- Learn this, brother,
We live not to be grip’d by meaner persons.
Wolsey in Shakespeare’s Henry 8 (act 2 scene 2)
Horoscopes for 1.3.2019
“Florence Effect,” is that heart palpitations, the swooning, the effect of great art on a person. It’s really a thing, you know. A real deal, like medically recognized and everything. No, really, look it up. I read it on the internet, it has to be true.
I — personally — have experienced this kind of effect, a couple of times, usually in major museums, but once, in small, private gallery. There was a particular, rather iconic, American painting, and seeing it in person brought tears to my eyes. “Florence Effect,” in the flesh, my flesh. Think I even have a “museum quality” poster reproduction of that one. Maybe. Maybe not. Still, the image and the way it can evoke such depth of feelings, loneliness, despair, stark beauty, and hope for the future? All there, in a single painting. That’s the “Florence Effect.” Mercury/Saturn and Sun/Pluto, plus, you know, holidays, new year, the 12th Night, current events, and a few news trends? Find that touchstone, artwork, whatever it is that brings happiness? We’re looking for the “Florence Effect” to bring joy to the Capricorn birthdays.
How long does it take to become proficient at a new skill? Typing, comes to mind, and I’m still not good at that. From a quick glance at material online, I found reference to a noted author and efficiency expert who suggested that it 10,000 hours to become good at a particular skill. As an example?
Watch me with fishing pole in hand, usually between six and seven feet long, with a spinning reel on it, I can, after few moments, sometimes on the first try, land that bait within inches of where I’m aiming. Maybe even hit the target. Took years. Years and years of time — I spent the better portion of a decade honing that particular skill-set. Say, 2-3 hours a day, 300 days a year? Over the span of a decade — think trailer park in old South Austin — I got some practice. When it comes to acquiring a new Aquarius skill-set, a new task, a new goal, a new action, how long would it take to become at least halfway decent? From the 10,000 hour mark, halfway would be 5,000 hours. I’m unsure if that’s really true, but I would guess so. The secret to Aquarius success, next week, or so? Practice, practice, practice.
For someone like me, I am mired someplace between systems. I speak fluent redneck. I can get by with some street Spanish, and occasional, French works its way in. I am conversant with liturgical doctrines from Catholic, Reformed, and a few other belief systems. What I don’t know how to do? When to shut it off. I was attempting to convey the contents of a Zen Koan, think Zen parable, to one of my less articulate fishing buddies.
It didn’t translate.
That simple. The point of the story, the parable, a very palpable point, poignant, and at the time, topical? Great choice. Right story, but my buddy? Wrong audience. Same story, couched in different terms would’ve made a lightbulb go off over his head, “I get that!” The story from the 101 Zen Stories, yeah, that one didn’t work. If I were smarter, I would’ve substituted circumstances and details to make it work, but I forged ahead. “Yeah, I don’t get it, but then, I know I don’t understand everything you say, anyway, Kramer.” As a Pisces, ideas and feelings convey. Language, though, it’s still a bit of barrier. Save Zen Koans to ones who understand those riddles. Save fishing stories for those who understand the fishing stories.
It was a big company; they can afford to experiment. The product, new product line, looked like something, “We’ve never seen before!” Pretty sure it was an experiment, and I can’t say if it will work. I found the new, branded flavor to be 100% less appealing, but that could be my skewed tastes. The point is, the big companies with deep pockets can afford a miss every now and again. Big companies can experiment with new flavors, new sizes, new packaging, or even a totally new spin. That ability to change on what would appear to be a whim, and launch a new product, only to see that product fail? That is a luxury of large companies. Smaller, independent outfits, not unlike myself, I can’t afford to have colossal mistake that costs time, effort, dollars (big dollars) — only to have it fail miserably. I have to be a little more circumspect. I’m little more cautions. As an Aries, you have a great idea, but it is a little experimental. It’s a little “Out There,” and at least one peer has suggested it will never work. With the start of the new year, though, and with the calamity behind us — now — maybe this new Aries idea could get a fresh start? Instead, though, of a massive roll-out with marketing campaign and display ads, what with all the cost, maybe, a softer, lower-key version — first — for Aries — maybe a soft-sell, or soft-launch would be better. Not a grand opening, with stacks and stacks of new product, but soft-launch, with just a few, test the waters, first.
