REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Poor baby. You must have been wondering if I'd turned against you. It probably seems like I've been taunting and admonishing and critiquing you for weeks. Now for the first time I can reveal the full story behind my apparent betrayal. The truth is, sweetheart, I've been immunizing you. You might want to compare what I've done to a doctor who, in the first year of a baby's life, administers a series of shots designed to build up the child's ability to fight off various diseases.

You'll be glad to know your treatment's finished. I'm confident you've been so thoroughly strengthened by my tough love that you won't catch any of the contagious madness that'll be going around in the coming months.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): How'd you like to shock the one-note wonders who've always said your sonorous theme song would never sell? How'd you like to hold in your sensual little hands the indisputable evidence that you're not just an armchair adventurer? How'd you like me to push you out the door and yell, "Go have fun like the wild bunch you saw in a dream"? Ask and you shall receive and receive and receive.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): A "virtuoso" is a talented person who does one thing with supernatural skill. The term "versatile virtuoso" makes no sense, really, since it implies someone with several stunning talents. And yet I'm tempted to call you exactly that these days. You seem to be demonstrating an almost excessive number of aptitudes. As you revel in your extreme competence, let me sound one warning. Please try to distinguish between awesome displays of skill that impress the hell out of everyone and awesome displays of skill that further your goals. As much as you might feel the urge to juggle chain saws while balancing a chair on your chin and reciting Hamlet's soliloquy -- or whatever the equivalent of that might be in your own life -- I suggest you stick to more constructive displays.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I guess you've got the "hundred years of solitude" routine down pretty well. By now some of your friends and associates are probably thinking about reporting you as a missing person. You're way, way beyond the point of being a riddle wrapped inside a conundrum. I'm fantasizing that you've made yourself so indecipherable that you'll have to hire a professional code-breaker just to explain you to yourself once you get ready to become visible again. And it is that time. To become visible again. You've squeezed all the learning experiences you possibly can out of your disappearance. So please return to us.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Well, beauty and truth fans, here it is: the expose of the year; the trick ending of the century; the strangest happiness of the millennium. You're about to unlock the inside story behind the inside story behind the inside story. Start gasping now so you can build up to the breathtaking climax when the old link is cut to make way for an even more ultimate symbiosis. What seems like the end will actually turn out to be the end only if you misunderstand it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Once upon a time, on a night when a thousand beautiful lies came true, your fears threatened to abandon you. "What?!" you protested. "And leave me bereft of my motivating force?!" And so your fears hovered there -- half-gone, half-clinging to you. Just then a mysterious envoy arrived and slipped you a golden apple -- which you took just one bite of and cast aside. Alas, had you eaten it all, you would have acquired the courage to drive your fears away.

That was then. This is now. This week, finally, the legend resumes. Another mysterious envoy is ready to bring you another golden apple -- but only if you can prove you intend to devour the whole thing this time.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Mirthful shock! Welcome breakdown! Laughing words will be heard from afar, delivering you from a "necessary" evil!

Lucid manias! Deathless gazes! Long-lost stories told by strange voices will free you from business that should never have been yours in the first place!

Mysterious wishes zooming in from the frontiers! Fresh memories and once-forbidden pleasures bubbling up from below! Secrets of your past will soon begin to reinvigorate the quest of a lifetime!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio poet Ezra Pound toiled at the same long poem for 50 years, even during his 12-year stay at a mental hospital. The 20th century's most influential painter, Scorpio Pablo Picasso, began his innovative career at age 14 and was still experimenting with new forms of expression more than 70 years later. Scorpio actress Demi Moore rode her bicycle 24 miles one day when she was nine months pregnant. These three Scorpio artists exemplify the prodigious, brilliantly dogged spirit which you, I predict, will embody this week.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Last night I had my recurring dream of going bonkers and trying to eat broken glass. Only this dream was different than all the previous times. Three Sagittarian friends intervened. Risking personal injury, these Samaritans snatched the shards out of my hand and flung them out of reach. When I later came to my senses, I was embarrassed and grateful. As the dream ended, I handed each Sagittarius a check for a thousand dollars.

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