Wednesday, November 23, 2016

When Your [Tarot] Mother Calls

[phone rings]

John: Hello?

The Empress: Hi John? This is the Empress calling. 

John: Well ummm...hi there! I didn't expect that anyone from the tarot would be calling me, especially tonight. 

The Empress: You've been really busy reading cards recently, John, and I wanted a time when we could chat without being rushed. 

John: I'm afraid I'm not prepared for a discussion, Empress, but I'll do the best I can. 

The Empress: [laughing] So serious? This isn't a conversation you need to prepare for. I'm just checking in on you.

John: That's very kind of you. I'm doing OK, I think. It's been a busy fall, but otherwise I'm hanging in there. You?

The Empress: Oh you know, the usual...being a maternal figure, babies, the Feminine Divine. All in a day's work!

John: Any Thanksgiving plans? 

The Empress: Oh of course! We'll be having a number of people over. The Fool is usually late, but once he gets here he has a great time. I never know whether or not the Moon is coming, though sometimes get an intuitive sense. And if the Tower happens to show up, well...that's why I have an entire second set of dishes, cups, and flatware. 

John: That's a lot of work! Do you invite all 21 of your colleagues?

The Empress: Yes, I do. I love taking care of people, even if it's only for a little while. But while we're on the subject...

John: The subject of...what?

The Empress: Taking care of other people. 

John: I'm actually pretty decent at that. 

The Empress: Look at you, running off at the ego, young man! It's kind of endearing sometimes, though. I'm actually thinking of all the people--women especially--who take care of you. You owe them a debt of gratitude, you know.

John: Of course I do!

The Empress: Well, one of the reasons I came was to make sure you didn't forget them on this Thanksgiving.

John: I hadn't gotten around to that yet. 

The Empress: It's fine, John. I'm happy to help you with it now.

John: I wasn't aware that I needed help, Empress. I've got this all under control.

The Empress: Now, please don't take this the wrong way--you are a sensitive young man, after all--but you need to know how blessed you are. You have quite a number of women in your life looking out for you. I think it's adorable that you call the main four in your life your "Queens" and give them each a suit. That's pretty amazing. 

John: I wanted them to know how much they mean to me, starting with the be-all and the end-all, my wife, my beloved Queen of Pentacles. How she hasn't grown tired of me yet I will never understand. But she blesses me each day, as do the Queens of Wands, Swords, and Cups. A person couldn't ask for a nicer chosen family than that, Empress. 

The Empress: And if my information is correct, you have quite a list of women in your life over and above those four ladies. 

John: Yes, I do. It just so happens that  the vast majority of my friends are women, too.

The Empress [pulls out a sheet of paper]: And quite a number of them are Venus-ruled ladies, right? I'm seeing a few Tauruses and Libras. You are very lucky indeed! I was sorry to hear about your grandmother Marion; she showed her Taurus patience and determination dealing with you as a kid!

John: Agreed. [pause] Empress, I mean no disrespect, but this is getting sort of pedantic. I said how blessed I was to have so many amazing women as a part of my life, and I try to tell them regularly how important they are to me. What more would you have me do?

The Empress: [smiles] I think you've done enough for now, John, except you do need to make sure you FaceTime your mother and your mother-in-law tomorrow. No woman left behind, young man!

John: [SIGH] Yes, ma'am. I promise to do that. 

The Empress: Thank you, John. By the way, you told people in another blog that your cat Josephine got that name because she was your "Empress". That nickname pleased me greatly. 

John: Yes, she sure was. I loved that cat with all my heart. And I adore my little girl cat, little Pele.

The Empress: Well, anyway...I should let you go. I want to make sure the Emperor doesn't mess up the turkey. 

John: He's so would he mess it up?

The Empress: You know him, John. If it says "cook for X minutes per pound, he'll cook it for exactly that amount and no more, even if it needs more. I love that man but he's just so damn...structured. As such, I'll check on the bird before retiring. 

John: Thanks so much for your call. Very nice of you to check on me. When the number came up I was afraid...

The Empress: Yes? Afraid of what?

John: I was afraid that The Fool was going to show up and tell me to await the visits of three spirits. 

The Empress: [laughs] No...likely the Devil would do that, and since it's not Thanksgiving yet technically, you won't get that call for a few weeks. But I'm sure it's coming. 

John: [eye roll] I look forward to it.

The Empress: [chuckles] Be nice, John. And have a very happy Thanksgiving. You have a lot more to be thankful for than most people, and with so many powerful women in your life and lots of creature comforts, I figured I'd come down to make sure you didn't screw this up.

John: Thanks for calling. Good night, Empress. 

The Empress: Good night, John. And I'm supposed to tell you to work on the next tarot book.

John: Good night, Empress! [hangs up] 

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Special Message from Mars and Saturn!

Saturn: Greetings! We, the malefics, are here on John's behalf...

Mars: What the fuck else is new? We're always here doing his dirty work, but at least we're doing SOMETHING. Amirite?!

