Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mercury Retrograde: Meeting of the (Classical) Minds?

Sun: Allright, everyone settle down, please. Let's call this meeting to order. Madame Moon, if you would call the roll?

Moon: Yes, sir. Mercury?

Mercury: Yeah, definitely, I mean, yeah. I'm here. Did you think I wouldn't be? Who said something?

Moon: Venus?

Venus: Yes, Lady Moon.

Moon: Mars?

Mars: Fuck yeah!

Moon: Jupiter?

Jupiter: I'm physically present, but why are any of us really here?

Sun: No waxing philosophical, Jupiter, please. Thank you!

Moon: Saturn?

Saturn: Lady, I do not shrink from this responsibility; I welcome it! 

Moon: [slight eyeroll] All present and accounted for, sir. 

Sun: Thank you, Madame Moon.  Please record in the minutes that this is a special session of classical planets only to address our current crisis.  

Moon: I had a feeling you would tell me to do that, sir, so I went ahead and put it on tonight's printout. 

Sun: Always a step ahead, Madame. I love that about you! [Moon blushes]. I've convened tonight's special session to discuss what's happening with a certain...shall we say, recurring situation, and Saturn, before you accuse the outer planets of shirking their responsibilities, I excused them from this meeting. 

Saturn: Sir, they do have a tendency to go off on their own. Section 15, Paragraphs 2-6 of the Astrological Code of Conduct state that "All members will be present for mandatory meetings unless the member or members have requested their absence in writing no less than three (3) days after the time when the meeting is announced..."

Sun: Thank you, Saturn, but I don't think any of us need citations from the ACC right now. The point is that the crisis affects us more, so I've called in only those of us present now. [PAUSE] At this particular time, Mercury's retrograde is having an exceptionally negative impact on what's happening on earth. I'd like to hear from each of you in turn to share information you may have heard. Saturn, assuming you can limit yourself [chuckle] to about sixty seconds, I'd like you to go first. 

Saturn: Yes, sir. There are widespread reports of the standard Mercury retrograde...ummm...

Mars: Dude, the term you want is "fuckery"!

Sun: That'll do, Mars. You were saying, Saturn...?

Saturn: Yes, lots of nonsense and tumult--flotsam and jetsam, if you will--this time around with Merc's retrograde. A lot of your standard effects but some are pretty severe and widespread. It's not a pretty picture at all. I'm trying to keep it reined in but to be honest, I'm not having much success at this time. 

Sun: Jupiter, you're next. 

Jupiter: Sir, we're trying to spread the message far and wide about the dangers of Mercury's retrograde period. Uranus and I discussed it and he told me tons of information is going up on social media to sensitize the people to the dangers. While the publishing world always goes into a tailspin at this time, the ideas are still getting out there. 

Sun: Thanks, Jove. Mars?

Mars: Dude, what in the blue fuck is happening? This shit is for realzies. We have people shooting off their mouths, starting fights with other people, storming off and causing more havoc. I just moved into Gemini last week and some real shit went down when that happened. Since Mercury has control of me in Gemini, I feel like it's been one argument after another...and people are jumping to conclusions and then acting on that shit. I mean, really, who the fuck does that? There have been some really killer flounces, though!

Sun: Enlighten me, Mars. What's a "flounce"?

Mars: When someone gets upset and stalks off, either in person or on an Internet site, and has a pissy rant before s/he takes off. Totally awesome! Regretsy had a whole bunch of good flounces from overly emotional fucktards. [Looks at Venus]. Whoops! Sorry babe. That's all I have. 

Sun: Learn something new every day. The "flounce", huh? Eloquent as usual, Mars. Venus?

Venus: Lots of hurt feelings and disappointment these days. I think people's expectations in a lot of areas are just not being met right now. Vacations are getting booked, cancelled, then re-booked, and then shortened...you give someone something to look forward to and then you take it away because of some manufactured emotional crisis? It's really heavy. I just feel bad for all of them. But people's feelings are definitely confused at the moment. I'm not looking forward to going retrograde myself in a few months. 

