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START NOTHING: 7:11 am to 2 pm Mon., 11:02 pm Wed. to 2:07 am Thurs., and 0:05 am to 11:09 pm Sat.
Opportunities come to the young; the old have to hunt for them.
When the interviewer speaks longer than the interviewee, you know you’re watching propaganda.
Looks like I was wrong to say that a long slow decline was starting in the stock markets. Last Monday brought a new record high for the TSX, and the DJIA and S&P hit new record highs this past week. Sometimes, you shouldn’t listen to me. (Still, this pattern looks like a flat, plateau-like mountain top, which I don’t “trust.”)
Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have censored — banned — artwork from the Vienna Museum of Austria. Why? One can only guess — because they show a woman’s breast? These tech platforms accept nudity and worse from a hundred porn sites, but true art is banished.
Facebook has even banned photos of the “caveman Venus” — an artifact carved between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago — because it shows a woman’s breasts.
Is something going on with Zuckerberg and his Mommy?
2200 AD to 4600 AD will be known in history as a golden age. It will be the first great psychic age. Practicality/security/older males vs. philosophy/law/ideals vs. ambition/hierarchical power vs. spiritual/psychic/mature women. These four will exist in constant and ubiquitous competition. As on a wheel, no element or sector will be on top except by the turning of the wheel through time.
I’m biting my tongue, trying to avoid politics. Instead, I’m going to put fiction in the AFTERAMBLE, at least for awhile.
ARIES: March 21-April 19
The weeks ahead feature secrets, hidden valuables and rewards, financial, medical depths, sexual lures and lifestyle changes. It’s a powerful time, Aries, but not necessarily a profitable one: study situations carefully before committing $ or heart, esp. this entire week. (An unseen but big barrier might exist.)
Sunday to Mon. morning brings errands, calls, emails, trips, wanderlust, and curiosity. These go best Sun. night to dawn Mon. (8 pm Sun. To 7 am Mon., PDT) when love, friendship and partnership contacts reward.
Steer yourself toward home Monday afternoon through Wednesday. Hug the kids, play with the dogs, garden, and increase security. Monday p.m. and Wednesday early morning are best for success. Tuesday might confuse you about a legal or academic matter or a long trip or a wedding prospect: look for the hidden hand of government or background actors — or your own fears.
Romance calls Thursday to mid day Saturday. This isn’t the easiest interval, so it might be labelled not so much romantic as “protect romance.” Creative, beauty and pleasure projects, although alluring, face strong headwinds. To some degree, Aries, a partnership has been formed or solidified in the last few weeks, or the chance is gone for a while. Tackle chores Sat. pm.
TAURUS: April 20-May 20
The weeks ahead bring relationships, opportunities (esp. in career and prestige zones!), relocation possibilities, and public dealings. Your temporary motto should be: everyone has more “power” than me, so I’ll win by joining them. This week chores and work remain intense, but soon (November) this intensity will fade with surprising speed, while another sector heats up, (Oct. 30 to mid-December) — this will make relationships 1) very volatile, and 2) have a connection to your past, background, or weaknesses/fears. Proceed cautiously.
Your sexual side glows with magnetism, but the present week (to Sat. morning) is not the time to exercise it, as relationships started now will probably impale themselves on the sword of security. Taurus, your whole sign is undergoing 7 years of heightened stress (and ambition) — it’s half over, lasting only to 2024/25. These 7 years are also your most ambitious, to be followed, 2024-2031, by the income rewards of present efforts. This week, if you want to succeed in career ambitions, work alone.
Chase money, buy/sell, Sun./Mon. morning. For success, act 8 pm Sun. to 7 am Mon. (All PDT). Errands, communications and travel, paperwork and easy chores fill Monday afternoon through Wednesday. This is kind of a scrappy, “get through it” interval. Beware love’s illusions. For success, act Mon. eve. Steer toward home, kids, garden, comfy hidey-hole Thurs. to midday Saturday. Again, an interval that demands some adjustment, flexibility, as obstacles litter your path. Saturday night — romance, beauty, pleasure!
