For the Week starting: 8.2.2007

"A merry heart goes all the day."
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (IV.ii.41)

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leoLeo: It’s a scene from downtown, on hot summer afternoon. While this occurred, and I observed it, in downtown Austin, it could happen anywhere. One-way street. Traffic light. A vehicle makes left turn into the one-way, going the wrong way. An approaching car honks, someone yells, another driver waves, and the offending driver get to go about half a block, then realizes his or her mistake, and pulls into a parking spot, backs up, almost hits another car, and finally gets sorted out, going the correct direction.

One near miss, one finger, and the ire of several drivers. All over a silly mistake. Now, as this was unfolding, I was wondering, blame the planets? Sure. I can. Can you? If you really need to, or you can do a quick analysis and consider that the planets — especially Venus — will confuse matters, and certain signs, like a road sign that is clearly marked "One Way," might be missed by your royal visage. Which, in turn, causes a brief moment of panic as you realize that Leo self has erred. In the example, no one was hurt, except for the driver’s pride. And even me, as a casual observer, I didn’t think badly of the driver, either. It’s not like I haven’t made the occasional mistake on a one-way street. Birthday times? Don’t let a good time be ruined by a simple mistake. Merely correct your course, and we’ll both pretend it never happened. But watch the one-way streets in the downtown area. And happy birthday.

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virVirgo: Stop and back up. Just take one, dainty little Virgo step backwards. It’s not a big deal, just step back. Not so far back that you fall off the boat, just ease yourself backwards for a single step.

It’s about pausing, rewinding, and looking at a scene over again. I sent a query letter to a certain astrology magazine, hoping against all hope that I might have something turn up. A few days later, I got a reply — and I didn’t get back the folks fast enough because their email response was caught in a spam trap. Although it really was from a managing editor, the reply was languishing for days in the spam filter.

I like my spam filter, it’s 99% accurate, with only one or two false positives, which is why, from time to time, I have to back up, and sort through the dated material. So when I suggest step back, that’s what I mean. Doesn’t have to be a literal step back, it could be something as simple as an email request for further elucidation. But don’t be afraid to take a few extra minutes to dig through your mail, email, the electronic agar, to see if you’ve missed something that your normally capable Virgo self might’ve missed.

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libLibra: Lots of little planets are shifting signs, and that means that there’s something afoot in Libra-land. Changes are good. Embrace the change. The diurnal velleity is going to differ, from Libra to Libra. What seems most important, at this very moment, that same point, that same situation, that could all change in the blink of an eye. What it amounts to, though, is understanding the fickle nature the planets’ multifaceted influences.

Going to be a weird week, with people and moods shifting, and sometimes, it will look like the moods are just getting darker and darker. And that’s the other people, not your Libra self. Yes, Venus is backwards, Mars and Mercury shift signs, and all of this combines to make it a tad weird. Not so much bad, as the moods and priorities shift each moment. I’d be extra careful about instructions, orders, and wish-fulfillment that’s etched in stone. Pencil and paper is a better idea, as that allows for changes.

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scoScorpio: You’re not happy, and no matter what I say, do, or intimidate, you’re not going to be happy with me. Way it goes. Some days, you’re the bug, and some days, you’re the windshield. There’s a single fount of relief that comes from Mars.

Mars has been the bane of your existence for the last few weeks, off and on. He’s moving into Gemini and that suggests relief. To some extent. The problems have to do with close, interpersonal relationships. Folks with whom you interact on a daily basis. Could be the like the little female who makes coffee at that one coffee shop, or the cute guy, whatever flavor floats your boat. Could be something — someone — as mundane as that. Or it could be the significant other. But there will be a problem. Or two.

Now, the key to unlocking the resolution process is all about understanding what’s going on, planet-wise. Mars and Venus make for some tension. Instead of letting this get to you? Instead of engaging the problem, head-on? Think about the planets, and consider that those two will mellow out in matter of days, as will whatever the problem is. Was. Forgive. I didn’t say forget, just forgive the momentary transgression, and realize it will be resolved, on proper Scorpio terms, in a few days. Okay, give me a week, on this one, but it will go in your favor. Eventually. Maybe two or three weeks.

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sagSagittarius: I’m really beginning to get the impression that there’s a nasty hand at work with the wheels and orbs of the planets. In case you missed the symbolism, Jupiter — the lucky star — entered Sagittarius when Mercury was headed backwards. Now, Jupiter is turning from a retrograde position to a stationary, then forward, position in the heavens. This bodes well. And Venus is backwards. I’m beginning to wonder if the planets are really that lucky, or is there is some deity having laugh, at our Sagittarius expense. Way it goes, some years. And it’s all a part of the cycle, too.

