Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Hope you're enjoying an evening with Neptune tonight, folks. My most recent vacation took a lot out of me, so I'm staying in for a nice relaxing New Year's Eve with my beloved. I've never been a big party person anyway, so I usually go low-key for ringing in the New Year. 

Tonight is a Sidhe moon, the second dark moon in a month, and it's a great time for self-reflection. 2013 has been all over the place for me personally. 

I feel like I'm tired from this year, but overall, I'm reminded of how truly blessed I am. 

In that vein, and before I forget, I'd like to take a moment to thank the Wiccan community at 13 Magickal Moons and the Tradition of the Witches Circle for not only their patronage but also for their support and assistance this past year. I wouldn't be who I am without all of you, and while I try to thank people personally, I want to make sure you know how much you mean to me. 

For me, I'd say one of the biggest low points was the government shutdown, which made a lot of people in the Capitol region very unhappy--me included. So many suffered, but at least the suffering is over, hopefully at least. And it appears my days with the DC Tarot Society are over; January 4 will be the last meeting of the group unless someone takes over for outgoing organizer and founder Geraldine. Before you ask, no, it's not going to be me...I already have too much to do. But I hope someone decides to step up. 

The highs outweighed the lows, though. Fatherhood seemed to be a theme for the year for me. I became a father to my Pele, who is as I write this blog at my ankles purring. I also became a Godfather for the first time to a wonderful little boy, Marcus Alexander Harvey. "Godfather" is a title that I never thought I'd have, to be honest, so I'm totally thrilled!

2014 holds more challenges. While I'm not a fan of resolutions for many reasons, I'd like to get my non-fiction tarot book done and hopefully out to a publisher. More weight loss would be great, too. And I'd like to write a few more blogs. Yes, Saturn is always hoping I'll go on a schedule...

I'm also looking forward to Friday night, where I will guide another group of Witches on a fantastic spiritual journey with the Tradition of the Witches Circle in Witchcraft 101. Hopefully I will learn as much from them as they do from me. But it's definitely exciting!

I look forward to reading for the first time in the New Year at 13 Magickal Moons (www.13magickalmoons.com) on Saturday, January 4, from 11:30-5:30. I hope you can join us. It's usually busy so be prepared to shop while you wait! 

I wish you and yours success, happiness, prosperity, and joy in 2014. May the Lord and Lady bless you abundantly and often!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Letter From Neptune: Enjoying the Holidaze

Dear John...

Another Christmas is here, and already people around the world are riding with me! It's pretty cool but also a little bit scary.

Alcohol consumption and therapy are both in my purview, and it's facsinating to me that many people spend the holidays self-medicating both ways. It's not a problem on both counts when neither are taken to an extreme, though. What I find really interesting is that people end up spending the holiday with most of the people who were involved in causing the difficulties in the first place. Why that is I have no idea. Maybe people are trying to deal with their problems head-on, and that's more of a Mars way of handling the situation. I'm more of an "avoid the problems" type; it always seems to work for me.

Anyway, enjoy your Mike's Hard Lemonade and have a fantastic day! Hope it won't be the subject of any therapy sessions later. 



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Update: Venus Retrograde...going on now!

[I deleted my last Venus retrograde post by accident, folks, and people were looking for it. So I made a few tweaks and re-posted. Most of the updates are at the bottom. Thanks for tuning in!]

You know the drill by now, folks. But just in case, here's a reminder of just how vital Venus is. 

OK, so let's start off with some background. Venus is a planet that is extremely important astrologically, although many of us don't really pay much attention to it unless it's Valentine's Day. Here are some of the things Venus rules:
  • Love and attraction
  • Beauty in form
  • Refinement of artistic tastes
  • Our romantic, poetic, and artistic selves
Taurus and Libra folks, this is your ruling planet, the lovely and charming Venus. Some of you may also know her as the Greek goddess Aphrodite. 

Most people think about love and attraction only when it comes to romance. I'm here to tell you that Venus also has a financial role. Why? Because if we are in business for ourselves, for example--like yours truly--our ability to make money and succeed depends on our ability to attract and retain clients. So Venus has an often overlooked role in our financial success. Also, if you're looking for work, Venus is an important planet for you to attract the attention of the right employer. Problems with Venus in your birth chart and indicate both love and money difficulties.

So I hope I've been able to convince you that this lady is nothing to be trifled with. Venus goes into retrograde once every eighteen months, and before you open your mouth to complain, it's the LEAST amount of retrograde time of any of the planets in the solar system. You gotta cut the girl some slack; she's busy and needs a break! 

Anyway, when this planet starts to move "backward" in the sky, the focused is on unfinished business in our emotional and financial relationships. Here are some things to know about what you might experience, in both love and money.

Love and social affairs--Overall, relationships tend to slow down. This is not a good time to:
  • Get married
  • Go on first dates
  • Have big parties
  • Change your hairstyle
  • Wear flamboyant clothing
  • Buy a new wardrobe
  • Re-decorate your home or business
Business--You may experience:
  • Legal issues
  • Problems with diplomacy or negotiations

Also, this is NOT a good time to begin new business partnerships. So if you can avoid doing this until it's over, all the better. 

Relationships that are already having difficulty may feel additional pressure. Venus retrograde often forces us to face feelings that we have ignored in the past, and re-evaluate those friendships and romantic partnerships as these emotions re-surface.

I wanted to make one thing clear as well: This is a time to acknowledge these feelings, but it's not a time to act on them. Wait until the retrograde period is over to do so.

Statistically speaking, January is when the most marriages and divorces occur, and with Venus in retrograde in Capricorn, a stable, long-term sign, a lot of marriages may be breaking up this holiday season. Evaluate your feelings carefully now. 

Good luck! If you have any stories that I can share, please let me know!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Keeping Saturn in Saturnalia

Dear John,

First of all, welcome to my time of year! I know how excited you must be that my influence is at its peak now. I know I am! I provide the season with a sense of dignity and peace. 

With the understanding that you are on vacation and with sincere apologies for the interruption, I am writing to complain about a story I heard involving me. An athiest group decided to put up a banner that said "Keep Saturn in Saturnalia!" in response to a New Jersey town's "Keep Christ in Christmas!" banner. And then some idiot decided to try to burn down the sign that was dedicated to me! 

If I was Neptune I would probably say "WHAT THE HELL...?" But since I'm not him...or her...I'll just say I am saddened that some group who believes in no higher power anyway decided to throw me into this fight without even warning me first. That was undignified to say the least, and downright impolite. There was no need for that.

There are so many things wrong with this picture. I thought that people on earth were supposed to be nicer at this time of year. I guess not. 

