REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): I call the ninth house your House of Frontier Adventures. These days it happens to be jampacked with planets. The last time there was a gathering this festive was 12 years ago. Do you recall what wild pilgrimage or sacred escape you risked in the fall of 1983? A quixotic quest to the ends of the earth? An out-of-pajama experience with a loony saint? Your first six-pack out behind the 7-Eleven? To calculate how the imminent knee-wobblin', endorphin-arousin' breakthrough will compare with the last time you surfed the primordial soup, multiply by a factor of three.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Here are a few predictions in honor of the seven-planet conclave in your House of Secret Transformations. 1. One of your cute old hopes will have to wither in order for a gorgeous new hope to germinate. 2. You will, if you dare, feel the hair-raising presence -- and help -- of the dead. 3. Sphinxlike pleasures will mean more to you after they're ended than they will while you're in the middle of them. 4. You will experience what can only be described as a border-crossing, and as a result, you will never again understand marriage in quite the same way.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): I'd like you to muse on the possible similarities between what happened in your life in December 1994 and in the last half of October 1995. Is there any way you can think of those two times as chapters in the same epic-length story? Meditate especially on matters involving collaborations and relationships and clowns kissing in a fountain. (I'm only half-kidding about that last one.)

I propose that December '94 and October '95 were related, and that together they were the perfect foreplay for this week. For better or worse -- depending on what you've sown through your own free will -- you're about to reap a climactic turning point that'll shift the course of your passions for years.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Calling all wage slaves, daily grinders, and nine-to-fivers. The week ahead will deliver the punch line you've been working all year to earn. This pithy revelation should tie together every hint you've glimpsed about how to put more love in your labor and more labor in your love; every shred of inside dope that's made your dreams more realistic and your realism more dream-inspired; and every connection that might improve your ability to create your ideal career for years to come.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Have you fallen in love this year? I mean fallen in love harder, deeper, and sloppier than you have in eons? If not, I'd have to conclude that either you're not a full-fledged Leo or else that this astrology stuff is a bunch of bunk. By all the signs and omens, your romantic fantasies should have been in flagrant overdrive these past 11 months. Your charismatic talents should have been on outrageous display, attracting every sleek lover and crazy geek who's been even vaguely enamored of you. And by all the signs and omens, you will harvest the fruits of all this amour fou in the next few weeks.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): If you've been following this column for a while, you're at least subliminally aware that I've been pushing and shoving you ever-so-politely toward your dreamhome. You know that I've been coaxing you to either rediscover your oldest roots or grow deep new ones; that I've been challenging you to build a foundation that'll last into the next millennium. Now your time for putting the finishing touches on all these quiet wonders is almost up. You've got four more weeks at the most, and this week will be very much like now-or-never, do-or-die.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you've been faithfully heeding the promptings of your secret self these last 11 months, 1995 will go down in the record books as the Year of Building Bridges. Fate has been begging you to reconcile elements that've always been at odds; to blend ingredients that've never been mixed; and to connect places which've been separated by abysses.

Now, I hope, your work as a master builder has arrived at its final phase. In these next few weeks your job is to check and double-check your craftsmanship; to polish all the rough edges; and to make sure every new link is ready for heavy traffic.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Let's hope your bank account has at least 20 percent more padding than it did at this time last year. Let's hope that you've been cashing in on all the financial help the cosmos has tried to shove in front of your face these last 11 months. And most of all, let's hope that if you've been in any way lax in these matters, you drop everything and try to make up for lost time in the next few weeks. If you can't get richer quicker now, you might as well take a vow of poverty and retire to a monastery.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): This is it. The most clamorous throng of planets in Sagittarius in the 20th century! Let me hear you say, Hallelujah. Better yet, let me hear you shout, I now have the power to re-create my world in the image of my smartest dream. There's only one catch. You have to know exactly what your smartest dream is. If there's any doubt in your mind, I'd recommend that you either find out fast -- or else forget the whole thing and fritter away the next few magical days playing the lottery, entering contests, and getting laid.

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