REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Just in time for your descent into the romantic underground, I've composed one of my patented Cranky Love Prayers for your benefit. Here goes. "Dear Goddess, please arrange it so that the labyrinths Aries folks have to wander through with their lovers this week will be warm and safe and dry, not cold and dangerous and damp. And Goddess, if Aries and their sweethearts get into tussles that capsize their boats in the tunnel of love, please let it be in a place where the water is unpolluted. And finally Goddess, please inspire Aries and their darlings to love each other like Energizer bunnies -- no matter how many subterranean caverns they must crawl through."

Taurus (April 20-May 20): To the flaming radical in me, the apocalypse is already under way -- courtesy of fundamentalist vipers, corporate feudalism, nihilistic media, and the virus of plutocracy. To the boundless mystic in me, on the other hand, everything's proceeding as it should. The greedy, fearful purveyors of the status quo are slowing down the flood of redemptive change just enough to prevent mass insanity. The weird thing is, I ultimately believe both these views are true. Which means I've passed F. Scott Fitzgerald's test of intelligence: "the capacity to hold conflicting ideas in the mind at the same time and continue to function." What about you, Taurus? Ready to live on the edge between future shock and the constraints of the past? The stars say that's your assignment.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): You Geminis are the shapeshifters of the zodiac. With an attention span that sometimes resembles a 9-year-old boy in dire need of his Ritalin, you can careen through more moods in an hour than most people do in a week. On the other hand, there's at least one way you're maddeningly consistent. I'm talking about how you're just so relentlessly, everlastingly cool. So devastatingly incapable of being boring. So unfailingly stylish and suave and smart-mouthed. I mean, let's meditate on this. Isn't it hazardous to your Gemini nature to be so damn steady? I urge you to rebel. To rise up and throw off the chains of your hipness. I say, celebrate this Halloween in the nerdiest costume possible.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Your juicy astrological aspects impel me to predict that you're about to get laid ... and laid ... and laid. There's almost no chance you could screw this up -- unless you indulge in any of the following acts of insanity. 1) You tell amusing tales about how you used to enjoy bugging your ex. 2) You invite your lover to a fun weekend at your parents' house. 3) You offer to demonstrate how skilled you are at the art of obsession. 4) You insist that your partner help you act out a fantasy of doing it with Quentin Tarantino or Courtney Love. 5) In an effort to fine-tune your shtick for the Halloween bash, you wear your "Crazy Crab" costume everywhere you go.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): The red planet Mars, ruler of ardor, aspiration, and animal energy, is now gliding through the constellation of Leo the Lion. In the next few days it will appear to brush up against the bright star Regulus, which is the very heart of the lion. I take this to be a symbolic signal that you'll be blessed with bursts of sublime zeal whenever you nurture ambitions that are driven by your heart, not by your ego.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Are you all alone in a world oozing with danger and betrayal? Or are you surrounded by helpers in a beautiful world that never gives you more of a challenge than you can handle? Trick question! The answer, of course, is: It depends to some degree on your attitude. Which leads me to my next query: Can you learn how to live more full time in the world of helpers? Trick question! The answer is: It depends to some degree on whether you believe you can.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Follow your bliss and the money will come." I believed that quixotic slogan from the moment I first heard it many years ago. And I continued to cling to it even during those long, lean eons when I was following my bliss like a madman and cooking my twice-a-day rice and beans on a hot plate in my one-room shack. Now, at last, having graduated to more sumptuous digs and a more varied diet, I've acquired the wisdom to know that my beloved slogan is incomplete. It should read, "Follow your bliss and the money will come -- although it might take 10 or 15 years." That, my financially ripe friend, is your thought for the week.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): For your birthday I'm offering you an eight-month supply of divine intervention. Your first gift, a brand-new biological clock, will arrive by Nov. 17. By mid-January you'll hazard upon a legal high that'll allow you to dispense with a legal low. By Feb. 21, a magic finger will erase the noxious writing on the wall, and in March an old flame will deliver a hot tip. In April you'll win a guerrilla skirmish with the global economy, and this should lead you to an even more convincing victory by June.

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