Do you know how many years it has been since people celebrated Saturnalia? A heck of a long time. It was pretty good when it went on...I think it was nice. But you know, times change and the world moves on. They don't need to bring it back.

I don't want to be a pawn in some stupid fight over a banner...well, technically about two banners. Can't everyone just...what's the phrase you prefer? "Get over themselves"? 

People are powerful. They have choices and control. Why let a banner upset you? If you don't like what the town is doing, then don't go down there or spend your money there. If you are that offended, move out. (Did anyone tell them that many pagans worship me? Are you really sure an athiest group should be invoking a Roman god? Kind of odd, wouldn't you agree?)

By the same token, the Saturnalia banner should get the same respect as the other one. No one has tried to burn that one down, right? At least not yet. But some misguided soul couldn't stand their beliefs being mocked by an old Roman holiday? Really? All it takes is a joke for your faith to feel threatened? Sounds like someone needs to examine their own beliefs a little harder. The same rules apply for these people. If you don't like it, don't look. And put down the accelerant and matches before you hurt yourself! 

Of course, I didn't take it personally. It would have been the same as if someone who knew Neptune rules music to say "Keep the 'tune' in Neptune!", or even "Keep the 'us' in Venus!" to push the value of relationships. Am I sounding stupid now? Yup. And that is the point. 

Anyway, I am so sorry for interrupting your vacation. Enjoy my season...and if you are feeling frisky, a dance for Saturnalia would make me happy. 

Very truly yours,


Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Look Back At the November That Was...

I promised you updates a while back and let it not be said that I'm a liar…at least about this. We have plenty to talk about, so we'd better get started.

I hope all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and that none of you were arrested in a fight at a big box store trying to buy presents. It seems like it defeats the spirit of the holidays…but hey, what do I know?

First of all, my absence can be easily explained. No, it wasn't because of my new computer…but we'll get back to that, I assure you. I was doing National Novel Writing Month in November. For those of you who don't know what that is, NaNoWriMo is a program through which you pledge to write 50,000 words on a brand new novel in a month. I successfully made my quota, which breaks down to 1666 words a day, and can declare myself a winner. My beloved also won. 

Congratulations to everyone who finished! It's a challenge but it's worth it. The point is to get you writing; you can't edit anything you've written, so you're just supposed to sit down and write without judging. Sure, some of it's going to be shit, but some will be great. 

I decided to try this a few years back to fight against my Saturn vs. Neptune opposition, and let me tell you that it really works. When no one is seeing it and you can just write without judgment, you can just let it flow. I encourage everyone to give it a try. 

OK, so that explains my absence. Now on to other matters. Mercury retrograde wasn't pleasant this time around for me, but it wasn't truly horrific. A number of my friends were not as lucky; one Gemini guy I know who didn't know about astrology decided he believes in it now. There was just too much Mercury fuckery for him. I hope you made it through OK. You've got another few months before we do it again; that's right, we're back at it on January 21. I know you can't wait…admit it. 

After getting the gift card via email and not regular mail from Apple, I ordered the new computer. It came in on November 12 and I took the chance of doing an installation of new software during the storm as it was getting back up to full speed. I was fortunate and everything is perfect. I'm typing on it now and IT IS AWESOME. I will never go back to a PC. 

I spent several hours today playing games that kept crashing on my old machine due to the graphics problems. One of my favorites, Civilization, had a new expansion pack and with my totally tricked out machine it handled the game easily. I even increased the graphics quite a bit and it's gorgeous. 

Civilization is a game that has been around since 1990 and Jen and I learned to play it going to college together. This version is AMAZING and is light years ahead of where it was, but it's still addictive. You start with a settler unit and build a city, and through it you build an entire empire. Is it as complex as it sounds? Absolutely. But for a guy like me, it's perfect. 

I spent this afternoon learning the new wrinkles. I played as King Kamehaha and the Polynesians, which was a new civilization for me to try out, and managed to play into the 1700s before I decided I wasn't winning. I tried too late to bring religion into my civilization, and while I did found Judaism, the Egyptians converted all my cities to Islam before I even tried it, so it was pretty much a lost cause. D'OH!

You can pick which religion you'd like to find. While Wicca was not among them, you'll be happy to know that there were 20 religions to pick from, many more than the five in the last version. 

NOTE TO SELF: If you're going to found a new religion, do it early in the game and use it to your advantage. 

And before I start getting hate mail asking about Pele, my little girl is fine. She's been out of her cone for about two weeks, and the spay operation went just fine. The scar is even gone now. The world doesn't need more kittens, but she'd have made some beautiful ones. Just sayin'. She's even faster than before and purrs like crazy pretty much constantly. I'm so lucky to have her. Jen did a great job with her; she got up at night to take care of Pele and let me sleep. That woman is amazing, let me tell you. :)

Anyway, I promise to blog more again soon with more information. Things just keep happening, folks, and we've got another Venus retrograde coming on Yule. Stay tuned for that one; nothing like Venus fuckery over the holidaze! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Important Updates: Pele and Mercury Fuckery

OK, so to begin with, a special thanks to all of you who have sent Reiki, prayers, positive energy, and email or Facebook messages for Pele's speedy recovery. The first day home was pretty rough; it was obvious she was in pain and we hated having to wait for several hours to give her pain meds. But she has bounced back like the champion she is, and is now doing--or trying to do--everything she normally does. She would like me to remove that collar, but unfortunately she will keep in on at least for the foreseeable future.

I'd also like to give a huge shout-out to my beloved bride, Jen, who is checking on Pele many times during the night. Pele is closed in with us so she won't get into as much trouble, and has on several occasions tried to remove the collar. Jen is literally losing sleep making sure my kitten is safe, healthy, and happy as I sleep soundly.

I was hoping to do something special for Jen, but what happened next was not what I had in mind. I accidentally knocked a large book and her Kindle off the counter onto the floor. Said large book fell onto the Kindle, so it smashed the screen into the floor. While the screen was intact, attempts at resuscitation failed. That's gratitude for you…she loses sleep to take care of your cat and you kill off her Kindle. So we ordered her a new Kindle Fire. Add that to the Mercury Retrograde pile.

Overall, this Merc retro has not been too bad. I've had a few get cancelled at the last minute, but overall things have been very calm. [CROSSES FINGERS].

On the computer front, my old iMac arrived at its destination on my birthday as expected, and it took another week for them to tell me that they had "completed the audit". How much am I getting for it? No idea. When will I get a gift card? Still don't know. I check it about once every five minutes to see if any additional information has been posted. So no computer has been ordered, of course.

