For the Week starting: 2.22.2007

"Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
In least speak most, to my capacity."
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer-Night’s Dream (V.i.111-2)

pisPisces: Happy birthday, Pisces (darling). The February Pisces have a good thing going on right now. The rest of the poor Pisces are still reeling under the influence of Mercury Retrograde and its associated actions. Which, to be honest, really reminded me of an event, last month. Late last month. I rigged up a plastic worm, new color for the lake, or rather, color I hadn’t tried yet, and I gave it a mighty heave into the dark waters of the lake — it was in the evening, and there was that cold, North wind blustering down the river bottom.

coOne cast. Then a second, as I shivered. I set the hook, although, honestly, I felt like I was pulling on submerged debris. Next thing I know, just like in the pictures, I had me a "head-shaker," and just like in the pictures, there was a grand bass, fighting with the hook in its mouth, jumping and shaking its head, like I was on TV or something. It had been a long cast, and it was quite a way to reel this one in, and it was fighter of epic proportions. Finally, the fish charged at the dock, then did that leap in the air, and the hook fell out. How big was the fish? I’m telling you, must’ve been…. Wait, you’ve heard it all before.

As a fisherman, I can blame Mercury for losing that fish. As a Pisces, though, you can consider how clever it was for that fish to swim straight at me, and then leap while spinning, just to unhook itself. Which one are you going to be?

ariAries: I found it amusing, it was a ten-year old kid wearing a Halloween Orange t-shirt that said, "My sister is a witch." In spooky letters. Not too terribly in tune with the times, but considering that I can certainly understand how that young male might feel, I smiled at the shirt. I thought about it. Witch, or something that rhymes with it? Yeah, it’s all covered in a bad t-shirt.

Venus, making tracks through Aries, in advance of the Sun, still lingering in Pisces, it adds up to a time when a comment, and I didn’t even realize it at the moment, but if I’d given voice to what I was thinking, I might have landed myself in trouble — with the kid’s mom. Although, if the kid’s sister was older, then maybe it could also be true, and perhaps, that’s the way the little guy feels.

Who knows? I didn’t get a chance to explore the possibilities. There’s also a deeper, and owing to my own beliefs, more introspective and spiritual side to the shirt’s message, as well. Could be a leader of a real coven, and she could be adept at natural magic. Could be some kind of secret Wiccan handshake, a signal, on the kid’s shirt. From an amusing t-shirt, there’s a lot of information flooding into the Aries arena. Careful, though, and perhaps follow my example, I thought about all of this, but I didn’t talk about it. I know I couldn’t keep my Aries mouth from saying something like, "rhymes with witch."

tauTaurus: I know a coffee shop across the street from a coin-operated car-wash. Not unusual. I wandered in one Sunday morning for a little dollop of espresso. And, while it wasn’t that perfect cup I’m constantly searching for, it was a good, with proper presentation, well-prepared. Then, as I forked over my cash, tendered my payment, the barista behind the counter grabbed a handful of bills out of the cash register, slid out from behind the counter, loped across the street, and she played with the change machine there.

coShe dashed back across the street, slipped back behind the counter, and finished making my change. Sunday morning can be like that, and this is a week filled with Sunday mornings. The sun was out, bright and cheery that morning, the coffee was good, not quite the greatest, but certainly good. The tiny delay was due, no doubt, to the closing crew, the folks from the night before. Or the management. Or owner. Not the Sunday morning worker. That Sunday morning worker, though, that’s how it feels in Taurus, you’re left without enough of something. Like quarters. Just dash across the street, and save your (valid) complaints for later.

gemGemini: There’s a little (Mexican) bakery, just down the street from me. Off to one side, there’s a putative dining room with a couple of sad little franchise cast-off booths and tables. Tucked in one corner of the dining room, there are two large screen TV things. Different Spanish channels, blaring news and soccer, then Mexican music videos and a serial story about love gone awry, with the weirdest collections of stars. Just a normal, every-day part of my universe, when I’ve got a little off time in Austin. South Austin.

Some of the fresh baked goods aren’t just good, but rather wonderful. Plus there’s the constant clatter from the kitchen, and the display cases are chocked full of various goodies. And there’s the essence of something different. A barbacoa breakfast taco and a donut, a cup of coffee, all for about two dollars? Then there’s the ambiance of those two screens, big TV screens, right next to each other, with competing soundtracks. What’s even more fun, to me, is that the two channels are Spanish; and therefore, neither makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t get it. The team in the white shorts and blue shirts beat the team in black shorts with red shirts. I’m sure that has meaning for some group of people, but it was lost on me.