I was fishing, two mornings in a row. One morning, bright and early, while the tide was going out, I dropped a "root beer with metal flakes" plastic worm (impregnated with salt), right in front of a little yearling bass. He didn’t even think, just gobbled it up, epic struggle, photo-op, then splashed back in the lake, fish and fisherman, unharmed, both richer for the experience. Next morning, same fish, he’s there with some buddies, and I drop the same bait in front of him. She sniffs the bait, another bass looks at it, but they collectively turn up their bass noses at my bait. The trick worked the day before. Worked like a charm. Conditions were the same, the tide was going out, the lake’s level was dropping, the fish were in the same spot. So, I can attest, what was working so fine one day? No luck the next. Can’t say I didn’t warn you about trying the same old tricks and expecting the same results. The planets just have it in for us. Or the fish are getting smarter.

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capCapricorn: Here at the "Fishing Guide to the Stars World Headquarters, featuring live bait and custom rods," every day is casual Friday. I’ve got, Moody Monday, which is casual wear, Two-Meat Tuesday, again, casual day, Weird Wednesday was co-opted by someone else, but I’ll call it a casual day, too, and Sure Happy It’s Thursday — casual attire — and of course, Friday…. But that’s my life, and my choices.

What’s going to happen with Capricorn, is that your sometimes casual appearance is going to cause a stir. You’re underdressed for a certain situation — not undressed — just less formal than the situation calls for. Blame the planets, if you must, but let’s be honest, you could spend a modicum of more time on personal hygiene issues. I tend towards loud Hawaiian shirts — the more obnoxious the pattern, the better. Serves me well. Again, it’s a lifestyle choice.

But my casual attire isn’t always fitting for everyone. Especially Caps, and particularly under this kind of influence. I’d suggest a quick trip the cleaners, or the laundry room, or wherever, and I’d also suggest — I’m preaching, not practicing here — rifling through dirty clothes to find the "cleanest of the unclean" is not really a viable option. While my aggressively casual style suits me in most situations, there’s always a time when you want to make a good impression, and this is one of them. We both know, Capricorn and me, that casual should be okay and we all work best when relaxed, but there’s still that "make the right impression" thing going on.

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aquAquarius: I’ve burned through quite a bit of monofilament fishing line. I’ve found that some cheap stuff works really well, and I’ve found some expensive stuff that really isn’t all that great. Then, too, I’ve gotten hooked on certain brands as they’re the proper combination of strength, durability, usability, and price. It’s all about balancing what you’re looking for. But this isn’t really about fishing line, it’s about life. Life Aquarius, as it were. Yet, just like me in the search for the best fishing line to suit my own, peculiar style of fishing, you’re looking for a single item that will fulfill the Aquarius requirements for strength, durability, usability, and most important, cost.

That’s where this turns into a critical issue. Cheap might be a better word. I’d suggest you think cheap these days. I picked up a spool of heavily discounted, brand-name, heavy-duty fishing line. I bought it because the price was really right. I used it on a fishing reel, took that reel on trip, and I was so surprised that the line not only held, but it was instrumental in landing a big fish. I was shocked. No brand names are mentioned because it was such a heavily discounted item, and I’d guess, that it’s discontinued. So that spool of line that cost less than $2? I’ve gotten better performance out of it than some of the more expensive choices. Good stuff. Lucky find. And most important? Cheap. Took some trial and error, and it might have been the luck, but you’re looking for something that costs less than two or three dollars as a way to save the day — the Aquarius day.

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pisPisces: I was thinking about fishing line, and I wrote about the stuff in the Aquarius horoscope, and then I went and did a little equipment testing here at the water’s edge. I was using something entirely different, well, not entirely, it did involve monofilament line, and fishing reel, pole, &c. I had a kink in the light line I was using. I unknotted the snarl, wound up and gave a lure a mighty toss. 30 meters or more of line unspoiled, like it was supposed to, the lure arcing through the air, then, with the lure’s weight, and then its momentum, I watched as the lightweight fishing line broke, right where that kink had been, and it was a good, strong cast, maybe 40 meters or so, only the last ten meters didn’t have anything attached to the reel.

I tend to be philosophical about such matters. Testing.

That lure was chum for the fish. And I learned a lesson about super-light line, too, about how it has to handled just so. Even a tiny kink in the line can be a spot of weakness. Or maybe, I just need to replace the line on that reel. Could be a number of different messages, but what I was concerned with, just a day or two earlier, I’d caught a decent-sized fish on that very same line. The weakness came from the snarl and resulting knot. Pisces life is like that fishing line, it’s strong, has a great tensile strength, as long as the structural integrity of the line is observed. But one tiny snarl can result in lost tackle. With Venus backwards? Be careful about a tiny kink in the usually strong Pisces line. Then, when there is a problem like that? Just unsnarling a mess? That might not be enough. Maybe clip off the offending material, behind the knot. Couldsave you some trouble.