The best news? Even if I ordered it tomorrow, my new iMac wouldn't get here before the end of Mercury retrograde, so at least I can avoid the fuckery of trying to install new software and getting it up to speed. Hopefully we'll be back in business long before Thanksgiving; I've got at least 3 astrological charts I've got to do with November due dates and I'd rather not miss them all.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Birthday Greetings from Saturn

Dear John,

I decided to go with an individual birthday message this year. Last year's didn't go as well as I'd hoped, mainly because Neptune's delivery lacks the dignity and respect that you deserve as one of my people.

This has been an enlightening year. You have grown in wisdom, and you seem to be earning more titles all the time, which I'm always in favor of.

In the spirit of continued self-improvement, I offer a few suggestions to ponder as you celebrate 42 years. You'll want to do something about your schedule; it seems rather unpredictable at times. Boredom is healthy and necessary, you know, and you could definitely use some more of it. While it's good that you have the desire to be creative, I've never really seen the point of it myself. Besides, you don't really have time; Mercury is on the fritz as usual and it's the perfect opportunity to tackle that project. A report did reach me, however, that gave me pause. How are we supposed to edit without a computer? I assume that you will resolve this situation forthwith.

I understand you were extremely upset about the recent government shutdown, and that you continue to deal with its financial effects for the short-term. I'm sorry that happened; I hoped it wouldn't. But you worked for no pay for nearly three weeks, and for that, you have my respect. If the people responsible had just followed my example and shown any sense of fiscal responsibility, there would have been no need for this situation. But luckily, it's all over now, and hopefully there will be no repeat.

In any event, I wish you a happy and healthy year, and hope you will continue to be the serious, driven, hardworking indvidual I know you are.

Yours truly,


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Technology, Logistics, and a New Computer During Mercury Retrograde

Technology and Mercury retrograde go about as well together as "government" and "decision-making". 

So remember the part about not doing upgrades during Mercury retrograde? Well...for some reason Apple decided to have an important iOS upgrade during this time. I installed it last night and everything appears to be fine.

One thing that's been happening to me that has Mercury's fingerprints all over it is that the process for buying a new computer is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. I was hoping to have it in place in my house this Friday, but at this point I haven't even bought it yet. I'm recycling the computer through Apple, and a 3rd party company sent me a big box for my iMac with a shipping label. The box alone too a whole week to get here; I mean, I could've driven out to CA in that much time. But since they're paying for the gas and the shipping I guess they can do it the most economical way for them, which is Fedex Ground.

Anyway, so I backup everything, box up the computer, and bring it into Fedex on Saturday. Then I find out Fedex Ground doesn't ship on Saturdays, so it really isn't going anyplace until Monday. I pull up my mobile Fedex app on Monday night and it's made it all the way to...Fairfax, probably less than five miles from where I dropped it off. And then I see that they've adjusted the delivery date to Monday, October 28th. Originally they said it takes five business days to get from my neck of the woods to California, so I'm thinking Friday the 25th. So now I'm irritated but not surprised, as Mercury strikes again. In true Mercury retrograde style, however, as I pull up the app Tuesday morning, it says it's made it as far as Hagerstown, MD, and the delivery date to the company has now been changed BACK to October 25.

With Mercury in retrograde, it might ARRIVE at the company on the 25th, but how soon someone will unbox it and evaluate it is a mystery. Once they do, they'll have to decide if my description of my computer's condition was accurate; I received a quote for a certain refund based on the information I submitted online, but of course everything is subject to the evaluation. Once that is done, they have to send me the refund information, which will be on an Apple Gift Card. I found out after sending it in that I will have the gift card "within three weeks". So the question is how long I'm going to wait before I cave in and buy it; looks like I'm holding onto the gift card for a future purchase.

And then of course is buying the new computer, which should arrive within 4-5 business days after it is ordered. Once it gets here, then it's time for a massive run of installing and re-configuring the system, which will also entail the installation of Windows on a virtual machine on the Mac.

I'm disappointed I won't have the machine in my hands sooner, but it may be a fortuitous event that everything is running behind schedule. Getting this computer ready for prime time in a Mercury retrograde seems like an accident waiting to happen. Mercury will be in its storm from the 10th to the 15th of November, and then we'll be back up to full speed again and things should be calm.

I'll let you know what happens. There is so much potential for Mercury retrograde fuckery that I can't even begin to consider it all, but hopefully I'll be able to get a computer here and set up fairly quickly. And with Mercury retro, playing it smart and getting by are about the best you can do with new electronics. 

Wish me luck. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio: Watch Out for the Stinger!

So here we go again, folks. Mercury retrograde is upon us! It feels like things have been a little nuts, at least in my life, even before the retrograde began.

One close friend brought up an interesting point that bears repeating here. What we are experiencing right now is transiting Mercury retrograde. In other words, Mercury is retrograde right now and it affects everyone. But it does NOT affect everyone equally. If you were born when Mercury was in retrograde--we call that natal Mercury retrograde--then things may be different for you. As a Gemini friend asked me, "So are people who have natal Mercury retrograde totally fucked?"

Let me explain. Folks who were born during Mercury retrograde usually have extremely quick brains. Oftentimes, their brains work faster than their mouths, which means they may trip over their words or find themselves incapable of being clear about expressing their thoughts from time to time.

With that said, the benefit to having Mercury retrograde in your birth chart is that you live with it all the time, so when Mercury transits through a retrograde period, like it is doing now, the effects on you are generally lessened. It's like dealing with the heat and humidity of Washington, DC, but because you were born in Florida it doesn't phase you. The same could be said for someone from Buffalo who doesn't bat an eyelash at driving in two inches of snow.

One of the differences that makes Merc retro more interesting is that Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio, a very intense sign. Scorpio sun also begins in a few days to bring more Scorpio energy to the party. You'll want to be extremely careful of what you say during this time. It's said that Scorpios can either heal or kill with words, but for all sun signs, Mercury in Scorpio ratchets communication matters up a notch. So I would expect either a total shitstorm or nothing at all; this Mercury retro will not be about moderation. Be careful of anything you say that might be perceived as passive-aggressive as well.

Unfortunately, however, reports are already reaching me that things today have been hairy, with Facebook having problems simply posting things to people's timelines, for example.  

My spin teacher at the gym was having trouble with her schedule and struggled balancing her personal calendar with her personal training appointments. She was unaware of Mercury retrograde until I explained it, at which time she told me that her iPhone had been acting up all morning, only intermittently receiving email and text messages while people were trying to get hold of her. They all came in a flood. I also mentioned that she should expect more last-minute cancellations and small appointment problems. Turns out her 11:00am appointment showed up at 10 that morning! Typical Mercury retrograde bullshit. I suspect she feels like she learned something today.