Sun: Thanks, mighty Aphrodite. OK, Mercury, give it to us as straight as you can. Whiskey tango foxtrot is going on down there with you?

Mercury: Well, sir, as you may know, hahaha, I'm retrograding backward through Gemini, and uh, well, that's one of my favorite signs...but things are kinda unstable. Back and forth, back and forth, I can't seem to keep the energy flowing in one direction. It's annoying, I tell you. I can't stand all the...you know...what is that word again?

Mars: "Fuckery"?

Mercury: Thanks, dude. Fuckery is the perfect word. And it doesn't help that I'm getting so much negative input from everyone here. And people on earth know what's up...no one knows what happens when any of the rest of you go retrograde but everyone blames me when I do. 

Moon: That's terrible! They do the same thing to me during that time of the month, even when it's not my fault!

Mercury: Thanks, Lady...I try not to listen to the noise because everyone inflates all of their Mercury retrograde stories and problems, as if nothing ever fucks up unless I'm in retrograde. If I listen to it then I overthink it and then we really start to go downhill. I've got astrologers all over the world writing about me. This one blogger said one of his friends called me a "filthy whore"! That one single person is upset because the mighty Mercury has seen fit to take out all of all of her office equipment except for the one old piece of shit printer that she wants me to fry and I haven't done it...

Sun: Uh, Mercury, I think we're getting off track...

Mercury: But I have news for that bitch, let me tell you! Tell you what...I'm not killing that fucking printer until I'm GOD DAMNED GOOD AND READY TO DO IT! MARK MY WORDS THAT I WILL EXACT MY VENGEANCE! BITCH I KNOW IT ALL...YOUR NAME, YOUR ADDRESS, AND YOUR CELL PHONE, SO I HOPE YOU LIKE WRONG NUMBERS BEEEYOTCH! THINK I'M A FILTHY WHORE NOW?? JUST WAIT!!

Sun: MERCURY! YOU ARE OUT OF ORDER! CALM THE FUCK DOWN!

Mercury: Sorry, sir...I'm in Gemini so I pendulum swing. You know the old joke about the two Geminis? 

Sun: Yes, we all know that joke, Mercury. Probably not the best time to tell it, though. I think we've heard enough from you for the time being. [PAUSE] Mercury's retrograde lasts until the 11th of June and his storm is probably out through the 16th or 17th. So we have tell folks to hunker down until then, people. Action items? Venus?

Venus: I'm going to see if I can get people to postpone overly emotional discussions until Merc is back to normal. Sorry, Mercury. 

Mars: I'm gonna tell people to say the shit they normally wouldn't and get the aggression out of their systems! America fuck yeah! COWABUNGA DUDES!

Sun: Mars, I was looking for something more helpful...

Mars: Dude, that's all I've got. 

Sun: [SIGH] Jupiter? 

Jupiter: I'm just going to keep trying to get the word out about the positives of the retrograde and how not to get their proverbial asses kicked. 

Sun: Sounds good. Old man Saturn, what say you?

Saturn: Sir, I'm going to encourage those in authority to beware of outbursts and try to have them tell their people to cool their mental and communicative apparatus at the moment. I'm also going to try to limit contact between people who may have expressed negative feelings toward each other in the past, at least until Mercury is in direct motion again. 

Sun: Sounds like a good plan, Saturn. Any alibis? Mercury? Anything you would like to say before we adjourn?

Mercury: I totally get a bad rap, but then again, I'm the only one who can say I killed an AC unit in a  doctor's office when it was 90 degrees outside...so maybe I deserve it a little...but I should probably shut up now. 

Sun: Excellent idea, Merc. We're adjourned. Lady, please distribute the notes to all parties, send emails to the outer planets to bring them up to speed. 

Moon: Yes, sir. Already in motion. 

Sun: And Mercury, why don't you come with me to my office, since you love to talk?

Mercury: Well, fuck a doodle do.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Mercury Retrograde is a Filthy Whore!"


