For the Week starting: 2.8.2007

"And no day without a deed to crown it."
Shakespeare’s King Henry VIII (All that is true) act V, scene v, line 65

The Middle Ages came up with some of the worst elements ever introduced to humanity and civilization: gunpowder and romantic love. It’s Mercury Retrograde fun and games again.

aquAquarius: Some time in January, the San Antonio River Authority, the folks who control the water along the river walk area, the water gets shut off. The river is drained, cleaned, and so forth. There’s an annual "Mud Parade," too. What I like about San Antonio, any excuse for a party. Talking to one of the park rangers, the city uses park police alongside the fabled and storied Riverwalk area, I inquired about funny questions.

coBesides long-haired astrologers asking funny questions. That ranger was explaining that the funniest one he’d heard lately was asking for a boat ride — on the river of mud. Tourist do ask funny questions.

A normally awake and alert Aquarius would never ask such a question. But given where the planets are, as they impact your mental facilities, you might find yourself asking just such a question. Supposedly, and I’ve heard this one a lot, there are no stupid questions — addendum: only stupid answers. However, given that Mercury thing? Consider the question before you ask. Do you really want to ride on a river of mud?

pisPisces: Bit of advice from a T-shirt. The T-shirt was on a friend’s daughter, a young soccer player kind of a gal, you know, early teens or so, I’m guessing. "When in doubt, CHARGE THE GOAL." Good advice in certain situations. I’m doubting that most Pisces folks are playing soccer or some similar kind of athletic endeavor, at this point. But there’s an idea, a concept that I like, a sense about the message behind the message in the shirt’s slogan.

When in doubt, in Pisces land? Consider charging forward. Been so long since I’ve played soccer, much less any other sport that doesn’t require a fishing pole, I’m not sure I could follow all the rules and permutations required to properly assess that kind of advice. But I like the sense that goes with the message. Between a mercurial influence, and Venus tag-team with Uranus, maybe some direct, forward action is required. Forget the usual preamble about Mercury being retrograde. You may not score a point, but you’ll look good in attempt. Posterity remembers winners, and I’d like you to be a winner this week. Charge the goal.

ariAries: I’m not sure that I can isolate the problem with Aries. Either it’s the Mercury situation, currently unfolding, wherein Mercury is in apparent retrograde motion in the Aires "solar 12th house," or it’s Mars, in Capricorn, creating a strong tension angle to Aries. Plus, there are two other factors I’d like to look at, both Saturn (in Leo) and Jupiter (in Sagittarius). More good than ill, but there’s a big old "Mercury is RX" pattern that needs the Aries attention.

Nightmares, foibles, that subtle voice in the back of the Aries mind, which quibbles and tries to second-guess every decision? That’s the problem. The second, third, or fourth guess? Therein is the problem. I’ve found that one kind of bait works better than anything else in my neighborhood. Usually. But as I was standing at the river’s edge, thinking about fishing, I was wondering if I should try something else, just to change up the pattern. Shake up the fish. Do something different. Try a new approach. I stood there for a moment, and I watched as a pair of bucks silently cruised along the bank. I raced home, grabbed a pole and presented them tried and true bait. Worked just fine. No second-guessing, no "new approach," no changes. Stick with what works, and that voice in the back of your Aries brain? Just tell it to shut up.

tauTaurus: The littlest planet, according to some, makes the biggest waves. I’m none too concerned with Mercury and his backwards trek in the sky, not me, but I’d warn you that he is, indeed retrograde. Usual warnings apply — in case you haven’t figured that out by now.

coThere’s a different planetary dynamic that I was looking at, though, and it has stronger pull, in my mind, on the Taurus chart. All about Saturn and good intentions. I do believe that you have the best of intentions. That’s not the question here. The problem is with the way these intentions get put into practice. What actions you take, now, that have a far-reaching effect, on your life, later. Little, off-hand comments that really do mean something later. That’s the question. That’s also the point. I’d be a little more circumspect about making flip remarks. There’s a tendency to be just like me, and make absolutely the best comment — at the worst possible time.

gemGemini: I was reading a posting, along the wall at one place. "How do you expect us to raise cattle when you spend so much time shooting the bull?" At first glance, the basic Gemini is going to read that first line and naturally assume it’s me taking a dig at the way the Gemini talks so much. But I’m not, although, most Gemini do present a fair target for such a comment. It’s a comment that I’d like the Gemini folks to consider. Consider using it.

