Sunday, August 28, 2011

ROW80: Behind the Eight (Ball) of Cups

Ok, so I've been away from my blog for a little while, and I'm way overdue for another blog post.

Things have been nutty in my life, and as such my ROW80 work has suffered. Throw in an earthquake and a hurricane, an upcoming getaway weekend, and a new class to teach for good measure and things have not gone according to plan. At the moment, I'm probably 17 cards or so behind now, and the finish line is September 21st if my calculations are correct.

The Eight of Cups is a card about a spiritual journey, and this exercise is definitely that for me. It's showing me how to write a larger work so I can do so again in the future. But the Eight of Cups is also a card of weariness, and there have been times when I've questioned my ability to finish all 78 cards in time. Luckily for me, I have a business trip for training the week before it ends, and since I'll have very little to do where I'm going when I'm not in class I should be able to catch up. I did a few more cards today and I'm starting to get a feel for how things should come about for each card. That's a good thing. Getting to the end is just going to require what people used to call "sticktuitiveness". :)

Anyway, here's to hoping you are doing well; for those of you on the East Coast, I hope your power is restored soon and that you and yours are safe and secure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Letters from Neptune: Random Anarchy

Dear Saturn,

We're over 40 days into ROW80, so I figured it was time for another update. I know you get upset if you don't receive updates on a regular basis. Well, get over it. I wasn't inspired to write to you until now.

John's a little bit behind, but as you know with me, appearances can be deceiving. I'm beginning to see why you like this guy so much. He's really put a lot of effort into writing. Sure, he's a few cards down at the moment, but he's done some inspired writing. He hasn't gone back to edit it once and doesn't even read the past pieces of the book he's already done. What will really piss you off is that he's picking the cards at random that he's going to do next! At RANDOM! No order, no structure, no restrictions...he's just taking a card and writing the sonofabitch. I'm sure it makes your skin crawl, but I love the anarchy of it! Did you hear me? TOTAL AND COMPLETE REBELLION AGAINST THE STATUS QUO AND RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT! Oh, sorry...I was channeling my inner Uranus for a minute. My bad.

I must admit that I couldn't be happier. That's not exactly true--I could be, maybe, if John paid my bar tabs, but in true Saturn style, he has steadfastly refused. At least you'd be happy he's watching his bottom line; thanks to you, he's still as stingy as ever. No wonder why you can't let loose and have a good time, you piker. Was King Midas one of yours, too? I digress...

John's writing is truly inspired now. And that's one of the many things you can't provide him. I know the Sun kicked your ass a while back for getting above yourself, but we ALL have our role in John's life. I get the feeling you don't want to hear that but somehow you MUST accept it. You ought to follow Mercury on Twitter and see some of what he's been saying about you. Ugly stuff, Old Man. Maybe you'd better wait until after his retrograde is over; he has been a bastard! But you know Mercury--he just can't shut his yap for two seconds.

Anyway, I'm off like a prom dress; college students are going back to campus and you can bet that I'll be helping them escape from the rigors of their academic "efforts", although I use that term loosely. If you can fit me into your busy schedule--you know, between creating more red tape, auditing the world's finances, and generally being a bore, that type of thing--drop me a line and let me know how your "vacation" is going.



PS: I've been talking to some of the other planets, and we're going to try to find you a different costume for the Sun's Halloween Gala this year. Father Time is SO...well, not with the times, and that's HARDLY a costume for you. That's like John wearing jeans. I'll make you a deal: Dress up as Snooki from "The Jersey Shore" and I'll pay you $100. You KNOW you can't turn down cold hard cash, Old Man. That's half of what I will get from Jupiter--I bet him $200 that I can get you to wear something totally inappropriate.

Monday, August 8, 2011

ROW80: Playing Catch-Up with Silent John

Hi everyone,

I'm late for my scheduled check-in--of course it was yesterday--but I wanted to keep you abreast of my progress.

31 of 78 cards have been written thus far. I definitely have had a few challenges thrown my way, but my biggest stumbling block has been my bad attitude. "Silent John" is his name, and when I start not talking, then I'm usually stressed out or have taken on way too much. It's hard for me to pinpoint when he will run onto the stage of my life.