Hopefully you'll have a lighter Merc retro than the last one, which was a bitch for me. I am definitely approaching this one with caution; in addition to being a sun sign Scorpio, I have Mercury in Scorpio natally as well. So you can bet your ass I'm treading very lightly.

Good luck! Send your comments on how the retrograde is--or is not--affecting you.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Tale of Three Cities: Elemental Chattanooga

The morning of September 13th came early for us. My beloved and I decided to get on the road as soon as we could so we could be in Chattanooga by mid-afternoon, so it was a 4:00am wake-up call and we were out the door and on our way by 5:00am. 

Once we arrived in Chattanooga, it was about 3:30 and we were spent. So we took some time looking around the historic Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel. 

This hotel is one of the coolest properties I have ever seen, and I was thrilled to be able to spend the night there. Chattanooga was a very important rail hub in the history of the American railway, and was the first city that connected the North and the South after the Civil War, or "The War of Northern Aggression" if you prefer. The South narrowed the rails during the war so that no Northern train could enter without going off the tracks. "Southern hospitality" was a little different during those days, I figure. 

Anyway, the hotel is the actual Chattanooga main rail terminal! The tracks are still there, and so is the main terminal building, which is gorgeous. We took a ride on the country's oldest working streetcar--originally from New Orleans, which I had guessed just by its setup!--and just walked around. The platforms are still there, but there are beautiful gardens and fountains everywhere. But the energy--that hum of activity--was still there for me. Walking down the platform I could only imagine what getting on a train there back in the 40s or 50s was like. 

The whole property was headed for the wrecking ball in late 1970 when the last passenger train left Chattanooga; sadly, despite its amazing rail history, the city is not served by Amtrak today. But at least some investors got together and on the last day--literally one hour--before the deadline to purchase the property passed, it was saved. 

Our hotel "room" was on the tracks: A Victorian rail car that was formerly used by the ultra-rich to travel in style. It was truly amazing! It was like having your own condo. Even though it didn't go anywhere, it was cool to imagine what it would have been like 75 years ago to move around that way. Sure beat the pants of the 10 and a half hours we had spent in my Hyundai to get to Chattanooga!

Travel is definitely in the fiery realm, and for me, long-distance rail is part of the fire element. The further you are from a place, the more of the idea of discovery is present, and when travel is far away from home, to a foreign country, or lasts longer than about two weeks, it goes in the fire category. So in the station I definitely felt fire. Of course, no trains are moving around in the yard now, and the people move through the platforms taking pictures and eating ice cream without a true sense of urgency, but I could definitely sense the "fire" at the station. 

In the area, earth was also prominent, but I didn't experience it as much. One of the most important local landmarks is Lookout Mountain, which sadly we didn't get time to see on this trip. Certain people believe the name "Chattanooga" comes from the local Indian phrase meaning "the eagle's nest" because the trees at the top of the mountain, when seen from the city, looked like a bird's nest. Anyway, this mountain is an important part of local tourism and boasts an incline railway and a site known as "Rock City". 

Most of what I felt, however, was more personally directed earth energy; with all of the preparations for Jen's birthday and the early departure, I was exhausted arriving in Chattanooga. I was afraid to lay down before Jen's birthday dinner because I wouldn't have wanted to get back up. And I had fever/chills during the night as well, which made me a little nervous. I think I was just plain worn out; luckily a few Advil managed to take care of that problem. Thank the Lord and Lady for "earthy" medicine!

Air was the element that Chattanooga lacked for me. There didn't seem to me to be that energy of lots of people talking, or lots of creativity. Air didn't really resonate with me there for some reason, though I should have considered writing a blog in the rail car. 

For the record, local travel--transit that includes local buses, taxis, commuter rail trains, and other forms of public transportation--is considered air. Really, that local stuff is Mercury-ruled so I consider air to represent any local form of travel, and that includes our daily commute or other "repeated" trips. 

One area where Chattanooga really surprised me, and the one strong "breath of fresh air" was their downtown public transportation system. It's an electric shuttle that was paid for in part by government subsidies. It is totally FREE and runs every 5-15 minutes through the downtown. The bus terminus was at our hotel, so it was easy to stay out of our car during our evening in Chattanooga. And imagine: Since the bus is electric, it helps keep the environment, especially our AIR, clean. Hey, how about THAT for irony?

Water was probably the easiest one for this trip overall, and for Chattanooga. The Tennessee River goes right through Chattanooga, and one of the more picturesque views of the city is from the river looking at the Tennessee Aquarium, our main reason for visiting. Remember when cities were founded they needed fresh water? It's likely that without the river, no city would have ever taken hold here. 

The Aquarium was excellent and set up in a "campus" style; they had separate buildings for ticket sales, ocean, and river exhibits. And it was nice to finish one building, take a few minutes to just sit around outside, and then go into the next building at your leisure instead of the "forced march" that occurs in many other aquariums. 

Of course, I definitely felt the water element watching my beloved enjoy marine wildlife, which is one of her passions. :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: "The Transformational Truth of Tarot: The Fool's Journey" by Tiffany Crosara

The Transformational Truth of Tarot: The Fool’s Journey
Tiffany Crosara
Dodona Books, $24.95

When people first open a tarot book, many of them will idly skim through, checking out the pictures and looking for key words and phrases. Then when they finally do go back through and read the book, they start with the first chapter after the introduction. Because honestly, who wants to read the introduction anyway, right?

The Transformational Truth of Tarot has an introduction that is really worth reading. Tiffany Crosara talks about her journey, but not just the wonderful, magical parts of it. There’s the part where she tricks herself into believing the tarot is telling her exactly what she wants to hear, and her dismay—and later hope—in realizing the truth.

I was especially moved by her description of how the cards predicted a miscarriage for her, and after it happened, how she put them away only to eventually allow the tarot’s wisdom to help herself and others through healing, empowerment, and positivity. I saw myself in many parts of it. It was personal and powerful.

The layout of the book is pretty standard for many in the field: Introduction, major arcana, minor arcana, and a few spreads.

One of the best parts of this book for me is the description of the major arcana cards, and an in-depth look at the symbols that are on them. Tarot students often ask me about them, and for a beginning tarot student this kind of information is especially useful. Sometimes as a reader I notice different parts of the card, and it’s helpful to have a reference.

The minor arcana have less to offer, but there is some valuable material nonetheless. One of my personal pet peeves is the use of one word to describe a tarot card. Crosara lists one above each tarot card image, and while I agree with many—the Six of Swords listed as “Moving on” is one I could definitely get behind, for example—there is always the danger that a beginning tarot student could latch so hard onto that word without considering other options.

