Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair,
Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us.
What counsel give you? Whither shall we fly?
- Clarence in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 3 2.3.9-11
In context? That passage offers hope, but one must dig for it — like this year promises, hope, but we might have to dig around a little.
Horoscopes for 1-7-2021
This one is about self-expression, however that looks to the Capricorn. One of the favored ideas, for this next year? What’s the “artist’s statement” for Capricorn? Usually visible as a small blurb off to one side of an art installation, it’s a brief note about what are the motivations, sources, roots. What brought up this idea, what got us here, and where this (Capricorn thing) is taking us. Like a bio. Time to write a Capricorn “artist’s statement,” a short bio, and decision about a direction. The trick with the better “artist’s statements?” The singular, stand-out points? Brevity and wit. A few sentences. Not much more. The trick is to keep it brief. Then, too, as we take the paragraph and try to cut it down in size? Work in that obvious sense of Capricorn humor, a bit dour, a little strange, and maybe not the best pointers, but there’s got to be that. Self-expression, and in the artist’s statement idea, the simplest way to get ahead this week? Brevity. Wit. Don’t forget, you’re trying to explain something here.
It was about statistics. I still recall, one great wordsmith, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Following a literary discussion about Shakespeare and his “authorship” of one of the last plays, part of the official canon, but arguably Shakespeare only did an assist on the play? Watching, reading through an online forum devoted to the topic of Shakespeare and scholarship?
What I found was a surprising level of technical knowledge about statistics and the various models used to derive the answer. How the academics arrived at the conclusion? According to one, they all played with a stacked deck, so to speak. The numbers were rigged. The conclusion was arrived at as a stated destination, therefore, the evidence was curated then collated to arrive at that destination. They collected data that made it look like this was the only viable option: it was obvious? Pick and choosing what data we use to arrive at the conclusion? That’s stacking the deck, that’s fast and loose with facts, that’s only showing what we want to show. In other forums, this is a conclusion bias. Or, as I’ve heard it before? Confirmation bias. Careful about the data, unless we’re trying to win a specific Aquarius argument.
Working the last the big expo-type of events I’ve worked at for so long? Been a year now. Anyway, there’s a kind of manic energy that I employ to help me make it through the day. I tap into “Source,” according to some. Other belief systems call it by other names, and the real deal, I’m not sure just what it is.
“Go with the flow?”
That’s as good as any title. Still, there’s a deeper meaning. I was set up next to young, younger than me anyway, reader, and she looked over, halfway through the day and asked how I made it so long without a break. No cigarette break, no lunch break, essentially eight, maybe ten hours in one spot, standing up, sitting down, drinking water, coffee, and not much else. An old girlfriend used to bring me coffee in the middle of the day, and more than one venue offers free coffee service, of sorts, and there are times when I can badger an assistant to make a coffee run, but demands are easy, just black coffee and a bottle of water, preferably not the five-dollar water. I’ve used a number of tricks over the years, but the simplest is stay lightly hydrated, a couple of bottles of water, and some strong caffeine — preferably earlier on in the day. Then engage in the activity. I’ve trained, as it were, for this for years and years, and I’ve been doing this kind of event, for close to three decades now. I know what works for me, and engaging in “source,” however that shows up? That’s the secret.
What this means for Pisces? Engage in the source, tap into the flow, stay hydrated, and keep moving forward. This going to be a great year, just keep moving forward, or, in my example, keep sitting there delineating charts.
There are two or three large birds of prey in my neighborhoods and surrounding environs. The Mexican Eagles, the red-tail hawks, and some evenings, even a variation on owls. There are numerous carrion birds, and then the usual jays. I have a couple of “bird” books for identifying the various winged creatures that I might encounter. My favorite is an app, really, based on a book of near legendary authority. The problem I encountered, looking out the window one cold winter’s morning? There were some small sparrows pecking at the front yard gravel, and I couldn’t immediately identify the birds. Red-tail hawks, especially in flight, are easy. The relatively common horned owl, again, with its big eyebrows, almost comic? Distinctive “hoot?” Easy. The frequent crested Mexican Eagle? Again, distinctive enough to easily identify. The various little sparrows? I got stuck thumbing through the book, trying to figure out what I was looking at, and then, wandering into areas of the book about the Osprey, or the chance of seeing a real eagle at this one place we fish, and then? I lost where I was, looking at the sparrow, or wrens, or whatever they were. One of them has kind of a yellow-feather chest plate. I think. Maybe some mascara around its little bird eyes. See the problem? As Mars gets comfortable in Taurus, Aries can start watching out for getting stuck on trying to figure out if it is just a common wren, or a brown sparrow, or what. It’s a little bird; move on?
According to the astrological lore I was raised with? Mars doesn’t really like being in Taurus. This will be compounded, in the near future as Mars briefly aligns with Uranus, and all of that is weeks away. Still, that provides a focal point for how this energy can be seen. Personally, I like the Mars in Taurus material; it’s personal to me. Has to do with sensual nature of Taurus and how that mellows out the usual Mars drive. Regrettably, this one is about pushing forward when — sometimes — we don’t need to push forward. One fishing buddy has the smallest tackle box he can find, and then he stuffs it full, almost to the point of bursting, and one time, this was a little while back, pretty sure it burst at the seams. Trying to cram the maximum amount of content into the smallest available space? I applaud his minimalist idea, but the way he would overfill the tiny tackle box made me wonder. Just a slightly larger container would be better, and then? The material therein would be easier to access. So as Mars gets comfortable in Taurus? As much as I applaud our minimalist approach? Sometimes, just a slightly larger container might be more efficient.