He made an appearance this past weekend, much to my chagrin, but I managed to stuff him back into the closet with some serious workouts and a desire to just see him gone. Luckily he doesn't come around much, but when he does people notice. My usually ebullient personality goes from 60 to 0 in about two minutes, and when people notice it usually makes the problem worse. He's been a virtual stranger and coming back less and less in the past few years--I used to be able to count on him for 2-3 extended stays a month--but I had to wrestle with him again.

You'll be thrilled to know that I won this round, thanks to an understanding, tolerant spouse and a fantastic anniversary gift of Xbox headphones. I've already become a more efficient killing machine on Call of Duty: Black Ops, and no one around me has to hear the carnage. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

With Silent John now beaten into submission, I was able to get back into the writing again and completed three cards earlier tonight. ROW80 people know that Friday marks the halfway point in the contest, and I really need to get cracking. Another 8 cards in four days? ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Very Special Shout Out...from Saturn?

Dear Jen,

John's asked me to send along a very special greeting to you on the occasion of your 16th wedding anniversary.

Let me start off first with an apology. If I offended you with any past remarks about the fact that you're not a Capricorn woman, I am sincerely sorry. And please believe me when I say I am very sorry; the Sun kicked my ass for my remarks. What I should have said was that the fact that you also have Capricorn rising in your chart makes my heart...well, it makes me...sorry, I'm not good with this emotional stuff. Let me say you have made me very proud to count you as one of my own, blessed with good sense and fiscal responsibility--at least until you go into one of those shoe warehouses. Then all bets are off. But under most circumstances you're financially rock solid. And I get a little shiver every time you get a royalty check from your book "Magick Charm"; it totally warms my heart. I hope that last sentence didn't come off as too mercenary.

Also, thanks for putting up with my influence over John for all these years. Saturn-ruled people get better with time, and after 16 years all of the work you have put in countering my various influences--working too much, relaxing too little, not saying a word, and worrying about the future--I'd say it's starting pay off. He is loosening up slowly but surely, and your persistence is a credit to the amount of love and respect you have for John.

Finally, you know I love titles. John has plenty of them, and he's working on one--"author"--as we speak with Neptune's help. And yet of all the titles John has, the one he is the most proud of is HUSBAND. That's a title that John takes very seriously. I'm a big fan of committed people, so it's safe to say I'm wishing you and John every blessing and happiness that the world has to offer.

I look forward to reading your future literary offerings, and once again take this opportunity to wish you well on this your 16th anniversary.

Very truly yours,


Monday, August 1, 2011

Mercury Retrograde is Upon Us!

Hello everyone,

Believe it or not, there are many astrological events that have nothing to do with Saturn or Neptune. One of these is called Mercury retrograde, and it begins officially on August 3 at 11:50pm.

"Retrograde" means that the planet appears to be going backwards from our point of view. Essentially it changes direction and starts spinning the other way. For many of the outer planets, this is no big deal astrologically because many of them spend half their time in retrograde motion.

Herein lies the problem: Mercury is a personal planet in astrology. It's close to us and affects our day to day lives. Mercury rules communication matters and anything involving a computer; you would be hard-pressed today to find many areas of our lives that are NOT ruled by computers. As such, Mercury retrograde has a tendency to throw things out of whack.

What am I talking about specifically? Here are a few examples of things that can happen more frequently during Mercury retrograde:

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

Mercury must slow down before it changes direction and the deceleration is called the "storm". Problems seem to occur more frequently during this time, which happens before the planet turns retrograde and the moment it starts turning back to its normal direction after this period is over. It leaves its storm on August 3 and then enters it again on August 26 to finish the retrograde.

How do you deal with Mercury in retrograde? Very carefully. Here are some tips:

Back up all computer data regularly
Check all travel plans--hotels, airlines, car rentals, etc.--before you leave
Confirm that meetings are taking place
Read the fine print on every document you sign and try NOT to sign anything during this period if you can help it
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
Be understanding of others' problems communicating or showing up late or not at all; likely it is not their fault
Speak carefully

So working on my tarot book shouldn't be a problem but I would wait to start any new writing projects--since Mercury is the writing planet as well--until it is over.

Hang on tight people...sometimes it is a bumpy ride!