REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Millions of Aries less fortunate than you will not get the chance to commune with this horoscope. Uninformed, therefore, about the imminent shift in cosmic gears and the rocky stretch of yellow brick road that lies ahead, they may suffer a blown transmission on the path to the suburbs of paradise. You, on the other hand, my friend, will be armed with oracular forewarning, not to mention my inside connections with high-up karma mechanics. As a result, you'll slow down before the hellish potholes pop up, and you'll get your transmission fixed before it's even broke. No doubt you'll be able to complete the next leg of your journey in style, if not exactly in comfort.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Here's scientist Danny Hills, quoted in Wired, extolling the beauty of long-term planning: "I think of the oak beams in the ceiling of College Hall at Oxford. Last century, when the beams needed replacing, carpenters used oak trees that had been planted in 1386 when the dining hall was first built. The 14th-century builder had planted trees in anticipation of the time, hundreds of years in the future, when the beams would need replacing." I exhort you, Taurus, to apply the same kind of thinking to your own life. Believe it or not, decisions you make in the next few weeks could not only have an impact on your life 10 years from today, but also on your next incarnation in the 23rd century.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Thomas Edison wasn't a Gemini, but this week will bring you Geminis as close as you can get to being Thomas Edisons. "Inventiveness" may not be your middle name, but it'll be your stage name for a while. In fact, this may be the first time since you and I launched our relationship that I've been able to juxtapose the words "practical" and "genius" in one of your horoscopes. Your imagination will be churning out not just any old whimsical departures from the tried and true, but rather highly useful ones.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): After a long and semibrilliant reign as your kick-ass guide, one of your major influences is about to lose more than a little of its hold on you. This is a stealthy turning point that's best faced on an empty mind, so please wash your brain thoroughly. The fertile new imprints that are on their way will be much more effective in inspiring brainstorms if you're not being a nice, polite Crab trying to stay loyal to the memory of your old teacher.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Ever heard of a found poem? It's a juicy text scavenged from an unlikely source, say a video game manual, and turned into an official poem. Now, for the first time in history, I have created a found horoscope -- which just happens to present a perfect metaphor for your imminent future. "In a seedy metropolis, aliens disguised as humans threaten sabotage. You are at ground zero for the action, controlling the plot. Interact one-on-one with the crusty mystic Ghost-Weasel and the half-evil, half-good Sucker-Pucker, as you navigate through subterranean sewer tunnels infested with nasty radioactive Ratigators. Yuck! Sounds like a blast. May the best mutant win."

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Dear Dr. Brezsny: Lately I've been having many odd epiphanies, or epoopanies as I call them, inspired by a series of scatological yet spiritually uplifting dreams in which I receive great insights while diligently roto-rootering my clogged toilet. Should I be embarrassed about the source of my revelations? -- Dirty Virgo from Bellingham" Dear Dirty: Be proud, not ashamed! Most people don't even clean up their own messy karma, let alone do it with the verve and skill you and your fellow Virgos have been doing lately. God is obviously rewarding you.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "One should not think slightingly of the paradoxical," said Danish philosopher S┬┐ren Kierkegaard, "for the paradox is the source of the thinker's passion, and the thinker without a paradox is like a lover without a feeling." Keep this in mind, Libra, during the sweet-and-sour bafflements of the next few weeks. Luckily for you, your analytical powers are kicking into high gear at the same time that the cosmos is swamping you with gnarly yet noble puzzles.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): National Geographic notes that the male Australian redback spider, which is just one-fiftieth the size of the female, "seems almost exuberantly reconciled to his fate: He somersaults headlong into the female's jaws while still copulating." As deliriously liberating as eros is likely to be for you in the coming weeks, Scorpio, I hope you show a touch more restraint than this creature. There's no need to be eaten alive in order to have more boundary-dissolving fun than you've had in many moons.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): This is strange. While meditating on your horoscope in my home office, where no one ever visits, I've been called to the door twice in 15 minutes. First I was victimized by Jehovah's Witnesses, next by Scientology drones. Is this evidence of millennial recruiting fever, or is the universe sending me an omen about you? Wow. As I typed that last sentence, a call came into my answering machine. It was a Sagittarius reader from Toronto saying, "Help! I'm being pestered to listen to and endorse ideas I don't have any interest in. What should I do?" Now it's unequivocal what the signs mean, Saj: Slam the door on distractions and interruptions. Hunker down with the treasure that thrills your heart most.

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