Real Astrology For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): I wouldn't be surprised if in one of your past lives you were among the sailors who accompanied Magellan on the first global circumnavigation, or a member of Marco Polo's team in its journey to China. You have, after all, displayed flashes of groundbreaking, trailblazing behavior throughout your current incarnation. Rarely, however, have those ancient talents of yours been closer to a full resurgence than they are now. If you've been waiting for the near-perfect opportunity to risk sailing off the edge of the known world, this is it.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): How many of you have at one time or another made fools of yourselves in the name of responding to your sexual desires? What a dumb question, eh? I would hope that every one of us has allowed eros to turn us into a babbling idiot on at least a couple of occasions. Of course there are some occasions when the mania that lust endows can actually lead to experiences that make you smarter. This week, for instance.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): "We are the sum of our efforts to change who we are," writes Eduardo Galeano. "Identity is no museum piece sitting stock-still in a display case, but rather the endlessly astonishing synthesis of the contradictions of everyday life." If what he says is true, Gemini, you're in for a major upgrade in your sense of uniqueness. You'll soon be inundated with rich paradoxes and intriguing conflicts, and they'll invite you to make dramatic innovations in the definition of who you are.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I was aghast when several different Cancerian readers came up to me recently and asked something to the effect of "Why do you hate us Crabs? You never give us a good horoscope." This monumentally erroneous interpretation of my feelings moved me to meditate on how some of you might be undermining your whole support system. The fact is, I'm such a big fan of yours that I worry about the other signs getting jealous. And if you mistrust the sympathies of one of your staunchest allies, I wonder what you're projecting onto the rest of the world? Please relax your excessive vigilance, my darlings.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): In their book The 48 Laws of Power, R. Greene and J. Elffers articulate an amoral but ultimately practical vision. "Any man who tries to be good all the time," they quote from Machiavelli, "is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good." I suggest you read this book, because even though you love to gather power, you don't instinctively know how to hold onto it. "Why should I lower myself to play strategic games like everyone else," you tell yourself, "when my charisma and expressiveness should be enough to get people to do things my way?" Greene and Elffers will cure you of that delusion, Leo. Now study their 46th law; it's especially apt for you this week. "Never appear too perfect. It is smart to occasionally display defects and admit to harmless vices in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable."

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Welcome to the waiting room. The waiting room for what, you ask? Your parents might say you're waiting to get your comeuppance for not turning out exactly how they wanted. Your boss might say you're there until you show you have what it takes to be as perfect as a machine. I say you're composing yourself for a test that will require you to prove you're no longer willing to let authority figures twist and tweak your identity.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libras are the best listeners of the zodiac. A majority of you are skilled in the art of receptivity. Not only are you curious to find out how other people's minds operate -- you also realize how helpful that knowledge can be when it comes to getting what you want. Having said all that, Libra, I encourage you to turn the tables this week. It's time for everyone else to listen hard to you, damn it! To drive home this point, carry a dispenser of Scotch tape with you at all times. Playfully offer to place strips of it over the mouths of those whose undivided attention you want.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A stadium groundskeeper named Tim Forneris snared Mark McGwire's record-breaking 62nd home run in September. But instead of keeping it and snaring the million bucks that memorabilia collectors would have paid for it, he gave the ball to McGwire. In my opinion that was a grossly misguided case of altruism. Baseball's most famous slugger earns $9.5 million a year! He didn't need charity from a guy who probably earns $9.50 an hour. It would be different if Forneris had returned a lost deposit bag on the street filled with a week's receipts from a mom and pop grocery. Then I would have admired his integrity. The moral of the story, as far as you're concerned, Scorpio: no wrongheaded heroism! Seize your just desserts!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I foresee organized chaos in your immediate future, Sagittarius. I predict astute lunacy and garish elegance and wild discipline. Yes, my contradictory friend, you will have no use for neat categories or simplistic buzzwords any time soon. You are becoming the very embodiment of reverent blasphemy and uproarious lucidity. Others may try to shame you into toning yourself down, but luckily I'm here to egg you on toward the extremes of outrageously healing paradox. Give selfish gifts, you lovable curmudgeon. Be self-effacingly grandiose and fanatically nice and aggressively sensitive.

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