Officially, we’re starting the new decade. Officially. Unofficially, this has been going on for a year now. It’s all about the words and the way we count. This is also all about Gemini, words, and the way we count. And what those words mean, or seem to mean. For many years, I was a huge fan of al pastor, which is a traditional Mexican dish. However, as I was frequently in Austin, I played around with the words, and a Gemini buddy remarked about “Holy Tacos.” I asked what he meant, and he explained, “Holy Tacos — tacos al pastor.” The Holy Reverend, the Pastor made them.
If it’s stupid, but it works? Have to ask yourself if it’s really stupid. Function is more important than appearances. Ideally, “form follows function,” but in our modern era, “styling” seems important, as well. So we’re back to the original premise, and for the duration of this particular Jupiter transit? For Cancer flavors? If it’s stupid but it works? Is it really stupid?
“That’s just stupid, you know.”
Uh, question? Does it work?
Looking on social media is not really “research.” I got to a point where I can justify looking on the murky water of social media as a way to judge the collective zeitgeist at a moment when there is an astrological alignment — or astrological mis-alignment. But one writer’s forum suggested looking for ideas on (name of this week’s social media hottie), and that isn’t really research. It’s a cross between “avoiding real work” and “messing around,” and while I tend to also layer on a level of astrological analysis, yeah, seriously? That doesn’t really mean work. So looking at social media, that’s not really valid research. While I can — and do — work in a largely meandering, dissembling manner, that is probably not the most appropriate way for The Leo to get things accomplished, not now, not at the beginning of this year.
Poking around on social media, as an example? That’s not really “research.’
For the last dozen years, maybe longer, I’ve carted around a single-serve French Press coffee maker. One of the few pieces of coffee accessories that I’ve held onto and enjoyed. Don’t use it often. Because it was winter, and because I was making tea in the afternoons, I forgot about the diminutive coffee press. For ease, simplicity, form must follow function, I’ve tended towards a pour-over arrangement as fast, efficient, and no-mess clean-up. Funnel, filter, add coffee. The pour-over, and in this case, a single shot, as the apparatus isn’t very large, I carefully ground up some decaf beans, by hand. Then, I timed it. Added the water right off boil, set the timer, and let is set for the suggested four minutes. When that was done, I decanted the coffee into a mug, a small mug, and it was some of the best coffee I’ve had since this morning. The morning coffee was served by a surly waitress in a face mask. Different story. The effect of the way I made the coffee, then pouring it into a coffee mug, then enjoying the top six or seven ounces at a properly warm temperature? Remember? With a coffee press? There’s always some flotsam that makes it through the mesh, so just enjoy what’s there, let the last fluid ounce that is rich in grinds stay at the bottom? Anyway, cold winter’s night, needed a warm beverage and break, and the decaf in a single-use, prepared, following all the instructions? Near perfect. As a Virgo specific set of weekly guidelines? Follow all the rules, and enjoy the top three-quarters of that beverage. If you suck up the dregs, too? Don’t complain to me.
Two schools of thought: pressure (deadlines) are better, and pressure (deadlines) are unproductive. Think that the production-oriented business, the whole productivity market of materials that are guaranteed to make one’s life easier? Big deals in the first of the year, and even now, still sees a surge in sales. However, the question to ask, and the question I don’t have an answer for, not unless I look at an individual chart? Unless I consult my stars, I can’t say, for sure, whether pressure is — like a looming deadline — is better. Do we party all week, and then cram all the work into a single sprint to the finish line? Or do we prepare along the way and arrive cool, calm, and collected? Varies from situation to situation. What works for some? What I’ve noticed with a strong Libra placement in a chart? Pressure seems to work well as source of motivation.
Kurt Vonnegut — Scorpio — wrote a number of highly influential novels. Standing on the corner of 38th and Guadalupe, in Austin, I had one of those flashbacks, or, as Vonnegut adroitly wrote, I became “unstuck in time.” I flashed back to a time when there was a single brand of gasoline pump, across the street and the corner I was on? It was very different — next to a state-run “school,” which was a housing facility for mentally unstable individuals. “The Nut Hut,” according to one, and a “Grin Bin,” according to another. No judgement on my part. In the ensuing years, as the nature of local real estate shifted, and as the winds of change kept blowing along? Like a fallen leaf, skittering across the pavement, I was there, at that corner, having given a buddy a ride to the doctor so he could get a procedure, and I was stuck, wandering the streets for a half hour or so. That’s when I thought about Vonnegut and his expression, “unstuck in time.” The nature of time is questionable, at best, in times like this, and that notion of getting unstuck then falling into a very Scorpio reverie, and getting lost? It can happen. For me, it was merely a transitory notion, but there can be trap and getting stuck in the past.
The image I saw? A scorpion with a rose in the place of a stinger. Like to think that some of my Scorpio buddies are like that, but alas, every Scorpio I know — remember this is from strictly Sagittarius perspective — has the potential for that sharpened, pointed, and barbed Scorpio stinger. The way to roll this week’s energy out, as we start the new year? Think about that image, a line-art scorpion with a rose in place of its stinger. Not that I would be the first Sagittarius to fall for that scorpion’s sting, a barbed, poisoned point camouflaged as a rose? Won’t be the first, nor, will I be the last, nor will this be the last time. However, as we roll forward into the dawn of the new year? Consider that image, a deadly scorpion’s stinger replaced by a colorful rose-like flower. While that was intended as a form of astrological art, I think in terms of the next sign, the Archer, and the implications there. While we are always looking for what’s best, like that flower? Be aware that there might be stinger underneath.