GEMINI: May 21-June 20
A month of work has started, Gemini. You are in control of this work; it’s almost like you have your hand on the spigot and can control the kind and quantity of tasks that flow your way. Some intensity remains in a love affair, a romance, but by week’s end that will fade away, as the intensity switches to work, machines and health matters Saturday (Oct. 30) — for six weeks. Strictly follow safety rules around machinery, and maintain a “light touch” or friendly non-committal stance with co-workers, esp. men.
On the plus side, you’ll feel an optimism about, and a social interest in — you’ll find the “fun element” of — any job. Personal relationships remain affectionate and gentle, with a wee bit of fire. You are now launched on a 10 week opportunity to build or create a significant “product” — a work opus, a written work, an artistic oeuvre, perhaps. Something connected to law, academia, foreign countries, religion, insurance, science or similar areas. Get busy — this is a once-in-decades “opportunity.” (The opportunity is to work hard to build something new, optimistic and solid.)
Your energy is high Sunday/Monday, so lead others and start things. Your best time for success is in Pacific daylight terms, 8 PM Sunday to 7 AM Monday. Dive into that special task or opus! (Yes, it faces one major obstacle; work “against” this difficulty. It will dissolve next week — or wait until next week to plunge into that special task.)
Pursue money, buy/sell, Monday p.m. through Wednesday. This isn’t an easy interval, so proceed with caution. Don’t spend recklessly. Contacts, addresses, paperwork, trips and errands fill Thursday to mid day Saturday. Again, this interval is filled with obstacles, so just plod along, don’t leap for an imaginary reward. Head for home, kids, property, Sat. night.
CANCER: June 21-July 22
The month ahead features romance, Cancer — and creative success, speculation/ gambling, sports/games, raising and teaching sweet children, beauty and pleasure. Intensity or friction you have felt on the home front for many weeks will disappear this Saturday (Oct. 30) — when that intensity will shift to your romantic and creative zone (to mid-December).
This could, for single Cancers, bring a love that includes a strong ambitious or status seeking element. It will add excitement to any love, and could spur married Cancers to new creative ambition. Your workplace and co-workers are pleasant, affectionate. DO NOT start a love affair this week, tho’. (It would crash on coldness.)
Lie low, rest and ponder Sun. to midday Mon. (PDT). Best times for any action: late Sun. to dawn Mon. Your energy and charisma come bouncing back Monday afternoon through Wednesday. Usually I would say, launch new projects but in this interval you are only favoured Monday evening and Wednesday morning — otherwise, think before you commit — to anything. Chase $, buy/sell and memorize important facts (e.g., passwords) Thurs. to midday Sat. Again, let caution rule. Saturday night, phone/email people.
LEO: July 23-Aug. 22
The month ahead features family, home, property, security, your children’s future, garden and nature, and a deep, well deserved rest. However, the present week aside, your domestic picture in November looks pretty intense. You might have to avoid major blow-ups and arguments, depending on the volatility of your partner and/or family. Best stance is to channel this domestic “over-energy” into chores, chopping firewood, etc.
Romance isn’t the main theme, but it remains sweet and intriguing. A major relationship, distant opportunity , public “deal” or appearance now welcomes your efforts, to Dec. 28. Go, Leo, charge ahead here, take the plunge, give your heart or sign that partnership contract, or whatever. The result could/will affect the rest of your life, even create a new life for you. DO NOT start a relationship, nor negotiations, this week.
Sunday/Monday are for communications, errands, paperwork, trips —NOT, Sunday, for sex, intimacy or investing. Act very late Sunday night or early Mon. morning for success. Retreat, lie low, rest, ponder and plan, Mon. eve through Wed. Monday eve’s great; so is early morning Wed. Otherwise, this interval needs caution. Seek advice — but not Tues. Your energy, clout and charisma surge upward Thurs. to midday Sat. But again, glitches litter your path. Use your high energy to solve glitches, but not to push a major obstacle. Watch your spending Sat. Night.
VIRGO: Aug. 23-Sept. 22
The month ahead features errands, travel, contacts and communications, paperwork, maps, curiosity. (Exercise that last, frequently, ask Q’s.) The hectic money flows of the last month or more cease Oct. 30 (Saturday), when six weeks of hectic travel and communications starts. Just as the recent money flows were connected to sex/intimacy or “large finances,” so the intense “travel and contacts” that start Saturday will also be linked to your deeper desires, sex and finance. This intensity will last to mid-December.
