which, when looking at it historically, will seem kind of dated. I’m sure there will also be a suggestion that some of the progressive music wasn’t really so progressive as it would seem, too. But that’s in hindsight, I’m sure. It’s all about looking back and then looking forward. I’m all about progress, as there’s a chance to make some, even before the new year kicks itself into gear. Got a few extra days right around this scope, a day or two before and a the immediate days afterwards that offer a special Aquarius window of opportunity to start a personal progressive movement. Time to move ahead. A musical progression builds on a theme, wherein a theme is repeated, then enhanced, then repeated again, then the theme is used as a repetitive building block, iterated, reiterated, and expanded. I’m tending to consider the Aquarius thematic elements as a solo endeavor, but that could just be my take on the situation. But building, repeating, and adding, thereby, enhancing? That’s the theme. Repeat as necessary, with suitable variations.

Pisces: I was at the grocery store, and I bought a six-pack of canned product, passing up on venerable canned chili because I thought I’d like to change. On the cover of the can, the six I purchased, there was picture of hearty beef stew looking dish, and I figured that was what was in the can. Same price as a similar sized can of chili. Should be the same thing? I feel for a marketing trick, put the two items next to each other, put a nice label on it, and one person will skip the details. I didn’t even bother to scan the list of ingredients, trusting my time-honed male shopping instincts, what I was thinking was that I got a sixer of beef stew. What I got was a six-pack of tomato paste and “seasonings,” and probably not stuff that I was looking for. The cover shot on the cans? Probably done in a studio, and probably done years ago, and probably not even real. Much to my dismay, when I was settling in a winter’s night, hoping for a home-made chili pie type of dish, what I got was soggy chips covered in a ketchup. The label, is only skin deep, but I was hungry the next morning, and sorely put out with myself for falling for such an obvious marketing trick. Worked on me. Much to my dismay. You can figure out any number of messages from my mistake, but the obvious one, given the planets’ locations? It wasn’t the fine print that I missed, it was the marketing trick wherein similar items — but not the same — are put next to each other. That’s what I’m suggesting you watch out for.

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copyright (c) 2005, 2006 Kramer Wetzel, for

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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