When it comes to good advice, Jessica Lanyadoo has it in spades. The Mission’s resident psychic/astrologer/badass gets booked months in advance by San Franciscans seeking help with everything from figuring out their love lives to communicating with their pets. So we asked Jessica if she’d come on board to do a weekly advice column, Truth Talk, for The Bold Italic. If you have a burning question for Truth Talk with Jessica Lanyadoo, email her at truthtalkwithjessica@gmail.com, and check back on Wednesdays to see if she has an answer for you.

From an astrological perspective, why is everyone being so short-tempered right now? Over the past few days it just seems to be getting worse: snippy coworkers, random disagreements, road rage, increased pedestrian accidents in the news, and a general uplift in meta-anger that everyone I talk to in SF is noticing. What gives?? 


Well, I’ve got a few answers for you, JC. The first one is in the form of a question. Have you ever rented a car, let's say a convertible, and when you were driving around all of a sudden noticed a million other convertibles on the road with you? We tend to notice things that resonate with us. So if you’re feeling in love and overjoyed, you pick up on the sweet things all around you. Call it the law of attraction, Murphy’s Law, or Law and Order, but it works. So part of what you’re experiencing is about you. If you are confronted with, or noticing upsets at every turn, you should take that not-so gentle nudge from the Fates to see where you stand on the topic. How you hold and express what angers you is important, but it sounds like you are also being tested by how you hold your own in the face of other peoples’ crappy or even dangerous moods. Rise to the occasion by striking a self-appropriate balance between standing your ground (California style, NOT Florida style. Keep your guns in their holsters, please) and being able and willing to go to battle if need be.

In our culture there are such mixed messages about how OK it is to express and experience anger. Here’s what I think; anger is energy. It isn’t good or bad. When harnessed creatively it can be a powerful force that motivates, protects, and ignites. When it's repressed or used with destructive intent, it becomes a thing to be feared. So don’t resist all confrontations or dances with the very human emotions that you’re feeling crowded by. They’re up for a reason. Being interested in what you have to gain by consciously interacting with even the most annoying or upsetting aspects of your life will only make things more fruitful for you.

Mars, the planet of fucking and fighting, who governs short-tempers, anger, assertion, ambition, and yes, even your car, driving, and road-rage, has gone retrograde. 

And finally to my astrological response, the answer you’ve been waiting for, JC. Mars, the planet of fucking and fighting, who governs short-tempers, anger, assertion, ambition, and yes, even your car, driving, and road-rage, has gone retrograde. This means that it appears to be going backwards in the sky, and is thereby screwing with everyone on the planet, not just our fair city. So yes, you and the rest of us lucky sods are likely to be dealing with issues related to the aggression, ambition, and/or passions of others and our own selves, which can lead to all kinds of trouble (both the fun and awful kinds). Mars went retrograde this month and will remain so until July 2014, so there’s plenty of time for us all to be confronted with whatever we need to deal with. The key here is to not shrink away from it. There’s something to be gained from this and it would be a waste to let your own temper or fear of conflict inhibit you from refining how you interact with Mars’ fierce energies. A good channel for Mars and anger issues in general is your body; exercise, dancing, growling, sexing, and fist pumping (you don’t have to be on the Jersey shore to do it, my friend) are easy ways to express your excess or repressed Mars energies without causing a kerfuffle.

Now, there’s another, more complicated astrological happening that is coming for us in April that I won’t get into here except to say that repressing your energies won’t work. We are living in an astrological pressure cooker, which means that I’m living in it, and so are you and you and you and you. So show us all patience. Don’t engage when you know you can’t be constructive, and don’t take it personally when it’s obvious you’ve gotten caught in the crosshairs of someone else’s bad vibes. Pick your battles wisely and focus on your own participation instead of monitoring anyone else’s.