Great gods alive and dead, there's thunder in the bowels of the earth! Aargh! By my little brown bottle, there are rumblings in the belly of the sky! Eek! Great Caesar's ghost, what's this? By the odour of it, I'd say there's farting in the cosmic winds as well! Oh my sainted aunt, hand me a gas mask!
But the evil, leering Cosmos is not yet done with this parade of dirty tricks! Not by a long chalk! For now, there rises up a vision so terrible, so filled with glowering despite, so tainted by the mark of Cain that only sublime irritation may look upon it and live to tell the tale! Fortunately, this latter commodity is in good supply for I myself am supremely well endowed therewith. Hurrah!
Enough pleasantries! Mayhap we return to the terrible vision and embrace it forthwith! Ghastly planets disport themselves in unseemly manner, rutting in the gutters of Heaven! Quel dommage! It cannot be! Quel fromage! It is! Old Father Time turns his sneering, craggy visage to frown upon you as you walk the road into the year ahead! 2005! Merciful Heavens! I can almost hear the creaking of his ancient veterbrae and the nauseous rippling of the crow's feet at his neck.
Shudder deeply, tiny persons! For this miserable curmudgeon sets his brawny arm and jaundiced, rheumy eye to scythe a cruel path through the weed and bramble of your miserable and sordid lives! For you are the vile denizens of a windswept ball of dirt that wanders crazily in a benighted universe ruled by insane gods! Your world is a marble in a madcap game played by deities, dreadful, savage, gloomy and constantly inebriated!
Attend me now for lo, I am Asperitus, oracle of bitter truth, and these are the vile and bitter prognostications for Annus Odiferous, 2005. Read them and weep, you luckless, lily-livered poltroons!
THE JOLT OF JITTERY JANUARY
The year lurches into motion on the back of the rage of marauding Mars as he clashes with Uranus. Ill-tempered rider and idiot beast! The pernicious polka begins! Execrable planets too tedious to name congregate in the lugubrious sign of the Goat as miserable Saturn arms himself for a clash with dark Pluto, lord of the underworld.
Woe shall it be and seven times 'woe', I say! Aging sheep farmers will be assailed by drug lords as the clouds of financial ruin enshroud the lands of both native and foreigner alike. Leaders will assert outmoded ideals and prate alarmingly of their import while elderly women folk in mountain villages sing a sad refrain for the general shapelessness of their ancient breasts. Ye gods, who can bear the cacophony! Vile authority will impose itself on freedom-loving persons and terrible things involving barbed wire and foreign food will take place. The evil shrub will contend against the birch and oak and ash and tarragon will triumph over sage for a time. Beware the tides flowing from a New Moon in loathsome Leo, tiny wittering things!
And then, great gods alive and dead, as if that isn't enough, fearful February begins. As narcotic Neptune hobnobs with jolly Jupiter, a great obfuscating confusion will descend upon the world. The whole shall become less than the sum of the parts and yet greater as things fall into tiny pieces and soon become irreparable! And yea verily, will broken things leave forgotten fragments under beds, in the backs of wardrobes, on the rear seats of cars and indeed in other places where one has no memory of ever having gone and thus does not think to look. Religious fervour will grip the world as weak-minded persons (all of you) turn to the solace of a fatuous belief in ridiculous gods while the one sane person left (myself) looks on in a state of sublime irritation. People will smile with vacuous, idiotic glee as others weep and wail, gnashing teeth and tearing hair. As bells toll and churches swell to overflowing, an even more ghastly event inflicts itself upon an unsuspecting populace. Cranky Chiron moves into idiot Aquarius on February 21st. Mark this date, you rocks, you stones, you less than senseless things!
Last time this unspeakable occurrence occurred, the Mirage fighter, McDonald's, the game of Scrabble and Bill Haley and the Comets were inflicted on a naughty world. That was in the year of 1955. Ye gods and little fishes, what will happen this time!
Well, I'll tell you. Large migrating birds will ravage orchards across the world and Swedish therapists will form an independent community in Ethiopia or Finland or in the toilets at the Salzburg Cathedral. This will govern itself according to a set of secret precepts hidden in the lyrics of Abba songs. Abba Gold will become their mystic book and a great teacher known as Fernando will rise up among them, channelling an SOS to the people of the stars on a world called Mamma Mia, recently sighted in the Pleiades. A new form of St Vitas Dance will afflict the human race and many will believe it to be a punishment from god (what isn't). The therapists will name it St Olaf's Dance and institute a competition to search out the severest sufferer who will then be known as the Dancing Queen and will be sent on a peace mission out into the universe in a space ship created entirely through meditation. Personally, I prefer Scrabble and Bill Haley. However, in a benighted universe ruled by insane gods, one may not choose a path but only walk the one that's foreordained.