Saturn: Young man, your language is atrocious. 

Mars: Dude what are you sayin'?

Saturn: [frowns but pulls out a piece of paper and reads off of it] "Dude, your language sucks!"

Mars: Now THAT I get!

Saturn: I'm trying to follow the guidelines of your...speech patterns. Your lexicon is exceptionally limited.

Mars: Speak fucking English to the people, you old fucking scrotum sack!

Saturn: Neanderthal! [mumbles] Oh, I hate when he has us do these together!

Mars: You make it too hard, dude! And I'm not talking about my junk, either. 

Saturn: [sickened] Mars, with you here, my message will lack a certain decorum, dignity, style, or composure. 

Mars: Whatever. I'm not standing here with my thumb up my ass all night. I've got shit to DO. We're here to thank John's astrology students with the Tradition of the Witches Circle. You people fucking ROCK!

Saturn: John is extremely pleased with your achievements. The Saturnian discipline and focus you have shown over the past six months have helped you make steady progress in understanding us better. 

Mars: [Nodding] What the Old Man said. 

Saturn: While your journey in astrology is just beginning, John wished to convey his heartfelt appreciation for your Saturnian efforts, even though, if we're being honest, John didn't have anything to do with it. 

Mars: Yes he did! I didn't see YOUR saggy ass in the classroom, Mr. Knee Replacement. John taught that class. You didn't have anything to do with it. 

Saturn: I beg your pardon? Without me, those students would still be reading books that call me "an old devil." Considering who their teacher is, I'm surprised he had anything good to say about me at all. 

Mars: You, the students, put the energy in and you all did fantastically! Fucking awesome achievement! Don't listen to this geezer and get discouraged. Astrology's like a marathon, but you all can do it! Don't let Mr. Depression here get you down! Get it? I KILL MYSELF  SOMETIMES! Amirite?!

Saturn: [low] I sure wish you'd try and do us all a favor.



Mars: Now this is the kind of blog I like. Time to fuck off, Mr. Geritol. Got shit to do.

Saturn: The Sun will hear of your conduct, young man. Mark my words.

Mars: What the fuck ever. I'll call you when I care. Which will be never since you don't text. Square! Hey that even rhymed! 

Saturn: Even a broken clock is right twice a day, Mars. 

Mars: Here we go again? WHAT?

Saturn: [pulls out paper making a face] "Why don't you..." No, I just can't bring myself to say that. There are always limits.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Meeting of the Astrological Minds: SOTA 2016 Post-Mortem

Sun: Good morning, everyone! I know you're all ready to get back to work. Lady Moon, get us started, please. 

Moon: Yes, sir. It looks like everyone's here today. I feel so much more secure when I can see everyone.

Sun: What's on our agenda today, Luna?

Moon: Well mainly it's trying to catch up with our favorite blogger. He's been on the go pretty much for the past two weeks. And any other matters planets would like brought to the table, of course. 

Jupiter: Yup! I'm prominent in his solar return. Time for him to get out and be seen. He's also sold some books, which I'm ecstatic about.

Mercury: Are we going to talk about the US election?

Sun: No, Merc. We're not going to discuss the election.

Moon: It makes too many people uncomfortable or upset, Merc.

Mercury: But you said we could bring topics to the table.

Sun: I'm vetoing that one. Sorry. 

Mercury: Not even in a non-partisan, information exchange, "everone-is-ok-no-matter-how-they-voted-so-let's-sing-Kum-Bah-Yah-around-the-campfire-like-we-did-when-we-were-kids-and-didn't-hate-on-principle" sort of way?

Sun: Nope. We don't get into that sort of thing. Suffice it to say that most astrologers' predictions were completely wrong. I suspect many of them allowed their human biases get in the way of the analysis, which is always a bad idea. 

Saturn: With respect, sir, I completely agree with you.

Mercury: [Looks at Saturn] You don't look well, old man.

Saturn: The whole process gave me fits. If the Sun hadn't contacted me directly asking for my attendance today, I'd have stayed home.

Sun: And that's precisely the reason we're not going to talk about it. Well, one of the many. 

Mercury: [SIGH] FINE.

Venus: I'll be happy to listen to you later, Merc, if you still want to talk about it. 

Mars: Seriously, people, fuck that shit. Let's do something instead of sitting here touching ourselves. I can do that on my own time.

Pluto: Yeah, dude. We know. HAHAHAHA!

Mars: What are you laughing at, Orgasm King?

Pluto: You won't like what I say next, Neanderthal!

Sun: Gentlemen, PLEASE. Anyway, Mercury, please brief us on what John learned over the past few weeks. 

Mercury: Hard to say, sir. His brain is a sloppy mess of knowledge right now, and he's trying to write his next book. I do know he learned a ton both at the school and at the conference. Word on the street is that he brought home some books, too. But it's going to take a while to assimilate all the information.

Uranus: Much of what he learned at the astrology conference this time involved the outer planets, sir. I'm thrilled to say that his knowledge of how we work increased significantly.

