"Mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings."
Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice [IV.i.189-90]

astrofish.net Capricorn: New Year's Eve Party, like no other. What I observed? Tequila, jello shots, copious amounts of beer? White people really can't dance. I used to make the claim that I, as a straight white guy, I know my limitations, and I can't dance, can't drink, and have no fashion sense. Not a problem. All about understanding what the limits are. The message about the white people who can't dance and have no rhythm was sharply punctuated by a large hispanic guy. He was nicely dressed, but obviously a large man. Big. Big girlfriend, also with the flaming black tresses and jeans that were perchance too tight. The rock music died off and a country two-step came on. That big couple moved on to the floor with grace and ease, and while I wouldn't want to bump them, or hinder their way, their fluidity, casual yet studied and practiced moves proved my point even more so. Refined and elegant, that couple, just excellent dancers. Which proved the point even more so while a country tune was blasting from the speakers and one other couple tried to join in. All about limits and knowing what those limits are. As a Capricorn, like me, I had no problem standing off to the side and tapping my toe, trying to keep beat. As long as it was my toe? Perfect, no one could see if I was really keeping the correct tempo. Didn't matter.

Aquarius:

December weather, it's like this, a slate gray sky. Feels like the ceiling is right on my head. Last month there were a few days like this, just horrendous, from my perspective. It's an image that haunts me, too. Seen it almost every winter, at some point, these clouds that feel like they are right above me. Right on top. The texture, too, it's like the old roofing slate. Looking up, it's like looking at the underside of a roof made of slate, and the cloud cover, it seems frozen in space. I watched one afternoon, when I was walking, thinking the clouds were flowing in one direction. Then the tableau stopped again. Hard to imagine. I studied the sky closely, as I figure the clouds started several thousand feet in the air, but I did stop and look. Like me, looking at that depressing skyline, like me, you're feeling stuck. You're not stuck, but you feel like you are. New year, should be all kinds of new stuff. Just not off to that auspicious start we were all looking for in Aquarius.
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"Thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above."
Shakespeare's As You Like It [III.ii.4-5]

Mercury isn't retrograde anymore but you can't say I didn't warn you about the fallout.

    Check the travel & appearances schedule for upcoming locations. Might be one near you, cf., the download page for free eBooks of most of the regular books in print.

The coming year?
Subtitle? 2011 in an astrological nutshell: Mercury enters Aries around March 10, but turns retrograde March 30 until April 23. Mercury enters Virgo on July 9, but appears to turn backwards August 2 through August 18, starting in Virgo but winding up in Leo for almost three weeks. Mercury then enters Sagittarius November 3, and turns retrograde November 24, still in Sagittarius, until December 13. Saturn gets to 17 degrees of Libra. Stops and goes retrograde in January, uncoiling itself the first week of June.

In big planet news, Uranus moves into Aries March 10, achieving a point of 4 degrees of Aries July 9, before retrograding back to that zero degree of Aries (point) December 10 and turning around again. On April 10, Neptune enters Pisces. Doesn't get far, but Neptune hasn't entered Pisces since 1847. Neptune never achieves a full degree of Pisces, going stationary then retrograde from June 3 to finally exiting Pisces August 4. By November 4, Neptune starts crawling forward. Pluto is retrograde from April 9 until September 15, covering about 5 degrees of Capricorn, from 9 to 4.

That's the location of the planets. What does it mean? More specifically, how does it all apply to this coming week? Read on. But first, a momentary caution and urban mythology. From the "private reel."

The oral tradition behind this is just that, I heard it as lore. Whatever a person is doing on New Years' Day, the First of January? That is to be repeated, over and over, as a theme, for the rest of the year. I spent one New Year's Day with a certain female companion. Never saw her again. Theory doesn't hold.

New construction: the following scopes, while intended for the coming week, there's going to be a buried plot element in an attempt to address what the coming year will look like for each sign.

astrofish.net Capricorn: Ceviche is a traditional -- as far as I know -- Mexican dish. Typically, it's saltwater fish of some kind, usually snapper or white fish, and I've used Redfish, onions, peppers, and lime juice. The fish is "chemically cooked" in the lime juice. Or lemon juice. With the way the planets unfold, and the uncertain weirdness that's free-floating now in Capricorn? I have but one word of advice. "Order a large."