THE IDES OF MANIC MARCH
Caesar heard not a warning to beware the Ides of March. So may leaders today ignore similar ominous rumblings from the bowels of the vile and bitter prognosticator! That's myself, by the way. In the month of manic March, mischievous Mercury will clash with jolly Jupiter and career into reverse motion. Thus will vile tempered persons great and small rant, rage, rail, flail and assail to all points of the compass in outbursts of unmannerly behaviour that will ignite the skies with scorching flames and spew out smoke of an evil description.
Do enjoy the Equinox if you can or at least pretend to do so for appearances' sake. Awful April follows maudlin March with eclipses, Solar and Lunar, in the signs of arrogant Aries and gloomy Scorpio. Thus travesty and tragedy perpetrated by marauding Mars will explode every which way, leaving the world in such a parlous state as it were better not to describe it for persons of nervous disposition. However, persons of strong religious persuasion will revel in these wild events. They may even directly assist in their execution, proving yet again that religion has come to bring the sword not peace and show that those faithful to any doctrine whatsoever still believe 'who is not with them is against them'. If you feel yourself among the chosen at this time, I commend you to the rapture of your belief. By my little brown bottle, I do! Remember though that there are other worlds to sing in and other raptures to sing of, despite your convictions on the topic.
Upon the tail of manic March comes the unseemly rutting and thrusting from the month of maudlin May! Egad! Haven't we had enough indignity already, comes the bootless cry intent upon troubling Heaven! Apparently not, comes the stern reply! Lo, does lugubrious Saturn test the might of his ancient brawny arm against the Lunar Nodes and triumph in the pyrrhic manner. There shall be gloomy discussions among constipated men of mean spirit. Or, there may be constipated discussion among mean men drinking spirits. I'm not entirely sure which one it will be as the influences are somewhat obscured by the clouds of awful April. Nonetheless, division and separation will follow such ill-starred meetings as family, tribe and nation are torn asunder when some vile but effective persons advocate action while ineffectual persons witter on about peace and love in a sickening manner without actually doing anything.
And so too does the miserable god of old age, sickness and death (Saturn) clash once more with the dark lord, underworld Pluto. The oppressed aging sheep farmers (refer January) will rise against the drug lords, defeating them with water pistols and foreign food and so reclaim the idylls of the elder path of ovine wisdom known to their forefathers. But so too will the sheep in turn rise up against the oppression of the farmers, casting off the fleecy yoke of slavery. Soon, sheep in dangerous mobs will stalk hill and field, thrashing shepherds and the manufacturers of woollen garments and assaulting travellers at random, shaving their heads and stealing their clothes. Ruffian sheep wearing assorted hats, trousers and shoes will roam the streets in gangs, smoking cigarettes and drinking heavily. A cult will arise among men and women who take pity on the plight of sheep, apologizing for past indignities and drinking heavily with them as they sympathize with their cause. The leader of this cult will then make a fortune, fleecing the public. Gods, if I don't stop this, I shall be ill and pass out! Let us move on to jaded June.
THE JAPES OF JADED JUNE
As jaded June begins, jolly Jupiter moves forward so that people will eat and drink too much and talk constantly in an exaggerated manner. If anything else interesting happens at this time, do try to ascertain if anyone cares and then write to them about it. Thus do we pass the Solstice and move on to jaundiced July where things most foul and depraved are set to unleash themselves upon an unsuspecting world. One can almost hear (with a mounting sense of dread) the grind of cosmic gears and the squeal of cosmic tyres as a benighted universe realizes too late that lugubrious Saturn has moved to loathsome Leo and is irretrievably entrenched there. Thus begins 'act five' of the cosmic melodrama.
Actors will become depressed while artists may suffer from degenerative diseases brought about by the lifelong bad habits they have adopted because of poor parenting or difficult relationships with authority in early life. Many of you may not be aware there were any other kind of relations with authority but I have been reliably informed that this is so, though I confess to a lack of personal experience to support what may be, in the main, apocryphal tellings. Persons born under the sign of Leo may become gloomy or subject to overwork or abandonment by their fellows. Persons native to the lunatic sign of the Water Bearer may find partners unusually demanding or take up relations with older persons in the vain hope of finding, if not someone who understands them, then at least someone infirm or elderly who will put up with their irritating habits. Persons of the bullish type will have aging family members move into their domiciles where the Scorpion types will adopt a harsh and unyielding attitude of control towards their fellows (snigger).
Great doom and hardship will fall upon Rome, Prague, Madrid, Los Angeles and Bristol while the collective wives of Bath will leave their spouses after beginning liaisons with elderly churchmen. A cult involving the rulership by a god king will arise in Damascus or Philadelphia and retired artists or lawyers will flock in droves to the South of France. The wearing of the saffron robe will become popular once more. Some will live on peppermint tea while others will grow rosemary and rue. Frock coats will come into fashion again, as will cloaks, daggers and absurd footwear covered in jewels, as people take to dressing in an extravagant manner proper to bygone eras in a vain effort to hold on to the glories of a distant past. It will be the mode to look grimly depressed or depressingly grim and make irrefutable pronouncements of a dictatorial nature on every topic, proving yet again that strong opinions will generally occupy the space recently vacated by intelligent thought. Great works of art from the past will be revived by fools and great foolishness will be perpetrated in the name of art by overdressed autocrats with more money than sense, and social status well in excess of natural merit. Greed and mayhem will abound as sunflowers and marigolds rise up to mercilessly slaughter convolvulus and water lilies.
