For the Week starting: 8.30.2007

"And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwilling to school."
Shakespeare’s As You Like It (II.vii.153-155)

Saturn moves into Virgo. Wow. Upcoming events, information is here.

virVirgo: It’s a matter of what works when and where. This is the beginning, the first taste, the hint that something is about to unfold. What happens, more often than not, under this influence, is that matters that have long since been buried, resurface and these matters — situations — must be dealt with.

Something you avoided. Perhaps, the way you dealt with a situation was avoidance. Not that I can pass the buck on this form of "problem resolution" myself, but it’s like a certain fishing reel, a certain pole and reel, and the last time I was at the coast, as I got close to the scheduled departure hour, I just packed up and left. This one reel, in the hour or two before I left? I’d managed to snarl the fishing line in a remarkable way. A mess of epic proportions. Instead of dealing with the problem, I didn’t want to lose valuable fishing time, I just tossed the rod and reel in the back of the truck — to deal with later.

It is later. The mess has to be fixed. I just need to take a little bit of extra time to untangle, unsnarl and correct the problem. Here’s a hint: don’t put it off. As Saturn begins his approach? Get after the stuff you thought you could put off.

libLibra: Coming up: one-armed dove hunt. In West Texas. The one-armed dove hunt is first weekend after Labor Day, and it’s become a widely popular event. It’s for people who don’t have the usual number of appendages. And the event itself, it’s less about hunting and shooting the doves, and the whole thing is about a celebration of spirit in the face of adversity. Kind of a feel-good piece. Plus, they do get to fire a number of bird-guns. Which can always be fun.

Dove is an okay repast, but I’m thinking, the one-armed group, probably a lot less about hitting the birds and lot more about camaraderie, and watching indomitable spirits overcome issues that would stop lesser men. People. It’s an equal opportunity group. Before you complain about how such-and-such has you down, or the recent turn of events is less than wonderful, or there are problems with this or that, think about those one-armed dove hunters. They’ve turned a disability into a joyous and somewhat wacky event. The surreal nature of the event depends on one’s point of view about the nature of the "one-armed dove hunt," and to some, it might not seem the least bit strange. And put your Libra troubles up against this? Puts it all into perspective, I would guess.

scoScorpio: In Shakespeare scholarship, there’s a play that is missing. Called Cardenio, or some similar name, it’s the mythical lost manuscript. There are records of the play being performed, and records that its authorship was attributed to Shakespeare and his band of players. And the trail gets cold. At least one scholar has suggested the play did survive, only, the text was appropriated by another author. Skullduggery in Elizabethan plays? At least one Scorpio will assert that there’s nothing that should be so sacred as the Bard’s work.

I’m not going to enter the fray about the missing manuscript, or the tale of its tale. 400 years is a long time to bury material and some of it might be best left buried. There are some secrets that need to stay secret. Some mysteries will never be solved. The missing play, attributed to Shakespeare? That’s just one example of a Scorpio secret that needs to stay buried. Ensconced in academic ivory towers some place, there’s whole dissertations addressing this question of the play. But as far as Scorpio is concerned/ This week? Step back from a fight — you don’t have a dog in this fight — and let the scholars slug it out. Most, if not all, of the question is based on conjecture and supposition. Not facts. Don’t wade into waters where you can’t see the bottom.

sagSagittarius: There’s a weird sense to the next couple of days. Holidays and heat waves seem to go hand-in-hand with what’s happening. Too hot, weekends are too long, or work-weeks are not long enough. It’s one of those. But there’s a disruption, fueled by Mars and the Moon, as much as anything, and how we deal with this disruption is going to sorely test our (goodly) Sagittarius senses. But consider it just that, a test. A test of patience, a test of ability to cope, and maybe, just a test to see where our collective Sagittarius breaking point might be.