Mercury is backwards. You’re stuck in a spot that’s oddly comforting, yet, you might not understand a word that’s said on the two TV screens. Does it matter?

canCancer: As I toyed with your chart, I kept hearing an archaic expression, the easiest way to get through the next couple of days? Grease the skids. What are skids? And grease, isn’t that something which is only used in unhealthy cooking? So why are we cooking up skids? With grease?

Most of the material I deal with that has bearing surfaces, the bearings themselves are usually sealed, guaranteed for life, and so on. And as far as skids go, that’s what cars do on TV, or what local drivers do when there’s a hint of precipitation. The source of the archaic expression requires a little bit of a search, or maybe not, but that very expression is what I kept thinking about when I looked at your charts.

coThere’s got to be a way, a solution, a manner in which to attack some of the usual Mercury Mayhem. I’m thinking about liberally applying grease — some kind of lubricant — to the obstacles you’re facing. While we’re both used to sealed bearing surfaces these days, it’s one sticky situation wherein a little external lubricant is called for. Something to make the solution slide on up those rails, the skids. Is it possible? Sure. Is it going to be easy? Doubtful. But that shouldn’t stop you from slathering a healthy dose of lubricant on the problem that seems stuck.

leoLeo: "Big Bass Turn On In Cold Water," was the story’s lead. It was in last month’s Bass Fishing something journal. Magazine. Some kind of periodical. The piece was about how bigger bass tend to become more active in the colder winter waters, if the fisherman knows where to look for the fish. There were suggestions about gear and tackle, baits and lures, plus techniques that are supposed to catch bigger bass in colder waters. Then there was a bit about the biology of bass in colder water, and why it was always bigger fish in the colder water.

The biologist, with some state fish and game department, had a theory, but he also admitted, in the article, that he really didn’t know why. Theories? Sure. Fact? Unknown. Proof is in the catching of the fish, though, and there were plenty of articles with guys bundled up against a Georgia, an Oklahoma, a Missouri kind of winter, fishing their little hearts out. And catching bigger fish, supposedly.

Saturn in Leo is like that winter water, too, makes it a little colder, and for a wimp like me, I wouldn’t bother to get out in the freezing weather. But I don’t have the internal fire of a Leo, either. As such, despite the cold exterior, there’s a chance, like that article promised, for you to land some really big fish. Worth the effort? For a Leo? Yes.

virVirgo: This Mercury thing is like grabbing a-holt of the business-end of a cattle prod. It’s an electrifying jolt that’s not comfortable — at all. It’s like brushing up against an electric fence just as the little battery-thing shoots juice down the wire, and your Virgo self makes a perfect ground for the energy. This might come as quite a shock, but Virgo is intimately associated with Mercury. More so than other signs, Gemini notwithstanding.

So as Mercury is going backwards, in the sign that’s opposite from you, as Mercury cuts a path through the heavens, in way that’s not particularly good, pay attention. We can’t fix Mercury. But we can pay attention to what the message is. That cattle prod? Should’ve known by now that you weren’t supposed to grab it. The electric fence? It’s a gamble, but the odds are you’ll be touching it when the juice is flowing.

coIt’s all about knowing what the boundaries are. Not barriers, more like boundaries, where’s a good place to be and what’s an action that you shouldn’t take on. A wise person is aware of limits, and as long as Mercury is doing this, those limits are more important than ever. Just be a little more aware of what you should — or shouldn’t — touch.

libLibra: There’s a weird kind of energy in the heavens, and when I looked at it with Libra in mind, I kept trying to narrow down the focus point. What was strange, was exactly what the planets were doing. Two in particular, Mercury and Mars. As the coming weekend draws to a close, Mr. Mars heads into Aquarius. And so does Mr. Mercury. That’s bringing in some much needed insight into the Libra life. It’s a boost, albeit, with Mercury moving in an apparent backwards direction, this is like the timing on one of my jokes. Bad.

The jokes are rank enough in and of themselves, then there’s my innate sense of timing which just takes a bad joke and makes it worse. I do tend to amuse myself, but that’s not the question. It’s about timing, and the planets are giving you some much-appreciated abilities to focus. That’s good. The ability to communicate what you get? That’s a problem. But use that insight, maybe file it away, and use it when the results of whatever it is that you’re focusing on? Save it for a better time.

scoScorpio: Because of where I’ve lived, and because I tend to embrace more than one culture, I get to see items that are perhaps incongruent outside of my local home. It was a usual t-shirt, for me. "I dance country at the Broken Spoke." It’s a shirt, it’s a sticker, it’s a slogan, and it’s true. The Spoke is a live music venue that’s been around for a long time. Legend has it that Bob Wills played there.

It’s straight up chicken-fried steak, cream gravy and country music. Fiddles & pedal steel guitars, no frills. Texas Two-Step. You know the drill, guys wear cowboy hats and the crowd is quite diverse. I’ve seen youngsters with parents, movie stars, and the weekend cowboys, plus any number of other local nightlife denizens. So the shirt itself wasn’t too odd. Except, it was tye-died. Tie-dyed. One of those. Crazy "psychedelic" colors, reminiscent of an era long gone. Strange stuff, and anyplace else, it really wouldn’t make much sense.

I did have a hard time trying to reconcile the Spoke’s country music with the background colors on the shirt. But then, I tend to stratify my groups, either country or hippie, but rarely both. Between Mercury’s machinations and Mercury’s mayhem, there’s also another influence that needs your attention, it’s about Saturn (Leo) and Neptune (Aquarius), as those two oppose each other. Results? A shirt like I saw that just makes no sense. But it does.

sagSagittarius: I was holding up a fish, probably over four pounds, but nowhere near five pounds, while I was in the front of the boat. Fishing buddy put his pole down long enough to snap a picture. "Hey," I intoned, "these jeans don’t make my BASS look fat, do they?" Fishing buddy just rolled his eyes a little at that comment. I thought it was greatly amusing. But anyone who’s got a girlfriend (wife/whatever) has heard that kind of a comment, and a perspicacious male knows that it’s dangerous territory.

coMust’ve struck a nerve, based on the reaction, the quiet, not too demonstrative grunt that could be interrupted as a masculine form of a sigh. He took two pictures, one with my head cut off. Just as well, anyway, wasn’t that much of a fish, but it was a fish. The question, and the subsequent non-photo-op presents the Mercury questions, as well as looking at the other influences? What is the best way to deal with the current state of affairs? The Mercury cycle is one that indicates your photographic evidence is liable to be marred, or just not come out correctly. However, the Sagittarius influence indicates that you can catch fish. And that’s the purported goal, in the first place.

capCapricorn: My refrigerator, which I prefer to call an icebox, is a focal point in my homestead. There’s the tiny kitchenette, and the big old ice box is pushed into the corner. It was a tight fit, I’m guessing. In it, there’s a couple of kinds of bait, like night crawlers and some frozen squid. Little bit of salmon, too, although that’s not bait, that’s fresh smoked salmon from the North West. Somebody in Seattle loves me.

There’s some candy, and a good dose of chocolate because it never hurts to keep that on hand. A couple of cans of exotic beer — not for me — and some diet coke. A couple of bottles of water. A visiting girlfriend opened up the icebox and made some unkind remark. I live alone, and I don’t have overnight visitors, because, after all, I do live like a monk.

Cleaning out the icebox isn’t really a task I enjoy, or, for that matter, deem as a necessary. What I’ve got seems to work. But that untoward remark made me think that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to do something about that the dirt in the icebox. Although it seems impossible, the fill from the worm boxes sometimes finds its way onto the shelves. That’s a problem, apparently, especially for the more sanitary types of people. So I’m thinking, haven’t commenced yet, but I’m thinking about cleaning out the icebox. Capricorn, you’re in a similar situation. A remark had a little sting to it. Can you do something about it? Perhaps follow my lead? Think about starting to think about cleaning it up?

aquAquarius: As a forward thinking Aquarius — you are reading this — therefore, you must be forward thinking — but as a forward thinking Aquarius, when Mercury nears the end of its retrograde cycle, you start figuring that the deal is over. It’s not. However, as Mars starts into Aquarius this weekend? It does add a little bit of zest to everything you do, hence, that feeling that the mercurial cycle is over.

Mars is like pure cayenne powder, a very powerful spice. So powerful, it’s used in pepper spray. So incapacitating, so strong, so tasty (to some of us). It’s also supposedly got a number of curative and restorative powers. I understand the myth, and I understand the lore, plus I have a fair understanding of some of the chemistry, although, that’s never been a strong point with me. But understanding, and actually experimenting? Two different areas. This is where the caution comes, as an Aquarius, you’re thinking about cooking up something. One of the ingredients is cayenne. One of the problems is that — between Mars and Mercury — you’re sorely tempted to use more than a little dab. While I’ll break out in a sweat and swear up and down that it’s good, my tastes and the general public don’t always agree. Hence the problem. So watch it with the hot stuff, now that Mars is coming on strong.

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

Use of this site (you are here) is covered by all the terms as defined in the fineprint, and there might be, maybe, a material connection between the hot links and this site (sometimes).

© 1993 – 2022 Kramer Wetzel, for &c.