As mischievous Mercury turns retrograde in this testing and pernicious time, converse between beings will be reduced to cant and pontification of an entirely incomprehensible nature. These ghastly trends will continue into awful August, taking first a doleful, then a destructive character as marauding Mars crosses swords with grim Saturn and narcotic Neptune by turns. Old empires will rise again and nasty leaders with heart problems, chronic back pain and the aforementioned dress sense will rule harshly over those foolish enough to let them hold sway (this is the entire human race, of course). All in all, these months would be better surgically removed from the map of the future. However, as this is not possible, you'll just have to put up with them! Learn the path of sublime irritation, little ninnies, and be content. The great will fall from power in awful August as jolly Jupiter joins in unseemly fashion with the Lunar South Node. Wild and effete will be the behaviour and complaint. Devastating will be the scandal. And all in the idiot sign of Libra! Just imagine what sickening events will take place with fashion and style!
THE DREAD LAST DANCE
Something will doubtless occur in savage September but, at this point in time, it is too infinitely dull to contemplate what it might be, so make sure you keep proper notes as yet another Equinox disports itself in an unseemly manner for the general public to gawk at. From there, my tiny nitwits, infernal machineries will scream in your ears as the doors to the lowest of the twenty nine hells creak open and spew forth a pandemonium of demons.
Obnoxious October launches a fearsome assault upon this naughty world. First does marauding Mars turn retrograde (that's backwards to you) in the cloddish sign of the Bull. Cattle will rise against their masters (like the sheep) and moo fearsomely at passersby as they roam abroad, making mayhem with horrid clattering hoofs, squirting udders and endless streams of dung. Cows may explode and explosive reports will be commonplace as grapes blow up upon the vine and pears, apples and figs on the tree.
Things will lose their value. By my little brown bottle! Just think of it! Ordinary simple things that once were worth something will have no more value than a valueless thing. People will speak bluntly and hit one another if they disagree. Gold will be the currency once more and persons will ride about in horse and cart. Fortunately, horses will not rebel against their masters but that may come in the future. Great gods alive and dead, is there no end to the ingratitude of beasts!
There may be outbursts of rage as drugs that enhance sexual performance fail. Limp persons will rail against the manufacturers while those who are still of the erectile persuasion will laugh at them, causing further fist-fights. For reasons too tedious to name, the first fortnight of November will be a ghastly time, as will the entire month of December. I will say narcotic Neptune, jolly Jupiter and grim Saturn all will be involved. Yikes and double yikes! Stay away from psychics, opinionated occultists, orgies, water wings, firearms, explosives, chemicals and nasty hot burning things. Indulge at your peril. Also avoid large bodies of earth or air or water. And, if this is not enough, there's the ghastly matter of the eclipses to consider. Woe to Aries the Ram! Woe to Libra the Scales! Well, that's enough consideration.
Annus Odiferous ends on a note of hysteria and mayhem. Mischievous Mercury moves in reverse in silly Sagittarius, clashing with Uranus, the idiot god. There will be a lot of yelling (ugh) about religion and politics and foolish persons may seek to fight for their beliefs. Sigh! Nasty upsets and mishaps will prevail. Jolly Jupiter and lugubrious Saturn clash and marauding Mars joins in the fray. There will be fisticuffs and wild shenanigans of the first water! Of this there is no doubt. And while this unfolds, few of you benighted souls will be able to make a wise decision. However, as none of you have ever been able to make one anyway, I don' think it will matter or be noticed.
And yet we are not done with the cosmic joke for vamping Venus will turn retrograde in the sign of idiot Aquarius on Christmas Eve. Affairs of love and money will be turned topsy-turvy and the world will be inundated with odd people arriving in places they should not actually be in. As well as that, the Abba commune will be overrun by nasty sheep and rebellious cows. Giant birds will be a plague upon the world. What a cheek! What a lack of consideration! Does no one have respect anymore! Not even the birds! Why don't they go out and get work like everybody else! It makes me want to retreat from the chaos and the madness of Annus Odiferous.
In fact, I will! And so should you! Perhaps we should all move to Stockholm where there's only about three minutes of daylight in December. Then we could all go to bed early and have a proper rest before the vile assault of another year comes upon us. In fact, it may be wise to go to bed for the entire month of December. Or even the entire year of 2005! Thus spake Asperitus, the madman in the market square and oracle of bitter truth!
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes