What boded this, but well forewarning wind
    Did seem to say, “Seek not a scorpion’s nest,
    Nor set no footing on this unkind shore”?

Queen Margaret in Shakespeare's Henry 6 pt. 2 (3.2.85-7)

    There’s an opening shot from a marginally famous film, shows a huge, gnarly looking Scorpion crawling along the desert sands. Nasty, ugly looking brute, with a giant tail, implied, loaded with venom. Black shell with blood-red markings. The real insect used? Not deadly. Not even painful. Looks means and nasty, but isn’t. A scorpion is one of those creatures that’s managed to make it into the subconscious everywhere.

Horoscopes starting 1/26/2017

Aquarius:

Aquarius

The Water Bearer

Every real story is truly a never-ending tale. Happy Aquarius birthday, yes, it’s that time again. There will be a certain amount of “falderal” about the Chinese New Year — still — for Aquarius? There’s a new start about to occur. As I mentioned, every story, really good stories, are never-ending tales. What is about to unfold, in Aquarius, for Aquarius, the next chapter. This isn’t an ending. It’s a new verse. New chapter, new section, new material to be added to the Aquarius story of, Aquarius story of, the tale of, well, something. New verse, new chapter, new act. If you read this before it starts, get ready. If you read this after it starts, the wheels are in motion, get ready to ride this one all the way through. Just remember, it’s really more like a continuation rather than a new tale. Just adding a sequel. Yes, new sequel.

Pisces:

Pisces

The Fishes

Cool looking leather cover for a brand of field notes, to carry a pencil, the notes, maybe some other scraps? I’ve longed for those items, I think of them as hand-toys or hand-tools, a slim leather binder with notes and notebook, blank pages begging to be filled with sketches, ideas, notes for the future, perhaps arcane clues to the way the universe works?
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    “I see it feelingly.”

Gloucester in Shakespeare’s King Lear (4.vi.128)

The Sun Enters the Tropical Zodiac Sign of Aquarius at 3:23 PM, CST (plus or minus, your mileage may vary, see local dealer for details.)

Horoscopes starting 1.19.2017

Aquarius:

Aquarius

The Water Bearer

All I did was leave my socks on. No big deal, right? Maybe not a big deal to some, but it is kind of a big deal to me. Cold, winter morning, me, in a robe, not much else, shivering, and I was thinking I had to go someplace, so I started to get dressed.

I pulled on socks.

I take great pride in mis-matched tube socks as what I wear underneath my boots. Only, after I pulled on the socks, I got distracted, and I padded around the house with my feet in socks. Only, now, after socks, my toes weren’t cold.

It’s such a simple solution, obvious to some, and yet, I missed it for a long time. I’ve gotten striated in my patterns, I’ll wear boots, cowboy boots, and I have the mismatched socks for that, handmade, cowboy boots, made in Texas, or I’ll wear sandals. There isn’t a lot of ground between the two. One, or the other, one requires socks and the other requires no socks. This addition, wearing socks but no shoes? It goes against every fiber in my being, screaming, “No! Nooooooo….” However, pause, think about it, warm toes, looks silly, but I’m at home, no one sees, right? It’s OK. It’s going to be OK. Super simple solution to a complex problem, sort of a mediated half-way point.

Aquarius: Simple adjustment. Try leaving your socks on. Keeps the toes warm. simple adjustment, although, it did, at first, go against the very fiber of my being, to wear socks with no boots.

Pisces:

Pisces

The Fishes

One website I stumbled across was a very zen-like series of desktops, work surfaces and office-like environments. For those of us who, perhaps we office at home, or free-lance, part of the “hired gun” set-up? For those of us, the workspace is both important, and for a little while, it was neat to see what others were doing.
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newAFNsig

    I’ll not be by the while. My liege, farewell!
    What will ensue hereof, there’s none can tell;
    But by bad courses may be understood
    That their events can never fall out good.

Edmund of Langley, in Shakespeare's King Richard II, (2.1.211-4)

Up next? El Paso then San Antonio, then back to Austin. Details at astrofish.net/travel.

Horoscopes starting 1.12.2017

Capricorn:

Capricorn

The Sea Goat

Acting like a seven-year old. It was me, I was working at at event, one of the last of the last year, and a client’s daughter was circulating around the tables. Kid was just seven years old. Every time she’d make a pass by me, she’d stick her tongue out and make a face. By her second or third lap, I was trying to beat her to the tongue out.

A business associate, sitting next to me, was greatly amused. “I’m trying to figure out, which one of you two is most mature.” My take? Girl-child. She’s probably way more mature than I am. I know this. The child’s mother was getting a little exasperated with the child, and then, when the mom figured out I was partaking, possibly aggravating the situation? We were both told to stop, “Both of you! Right now!” Mom turned her back to look at something bright and shiny, and I grinned then stuck my tongue back out at the kid, who, with a furtive glance over a slender shoulder, repeated the process. Mercury, no longer retrograde, and the Sun, still in Capricorn, happy belated birthday by the way, there’s a chance to act like a child.

