REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): The equinox arrives Sept. 23. For a brief cosmic moment, the sun hovers directly over the equator; the length of day and night are equal. For every sign, but especially for you, this is a propitious time to conjure up more balance, symmetry, and harmony. I would ask, therefore, that you temporarily suspend your usual slam-bang approach to these themes. Resist the temptation to smash two opposites together just to see what happens, or to binge by night and purge by day, or to love what you hate and hate what you love.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Studies have shown that some teen-agers at the peak of their growth cycle can sprout up virtually overnight, adding as much as an inch to their height in a single week. I bring this up because these last 20 days or so have been as close as you've been to the adolescent groove in years. I imagine you've experienced some pretty rapid growth -- emotionally and spiritually if not physically. Next, however, come the more discombobulating aspects of this spurt. Pimples and hormonal eruptions at your age?

Gemini (May 21-June 20): I have been in denial. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I've continued to hope that the gentle, laissez-faire approach would work with you. But now I see that it's just not getting the job done. Therefore, my waffling meanderer, I have no choice but to demand that you set a deadline.

Well. Wait a minute. That sounds harsh. I can't bear to imagine that hurt look in your eye. How about this: I humbly request that you start getting in the mood to set a deadline. By, say, this time next week, promise me that you will inscribe in stone a date by which you will absolutely, positively do what you said you were gonna do.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): It's a good week to be like the fabled turtle instead of the fabled hare, and a bad week to barricade yourself inside a crumbling fortress. It's a great week to buy yourself a toy you've denied yourself for years, and an inauspicious week to watch TV until your eyes bleed. It's a fabulous week to take aggressive steps toward healing any abandonment you experienced in the past, and a terrible week to hide under the covers and fantasize about all the love you're gonna make one day.

(P.S.: This is also the best time in eight months to study the difference between what you can change and what you can't.)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Not surprisingly, one of this century's most notorious connoisseurs of pleasure was born under the sign of Leo. "When choosing between two evils," the magnificent Leo comedian Mae West once said, "I always like to take the one I've never tried before." This would be excellent advice for you in the week ahead. I'd hate to see you hang on to the same old boring vices when a couple fresh ones are so readily available.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The cover of a recent Fortune magazine screamed: "Are you paid enough? Unless you earn four times your age, the answer is NO." So, like, if you're 25, you're a loser unless you're pulling in a hundred grand. Uh-huh. Right. And Disney's Pocahontas is based on historical fact, and the most heinous problem in the world today is cyberporn, and welfare recipients are wrecking the economy. I mean, what fantasy planet do those Fortune people live on? Ignore them and their ilk, Virgo. You've got enough pressure on you to make ends meet without trying to live up to totally unrealistic standards. In fact, my advice to you is to wash out of your brain every definition of success except the one you know in your heart is true.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Sometime in the next five nights, you'll probably dream of showing up nude for a public event, like an important meeting or the first day of school. Don't be alarmed. This is actually a very good omen. It means you've finally shed the old disguises that have been preventing you from reinventing yourself. It's a promise that you'll soon be able to find out who the New You is.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Long before the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there was a Greek myth with a similar feel. It starred Persephone, a divine person who, like Christ, descended into the land of the dead only to return transfigured. The Festival of Eleusis, observed in September, honored the theme of Persephone's demise and redemption -- as well as the rhythms of decay and renewal that are always at work in every individual's life. I invite you to celebrate the Festival of Eleusis this week by taking an inventory: What's decomposing and disintegrating in your own world? What's ripe for rejuvenation and regeneration?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Welcome to Real Astrology 2000, your indispensable source for plotting your path into the new millennium. What do you predict you'll be doing on Sept. 21, 2000? More importantly, what do you WANT to be doing on Sept. 21, 2000? Stick with Real Astrology 2000 and on that legendary day you'll be five hard-earned, grace-filled years closer to being master of your own destiny.

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