Be courteous, think before speaking, or you might be unintentionally rude, or pushy. Your home life is sweet, accommodating. Nature loves you. A major job opportunity probably faces you now to the end of December. If you can see this and seize it, you might have grabbed one of the best work/health/machinery opportunities in decades. Two clues:
1) it’s sturdy, unglamorous
2) you feel optimistic about it. (And, maybe …
3) it involves your home, or property or big pets.)
Be ambitious and obey authorities Sun./Mon. Not a good interval for partnerships, spousal relations. But there’s luck around property, home, and finances/ investments/debt late Sun. night and early Mon. morning. Optimism, social delights, new, fresh horizons, popularity and joy in living – these tumble into your life Monday eve through Wednesday. Enjoy, but leave practical goals alone. Best time: Mon. eve/night.
Retreat to recuperate Thurs. to midday Sat. Rest, nap, ponder, plan, meditate, seek advice (but eye it warily). Not an easy nor lucky interval. ALL WEEK, avoid gossip, civil servants and “head office.” Saturday eve, your energy and charisma kick in for a lively weekend.
LIBRA: Sept. 23-Oct. 22
An intense series of meetings and negotiations and trying to work relationships out has grabbed your attention the last four or five weeks. By October 30, this intensity will disappear from your open relationships, but only to reappear in your more private or intimate — or financial — zones, until mid-December. At least one relationship has likely heated up over the last month. An Aquarius, Leo, Aries, or Gemini might be involved.
Now to year’s end, you have about 10 weeks to turn a romance, creative project, sports enterprise or something similar, into 2 things: a reality, and a solid, lasting reality. You might be dealing with one of the most significant relationships of your life. Travel and communications are favoured this week and next. DO NOT start a new love affair this week. (Probably better to not sign onto new employment, either.)
Sunday/Mon. are mellow, wise, thoughtful, and gently loving. Avoid work and “suspect” liquids, drinks, Sun. This night and Mon. morning could bring an uplifting message: love has a chance! Be ambitious Mon. eve through Wed. Best results: Mon. night, and early Wed. morning (work/money a winning combo). Otherwise, stumbles and glitches. The same practical glitches haunt the rest of the rest of the week, too. So spend Thurs. to midday Sat. socializing, flirting, enjoying life, rather than chasing a goal. You’ll be happy! Retreat Sat. pm — rest, contemplate, plan.
SCORPIO: Oct. 23-Nov. 21
At last, Scorpio, it’s your time of year! For the weeks ahead, your energy, charisma, clout and effectiveness, and your timing, will be superb. Use this, launch new projects or give a weighty push to projects in the works — especially in real estate, food business, child-related, furniture, and all food/shelter areas. In these, you face a major opportunity now to year’s end, to establish yourself, to create and/or solidify/stabilize your position, your and your family’s security, etc. Keyword: domesticity.
Your efforts now could put your life on a solid and lucky footing that will last decades. Think “growth.” For example, buy twice the land you need. However, BE SLOW TO COMMIT THIS WEEK. Money/income are mildly blessed until early Nov. Oct. 30 starts 6 weeks during which you will feel energized, determined, and ready to walk through any opposition, even to fight at the first challenge. Go lightly! Diplomacy, not cruelty.
Sunday/Mon. are mysterious, hold sexual/financial “goodies.” (Romance a no-go, tho.) A calm, understanding mood steals over you Mon. eve through Wed. Good, but realize relations will be a bit erratic. Best Mon. night and Wed. morning. Your ambitions (or lack thereof) are obvious Thurs. to midday Sat. Again, numerous obstacles and glitches exist, so proceed carefully. Saturday pm starts a happy, social, flirty, optimistic weekend!
SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 22-Dec. 21
Your revels now are ended, Sage — the weeks ahead nudge you to withdraw from the fray, rest and contemplate, to seek counsel, to liaise with gov’t, “head office” and institutions. This is usually a peaceful time, but now to mid December this area of government and background actions becomes intense, even hectic — and if you snap at others, say a civil servant, they’ll snap back.
