“What a brazen-faced varlet art thou…”
Kent in Shakespeare’s King Lear [II.ii.25]
- Kent is addressing Oswald, who doesn’t seem to recognize Kent, although they had an altercation just two days before. Odd how that fits with Mercury in Retrograde.
On this date in 1871, explorer Henry Stanley found the missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone in central Africa, and issued his famous greeting: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
Scorpio: “Oh man, it was terrible, diarrhea and vomiting, at the same time.” Buddy of mine, a Scorpio was recounting a recent illness. Didn’t know which way to face, in the bathroom. To hear his version, it’s all sort of comical, but then, as a Scorpio, he has that sardonic and wry way with storytelling. Makes a good tale, and we all laughed at his inconvenience. I thought about him, smirking, laughing, shrugging his shoulders and mimicking the funny parts, while he retold the tale. I thought about the substance of the story, too, sick, like a stomach virus that runs its course in 24 hours, or less. Inconvenient. Unpleasant. Not life-threatening, although, at one point in his version, he did mime that he thought he was going to die. Something about his brains leaving his body via, well, you get the picture. We have Saturn at one Scorpio end and retrograde Mercury at the other. Please, you’ve got to see the humor, like my Scorpio fishing buddy.
Sagittarius: I have a problem with local food. “Man, those things are like goat toenails,” one friend exclaimed. I could never be sure if the local guy was serious or having a laugh at my expense. My date, that time, certainly didn’t appreciate the food. Subsequent investigation reveled that it was good food, we didn’t understand the local etiquette.
“Carnitas,” or, more properly, “carnitas de puerco” are little chucks of ham, some kind of pig part, and the meat is tenderized, soaked in an auspicious marinade, and then roasted. Good stuff, done right. Needs a tortilla, cilantro, pico, sauce, and so forth to be palatable. Just as little rough chunks of ham? Tasty but unappetizing. The moral is, I wasn’t being made fun of, but my very “guera” date was. She might not be the adventuresome Sagittarius that I am. It’s good food, it’s also a matter of finding the right place, the right accompaniment, like a local, matter of the right guide. Mercury is messing with our Sagittarius heads, man. Go ahead, take that local reference and see if it’s any good. The food might be delicious, it’s just matter of observing how the locals eat it.
Capricorn: “Hey! It’s Killa-Krame! S’up!” Capricorn buddy, with warm, enthusiastic greeting. I always liked the “Killa-Krame” handle, implied a gangster, hooligan attitude. I like the outlaw sound. I’m much less of a scofflaw than that one appearance would seem, but never mind that now. I would never let the facts interfere with a tale, especially, a story about me. The conversation quickly got around to what was important for that one Capricorn: his girlfriend. Jovial attitude, in Capricorn? Check. Life is good, despite the apparent planetary arrears? Check. Like seeing your astrology buddy? Check. What’s wrong with the Capricorn image? Everyone else is down because of Mercury Retrograde, or Pluto in Capricorn, or Uranus in Aries. Or whatever. There is a friction, but the easiest way to combat the friction? Jovial attitude. Worked well for my one Capricorn buddy, might try it.
Aquarius: It’s hard to find something that can’t be explicated by Google. Or any search term. In any search engine. The world wide down-home pages offer experts on anything, with answers to many questions. I’ve lamented this before, but there is no good way for me to run a trivia contest when answers are available as fast as one can type. The upside is that all that knowledge is available. I have a simple challenge. At the top of my “web-log,” there’s a Latin quote. Run that through the various online translators and no computers come up with the same answer, nor do the machines ever spit out the correct meaning. Close, on occasion, and in the right realm, more often than not, but the real translation takes a Latin scholar.
The trick to doing well this week? Find a similar phrase, a similar definition, find something that can’t be translated, explicated or understood by the machines. Software/hardware, nothing beats brain power. Look for a trivia question that can’t be answered in 10 seconds online.
My Latin motto? That’s my example; come up with your Aquarius own.
Things are not “normal” now.
Simplest way for Pisces to get through this next week? Pick one out of the three biggest deals. Pick one, out of the three. One problem, one issue, one deal. One item that appears broken. Fix one thing. Simple goal. It’s a band-aid, it’s temporary fix, or, like one of my plumbing problems in the trailer in Austin? That still holds up. To this day. That was a temporary, Pisces fix to a Mercury Retrograde problem. The trick? Just fix one.
Aries: For years, I used one of Austin’s landmarks (Book People Bookstore) as a library. After I moved away from the edge of the river, I found that I couldn’t access bookstores, nor were there really any bookstores with Book Peoples breadth and depth. Eventually, in search of a replacement, I found the local library. Fetching architecture, and like a bookstore, only better. Kind of a mixed bag of people, but as a public library? It has the oddest collections of books. Strange stuff, and historical — hysterical — material that’s just not otherwise readily available. I was looking for something out of the ordinary. I was looking for material that would escape the public’s view. I was looking for new and different, with the heavy emphasis on “different.” I used to buy the books, but as I get older, I get cheaper. I only buy books I really want to keep around.
