Saturday, January 30, 2016

On to Cincinnati, Day 1

Sun: Come in, Saturn. Have a seat.

Saturn: I thought this was a private meeting, sir. [sits down]

Sun: As you can see, Saturn, it isn't. Since this is a long-distance trip that isn't routine for John, I asked Jupiter to be here. Mercury is the briefer, assuming he's prepared after his retrograde. Merc, are you up to this?

Mercury: Yes, sir. Ready to go. 

Sun: You may fire when ready. 

Mercury: Our favorite blogger made it to Cincinnati in one piece, although it wasn't a smooth ride. He left VA on time but hit some nasty weather in western Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania; it seems he hit snow squalls regularly and it really bogged him down. I'm estimating a total delay time of 60-90 minutes to his final destination, actually.

Jupiter: Sounds like a great adventure!

Mercury: I'm not sure John saw it that way, at least at first. He got some bad intel on his GPS and was led onto backcountry roads during a snowstorm, which is totally my fault. It caused at least some of the delay today, and to be fair, I'm still in my own storm for two more days.

Sun: That's are. What did he do?

Mercury: John successfully navigated these back roads for two miles before the traffic came to a complete stop over a hill where there were flashing police lights. A kind person traveling the other way told John that a tractor trailer had jackknifed over the hill and had been sitting there for 45 minutes already. John analyzed the given information and decided he couldn't be late for his Columbus appointment, so he turned around and re-routed to a major interstate where the conditions were MUCH better. That's a win for him with my help.

Sun: Your bias is showing, Merc. 

Saturn: It was his determination to meet his obligations that drove him to make that decision, Mercury. The information was a nice bonus but he'd have come to that conclusion anyway.

Mercury: I'm sorry, Saturn, but I can't agree with you there. 

Jupiter: I was prepared to call it "wisdom".

Sun: We can sort out the finer points of whose influence was most involved later, gentlemen. Jupiter, you already take most of the credit for this trip with the classroom learning and since you're sharing that with Mercury, I think we can allow Saturn's influence on the wrong turn at least in part.

Saturn: Thank you, sir. I put that entire obstacle in his way and he took the long view. So that's mostly me. But I appreciate the help, Merc. 

Sun: [SIGH] Anything to add, Mercury, before I end this meeting?

Mercury: Just that John learned a ton about his own chart and his classmates. There was lots of fun discussion and lots of learning. I know he's looking forward to tomorrow. 

Sun: The man needs a good night's rest before tomorrow, as do I. Thanks to all of you for your comments and feedback. Saturn, in this case you can take credit for the obstacle and John's determination, but that's about it. We're done here. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mercury Goes Direct: And There Was MUCH Rejoicing!

Ladies and gentlemen, Mercury is going direct very soon here in Northern VA. And there was MUCH rejoicing! YAAAAAY!

OK, so we shouldn't hold the party right yet...give it until next Monday when Mercury gets back up to full speed. That should also be about the time when those of us who were just walloped by that bastard Jonas are able to dig out of our driveways. But negative effects are still possible through Sunday night. 

Speaking of getting out, I'm heading for Cincinnati on Friday for a weekend session with my classmates at the Midwest School of Astrology. With the possibility of more inclement weather coming, however, it may force me to accelerate my departure from early Friday morning to Thursday afternoon. But I'm a go...I wouldn't miss it! 

I do have some slightly good news to report: Looks like one of the watchwords for this Merc retro for me was "re-purpose". I'm getting a re-furbished iPod classic with 256GB of space and a solid state drive (no moving parts to fail), and my iPod is being cannibalized for parts and getting me a 10% discount. I even get to pick the color myself. Then Jen can have her iPod back and all will be right with the world. Suck it, Mercury! 

For those of you stuck in the snow, take it slow moving the snow and don't hurt yourselves; take Saturn's way rather than Jupiter's this time. Hey he might have a use after all! (I'm sure I'll get a nastygram about that one, but there it is.)

Enjoy the end of this retrograde period. You've earned it! 

Meeting of the Astrological Minds: On to Cincinnati

Sun: OK people, let's get started. Lady Moon, it's great to have you back. And is that a new hairstyle?

