- “Every present time doth boast itself
Above a better, gone.”
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale [V.i.96]
- What appears on Shakespeare’s tombstone? “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbeare/ To digg the dust enclose here/ Blest be ye man that spares thes stones/ And curst be he that moues my bones.”
Scorpio: There’s this band, from Austin, rock-and-roll. Nothing fancy. Rather accomplished guitarist, and seeing them live, this was after the drummer had surgery, seeing them live made me appreciate how much work that one drummer did. It’s not obvious stuff, not like the big drum solo, nothing big. It’s the steady beat, and the bridge between beats and the three, four, or more cymbal, snare, tom-tom hits to get from “here” to “there” in a single song, guitar pause, the drummer does a quick — and concise — round-trip riff. I can’t quite describe it, has to be seen, even heard, listen closely, the drummer is an incredible percussionist. Sneaks in, and without carefully aural and visual acuity, you’ll miss it. Pay close attention to the details. Watch the drummer. Doesn’t seem to be working and yet, he might be the very foundation for the band’s success. All that time, we thought it was the guitar player. That’s a coded message for Scorpio, and since Mercury is backwards? All about the backbeat.
Sagittarius: There’s always one. I was at a urinal, well, doing what I was supposed to do. This guy, two urinal stalls down, he starts talking to me. “Great show, how about them (Rangers, Cowboys, etc.), did you see….” Not a time when I’m interested in conversation. I’m an affable, easy to approach guy. I was busy with my own business. There are two messages with this situation.
The first is obvious, don’t talk to me when I’m taking a whiz. I don’t care if it is a public bathroom, I’d rather be left in my stoic silence than trying to indulge in inane conversation with total strangers. This also goes way beyond the public restroom, too. On a grander scale, don’t be trying to engage me if I’m otherwise occupied. Especially if I’m occupied. Don’t bother me.
The second is less obvious, but a reminder, as much to myself as to my brothers and sisters who are Sagittarius: don’t be that annoying guy. Don’t be the guy who’s trying to talk to everyone. We are everyone’s friend. Even nice to our enemies, precious few that there are. Don’t be the person who’s trying to make conversation with everyone. That’s not our role, not this week.
“Wow, that was some game!” (STFU)*
Capricorn: I’ve worked at public events for a dozen years or more. For the first decade, when I saw news crew at the front door, I’d be up, on my feet, vying for air time. Which leads to the common comment, from a new customer, “I saw you on the news last night….” There’s good publicity and there’s not-so-good publicity. Toying with your chart wheels for this next week or so? Looking at it and thinking about it?
News crew shows up, usually a camera guy ladened with equipment and a release form, and then, a pretty little reporter armed with only a microphone and a smile? Don’t do it. This is a good time to shun publicity. I quit hamming it up for the reporters after one local guy skewered me, and not in a fun way. I looked stupid. Not a stretch, I know, but the editing was tight and I just looked stupid. Not a good week to ham it up for the cameras and news crews.
Aquarius: To this day, I still use a whistling tea kettle to heat the water for my morning coffee. The whistle is annoying at times, and at other times, it’s useful. I’ll get caught up poking at e-mail, and I’ll forget that the water is on the stove. Rude reminder. It’s snapped me out of a reverie more than one time. I’ll get fascinated with a single item on the screen, in text, someplace, and that whistle reminds me it’s time for more coffee; the water is now hot.
This Mercury period is like that whistle, snapping you out of a funk. Out of a bad place. “It’s Mercury, it can only mean worse.” No, it will actually get you on a corrected course. But like that whistling kettle, it can sneak up on you. Can’t say I didn’t warn you. Time for some Mercury Retrograde Coffee.
Pisces: It’s really too cold for me to fish much, now. However, I was out, not long ago, local area lake. The lake itself is nothing more than a cooling pond — artificial reservoir — for a power plant. On a cold morning, the water’s temperature was much higher than the outdoor temp. Water was 70 or so, outside? It was like 40, that morning. Cold morning in Central Texas. Steam was rising up from the lake. I’m sure there’s a picture on site someplace. Fish were hungry, and fishing, for me, is a perfect Mercury Retrograde experience. I can play, it’s serious, but I’m not losing any productive time, and I am doing something, partaking in activity, that is wholesome. The mist, that’s what I was thinking about, that mist rising up from the lake. Fog. Condensation in the air, about the easiest way to explain. Eery the first time, but kind of cool, after that. Most of my fishing buddies are busy hunting now, so there’s fewer boats on the water, and it was cold, that morning. Almost freezing. That mist? That’s what this is all about. It’s rising, covering everything up. As a Pisces, you know where you’re going. You can navigate fine. If there are any other, non-Pisces craft out there? Might be a problem.
Aries: How many times? Have to ask yourself, I had to ask myself this same question, last week, “How many times do I have to correct the same mistake?” I corrected a typo in last week’s scope. Saved it. Next day, somehow, it had reverted to the previous version. I corrected it again. Day after that, it reverted to the previous version, again. As an Aries, you have to stop and ask yourself, “How many time do I have to make the same correction?” Valid question, and in normal times, a sane answer would be, “Just once.” There’s been an added level of insanity in your life. The worst might be over, or it might not be over yet. I’m not saying for sure, but as this Mercury Retrograde unfurls for one more week? Be prepared to answer that question, “How many time?” Correct answer, this week? “Three. Maybe four or five. Three for sure, maybe some more after that.”