Crosara makes no secret of the fact that she is always looking for the positive in readings, and clearly, based on her own experiences she is not someone who only sees the good in the messages of the cards. With that said, some of the minor arcana of the Swords I felt were spun in a little too positive a way for me. But these were the exception rather than the rule, and every tarot reader is different.

I also liked the section on each of the court cards by element, and I would have loved to see more from it. I was disappointed when it was over. But it gave some excellent qualities to consider when reading the court cards, an area that puzzles and confuses a lot of tarotists.

Overall, this is a decent introduction to the tarot, and if you’re looking for a book written by a tarotist who really lives their craft, I’d suggest The Transformational Truth of Tarot by Tiffany Crosara. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Tale of Three Cities: An Elemental Voyage

Hi everyone...after a somewhat long hiatus I'm back! With my beloved's birthday and a number of other events in the past month, finding the time to blog has been a challenge. But I hope to make up for it by giving some information about my recent vacation to the south with a little bit of a different take: An "elemental" look at the cities I visited. I hope to give some interesting facts about each city and relate it to each of the elements. 

Over the next few weeks, I plan to give you an opportunity to see each of these cities perhaps differently than you have in the past using an elemental perspective. What I mean by that is to talk about my impressions of these cities and how each of the four elements--fire, earth, air, and water--played a role in my visit to Chattanooga, TN; Atlanta, GA; and Gatlinburg, TN.  

So let's start with some overall comments about fire. Neither my beloved nor I had visited any of these cities before. That goes in the fire category with the idea of "discovery". Of course, many other people had seen these cities before I did, but there's always a sense of being a pioneer in my mind when I visit a new city, or even when I find a new shortcut. Travel is something that changes you; in many ways, it can alter your perspective or perceptions. That's one of the reasons why it's so important to get out of your daily routine every once in a while and travel. Luckily, the weather wasn't too fiery; toward the end once or twice I almost considered putting on a souvenir sweatshirt I had bought [GASP!]. 

The element that I personally felt the most was likely earth. While the trip didn't start out very earthy, it ended that way, as you'll see. But I think the earth energy effect we felt the most was soreness and fatigue of our physical bodies. While I'm no elder eagle, I'm no spry scorpion, either; we packed a lot of activities into nearly a week, and it took a toll on us. It didn't help that both of us were just post-cold, either, with a cough that just hung on for dear life. But we pushed ourselves to the limit. 

I felt air the most when communicating with the outside world. I totally enjoyed sharing my status updates and photos with friends from all over the world. Technology goes in the air element, and it was very easy to find a wireless network--you know, one floating around in the AIR?--anywhere we needed one, with a few rare exceptions. I got a real charge over everyone's interactions with me on where we were, as well as what we were doing and seeing. Since I don't do a TON of social media most days, it was liberating to be able to share what was up when I wanted. And it's amazing to know that no matter where I was, I could get a restaurant reservation, directions, or other tourist information just by taking my phone out of my pocket. I'm old enough to remember the days when phones were on walls and you waited by them for people to call you, and when faxing was considered cutting edge technology. 

Water is probably the most obvious element for this trip, for a few reasons. The trip celebrated the 40th birthday of my beloved, and love of course is part of the water element. The entire theme of the vacation was water-related, since we chose the three cities because they had aquariums that neither of us had ever seen. I even considered writing one of these blogs from the Georgia Aquarium, falling asleep in front of its 6.3 million gallon tank with four whale sharks. But that wouldn't have made a great place to do it, as you'll see when I talk about our visit to the ATL. 

I hope you'll find this interesting, and will stay tuned for my next installment! Until then, dear readers, may you be blessed with elemental balance. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Deck Review: Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot

The Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot

I found this deck in a place where I least expected it: In a toy store in New Hope, PA, a number of years ago. But for enthusiasts who are looking for a fun way to access the tarot, this may be your ticket.

In a word, this deck is “otherworldly”. The images on the cards are bright and funny; you may find yourself chuckling as you go through this deck. It definitely has a carnival/side show feel to it, and some of the drawings remind you of things you’ve seen up on the refrigerators of proud parents.  

OK, so let’s be honest…it’s easy to write off this deck. Heaven knows I wanted to, but I was too intrigued to walk away. It is definitely a more modern take on a venerable tool, but if you choose to work with it I think you’ll find yourself letting your intuition tell you more; since the imagery on the cards is decidedly less “serious” than on the traditional RWS, for example, you may find your subconscious taking you to places you never imagined you could go. 

So to say this deck is not typical would not be much of a stretch, based on what I’ve said so far. The major arcana is excellent at bringing out the astrological meanings of the cards, with the astrological symbol of the sign it represents somewhere on the card, like the Pisces symbol on one of the bottles on the Moon. The Emperor has a symbol of Aries on his forehead, but he definitely looks like a woman. 

For the first time in any tarot deck I have seen, the Devil appears as a woman, but she doesn’t look imperious; rather, she looks like she is enjoying her role as Princess of Darkness. The Tower is shown as a broken castle on a chessboard, but the bright red and blue colors make it look more like a buoy than the shocking revelation it portends. The Empress holds a shield and whip and looks a little bit confused as to what her role should be, while the High Priestess’ one eye is a pentacle.

The minor arcana has the traditional suits of Cups, Wands, Swords, and Coins (replacing Pentacles). Once again, the imagery is not traditional, yet the cards do convey meaning just the same. For example, the 10 of Swords shows a woman holding her head like she has a migraine, and a large cup has tipped over spilling an orange liquid on what appears to be a blueprint. The “Woe is me!” idea that often comes to mind for this card is apparent despite the nontraditional representation. The Two of Coins has a child with a barcode imprinted across both its eyes holding a mask, while other masks line the walls. For me, the masks represent the “fun” that is represented by the card, and the number of masks (at least 10) show the “flexibility” meaning rather well.

My favorite card in this deck is the Fool. He wears a tall pointed hat with question marks (a recurring theme in this deck) standing near the top of a mountain of brightly-colored rounded platforms. I know I’m dating myself but it reminds me of the game Q*Bert. [NOTE: If you were born after 1980 or so, or if you are as old or older than I am and video games did not have as formative a role in your childhood as they did my own, do a web search and take a look.] As he steps off into the unknown, The Fool is accompanied by a rat, who makes an appearance on several other cards; typically the rat is not an animal found on many tarot decks, but he seems cute enough.  

