Madame Olatana, Warbut Astrologer, page 9
“Yes, I can understand that,” Evela said softly.
“Concerning this hidden man, I would prefer to see you abandon him altogether,” Madame Olatana said. “This birth date and yours do not have congenial thought aspects. When he is tired, you are at your most intellectual. Perhaps you could write notes.”
“We do! We do!” Evela cried. “Most of our interactions are through notes. We rarely talk when we are together.”
“So he writes when he is not tired, and you read when you are not tired? I suppose that could work, but it is not something most people would want to live with for the long term, particularly if the parents insist on marriage,” Madame Olatana said.
“What do you do when you are together?”
“He kisses me,” Evela confessed. “I kiss him back.”
“And this is satisfying?”
“Oh, yes,” Evela answered. “He is a good kisser, and I like being kissed.”
“This, like all physical relations between two people of opposite sexes, will last for approximately three months,” Madame Olatana bluntly said. “The ability to communicate under all conditions is something that will last a lifetime, and we need to find a better match for you than this man will ever be able to offer.”
“Furthermore, he is too old for you. At thirty you should be looking at men who are about twenty, not twenty-four,” Madame Olatana went on.
“Yes, the sexual desires will peak at about the same time, and life will end at about the same time for the two of you,” Madame Olatana explained.
“No widowhood! That would be wonderful to live with the same person until the end,” Evela said.
“If we can find a congenial mate for you,” Madame Olatana added. “Forget this hidden man, great though he may be at writing notes. Bring me the names of the seven men your parents are considering, and I will have Rondo go to the Clerk of the Court in the capital to find the birth information. We will determine if any of these men is a good choice.”
“But won’t that be very expensive?”
“We can put it on your account, to have your new husband pay the bill after the marriage,” Madame Olatana suggested.
Booe Trodias and Lunet Iral sat in their great room after a very satisfying evening meal.
“Did she go to that dance tonight?” Booe asked.
Booe was Evela’s mother, and she was quite proud about how well the girl had turned out. A woman with two university degrees in astronomy and seven presentable suitors was nobody to be sneezed at.
“Left ten minutes ago,” Lunet replied.
Lunet was Evela’s father. He was proud of the girl, too, but he was frantic about Booe’s ever-expanding plans for Evela’s upcoming wedding. The fact that the groom had not yet been identified did not alleviate Lunet’s panic.
“For some reason this affair with Dalew is cooling off,” Booe told her life’s partner. “She thinks she is keeping him under wraps, but the secretary at her office told me everybody there is buzzing about it.”
“More to buzz about, if they only knew,” Lunet replied.
“Yes, and Evela and Dalew will find out if they apply for a marriage license,” Booe sighed. “If only you had not had that seven-year itch!”
“The seven-year itch is common,” he said. “What is not so common is that the itch results in a living Warbutian. Most women who help to conceive an unnecessary child are anxious to take the termination pill.”
“But she didn’t take the pill, and we supported that boy for over twenty years, helping him get through that teachers’ college,” Booe said, quite unnecessarily.
“He’s pretty smart,” Lunet argued.
“But not as smart as the two sons we have,” Booe said proudly. “The mother’s intelligence is critical to the child’s intelligence, and that boy’s mother is nothing special.”
“She has always treated me well,” Lunet countered. “She was a very loving and warm person during the two weeks of our affair.”
“And now those kids will find out they are half siblings,” Booe scolded. “The marriage license office, currently doing a booming business after the immigration of those dumb but affluent Earthlings, will have to reveal to Evela and Dalew that they are too closely related to be allowed to marry.”
“Maybe, as you say, the affair is cooling,” Lunet suggested.
“We got those other seven fellows lined up so this embarrassing situation would not come to light,” Booe continued to reproach Lunet. “Had them to dinner, had them to the theater, had them to the country club.”
“And for what result? Evela treats all of them as if they were your suitors and not hers,” Lunet reminded his life’s partner.
Madame Olatana came into the reception room to find Rondo pecking at his computer.
“Are those the Trodais birth certificates?” she asked.
“Yes, I finally found the last of them. One of these fellows was born on Farnoll while his mother was a student at the college there,” Rondo said. “They came back home to Warbut when he was five.”
“But you have all of them in the computer?” Madame Olatana asked.
“Yes. Should I enter my time on the Trodias account now?”