So yeah...the title of this blog was inspired by my friend Megan. Apparently, the only piece of electronic office equipment that is functioning is the horrible printer that she asked Mercury to destroy during a previous retrograde period. And yet it still stays strong. 

Speaking personally, I've been relatively unscathed, though I probably shouldn't be saying that. But this has been a rough time for many people, and if calling Mercury a "filthy whore" will help get you through it, scream away. 

Hang in there, folks. I was hoping this one would be an easy one...but likely not. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mercury Retrograde: The Fuckery Intensifies

So I don't know about any of you, but I am getting slammed so far on this one! I keep thinking "Merc Madness" in my head. 



The thing is that Mercury is retrograding through Gemini this time. It won't back into Taurus, so we have Mercury in its rulership, one of the signs it is the most comfortable in. It might have been a little easier to manage if it was in Virgo, Mercury's other sign. But it's not. And with Gemini, you never know what face you're going to see, so to me it adds to the instability.

Mercury rules local travel, right? Trains, buses, your car and the like? Well, if you've been watching the news, you know about the horrific train accident near Philadelphia. If it is indeed true that the train was going 106 MPH when it was supposed to be doing 50, that's got Merc retro all over it. Some signal got crossed. We had a number of our Metro lines here in DC closed the other day due to smoke. That was a total clusterfuck. 

There was a recent story in the Washington Post about trying to improve cell phone signals on the Metro. Communications and public transit together? Totally Mercury. And what a surprise...the new rail cars will help with the problem but won't FIX it entirely. And for flights? Well even during non-Merc retrograde periods schedules always seem to be in flux. My friend's flight is showing on time, even though the Internet is saying there is an average of 57 minutes of arrival delays here in DC. What the aviation fuck?

Mercury also rules communication in all its many forms. For what I am about to say will likely I will get some flack from Amy, my Gemini sister who writes and does counseling for a living--two Mercury-ruled careers. Imagine that! I love that crazy bitch. But I digress.

Anyway, Gemini, to not too fine a point on it, is the chatterbox of the zodiac, and to them, talk is cheap. With Mercury retrograding through the sign of the Twins, unless it is absolutely necessary, you should refrain from having any serious "conversations" right now, and you know the ones I mean. If you're referring to it as "the talk" or something that sounds equally ominous, it would fall into this category. During Taurus sun, money and resource discussions may be in play as well, which just ups the ante. 

Since "conversate" is NOT A WORD, good people--that would be "converse", for those of you playing at home--here are some tips if you must have a "conversation" that you cannot defer:
  • "Begin with the end in mind", as Covey would say; know your main points, and limit yourself to three of them. ["Three shall be the number thou shall count, and the number of the counting shall be three."]
  • Speak slowly and clearly, and be prepared to repeat yourself. Listen closely--acknowledge the message you receive as you get it, and clarify anything that seems muddled. 
  • DO NOT have this "talk" via text message, instant message, or email. It needs to be face to face so there is less opportunity for misunderstandings. 
  • Why are you still reading this bullet? Ignore this fourth point!
  • FIVE IS RIGHT OUT!

During the time I was typing this, I received word that I will have to reschedule an appointment. And I heard from a specialist's office the other day that they don't need to see me, even after I filled out all the paperwork, which was submitted it before the storm started. And an old friend had to cancel a long-overdue reunion as well. Fucking Mercury! SERIOUSLY!
As a final reminder, keep your eyes peeled right now...Mercury retrograde can cause us to miss things that are right in front of our faces--icebergs, anyone?--so take your time and look at what is around you. I recommend a Mercury retrograde Post-it on your computer or near anyplace you write. You can take it off around the 17th of June or so.

Anyway, if your Merc retro has been anything like mine, please share your misery. I'm happy to use it as fodder for this blog. No, seriously. I will be happy to withhold your name when you tell me the story about how you got the wrong genital wart cream...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Letters from Jupiter: The Mercury Storm is Upon Us...and Mercury Retrograde is Coming!


