REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): My spies report that you've been compulsively bellowing your personal anthem off-key. And that you've been using your symbol of wholeness as a battering ram. And that you've ignored your dreams' suggestions until they turned into a list of demands. Keep this up and you'll soon be a candidate to run away and join a millennial cult. Oh well. I'm your cheerleader, not your policeman. If you insist on slithering down the path to culthood, may I suggest my favorite, the Rich Socialist Libertarian Pagans for Lascivious Feminism?

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Scientists at the Cosmic Yo Yo Institute of Perpetual Surprise have announced the discovery of a secret, eighth day of the week. It's called Funday, and though evidence is still too scant to determine its exact location, the researchers speculate that it often hides between Thursday and Friday. I bring this up, Taurus, because although you're usually too hypnotized by the clock to even hope to sense the presence of this extra 24 hours, there is now a brief window of opportunity for you to break your trance and dive into the missing time. While you're at it, be alert for other covert luxuries and buffer zones that may only be visible out of the corners of your eyes.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): What do you look for in a god or goddess, Gemini? It's the perfect moment for you to define the kind of divine presence you'd most like to have pouring down on you (or should I say erupting up inside you?) on a regular basis. Write your description on a piece of paper, then put it under your pillow for nine consecutive nights. As you drop off to sleep, silently call out with all your heart to the deity you've envisioned. Within two weeks, I predict the two of you will enjoy a communion you will always remember.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): If you were a cow, it would be prime time to move on to new grazing lands. If you were a monogamy buff, you'd now have temporary permission to let your eyes wander far and wide to find out what you're missing -- and what you're not. If you were a journalist, it'd be a perfect moment to stop forcing the raging ambiguity of real life into neatly packaged news-bites. If you were an immortal godlike being who had impulsively taken on a human form as an experiment only to have forgotten your origins, you'd be on the verge of remembering the truth.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Warning: Truth decay is now in progress. Do you have the guts to rip the cover off the cover-up? Are you willing to be on the cleanup crew after the fecal matter hits the rotary-bladed breeze-blowing device? If not, I completely understand. Accept the fact that deceit will triumph, and go your way in peace. But if you're too agitated to simply swallow the loss, by all means organize your facts and compose your expose -- now. By next week the fraud will be more entrenched and difficult to prove. Just one caveat: Make sure you're not driven by a personal vendetta. That would damage the beautiful truth you want to protect and defend.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Will you accept the cosmic invitation to solve the riddle that could lead to more lyrical acts of intimacy? Are you willing to go anywhere, ask any question, and make a damn fool of yourself in order to coax your most important relationships into living up to their juiciest potentials? Are you prepared to believe that it's possible for you to induce a dream of finding ripe strawberries growing in the desert?

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): As skilled as you are at standing back and making astute observations, I urge you to forgo this pleasure for now so that you may plunge in and make the kind of loud, sweaty grunts that come with total commitment. Forget about your graceful talent for tactful compromise, in other words, and start a graceful riot in behalf of the side that your favorite god is on. Witty, evasive action: no. Hard-nosed gut-checks: yes. Be the mover and shaker with a thousand nuts and bolts, not the big-talking hero with a thousand theories.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A friend of mine saw a group of Turkish Sufis doing a ritual dance that had never before been performed for the public. She was riveted by their disciplined yet ecstatic whirling. Imagine her dismay, then, when she realized halfway through the show that more than a third of the audience had walked out. She decided the dance had exuded too much gorgeous sanctity and unsentimental benevolence; it had simply overloaded the circuits of the irony-addicted materialists in the crowd. I hope you're not like those jaded moles, Scorpio, because then you'll fail to take advantage of the shocking beauty that will flood your world this week.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You Sagittarians are famous for feeling right at home as you wander afar. Indeed, many of you can't fully be yourselves unless you regularly escape your familiar haunts. And yet even you, the cheerful rambler, now and then fall victim to feelings of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. During these moments, you can't find your power spot anywhere and no one seems capable of appreciating the special gifts you have to give. If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, this is exactly the state you've been in lately. Fortunately, exile reawakens a longing for your rightful place -- and an instinct for hunting it down. That's why I'm quite confident you'll be coming home soon.

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