Cut through the accumulated male bovine by-product, and get to the heart of the problem. Mercury is backwards, and he’s backwards in place that’s not good for the Gemini camp. Can’t change that. How you deal with it, how you interact with the rest of the world? That’s the secret to success. You’re welcome to swipe that comment, and use it yourself. I seriously doubt that Gemini will be producing too much verbiage; however, you will encounter other, non-Gemini folks who are. Reminds us of that sign, doesn’t it?

canCancer: I looked out the window as I was making coffee, looked nice out. My east-facing door was warming in the early February dawn. I figured I could just dash out in a pair of shorts, just for a few minutes, and see if I could catch some early-morning fish. Just something to bring a bright spot the dull tedium and routine around here. I’m sure you’d like a similar bright spot in your dull and tedious routine, as well. I opened the door and I was greeted with warm sunlight and a cold winter’s morning.

I put the pole back in its holder, and went back to the desk to accomplish whatever it was that I was working on. Like this scope. Instead of a quick romp, the weather, Mother Nature, or just my own delicate sensibilities suggested that I not pursue that course of action. Mother Nature, the weather, or just your own, delicate Cancer sensibilities are going to make a similar suggestion. And I’d suggest you heed that internal — or external — warning. Follow the intuitive lead that suggests you not pursue a certain course of action. Besides, I don’t want to sound bitter or anything, the fish weren’t biting that morning. I just know it.

leoLeo: Valentine’s Day is about a week away. There’s a tremendous pressure from the marketing side of life, pressure to make something of an artificial date that has nothing to do with the real world of romance, not by any stretch of the imagination. What’s worse, for Leo, and I’m not saying that this bad in the grand scheme, but in the immediate future? There’s a point wherein Saturn lines up opposite the Sun. Coincides with Valentine’s Day. So you know, in your Leo heart, that this is some kind of a cosmic joke foisted on you for by a cruel hand of fate.

coI’m not saying that you should be depressed. I’m not saying that something bad is going to happen. But I would warn you that the big day might be a little bit of a let down. Plus, now that you know about that a ahead of time? You can be properly armed with whatever it is that makes you feel better when dealing with this kind of hand that the planets deal you. The upside, is that this is only one day and it triggers a good deal of relief, on the far side. The problem is the pressure between here and there, and that just drives you a little crazy.

virVirgo: This is not good. Mercury is going backwards, on the opposite side of the astrology chart. Ain’t a happy place for my Virgo friends. There’s another influence that’s nice, the problem is, even though Venus is larger and closer, Mercury (retrograde) still trumps Venus. Sure as the sun rises, tough, sure as the Virgo clambers out of bed in the morning, there’s going to be a Mercury-influenced problem. How bad? Only as bad as you make it. Anyone who’s ever lived with a domestic animal companion is familiar with what happens, on rare occasions, at night, while the humans are asleep. There’s a gift, a present, or a particular item that needed chewing, or some other similar, not exactly agreeable with us humans, kind of activity that occurs.

This Mercury period is like me, setting my feet on the floor, and discovering that the cat has left a little gift to punctuate a point about the current food situation. Is this bad? No, not really, but for the next couple of weeks, before you crawl out of bed (insert most likely place for such happenstance), look. Save yourself from stepping in it. Then, the other point? In my case, the cat was being a cat, and I merely had to clean it up, which is why I have cleaning supplies on hand. While I might not have been exactly cheerful, the cat was being a cat, and I couldn’t fault her for that. I mentioned it, but I didn’t berate her for being a cat and doing cat things. Me? Blame the cat? Why? It’s obviously a Mercury influence.

libLibra: Mercury is predictable in his orbit. Mercury is unpredictable in the results of his influence. Especially when he’s having fun with your work. Libra, darling Libra, we have trouble. Trouble right here. It’s a work thing, probably, but it’s not limited to career stuff. It could be that little side thing you’ve got going on. It could be any number of problem areas. At least one situation will pop up; some task you kept meaning to get around to, and you kept putting it off.