Hello everyone! By Jove...it's Jove, otherwise known as Jupiter! John's a little busy expanding his empire in "Cities: Skylines"...and I just LOVE expansion...so I figured I'd take over the pen for this installation of "As Mercury Retrogrades". Currently, John has 55K people in his simulated city and just put in an airport for them. Expansion is a beautiful thing, until you get the credit card bill. But let's let stodgier planets like Saturn worry about that, hmmm? (Saturn will be thrilled to know, however, that John's city is making serious money while investing responsibly in city services, which is, to be honest, the most boring part of the game. What else do you expect? Is this considered a "tangent"? John asked me NOT to go off on one this time. Oh wait...

Anyway...yes, it's that time of year again. Mercury is a fast son of a bitch, and that's never a problem. He starts to have difficulty when he slows down. You ever have that person in your life who just doesn't pick up things when you say them the first time? Mercury's storm is kind of like that. It's like telling a story and you're just getting to the good part and you say, "Go back to the part where Neptune got really drunk at a casino!" In your mind, you're thinking, "What the fuck? I was already past that part and it wasn't even the most interesting thing that happened!" So you try to go back just the same and it just gets worse and eventually you say, "You know what, Mercury? I'm going home because you're not going to remember a fucking word I say right now. Let's talk again in five weeks."

The storm is just the beginning. And even though John assures me that you all know the drill when it comes to Merc retrograde fuckery, a few points can be made here. You can expect.
  • Missed emails, text messages, or voicemails
  • Miscommunication of all kinds between people
  • Problems with paperwork--lost, misplaced, re-routed, etc.
  • Unexpected delays or cancellations of meetings or get-togethers
  • Computer problems of any and all stripes but usually minor ones
  • People being late or not showing up at all
Some of your standard coping strategies include:
  • Back up all computer data regularly
  • Check all travel plans--hotels, airlines, car rentals, etc.--before you leave on any trips
  • Confirm that meetings are taking place 
  • Try NOT to sign anything during this period--lease, job offer, etc.--if you can help it. If you can't wait, read the fine print TWICE on every document you sign and confirm understanding
  • Ensure your messages are being sent and received
  • Don't start new projects; "new" things that are started now usually have to be re-done
  • Finish up old projects and tie up loose ends
  • Edit--this is a GREAT time for editing manuscripts and documents!
  • Be understanding of others' problems communicating or showing up late or not at all; likely it is not their fault
  • Speak carefully
Overall, please be extremely careful about communicating because there is a strong potential for misunderstandings. Simply and clearly is the way to go.

Also, if you are traveling, be extra careful and allow extra time. Don't text and drive and minimize all cell phone communications if you are driving. And expect dropped calls and technical difficulties. I suggest having a backup plan that doesn't include technology, like printed directions, for example. 

If you haven't backed up your data--hard drives, cell phones, tablets, etc.--do it right now. Don't wait another moment. 

Mercury goes officially retrograde at 13 Gemini 06 at 9:50pm on May 19 here in my part of the world, but it will be stationary for quite a few hours before it actually goes retrograde. At this time, with Mercury in its rulership in Gemini, take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt! (For what it's worth, I don't perform well in Gemini AT ALL...that sign of the Twins is not good for expanding the mind or the empire. Hope John is listening!)

John thanks you as always for your attention, and I wish you good luck with the upcoming fuckery. If you have a  Mercury retrograde story you'd like to pass along to John, he assures me you know how to reach him. 

I think I'll hang out at home and read until this shit is over. Just sayin'. That Mercury can be one crazy motherfucker!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fortunetelling with Pizza?

In a recent article on Jezebel.com, the author suggested a new form of divination that I'd never heard of before: Letting pizza be your oracle for you. 

So basically you order a pizza online and in the directions you type, "Arrange the pepperoni in the shape of a 'Y', 'N', or 'M'." When it arrives, tip your delivery driver generously and open your box to see your answer. 


I must admit this way is pretty inventive. I can see a few challenges with it, though. 