Moon: Thank you, sir. It was a rough Christmas, but I'm feeling great in Leo today. And no, it's not a new style, but it's the one I've always looked best in. Lady Venus introduced me to her stylist who knew exactly what I wanted. [Pause] We're all present, sir, with the exception of Mercury and Jupiter. They're both retrograde right now, as you know, so them showing up anyplace predictable is rather...unpredictable.

Sun: Thanks, Lady. Luckily the east coast of the United States has been crippled by a blizzard, which means that it will insulate them from many of the standard Mercury problems when people are going someplace. Any word on power outages, Uranus?

Uranus: Power outages were minimal at best, sir. We've noticed an uptick in the amount of pictures and generalized activity on social media. People have lots of time on their hands when they're not digging out. 

Sun: Excellent. Hopefully I'll be able to help melt some of that pesky snow. We'll see, I guess.

Mars: We'll see who's been going to the gym, right? Shoveling snow is nothing. It's these soft humans who have difficulty moving frozen water from one place to another. For many people it's more of a workout than they've had since the last storm, am I right?

Venus: Mars, not everyone is built like you are. There were several fatalities of people shoveling snow.

Mars: Well, they could be if they put down the Duck Donuts and the beers and got outside more! Seriously! All you need is a fitness and nutrition plan...

Saturn: Are we on that healthy kick again, Mars? Really? Humans don't really care about physical activity and those few who do look like oddballs among the glucose-addicted. So please give it up.

Mars: Sorry, Old Man...we all have our things, am I right?

Sun: Folks, I'm sorry to break up the witty repartee, but is this snowstorm going to keep our intrepid blogger John from heading for astrology college this weekend? He's got a weekend workshop coming up on Friday. 

Saturn: And the Midwest School of Astrology is a Saturn-friendly place, so we want to be absolutely sure he makes it.

Mars: No ego trip there or anything. HAHAHAHA!

Saturn: Young man, they don't like you a lot in some corners, but I'll take every opportunity for the good press.

Mars: I've been around longer than you, pal. You are who you are!

Sun: That will do, gentlemen. Can I get an actual answer?

Pluto: No, sir. No problems to speak of.

Sun: And his car is dug out?

Pluto: Yes it is. Anything that's buried is typically my purview, so I took the opportunity to check. He's mobile, sir. 

Sun: Excellent. Does he have anyplace to go tomorrow?

Pluto: Negative, sir. He's at home tomorrow. 

Venus: Hopefully he's spending some well-deserved time with that lovely wife of his and working on his Erin Condren planner. But I have one report that he's working on some new music's a long drive to Cincinnati and he's going alone.

Saturn: I hope some of Duncan Sheik's music makes it on there. It always makes me feel better...

Neptune: Oh,'re so funny. That music is so depressing. [PAUSE] Of course, I'm talking to YOU, so...

Saturn: Right, I think you've all made your point. I believe I will withdraw. [gets up to leave]

Sun: Saturn, walk out that door and I will write you up under the astrological code of conduct under "dereliction of duty". [Saturn returns to his seat and sits down] I can't remember when things have been this fractious in meetings, but I'm getting sick of it. It's like some of you planets live to antagonize each other, and I don't get it at all. [PAUSE] Lady Moon, was there anything we missed?

Moon: Nope. I think that takes care of our agenda items. 

Sun: Excellent. Make sure everyone gets a copy of the meeting notes. Saturn, you are now excused. [Saturn gets up and leaves] As for the rest of you, as funny as it sometimes is to make fun of each other, we have a really hard time getting anything done. Since Saturn is normally the target, you need to leave him alone. I know he's an old stick in the mud, old fashioned, and a curmudgeon...the gods know how well I know it. But it's not fair to him to gang up on him in meetings, even if he acts like kind of an asshole. [PAUSE] I want reports on John's trip early next week. We're adjourned. 


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mercury Retrograde Sex, Anyone? (NSFW)

OK so I came across this blog and while normally I don't just post links to the blogs of others, this one seemed appropriate for Mercury retrograde...

There aren't any naked pix where you can see anything, but likely you should look at the link in the comfort of your own home. Just sayin'. 

Maybe there will be some suggestions in here for you to enjoy the steamier side of Merc retro. At the very least, you'll get a good laugh out of it.

Not only is this a great article, but I'm constantly looking for ways to irritate Saturn and this is SURE to do it. 

