REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): This would be a pretty good week to rise at 4 a.m. to confess your sins and say prayers for two hours before beginning a volunteer job cleaning up trash from the side of a highway and then showing up to help out at a homeless kitchen for a while before heading over to work, where you put in 10 hours not only doing your own job with 110 percent conscientiousness but also trying to compensate for your fellow employees' mistakes and laziness. And it would be an absolutely fantastic week if you did all the above and then came home at night to enjoy scintillating sex with a soul-nurturing wild thing.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Our teaching staff here at Real Astrology Inc. (many of whom are graduates of Sesame Street) asked me to tell you that this week is brought to you by the letter T and the number 2. Here are a few of the most important "T" words for you to master: togetherness, tantalize, telepathic, tickle, trust, tasty, tapestry, tenderness, turbocharge, teamwork. And to improve your skill in applying the meanings of the number 2, we suggest that you meditate on balance, interdependence, and collaboration.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): [Warning: I do not personally endorse any of the taunts I am about to hurl at you. Designed by my insult consultant, Ann Salyer, they're offered with comic love, in the hope that they will inoculate you against the truly mean things that some of the people in your life might fling at you in the week ahead.] "You grotesque vat of grisly buffalo chips. You ugly lump of sloshy weasel warts. You ungodly crock of dusky shark snot. You feebleminded ball of wormy swamp mud. You clueless mass of mealy tripe. You demented tub of defective pig hickies. You bewildered loaf of spoiled fish lips."

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I love November. The 11th month always infuses me with a sweet creative frenzy. Songs and poems and oracles pour out of me as if I'm mainlining muse juice. I can dance till dawn without the boost of a single cup of coffee. I have an unfailing sense of how to get and give far more than the usual amounts of love. To what do I attribute these blessings? Well, one explanation is astrological. I believe that most Cancerians, myself included, are subject to maximum eruptions of the sex-drugs-and-rock-'n'-roll vibe at this time of year. So whatcha waiting for, my fellow Crabs? Get out there and be like me.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Location location location: It's important in real estate, and it's crucial in your life this week. Being in the right place at the right time should be your obsession, your magical goal. Likewise, you should try to arrange for every showdown and negotiation to transpire on your home turf. Finally, make sure you're always where you've said you'll be, and try to build credibility for your positions by surrounding yourself with heavyweights.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You can and should compare apples and oranges this week, Virgo. You can and should invite Catholics and Protestants from Northern Ireland to the same party, and you can and should juggle flaming bowling pins while re-creating the Mona Lisa with a paintbrush that you wield with your teeth. There's no telling what implausible reconciliations you can pull off, what odd but beautiful juxtapositions you can make look smart and easy.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It's National Chemistry Week for you Libras. Or at least I wish it were. Then maybe you'd agree to tone down the prodigious output of your superbrain just a little so that your poor neglected gut could have its say. And that would be in righteous alignment with the mood of the astrological forces coming to bear on you right now. How about it, wise guy/gal? Would you be willing to seek out connections based on raw chemistry, not on contrived duty or strategic value? Would you consider the possibility that for a brief time the visceral will be preferable to the intellectual? I hope so. Here's your slogan for the week: "Death to the shoulds!"

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Many Scorpio readers are shocked by how friendly I am toward your tribe. They're so used to being slammed and stigmatized by other astrologers, they can hardly believe I'm sincere in my praise and respect. But I am. And here's a secret that helps explain why: I lived inside the womb of a Scorpio woman for the first nine months of my life. And I've been very pleased with the gifts my mother's bestowed on me all these years: her deep, dark vein of tenacious love; her deep, dark vein of healing power; her deep, dark vein of pragmatic compassion; and her deep, dark vein of spiritual devotion. Happy birthday, Mom. Thanks for providing a role model that's inspired me to recognize and bring out the best in Scorpios everywhere.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You will not be afraid of the dark this week. I repeat: You WILL NOT be afraid of yourself. Nor will you fear beady eyes that seem to be staring back at you from the mirror, or funny little curses that fly out of your mouth at the most inopportune moments. You will especially not be intimidated by your own shadow, or your evil twin, or your tendency to keep doing the right thing so far beyond the time it's appropriate that it's no longer the right thing. Be brave, Sagittarius -- braver than you've ever been in your life. Be so brave that you will stand up to yourself even when you scare yourself silly.

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