REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): I'm coming to you today from a garage sale in Columbus, Neb., where I've just bought, for 10 cents, a stained astrology book with missing pages. Fortunately, its forecast for you for Aug. 19, 1995, is intact. It reads: "The life span of the dragonfly is 48 days. Sequoia trees can last 3,000 years. Likewise, some pleasures, some relationships, some worlds, are destined to live for a mere blink in eternity, while others are programmed to outwit the ravages of time. So what will be the life span of the dream you've birthed this month, Aries? Today you decide."

Taurus (April 20-May 20): My intuitive reading of the planetary influences suggests that your creativity will expand, your love life will blossom, and your IQ will skyrocket, if you'll just commit yourself to one simple exercise: dining without the aid of utensils. This is not a joke. You can't imagine the magic you'll set in motion if you eat with your BARE HANDS! And play with your food! And lick your fingers! And build mountains with your mashed potatoes! And slip tasty morsels in the mouth of someone you love!

I'm sorry, I'm not at liberty to explain why this is true. Sometimes magic hates to be analyzed. So JUST DO IT!

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Theoretically, I suppose you could learn to give a stirring rendering of Stravinsky's Rites of Spring on a kazoo or translate the ecstatic poetry of Rumi into pig Latin. Theoretically, you could fall in love with a flea or try performing your magic for an audience of German accountants. But I know and you know that you have better things to do with your gifts -- especially now. ESPECIALLY now. If you've got the soul of a craftsman, don't do the work of a hack.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): In this, the fifth week of my pilgrimage across North America, I'm resisting all my Cancerian urges for comfort and ease. After all, one of my trip's goals is to seek out encounters with alien life forms. And by my astrological calculations, the next 15 days are likely to reward us Crabs for any forays we make into territory that's not snug and cozy. So three nights ago I slept in my car in a parking lot after performing my monologues at an open-mike poetry slam. And in the morning I found 13 white roses on my windshield, with a note that included a phone number and these words: "I can teach you what you've been yearning to know forever. -- Love, The Cackling Muse."

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): In my meditations, I'm seeing you sporting a 4-foot crown of quetzal feathers once worn by the king of the Aztecs. What's it mean? (As in most psychic visions, the vividness of the image doesn't ensure that I'll interpret it correctly.) The first thought that occurs is that your royal, charismatic instincts are in full bloom. Therefore, it'll probably be a propitious time for you to exercise your leadership and inspire your troops.

A darker possibility looms, however. The king of the Aztecs did, after all, oversee rites in which the hearts of sacrificial victims were ... uh ... broken, in a manner of speaking. I hope my vision doesn't mean you'll abuse your growing personal power.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): One of my meticulous Virgo friends, Sunday, has a complex system for pleasing her cats. Couscous demands beef stew for breakfast and chicken dinner at night, and the food must be served on the dining room table. Fuzzy insists on tuna early and fish stew later. She needs it placed behind the couch. Velcro refuses everything but beef liver upon waking and Science Diet for the evening repast. His required feeding spot is on the basement stairs. I'm calling your attention to this, Virgo, because I think Sunday is a great role model for you this week. It's crucial that you keep all your friends and loved ones happy with the same coordinated precision Sunday demonstrates with her felines.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Let's talk about 1996. I'm predicting that you'll be tearing down a foundation in the early part of that year, and building a new one later on. I foresee that you'll have to reinvent the meaning of home in 1996, and devote lots of energy to growing deeper roots, and rediscover what makes you feel stable and secure. The reason I'm bringing this up four-and-a-half months early, Libra, is that I feel you'll get a glimpse of these themes in the next few weeks. More than that, actually: You'll get a chance to start laying the groundwork for them.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Some people (more men than women) act as if all emotions are signs of weakness. Other people (more women than men) act as if all emotions are important. I'm of the opinion that both of these positions are partial truths. Neurotic emotions, which are inspired by delusions and projections, are signs of weakness; healthy emotions, which are responses to true perceptions, are important; and the trick is knowing the difference between them. You, by the way, are about to be inundated by both types. In fact, your success this week will depend on your talent for telling them apart.

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