Only a few more days of Merc retro left good people! HANG IN THERE!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mercury Retrograde Fuckery: No Matter How You Try...Redux

And the fuckery continues, ladies and gentlemen. The latest victim: my iPod classic.

As you probably recall from my last entry, my iPod experienced some Mercury fuckery as it took an extra few days to get to PA to get repaired. All it needed was a new board so it could sync and get charged again. 

Then I got the email that I didn't expect: "The repair for this device will exceed the cost of a new device." Wait, what?

So it appeared that all was lost, that I was going to be without an iPod until I bought a new one. They don't even make the classic anymore. And while I love Apple devices, money aside, I don't want an iPod touch...all the stuff on it is already on my iPhone or iPod. So I was at a loss. 

My beloved came to the rescue, graciously giving up her iPod classic to replace my own. So all is not lost and this story does have a happy ending. 

Still, thanks, Mercury! Dick. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Upcoming Tarot Dates and New Payment Methods!

Hello everyone!

Here are my upcoming tarot dates at 13 Magickal Moons:

Saturday, January 16, 11:30am-5:30pm

Wednesday, February 3, 6-9pm (Open Imbolc Ritual)

Saturday, February 13, 11:30am-5:30pm

Saturday, February 27, 11:30am-5:30pm

Wednesday, March 2, 6-9pm

Saturday, March 12, 11:30am-5:30pm

Wednesday, March 23, 6-9pm (Open Ostara Ritual)

Saturday, March 26, 11:30am-5:30pm

Also, for readings at the shop, I'm now accepting Apple Pay and Google Pay!

I look forward to seeing you across my table soon, good people!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mercury Retrograde Fuckery: No Matter How Hard You Try...

--"War. War never changes."--Fallout 4

Merc retrograde started yesterday, boys and girls, and there's a very important point I want to make: Even when you try, sometimes you just can't avoid the fuckery. It is as true for Merc retrograde as it is in life.

Anything involving messaging is Mercury-ruled. While we don't send much snail mail anymore, the Postal service and other delivery services are Mercury-ruled as well.

Your intrepid astrologer-blogger-psychic here had a problem. When I went on my glorious cruise in September, they had an amazing gym that I managed to use a few times. It's the kind of experience to make you feel good about all the time you spend at the amazing all you can eat buffets. But I digress. #sorrynotsorry

So I go into the gym with my trusty iPod--my 80GB black iPod classic. And in my mind it is a classic. I've had an iPod for 11 years and I remember how excited I was to get my first one. 

Anyway, this gym is state of the art; the machines are amazing and each one is equipped with several iPod docks. So I'm thinking "It will play and get a charge, too, which is awesome!" I shove it in there and it doesn't seem to work.

Even though I tried a number of times on a number of different elliptical trainers, I can't the iPod to work. For those of you playing at home, one of the mottos for Scorpio is "I penetrate", and I really did try.

Please note: If you're wondering if I'm deliberately trying for sexual innuendo, the answer is, "Not really, but it seems to work, so I'm going with it." I suggest you do the same. Or stop reading. Your call. #kthanksbai

There is a point to all this, and it's not (all) deliberate titillation. All this attempted penetration damaged the sensitive equipment under the hood of my iPod. When I brought the iPod home, it had a harder time getting a charge and I had to fiddle with it some. Eventually, it wouldn't sync or charge. This was in mid-December.

So off to the Apple Store I go with my sleek black iPod classic. The Genius listens to me, then turns it over and shines his handy-dandy light into the charging port. My attempts at physical satisfaction in the gym on the cruise ship had damaged a number of the pins, thereby causing my device's dysfunction. 

Of course, since it is a "legacy" iPod--his words, not mine, although he mollified me somewhat by saying he himself preferred the iPod classics--I could call Apple Care to see if they could fix it or go to a third-party company, since the device was WAY out of warranty.

I did my research and found a company in PA that fixes these devices, and got a special to boot. I filled out the paperwork, printed it to include in my package, headed to the post office self-service kiosk--going to the window is so passé--and off it went. This was on December 30.

Why is the date significant? Because I deliberately sent it before Mercury went retrograde to avoid any fuckery. And if I had avoided it and had my iPod back in my hands, I wouldn't have written this blog at all, right? If you answered YES to this question, you would be correct.

