Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rodent Holidays

February 2 is Groundhog Day. In Punxsutawney, Penn., grown men and women congregate outside of a rodent burrow on this day and wait patiently for a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil to emerge. Apparently, the people in Punxsutawney don’t have much of a life.

If the groundhog sees its shadow on this day, legend has it that there will be six more weeks of winter.

If the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, it either means it will be an early spring or the groundhog was too busy gawking at the people who were gawking at it to notice.

There are many other holidays involving rodents but few people pay much attention to them.

WOODCHUCK DAY. Woodchuck is another name for a groundhog. Lumberjacks celebrate this holiday exactly seven weeks after Groundhog Day, when enough time has passed for the woodchuck to get a bit frisky after a winter of hibernation. On this day, lumberjacks from Maine to Oregon stalk woodchucks to see how much wood a woodchuck chucks, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

SQUIRREL DAY. Celebrated on July 11, this holiday originated in Toronto, Canada, when a pop singer named Stormy Lea noticed a squirrel outside of her apartment playing with its nuts. Soon she began purchasing hazel nuts for all the squirrels in Toronto. Stormy Lea’s empathy for animals garnered worldwide attention and Squirrel Day has now been adopted by many countries, including Canada, Scotland, Hungary and Jamaica, as an official holiday whereby caring citizens spend the afternoon tossing hazel nuts at the base of trees.

GOPHER DAY: A sycophant is a servile self-serving flatterer. In other words, one who kisses butt to advance oneself. These parasites can be found in government, the military, large corporations, religious institutions, labor unions and socialistic hierarchies. Sycophants are gophers -- go-for this, go-for that. They go along to get along. Their holiday is Flag Day, June 14. Every country has a flag and a desire that their citizens blindly follow the leadership of that country, right or wrong, like proper patriotic sycophants. On Gopher Day, sycophants form large circles of conformity and kiss one another where the sun doesn’t shine. Sycophants salute flags, rebels burn them.

RAT RACE DAY: The world is a gigantic economic engine and those who become caught in it, usually right after high school or college, become cogs in this suffocating organism. Those who are wise enough and brave enough, walk away from the Rat Race to find a better way of life. Thus, Rat Race Day can be any day of the year, but only occurs once (or never) per person. My Rat Race Day is August 30 (many moons ago). I don’t miss the Rat Race, but sometimes I miss the Rats.

SEWER RAT DAY. This is strictly a local holiday for residents of New York City and Newark. Depending on the temperature and humidity, Sewer Rat Day can occur anytime in the late summer, usually in early August. This is the day when the highest concentration of rats emerge from the sewer systems to taunt the citizens of their respective cities. This is also a very special day for pest control companies and alley cats.

MUSKRAT DAY. A muskrat is basically a slippery rat that lives in or near water. Consequently, Muskrat Day is celebrated by slippery people who live clandestinely along rivers or creeks and pay no taxes. This holiday is observed on April 15, when federal taxes are due. The celebration includes drinking tax-free moonshine and taking an annual bath.

SWAMP RAT DAY. A swamp rat is basically a slippery rat that lives in a swamp. Consequently, Swamp Rat Day is observed by slippery people who live clandestinely in the middle of a swamp and pay no taxes. This holiday occurs after the first sign of frog mating season. It’s celebrated by drinking tax-free moonshine and kissing a loved one or a frog, whichever croaks the loudest.

BEAVER DAY. Dam engineers across the nation celebrate this occasion, always the first day in the early winter when the beaver has completed construction of its dam for that year and goes into hibernation. Most dam engineers have been in hibernation since 1939, when construction of the last of the great dams was completed. Rumor has it that some of the more militant dam engineers have formed a secret society, called the Illuminated Damned, that is scheming to create another mighty river system in a secluded location where no one will notice until it has been completed, somewhere like North Dakota or behind the Dick Cheney Library.

MOUSE WEEK. Timid people everywhere celebrate this holiday that coincides with Mardi Gras. Although the festivities are always very restrained, it’s the only rodent holiday that lasts more than one day. Timid people have a hard time releasing their emotions but once they do it lasts for a whole week. They dine on crumbs and avoid mirrors for seven days. Then they apologize for their outburst, usually to a goldfish or a potted plant, and shrink back into their comfortable lives of quiet desperation, patiently waiting for the day when the meek shall inherit the earth.