Perform neglected tasks — e.g., your tax return. Now to year’s end, you might be handling very significant communications and paperwork. Your love planet, Mars, has been bringing friends and flirts for over a month. Saturday (Oct. 30) ends this, and begins six weeks of “hidden attraction” — a tough role for open, friendly you. All week, avoid gossip, tawdry ties.
Sunday/Monday bring relationships, opportunities, public dealings and/or relocation themes. Deception and indecision exist, but so do hope, luck and desire — these might win, late Sun. night and early Mon. morn. Life’s subterranean currents rise to the surface Mon. pm through Wed. This isn’t an easy passage, so avoid committing to a debt, investment, intimate bond, or really anything. If you must, do so Mon. eve.
A mellow, understanding — and loving — mood steals over you Thurs. to midday Sat. Still, be cautious — good luck’s elusive. Sat. pm, you might impress someone.
CAPRICORN: Dec. 22-Jan. 19
Some career pressures ease now, as you begin a month of “celebration” — popularity and social delights, optimism, entertainment and witty flirting, and general happiness! Your career/status zone has been especially tough lately, with more intensity and “rushing” than usual. Now — well, Oct. 30 — this intensity “switches” to your social and future-oriented ventures.
Now to mid-December, you could become excited about a real estate opportunity, or simply find that a lot of your social functions occur in restaurants and parks and nature. Your inner life, and your connections with gov’t or management remain gracious, favoured. DO NOT mix $ and friends this week, nor spend on a dream (esp. Thurs. to Sat.).
Tackle chores and protect your daily health Sun./Mon. (neck scarf if windy, as your throat’s vulnerable). Good fortune Sun. night, Mon. morn. (Think food/shelter luck.) Exciting meetings occur, Mon. pm through Wed. Relationships, opportunities, relocation, public dealings, all slated — but only fortunate Mon. eve and Wed. morn. Be diplomatic, cautious.
Same Thurs. to midday Sat. — caution rules. Be very slow to commit to a sexual or financial bond. Best activity: research. A sweet, mild breeze of wisdom and tolerance (just enough to lift the curtains’ edge) arrives Sat. pm.
AQUARIUS: Jan. 20-Feb. 18
Quit goofing off, Aquarius, it’s time (now to late Nov.) to get to work — especially to work on ambitious projects, social status concerns, and relations with bosses, VIPs, etc. (Put another way, it’s time to leave the intellectual and grasp the practical.) Your dreams and hopes remain intact. A good friend is supportive. Your intellectual, legal, love and philosophical side has been filled with intense communications for the last six weeks.
The end of this week, Saturday, starts a new six week phase of intensity and hectic pace in your career, and with authorities. DO NOT defy or taunt authorities now to mid-December. Bosses will be temperamental and impatient; still, they know your worth, and they are very big on loyalty, so as long as you grin and bear their occasional criticism, all will be fine.
Now to year’s end, march steadily, courageously and optimistically toward an important goal, perhaps one of the several most important goals of your life. A “hidden ally” and a future vision play key roles.
Sunday/Monday are romantic, but only successful late Sunday, early Mon. Tackle chores Mon. eve through Wed. Eat, dress sensibly. Work cautiously: glitches exist. Best times of accomplishment: Mon. eve and Wed. morning. Relationships, exciting meetings, opposition, opportunity, clashes of belief, these fill Thurs. to midday Sat. Saturday pm, sex, finances and secrets bloom.
PISCES: Feb. 19-March 20
Six weeks of intense monetary or sexual attraction, of secrets and skullduggery, will end Saturday (Oct. 30) Pisces. This day, that intensity transfers to 6 weeks of intellectual, legal, far travel, cultural, religious and love interests. Two don’ts: this present week, DO NOT fight the gov’t, or any organization, and now to mid-December, and DO NOT enter a lawsuit.
On the plus side, these intellectual, legal, far travel, et al things can provide income sources/opportunities. The calm gains, the impulsive become entangled. Bosses, VIPs look favourably on you until early Nov. A prime management position awaits you if you strive for it now to year’s end. The weeks ahead are mellow, compassionate.