  1. You can only ask yes/no questions of the pizza oracle.
  2. When ask for a tarot reading, likely you're going to get it. This method depends on the kindness of whoever is on the other end making your pizza. 
  3. It would probably take you longer to get the answer than by doing a reading for yourself with another divination method. 
The one area where I would have to disagree with them is that they say it's "cheaper than a tarot reading". Well, maybe...but not by much. 

I do appreciate and value all my clients. However, for the record, I will not be offering slices with tarot readings to compete with this method. I'll take my chances without trying to bribe you with food. If I have any melted Andes Mints, however, I'll be happy to share those with you. :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Letters From Saturn: A Pep Talk on Writing...of Sorts

Dear John,

It's come to my attention you've been writing again. I can't say I'm terribly surprised, but I am a little disappointed. At least this time it's not a work of fiction, which I find a complete waste of time, but a nonfiction tarot book. 


Before you get upset with me for taking a pot shot at your beloved bride's work, I can't really blame her for writing it; Mercury-ruled people seem to lack control in a great many areas, always talking and expressing themselves, so she just can't help it. But I digress.

Perhaps you can, as they say, "yoke their strength". In addition to your wife, I happen to know that among your family members there are at least six people whose Sun or Moon is Mercury-ruled. So if you're having trouble, then perhaps you can ask one or more of them for assistance. You won't need them for the editing part; I can certainly help with cutting out what is unnecessary, which likely will end up being most of the words. But I know you must go through the painful experience of writing many more words than necessary to find those few with the dignity to remain in the final oeuvre, if you will

Honestly, though, if you're going to persist in succumbing to the influences of lesser planets--namely, Jupiter and Neptune--you should at least be disciplined about not only your writing, but your response to those who ask you about it. Many people wonder where your book is. Your answer is typically "I'll let you know when it's done" or "I haven't done any work on it." As you have promised to write this book, you now have a sacred duty to finish it and satisfy the curiosity of those around you. 

Nonfiction is, in my humble opinion, instructional at heart. Your book shouldn't require anything particularly difficult. Just tell people how you read the cards step by step, and that should be that. 

I don't see why this is so challenging for you, except that you seem to be doing other things--like building virtual cities, for example, or teaching--when you should be sitting down to work on it. 

Just so there's no misunderstanding, I'll break it down for you:

1) Close the door to your office

2) Sit down at computer.

3) Disable Internet access.

4) Do not turn on music.

5) Stare at blank screen until you can tell people how to read tarot in your own words.

6) Remove unnecessary words.

7) Publish book.

Everyone needs someone to help them achieve greatness, John. While on the surface I may not be the most inspiring astrological planet, appearances can be deceiving. 

I'll bet you can't wait to stop reading this and get back to work. Hopefully, soon you will be able to tell those who ask that your book is done instead of using some lame excuse. 

So off you go, then, and all the best on your book! Even with a little time off this weekend, which, to be fair, you don't really need, you could probably have it done by Sunday night if you set your mind to it. I hope you'll consider this a challenge worthy of your efforts; your best success is through true self-discipline. 

Very truly yours,

Saturn,
"The Greater Malefic"

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Saturn vs. Jupiter: Socializing with the Social Planets

Jupiter: Welcome, old man! Way to be punctual!

Saturn: Hello, Jupiter. Thanks for the invitation. 

Jupiter: Sure. Have a seat. [Saturn sits] Whenever you call me, something's on your mind. Talk to me!

Saturn: Well, Jupiter, I really don't know where to start. 

Jupiter: I'll just hang, Saturn. I'm pretty easygoing. 

[PAUSE]

Saturn: I'm going through kind of a crisis right now, Jupiter. 

Jupiter: Are you kidding me? The great Saturn, having a crisis? Impossible. 

Saturn: I'm really not kidding, I'm afraid. I don't know that I...like who I am right now. 

Jupiter: Saturn, you and I have known each other a long time. What's got you thinking that? 

Saturn: Have you looked at the world these days? I mean, I know I'm much more...well, saturnian than most...but it's downright depressing. 

Jupiter: My old friend, it's BEEN depressing for millennia, if you look at it that way. And without sounding offensive, you would know, right?

