For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): The raging furnace approach to life just won't work for you these days, my fiery friend. Nor will the burn it to the ground in order to save it approach, or the nuke first and ask questions later approach. In fact, it'll be a hellish time for any of you who try to keep the heat turned up all the way. Keep your flame low, slow, and steady, please. Simmer, don't scorch. Incubate, don't incinerate.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Did you cast a big old sloppy love spell on yourself, Taurus? Or did you simply decide to stop resisting life's fervent invitations to get more funky? Whatever the cause, you should by now be reaping the mostly delectable, somewhat chaotic consequences of a full-scale onslaught of romantic intrigue. In the wake of this delirium, I'd like to offer you some helpful tips on how to hide hickeys. (The first three come from kissing expert William Cane. Check out his Web site at 1) Brush the hickey twice a day with a toothbrush. 2) Twist it around the eraser tip of a pencil. 3) Place a spoon in the freezer for two hours, then press it against the afflicted area. 4) Get your whole neck covered with hickeys so the first one blends in.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Sometimes lately you remind me of a Yorkshire terrier that's trying to make friends with a gang of pit bulls. Other days you're like a woman whose goal it is to play Major League Baseball, or else one of millions of sperm struggling to be the first one to swim all the way to the ovum. The odds are against you, in other words, Gemini -- at least from a practical point of view. And yet the astrological aspects suggest there is quite a bit more than a snowball's chance in hell that an unusual stroke of luck will tip the balance in your favor when no one expects it. So by all means, press on with your quixotic quest.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Uh-oh. You're in that part of your astrological cycle when your indecisiveness threatens to reach a fever pitch; when you're in danger of arguing with yourself so vehemently about the wrong questions that you end up doing nothing at all. As a spell against that possibility, I offer part of a poem by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai (translated by Chana Bloch). "I'm like a man who tears up a letter/ And then has second thoughts,/ Picking up the pieces and pasting them together again/ With great pains, sometimes/ For the rest of his life." Memorize what you just read, Cancerian, then make sure you do nothing like it.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Wow! I'm impressed with the editing you've been doing on yourself, Leo. It seems you've downsized the big old attitude that was casting a 50-foot shadow. Your blame reflex is no longer on a hair trigger. And your emotional baggage has shrunk to the size of a small waistpack. Keep this up and people who've been blind or resistant to your glories will suddenly be liberated from their distorted perspectives. And then you just may begin to receive rewards that are commensurate with your true value.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo, I've composed the following invitation for you to deliver to all serious candidates for admission to your inner circle. "Dear Applicant: My potential as a giver of gifts is so vast yet so unfulfilled that it's almost tragic. Part of the problem is that far too many of the recipients of my favors seem to regard my generosity as a sign that I don't need or expect much in return. They take take take, thereby making it self-destructive for me to continue to give give give -- and thus rendering it impossible for me to fulfill my destiny as a bestower of blessings. Please keep this in mind as you drool over the prospects of what I can do for you. Love, Virgo."

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Massive archetype alert! Be prepared to swoon and shiver, sob and belly laugh, shut down and light up. Expect marvels and stupefactions like close encounters with unidentified flying omelets, psychedelic trips caused by eating moldy bread, and pies in the sky being thrown in your face. Thankfully, you won't be pressed to commune with all the above at once. There'll be just enough to tease you right to the brink of changing everything you think about everything -- but not over the brink.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I had to laugh appreciatively when I heard that ancient Hawaiian poets used to gather together to compose poems by committee. Someone would suggest a line, and the others would either nix it or refine it. Can you imagine a similar miracle occurring among the raging artistic egos of Western culture? No way, no how -- at least under most circumstances. I can, however, imagine gorgeous group gropes of all kinds emerging in the next couple of weeks -- even collaborative poems -- as long as there is a Scorpio somewhere in the mix. These days, you folks are not only geniuses at bringing out the dormant talents in others. You're also brilliant weavers.

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