For the week starting: 4.10.2008

"My good will is great, though the gift small."
Shakespeare's Pericles, the Prince of Tyre (III.iv.20)

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ariAries: Spring has sprung and love is in the air. Maybe it's not love, maybe it's just something that looks like love. Maybe it's just lustful thoughts. Venus is careening through your sign. Mars is in a (compatible) water sign, and Mercury just touches the last part of Aries this week. Next week, it's all different, but this week is all about the wonderful world of Aries romance.

Or something like Aries romance. Perhaps it's just a reasonable facsimile, but who cares? Well, yes, I do care, and yes, I do want the very best for you, but in the meantime, why not take advantage of what's floating along? Use this. Use it well.

The reason I suggest it might not be true love, just reasonable facsimile thereof? It's not so much the planets as it's the way the other signs are taking this information. The way they bounce off of you. It's not about how you're feeling, that's all but assured to be good as a result of Venus and Mars, it's how other people react to you. Then how you react to how they react and this devolves into a reductive mess.

So, keep the happy Aries face on. Show the good side. Might not be true love, might just be a romantic tickle, but you never can tell where it could lead. But tread softly, too, as we're not all on the same upswing that you're riding on.

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tau Taurus: It's all in the pitch, as this happened a second time. A lady, a Taurus, was sending me information. She was pretending that she was saving me money on shipping an item to her. In fact, what her Taurus self was doing was costing her my good will. Her pitch wasn't a good pitch, it was about how to save her money. It wasn't about how to make me extra cash. All I did was say, "No." I could've been more politic when dealing with a Taurus, but that wasn't the point.

I wasn't about being correct. I was looking out for me. Which, given where your planets are, isn't such a bad idea, looking out for yourself.

What is most important, though, is how you look out for yourself. Don't be abrasive. Don't grate on the individual. Try and be nice. Try to figure out a pitch that works, I mean, the idea was right, the Taurus delivery was all wrong. "You'll save money," what she wrote. What she meant? "I'll save big." As you pitch your idea, your concept, your Taurus dream, consider how it sounds on the other end. Consider, is this adding value, in order to make it attractive? That's how to sell, and more important, win big.

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gem Gemini: I was in coffee shop. In the counter's display, there were muffins, cookies, parts of pies, and a row of bottles filled with various "fresh squeezed" juices. I looked at a muffin, "What in that one?" I asked. The Gemini behind the counter looked up from the double espresso he was making me, "Echinacea, some ginger, I think, want one?"

Austin's a weird town, but a cookie with medicinal herbs as some of the ingredients? I do recall some limited brand of cola that had similar ingredients. Just tasted like the Mexican Coke to me, though, strong and sweet with that "corn syrup" flavor. Not high fructose, processed stuff.

As it turns out, though there was a little miscommunication with the Gemini. He was talking about the fresh squeezed juice, the "Mr. Flow Good" (or something) brand. I was talking about the muffin with poppy seeds. There are, as befits a Gemini, two ideas here. One, watch the communications. Mercury has yet to arrive, might be problematic, like, some guy asking you questions while you work. Then, too, for the West Coast/Third Coast set? Think about making a muffin with medicinal herbs in it. There could be a market for just such a food stuff. I know, if that had been in the muffin, I'd have to have one.

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can Cancer: I had an old school office chair, a while back. It collapsed from the repeated strain of me sitting in it almost daily and working. So I've been on the lookout for a similar kind of office chair. One that's all wood, I can stick a pillow on it, and it has to be old, like, older than me.

Another option would be a retro-style "dictation" chair. Kind of minimalist seating arrangement, as there's a small lumbar adjustable back pad, but no arms, usually mounted on a heavy steel base with at least three or four heavy-duty rollers. I found one, the other day, in a certain second-hand shop. I sat down, leaned back, and I kept going back and back and fell over. The greatest damage done was my pride, but even at that, I wasn't too shaken up.

The shopkeeper wasn't overly solicitous of my health. More like a grunt, and the perfunctory, "You break, you buy," comment. I may not be the most graceful, but I do know how to fall correctly to minimize damage. So "astrologer in a second-hand shop" isn't quite like the cliche "bull in a china shop." Might be close, though. And I was thinking about this event because you're stuck with Mr. Mars and he's a tough one, and while I don't think you're going to hurt anything? I would watch it. You might find the perfect-looking chair, and like me, it might not really work -- unless your Cancer self is aiming for a pratfall.

