REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): What do you get when you combine the ardor of a nymphomaniac with the art of gathering useful information? An infomaniac. That's what I advise you to be this week. Like a hungry spy. Like a curious child. Like a muckraking journalist. You need more data, my friend, and you need it bad. What you don't know could start to hurt you unless you act fast.

I hope you realize this means you've got to suspend your pretty theories for a while. Being an opinionated know-it-all would interfere with your ability to locate the surprises you so richly need.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): I'll sometimes have a dream that seems meaningless or utterly obscure when I first wake up, but that days later I realize was a brilliantly condensed insight into what I most need to change about my life. You may not remember your dreams much, so this might not happen to you. But have you ever had a waking experience comparable to what I described? I predict that you will this week. You may draw a blank when you're in the middle of it, but later it'll barrage you with chewy clues that can help solve the toughest questions of 1996.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Welcome to the third annual Brag Therapy Week. It's the only holiday ever devised in which you're not just allowed, you're mandated to bluster on endlessly about how fabulous you are. During this time, I'm of course eager to facilitate massive eruptions of all the prideful feelings you've had to suppress during the past year. That's why I'm pleased to invite you to send your bombastic manifestoes of braggadocio to: Brag Therapy, Box 150247, San Rafael, CA 94915. By the way, if anyone complains, tell him your astrologer told you that rabid boasting will be as healing a treat for your soul as confessing your sins.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Don't neglect to take your seasick pills this week. The waves will often be higher than your boat, and though I don't expect you to capsize, I do anticipate a wobbly ride. I also urge you to wear your most waterproof clothes, because you're sure to get drenched. And by the way, don't even think about backing out of the journey. In case you forgot, you have a very good reason to venture into the rough waters. There's a special fish waiting out there with your name on it. If you snag it, it'll assuage your hunger for months.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): If there are any budding Leo saviors or heroes or leaders out there, the next two weeks will be prime time to explode onto the scene. Whatever you've learned while pulling off miracles for your lonesome self is now ripe to be applied to the puzzles that are paralyzing your gang. Ahhh -- but do you have it in you to be that generous? There's the rub. Can you figure out an angle that'll motivate you to do good deeds for people who may never be able to pay you back in kind?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It's understandable that we psychologists are obsessed with pathology. Our situation's similar to lawyers' relationship with crime: We'd be out of a job if people weren't so messed up. As a result, though, we're often at a loss when we have to relate to somebody -- like you -- who's so damn healthy. I mean, just look at you: staying in touch with all your semiconscious feelings, taking total responsibility for your actions, and making nothing but brave decisions. I hope you don't mind, then, if I just compliment you on your dynamite attitude, and move on to the fascinating sickos who really need me. (P.S.: Please forgive my pathological fear of being bored by contentment, and don't let it taint your respect for your own contentment.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Having a family or tribe that cares for you gives you many advantages. But it has drawbacks, too. Like for instance: It's a bitch to always be among folks who think they have you all figured out. I mean how the hell can you risk the ticklish moves that are necessary to reach your potential if everyone's applauding you for being just the way you are? What I'm driving at, Libra, is this: While I don't think you should exile yourself permanently from your close-knit circle, I do believe you need a break.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I'm in awe of the way you spur your allies to gain access to their dormant talents. I love your ability to shock people who're acting like machines into becoming aware of what it means to be vividly alive. I adore your knack for coaxing the hidden truth to the surface even when it doesn't serve your immediate goals. Of course, other folks who aren't as intrepid as myself may fear you and avoid you because of these very traits -- which currently happen to be in full bloom. I advise you, therefore, to hang out mostly with people who like their medicine very strong.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): There you stand. Alone together at last. Your clothes fall to the ground and you gaze at each other with tenderness -- or is it quizzicality? A wave of lust washes over you -- mixed with a shocking pinch of scary vulnerability. You're brimming with all the feelings you want to spill -- and yet somehow they seem dwarfed by the hundreds of questions that are nagging at the back of your brain. What the hell's going on? Are you coming or going, or coming and going at the same time? Shhhhh. Don't try to force any conclusions just yet, baby. Act as if you have all the time in the world to spend on figuring out this intimacy thing. And don't you dare fake a single emotion.

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