Aries: This isn’t about shopping for books, or libraries, or anything like that. Mercury is retrograde. It’s about shopping for ideas in a different place, something different from what you’ve become accustomed.
Look some place different from where you usually search. If you use the internet tubes a lot? Use a book. Use a bookstore like me? Try the library. Use the library? Try a bookstore.
Taurus: Too bad I’ve used this over again and again, but the idea is sound. The simplest way to deal with Mercury, slipping back into Scorpio, opposite you? “More cowbell!” One Taurus — female — will look at me and ask, “Really?” Punctuate as you see fit. Which is what the cowbell reference is about. There’s a point where a dramatic, audio, clear image and signal, there’s a point where that’s required. It’s a rhythmic, and yet, it also has a final notation about it. Cowbell means business. Ask any hard rocker. More than a dozen years ago it was pointedly humored, and properly satirized. The poor, lowly cowbell, the staple of hard rocking, aging music. Some of it doesn’t age so well. The cowbell survived. Punctuate this week. Punctuate Mercury’s miscues with a cowbell.
Gemini: The biggest problem with doing most of my own webwork is that I make mistakes. One, maybe two hardware swaps back? I lost a piece of software I wrote. It was — basically — a red button that a browser could push. It would then play a single rimshot. Badda-bing, bonk. The perfect way to emphasize the texture of this Mercury Retrograde time. At least one of my Gemini friends will write in with tales of woe and harmful consequences. I doubt that person would appreciate the rimshot. However, for most of the Gemini I know, and for that one, even though she won’t get it? There’s still the hope for the rimshot. I doubt I’ll either find my original source files, or, for that matter, the rest of the software that made that original rimshot, but it’s a nice idea, an audio package, like, as a file on the phone, something to have handy when the situation gets ugly. Reduce the bad bits to the absurd. It will help to deal with Mercury’s ugliness this week, as Mercury shifts from Sagittarius backwards into a Scorpio (and your work ‘house’).
Cancer: I still have a handwritten book of free verse. Free verse, open, not so much poetry as stream of consciousness thought, romantic and hopefully poetic. When Mercury is backwards like this, I’ll open that book up, and I’ll wonder who would write this, as it seems eloquent and beautiful. It’s my own work. However, once Mercury is no longer retrograde, in a few weeks? It’s tired, borderline profane, and otherwise entirely unusable in any format, and certainly not fit for print. I was motivated at the time, by certain Cancer girl. It was a good exercise of both handwriting, and as a way to express emotion in a format that I’m, frankly, not comfortable with. So under this current iteration of Mercury in Retrograde, I’d challenge you to write some free verse. Love poetry. Whatever motivates your little Cancer heart. Something, like, something different than what you do now.
Leo: I’m pretty set in some of my ways. Usually, I don’t bother with long pants until now, the first week or two of November. As I’ve gradually drifted further and further south, I spend less and less time in long pants. “Oh, the big boy pants!” Yeah, whatever. I like certain brand of jeans, and I like a certain model of that brand’s jeans, straight-leg, boot-cut, button-fly. Comes in a choice of colors, too: black or blue. Makes shopping, and choosing appropriate attire, makes all of that much, much easier. It’s my formal wear, now. All I got. I can throw a sport coat or a fishing shirt on, and I’m good for the coast, the lake, or fancy dinner. All I got. I’ve worked hard to simplify my life thusly. As the mighty Leo? Simplify. That’s what this Mercury Retrograde is about. It’s about making something that’s difficult, making it simple. Only got two choices, in long pants, for me. One choice for footwear. Again, makes it easy. Make it easy for yourself.
Virgo: I never played Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man or any of the subsidiary games. I’m not gamer, and I’m not a classic gamer. I looked at the Moon in Virgo, right at the beginning of this scope, andI thought about an image I have of that Pc-man like creature, chewing its way through whatever it did in the game. Virgo, you’re like that Pac-man, Ms Pac-Man, whatever the favorite image or that animation is? You’re like that. Chewing your way through Mercury in Retrograde. Getting to you? Start chewing on the Mercury Retrograde Restraints. Not getting to you? Chew your way ahead of everyone else. There are two options, but I see this little, yellow thing that’s mostly a mouth, just chomping, grinding and moving forward. I never played the game so I don’t know the rules or strategy. I do know Virgo. I do know that Mercury is backwards with a vengeance. I do know you’re going to chew through the restraints.
Libra: The Encke Gap is a small band of clear space in Saturn’s rings. The gap is probably caused by the Moon named Pan, and that’s just another word for the mischievous messenger, Mercury. The dynamics of the Encke Gap are simple, there’s a moon (Pan) in orbit along the same plane as the rings, and that moon sort of clears out a gap, roughly 200 miles wide, in the rings. Makes it look like a dark, thin line, when we see it in a telescope. Mercury, or Mercury’s namesake, as I play ‘fast and loose’ with mythology, but that blank space, the Encke Gap? Mercury is doing that, even now.
Mercury is etching a spot in the Libra psyche.
That gap? Is it bad? Looks like it was intended. Did you forget something? Or maybe, you left it behind, on purpose.