Saturn: [chuckles] Yeah, I guess I would at that. But I'm concerned that it's even worse than usual. I mean, take a look around. In many of the areas that I'm responsible for, it's totally out of control. If Mars was here, he'd probably say something like, "Duuuuuuuuuude, that shit is OFF THE HOOK!"

Jupiter: Saturn, I don't think that idiom means what you think it means.

Saturn: What doesn't?

Jupiter: "Off the hook". I think it's supposed to be a good thing. 

Saturn: Well major conflict for him would be a good thing, likely. But I feel like I'm just not doing my job, that I'm out of touch, you know?

Jupiter: [laughs] Maybe just a little. But I'm responsible for all of this, too. Don't forget that. 

Saturn: What do you mean?

Jupiter: You and I have always been a matched pair. You establish the boundaries and I push against them. You ask for people to be conventional, and I encourage them to go overboard. You encourage people to accept, and I want them to question. And it's not always in a good way, you know? People on earth right now are, not to put too fine a point on it, fucking crazy. If you think the government or the police can control it all, you know it's not true. 

Saturn: You're right, I do know that, Jupiter. I get that people get out of control and it's not always something you can deal with. But it seems to me that people care about the things that I stand for less and less. People SAY they want order and boundaries but yet they get angry and go out and burn buildings and try to pass it off as "civil disobedience". I know humans are going to push the boundaries, but right now people on earth are acting like there are none. Hell, an article in a major newspaper this week suggested that dieting, the ultimate form of self-discipline, may not actually do anything! It's MADNESS! 

Jupiter: But there are always boundaries, Saturn, even if you don't see them. People who break the law are being investigated and arrested, and order is being restored. It's just a turbulent time right now. I love for people to have the freedom to do what they want when they want...but there's always a limit, and that's what you're here for. Remember a few years ago when John went on that trip to France. He said that was a Jupiter-ruled trip, not because he didn't want you along, but because he needed the freedom to go and explore and not be tied to a schedule. Sometimes people need that. But we keep each other in check. I don't want people who are depressed and repress their beliefs any more than you want looting and rioting in the streets. To be honest, I feel the same way you do. Freedom is one thing, but acting like an asshole is something we can do without. 

Saturn: I'm sure you're right, Jupiter. 

Jupiter: And remember what St. Augustine said about us: "The stars may impel, but they do not compel." In other words, humans have free will. If they choose to break society's laws, well...they face your judgment. And as much as you and I have disagreed in the past, I need you to be there to rein them in. Just like you need me to nudge people away from feeling dour and depressed sometimes and go out and have a good time. Too much of a good thing can be...fatal. 

Saturn: As much as we disagree, Jupiter, I tend to agree with you. Can I ask you for something, without worrying that I'm going to be called out for it later?

Jupiter: Think of me as your confessor, Old Man. What happens with Jupiter stays with Jupiter...unless it involves Neptune, in which case he's going to make drunken Facebook posts about it anyway. But I promise to keep your secret. What is it?

Saturn: It's been a truly rough week, and I need a drink. Just a small one...of something nice and old. What do you have?

Jupiter: A Dom Perignon 1959, Old Man. I've got that and some 25-year-old scotch. Which would you like?

Saturn: The Dom, if you please. That was an excellent year. 

[Jupiter pours two glasses of Dom, and hands one to Saturn.]

Jupiter: [Holds up glass] I propose a toast. To Saturn, the old man who is the glue that holds the fabric of this fragile universe together. [clinks glasses]. 

Saturn: [tastes Dom] Wow, this is lovely. One good toast deserves another. [Raises glass] To Jupiter, my dutiful partner, who never hesitates to tell me when I am wrong, and encourages all people to seek freedom and justice. [clinks glasses]

Jupiter: Very well said, Old Man. After these past few weeks, I think we all could use a drink. 

Saturn: Indeed. So even if I could use a second one I can't ask for it. Boundaries, you know. 

Jupiter: Well I already refilled your glass. Sorry for not asking you first, Old Man. 

Saturn: Oh well. I can't waste this stuff, so...