Quote for the Day – "To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.” Carlos Castaneda

Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist and the author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where rodents are on holiday all year. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Madrid Fault

On January 12, 2010, the Caribbean island nation of Haiti experienced an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude, claiming between 100,000 and 200,000 lives.

Earthquakes are not new to Haiti. In 1751, a quake destroyed every masonry building (except one) in Port-au-Prince. Twenty years later, a 7.5 magnitude quake again leveled Port-au-Prince, killing 200 people. In 1842, a quake on northern Haiti killed 10,000 people. In 1946, a magnitude 8.0 quake produced a tsunami that killed 1,800 people.

Earthquakes are not new to the USA either.

New Madrid, Mo., is on the west bank of the Mississippi River, about a hundred miles upstream from Memphis, across the river from the Kentucky and Tennessee state lines, just above the Missouri boot heel. The population in 2010 is approximately 3,200.

On December 16, 1811, the 400 people who lived in New Madrid were awakened by a powerful earthquake. It was the largest seismic event east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States, over 8.0 in magnitude.

The tremor lasted from three to five minutes. The ground visibly rolled and most buildings were completely destroyed. Large areas of land sank, new lakes were formed and over 150,000 acres of forest were decimated. It also caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for several hours and changed the course of the river.

The shake was felt as far north as Quebec City, Canada, and it rang church bells in Boston, Mass., over 1,000 miles away. The towns of Point Pleasant and Little Prairie, both in Missouri, located on points of land jutting out into the Mississippi River, were completely swept away without a trace.

During the next few weeks, there were 2,000 aftershocks, including three more quakes in the 8.0 range.

This event became known as the Great New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-1812 because its epicenter was in a sparsely populated area near New Madrid. The New Madrid Fault system extends 120 miles south-southwest from the area of Cairo, Ill., through New Madrid, down to Blytheville, Ark., all the way down to Marked Tree, Ark.

The New Madrid Fault averages some 200 measured events per year (1.0 or greater). About once every 18 months, there is a shock of 4.0 or more, causing minimal local damage. On Thanksgiving of 1996, there was a 4.3 quake which was felt by people in Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Mississippi.

An earthquake of 6.0 or greater could cause serious damage to structures, particularly older masonry buildings, from St. Louis to Memphis. This occurs about every 80 years. The last event was in 1895.

The New Madrid Fault is overdue for a jolt.

An earthquake of 7.5 or greater would be felt throughout the entire United States and would cause damage in 20 or more states. This happens once every 200-300 years or every 500-600 years, depending on which seismological study one chooses to believe. The last such event occurred in 1812.

Earthquake prediction is not an exact science. Most experts believe there is about a 90% chance of a quake of 6.0 or greater by the year 2040. Some experts believe there is a 3% chance of a major earthquake (7.5 or greater) along the New Madrid Fault by 2040, while other experts believe there is a 25% chance by 2040.

The Earth's surface is made up of a series of tectonic plates, much like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle. These plates are in constant motion, traveling a few inches per year. As these plates build up stress over time, energy is occasionally released in the form of an earthquake.

It's not a question of "if" there will be another massive earthquake along the New Madrid Fault, but "when." And when it occurs there will be catastrophic destruction, particularly in southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, western Kentucky, western Tennessee and southern Illinois.

We live on a very precarious planet. Besides dealing with the injustice inflicted upon others by evil people, we must also contend with natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, fires, floods, mudslides, droughts, meteors, extreme temperatures, pandemics, crop failures and so on.

And you can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

Beyond the folly of politics and the nefarious manipulations of global elitist greed-heads, human destiny is primarily a series of unforeseen events guided by invisible forces. Whatever happens tomorrow is meant to happen and there's nothing you can do about it.

If you live anywhere near the New Madrid Fault, don't despair -- just stock up on beans and ammo, and live life to the fullest.

The future is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you're going to get.

Quote for the Day -- “Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.” U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Cal)

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where the New Madrid Fault, a two-hour drive to the east, awaits patiently for the right moment to cause a ruckus. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Course of Human Events

Heroes are those who understand the responsibility that comes with life.

In the course of human events, June of 1940 was a noteworthy month. The Nazis were on the march across Europe, eager to exercise their Aryan superiority and prove something to the world. Plus, two heroic people were born, eager to overcome obstacles and prove something to the world.