“Enter it immediately and send an invoice,” Madame Olatana answered. “Evela Trodias might be tempted to pay it, even though our work is far from complete. I don’t suppose any payments came over the wire this morning?”
“Only two,” Rondo answered. “One from Queen Mastila for two hundred in Universal Gold and one from somebody named Ralli for six hundred.”
“There’s an account number but no charges,” Rondo said. “This needs to be entered as a credit of some kind, I guess.”
“No, just enter a charge for consulting for six hundred to that account,” Madame Olatana said. “He’s got a guilty conscience, and he knows I need money to pay the electricity bill.”
“A guilty conscience in this office? I thought you told me all actions were determined in advance by the Creator of the Universe!”
“Yes, that’s very true,” Madame Olatana admitted. “There is no sin, and there are no actions that are wrong.”
“What are those Earthlings bleating about, then? They are convinced all Warbut natives are forever damned because of various sins, notably the sin of procreation without marriage,” Rondo said.
“There is no sin, Rondo. You can take that from me. The Earthlings have no way to control the unkempt and illiterate masses on Earth other than to preach about sin and its fallacious consequences,” Madame Olatana said.
“Shunning doesn’t work on Earth?”
“We shun here because we are so dependant upon each other. We have nobody who can live without help from his neighbors, Rondo. On Earth, though, people can survive with very little interaction. The thought of burning in a place called Hell in the afterlife is the only thing that will cause them to act with civility toward others,” Madame Olatana replied.
“Earthlings believe each soul retains its own identity after life,” Madame Olatana said. “We, on the other hand, believe each soul returns to the Creator after this life on Warbut, to reunite with the Creator. The idea of a separate existence extending through eternity is a fallacy. We are all one entity.”
“And the Creator has divided itself into separate beings to experience life?”
“Yes, and each entity, whether here on Warbut or on Earth or on some other part of the Universe, is part of the Creator but without the Creator’s all-knowing mind. We know only what we need to know, according to our assignment from the Creator,” Madame Olatana went on.
“This is a chicken-shit assignment, running about finding information about men who probably care nothing about this Evela Trodias,” Rondo muttered.
“We can’t predict the outcomes of our work, Rondo,” Madame
“This is still a low-level assignment. And I was raised to believe I was going to be somebody important,” Rondo pouted.
“Yes, your chart shows a great potential for actions that would be recognized throughout the Universe,” Madame Olatana conceded. “Perhaps you should study art in your spare time.”
“I’m really good at drawing, Madame,” Rondo admitted. “And my mother has been pushing me to take a class at the University.”
“Mothers are usually right, Rondo.”
Cywin looked up from her reclining chair and asked, “Are you going out again this evening, Dalew?”
Dalew looked at his mother and replied, “Just for a couple of hours, Mom. The boys are playing softball at the school, and I’m one of the umpires.”
“I don’t think there is a softball game tonight, son,” Cywin said, shaking her head. “The list of events on the Universal Message System did not show anything happening at your school.”
“Something at the last minute,” Dalew assured his mother.
“I think all these evening appointments are with that woman, the one you have been seeing for several months,” Cywin said, not without a touch of anger.
“I can’t seem to break it off,” Dalew agreed. “Her parents have found several suitors for her, and she has consequently redoubled her efforts to stay with me.”
“Are you going to tell me about her?”
Dalew sighed. “Her name is Evela Trodais, and she is some kind of a scientist at that new firm that makes nautical devices,” he confessed.
“About thirty years old? That Evela Trodias?” Cywin asked.
“Yes. Do you know her?”
Cywin took a very deep breath. “I have heard of her, and you need to break this off immediately. Those people are trash, concerned only with outward appearances and not with necessary growth of the soul,” Cywin said.
“How others perceive their standing in the community,” Cywin explained, shaking her finger. “They work essentially around the clock so they can send the children to the fanciest schools, and they move to a new neighborhood every couple of years so they can have the children rub elbows with better role models. They may be planning a big wedding for this Evela so they can invite the right people.”
“Evela isn’t like that,” Dalew argued. “She is very simple in her choices.”
“The wrotnut doesn’t fall far from the tree, son,” Cywin returned. “It’s what she has learned from her father’s knee, and she won’t abandon it. I want you to break off with this woman immediately.”
“I’ll see what I can do tonight,” Dalew agreed.
Madame Olatana spent four hours looking over the seven birth charts that Rondo had found for the suitors Evela Trodais’s parents had selected.
