REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that you found yourself in a position where you were being chased by an alligator. Given the fact that the average gator can easily outrace Michael Jordan, let alone you, what would be your approach -- again, hypothetically speaking -- to eluding your carnivorous pursuer? My expert sources in South Florida assure me that running in a zigzag path would be your best bet. I suggest you employ that strategy no matter who or what might be tailing you this week. An even better idea, though, would be to avoid going anywhere near gators and their ilk in the first place.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Have you ever run across those newspaper horoscopes with rating systems? Five stars mean your boss will suddenly realize you're the key to the company's success, or you'll win a car in a radio station contest, or a secret admirer will slip you a note that reads, "I am your love slave forever." Then there are the one-star days. Your dog'll eat your homework, your best friend will blab your big secret to everyone, and even your mom won't return your calls. In my opinion, a rating system like this is totally bogus. It's simply impossible to make such an absurdly simplistic categorization for one-twelfth of the population. Except, that is, for Tauruses in the here and now. This week will be six stars for you.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Gemini Marilyn Monroe started out life as Norma Jean Baker. Early on, Gemini Judy Garland was known as Frances Gumm. John Wayne, also born under the sign of the Twins, was called Marion Michael Morrison by his mama. All these stars, apparently, decided as young adults that their ambitions would be better served if they changed their names. I'm not necessarily suggesting that you follow their example. But if you were ever to choose a fresh moniker in this lifetime, now would be an excellent time. At the very least, I urge you to dream up a vivid new alias for yourself, or a nickname that excites your imagination, or an outrageous title that makes you believe you have more power to succeed than you ever thought possible.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): If I were the kind of therapist who didn't talk everything to death but instead gave you concrete assignments, I would advise you to study the sky and the clouds and the stars right now -- preferably not just by shoving your nose in books about those subjects, but mostly through firsthand observation of the heavens. In fact, I'd try to convince you that any problems you were tormented by would magically metamorphose if only you gave yourself passionately to the great outdoors and let nature teach you secrets you didn't even know you needed to know.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): It would be a fun week to wrap yourself in a red silk kimono and luxuriate amid velvet pillows while a love slave showers you with kisses or a coterie of sycophants regales you with stories of how great you are. But your time would be even better spent by wrapping yourself and an equal partner in red silk kimonos and luxuriating amid velvet pillows while a healer or fortuneteller tells you two exactly what karma you still have to work on together.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You may not recognize the person you see in the mirror these days. And if you listen to the voice of reason, that may alarm you. But I'm a voice of mischievous wisdom, not of reason, and what I say is, hallelujah. Be happy and proud you're not quite yourself, Virgo. This is your big chance to find out more about what you're not, and to explore futures that've always been taboo. So go ahead and milk that curious reflection for all it's worth. Unpredictability is power. Try being even more not yourself.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): As you languish there in captivity, I thought it might cheer you up to know that quite a few masterpieces have been whipped up by people in far more dire straits than you. Libran novelist Miguel de Cervantes started Don Quixote while in the slammer, for instance. Libran writer John Bunyan was incarcerated when he penned the religious allegory Pilgrim's Progress, and Libran poet e.e. cummings wrote The Enormous Room while in prison. In conclusion, Libra, consider the possibility that your current phase of constraint and limitation is an excellent opportunity to wax creative. Maybe you'll be forced to accomplish wonders and marvels that you haven't had the self-discipline to pull off before.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Selling refrigerators to Eskimos, it turns out, is not such a coup after all. Many folks in the far north use the things to keep their food from freezing. Similarly, it's not so far-fetched for me to advise you Scorpios to read books and watch videos about tantric sex. While you obviously have little trouble getting turned on, sometimes you get so totally pumped up that you don't bother to explore the subtler, softer pleasures of erotic communion. And this would be a perfect week for you to invite lust and love to become better acquainted.

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