REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): It'll be a good week to tattle on big bullies who're feigning innocence, or to fight arrogant bozos who think it's cool to scapegoat underdogs, or to outwit manipulative powermongers who've gotten away with their bullshit for far too long. On the other hand, it won't be such a good week to scream at a bumbling clerk, or to blame your mommy for your messes, or to punch yourself out for some minuscule mistake. Catch my drift? Aim your anger at a righteous cause, or don't aim it at all.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): As I meditate on your immediate future, I'm reminded of John Ashbery's comment on the poetry of Kenneth Koch. "As you listen to him," Ashbery mused, "you will begin to realize that you are escaping to what you should never have been allowed to escape from." This is exactly the kind of experience I wish for you in the weeks ahead. As you follow a whimsy that seems at first to be taking you far afield, I hope you find you're headed toward a place that feels like home.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): A Gemini reader from New Haven recently called the Real Astrology hot line to bitch. "I appreciate the fact that you're trying to teach us all how to become little Buddhas," Robert Mannheim began, "and that you're not just programming us to become bigger, badder narcissists, like most other astrology columnists. But please, Dr. Brezsny, can't you clue us in on some shortcuts? I don't want to have to work so damn hard to become a genius of love."

I'm pleased to inform you, Robert -- as well as all my other Gemini readers -- that your wish is about to be granted. During the next few weeks there'll be almost no contradiction between your drive to become more holy, wise, and compassionate and your lust for more fun, pleasure, and adventure.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Many years ago, on a bleak January morning, I unexpectedly found my fortune. While waiting in the food stamp office for my monthly allotment, I picked up the local weekly rag and turned to the help wanted section. "Horoscope columnist needed, $15 a week," it said. My first reaction was, Feh. As a proud practitioner of the ancient art of astrology, I'd always despised horoscope columns for the way they pandered to the most superstitious instincts in people. On second thought, I mused, why don't I make a stab at revolutionizing the genre? So I dashed off my first masterpiece and submitted it. The rest is herstory. Why am I telling you this tale, fellow Cancerian? Because I believe the next three weeks could be the time you unexpectedly find your fortune.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Do you have a twin your parents never told you about? If so, you'll find out about it this week. Is there a secret about your sex life or romantic history that you'd hate to have revealed? If so, zillions of people will soon hear about it on a talk show or at a gossipfest. Is there a person you've had an unrequited or covert crush on for years? If so, this is the prime time to make your move.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Dumpster Dave prays to the dumpster gods to find the half-rotted food and other discarded materials he needs to stay alive. Pre-dawn Paul prays to the outlaw gods as he prowls the suburban streets before the sun comes up, hoping to beat the garbage collectors to the rich pickings of old bottles, cans, and newspapers. And Astrologer Rob beseeches the planetary gods to help Virgos to compost love's little failures into fertilizer, preparing romance for a greenhouse growth cycle in March.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Researchers say the average woman falls in love 4.6 times in her life; the average man 5.3 times. I think you're about to rack up one of those .6 or .3 times. It'll be sort of like love, but then again not exactly. It may turn out to be a situation where the two of you sleep together but don't boink, or else boink all the time but never have anything to say to each other.

And that's the best-case scenario. In a less-than-best case, you might be seriously tempted to try a fling with a married tease or total wacko. I say proceed with caution and humor. Consider having the equivalent of a prenuptial agreement every step of the way, from before the initial exchange of phone numbers to before the first kiss.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I would love to see the breakthroughs you'd experience if you spent this week fasting, keeping perfect silence, and meditating for 10 hours at a stretch. Realistically, though, very few of you have the luxury of working that hard in behalf of your immortal soul. So I'll suggest the next best thing, which is to cut down on the doughnuts, try to minimize small talk, and pray for a half-hour at a stretch as often as possible.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): With the Sun, Mars, and Uranus crowding into your House of Discernment, the featured organ of the week has to be your nose. I realize this might sound ridiculous, but I'm quite serious: You're most likely to make discriminating choices if you let your sniffer be your guide. If it smells good, follow it. If it stinks, or even if it's got a slightly weird tang, turn away. That old saw "follow your nose" has never been more useful.

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