Neptune: One of the presentations was called "Locked In!" by Brad Kochunas, and while it featured me and Pluto, I'm not sure how I feel about being part of people creating prisons for themselves. 

Pluto: Nep, you've gotta get over that. Personally, I'm a huge fan of this talk. This Kochunas guy KNOWS me. John walked away with a much clearer focus on what I'm doing up here. But everyone needs to hear this one!

Moon: And our itinerant blogger did learn a lot about me in my progressed form as well. It gives John a chance to see me in a different light than his usual Capricorn Moon self, which is, if I might say, somewhat limiting.

Saturn: Lady Moon, I'm just doing my job. But I must say once again this year that people seemed to have a very positive attitude toward me. And since our blogger friend hasn't written anything bad about me in a bit, I grudgingly accept that as progress. 

Mars: Give him time, Old Man. I'm sure he'll be back to slapping you around. I have every faith in him. And can I remind you that I'm STILL John's almuten?

Uranus: Saturn has to turn the thumbscrews in people's charts because he's always looking for more control. It's in Saturn's nature to cut off people's balls, right, Old Man? I sure would know...

Saturn: I beg your pardon, Uranus?

Uranus: Come on. You know what I mean! [chuckles]

Sun: Before this meeting gets too far off the rails, and unless people have other topics to propose, I have something I'd like to bring up.

Moon: Yes, sir. The floor is yours!

Neptune: [distant] Actually, it's mine. And it's so COOL! GROOVY. 

[Everyone looks at Neptune's chair, which is now empty]

Saturn: Neptune, it's hard to take you seriously, but it's practically impossible when you're lying on the floor!

[Everyone looks over at Neptune on the floor]

Sun: Well, before anyone decides to join Neptune on the floor, it's probably best to end here. The topic I had in mind requires more seriousness than we typically have in these meetings. Maybe I'll just send an email that most of you won't read. We're adjourned.

Saturn: I should never have gotten out of bed this morning. [SIGH] We were seven planets once, and everything was fine.

Neptune: Saturn, you may rule the joints, but you certainly aren't smoking enough of them. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

In Their Own Words: Focused on My Success

[knocking on hotel room door]

John: Who is it? [looks through the peephole]

The Magician: It is I, good sir, the Magician.

John: [opens door] OK, I’m confused. How did you know I was here?

The Magician: You’d be surprised at what I know. Can I come in?

John: Sure, why not? [Magician enters] So you know why I am here. Why are you here?

The Magician: Excellent question, good fellow. I’m here to remind you to prepare for your presentation on the tarot Friday morning. The more focused you are, the better you’ll perform. 

John: You guys don’t like, I don’t know, sending emails?

The Magician: I'm more inspiring to see me in the flesh, so to speak. 

John: I really don’t have time to talk to you right now. I’m here for the conference and I sort of have dinner plans. 

The Magician: Nonsense! I’m sure whoever it is can wait for a few minutes. You need to be downright impressive, John. I can help you blow them away on Friday. 

John: No pressure or anything, right? I didn’t mention needing assistance. What are you going to do, wave your magic wand and say "Speak well!"?

The Magician: [frowns] I was hoping you’d be a little more serious about this. If you screw up it makes all of us look bad, and that's not happening, not on my watch!

John: I don’t think you get it, sir. I really don’t. I have a schedule. I take appointments. People just don’t show up uninvited when I’m at a conference to “inspire” me. So that will explain at least some of my discontent. The other part of it would be the whole showing up and giving help that was unsolicited. That makes me angry and if you're looking for me to be confident, that's not the way to encourage me. 

The Magician: So in other words, you don’t want to be successful if it cuts into dinner time? That sounds like a cop-out to me. And don't try to tell me you're angry when people try to help. Tell me at least you're going to run it again before Friday, right? Remember, “proper planning prevents poor performance”!

John: Really, dude? You want to inspire me with…platitudes? 

The Magician: You can choose to listen to me or not, John. 

John: No, actually, if I want to be polite I sort of had to listen to you. No one can ever say I'm not polite when various and sundry archetypes come to visit me without asking first. So bottom line it for me, will you? I'm starving.

The Magician: Let nothing get in the way of your focused intent, John. Didn’t you ever hear that?

John: Well my focused intent is to walk my happy ass out this door and get some food with someone I’m meeting for the first time. That’s the action that I’m going to undertake. As long as you’re paying for your own part, you can come along. I haven’t sold enough books yet to pay for what would be a truly inspiring meal, I’m sure. 

The Magician: Totally unnecessary. I have no desire to join you and hear you and your friend talk in that astro-babble language I heard all over the lobby on my way in. 

John: Good! Then unless you’re going to magically put my clothes away, I suspect you’ll be leaving now.

The Magician: No one to pick up in this place, anyway. I’ll head over to the mall and hang outside the Lush store or Bath and Body Works. Chicks dig that stuff. 

John: [opens door] Happy hunting.

The Magician: See you again soon! [walks away]

John: I have got to stop telling people where I am on social media!