There's a trendy little place in South Austin, used to be a dive with good, greasy TexMex, but now it's been overhauled and it's hip, urbane and cool. Like most of Austin. The waitress, though, she was cool. I asked about the signature ceviche. Should I get a small or a large, only a dollar difference in price.

"Order a large," she explained, "the cook, it varies, sometimes a small is tiny, like only about half a cup and sometimes, a small is the exact same size as a large. If you order a large, you know you'll get enough." I nodded. She had that hasty, hurry and make decision look, the pregnant pause. "I order a large, it's a meal in itself," she said. That was useful information, about the cook. I could belabor the point and ask the waitress to harangue the cook and get a small that was large, or, Capricorn, pay attention: order a large. Faster, smoother, and the information is important. Pay attention to the tip.

Order a large. Thematic points: quick, concise, direct.

Order a large. It's only a dollar more and you're happier, it's like three dollars or even five dollars more food.

astrofish.net Aquarius: Jupiter and Uranus are conjunct, in Pisces. Venus, in Scorpio, will square Neptune/Chiron, here in Aquarius. Several evenings, early in December, I was out, walking home after meeting clients, and I would pass this one bus stop. A nicely attired gentleman was there, silent in the pre-Xmas twilight. Hat, slacks, shoes with a polished glow, and, at his side? A white cane. One evening, he had on sunglasses. Another time, when I passed him, right at 5? No glasses, just clear, light blue, unseeing eyes.

I have a reflexive action, I smile. Two, three times I passed him, and each time, I would smile at him. He couldn't see it. He has no idea that I'm the guy with the straggly ponytail, and goofy, lopsided grin. I haven't said anything, not yet. It's starting to get dark and cool off at that time. Had a brief cold snap, a few days and it was cold enough for long pants and boots, for me. I'm not sure if he could tell it was me. What I was thinking about, in respect to Aquarius?
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"Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love."
Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing [IIi.81]

Two shopping days until Xmas! Last minute shopping deals are here. Then, one more idea, I thought this would make a good fishing lure -- "Test Lure: DO NOT EAT." How many juvenile and daredevil fish will swallow that one, just to because of the warning label? It's a Mercury Retrograde kind of a deal, no?

astrofish.net Capricorn: I got out of the shower and had a sudden thought. It's been sort of cold lately. Winter weather arrived. However, I was warm from just getting out of a hot, steamy shower. I had towel wrapped around me, and not much else. I dried off a little and sat down to jot down a quick a note.

As the water dripped down my back, I started to shiver a little. I had a shirt, someplace, only, I couldn't find it. I got up, wrapped the towel back around my now-freezing self, and looked for the shirt. I suppose, if I'd dried off the hair, that might've helped. Not always logical, that's me.

I darted around, getting progressively cooler, and wondering where I'd left that shirt. It was on the back of the office chair. Completely overlooked by me in my rush to find it. The clue?

Stop. Right now. Mars (and so on and so forth) is in Capricorn. It's Xmas time, birthdays, everything!

Stop. Instead of looking too hard? Look right there. Right behind you. Right on top, underneath. It's not nearly as far away as you think. Me? I spent precious minutes dashing around looking for a shirt that was hanging on the chair I was originally sitting in. Don't be like me.

astrofish.net Aquarius: As a retail person, one year, at Xmas, I drafted up a portable computer document -- a gift certificate -- with blanks.

Great idea. Did I mention that Mercury was retrograde? In Sagittarius, this moment? So I had this great gift certificate. Some smart person printed off a half dozen of these certificates, put in friends' names, and handed them out as gifts. Only, I never received a penny.