“Oh please, you’re just making this worse!”

Capricorn: shrug?

Aquarius:

Aquarius

The Water Bearer

Love me my Aquarius friends, and they are nothing if not inconstant. Usually. Therein, my dear, is the Aquarius problem. There’s a certain requirement for “inconstant behavior” these days. My old “Mercury is Retrograde” trick was to take three passes at at least three different ideas, see which one was still standing when Mercury was no longer retrograde. With the cardinal energy loose upon the land?
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    I cannot by the progress of the stars
    Give guess how near to day.

Marcus Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar 2.1.2~

Mercury isn’t “retrograde” much longer, but we’re not completely in the clear from the ensuing confusion, so keep that in mind.

Horoscopes starting 1.5.2017

Capricorn:

Capricorn

The Sea Goat

Handy travel tip — if you have expandable luggage? Never leave home with the luggage expanded. You’ll thank me later, like later this year. It’s the beginning of the year, and there’s a big push to reduce, reuse, and recycle in the Capricorn’s life.

Before this inauspicious start gets done, like, in the next day or three?

There’s a packing tip.

I had this one, old girlfriend, and when we would travel, I’d always throw in a tiny, folded-up duffle. Sooner or later, there would be that “one thing” she would want. Had to pack it in a suitcase and the clothes had to go someplace else; hence, my portable, expandable duffle. However, the trick to use this energy correctly, in the next week? Pretend that the duffle isn’t there. Or, if it’s that expendable luggage, so common these days? Make sure it’s all compressed, to start with, I mean, just for now. Leave room for expansion.

Capricorn: Leave room for expansion.

Aquarius:

Aquarius

The Water Bearer

How about, just as an idea, instead of getting all up and in your own, Aquarius face, how about we pause long enough to check the “Do not do” list. It’s like a — ubiquitous — “to do” list, only this is a list of items, chores, goals, tasks, or similar travails that your Aquarius self fervently does not want to do. Or shouldn’t do. The placement of the verbs there, “shouldn’t do,” or “don’t want to do,” both of those are important qualifiers. Either one, because this is a kind of generalization? Either one works as an excuse.
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    Men at some time are masters of their fates;
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Cassius in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar 1.2.139-141

That’s the exact quote, and many times, I look at an astrology chart, or the current disposition of the planets and I wonder.

2017

Astrologically, 2017? In a brief form?

Mercury started his retrograde pattern 12/19/2016, slipping back into Sagittarius around 1/4/2017, going direct 1/8/2017.

Mercury is retrograde 4/8-5/3, 2017, starting in Taurus and backing down into Aries. Continuing this cycle, Mercury retrogrades 8/12-9/5, 2017 in Virgo, going direct in Leo. Finally, for the year, Mercury retrogrades 12/3-12/22, 2017, all in Sagittarius. That final Mercury retrograde has a two punctuation points in it, starting at 29 Sag., echoing the previous year’s pattern, and having Saturn exit Sag., sort of limping out, maybe making one last kick.

Almost up and until Xmas day, 2017, there’s a serious “Cosmic Review” period, and as a Sagittarius, I feel the most, but it’s a prevailing sentiment, solidly anchored in the Mercury Retrogrades.

Venus is Retrograde 3/4-4/15, 2017 with a pattern that starts in Aries and finishes turning around in Pisces. (This pattern overlays a Mercury Retrograde, hence the confusion.)

The source document — ephemerides — is here.

Horoscopes running 12.29.2016-1.4.2017

Capricorn:

Capricorn

The Sea Goat

I was grocery shopping a few weeks back. Middle of the Xmas season, right? There, in the bread section, right above the “gluten-free, tastes like cardboard” stuff, there was a strange little package. It was “crust-free” white bread. Loaf of bread, maybe a smallish loaf, but sliced bread with no crust. Just a block of white bread-like slabs, stacked on each other. I was greatly amused. Sent a picture to my Sister.

“Look! Bread porn!” Short, reply.

Growing up, all we ever wanted was white bread, like all our friends, white bread with the crust cut off. Unlike all our other friends, we got grainy, textured, presumably healthier, whole-wheat bread. Later in life, I’ve developed a taste for crusty, grainy, dark-breads. My favorite piece of a loaf, now? The heel. All crust. Only two in the average loaf of bread, too. Strange how that all comes around full circle. So the discovery of “crust-free, white bread” in the grocery, store was bizarre novelty item. As a message for Capricorn? I’m sure your tastes have changed over the years, but I’ll bet you can find some kind of childhood desire, right there, maybe not on the shelf at the grocery store, but maybe, someplace that’s similar, like, right in front of you. With this new moon, with this Mercury Retrograde, and which this start of a new calendar year? Pick. Pick and choose. Pick, look, and don’t be surprised if there’s some kind of a childhood fantasy in front of you. Like me, on the shelf at the store.

