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Trust Your Gut

December: Truly great ideas tend to flow from one of two channels. The first, let’s call it the genius channel, represents the potential for brilliant insight facilitated by empirical observation and deft data crunching. While ideas from this channel sometimes seem magical in their foresight and originality, the essential truth here is that ‘genius’ ideas derive rationally from solid factors in the ‘real’ world.

The other great idea channel may appropriately be called the inspiration channel. What separates inspiration from genius is its derivation from observations that are not so linear, not so grounded in rationality and hard-edged reality. Great inspirational ideas tend to come to us in our dreams and our deepest intuitive states, and tend to be colored by our feelings as well as our analytical abilities.

So why should a restaurateur care about such things this December? Not to get to fussy with the iconology, but it is well worth noting that Mercury (our collective thought processes) is in a very difficult aspect (square) to the ‘genius planet’ (Uranus) this month, while at the same time forming a very pleasant relationship (trine) with the ‘inspiration planet’ (Neptune). Net-net, the thing you feel will work this month is far more likely to do so than the thing you calculate will work.

This notion is greatly corroborated by the difficult aspect between Mars (action) and Saturn (planning) this month, a condition that speaks to attempting to guide the enterprise in one direction and suddenly veering off on an unexpected/unproductive tangent. Perhaps there is a supply disruption regarding a key ingredient, or a cook walks, or the equipment guys can’t source an important replacement part. It may sound loony, but the best plan this month may simply be to remain flexible in all things.

It is also worth noting that both the marketing and culinary emphases this month are clearly in the camp of stress reduction. The glut of smarmy, condescending, snide and competitive “my burger is bigger/better than your burger” commercials hit exactly the wrong note right now. Basic, simple, friendly, familiar, inclusive, and empathic are key…or would you rather be a genius and alienate everyone in the room?

Steven Mark Weiss is a career foodservice trade journalist, consultant and author with a confessed addiction to messing around with astrology. His astrologically-themed books include ‘Signs of Taste’ and ‘Signs of Success.’ He cosmically blogs on business matters at