I sent the device via Priority Mail--supposedly the vast majority of the packages arrive at the destination in two days. When I checked my receipt it said it would arrive at the company on January 2. I thought that was pretty good. Not counting the holiday that would be two days.

Mercury, unfortunately, had other ideas. It still hasn't arrived at the company, and it's January 5. When I checked in online a few days ago, it said that the "Package delivery would be delayed"--thank you, Captain Obvious.

Following the scanner trail of the package shows Mercury's hand as well. It appears that once it was received at my local post office, it was sent to another post office near me, and then sent to PA to a post office near the destination. No problems there. 

Then for some unknown reason, the package was to Capitol Heights, MD, and then returned to the PA post office a day or so later. Not sure what happened, but I have my suspicions. I think someone read my return address as the destination address and had it sent back to me, and Capitol Heights would have been the way to do that. Capitol Heights probably noticed that the destination ZIP wasn't VA, but PA, and sent it back there.

As of this writing, the package is at the second PA post office, finally the one in the town where the company is. So I have some hope that my device will soon be in the hands of someone who can fix it. Perhaps I'm being too optimistic, but being pessimistic won't help, either. #aboutfuckingtime

Mercury wanted to make sure I got the message, so I received not one, not two, but THREE different email messages when it departed the first PA post office. On the picture, you will only see the one at 10:20pm, but I received one at around 5:00pm and the other one after 9:00pm. The timestamps of those scans were overwritten by the one at 10:20, but trust me when I say that seeing the same message several times didn't make me particularly happy, since with each successive one I was like "WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK. Did it LEAVE or didn't it??"

In the immortal word(s) of Homer Simpson, "D'OH!"

I'll keep you apprised but it appears Merc retro has already begun in earnest.

NOTE: According to the USPS, my iPod arrived in the early afternoon of January 6 at its destination. I paid for priority mail for the return trip...hopefully I'll have it back by January 15. Should I pull out tarot cards to find out?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

This is my (Erin Condren) Planner

This is my Erin Condren planner. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My planner is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my planner is useless. Without my planner I am useless. I must use my planner true. I must plan better than events that I may forget. I will. Before the Lord and Lady, I swear this creed. My planner and I are defenders of my personal time. We are the masters of our life events. We are the saviors of my life. So mote it be, until there are no events, but free time. Blessed be.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Meeting of the Astrological Minds: Retrograde Awareness

Sun: Allright, everyone. Let's gets started. I've passed around the sign in sheet. 

Venus: Where is Lady Moon, sir?

Sun: Unfortunately she won't be joining us today...her recent full Moon in Cancer during the holiday season was really debilitating for her. Apparently it brought up negative feelings in a lot of people on Christmas. When you combine Moon in Cancer with alcohol, families, and Christmas, it's a veritable fire keg. Just like the old Boston Garden: Any match in the wrong place and everything goes up. So I've asked Mercury to take the notes. 

Mercury: Excited and happy to do it, sir! Was there an agenda for today?

Sun: Well, you're on it, actually, Merc. You're slowing down again, aren't you?

Mercury: I admit that I've lost a step or two, sir. But I should be OK to take notes. 

Sun: Be that as it may, I'm going to ask Uranus to review them for accuracy once you're finished. We don't want to tax you too much pre-retrograde.

Mercury: Sure, sir. No worries.

Sun: Thanks. We have a few other retrogrades coming up. Jupiter, you're headed out for a while, is that right?

Jupiter: Yes, sir. It won't happen tomorrow but it should happen fairly soon. (opens Erin Condren planner) Looks like it should be at 23 Virgo on Saturday, January 9.

Sun: Going anyplace special?

Jupiter: Hell to the yeah! I think I'm going to hit Mardi Gras this's been a few years and I really miss it. 

Sun: Sounds good. Once we hit the spring, Mars is taking off, too, right?

Mars: Yes, sir! I'm totally stoked. But it's not close enough to start getting excited yet. That said, yeah, I'm retro this spring for a few months. 

Sun: Indeed. So we've got a fairly tame winter coming up, all things considered. The first 6 months of 2015 were a total nightmare. [looks at his watch] This is my short time of year on the east coast, people, so is there anything else?

Venus: Is Lady Moon receiving visitors, sir?