June 3 – The German Luftwaffe (Air Force) dropped 1,100 bombs on Paris.
June 4 – The German Army entered Paris.
June 5 – The German Army began an offensive on Southern France.
June 9 – Norway surrendered to the Nazis.
June 10 – Italy declared war on France and Britain. Canada declared war on Italy.
June 14 -- Polish political prisoners became the first inmates to arrive at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
June 15 – The USSR invaded Lithuania.
June 17 – France asked Germany for terms of surrender.
June 17 – The USSR occupied Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
June 18 – The USSR (Stalin) compensated Germany with $7.5 million for occupying the Baltic States.
June 22 – France formally surrendered to Germany on terms dictated by the Nazis.
June 23 – The Nazis began to plunder Paris, invading more than 70,000 residences and looting artwork.
June 23 – Wilma Rudolph was born.
June 28 – Muhammad Yunus was born.

Wilma Rudolph was born in Clarksville, Tennessee. She was the 20th out of 22 children in a black family in the segregated south. Her father was a railroad porter and her mother made girl's dresses out of flour sacks.

Born prematurely at less than five pounds, Wilma had polio as a child and spent six years in a steel brace. In high school, she set state records for scoring in basketball and led her team to the state championships. In 1956, at age 16, she competed in the Olympic Games and won a bronze metal in the 4X4 relay. In 1960, she became the first American woman to win three gold metals (track events) in a single Olympiad.

A hero need not be undefeated, but he or she must be undaunted.

As one of the most celebrated female athletes of all time, Wilma Rudolph became a role model who worked tirelessly to break racial and gender barriers prevalent in those times. She died in 1994 of brain cancer.

Muhammad Yunus, Ph.D., was born in Bangladesh, one of the poorest nations in the world, and went on to become a professor of economics at Chittagong University in southern Bangladesh.

In 1976, he developed and founded a revolutionary banking movement, called the Grameen (village) Banking System, based on the concept of micro-credit whereby he would extend small loans to entrepreneurs who were too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. Basically, he loaned money to people who actually needed money (to pursue a personal business venture), rather than those who could provide collateral.

The first loan Yunus issued was for $27 to 42 women from the village of Jobra. Even beggars were able to borrow money under his micro-credit banking system. The success of the scheme has since exceeded all expectations and has been copied in developing countries around the world, leading to real social change.

Heroes are those who devote their lives to something larger than themselves.

In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Foundation were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus used part of the $1.4 million award to create a company to make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor.

Hitler and his Nazi gang-bangers moved on long ago to a special section of Hell, where they sit naked on a wooden bench near the boiler. They spend their idle hours reminiscing about the good old days, pondering their superiority and playing checkers.

In a world where greed is good and wars are memorialized, most people simply go along for the ride. Then there are those who rise above their circumstance and make the world a better place, and those who play checkers in Hell.

Your destiny is in your own hands -- choose wisely.

Quote for the Day -- “Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of the Rat Race is not yet final.” Hunter S. Thompson

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where heroes are those who confront the unknown. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Doomsday Clock

In 1947, the board of directors of the BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS at the University of Chicago created the Doomsday Clock -- a clock face used as an analogy to depict the number of minutes to midnight, whereby midnight represented “catastrophic destruction” of the human race.

In other words, if the existence of the human race were reduced to 24 hours, how much time would remain before a catastrophic event would be inflicted upon humanity.

The original concern in 1947 was the threat of global nuclear war, primarily between the USSR and the USA. However, additional factors have been added to the equation as old threats subside and new threats emerge.

At conception in 1947, the Doomsday Clock was set at 11:53 -- 7 minutes to midnight.

On January 14, 2010, the Doomsday Clock was changed to 11:54 -- 6 minutes to midnight.

