REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): "I call the high and light aspects of my being spirit," says Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, "and the dark and heavy aspects soul." To his formula I would add my notion that the spirit is about rising above and seeking what's most noble, while the soul is about diving in and wrestling with exactly what is. Neither is better or more important, though most people have a bias one way or the other. Aries folk generally favor the spirit, especially in recent weeks, but I'd encourage you to shift your focus to the soul for a while.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): "When I was young," poet James Tate wrote in the American Poetry Review, "I had the idea that if I was going to make a go of it as a poet I had better get out there in the world and have some big adventures so that I would have something to write about. And I did go out there and seek big adventures and found them aplenty. Sad to report that not one of them ever found its way into a poem. ... And so, today, a certain bird is more likely to find its way into a poem of mine than a train wreck I witnessed." Keep this thought in mind in the coming days, Taurus, as life slips you a flurry of small, almost inconspicuous miracles that are capable of thrilling your most lyrical instincts.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): I can predict with 99 percent certainty that in the coming week you will not suffer from multiple personality disorder, satanic ritual abuse, or alien abduction. I also believe firmly that you will not get mixed up in a plot to assassinate a foreign head of state. So far, so good, right? There is a chance, however, that you will feel driven to rise at 5 a.m. and hike five miles uphill, then do two hours of power yoga, weight training, and swimming, followed by a 10-hour kick-ass workday during which you accomplish amazing feats even though you have nothing more to eat than a piece of cold pizza.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): According to my staff's most recent inventory of my fan mail, I have received 732 marriage proposals in the last week alone. This far exceeds all previous records, and I can't help but think it's due to the delightfully inflationary astrological aspects beginning to bless all of us Crabs. In the coming weeks, I fully expect that you too will see a spike in offers and invitations. Zillions of curious seekers will want to pick your brain, bathe in your feelings, and get in your pants. Keep in mind, though, that only a minority of them will smell really good to you.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): I swear I'm going to crack someday. Across the street there are two little white terriers that yap all night. The rednecks next to them souped up their Harleys to ensure that the neighborhood regularly explodes like a war zone, and there's even a damn rooster two houses down that has a knack for rousing me from delightful dreams. It occurs to me that maybe I should not keep pretending to tolerate these affronts until that desperate day when I suddenly go berserk. I should immediately put into action a measured plan to approach all my tormentors with a polite request delivered in reasonable tones. This is good advice for you Leos, by the way. You can't afford to let the accumulating pressure reach critical mass.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I prophesied the fall of Communism. I predicted the repeat Super Bowl victories of the Denver Broncos and the breakup of Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow. I foresaw menstruation for men, CIA sex slaves, and mystics who claimed to channel the wisdom of rocks, not to mention the 900-number option for the 911 emergency line. Do not, therefore, take it lightly when I predict that you will soon master the Zen of temper tantrums and deliver a bolt of the most constructive anger you have ever perfected!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You may well have occasion to celebrate with caviar and champagne in the next few weeks. I foresee the successful culmination of work you've been nursing along for some time. If you're planning on bubbly, I recommend the smooth, round-textured, mellow taste of Domaine Rossignol-Trapet. When shopping for caviar, go for the gray gold: the sturgeon roe of the Caspian Sea. An even better suggestion, though, would be to take the $1,000 you'd spend on caviar and champagne and earmark it as seed money for your next big labor of love.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It'll be an excellent week to make an altar with Pez candy dispensers and Tibetan prayer flags, or to fashion holy talismans out of mud in the sandbox, or to visualize your inner child being carried on the shoulders by a wildly dancing Buddha. In other words, Scorpio, it's high time to have a whole lot more fun with your spirituality; it's a perfect moment to summon deep reserves of uninhibited innocence as you seek more humorous contact with God.

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