In my past, I’ve hacked together a number of web pages, more as an exercise rather than a real career option. Just something I do, a little on the side. I was working on one for a client. It’s not like the sites are particularly artful, or ground-breaking in any way, shape or form, the sites are more along the lines of "quick, cheap, simple." Just some material flagged out for some extra exposure. I’m no website wizard, that’s for sure. But I do enjoy a certain amount of satisfaction from watching the electrical bits all come together on the canvas of the web.

It’s a side project, just like that, which gets in the way. Therein is our Libra problem. Tweaking and geeking is fun, for me, but I’m also aware that the littlest planet is backwards, and as such, he’s making everything take a little longer. "Refresh your browser," I said. "I did," said the client. I hadn’t uploaded the changes yet. Just a Mercury inspired problem.

scoScorpio: I’ve found that I can work in a number of situations. It’s possible for me to address clients and word processors in crowded coffee shops, departure lounges, restaurants, and so forth. Whether it’s writing or consultations, I can pursue "work" in a number of possible locations. Doesn’t bother me a bit. I’m good at ignoring what’s going on around me. However, as I was starting to work on the Scorpio scope, with Mercury backwards in Pisces, I plugged in an iPod, and with the earbuds, I was too distracted to type. I was listening to the music piped into my head, and I couldn’t concentrate.

coFor some reason, sealing myself off from the outside world seemed to distract me in a way I couldn’t avoid. I can accomplish a number of goals with either music playing, or while listening to an iPod, but apparently, Scorpio concentration can’t be distracted by the earbuds. Perhaps it was an unusual situation, a little out of the ordinary, not the place or the time to be plugged into such a device. Or maybe, due to Mercury, I couldn’t deal with the distractions of music.

So after flipping around your Scorpio chart and amassing all the details, I popped the earbuds out. Suddenly, I was clear. No distractions. Nothing to stop the orderly flow of Scorpio information. Like me, you’ve got a trick you’ve tried, and like me, with Mercury going backwards, that trick, while it works some times, isn’t working now. Just do like I did, and disengage yourself. You’ll get more work done.

sagSagittarius: Due to the nature of my work, I’ve been around a number of massage therapists. At one time, I swapped readings for massages. But the number of local massage therapists far outweighed the number of readings I could do for them. As such, I wound up with a number of therapists who owed me massages, and I finally had to give up the practice of swapping.

Wouldn’t be much of an issue, except that I’ve forgotten about who owes me what, and there’s the problem. After being bounced around in cars, trains and planes, toting luggage and throwing bags around, I get a little cramped up. My neck starts to hurt, and I could really use a nice massage. Only, I can’t figure out who owes me what anymore. Which is the problem. I’m feeling pretty good except for the little crick in my neck, which, it’s not really bad, just a little stiff. All I need is nice massage. And there are several folks who owe me, only, I can’t figure out who owes me at the moment that I need the help.

Got a couple of options facing Sagittarius, these days, and trying to figure out which favor we can call in isn’t such a bad place to be. Only, it seems like that our Sagittarius self can’t figure what’s owed to who when, and that’s the conundrum for the days. I think the easiest solution to the problem is to just hire someone to come and fix my neck. Consider that as the expeditious route to fix the Sagittarius pain in the neck.

capCapricorn: There’s a sign up at a legendary — rightfully so — venue for food, drinks, and music. Texas music, mostly, honky-tonk material, for sure. The hand-lettered sign, really, there are several, scattered about the place, the signs read: $100 fine for fighting. Given that mucho alcohol can be consumed in such a place, and that alcohol is a good incendiary fuel, it’s easy to understand why the signs are there — to address the issue when tempers run hot.

Like the Capricorn temper, now that the littlest planet is heading backwards. You just know that Mercury has a plan, and that mercurial plan is to piss off your fine Capricorn self. Normally, I wouldn’t worry about it, other than the usual Mercury warnings, but this one is a little different, or it starts out a little different. Ends a little different, too. What to watch for? Like that one place, I can save you an expensive mistake. There is s sign, plan as can be, probably hand-lettered, right in front of you. Pay attention to what the sign says. As the planet Mercury shifts in relative position to our home, Earth, consider that sign and what it says. Then think about the balance in your back pocket. Is it worth the $100 to throw a punch?

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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