1947 -- 7 minutes to midnight (initial setting)
1949 -- 3 minutes to midnight (USSR tests 1st atomic bomb)
1953 -- 2 minutes to midnight (USA & USSR test thermonuclear devices)
1960 -- 7 minutes to midnight (increased scientific cooperation)
1963 -- 12 minutes to midnight (USA & USSR sign Partial Test Ban Treaty)
1968 -- 7 minutes to midnight (France & China test nuclear bombs, war in Middle East & Vietnam)
1969 -- 10 minutes to midnight (USA ratifies Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)
1972 -- 12 minutes to midnight (USA & USSR sign Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty)
1974 -- 9 minutes to midnight (India tests a nuclear device)
1980 -- 7 minutes to midnight (USA & USSR deadlock in talks, increased terrorism)
1981 -- 4 minutes to midnight (Global arms race escalates, conflict in Afghanistan, Poland, South Africa)
1984 -- 3 minutes to midnight (USA & USSR further arms race escalation)
1988 -- 6 minutes to midnight (USA & USSR sign treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces)
1990 -- 10 minutes to midnight (Berlin Wall comes down)
1991 -- 17 minutes to midnight (USA & USSR sign Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)
1995 -- 14 minutes to midnight (Global military spending high, USSR proliferation of nuclear weapons)
1998 -- 9 minutes to midnight (India & Pakistan test nuclear weapons as show of aggression)
2002 -- 7 minutes to midnight (USA withdraws from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, possible terrorist nuclear attack)
2007 -- 5 minutes to midnight (N. Korea tests nuclear weapon, Iran nuclear ambitions)
2010 -- 6 minutes to midnight (a puzzling minor burst of optimism by atomic scientists)

Today, the USA and the USSR have a combined known inventory of some 26,000 nuclear weapons. Plus, more and more countries (and radical groups) seek to attain such weapons.

To an observer from the Galactic Federation, Mother Earth must seem like a Planet of Nitwits. Perhaps that’s why they keep bypassing our little orb of chaos and depravity.

On January 12, 2010, King Obama signed an Executive Order creating a Council of Governors, a body of 10 state governors, to be appointed by King Obama, to work with the federal government toward the “integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States.”

Posse Comitatus was a law enacted in 1878 barring the U.S. military from becoming involved in domestic police actions. King Obama’s Executive Order is a blatant attempt to circumvent this important legal imperative.

Marshall Law is coming to the USA.

It will commence at approximately 1 minute to midnight.

Quote for the Day -- “We love death more than you love life.” Islamic Jihad

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and the Spirit of Crazy Horse. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Edgar Cayce and Atlantis

Anthropologists once believed North and South America had initially been populated by Asians crossing a land bridge connecting Asia and Alaska during the last Ice Age, some 20,000 years ago. However, recent genetic DNA analysis of Native Americans now places the initial wave of migration between 38,000 to 50,000 years ago.

Genetic DNA analysis can trace the ethnic tribal lineage, and thereby land of the origin, of a human being.

Native American tribes contain four distinct DNA groupings, designated A, B, C and D. These groupings are found in Asia but not in Europe or Africa. While 96 percent of all indigenous natives in North and South America fall within A, B, C and D, there was a mysterious four percent, dubbed Group X, which could not be explained.

Type X subjects were not found in the vast majority of tribes, including none in South America. It was also determined Type X subjects arrived in North America 10,000 to 38,000 years ago, later than the other groups.

By far, the highest concentration of Type X in Europe was found in the Basques, a race of Caucasians who live in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. And the highest frequency of Type X in the entire world was found in the Berbers, a race of Caucasians who live in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in North Africa.

The Basques and Berbers have long puzzled anthropologists, linguists and historians because they don't seem to fit into their continental surroundings.

However, independent researchers of the Association of Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), followers of Edgar Cayce, have come forward and made a few observations of their own.

Known as the Sleeping Prophet, Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) is considered by many to have been America's foremost psychic. Throughout his lifetime he performed over 14,000 readings while in a self-induced trance. Although delving into many subjects, 8,976 of his readings, transcribed onto 900,000 pages of notes, were devoted to medical problems, a majority of which were resolved, often advancing current medical technology.

Cayce’s readings were always recorded by a stenographer. To do a medical reading on a subject, all he needed was the subject’s pre-arranged location at the time of the reading.

On one occasion, Cayce went into a trance and declared that the subject was not at the location where he was supposed to be at the time. It was later determined that the subject had forgotten about the meeting and was indeed not at the pre-arranged location at the prescribed time. On another occasion, Cayce was to do a reading for a ship’s captain who was at sea. When Cayce went into his trance, he realized the fellow could not speak English, so he did the entire reading in fluent German, a language he had no knowledge of when awake.

Clearly, Edgar Cayce had a unique talent, although he claimed that everyone had the capability to do the same.

In addition to medical inquiries, people would often slip in questions about the past or the future.

An extremely high percentage of Cayce’s “predictions” of the future have come true. And now the genetic DNA analysis findings of Type X may actually lend additional credence to his psychic readings as well.