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ariAries: In traditional, Western Astrology, Venus is typically associated with love and romance. Current astrological thinking suggests that when Venus is in apparent retrograde motion, all of these matters, the affairs of the heart, take a turn for the worse. In my way of looking at what’s happening, though, I’d split this up a little. It’s less about romance and more about a certain career issue.

Income, work, and its derivative association? That’s the one I’d look at, eschewing popular astrology wisdom and I’d admonish my little Aries friend to pay attention to the real matters. What really matters is in the arena called "work." While this flies in the face of convention, that’s never been a problem for an Aries, especially a good Aries like yourself.

So skip the romantic entanglements. Just gloss over the problems in your romance sector. Avoid confrontations with significant others. Concentrate your attention on a career-building issue that needs a little extra attention. Realize that you might not be making the prettiest report cover, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the content across in a workmanlike manner.

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tauTaurus: A slowly retrograde Venus backs down into Leo this weekend. And from that point on, the deleterious, once Venus backs into Leo, the negative spin from Venus and her associations will start to manifest themselves all over your astrology chart.

The primary point of suffering from the effects of Venus on the Taurus slice? More than likely, you’re going to have problems getting anyone to understand what you’re saying. Even when you try to be succinct but firm? Still, it doesn’t work. While it’s been suggested — on more than one occasion — that a little bit of editing would benefit me, I’m suggesting that you follow my example here. Instead of trying to be a minimalist, consider the other option: be effusive. You’re going to run into one tiny problem after another, and the root of the problem can be traced back to Venus — backwards — in Leo thing.

To easily combat this, and the analogous situations? Be wordy. Verbose. Flowery language as suits your Taurus self best, but use lots of words. Or better yet, images, pictures, digital pictures, postcards, anything — and maybe — everything. I remember an exchange of hate-mail under one such influence, and the signature for each of the vitriolic and venomous notes was signed with "HAVE A GREAT DAY!" Irony? Perhaps. Mistake? Perhaps. Did it help ameliorate the problem? Not really. But was it an effective tool against the waxing tide of the Venus problem? Yes.

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gemGemini: Mars is in a rapid approach to Gemini-land. Venus is backwards, heading south to Leo-land. Next Leo you see? Remind them that they are the best fixed fire sign. Ever. Just a hint. Mars is going to get good and comfortable in your sign, Gemini, for a little while. Best get comfortable with that one.

I was in a discount store, and I found a pack of "wife-beaters" on sale. For those unfamiliar with the term, a "wife-beater" is a male-model, white-ribbed tank-top. The nomenclature and taxonomy of the apparel is rooted deep in tradition. My friend at the cop shop said that it was true, from observations, that the apparel’s name is based on some kind of reality. I wouldn’t doubt a person who worked at the department of public safety.

I have a couple of the undershirts, like I suggested, bought on sale, and I don’t wear them too often. However, I’ve heard tales about how these are "T-shirts of Power." I’m not kidding. I know one Gemini buddy, when he changes out of a dress shirt for one of his "vertically-ribbed, all-cotton, white tank-top," he garners more respect than his professional dress attire. Might be the bulging muscles, might be the colorful tattoos, might be his demeanor, or, there could be a certain intangible quality infused by the decidedly casual and airy shirt. I’m not sure what the deal is. Dress slacks, brand-name shoes, but still, a cheap tank-top does more to instill a feeling of power than anything else.

Might not be a just such a t-shirt, and the slang term might not be politically correct, but there’s an article of clothing that you’ve got, probably with bare arms and not hiding much, and just such a piece of apparel is the proper way to great Mars, and hopefully, the "shirt of power" will help mitigate the effects of retrograde Venus.

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canCancer: Pile time. Now. What I do: I make piles of stuff I want to unload. Sell it on eBay. Drop it off at the used bookstore. Take it to a charity like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. But I have to do this in stages. Books are most dear to me. I’ve got one text, I haven’t consulted it in over a decade, but it did, at one time, hold information that I needed. Therefore, it goes into the pile of stuff to discard or recycle, and then, before that pile gets taken away, I remove that text. Been in and out of the pile several times, and while books are dear to me, so is shelf space.

It’s not like this place has room for a copious library. Takes a bit of self-discipline. Which is what this next few days are all about, self-discipline. And editing. What belongs, what goes, what can be cut loose, and what should definitely remain behind. It’s about the editing process, the idea that the piles need to be double-checked, too, since there’s some items that you would toss on first glance, but a second examination means that you’re really not ready to let go of some particular piece of your history. The Venus influence is strong, and it indicates that there is a process involved in the editing of your stuff.

How you do this? That’s why I encourage the gradual method. As Mark Twain once wrote, in his novella, Pud’nhead Wilson, "Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down the stairs a step at a time."

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

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