Sun: Not right now. She's working through everything and needs some quiet time to herself. The translation of that statement is that she'll be trying to beat Candy Crush again and doesn't want anyone to know the extent of her addiction to it.

Venus: [chuckles] I'll just send her an e-card, sir. No problem. 

Sun: I'm sure that would be appreciated. Anything else? Alibis?


Sun: Then we're adjourned. 

Pluto [to Uranus] The Old Man didn't say anything? This has got to be our lucky day! [Saturn stands up and glares at Pluto, then leaves] He didn't hear me...he just doesn't like me. Jealousy is a tough thing to deal with, isn't it, you prick?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Letters from Mercury: New Year, Old Retrograde!

Good morning and happy 2016 to all of you! Mercury here with some "news you can use". 

As you sit either blissfully relaxed and happy, or in some cases, totally tired and/or hung over, please know that my storm begins today, preceding my triannual-ish retrograde.

I know you guys really don't like me when I'm retrograde, but I assure you that as fast as I move through the universe I definitely need a break. Hell, what if you had just entered a place where you're really comfortable--Aquarius, if you're asking--and someone said, "Get back into Capricorn!" When you're dealing with those two signs it's like the difference between "Free Parking" and "Go to Jail", am I right?

Look, can I be honest? Actually, I can't be anything BUT honest. But here's the thing: January is pretty much a wasted month anyway...except of course if you're getting married or divorced, and January is when most weddings and divorces occur. If you are getting married or divorced this month, or you have an important paperwork or technical event, please review the following possible fuckery:

  • Missed emails, text messages, or voicemails
  • Miscommunication of all kinds between people
  • Problems with paperwork--lost, misplaced, re-routed, etc.
  • Unexpected delays or cancelations 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.--and necessary belongings 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

It should be said, however, that my retrograde can be a good time to do lots of things. Some examples:

1) Anything that begins with "re-"

OK, so many of us aren't good at finishing things. Mercury retrograde is the perfect time to take stock of where you are and re-task yourself as necessary. Has your weight hit a plateau? Time to re-examine your diet and workout plan. Has your novel languished because you've hit a plot snag? Read over the whole thing again and see what needs to be changed. If you're in school, what concepts are you still struggling with? It's time to go over everything once again to reduce gaps in your understanding. Do you have a big decision coming up in the next few months? Get online and get the information you need. Tax time is not far off, and this is a great time to start getting organized for it as well.

Remember that I rule the conscious mind and facts. Students, this is a great time for you to ensure you are ready for the renewed winter/spring push. If cumulative finals scare you, then now's the time to start looking at the material that you might have forgotten or not retained.

2) Journaling

It's a time for writing down your thoughts. While it's often said that you shouldn't act on new ideas received during the retrograde period--and I heartily agree--that doesn't mean you can't write down the ideas for consideration once the retrograde is over. It's not a time to IGNORE new ideas; you just shouldn't act on them now. You may discover that an idea that comes to you during the retrograde period may work well for a different task you're not even aware of yet.

If you're intuitive, you should be writing down what you see/hear/sense.

3) An Internet or communications "fast" to gain perspective

You can gain some perspective without going to the south of France (even though Nice is very...nice). There's no better time to take a break from social media, if you're feeling like it's that time for you. If you're considering ending one or more social media accounts, taking the time during Merc retro away from it to see if it's really what you want is a good thing.

You can apply this same concept to people. If you're finding someone in your life annoying and you're considering ending a friendship or relationship, step back, stop talking, and start listening. Once the 1st of February rolls around, then you can decide if the relationship is worth saving or not.

4) Cleaning, cleansing and purifying

Cluttered space is something that's really important to avoid. Re-place objects in your home back where they belong. If your holiday decorations are still around, put them away.

Cleanse any altar/ritual space, any tool, and any magickal implement. The same holds true for your personal space; if you haven't used sage or chimes to get rid of negativity recently, do it  before Mercury retrograde is over. This is so you can push forward more clearly once I resume my normal direct motion.

5) Buy and burn a Mercury retrograde candle at 13 Magickal Moons

This is the first candle I've heard of dedicated to my retrograde. So go buy a few before they sell out!

Thanks so much for your time! I'll see you all--or y'all depending on where you live--when I'm moving forward again!