REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): German actor Udo Kier, a specialist in playing villains, is swaggeringly enamored of his own silly nihilism. "Evil has no limit," he asserts with hackneyed pomposity. "Good has a limit. It's not as interesting." Most filmmakers and journalists seem to agree with him; I may be in a minority in my belief that evil is a fucking bore. But how dare Mr. Kier proclaim that "good has a limit" when there are so few smart artists and thinkers brave enough to explore the frontiers of goodness. Which is where you come in, Aries. In the next few weeks, you'll have the opportunity to unleash a maelstrom of beauty and truth and justice and love everywhere you go.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Pate de foie gras is a rich food whose essential ingredient is obscenely swollen goose livers. The heartless farmers who produce this gourmet treat fatten up their hapless birds by force-feeding them humongous amounts of cooked maize and pork grease. A person would have to eat 28 pounds of spaghetti a day to match this intake. Which, come to think of it, you might almost be capable of doing in the next few weeks. Your capacity for taking stuff in -- whether it's food, information, emotions, or whatever's lying around -- will be almost as inexhaustible as a pate-producing goose. But just because you can doesn't mean you should. Please don't let yourself creep anywhere near the grossest levels of consumption.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): As spokesperson for the cosmic rhythms, I'm happy to grant you carte blanche to flex your silver tongue twice as much as you would in a normal week -- on the condition that you use it to enhance the mood of everyone you unleash it on. I'm also encouraging you to gather and disseminate gossip with three times the ferocity as usual -- as long as in doing so you bless people, not curse them. Finally, I'm giving you poetic license to splurge on the urge to merge -- provided that you're fully prepared to follow through on all the juicy promises you squirt forth.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I predict that some decision you make or action you take in the coming week will have long-term consequences for your relationship with boredom. I'm not sure what the nature of this monumental move will be. Maybe you'll realize what you can do to avoid a situation that would ultimately invoke endless repetitions and yawns. Or perhaps you'll get so turned on by a fresh source of lavish novelty that you'll vow to do whatever's necessary to join your fate to it.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Our ancestors considered a birthday, like all times of transition, to be a spiritually precarious moment. They believed both benevolent and mischievous spirits were attracted to anyone celebrating the anniversary of her birth. I think there's some truth to this notion. I regard your birthday season as the beginning of a new astrological cycle when you have a heightened power to exorcise the past and launch fresh starts. Your deeds have a more profound effect than usual, for good or ill, on the destinies of both you and your loved ones. Not to put too much pressure on you or anything, Leo, but what you do now could distract you or heal you for a long time.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Hope you're in the mood for weird words of wisdom from that strange old sage Henry David Thoreau. He left behind some advice that would be quite useful to you during your flirtation with the quagmire. "When I would recreate myself," Thoreau mused, "I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and ... most dismal swamp. I enter the swamp as a sacred place -- a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength, the marrow of nature."

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Betty Brooks, a reader from Oklahoma, wrote to inform me that she was my mom in a past life. I was Lewis Carroll, she said, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Bill Gates, according to her vision, was my younger brother. Who knows if any of this is true, but it's fun to imagine. Well, it's more than fun, actually. It's downright healthy. Literal facts and sterile logic can not only be oppressive; in excess they can make you sick -- especially for you now, Libra. As a preventive measure, I exhort you to dream up fantastic tales. Claim to be the inventor of Silly Putty, or brag that a psychic said you're destined to be queen of Mars in a future life.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): There's only one location on the planet where you can stand and gaze down at both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It's Mount Irazu in Costa Rica. I believe, however, that you Scorpios are very close to reaching a metaphorical equivalent of this power spot. It'll be a high perch with an expansive vista, an inspiring place from which you can survey the tides of history flowing through your life. Remember well what you see while you're up there, my friend. It could help guide your game plan for years to come.

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