Many of Edgar Cayce's readings concerned the island continent of Atlantis, the fabled empire located beyond the Pillars of Hercules (presumably the Rocks of Gibraltar in the western Mediterranean), as thoroughly detailed in Plato's TIMAEUS, that fell into the sea.

Cayce’s readings described three separate disasters that befell Atlantis.

The first catastrophe happened in 50,700 BC, caused by an explosion of gas pockets within the earth that triggered volcanoes and earthquakes, generated a magnet pole shift on the planet and produced a great Ice Age.

The second catastrophe occurred in 28.000 BC, coinciding with the Biblical account of Noah and the Great Flood. After the deluge, the continent had been broken into three main islands: Aryaz in the east (present day Azores Island group), Poseidia in the north (West Indies area), and Og in the south (near South America).

The final catastrophe took place in 10,600 BC. There were gigantic land upheavals upon the earth and the remaining land mass of Posedia and Aryaz (except for the mountain peaks) disappeared into the seas.

The Cayce readings indicated the Atlanteans had been forced to relocate to various distant lands during the catastrophes, specifically to the Pyrenees Mountains (between Spain and France), Morocco (Atlas Mountains), Egypt (where they built the pyramids) and North America (where they formed the Iroquois nation). All Type X locations.

In North America, the highest concentration of Type X lineage was found within the Iroquois nation (Ojibway, Oneota and Nuu-Chah-Nulth tribes). Cayce also reported some Atlanteans went on to the American Southwest and Midwest. The Navajo (Southwest) and mound builder region (Midwest) also contain some Type X subjects.

The bottom line -- everywhere Edgar Cayce (psychic readings) claimed the Atlanteans settled after their land disappeared has a high unaccountable occurrence of a specific DNA type (type X) found nowhere else on this planet.

This isn't exactly scientific proof of the prior existence of Atlantis, but we live in a very strange universe where everything is a sign that holds a mystery.

Edgar Cayce had the ability to link to the Universal Consciousness, also called the Akashic Records.

His readings are mysteries to be unraveled.

Quote for the Day -- “Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.” Edgar Cayce

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where dreams often cause binge thinking. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

The human race cannot survive more than a few days without fresh water, which is slowly disappearing and will soon become the most precious commodity on earth.

Approximately 97 percent of the earth’s water is salt water, unsuitable for human consumption. Another two percent is frozen in glaciers and ice caps, primarily in Antarctica.

The remaining one percent is all that’s available for residential, agricultural, industrial, and community usage, including keeping our cars washed, our public water fountains bubbling and our golf courses green.

According to a United Nations estimate, 2.7 billion people will be living in countries with a severe water scarcity by the year 2025. Outbreaks of waterborne diseases, such as cholera, will plague these nations. Presently, more children in third world countries die from diarrhea, 1.5 million preschoolers per year, as a result of drinking contaminated water, more than from any other condition.

Another United Nations study has determined that approximately 1,400 square miles of land have turned into desert conditions each year over the last decade. This is an increase of 850 square miles per year from the previous decade.

By 2025, the U.N. estimates two-thirds of arable land in Africa will disappear, along with one-third of Asia’s and one-fourth of South America’s.

As the human population expands, the environment becomes more stressed. Trees are destroyed for firewood, grasslands are overgrazed, fields are over-farmed (losing their nutrients), and water becomes scarcer and dirtier. This drives more people into cities and reduces quality agricultural output.

Scientists at the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution and NASA have been studying the Amazon rain forest through a combination of ground-based and space-based tools. They’ve measured rainfall, soil moisture, leaf characteristics and canopy features. They’ve concluded that there has been a “decrease in soil water and dehydrated leaves over time” and have labeled the tropical rain forest to be in a drought condition.

The USA has its share of the same problem. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey recently announced that the American West is in a severe drought that could be the biggest in 500 years, with the Colorado River basin in worse condition than it was during the Dust Bowl. The Colorado River is an important water source for millions of people across the West, including Southern California. The river has been in a drought for more than a decade, producing the lowest flow on record. In the Dust Bowl years (1930-1937), it had an annual average flow of 10.4 million acre-feet of water at Lees Ferry, Arizona. In 2001-2003, the annual flow was only 5.4 million acre-feet.