A chance encounter — let’s call it that — opened up a space where I had one of those great revelations. I was responsible for providing the information. That is the extent of my obligation, moral, philosophical, metaphysical, or other. My job during that interaction was to provide information. Guidance, or potential guidance, and then? My missions was complete. My human side wants to get in and help, push, coerce, manage, or otherwise get involved. My real job in that chance encounter? Provide information — and nothing more. As a Taurus, what happens, you get a chance to provide data. Typically, the question is something like, “Should I go to the left or the right?” Prudent Taurus wisdom dictates “Take a left right here.” Then watch as the querent veers to the right — the wrong way — and continues to edge of the earth. Think about it, as a Taurus, you provided the best information, and as Taurus, you fulfilled your moral obligation. Besides, think rationally, if the person asking for directions goes far enough, like circumnavigated the planet, then that person will wind up where he or she is supposed to be. Just took the long way. “Should‘ve gone left, like I said,” suggests the Taurus. We’re responsible for making the information available — we are not responsible for the outcome.
A situation comes up, and this more frequent in our modern age, do we spend more time promoting ourselves than we spend being ourselves? Valid question with the muggy media material floating freely. Holidays are over, 12th Night passes, and we’re all ready for a fresh start on a new year. It’s a goal, simple as that. Perhaps, with the planets and the Sun, currently in Capricorn, alongside Saturn and so on? Pluto? Remember him? Planet or whatever, still in Capricorn.
Anyway, for Gemini the cautionary tale for the next week, and maybe a suggestion for a new way to look at the new year? Do we spend more time promoting ourselves, like, taking pictures of our food, rather than enjoying the food? Is the tag, “In a relationship” more important than the relationship itself? Personally, I fall into the trap myself, if I don’t snap an image and post it online, then did it really happen? Concerns for the the Gemini, at this time. A question for the immediate future.
Simple piece of advice? Probably from seeing too many cooking shows, and I like how that works, mix up the ingredients, fold in the whatever, pour into a baking container, and slide into the oven, pulling out in a single breath’s moment, the finished, baked goods. “Bake for 4 hours at 275,” they suggested. So it was started, some four hours earlier — at least? Got a good image here? The advice, and this spins two ways in the Moon Child’s chart, spins two ways, but the idea is simple, really: Bake the cake. Don’t tell me how to make the cake, just bake the cake. Don’t show me the recipe and tell me how to do it; just do it.
Think cookbook astrology, now.
This next week, and settling into a new year pattern? Don’t tell me how to do something, show me. Don’t tell me how to bake the cake; show me by baking the damn cake.
When I was first seriously exposed to “Shakespeare,” it was taught to me as great literature, when, in fact, it is theatre. To me, while I studied Shakespeare’s complete works in classroom after classroom, and while I can talk about various thematic elements, to be brutally honest? Shakespeare’s works are plays, meant to be played live, in front of an audience, with movie versions being a close second. Only in a distant third or fourth place would be the written form of the plays. As The Leo, this plays better for you, as this week requires a performance. Right in your area of special skills. Sure, a written response is nice, but like Shakespeare’s canon of work? In performance is the best way to deliver the message. This is something to be acted upon, acted out, or trotted out on stage. Maybe rehearsed. Maybe improvised. Maybe scripted. Maybe, scripted, rehearsed, and dramatically delivered. In any way of getting this message across, it require The Leo to take action. Simple as that. Not a dry delivery, unless, of course, the part calls for that. But this is action, perhaps staged, perhaps off the top of the majestic Leo brain, but acted upon. Acted out. Not a written message at all.