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leo Leo: I was in a car dealership, waiting on a friend. A Leo. Since the sales people could sense no blood on me, they circled away. I noticed a sign on one machine in a huge bank of vending machines. "Free coffee?" I had to ask then I had to try it. Not bad. "Dude, no, really, across the street at the (other) dealership, they had free popcorn and sandwiches, subs anyway." I'm not sure that the free popcorn is much of an enticement. The free coffee, that kept me happy -- for a few minutes, at least. It was fairly fresh, probably from an instant pod type of automatic brewer, slings out one fresh cup at a time.

I want an instant pod coffee maker thing to sling out one, fresh, tasty cup of coffee, black, white, with whip, without whip, one-two-three sugars, or fake sugar, whatever it is that you like. I want that to be tasty and to your Leo liking. And free. Like that sign, "Free Coffee." This ends with the coffee. Across the street? The free stuff there? That's not nearly as nice. And the idea of something completely and totally free? Somewhere, in here, some place, someone is generating enough excess cash, profit (net or gross), to justify that free stuff. Nothing in life is really free. There's a price with every transaction. The price with every transaction, that's the clue. Nothing is free. Wake up a little, and when you're offered something totally free? What did you do to earn it? Where's the catch, the hook? My friend was getting a new truck serviced, why I was there. That's how they paid for my coffee.

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vir Virgo: "After I caught my ex cheating? Of course I got revenge, I had his car repossessed." It was casual conversation, and I listened because it sounded like a client. Only it wasn't. I must admit, the lurid details were even better. The ex cheated, and the truck really was in the Virgo's name, so she reported it stolen, since they broke up.

I realize this is all a little convoluted, but it's about the ire of woman scorned, and the steps she took to rectify the situation. Because that's what this is all about. Getting what is just and right, and getting it served up properly. It's really simple.

There's legal justice, and there's poetic justice, and then, there are occasions when those two lines intersect. Follow the process here, first she was wronged, then she waited patiently to follow a course of action that didn't cost her money, didn't cost her credit rating (truck was in her name), and her actions -- good Virgo actions -- produced the desired results.

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lib Libra: I was walking behind a couple, I was gathering a few items, and I was in a supermarket. The guy ahead of me was pushing a cart, the woman, apparently with him, was conversing. What I heard, she asked, "What's for dinner?" His reply? "Whatever you're fixing me." I grimaced. I haven't heard such blatant sexism in a long time. I quickly, furtively scanned the aisles around me. Hidden camera? Comedy routine? All I can surmise is that it must be an inside joke.

He kept pushing the cart, and she didn't strike him down. I think he nudged her once with the cart, but again, there was not serious side effect. I was left wondering. If I had said that? I'd be wearing that cart in an uncomfortable position, I'm sure. I grabbed a bag of lettuce, ready-to-eat format, a pint of ice cream, single serving size, and I was headed to the ten items or less line. I couldn't stop thinking about that guy's comment, though.

Is there still a place in the world where women stay home and cook dinner? Obedient, respectful, domesticated? Begs the question, though, what was the guy doing in the supermarket, pushing the shopping cart? Is this, perhaps, some kind of role-playing game? I was left with a myriad of unanswered questions. I don't think there is an answer to some of the questions, either. Not without jumping inside that particular couple's relationship, and as an outsider observer, I wasn't left with much to go on. Which is the problem in Libra, now. Not a lot of evidence, although, it sure does bring a myriad of questions. Therein is what this is all about. You can be like that couple -- if they were a couple -- with the jokes and comedy. You can be like me, on the outside, trying to figure out, "Did he really mean that?" I suspect, you're more like me.

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sco Scorpio: I'm easily amused, but that's not really a new fact. I found a fellow fishing guide, and his bit of wisdom was simple, "They don't jump in the boat, you got to find them." Referring, of course, to big fish. I would consider amending that comment, "If they don't jump in the boat, then you have to go and find them." Although, and please don't send me the viral video, I'm unsure that fish really do jump in the boat. I've had a few occasions when it seems like they jump in the boat. Like fishing, with me, with that other fishing guide, though, there's a bit of wisdom in the simple expression, and that's the point that needs to be hammered home with our Scorpio friends.

Some days you're the hunter, some days, you're the prey. As this week wraps up, and it presents a good chance to fish. Hunt. A good chance for a Scorpio to get out and get what is desired. Given the phase of the moon, this weekend is an excellent weekend, according to my time and tide charts, to fish. By extension, then, it would be a good time to hunt. Either way, doesn't much matter what the prey is, although, I would tend towards red fish and bass, but whatever you're going for? This is a good time to actively pursue it.