The simplest solution, which is what a Sagittarius should really strive towards? Adjust the frustration meter on the Sagittarius psyche. It’s simple, really. Used to be, if I had to wait 25 minutes for a plate of BBQ at a local place, I’d get all worked up, I mean, how long does it take to slice some meat off the bone? Slice up a couple of ribs? Can’t take that long, right? Instead of getting worked up? Take a long slug of ice tea. Maybe break the pattern and get sweet tea instead of my usual un-sweet. Look at the decorations on the wall. Consider the world. Patience is tested, and this is only a test. While a typical Sagittarius response would be up and out the door in 15 minutes or less, give it a little extra time. The wait is worth it.

capCapricorn: I was traveling someplace, business trip, I’m sure. I caught a cab to the airport. In the pre-dawn darkness, the cab driver was awake and alert. I was able to surmise he was just coming on his shift, although, I wasn’t his first fare of the day. Morning. I was unusually taciturn. He tapped out rhythms on front seat rest, a two-finger staccato punctuated with a slap of his palm. He drummed some fingers on the steering wheel, which, oddly enough, sounded more bass than the armrest. He answered that with his left hand, tapping against the door-handle. He went full circle, eventually.

The tempo changed little, but it was basically a full-circuit of the drum machine from the front seat of the cab. I didn’t ask, as I wasn’t in the mood for birthdays and chatter. Too dark, too early. However, oddly enough, the lack of conversation — that void — was filled by the incessant tattoo and tempo maintained by the round trip the drummer’s fingers (and palms) were making. Even when it’s not obvious, it’s there. New change in direction. New stuff, coming up. Bright, new day. Planets shift. There’s a new, emergent rhythm, and I’m sure you’ll pick up the tempo, and get with this new plan.

aquAquarius: I’m sure that it’s a famous photo by now, it’s an overhead shot of some camels in the desert at sunset. Or when the sun is low in the sky, anyway. The dun and russet colors of the sands, the way the light filters across the dunes, and what the real image is? Perhaps its point-of-origin is, maybe two or three thousand feet in the air. So, looking down, straight down, it’s the camels’ shadows that are easily visible. Distinctive shapes, easy to discern in the image.

What’s harder to see is source of the shadows, since the apparent location of the camera’s lens is almost directly overhead. The shadows are easy to see. The real camels? Almost impossible to make out. Which is the idea, see, the point is what you see, and what’s really there, what first draws your Aquarius attention? That’s the shadow of the camel. Or the shadow of something. It’s what casts the shadow — that’s the important piece of this week. It’s not the long shadows cast against the sands of time, it’s the source of those shadows. What is so clearly defined at some great distance? Careful examination is warranted.

pisPisces: I was sitting on the outdoor patio of a BBQ place. A butterfly alighted on the table. There was a spot of BBQ sauce nearby. A close examination of the butterfly indicated that a long proboscis of some sort was coming from the butterfly’s mouth, or head, or some part of the top end of the butterfly, and it looked like, to me, the butterfly was sampling, then enjoying, some BBQ sauce.

The sauce at that one place, it’s not all that great. Not bad, just not that memorable. The smoked meat is excellent. So I was a bit surprised that the butterfly seemed — apparently — to enjoy the sauce so much. For the time being, Saturn is moving opposite Pisces. Time to stop and observe. It could be a minute observation of a butterfly, in the wan summer afternoon’s light.

It could be some other observation, but the idea is clear, a simple, tiny observation, right now, that can save you later. There’s going to be a "fish or cut bait" decision coming up. Before you make that decision, though, there will be a clear sign, something symbolic, that helps lead you in the right direction. I opted for a chopped brisket sandwich that afternoon. The butterfly lead me in that direction. I doubt your decision will be that simple, but the process is likely to be the same. A simple symbol, like a butterfly sampling the sauce.

ariAries: When planets shift signs, like Saturn is about to, there’s a general feeling of unease. It’s as if there is something amiss, but you can’t point an Aries finger at the problem. I’m less about pointing a finger at a problem, too, and a lot more concerned with a solution.

Like me, I’d urge you to be a little concerned with the source of the consternation and little more interested in what to do with what is dealt you. There’s a weird little kick that comes, too, and it’s not like something you’re expecting, from a place where you don’t expect it. To someone else, this would seem to be a malicious strike, but to a good Aries, you just take it in stride, to the point that it’s more tickle than a hit.

