REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Many astrologers seem to think the planet Saturn is the cosmic equivalent of a crabby old tyrant whose goal in life is to limit our freedom. I vigorously resist this notion. Many people, it's true, don't want to respond to Saturn's pressure to focus and concentrate. They don't like being pressured to tread the very specific path they came into this world to master. But those folks should not be allowed the last word on Saturn. As I hope you Aries have discovered in recent years, there's no better ally than the ringed planet when it comes to the project of harnessing and disciplining your wildest, most beautiful powers.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Here are some of the Taurean geniuses whose birthdays we'll be remembering this week: Socrates, Dennis Hopper, Malcolm X, Pope Jean Paul II, and Wizard of Oz creator L. Frank Baum. Uncoincidentally, I believe your immediate future will be a blend of the outstanding qualities of those characters. You can expect a rash of stimulating questions, a manic dose of entertaining craziness, a surge of revolutionary zeal, a brush with good-hearted yet narrow-minded fanaticism, and a robust relationship with worlds created by the imagination.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): U.S. Congressman Dan Burton (R-Indiana) recently called President Clinton a "scumbag." Several days later, White House press secretary Mike McCurry modestly replied, "The use of a two-syllable vulgarity by [Burton] was rather ambitious." I urge you, Gemini, to borrow McCurry's poised, turn-the-other-cheek attitude in the face of the rude resistance you'll face this week. No matter how relentlessly the bastards try to drag you down, they won't succeed as long as you refuse to turn into a bastard yourself.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Marcia Ann Taylor, a self-described "Cancerian bitch goddess" from Morro Bay, Calif., recently wrote to tell me her creed: "I will gladly suffer a fool on the hill, but no fools in the swamp, thank you." As you Crabs slip into a time when you will passionately need the inspirations of dreamers but most definitely not need the manipulations of hallucinators, I urge you to take Ms. Taylor's affirmation to heart.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Contrary to what some horoscope fans believe, there's no such thing as predestination. The stars may impel, as the astrological saying goes, but they don't compel. That's why I've never really considered myself a fortuneteller. I prefer to think that my greatest service is as a psychic intelligence agent, helping you expose the hidden patterns and unconscious forces that may be affecting your life without your knowledge. If I "predict" anything, it's not so much the future as the missing part of the present. This week, for instance, I foresee that you'll like yourself better than you have in a long time, which in turn will open doors that have been locked for an even longer time.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Before we get to the meat of this horoscope, please allow me to speak directly to your subconscious mind. For best results, close your eyes while you read the following hypnotic suggestion. Tonight you will have a dream of flying through the twilight sky with exhilarating ease. And as you soar high above the site of your biggest problem, it will look very, very small. Tomorrow you will be amazed when your dream works some very practical magic. OK, now, where were we, Virgo? As I was saying, effervescent messages from afar are struggling to find their way to you. Pretend you're a radio telescope constantly scanning the skies for distant communiques.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): One fine day in the year 1917, the French dadaist painter Marcel Duchamp signed a urinal, renamed it "The Fountain," and pronounced that forever thereafter, it should be considered a work of art. In that spirit, I hereby put my stamp of approval on the gnarled mess of melodrama that you heroically lived through last week. I give it the title "The Redemption," and declare that it shall be eternally recognized as a goddamn masterpiece of soulful heroism. As for the week to come, take your inspiration from one of Duchamp's maxims, Libra: Never repeat yourself.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You have untapped genetic potentials that harbor talents you've barely imagined you possess. If you could ever manage to bring them to life, they would feel like magic to the person you are now. I'm afraid, however, that they are likely to lie dormant until you ripen and deepen your attitudes about death and dying. Fortunately, no one you know has to actually perish in order to get you motivated to launch this fascinating project. Generous amounts of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll could work just as well. (Note to any war-on-drug freaks who're reading this: I'm probably using the fifth word of the last sentence as a metaphor.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Pretty weird fantasies you've been entertaining there lately, Sagittarius. Burning down fireproof bridges. Throwing away jewels. Chomping on the hand that feeds you. Stealing stuff that already belongs to you. Running away from beasts that aren't even chasing you. If I wasn't so sure it was just a passing phase, I'd be worried that you were setting yourself up for a date with the dungeonmaster, if you know what I mean, or a showdown with a karmic judge. Be a sweetheart, will you, and stop letting your imagination generate all those creepy mirages? And I mean do it cold turkey, Sajjy baby.

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