REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Until she broke her foot as a teen, Aries-born Paula Cole wanted to be a cheerleader like all the most popular girls. But the injury required her to wear a wooden shoe for an entire year, dashing her dreams and sending her in search of other identities. "That's when I found the piano, when music saved me," she said. Years later Paula is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and the Aries Role Model of the Week. Let's hope her story inspires you to start capitalizing on the bummers that befell you during the last few weeks.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Intentional vomiting was not uncommon in ancient Rome. Sensual rich folks used to thrust feathers down their gullets after a feast so as to make room for a whole new round of epicurean delights. And why am I telling you this? I'd like it to serve as a metaphor for the kind of thing you should watch out for. In the coming week, you'll be susceptible to the sin of seeking too much of a good thing, which would of course wreck the good thing. This is one time when the road of excess leads to the palace of idiocy.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): In honor of your arrival at the most fertile phase of your yearly cycle, I offer you the following observations. "Creativity ... consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know" -- George Kneller. "To create, you must empty yourself of every artistic thought" -- Gilbert George. "Really creative thinking does not occur with regard to problems about which the thinker is lukewarm" -- Mary Henle. "Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything" -- George Lois. "[Creativity is] like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way" -- E.L. Doctorow.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): At no time in the next week will an evil scientist inject you with a weird virus that causes you to hate to go shopping. Nor should you worry about LSD infesting you through your drinking water, a tarantula biting you while you sleep, or an anti-abortion militant shooting a poison dart into you as you pass a women's health facility. However, you are at high risk from TV newscasters who secretly love to scare the shit out of you. Don't let their disguised nihilism influence you to make personal decisions based on fear. While you're at it, avoid everyone who acts as if it's smart and reasonable to be cynical and negative.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): You'll have good weirdness if you go with first impressions, shortcuts, and fast tracks. You'll have skunky weirdness if you meander all over creation, give yourself all the time in the world, or ignore what's right in front of you. Be fervently crisp and nonchalant, Leo. Avoid dillydallying and malingering. Seek out electric yellow, the number five, moving targets, and people who make you laugh. Keep your distance from red tape, the number six, sleepyheads, and nostalgia-worshippers. If you can't make it razor-sharp and laser-bright, don't make it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Even if you're not a top college quarterback who stands to become an instant millionaire when you sign an NFL deal, I urge you to peruse sports agent Leigh Steinberg's book, Winning With Integrity: Getting What You're Worth Without Selling Your Soul. It could come in handy in the next few weeks, whether you're negotiating for a raise in your allowance or more varied sex from your lover. The time is ripe for you to prove how valuable you are, especially to people who're skilled at hypnotizing you into underestimating yourself.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Ten thousand years from today, everyone you know will be long dead and forgotten. There'll be nothing left of the life you love, no evidence that you ever walked this planet. This, at least, is what materialists would have you believe. But suppose the truth is very different? What if in fact every little thing you do subtly alters the course of world history? What if your day-to-day decisions will actually help determine whether and how the human species survives? And finally, what if you will be alive in 10,000 years, reincarnated and in full possession of the memories of the person you were back in 1998? These are my beliefs, Libra. These are my prophecies. Which is why I say: Live as if your soul is eternal.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The civilization of ancient Egypt had strong Scorpionic elements: great endurance, prolific artistry, and a fascination with the mysteries of the other side of the veil. There's another quality it embodied that you Scorpios are prone to but that I pray you'll avoid in the coming months. According to historian Paul Johnson, the Egyptians "never discarded any idea they had conceived, preferring, whatever the cost in logic or consistency, to attach to it ... any additional ideas or explanations as they occurred." This resulted in a convoluted and constipated cacophony of religious beliefs. If you hope to thrive this autumn, dear Scorpio, I suggest you reject the Egyptians' approach. Be a master at killing off old ideas.

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