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REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World 

Wednesday, Nov 15 1995
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Aries (March 21-April 19): Your lucky colors of the week: pomegranate and beet. Favorable numbers: 15, 51, 115, 151, 155, 511, 515, 551. Best source for personal omens: other people's dreams about you. Auspicious hair-care product: mud from an unpolluted river. Fairy tale you should read: "The Little Engine That Could." Home decorating tip: Remove from your wall any picture that evokes a feeling you're sick and tired of. Black magic you should avoid like the plague: commercials for cold and flu medicine. How often you should make love: twice as much as usual.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): I know a performance artist who has built his recent shows around a confrontation with his own unconscious racism. His creative artistry seems to thrive as he strips away the shame he feels about it all. In working on my book, I've also found it exciting and wildly productive to delve into everything about which I feel ashamed, embarrassed, and guilty. In fact, I highly recommend this project to you, whether or not you're an artist. You're entering an astrological phase when uncovering hidden agendas and deep, dark secrets will yield the psychological equivalent of rocket fuel.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Congratulations on your smashing victory over the make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach to life. It's driven you stark raving sane and earned you the right to skip several nauseating lessons in the art of chaos.

So what are you gonna do for an encore? May I suggest a second stunning triumph over the make-it-up-as-you-go-along style? Only this time, don't do it to impress anyone. Act as if the only person you have to prove anything to is yourself.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Did I ever tell you about the time I was shot in the butt by a shotgun-wielding assailant on the campus of Duke University? I was walking to the Greyhound station to catch a bus to Philadelphia at the time. By some stroke of prescience, I had spent the hours before I left my dorm writing a 22-page poem called "Beauty Is My Drug." I'd folded the sheaf into four and put the resulting wad in my back pocket. Ten minutes later this wad became a buffer for a spray of buckshot. At the hospital, the doctor said, "Lucky you had all that paper in there -- it absorbed some of the impact." And that's how poetry helped save my ass, ladies and gentlemen. Why am I bringing this up? Sometimes the quest for beauty has a very practical value -- especially for you right now.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): For Halloween I was Daddy Witch. Every time someone asked me who I was supposed to be, I offered to shower them with five minutes of tender loving pagan fathering. I couldn't believe all the people who confessed how weak their relationships with their real fathers were and how big a hole they had in their souls because of it. It made me think I should explore the possibility of becoming a full-time father figure. In general, you Leos are no more deprived than any other sign, but right now happens to be a time when your lack of powerful daddy energy could be particularly debilitating. I urge you to do all you can this week to make up for it. Call your pop or the best substitute NOW.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The next few days would be a wonderful time to indulge in regular milk-and-cookies breaks and see how long you can go without getting out of your pajamas. It would not be such a good time, though, to sulk and mope and feel sorry for yourself. Your purpose in vegging out around the old homestead should be to recharge your battery, not drain it. So you have my blessing if you want to waste time and look dumpy and act boring -- as long as you do it with gusto and pride.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The astrological truth of the matter? You should now be homing in on a key to making bigger bucks by doing more of what you love to do. The ugly fact of the matter? You live in a culture whose prevailing myths say that's an absurdly unrealistic goal. What to do? A good way to purge your deep psyche of that evil programming is to fight economic injustice, even if just symbolically. For instance, you could write a letter to the editor in which you point out the following: On the same day the U.S. Senate slashed billions from welfare programs for the poor, it voted to fully fund welfare programs for giant corporations.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Of all the emotions in the human repertoire, there's one I'm most prejudiced against: the desire for revenge. I've always regarded it as unconditionally and unforgivably idiotic. Yet a Scorpio friend recently explained to me how he once created a masterpiece -- a fine and successful book -- that was motivated by his urge to seek revenge against a confounding shock he'd experienced at the hands of a vicious bureaucracy. And because of his story -- as well as the astrological forces now coming to bear on you -- I am suspending my bias. I hereby authorize you to wreak glorious revenge against an event that alienated you from your own life. But make sure the results of that revenge are useful, gorgeous, and uplifting.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): This is it. The last week before the new world begins. The final foreplay leading up to Day 1 of the Year Zero. You could compare it to the dark, pregnant hush right before snow-laden thunderclouds burst, or as the almost unbearably pleasurable buildup of erotic tension in the moments before orgasm. My advice is to imagine in lush detail what you'd like to do on the night of Dec. 31, 1999, and do it this week instead.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorns mature quickly -- sometimes too quickly. Capricorns are the first kids on the block to expose the Santa Claus myth. They're the teen-agers with investment portfolios and the 38-year-old menopausal women. Yet there come times in every Capricorn's cycle when it's healthy to revert to earlier stages of growth. The Santa-debunker suddenly needs to sleep with his baby blanket. The adolescent entrepreneur gets hooked on Saturday-morning cartoons, and the prematurely menopausal woman finds a younger lover. Ring any bells for you? It should. The zodiacal forces are pressuring you to subtract at least five years from your age this week. Remember all the fresh and innocent stuff you knew before your oh-so-mature wisdom overwhelmed it?

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): One of the characters on the TV science-fiction show Babylon 5 just happened, to my chagrin, to utter the very words I was planning to offer you. I hope that doesn't discredit the advice in your eyes, because it's one of the most important things I've told you in months. If you do the right thing for the wrong reasons, the work becomes corrupted. In conclusion, Aquarius, examine your motivations very thoroughly this week.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): There has rarely been a more auspicious moment for you to discover the psychic judo that would allow you to transmute your paranoia into pronoia. Pronoia, as I hope you know by now, is the suspicion that the entire world is conspiring to commit wonderful and benevolent acts in your behalf. I say to you in all sincerity that I believe this to be a more apt model of how the cosmos works than the version described by paranoia. And the weird thing is, pronoia becomes objectively truer and truer the more you believe it's true.

About The Author

Rob Brezsny

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Slideshows

  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

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