REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Don't share deep secrets with convicted felons this week. Don't shoplift beef jerky from convenience stores. Don't disguise your voice and make obscene phone calls to public officials. Don't sneak up from behind and tickle your boss. Don't stick wads of chewed bubble gum on bus seats. Don't put handfuls of dead ants in envelopes and mail them to people you're mad at. Don't try to tackle frothing Dobermans that are running free. In fact, don't do anything mean, risky, or dumb. Instead, be enthusiastic, loyal, cheerful, helpful, patient, friendly, and really cute.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): If you get a chance to pick blackberries in the rain during the next week, please do so. Likewise, take advantage of any chances you have to dance around bonfires while singing freedom songs with mysterious friends, or to play tag with birds on a beach at dawn (especially if you've been making love all night). By every astrological indicator, your predominant emotions in the next 10 days should resemble misty fountains, gentle explosions, and climaxing blooms.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Attempting impossible combinations is your specialty. You have a flair for trying to pull off juxtapositions that would rip apart most other human beings. This isn't to say that you always succeed. Not infrequently you wind up feeling beside yourself. In the week ahead, though, I predict a rash of tremendous blendings and fusions. I expect your various selves to achieve a greater unity than they have for many moons -- even when you're sipping gin and tonic with your brown rice, or smoking cigarettes while jogging, or grooving to John Coltrane on the stereo while watching Jewel on MTV.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Take a bowl and begin dropping pieces of candy into it. Don't stop even when you've filled it up. Let the Hershey's Kisses or M&M's or Reese's Pieces spill over the sides. This little experiment will dramatize for you what is now occurring on a metaphorical level in your brain. So much mind-candy is pouring in that it's just about to overflow. This ain't necessarily bad (although it may result in you running off at the mouth). It may actually be quite wonderful. There's a good chance you'll learn more about how to feel really, really good in the next two weeks than you've discovered in the last six months combined.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): In all my years, I have never once advised you to turn down the flame on your ambition or douse the incendiary surge of your enthusiasm. And I won't do that now. For the next couple of weeks, however, I'd like you to find a way to mix generous amounts of moisture with your fiery spirit. You need to be more like a sauna and less like a furnace; more like a tropical river and less like a spewing volcano; more like a hot toddy that takes the shape of whatever vessel it's poured into, and not at all like a conflagration cutting a swath of destruction.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A month ago, hordes of zealots from the Pure Love Alliance converged on the White House to demonstrate their support for purity. For them, unfortunately, being pristine and incorruptible means little more than abstaining from sex before marriage. I wish all you Virgos would show the world what real purity is, especially now that you're in an astrological phase conducive to reinventing your innocence and integrity. Would you consider staging a mass event? We'd call it the Million Virgo March. You could flash signs at passing motorists that read, "Honk if you love people who live up to their highest ideals" or "The original meaning of the word 'virginal' was 'self-sufficient,' not 'chaste.' "

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): On the one hand the raucous planet Mars is cruising through your House of Greedy Fun, activating dormant animalistic urges to have your cake and eat it too. On the other hand, the Sun and Mercury are mincing around in your House of Dainty Spiritual Insights, which means you might not be able to be satisfied by anything less than a nice big hug from God herself. Is it possible to coordinate these two opposing claims? I hope you can find a way. Otherwise you might wind up feeling like the poet Kenneth Rexroth when he said, "Making love to you is like drinking seawater. The more I drink, the thirstier I get -- until it seems I must drink the entire sea."

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Time to separate the contenders from the pretenders, Scorpio. The moment of truth is bound to arrive soon now that the moment of half-truth has passed. It'll also be a perfect week to differentiate the young turks from the young turkeys and the brainless complainers from the constructive critiquers. While you're at it, why don't you get clear about which wild things drive you crazy in an intriguingly provocative way, as opposed to those who just drive you pointlessly, poisonously mad.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I'm wearing a tall conical hat decorated with stars and moons. A long white beard is strapped to my chin, and I'm clutching a carved wand. Why? To create in you the impression that I'm a crafty wizard who can tap into mystic sources of prophecy that are beyond the scope of most mortals. To tell you the truth, I don't really need any of those accouterments to conjure up your horoscope. But my effectiveness in serving you depends as much on your belief in my power as it does on my power itself. Keep all this in mind as you try to pull off your own magic this week. It's not enough to actually be who you say you are. You also have to make sure, by whatever ethical means necessary, that everyone else thinks you are who you say you are.

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