REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Although the chances that you'll receive a six-figure inheritance this week are higher than usual, they're still only a little more likely than the possibility that O.J. will call to offer you a part in his new film. Odds are much better, however, that you'll receive a two-figure gift or bequest. And chances are downright excellent that you'll begin to take advantage of a rather subtle legacy whose cash value may not be immediately apparent.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): This is the planet's No. 1 Breathing Room Enforcer, Rob Brezsny, and I'm here to do what I love to do best: beg you to take a break. Whatever it is that you do with too much intensity, excessive attachment, or excruciating sincerity, please lay off it for a while. If you do your job compulsively, try attacking it with a more relaxed attitude. If you nag yourself like a shrew, give yourself some goddamn slack. And if your No. 1 manic habit is being too easy on yourself, then you should even go on a hiatus from that.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Each sign of the zodiac has a different relationship with chaos. Scorpios have an affinity for half-toxic, half-fertile compost. Pisceans are fond of grungy clutter and romantic fantasies about insanity. You Geminis favor "clean" messes like disorganized piles of paper and puzzling relationships. Knowing your preference, I hesitate to give you the following advice, but the current planetary configurations leave me no choice. It seems that you'll have to get your hands much dirtier than you like. Your metaphor of the week is digging in the garbage to find a lost diamond ring.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): This is really weird. The neighborhood Doberman has stopped leaping over its fence to attack me when I ride by on my bike. My oldest enemy just sent me a letter offering a truce. And the tellers at my bank, who've always treated me with the disdain they show to only the seediest patrons, have started flirting with me. What the hell's going on? Is somebody pulling the pins out of a voodoo doll that looks like me? Nah. I think a similar grace period is visiting most of us Cancerians. In fact, several different people I know born under the sign of the crab have told me lately that they're getting so much love they feel drunk. How about you? Are you gonna stop at a six-pack -- or go for a case?

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): I never thought I'd say this, but I want to congratulate the Disney Co. for standing up in behalf of the kind of family values I heartily endorse. On Jan. 1, the megaconglomerate house that Mickey Mouse built will begin offering health coverage to live-in partners of gay and lesbian employees.

What's that got to do with your personal melodrama? Well, if an old-guard institution like Disney can evolve in its approach to families, I guess you can, too -- especially now, while the astrological forces are in the mood to help you out. Dare to dissolve your prejudices about the family you came from. Dare to update your fantasies about what role you want family to play in your future.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): An otherwise unidentified Virgo just called and left this cryptic message on my machine: "A bee stung me on the tip of the tongue today. I took it to be a good omen." Normally I would consider that to be a seriously deluded statement -- a prize-winning entry in the Virgoan "I Can Rationalize Anything" Sweepstakes. But it so happened that last night, while meditating on your horoscope, I got a psychic impression that electrifying words were about to come out of your mouth. My conclusion: The Virgo caller and my vision both suggest that you'll soon be able to articulate thoughts and feelings you've been tongue-tied about for many moons.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Buckle your seat belt. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Look both ways before crossing the street. Use safe-sex devices whose manufacture didn't require the torture of furry little animals. Say no to caffeine, alcohol, and LSD. Visit your dentist to keep healthy teeth. Wash your hands before meals. Get eight hours of sleep nightly. When and if you've done all that, you have permission to spend money on a tool that will give you more freedom.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead and trot out all the lame, cynical narratives. Everybody uses everyone else. Do unto others before they do unto you. Love is just another four-letter word. All that stuff is true in a way, but it's totally irrelevant right now. In fact, the vibes are so generous in your vicinity that it would be pure self-sabotage for you to be suspicious and manipulative. I suggest you assume that all the folks you encounter this week have your best interests in mind -- and don't need their arms twisted and their minds messed with.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): There's nearly a 15 percent chance this week that you'll be abducted by aliens and forced to learn how to belly dance while reciting the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty." And there's a 30 percent probability that you'll have sex in a kitchen with a fisherman or fisherwoman who keeps murmuring through muffled sighs, "I always eat what I catch."

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