To some people, this will be a very palpable touch, but to an Aries? I doubt the subtle stellar influence will be so strong. But the hint is to turn attention towards projects that generate income. Doesn’t have to be a lot of income, but a little would help, maybe, just something on the side that’s more for fun than profit?

tauTaurus: There’s something vaguely reassuring to me, winding along a two-lane Texas blacktop, at the end of August, maybe the beginning of September, as the varied terrain slides by. Hills, prairies, gentle curves in the road, some places are brown and dusty. Most of the way, there’s vestiges of green growth exploding from a torrential summer rainy season. Clouds go scudding by, huge billows of moisture, sometimes, almost close enough to touch. There’s a serene beauty to it all. Dead motels in small towns, all but completely abandoned. A tractor-trailer hauling cattle. Then nothing.

I would expect to see a roadside sign for Burma Shave, but that’s not going to be real. The solitude and the expanse of nothing has a feeling, a sense that all is right in the world. Imagine that a red-tail hawk is lazily describing circles overhead, cruising for some lunch. This momentary highway reprieve is shattered by destinations. There’s work on the immediate horizon. While the journey is slow and enjoyable, in its own way, there will be some work ahead. And it’s up to you how you want to handle this. I’d enjoy the solitude — won’t last much longer.

gemGemini: "Me and a buddy," was the way I started the sentence. Grammatically incorrect. Doesn’t bother me. It’s a conversational, stylistic change. I’m aware of that. I’ve been administered by so many grammar cops over the years, I tend to add stylistic changes, just because.

The other point, I suppose, is that I write like I talk. Means that the rules are malleable, as far as I’m concerned. I tend to run items together, and leave those participles dangling in the breeze. Way it goes. But I am aware of how to follow all the rules. And I can follow the rules, if I so desire. But I don’t. And I’m in charge here, at least a little. I’ll put the information out as I can, or what suits my whim at the moment. Grammatically correct or otherwise.

Following the rules is important. Breaking the rules is fun. Annoying an editor can be gratifying. But in Gemini-land, what with Mars and all that stuff in Virgo? Are you the grammar cop these days? And just how would you go about correcting that sentence? I’d be extra careful about breaking rules.

canCancer: What’s your favorite sweetener? For many years, I preferred "pink sugar," which really isn’t a sugar, and as I understand it, in certain mass quantities, the substance is probably harmful. I dabbled with "blue sugar," and the subsequent variations, but nothing seemed as cloyingly sweet as the fake stuff. I’m just a saccharine kind of a guy.

These days, I prefer either raw sugar, or brown sugar, or better yet, no sugar at all. No high fructose corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners, either real thing, or better yet, as far as I’m concerned, nothing at all.

Stop and think about what you like best to sweeten a deal, or meal. What works best for you? For me, strong, dark, bitter coffee is a way to catch my attention, like a sharp shot of espresso. Not exactly a sweetener, but good enough to get my attention. Sugars and the analog fake sugars are nice. But what really works to get you to consider a proposition? To round this out, what can you do to sweeten the deal, this week, right now? Besides, "Pretty please with sugar on top?"

leoLeo: I started to work on your scope, and then the plants needed to be watered. They were kind of brown, at least, some of the leaves were. Then the phone rang, and next thing, I know, I’m occupied with household chores, just routine maintenance. And I neglected a singular, very important point in Leo: Saturn exeunt.

No Leo ever likes to be ignored. It’s bad form for the Leo, and it’s very bad form the other signs (to ignore the Leo). So here’s this brilliant little planet shift, brings a whole humongous sense of relief, and I was almost too distracted to notice it. Or even make note of it. But it’s here, for the time being, and you should be enjoying it.

Life is better. Period. Sort of. Kind of. Mostly. Well, maybe. Almost, but not yet. But yes. See, it’s like me, getting distracted along the way? That’s how other folks are going to perceive this shift. For good or for ill? That’s up to you. Realize that there’s beneficial boost coming along, but it might not be noticed by everyone else — yet. Just play coy a little longer, pretend that it’s all the fault of Venus in her present position.

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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