Monday, March 27, 2006

Aries Eclipse March 29th

It's the new moon eclipse in Aries, and it's the last in this set of eclipses covering the Aries/Libra polarity till 2014. So, there's an element of wrapping things up, tying loose ends, and finishing old business.
To gain a perspective on how this set of eclipses are manifesting in your life, cast your mind back to the libra eclipse last October, and see where the libra themes became an issue, and how those issues brought about change (some libra themes here).

In this eclipse, Aries gets things moving. It's a fearless sign because the focus is not on the future but on the now, and the burning desire that requires instant gratification.
When out of balance this can become extreme selfishness, with an intolerance to anything that gets in the way of its desire (ruler Mars is the roman god of war), which is why the opposite sign of Libra is so important to Aries... and vice versa of course, as Libra without Aries overthinks plans but never makes a move, ending up paralysed by possibilities.

But when in balance, Aries is assertive, pioneering, inspiring, courageous and passionate - basically just the kind of energy you could do with right now; a breath of fresh air after all the slow, sludgey astrology which put the brakes on everything for so many months. If you have been praying for a new start, looks like you've got it.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

PC World And My Mercury Retro Nightmare

Finally back online after big computer fiasco. Being a Gemini with a Virgo ascendant, and knowing what I know about the power of a Mercury retrograde phase, you'd think I'd have more sense than to purchase a new computer just as the shadow phase began last month.

I don't know if it's my Aries moon, or the ghost of my former astro-cynic personality that makes me continue to pooh-pooh phenonoma like retrograde warnings, but I still rebel against the good day/bad day versions of astrology, and push on to do whatever I want to do, whenever I feel like it. Which is why I found myself in PC World, spontaneously splashing out on a laptop, while Mercury in Pisces waited in the wings, his trickster hat at a jaunty angle, rubbing his hands in glee. He'd obviously read the ephemeris and had seen me coming a mile off.

The computer started going wrong the day after I got it. Not being technology savvy I kind of ploughed on regardless, or tried to, thinking it might be me and the way I was loading stuff onto it. It was overheating. Kept making sudden beeping noises, like it was going to self-destruct, then it would shut down, hotter than hot across the keyboard.
After procrastinating a couple of weeks, dreading the 'well it makes self-destruct style beeps then shuts down...' conversation, I returned it to PC World for an exchange. I was told the policy was to exchange only if they were absolutely convinced, Virgo-style, that there was a manufacturing fault, because if they sent it back and manufacturer found nothing, then PC World had to pay. 'It's to protect us from people messing us around' they said.
I handed my computer over to be tested, while trying to picture what kind of person spends hours loading software and personal files onto a computer, drives all the way to the shop, stands in a queue staring at the special offers, then tries for an exchange, just to mess other people around.

I returned next day (just to mess them round some more?), to have an assistant with a smug smile of the kind only seen on coffee adverts, tell me 'we have tested it and no, there's no problem with the computer...' We both inwardly finished the sentance that the problem was obviously in my head.
I thanked her and said 'but that doesn't alter the fact the computer is overheating and shutting down when I use it'.
'It's not showing anything when we test it' she replied, so I again pointed out that it didn't alter the fact it was overheating and shutting down when I used it.

Turns out there has to be undeniable proof. I suddently felt we were trying to prove the existance of a psychic breeze on Most Haunted. Just because it wasn't showing up on those hi-tec heat detector gadgets, it didnt exist and someone was faking it. While the psychic skeptics are fed a steady diet of nebulous table-tappings and creaking floorboards, here I found another product of our new age: the computer that 'only does it sometimes'. Catching the little devil in the act, that's the real problem of our technology driven times.
Until then, all computers are innocent until proven guilty, while their owners are potential scammers until evidence suggests the contrary. With another smug smile the assistant handed the computer back to me, and if laptops had hands mine would have been giving me the finger.

Hot and flustered with the unfairness of it all, I handed it back and asked for a retest. The technician was brought through. A laid back computer genius called Paul, who dealt admirably with my overheated protests. He agreed to test again and he would call me tomorrow. But you know what it's like waiting for a man to call you back... a couple of days later I hadn't heard anything, so in I went again, to be told he was still working on it, and would call me.

Turns out PC World also have a 'don't call us, we'll call you' policy. You can't phone the branch directly, only a call centre, who suggested I make another visit. Another couple of days later I was in the queue again, staring at the same special offers.
But this time, on the day of the full moon eclipse in Virgo, they told me THEY HAD FOUND A FAULT. Yes, I was okayed for an exchange. I was off the hook, innocent, I wasnt a scammer after all. But unfortunately the smug assistant wasn't there to witness my triumph. It was her day off.

So here I am on my new computer. This one has a dodgey CD drive. Sometimes it opens, sometimes it doesnt. I have 28 days to stop procrastinating and start the process all over again...
And what lessons will my inner astro-rebel take from defying this Mercury retro warning? well, I finally realised the similarity between weather forecasts and astro-forecasts. I mean, I don't get too het up if it rains on the day I plan to sunbathe... I don't feel like a puppet of elemental forces, nor do I feel a loss of personal power at my choices being limited by forces beyond my control. I'm just flexible with sunshine-focused plans for a few days, and carry an umbrella. And sometimes the forecast is right, sometimes it isn't.
All of a sudden I realised it's that simple. Emperical proof or not, there's no subsitute for learning through personal experience of a mercury retrograde nightmare.