After reading tarot for a while, you figure out that no deck is for everyone. But this deck will appeal to Sagittarius folks and others who want to explore the playful side of the Tarot and let their subconscious mind out for recess.  However, it is NOT for beginners and will only appeal to some. For me it is a great, playful change of pace from the Rider-Waite imagery.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Letter from Mars: Bad News for Saturn

Dear Saturn,

Dude, I was like, checking out John's astrological chart the other day and I've gotta tell you, I think you're in for a world of hurt.

I remember a while back when you went on a totally rad ego trip, claiming you were the main reason for John's success, and while I thought it was a little much, I backed you because, well, you are like pretty powerful for him. Then the Sun totally came down on you like a ton of bricks and I was like "GAME OVER DUDE!" But I gave you props for doing it, for standing up for what you believed was the truth. Everyone knew you were dead wrong, but it took real stones to say it anyway.

You and I have known each other for years, and I respect you, bro. But John's been learning some new stuff--which is actually OLD stuff, believe it or not--and I think you've got it all wrong, dude. He calculated the "Almuten" of his chart the other day--that's the one that controls the most "chart real estate"--and he got a surprise. Sorry to be the one to have to tell you, but the most powerful planet in his chart is...well, me!

It wasn't exactly clear to me how we figured this out, but John's had his nose in a book for much of the summer and he's learning more about classical astrology. You remember back before when the three noobs--Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto--came along? It was just the seven of us. Anyway, as you undoutedly remember, I was actually Scorpio's ruler before that dwarf Pluto came along, and I figure pretty prominently in his chart. So even though you're considered the modern "chart ruler", as the Almuten I've got you beat. Sorry, bro. I still think you're cool...even though you are an old man and I could so kick your ass in a race.

John's been spending a lot more time in my domain, at the gym! He's going four times a week now, and he can see muscles that were not much more than a myth. I mean, let's face it: John's always been a little flab-tacular--and if he was here, he'd be totally cool with me for saying it!--but he's looking good. He saw his abs for like the first time ever a month or so ago. How fucking cool is that! Testosterone is SO COOL!

You're the king of self-control, right, man? Well you need to do some more work with those guys at the gym. The locker room may be my domain, but I could use your help in getting some other guys there to shut the fuck up. So here's the scoop: We got a guy who is in the only bathroom stall in the locker room, right? His buddy walks toward the stall and asks, "Are you shitting?" Now dude, all I can say is that when I'm in there doin' my private business I don't want some other asshole asking me what I'm up to. Then he starts talking about the guy's bathroom habits in front of everyone! WTF is that? This other time, John was getting changed and he heard these dudes talking about this lady at their work. They were saying she's always eating and has food around all the time. One of them had to say, "Did you see her desk? It's like foreign aid!" I mean, dude, WOW. That was totally uncool. I wish I had been there to kick some ass.

Anyway, sorry to bring you down about the whole Almuten thing. You're still all right in my book, bro. You like sitting around too much; you should have John take you to one of his spinning classes and it will kick your sorry ass.

Just do it,


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Announcement: Coming Soon--Solar Return Astrological Forecasts!

So here's my big announcement: I'm branching out in my astrology practice and will now be offering solar return charts to interested clients!

Some of you may not know what the hell I'm talking about, so here's the deal. When you go to an astrologer to have your "chart" done, typically people mean the natal (birth) chart. I take the date, place, and time of your birth and give you insight into your astrological strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, and the like. It's a very revealing, and I recommend that everyone have it done. 

Your natal chart, however, is NOT a predictive tool. It will tell you about you and where your tendencies are, don't get me wrong...but it won't tell you about what's going to happen in the year ahead, for example. The heavens keep moving and there are always changes on the horizon. 

Your solar return is that exact moment when the sun is in the precise location it was in when you were born, and it typically happens within hours of your actual birth date and time. We use the sun's point as the start, and then we check out where the rest of the planets are and what they're doing. This gives us a picture of how your next year will turn out. 

In the solar return, I also look at your natal chart. If I see patterns between the natal chart and the solar return for this year--if you have Saturn opposing Neptune, like me, and Saturn and Neptune also are having some form of connection during the solar return--those are particularly significant. 

Some patterns do repeat in the solar return. For example, every 8 years Venus will return to the place it was when you were born. Why do you think when Venus comes back a second time we celebrate Sweet 16 parties? Bet you didn't know about that one. :)

I'm reading a great book on it right now by Lee Lehman called Classical Solar Returns. I had no idea this technique existed before a few months ago, and I'm truly excited about it. In fact, since I've been talking about it pretty much non-stop since then, I'm sure my beloved is ready to shiv me if I try to talk to her about it one more time.

Anyway, beginning this fall I'll be offering the solar return to customers. At the moment, I'm still working out the final report format and honing my skills, thanks to the generosity of my family members and an old friend or two; they'll be my guinea pigs.

The price for the solar return chart is $80, and unlike some of my other offerings, this one won't include a consultation. I'll email completed reports to you so you have them immediately. Part of the reason I'm doing the prototypes on non-astrologers is to ensure that they are understandable and user-friendly. My beloved gets this confused look on her face when I start rambling on about classical vs. modern planetary dignities, malefics and benefics, and fertile vs. non-fertile signs, so it's important to me that people can read and understand it. 

Usually the solar return is done not more than one month before your birthday, and will show you what your next year will look like. 

If you're interested, give me a shout at hierophant@cox.net. If I've never done a natal chart for you, send me the date, place, and time--as close as you can, please--of your birth so I can compare it to your solar return. 

Shameless marketing completed. Thanks in advance for your patronage, and for listening in. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Ass, Mercury Retrograde!

Finally, Mercury went direct yesterday. AND THERE WAS MUCH REJOICING! YAAAAAAAY!

There was so much Mercury fuckery I don't even know where to begin. I have heard from a number of people, and it seems like this retrograde period has been a real and total bitch; evidently it wasn't just me.

The capstone to this lovely period for me came Thursday. I dropped my car off at the dealership for some warranty maintenance, and had them drop me at the subway. That afternoon, the heat index was 110 degrees--thanks to all the humidity--so as I was heading toward my stop I called up the dealership for a ride back to pick up my car. I called them 10 times and no one picked up until the last try; then the lady transfers me, and the connection goes bye-bye. I call back and they say they'll send someone out. The dealership is perhaps 10 minutes from the station, and 30 minutes later someone finally gets there. I was in the shade at least, but there was no relief from the heat and humidity. The gentleman finally shows up to pick me up, with blissful HIGH AC in the van and an extra soda, which he kindly offered to me. It sort of made up for the fact that I probably sat out there an extra 5 minutes because he had to stop on the way to get me for said refreshment. 