“Put this time on the invoice today, Rondo,” she ordered. “These are quite a mix of personalities, and I’m having a difficult time finding anything to pertain to love, marriage, children, or sex here.”
“You mean not one of these seven men is fertile?” Rondo asked. “Are they all homosexuals?”
“When I say I can’t find anything, I mean I have no aspects for compatibility here,” Madame Olatana explained. “I don’t see problems with fertility or homosexuality with these men. However, there is a procedure I follow, comparing the positions of the planets in Evela’s natal chart with the positions of the planets in each of the men’s charts. For example, you would want the Warbut planet of Watool, which rules all kinds of communications, to have favorable aspects to Watool in the other person’s chart.”
“I thought Evela Trodias was looking for love,” Rondo said.
“Love always starts with communications and ends with communications,” Madame Olatana said very firmly. “If you don’t have favorable Watool ties, you really don’t have anything on which to build a relationship.”
“Ties? Aspects?” Rondo asked.
“All of the planets make something of a circle around the planet of Warbut,” Madame Olatana answered. “We see this circle on our charts. Then, as with any circle, the placement of the planets, and there are twenty-two of them we look at in Warbut’s star system, will make angles to the other planets. If a planet is in the same place as another planet, those two planets are said to be in a conjunction.”
“Is this good?” Rondo wondered.
“Sometimes it is good, and sometimes it is not,” Madame Olatana replied. “It depends on the planets. For example, those planets that restrict actions would not be wanted in conjunction with Watool because communications would be restricted. The worst cases of restricted communications involve deaf mutes, of course, but any restriction of communications is difficult to handle in a marriage.”
“So you are looking for a man in this lot who doesn’t restrict Evela Trodias’s communications?”
“And whose own communications are not restricted by Evela’s planets.”
“Ought to be fairly simple,” Rondo said.
“Marriage astrology is never simple,” Madame Olatana replied haughtily. “You have all twenty-two planets on one chart to compare with all twenty-two planets on the other chart. Then, you have various interesting points, such as the point on the chart where the star was placed at the time of the birth.”
“Yes, the star around which Warbut travels every year. And the star that is our star’s twin makes another interesting point.”
“Yes, our star is part of a set of twin stars, stars that rotate around each other,” Madame Olatana explained. “The planets that rotate around our star are affected by the gravity of our star’s twin, especially since the twin is somewhat heavier. The heavier the object, the more pull it exerts on another object, in inverse proportion to its distance from that object.”
“So this entire profession, or whatever it is, is based on the attraction of one star or planet on another and on the individual?”
“Astrology is a belief system, Rondo,” Madame Olatana said. “Many scientists believe it is bunk, but many ordinary people believe this belief system helps them to understand the complex workings of events in their lives.”
“And there’s money in this?”
Madame Olatana sighed and replied, “On some days there is money in this line of work, but on other days our invoices are ignored. People come here wanting assurances that the future will not be as unfavorable as the past has been, and sometimes we are able to show how those people can work with the planetary influences to make the best of a difficult situation.”
“Work with planetary influences?” Rondo asked.
“Yes, if the time is appropriate for expansion, people are advised to expand. If the time is appropriate for reflection without action, people are advised to think over future actions until the planets are in better alignment,” Madame Olatana said.
“The planets do not stay still, Rondo. They continue to move around our star, making still more aspects to each other and to the positions of the planets in the client’s natal chart. Sooner or later, there will be some positive aspect turning up that will be a sign of hope.”
“So you have a couple of dozen items to look at, tops?”
“Rondo, there are hundreds of items to review, and all of them are important when advising about marriage, the most complex of all relationships,” Madame Olatana said as she returned to her computers.
A few days later Madame Olatana called on the secure intercom from her consultation room. “Rondo, what are these eight new charts doing in the Evela Trodias folder?”
“Just fellows I found,” Rondo answered. “Thought they might make the grade with Evela.”
“What do you mean? How did you
“I went down to the Clerk’s office, the one the Parliament sponsors, and searched for fellows about ten years younger than Evela where Evela’s Watool was conjunct their Watools. I took the ephemeris and knew the exact dates I was looking for,” Rondo explained.
“And you found eight?”
“No, I found just under forty,” Rondo went on. “Then, I looked up their tax records and eliminated some on the basis of their limited income. There was no need to get Evela involved with somebody who could not pay your invoice.”