Taurus: Comes a time, you have to stop and ask yourself, “Is it really worth it?” I was shivering, standing on the dock at favorite fishing place, down along the Texas Gulf Coast, and I was idly pitching bait into the water. Coastal Inland Waterway, I think it was. Live bait, or dead bait that had been live at one time. I’d bait the hook, toss it out, and then, shiver, cool, cold, offshore breeze, then feel a small tug on the line, then shiver again, reel the hook back, now naked. Bunch of little Pin Fish (named for their dorsal spines) would feed on my dead bait. I was hoping, but I wasn’t really catching much. The Big Reds had probably moved out to the Gulf by this late in the season., and the rat reds weren’t playing with me. I shivered again. Ask yourself, Taurus, is it worth it to stand out there in the cold, all alone, and fish? Or is there something better you could be doing? For me? Not much of a question, I’d rather fish, as long as I was by the water. But I’m not a Taurus. Ask yourself, is it really worth it?
Gemini: Every November, this will happen. I’ll be out on an afternoon walk, bank, Post Office, coffee shop, in some order. One time, mid-November, we were sitting on pier, having a late lunch, looking at (astrology) charts. Wind kicked up. Temperature dropped 20 degrees, in a single gust of wind. One minute, nice and warm, pleasant fall afternoon in Texas, me in shorts and floral print shirt, the next moment, me, shivering with the November cold. A couple of days later, it will be back to warm afternoons. This cold front? Like Mercury Retrograde? Yes, like now. You’re unprepared, aren’t you? Shiver and head for cover. Like I do.
Cancer: I passed a bus stop, late afternoon. It was warm day, fall day, November kind of day in South Texas. I looked down, curious what was on the sidewalk under my sandals. There was a sharp glint of light, a refraction pattern, I’m not sure what. Looked like water droplet, only, well, like a marble. It was. I rolled it gently with one foot. I was testing, to see if it really was what I thought it was. After rolling it along for a few steps, I reached down, picked it up, rolled it over in my fingers, looked at it, and put it in my pocket. Right there, underfoot, I had the most delightful metaphor. Just plain as day.
Think I’ve lost all my marbles? I have at least one I found. I’m not missing all of them, maybe a few, but not all.
Cancer: As the Sun rolls around and gets ready to hit Sagittarius, with the Mercury pattern really still going full blast, I’d suggest you stop looking way far down the road. There’s an immediate answer right under your feet. I found one of my marbles. Maybe not all, but something is better than nothing, and Mars is fixing to oppose you. Look: it’s right under your feet. Foot. Right under your foot.
Leo: I was chatting with a local server. Kid I know. He’s a bit of hooligan; not really, but he’d like to think he’s all gangster. He’s been dating a particular person, female, for longer than usual. Immediately, I asked, “What’s her birthday?” He stammered, it was, like, you know, last month? Maybe the month before? When? “I don’t know, I think it was, like, last month. Maybe the month before.” Wrong answers. Not because I’m an astrologer, but because knowing what the girlfriend’s birthday is one of two dates that are critical. The other date that is important to never, ever forget is the one that comes in the middle of Aquarius. VD. Never forget. If you’re female, you’ll agree with me, never forget. If you’re male, learn this one, now. Mercury is backwards, in a fixed sign, digging around and uprooting some material we might wish that would just stay buried. But like my harmless question and bit of instruction about dates to learn and know by heart? There’s a small lesson in here, in this Mercury Mayhem. What is the date that you need to know by heart?
- The rest of us, non-Leo types, we need to know The Leo birthday, and we need to make it a national holiday.
Virgo: Normally, when the Sun “passes” Mercury, we’re over the worst of the retrograde problems. However, there’s a just a little hitch with this one. Quick as the Sun passes Mercury? The Sun bumps into Sagittarius. This tail-end of the Mercury Retrograde time is about tales. Stories. Stories we listen to, stories we tell, tales we tell our children, and our children’s children, and the cycle goes on and on. There will be hefty doe of misinformation in the coming days. For Virgo? This will stretch for a while. Much longer than anticipated, at least, at first. It’s awful. Not bad, not for me, I’m Sagittarius. I fish and I write horoscopes. I have poetic license that is current and valid. I’m from Texas. We may not have invented hyperbole, but we’re damn good at it. If you can’t tell the truth to save your life, preface your tales, like I do, with, “True story, no really Bubba knows this guy who knew this fellow….”
Libra: I try to dissuade certain members of my immediate family from buying me gifts. Gift card, or a kind note, not too long, that’s good. I’m afraid, much like my Sister, I’d end up with collection of Xmas sweaters that are, to a T, hideous. As family lore goes, those are handed down, and passed on, and seem to be the kind of gift that won’t die. Won’t go away.
My Libra friend, please, think before you buy at a time like this. There is one kind of gift, for me, that I find acceptable. That’s floral print shirts. The more hideous, the better. I like loud, bright, flashy. Brilliant colors and patterns that clash. It’s good stuff. But that’s the only exception to this rule about what’s acceptable. The problem stems from the idea that you’ve got great ideas, right now. You do. You’ll tell me about them. I’ll agree (mostly). But the ideas? They go away when Mercury is righted, and that’s when buyer’s remorse sets in — only after the grace period is up. I’m just trying to save you the pain.
*STFU, it’s an expression that means “Shut Up,” and since it derives from French the letters in the middle are silent.