REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): If you've been living in an apartment the size of the inside of a U-Haul truck, I believe you're ready to move. Likewise, if you've been having dreams that your office cubicle is closing in on you like a medieval torture device, you need to lobby for a bigger work space. In general, Aries, you have my encouragement to bring more spaciousness into every part of the world you inhabit, even if that means tearing down a wall or ripping out the mental blocks that keep you thinking small.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Welcome, students. Close your books, break your pencils, and forget everything you know. Your education is about to take a strange and wonderful turn. During the next 3 1/2 weeks, I predict that you'll double your street smarts and find a whole new meaning for the term "hands-on experience." It's been way too long since you opened your doors of perception this wide, seeker. I'm glad you decided to go hunting for a fresh set of questions.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): My accountant used to be a psychotherapist, and in her off-hours she enjoys writing outrageous poetry. It is deeply calming for me to know that the person who wrestles with my money also traffics in the mysteries of the soul. Then there's my physician, a Nigerian-born M.D. who's licensed to practice both homeopathy and traditional Western medicine. These two women are symbols of the radical unification I love and seek everywhere. All the astrological indicators tell me, Gemini, that you'll be attracting a lot of this kind of beauty in the next couple of weeks. I suggest you make it feel very welcome; invite it to become a permanent presence in your life.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Every Sunday afternoon I go to the post office and sift through the garbage cans for goodies that people have thrown away. It's sort of like consulting the I Ching or Tarot. I assume that whatever trashy treasures catch my eye will yield oracles that I didn't consciously realize I needed to know. This particular form of "divination by scavenging" isn't for everyone, and I won't impose that as an absolute condition for your enlightenment this week, Cancer. Try, however, to come up with two less gross methods that you'd be personally comfortable with. Channel-surfing through the talk shows might work, for instance, or opening to random pages in your old journals.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): In recent weeks, you've crafted some sweet solutions to riddles that had hounded you for a long time. Now, though, the cosmos seems to have gotten bored with you being so relentlessly successful. (Damn fickle cosmos just never wants to stay in one place very long.) Therefore, Leo, you can expect to be staring a Fresh Juicy Enigma in the maw very soon. "Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable," quoth H.L. Mencken. "But there it sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops."

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It's not that I'm lazy, Virgo. It's just that I stumbled on the perfect ready-made oracle for you in the form of a passage from a diary found stuffed inside a bottle that washed up on a beach in Fiji. (Thanks to Surfer magazine for passing it along.) Here it is: "Television and murders and gangs and politics and earthquakes and guns and car crashes and rapes and drugs and mean people can all just kiss my ass because I just found a world-class wave."

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): First there was the WWJD movement. It urged its adherents to ask "What would Jesus do?" as they approached each decision in their lives. Then there came the book If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path. Inspired by all this noble pragmatism, I'd like to make a suggestion, Libra. As you shift from your explorer mode to your power-broker mode, keep asking yourself the question, "How would Mother Teresa apply the politically savvy principles of Machiavelli?"

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Your mind is in and out of the gutter, Scorpio, apparently trying to decide if it should pursue its highest or lowest desires. Your mood swings are so rapid and frequent that often they're flailing both ways at once. Sometimes I think you're more honest and sensitive than the rest of us, other times I think you're just trying to scare us into loving you better. My guess is you can't go on like this. As entertaining as it is, you're going to have to come down on one side or another. So: Is life a beach or a bitch? Are you a punch-drunk fighter trying to find safe haven, or a sleek warrior who has so thoroughly outclassed the opposition that you don't even need to fight?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It's quite possible you'll soon be asked to appear as a grape in a Fruit of the Loom TV commercial. Or perhaps your great-uncle will die, leaving you a sweet little piece of Arkansas farmland. Who knows? You may even unearth the smoking-gun clue that's been missing all these years, or be invited to join an orgy of kinky yet compassionate saints, or win a free trip to see the world's biggest ketchup bottle. One way or another, Sagittarius, I predict that you're about to be the beneficiary of a possibly nonsensical but definitely delightful surprise.

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