Fortunately, what needed to be done is more of a nuisance than anything else and doesn't affect the performance of the car. Unfortunately, in the tradition of Mercury retrograde's "re-do" attitude, they didn't have the part and will have to order it. So it looks like one more trip over there. 

We're not out of the woods yet, folks. Mercury is still in its storm for another few days. Hang on until July 26 and we should be OK. But I honestly will be glad to see Mercury go direct and get back up to full speed. TOO MUCH FUCKERY. 

If you have some stories I can share, please send them in and I'll post them here. 

Stay tuned for a big announcement in the next few days!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Mercury Poem: "Really, Mercury retrograde? REALLY?"

Dear Mercury,

Please excuse me if I don't sound particularly happy these days with you in retrograde. Honestly, it hasn't been an easy few weeks, and you're one of the reasons for the fuckery. 

Anyway, I'm going to use a Mercury-Neptune combination with tonight's entry, not that Neptune will notice since he's already drunk as a lord. It should adequately describe some of what I'm feeling toward you and your retrograde period right now. 

A is for anarchy, and it's what you sow
When it's backwards in the sky that you choose to go

B is for bollocks; I've just had enough
This retrograde period's been mighty rough

C, communication...when you're out for a walk,
People can't seem to just fucking talk!

D is for dervish--when the coast seems clear
And then out of nowhere you suddenly appear!

E for electronics; our gadgets get blitzed
And everything seems to be on the fritz

F is for fizzle, that's my social life
Plans getting cancelled causes me such strife!

G is for godawful, gobbledygook, and ghastly, let's say
These words all describe writing I see these days!

H is for homework; the one saving grace
Is right now I have none, so I can save face

I is for me, the one you've been screwing,
The one whose fun you recently have ruined

J is for Jen; she's Mercury ruled
She's handling this well, but I'm getting schooled

K is for the way I wish things could be;
It's sure not the best, but it's OK by me!

L is for lame, and your retrograde is
And some books call you the technology whiz!

M is for misfortune, that's while you're on vacation,
And I can't wait until you reach your direct station

N is for network, and you're such a louse
My extender stopped helping with calls in my house!

O is for Oh no! because that's what I hear
When people find out that Merc Retro is near

P is for patient; it's what we're supposed to be
But your fuckups right now are anathema to me

Q is for queer, in the sense of bizarre,
Weird electronic things happen both near and far

R is for re-do, re-task, re-write, and re-play;
It seems like four weeks of fucking Groundhog Day!

S is for stable, and your energy's not
So at the end of my rope I will just tie a knot!

T is for technical; to save wear and tear, 
I backed my shit up before you became a bear

U is for Uncle, and that's what I cry
I really don't want to give you another try

V is for victory, and there's not one for us
Until the calendar says that it's time for August

W is for wicked, you naughty boy
Why can't you stop taunting me now, huh? OY!

X marks the spot, the one that I can see...
Why did my GPS just make one dot into...THREE?

Y is the question, because is the answer
With you we're always trying to avert disaster

Z is for zenith, that point has now past,
I can't wait to see retro door hit you on the ass. 

If it's any consolation, I will wax rhapsodic about your virtues when you return to direct motion in a few weeks. But until then, you're really pissing me off.



PS: Thanks for at least keeping my physical body in good snap. The hospital SUCKED last summer and I'm not doing that again. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: "The Tarot Activity Book" by Andy Matzner

The Tarot Activity Book by Andy Matzner
Self-Published, andymatzner.com
$12.99, Amazon.com

As much as I love tarot—and I do—there are just some times when I need to put down those cards for a while. You know exactly what I’m talking about; you may be at a point in your tarot practice where you’re stuck in that proverbial rut, and it seems like the only way out is to leave the cards alone for a while.

But after you’ve taken the break that you need, or before you get to your breaking point, you’ll want to pick up The Tarot Activity Book, flip through it, and get ready to be shaken up. It’s got a whole host of activities for you to work through and try.

One of the reasons this book is a great find is because of the “curse of knowledge”. If you’ve been doing tarot for a while, you already know what the cards mean to you. Sure, you’ll tweak your knowledge as time goes on, but likely you know how you feel about each card. This book was designed for people who have no understanding of tarot at all, so the questions in each exercise will force you to re-evaluate what you know, think, and feel about the cards. Your subconscious mind will get a complete workout here.

As you pick the cards for each exercise, you’ll do it solely on the appearance of the card, but I agree with Matzner when he says that tarotists will get even more out of the exercises because of their knowledge of tarot. The author does provide a list of some basic tarot books for reference in the introduction, however, for those newbies who would like to know more; most of these were already on my bookshelf, so I take that as a good sign.

Matzner’s background as a licensed clinical counselor really makes this book an excellent addition to any tarot bookshelf. He has been using these techniques with his own clients, and has found them to be extremely effective. Consequently, many of the activities are dealing with psychological/counseling topics. If you’ve done any kind of “shadow” work with the tarot, or if you’re ready to do so, this book is an excellent place to start.

Tactile learners and people who enjoy doing crafts will have a field day with this work. One idea that wasn’t mentioned, however, is scanning the tarot deck of your choice to use as you go through these exercises. Crafts are not my forte, and I’d rather not have to buy seven copies of the miniature RWS because I kept messing up. Also, if you like tarot journaling, many of the activities have at least a small written portion. So you’ll want to have a journal you can dedicate to these exercises as well.

The only possible drawback for this book for me is that there are no illustrations, but it’s easy to make a case for why they aren’t present: If you give people a picture, they’ll use it as a “diagram” and follow it in hopes of doing the activity “the right way”. So the lack of imagery forces the reader to use their own creativity and imagination. 

The Tarot Activity Book in some ways reminds me of The Science Tarot; the latter was billed as a self-development tool. While Matzner’s book certainly is that, it’s also a great way to look at the tarot from a different perspective.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mercury Retrograde: Sharing the Fuckery

This Mercury Retrograde has already been a bitch. 

Now, I know many of you are saying, "Hey, John, remember last summer when Mercury gave you an abject lesson in its retrograde when you were in the hospital with back problems for three days? Are you sure it's a good idea to start bitching about it again?" My response would be twofold. First, fuck you very much for bringing it up. Secondly...well, there is no second thing. LOL. 

I'm not going to sit up here and do what that idiot kid did a few summers ago. He called out Posiedon (Neptune) before he went out on a surfboard and a shark bit him on the ass. NOT EVEN KIDDING about that, folks. 