Be home Sun./Mon. All’s well, but kids need a hug. Revealing family secrets, or handling family finances, favoured Sun. night, Mon. morning. Passion, creative surges, gambling urges and romance draw you Mon. night through Wed. Various glitches, but success seems likely Mon. night and Wed. morning. Tackle chores Thurs. to midday Sat. Dress and eat sensibly. Too “early” to buy tools/machines. Saturday pm brings relationships, opportunities, exciting meetings. Good!
(FIRST PART OF) CHAPTER ONE.
He was 89, mostly retired. He lived in a small, white, brightly-windowed rancher, chosen for his age 5 years ago. He liked being old. People were solicitous, affectionate. He had his eye out for a partner, but hadn’t found one yet, and hadn’t been with a woman for fourteen years.
His bedroom and the kitchen were on the south side, facing the back yard. Someone before him had filled it with hydrangeas and rhododendrons and gladiolas and peonies and massive daisies and other things. A magnolia stood in one corner, and a pear tree at the other. When the magnolia shed its flowers, it looked like snow. He would not have done any of it himself (he was lazy in physical things) but he appreciated the design and the plantings. There was a little lawn front and back, which he kept trim with an electric mower.
The bedroom had French doors leading to the back garden, so he often sat here, inside with doors shut in winter, between the door jams in spring’s light caressing breeze and fall’s orange warmth, and outside in summer’s stove, on a small cement patio. Now, July, the garden cooked in lush heat, dark green leaves glistening in the sun.
He thought of his youngest sister, Mirabelle. 82 now, she lived in a small shack on someone’s acreage. She lived alone, relatively impoverished, surrounded by her pots of flowers and hummingbirds. She still had handsome eyes, sunken under her strong brow, and voluminous white hair. An undefined anger stiffened her socially, erected subtle barriers in her eyes. Sometimes, she had told him twenty years ago, she just lay on her back in bed staring at the ceiling the entire day.
He remembered when he had come home from Army boot camp, and how she had rushed from the dark inner rooms to throw her arms around him. He was her hero. He had stiffened at her embrace, he didn’t know why at the time. He wasn’t certain even now.
Mirabelle’s older sister Jennifer, a bit officious about her, told him one day in a restaurant — when was that? 40 years ago? What was I doing? — that the man had used a dog on M (his nickname for her), among other perversions. He envisioned a big, hairy dog straddling her 13-year old — was it 12 year old? — body, panting, performing. Now she had two cats and a large dog. M always had a large dog.
Contrary to habit, this summer day he had not sat on the small patio, but was perched on his bed, held prisoner inside by a sudden sensation of guilt, the sunlight laying like a heavy plank across his thighs and the burgundy bed cover. Why had he not rescued her? Why had she disappeared from his mind until a few years ago, and from his attention until now? And what do I do now Lord, share my savings? (He shied from the answer, like blinking before sunlight.) But why hadn’t he rescued her? Why couldn’t he remember anything around that time except the one night of pathetic drama? A void as blank as sleep and wide as a decade, followed that “night of drama.” He had never seen himself as a coward. He wondered. Where had he gone? He turned his mind in various directions, trying to remember details from his 20’s —
He had tried to speak with her about it, only years ago, about the abuse, but she seemed uninterested. Maybe a ruse, but to cover what? Shame? Humiliation? Emotional exile? Even from him, who was revealing everything to her? (Or at least, he admitted now, “promising” hinting, that he would be willing to reveal everything.) That he was raised in the same gutter house as her?
Or was she really just not interested in the subject? That seemed impossible.
As a young woman she had been strikingly beautiful, and, at least he had heard so, she was a femme fatale, leaving men in the bitter dust of rejection. He remembered meeting her by accident on the street one day downtown where street people tended to gather. She had a baby in a papoose wrapped around her front. He was 20 or 24, he didn’t want her interfering in his life, his life had so many adventures and opportunities and they didn’t include a 15-year-old single mother following him around with her papoose. So after a friendly meeting, he thinks, he can’t remember, he just blew her off or let her go after a coffee at McDonald’s. Or did he even offer her that? Yes, yes, he thought, that was part of the twenties, that — so I did see her. But why — he realized he had not even thought of her abuse over those years, no more than he had thought if it that day on the street.