Aquarius:

Aquarius

The Water Bearer

The new year — for Aquarius — starts with clean slate. A startling clean whiteboard, a fresh start. An unpainted canvas. The problems, and there will be a few, as there’s part of the Aquarius past that keeps haunting you. Part of the past wants to desperately insert itself into the current state of Aquarius being. There is a myriad of indicators to chose from, Mars, Venus, Mercury Retrograde, Neptune, your own planet Uranus? Any of those are culprits, but what this spells out?
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    He hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks
    Don Pedro about Benedick in Shakespeare’s
    Much Ado About Nothing (3.2.3)

Shopping by the signs — silly Xmas theme. Capricorn starts — Winter Solstice arrives — 12.21.2016 — 4:44 AM CST (plus or minus, milage may vary, see fine print for details, etc.)

Horoscopes starting 12.22.2016

Capricorn:

Capricorn

The Sea-Goat

With Pluto and its concomitant influences the primary players in the yearly outlook, what would work best is a sidekick character. A little buddy, a Watson to Capricorn’s Holmes, a Gilligan to the Capricorn's Skipper, and, I was thinking, for the sake of Shakespeare illustration, fit either Benedick or Beatrice, the two love interests, consider one — or the other — as the sidekick. This year brings a situation, and the best gift for Capricorn?

A sidekick. Tonto to the Lone Ranger, the examples are countless. A pet turtle, or cat, or, even a stuffed bear. One year, a stuffed bear was gift was a from Sister, and I as I traveled back from the Left Coast, I kept that stuffed bear buckled into the plane seat next to me. Served two purposes, maybe three, one, kept that seat empty, two, looked cute and approachable for the right person, and three, it was a confidante. Bear has shuffled off this mortal coil, but the idea is sound and dependable. As a Capricorn, you’re looking for a real, or imagined, sidekick.

Aquarius:

Aquarius

The Water Bearer

One of the coolest tech gadgets I used to have? It was an electronic display picture frame. Basically, a simple display that pulled images from a camera card, one of those, whatever they’re called, it’s a chip or memory chip, or card or something. The little frame shuttered family images and pictures of big fish, for two, maybe three years. I enjoyed it, but after an electrical outage? Didn’t seem to work anymore.
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    One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloy’d with fat meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katherine of France, where (for any thing I know) Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already ’a be kill’d with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary, when my legs are too, I will bid you good night.
    Rumor in Shakespeare's Henry IV, part 2 (epilogue)

Horoscopes starting 12.15.2016

Sagittarius:

Sagittarius

The Archer

This is about distractions. This about staying “on point,” and not letting clicks, and links, lead your wonderful, happy birthday, Sagittarius self astray.

We’re not known for being the most focused of signs, as a rule. Not that we’re quite as easily distracted as certain other signs (air signs come to mind), but given the way this one lines up? We’re a little scattered. Stay focused. Stay on point. Keep the primary goal in mind.

Simple way to do this? Scraps of paper with various notations inscribed therein. I tend towards cheap post-it notes. Instead of a whole slew of these things across the bottom of the computer’s screen, then a few more clogging the tablet?

Two. Two post-it notes. One says, “Focus.” The other note, it can say whatever you want it to say. Whatever is paramount in the epic Life of Sagittarius, at this moment.

Capricorn:

Capricorn

The Sea-Goat

Nostalgia is a risky endeavor. Nostalgia is particularly risky, particularly now, especially for my fine Capricorn friends. The cloying scent of holiday miasma, the over-used scents of apple-cider, Pumpkin Spice is enough to initiate a gagging reflex.
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    If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to use my legs? And yet that were but light payment, to dance out of your debt. But a good conscience will make any possible satisfaction, and so would I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me; if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen in such an assembly.
    Rumor in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, part 2 (epilogue)

Horoscopes starting 12.8.2016

Sagittarius:

Sagittarius

The Archer

Little bit of useless theatre history and trivia, “If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to use my legs?” From that epilogue? Most Shakespeare-era plays ended with the actors all cavorting on stage, doing a dance of some kind. “The jig is up?” Yes, they would dance a little jig.

Come next Monday, “The jig is up.” The cycles have come full circle. We have arrived. Or, at least, we’re at the “End of the beginning,” to misquote another plucky Brit (Churchill).

Full Moon on Monday, triggers Saturn in Sagittarius, and then? It’s all better. Buck-up, me buckaroo….

Capricorn:

Capricorn

The Sea-Goat

As an Austin (Capricorn town) pedestrian, for lo, those many years, I was interested in rain, and rain-proof attire. Towards that end, throwback to motorcycle riding days, the preferred attire was a heavy, English, waxed-canvas jacket. Or really, a rain-suit. The heavy waxed canvas, the waxed, heavy tarpaulin material, allegedly Egyptian cotton duck, was both warm and pretty good at repelling an English-style rain. Good for an Austin flood. I live in South Texas, now.
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