The plan is to detail some of the Mercury retrograde fuckery that I experienced today, and that's all. With the Lord and Lady as my witnesses, I'm not making the mistake of calling out Mercury. That would be most unwise, and as such I will not be cursing any deity. 

Anyway, with the disclaimer over, let's get around to the fuckery, shall we?

My beloved and I made an appointment for our oldest cat, Morgana--AKA Momo--to have her teeth cleaned at the vets this morning. If you're unfamiliar with how they do this, they put the cat under anesthesia and then clean the teeth. Because they're smart they also trim the claws first. Momo has been in serious need of some attention for a while. 

Our vet has one main hospital in the area that does 24-hour emergency service, and is overall an amazing place. We've taken our cats there for nearly 10 years now. Recently, however, they opened up a satellite office near our home, and we were really stoked about it because it's a lot closer to us than the hospital. The satellite's vet hours are limited because the facility is primarily a boarding facility for dogs and cats when their owners are away on vacation. Normally they only have someone on the vet staff there from 4-9pm about half the week. 

So it's the night before this appointment, and it's about 5:30pm and I haven't heard anything from the vet's office about what time to bring Momo in, when we should stop feeding her, etc. So I call them. "So glad you called! I was going to call you later!" is the response from the tech. I'm thinking "Sure you were." We're told to bring Momo in between 7 and 8 the next day, and that we'll be able to pick her up that afternoon. 

Everything on our end goes according to plan. Alarms go off when they're supposed to, and we put an unsettled Morgana into her carrier for the short trip to the vet. When we get there around 7:45, there's no one working the "vet" side of the desk; normally you can tell because a vet tech with a stethoscope is out waiting to check in vet appointments, while other people not in scrubs will check in the boarding animals. We're not surprised since their first office visit is at 4:00pm. So we tell a lady at the boarding center that we're here to check in Morgana for her dental work. 

[NOTE: Please understand that while the cat is not thrilled to be here, neither are the humans. Jen HATES dropping off our animals at the vet and leaving there; she's always nervous until we bring them home, and I can't really blame her.]

Now this place is crazy. Today is the Friday before a big vacation week, so everyone is dropping off their dogs. Let me say that checking my cat in is NOT on the top of their agenda. I fill out some paperwork, and hand it back in. We sit there a little longer until the lady says, "Can I have someone take this dog back to the clinic?" I'm thinking "She's not talking about Momo." And yet she WAS...the handler came out looking for a dog and stopped at our little carrier. We had to explain that Momo was a CAT, not a dog. The guy seemed confused, but finally took Momo back to the clinic. So we left. 

Jen came to visit my office later that morning, and we had lunch together afterward. At the restaurant she left her phone out waiting to hear from the vet, but there's no call. She brings me back to the office, and I call her at 1 or so; there's still been no word from the vet, and our friends and family have been texting her, asking how Momo is doing. Of course, we have no idea at this point, and it's making Jen very unsettled. 

I call home again around 3:10, but Jen doesn't pick up. I'm guessing it's because the vet called. A few minutes later she calls me back, irritated. Jen had become impatient and called the office for word about Momo. At least this time, the people at the front desk put Jen through to the vet. 

The first thing out of the vet's mouth is "Hey, I apologize, I thought the other vet had already called you!" And I'm thinking "someone didn't bother to find out, did they?"Good news: Momo was indeed fine, and she was recovering. So the vet goes over the procedure, and the care and feeding for Momo for the next week or so as she heals up. No communication problem here, right? Not yet. 

Part of communication is knowing when to speak and when to shut the fuck up. Well, this vet should have known when to shut up. But NO. He has to say to Jen, "She'll be glad to get home. She's been terrified the whole time she's been here." 

Those of you who know Jen probably know what she was feeling next. She was pissed that Momo was so scared, and disappointed that the vet said we had to wait for 90-120 minutes before we went to bring her home after we found out that our cat was really upset. So Jen calls me back, angry and unsettled at the news. WHY THE FUCK DID HE HAVE TO SAY MY CAT WAS TERRIFIED? IN WHAT UNIVERSE IS THAT A GOOD IDEA?? Douchebag. 

The only positive to the scenario was that we couldn't get Momo until I got home from work, so I went and picked up Jen and we both went to get Momo. 

Even though it felt like 3 days had passed, we were back at the vet to pick up Momo. Of course, lots of people are leaving on vacation after work, so the place is even busier than it had been that morning. Once again, there's no vet tech on the "vet" side of the desk, so we ask the woman behind the counter to help us as we tell her why we're here. She looks around and says she'll let the vet people know we're here. So she does...NOTHING. 

That's right. She doesn't tell anyone we are here. She just continues to check dogs in for the pet retreat. And for ten minutes we sat there watching dog after dog come through the door as we're wondering what in the blue fuck is going on and when we'll actually be able to take our cat home. I'm starting to get pissed. Jen's already pissed, and I'm ready to tear someone a new one and say, "HEY FUCKTARDS! YOU'VE HAD MY CAT ALL DAY! SHE'S SCARED AND HUNGRY AND WE JUST WANT TO TAKE HER HOME! CAN SOME MOTHERFUCKER IN THIS PLACE DO THAT?"

Of course, they're giving a golden retriever back to his mommy and he decides to jump up on both Jen and I, and the dog almost tore open Jen's Coach purse. Of course, the dog's mom is like "I'm sorry." Well technically it wasn't your fault because this idiot handler over here knows nothing about how to lead a dog at all. 

Finally, just before I decide that someone, anyone should get a verbal assault so severe it will take a week before they realize how badly I've insulted them, a vet tech comes out, saying she didn't know we were here. IMAGINE THAT. We got into an examining room and the tech hands us the prescriptions and instructions for Momo's care. She asked us if the doctor had spoken to us on the phone, and we said yes, we understood what we were doing. So she explains it to us ANYWAY. And we still don't have our cat. 

FINALLY, Momo is brought back to us, and we're just excited to have her back. Then the vet comes out and tells us how everything went and repeats some of the care instructions. So at this point we've had it explained three times and we have a sheet with the instructions. WE FUCKING GET IT!! I was wondering if he was going to talk to me about the cover sheets on my TPS reports or something. Luckily I had calmed down enough to speak to the doctor in my own voice and not like Tim the Enchanter from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

This is why we call retrograde about re-tool, re-do, and re-task. It seemed like it was Groundhog Day or something. 

Momo is home safe and sound, and I'm glad for that. If you've got any Mercury retrograde stories you want to share, I'd love to hear them. It's already been a challenge and it just started on Wednesday. 

Time for some ice cream and a relaxing weekend. And what am I doing now? Communicating this. Hopefully Mercury will allow me to post it without any problems.