REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Maybe you've heard this one: What did the Buddhist monk say to the hot dog vendor? "Make me one with everything." But now here's the rest of the story. The vendor gives the monk his meal and the monk hands over a $20 bill. Then the vendor stashes it in his apron and turns his attention to the next customer. "But where's my change?" the monk inquires. Whereupon the vendor replies, "Change must come from within, my friend." And what does this have to do with your life, Aries? I believe you're about to have an analogous experience. Getting a dose of divine truth -- I'm sure you agree -- sometimes requires a brush with a trickster.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Last June, philanthropist Alan "Ace" Greenberg contributed $1 million to buy Viagra for men with small bank accounts. Emulating his example, I'd be happy to donate a free love spell to all you Tauruses who can't afford to a hire a witch for help in boosting your aphrodisiacal powers. To tell you the truth, though, I don't think you'll need it any time soon. From what I can tell, you're already as foxy and irresistible as it's possible for you to be. In fact, casting a love spell may qualify as overkill. Nonetheless, here it is if you want it. Light a red candle at twilight on Friday. After kissing a roll of child's caps that you bought in the toy section of the drug store, say this prayer aloud: "Dear Goddess: Show me how to use one of my imperfections to arouse and amuse."

Gemini (May 21-June 20): In Amish culture, a timeout is when young people experiment with the outside world and decide whether they will ultimately return to the fold. In kindergarten, a timeout occurs when a child has spun out of control and the teacher sends him off by himself to a corner to think about what he did. In the life cycle of a Gemini, this week's timeout may resemble both those other kinds. Take advantage of this pregnant pause to fantasize about what you could become if you no longer had to play by any of the old rules.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): At odd times, once or twice a year, I get a payment of about $19 from the Screen Actors Guild. It's a residual for the bit part I had in the 1994 movie Being Human, starring Robin Williams. I predict one of those checks will straggle into my mailbox during the next couple of weeks. It's that time in the Cancerian cycle when our tribe is likely to be rewarded for old accomplishments and blessed by blasts from the past. I wouldn't be surprised, in fact, if I got as much as $38 this time around. You should expect a similar boon.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): If you're a Leo real estate developer, this is a pretty good moment to begin turning rich farmland or rolling meadows into a shopping mall. By that I mean you would suffer only a thousand years of bad karma instead of the million years you'd incur if you did the dirty deed at any other time. But may I recommend an alternate course of action that would actually earn you karmic credit? All you members of the Leo tribe will be rewarded in the coming weeks if you work to bring the joys of civilization to the overgrown forests in your souls.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Kids have the good sense to choose one lollipop today over three lollipops tomorrow," says Wayne Dyer. Unfortunately, many of you Virgos lost this knack years ago. You're constantly postponing your gratification for a mythical feast day that never arrives. But with the authority vested in me by all the planetary forces, I hereby declare that this cycle of denial has got to end now. Treat yourself, finally, to the fun you've been earning for eons.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa used to talk about a class of wraiths called the preti. It has a mouth as big as whale, but a throat the size of a needle. It's insatiably voracious for everything it sees, but can't ingest a damn thing. Sometimes I myself feel like the preti -- it's my lot as an orally fixated Cancerian -- but I'm surprised to see you Libras so close to slipping into that state. I don't know whether this warning will be sufficient to divert you, but I can assure you that even if you succumb, your torment will last no more than 13 days.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If you were an animal, you'd be a sweet-smelling skunk or a helpful jackal. If you were a meal, you'd be a hot, spicy beef jerky topped with whipped cream. If you were a song, you'd be an uplifting New Age ballad as performed by heavy metal rock gods. In other words, Scorpio, you're a raging hunk of sexy contradictions. You're a towering powerhouse of mixed messages. And since this is exactly what life is like on the planet these days, you may be the wisest and strongest of us all.

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