REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): So did you hear that the Pentagon spent over $5 million last year to build a third golf course at Andrews Air Force Base? Or that the CIA is ordering La-Z-Boy recliners for its offices at a truly alarming rate? It's probably preferable that you don't know, actually. There's not a damn thing you can do about it, and besides, your reservoir of political energy would be better directed toward the fraud, corruption, and injustice in your own circle or community. That'll be especially true in the next few weeks, when your clout will be at a peak.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Plato long ago recognized that besides eating, sleeping, breathing, and having sex, every creature has an instinctual need to periodically leap up into the air for no other reason than because it feels so good. Seeing as how you have not been attending to this need for a very long time, and seeing as how it's essential to creating the proper mood for your challenges in the next two weeks, I beseech you now to do just that. And do it at least 10 times a day, please, to make up for lost time.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Your astrological aspects make me wonder if you'll try to homestead in an exotic frontier in 1997. They could also mean that you'll go way, way back to the land or connect with your ancestral roots in a most postmodern way. To be honest, Gemini, your upcoming planetary configurations are so open-ended and multifaceted that they're making it difficult for me to pinpoint the exact nature of your future. Other ways to interpret the omens: You'll invite a refugee or explorer into your home; you'll build a solid foundation for a far-out fantasy; you'll master the art of out-of-body travel, allowing you to wander far and wide without leaving the privacy of your own bedroom; or all of the above.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): After years of observing the way relationships work, I've detected the operation of a few universal laws. One of those maxims, which should be particularly meaningful to you right now, is the following: Whatever thrilling qualities attract you to a new person in the first place are exactly what will eventually drive you crazy if you develop a long-term connection. I don't mean to imply that you should therefore shun people who excite you. I just want to make sure you understand that any intimate liaison worth cultivating will, from time to time, turn you half-insane.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): I read recently that the members of a British vegetarian society awarded chicken the title of "honorary vegetable." Their brazen fudging of the categories (and your current astrological aspects) have inspired me to name you an "honorary Virgo," if only for the next two weeks. During this time, you'll have license to obsessively organize your kitchen cupboards, floss your teeth five times a day, and overanalyze everything to death. Just kidding. Sort of. Seriously, why not concentrate on the exalted aspects of the Virgoan influence? You could, for instance, explore more of the pleasures of being useful to others, or finish your spring cleaning months ahead of time.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Dear Virgo: I don't need your undying devotion. I don't want to own your body or move in with you. All I really want is to bask in the healing radiance of your intelligence. Can you believe that? I have this crazy notion that I might be able to get smarter about dealing with my own problems if I can observe the ways you deal with yours. How about it? In return, I'll prove to you how powerful you really are. -- Your Secret Admirer"

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I'd lay 3-1 odds that you'll have a dream of riding on a magic carpet within the next two weeks. I also believe that this'll be a recurring dream all year long. By next January you may well have spent as many as 20 nights soaring through the air on a floating rug. And what exactly is the meaning of this? I regard it as just one element of a cosmic conspiracy that's bent on encouraging you to indulge in more flights of the imagination in 1997. Everywhere you turn, life will be goading you to open your mind to mysterious potencies. Any attraction you may still harbor for the philosophy "shit happens" will be fiercely challenged by a new fascination with the formula "magic occurs."

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The discovery of penicillin was a happy accident. Likewise, X-rays and photography first came into use thanks to lucky blunders. I hope that's enough evidence to convince you to monitor your unintentional effects very closely this week. Sometimes your best experiments will be the ones you don't plan. And besides, as the T-shirt I got for Christmas says, "How can you learn from your mistakes unless you make a lot of them?"

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Ready to finally wrest an answer out of the Big Question? You know what Big Question I'm talking about: "Do you have what it takes or do you not have what it takes?" Personally, I'll be ecstatic when you're finished with it. To me, it's a useless meditation that interferes with a more pertinent riddle, which is: "Do you want it badly enough or do you not want it badly enough?" I'm hoping and predicting that in 1997 you'll transfer your concentration from the first question to the second -- especially if you can get a big head start in the coming two weeks.

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