It was a January event, bunch of people showed up with gift certificates. I politely told them that the certificate was good for a free astrology chart itself. If they wanted a reading, that would cost extra.
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"Freedom, high-day! High-day, freedom! Freedom!"
Shakespeare's The Tempest [II.ii.88]

astrofish.net Sagittarius: I've had a receding hairline since High School. Not news. Add to that the myth I've always subscribed to, about hair being a recessive gene and to look at the mother's father for guidelines. That means I'll have a crown of gray, violently curly hair. I'm prepared for that. Mentally, you know.

I was thinking because, holiday and all, it's family time, and what with the approaching new year, I was trying to find a good way to describe what's cooking in Sagittarius. In our milieu. Standing in line at the grocery store, I noticed a magazine, and the alluring cover included the headline, "Change your hair style, change your life." I haven't changed my hair style in several years. Maybe 20 or more, and perhaps this is the year to change that.

Now. The only change I can make, though, is to shave it all off. While that's appealing from a maintenance standpoint, I'm unsure I could really hang with that style. I'd rather hold onto the few shards and thin strands that I still have. However, to be honest, I thought about the shaving thing.

Bald. Would that change my life? I'm not sure. Time to think about a sweeping change in your life, now. Time to act on it? Wait. Happy birthday!

    Xmas special, book a half-hour reading this week, online only, and get a full hour for the reduced price. Some restrictions may apply.

astrofish.net Capricorn: Panic. I hit the panic button, in as much as I have one. If I were a different gender, or if I subscribed to certain ideologies, I would've been eating chocolate. By the bucketful. We all have different methods for dealing with tension, pressure and panic situations.

I had, what to me, was a panic a situation. The internet died on me. I could see my neighbor's wireless net, but it was password protected, no one was home, and I couldn't borrow a cup of bandwidth. Next action? Dig out the cable bill. I checked the dates. No, I was paid up. More or less. The next payment hadn't gone out, but it was scheduled. I had enough in the bank to cover it, well, barely, but still.
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Lear: dost thou call me a fool, boy?
Fool: all thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with.
Shakespeare's King Lear [I.iv.9607]

astrofish.net Sagittarius: It was an early roll out in the cold winter morning. I don't recall. Should've been a fishing trip, but it wasn't. I know I was up way before the sun. I stopped at a familiar coffee shop. The little Sagittarius working, she was half-asleep. Cute lass, heart-shaped face, pale skin, almond eyes, a mass of dark curls to frame her face.

Sagittarius -- but some other rising sign -- she was half-asleep. Did I mention that? She looked at me, started pulling a couple of shots of espresso, made some comment out the side of her mouth about me being up early.

I asked why she was up. "I'm at work, silly boy." I then asked why she was so sleepy. "I stay up most nights, I don't want to miss anything. I'm afraid if I go to sleep, I'll miss something."

I am a Sagittarius, and I didn't miss too much. Sleep is good. Trying to get in everything at the expense of good, much needed, rest? Doesn't work.

Solution? Go to bed earlier or sleep later.

There is enough time, we just have to be better with our "allotted time" or how we budget ourselves. This is less about money and more about another, similar resource. Staying awake at night? Just to not miss anything in the daytime? I'm back to my original solution, either go to bed earlier or wake up later, whatever works.

    Xmas/Mercury special, book a half-hour reading this week, online only, and get a full hour for the reduced price. Some restrictions may apply.

astrofish.net Capricorn: Excited yet? You should be. The Sun crawls closer and closer to that point where it's at the darkest point in the cycle. More dark than light. The further north one goes, the worse it gets. I understand that the sun never rises in parts of Canada and Alaska.

I do recall a winter in England, seemed like the Sun rose around 10 in the morning, and set around 3 in the afternoon. Not much daylight. This pervasive darkness is what Capricorn and the time before, that's what this is all about. Will it recover?

Ancient rites and rituals marked the turning point, fast approaching. I'm not a big fan of animal sacrifice, or human sacrifice, although I know a few people -- never mind. I'm unsure if what your tradition calls for, Sacrifice, Saturnalia, Solstice. Perhaps it involves candles and wreaths, or Xmas trees. Doesn't matter to me.
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