One of the leading scholars who has written a great deal about Shakespeare? Bloom. His book, Shakespeare, the Invention of the Human is one of the few big books about Shakespeare that I keep around. Because I would be overrun with textbooks if I kept every book I’ve alluded to, from years in a trailer park, I learned to only hold onto certain texts that I refer back to, time and again. Bloom’s is de facto standard for me. When I’m trying to grasp the concepts presented in play, or I hit a sticking point, or some part of the staged dialogue seems out of place, I start with Bloom’s book.
This is about beginning points. As the new year unfolds, a tried and true “Virgo jumping off point” is clearly called for. A place where the trip starts. A point where we embark on our Virgo endeavor. That’s the starting point. This week, the new year, and Virgo’s year, the week ahead? What I would do if there was more Virgo in my chart? I would start with a text like Bloom’s, a big, heavy book that covers the material in succinct and direct fashion. Fairly typical in its interpretations and not given to great flights of fantasy or hyperbolic intrigues, it makes a rock-solid starting place, a foundation. This week is about foundation elements for Virgo, too.
One of the great joys of travel, the rigorous life of living out of a suitcase or backpack? One of the greatest pleasures derives from the idea that it isn’t like they do back home. Local customs, local diets, local traditions are always of interest. As a Libra, on the road of life, and starting out this new year, you will encounter a new way. The very first comment that echoes in your Libra brain is a voice suggesting, “It isn’t like we used to do it.” Or, my favorite, “It isn’t like they do it back home.” I live in a land that it rich with variations, shadings, hues, and textures to certain cuisine. Let’s say, “TexMex Heaven.” I am intrigued with what hosts in far-flung locations serve me and consider “Mexican” food. Subtly put? It ain’t. It’s not like they do back home. Instead of that comparison, though, what I’ve learned to do, enjoy the varieties and vagaries of the spice palate. See the local influences, and embrace the difference. Nod appreciatively at the efforts to render a dish that is evocative of the Old West, or whatever the noveau cusine is, and instead of comparing it? Realize, on the road, there will be differences, and the differences are as important to celebrate. As a Libra, the difference between how it is is over here, and how it is back home?
“Paris Syndrome” is defined as discovering that the city of lights, shrouded in myth, is just another big city, albeit French. With French efficiency. And certain disagreeable traits, clearly vision blurred. It’s that let-down feeling from idealizing place only to discover, next to the idyllic images on a warm summer’s day, there is also the dog poo. I know; I stepped in it. I was wearing lug-soled high-traction sport-sandals, and the tread pattern caught a chunk of doggie treat, leftover. In Austin, at that time, dog people always cleaned up after their dogs, so I was not paying close attention. I stepped in it. This is the perfect example of “Paris Syndrome.” The myth, the sites, the sounds, the Eiffel Tower visible from every motel room? Paris Syndrome, as it applies to this week’s Scorpio? That crap-load of Capricorn suggests that there is a similar situation about to unfold, what you dreamed about, as that young Scorpio and what is real?
“Oh man, it’s the Paris Syndrome thing, isn’t it?”
However, with my guidance? Maybe you don’t have to step in it: like I did.
Listening to some music the other afternoon, watching it on the supplemental screen, I was thinking about the performer. He paused in the middle of the set, the song was rolling along, and while the band played on, the performer paused to shoot some selfie B-roll, presumably uploaded to his live feed, and thusly distributed in the world of muggy media. “Look! Look! You can see me in the back, there, hands in the air with thousands of my friends!” Clever trick, and in the moment, I would guess everyone was swept away, “This is SO cool!” Knowing that one performer, I’m sure it was genuine, heartfelt, “include you ALL!” that kind of thing. As a Sagittarius, we got to work on our “inclusivity.” Simple stage trick, one I tried years ago, much less successfully, a quick picture of the audience before I started to talk.
“I love you guys, I want to take you all home with me!”