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sagSagittarius: I'm of a mind, especially these days, to watch certain actions. Like horseback riding. I'm inclined towards a western saddle, and I prefer an older horse. There's a corollary drawn between the horses and girlfriends, over 20, gentle and easy to handle, experienced, and take direction with a gentle nudge. The younger ones? Have to ride them hard, and some of them, they won't take to a saddle and bridle too well. I'm just saying, younger, more spirited horses are sometimes not worth the trouble. I'm tired of trying to break in new ones.

Following that wisdom, as the holiday weekend approaches, it's time to take it easy. Follow the path of least resistance for our Sagittarius self. Instead of going for the younger, more spirited, the ride with too much energy? While the withers and mane might look appealing? It might look like great fun? Do we really want to roll in the dirt, after having been pitched out of the saddle? I'm of a mind, especially these days, and what with the inclining phase of the moon, to take it a little more easy. Older, more gentle, that's a far better solution. Them young ones, they look like fun, but I'm beginning to think that's a younger man's (person's) sport.

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cap Capricorn: I was headed towards downtown, and I saw a strange sight: Roman Centurions. Movie? No, it's the annual passion play in downtown San Antonio, by the old church. Catholic church, I'm thinking. Annually, there's a parade, a festival, a street party, and then, there's a guy who imitates the stations of the cross -- or whatever -- as he carries a cross a down the street. The Centurions really wouldn't be proper in and amongst downtown buildings, although, as churches go, that's a pretty old church and town square, where the guys march, at least, old by American standards.

Easter is pretty weird, too, falling after a full moon. With this week's new moon, there's a certain amount of heckling, ribbing, and what should be good-natured jesting. Only it's not. There's an edge to the sarcasm, there's a hint, an overtone, maybe it's an undertone, but the comments are dense with frightened, unsure energy. Maybe a little combative, too. There's that steady, or even unsteady, rhythm that suggests something is going on, something is amiss, something isn't quite right.

While I can't fix what's not right, not on an individual basis, I can warn you about the unsettling energy. Then, too, I can warn you about Mars being in the sign opposite you. This, between the phase of the moon, the relative position of the Sun, and Mars, it's like heating you up. Only, there isn't a proper outlet for that Capricorn restlessness. If you heckle the guy with the cross, in as much as he's a good target? You'll regret it later. Careful with the barbed witticisms.

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aqu Aquarius: Mom and dad, young couple, it looked like to me, were herding three or four small kids. Morning, the other week, in a coffee shop. Parental units looked like they needed the coffee. The kids looked like they had already had too much caffeine and sugar. The smaller male child was pushing on a slightly taller female sibling. "Mom. Mom! Make Sister stop pushing me!" And then he gave is sister another good shove. She bumped into her mother's leg. There was a look of annoyance, but no comment from the young female. The mom absently stroked the head of the little girl.

With four, or more, kids, I'm sure it's way too difficult to play favorites, and I'm sure the little boy was acting just like a little boy. I'm sure I've used the very same technique, at one time or another. I think that's true irony, on the part of the little male child. And I'm sure that the Aquarius has felt like that little girl, getting shoved by smaller, less dangerous person who seems to be making a lot of noise, saying nothing. I doubt a four to six year-old kid can appreciate the irony, but I'm sure an Aquarius can appreciate it. And that's what this about. Which one are you? My Aquarius money is on the little girl, annoyed but taciturn, however, I can see you playing any of the roles. I'd pick and choose carefully, too. That girl? She's the one I would want to be.

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pis Pisces: I had two things happen at once, and this could've been a disaster. I was corresponding with client about her Pisces daughter. Daughter is old enough, and well-formed enough, and informed, too, but that's not germane. At the same time, a Louisiana slash Madri Gras joke showed up in my inbound mail. I was tempted to just forward that joke as an adjunct to the email correspondence.

I stopped before I hit the "send" button. Put a little perspective on this, undo some of my spin, what would that look like? An off-color, perhaps suggestive comment, about a daughter rather than something directed towards the mom? Not a good idea. There is a time and place for lewd and bawdy humor. There is a time and place for body humor, too. This wasn't the time, nor, for that matter, the place for such a comment, such as a joke. A joke, such as it was.

Mars is getting ready to trine Uranus, that's why you and me, we thought the joke was funny. All the planets that are now past you, in Aries? That's why the joke might, it could, that one would've, blown up in our face. And not in a fun, or pretty way.

All it takes it two seconds before you hit the "forward" button. Make sure, in context, that the joke is funny. Consider the situation, before you take action, to make sure that the context doesn't place a disagreeable spin on the item. The comment, the question. The action, you were about to take. Look at it from the recipient's point of view. It can save you a lot of trouble.

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.