Underground aquifers are being tapped at alarming rates. The Ogallala aquifer covers nearly 200,000 square miles from South Dakota to the Texas panhandle. It provides water to one-fifth of the irrigated land in this country. At present, it’s being depleted at 14 times faster than the normal process of restoration.

Air pollution from the industrial states of Ohio and Pennsylvania has caused rainfall as acidic as lemon juice to fall on West Virginia and upstate New York, virtually killing many lakes. As the population expands in southern states, adequate supplies of water for agriculture and residential usage have dwindled.

Toxins such as mercury, dioxins and PCBs from coal-burning power plants and waste incinerators are sent airborne and fall into waterways. High mercury levels in lakes and streams have forced health officials in 41 states to issue advisories warning the population to avoid fish caught in these areas.

In the not too distant future, the lack of freshwater will become a major dilemma for mankind. Unfortunately, this is the sort of problem that tends to sneak up on people until it reaches the crisis stage. But long-term creeping problems require long-term sweeping solutions.

Protecting the wilderness and our natural resources are in fact protecting humanity.

I do my part -- I never water my lawn or wash my car, and only bathe during a full moon.

Quote for the Day -- “The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl.” Dave Barry

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where water falls from the sky. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Planets in Retrograde

A planet that appears to move backward in the sky for a period of time is said to be in retrograde. This retrograde action is an illusion, created by the orbit of our own planet called Earth.

According to SOLITARY WITCH by Silver RavenWolf, when a planet turns retrograde, it’s the universe’s way of saying to just sit back and chill. People tend to run around like crazy, especially during Mercury Retrograde. The proper reaction to retrograde is “don’t start anything in the subject area that the corresponding retrograde planet corresponds to.”

Planet -- MERCURY
Subject -- Communication
Retrograde Period -- 3 times per year for 3 weeks duration
Human Behavior -- Arguments, travel delays, electronic breakdowns, computer viruses
Proper Reaction -- Think before you speak, tie up loose ends on old projects

Planet -- VENUS
Subject -- Socialization
Retrograde Period -- Every 18 months for 40 days duration
Human Behavior -- Attracted to the bizarre, dwindling cash, little is accomplished
Proper Reaction -- Evaluate your relationships, seek to find lost items

Planet -- MARS
Subject -- Action
Retrograde Period -- Every 2 years for 70 days duration
Human Behavior -- Aggressiveness, won’t take no for an answer, confusion, resentment
Proper Reaction -- Seek closure on old issues, meditate, do physical work

Planet -- JUPITER
Subject -- Expansion
Retrograde Period -- Once per year for 120 days duration
Human Behavior -- Limited energy, bad finances, low on generosity, overindulgence
Proper Reaction -- Work on inner changes, do things with your hands

Planet -- SATURN
Subject -- Limits
Retrograde Period -- Once per year for 140 days duration
Human Behavior -- Change in group structures, politicians ousted, delayed rewards, abuse
Proper Reaction -- Make better use of time, get rid of bad friends and bad habits

Planet -- URANUS
Subject -- Destruction
Retrograde Period -- Once per year for 148 days duration
Human Behavior -- Freedom threatened, humanitarian efforts stall, gang activity increases
Proper Reaction -- Drop the mask and be the real you, work on group change

Planet -- NEPTUNE
Subject -- Transformation
Retrograde Period -- Once per year for 150 days duration
Human Behavior -- Desire to escape, indulgence in fantasy, drugs and alcohol on the rise
Proper Reaction -- Meditation, vision quest, dream analysis, spirituality, talk to a tree

Planet -- PLUTO
Subject -- Regeneration
Retrograde Period -- Once per year for 180 days duration
Human Behavior -- Out with the old, in with a new path of life, new ways of problem-solving
Proper Reaction -- Clean everything, throw out old junk, redesign rituals

As we enter the year 2010, Mercury is in retrograde. It will turn direct on January 16. Thus, I shall proceed with caution for the next couple of weeks. I will avoid any unnecessary trips to areas populated by crazed lunatics, such as Iran, Afghanistan or Texas, and I will refrain from making any smartass comments about Mother Nature, Father Time or Lady Gaga.

Happy New Year, starting January 17.

Quote for the Day -- “Being a Witch means to want to work every day to be a better person. When you change yourself, then the world around you cannot help but change.” Silver RavenWolf

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where black cats stalk the moon during Mercury Retrograde. His blogs appear on several websites, including