REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): In the history of your tears, the current flow is modest compared to some of the tidal waves of the past. Nevertheless, dramatic bursts could overcome you at unpredictable moments this week. I'm secretly hoping that at least a couple of these will occur while you're in polite company. Showing vulnerability, believe it or not, might be just the thing to endear yourself to certain people -- especially those who've previously been put off by your invincibility. Experiment with increasing your dependence, Aries, or at least your interdependence. Coyly hint that you'll accept more help.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): My child is a Taurus, as are two of my siblings. My crack assistant and my dream interpreter were both born under the sign of the Bull, as was one of my favorite Sons of God, Buddha. In light of the richness my life has been blessed with by members of your tribe, you can understand why I'm always eager to find ways to lighten your load, especially during 1999's subtle yet exacting soul labors. So I'm praying every night in your behalf to the sixth-century Spanish saint Isidro, a farmer famous for getting the angels to do his plowing for him. With his intercession, I'm hoping to coax a bunch of spiritual allies into giving you a hand in all your dirtiest work. From what I can tell, my efforts are already working.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Roger von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head, describes the struggles of a frozen-fish company whose latest product wasn't selling well. The flavor was blah, everyone agreed, but the company was stumped about how to improve it until someone suggested putting a predator in the tanks where the fish lived before being harvested. Soon after, the fish began tasting fresher, apparently because the presence of their enemy kept them vigorous and alert. The moral of the story, according to von Oech: "Have something at stake -- survival, self-esteem, money, reputation -- so that you'll be motivated to make your idea successful." This is exactly the thought you need to keep uppermost these days.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I've discovered that some people read and take to heart all 12 of my horoscopes each week. Although I discourage this in general, I recognize there are a few people who can truly benefit from such a scattershot approach. These are broad-minded explorers who're passionate about escaping simplistic categories; adaptable curiosity-seekers who love to experiment on several frontiers at once; in other words, rebel coyote tricksters like you, Cancerian -- at least the you who you are now. This is one time when you won't be driven crazy -- and may actually thrive -- by communing with the messages of all 12 signs.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): The Goddess appeared to me in a vision and told me of a rooster that'd soon win a cockfight in Maurice, La. "Bet on Cocky Wizard," she urged, "and you will double your money." "But," I protested, "aren't cockfights cruel and illegal?" And she said unto me, "I will protect you from karmic harm as long as you promise me that you will donate your earnings to Leos who are seeking creative ways to better their finances." I bet on Cocky Wizard, and, as she predicted, won $30. Which is why I now say that whosoever of you are among the first 30 people to tell me why you deserve it, I will mail you a dollar blessed with the Goddess' Special Financial Juju. Use it wisely during this propitious period for improving your cash flow. Box 761, Petaluma, CA 94953.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Long ago in the land we now call Denmark, brides and grooms traded clothes at their wedding ceremonies. The folklorists say it was to befuddle the demons. I wonder if it wasn't also a symbolic attempt to get inside each other's skin. How about we revive and expand that sexy old tradition in time for the peak of your mating season? I dare you and your sweetheart to try on each other's wardrobes until you find the outfit that evokes your most profound empathy.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I'd like to suggest three exercises to
help you prepare mentally for the coming week. 1) Ask a plumber about his approach to installing pipes that'll help water run uphill. 2) Pick the brains of the masterful singers and actors you know. Get their secrets for putting on a great show when they're in a funky mood. 3) Whip up a bowl of mashed potatoes and Froot Loops. Then find a way, as you gobble it up, to bend your mind into such a shape that it is truly fun and tasty.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Having realized early on that I had a strong obsessive streak, I've learned to choose my manias wisely. These days I try to get hooked on people, pursuits, and potions that are good for me, or at least not bad. Since I tend to become infatuated with unavailable women, for instance, it's better to do it with wise priestesses whose books I can learn from, rather than narcissistic femmes fatales who think ruination is glamorous and exciting. And it's better to channel my competitiveness into becoming a better writer instead of indulging in revenge fantasies against petty tyrants who've crossed me. I mention this, Scorpio, because it's prime time to upgrade the quality and integrity of your own obsessions.

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