REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Stop punishing yourself. Profess your love on one knee. Sing your favorite commercial in your most reverent tone of voice. "Accidentally" drop an open-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the floor in the power spot of someone who's treated you disrespectfully. Buy a book full of jokes and memorize 10 of them for use in social settings that are way too serious. Express gratitude for a troublemaker because of how hard he or she has provoked you to think. Dream and scheme about how to instigate the beginning of the end of what you love to hate.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): In hunting your horoscope for this week, Taurus, I first tried alectryomancy. It's a form of divination in which a rooster pecks kernels of corn thrown on a Ouija board. The oracle came with amazing precision: "Dream your dream home." Next I gave onychomancy a shot. That's divination by reading the sun's reflection in someone's fingernails. "Feed yr root" was the pithy message. Finally I tried videomancy. Sauntering over to the TV, I flipped it on and wrote down the first words I heard. An old hippie dude on a cable access station was mumbling, "Building community." So there you have it: Dream your dream home, feed your roots, and build your community.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): In a culture where the old rules of intimate relationship have rotted away and the new rules are still incubating, where can you find guidance in figuring out how to be passionately true both to yourself and to your commitments? Dr. Laura? John Gray's Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? MTV's Love Line? Not likely. You'll have to dig deeper and be willing to change more than that. Let me recommend two books: John Welwood's Love and Awakening and Daniel Wile's After the Honeymoon: How Conflict Can Improve Your Relationship. Do you have the guts to allow love to bend you and shape you into a spiritual warrior, Gemini? If so, start today.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): You'll be a cross between a soccer mom and a mad scientist this week. Some of the time you'll be a responsible nurturer, taking care of business with no-nonsense efficiency. Other times, you'll experience flashes of crazed clarity that'll lead you in the direction of taboo-breaking experiments. And on some occasions you'll be like both a soccer mom and a mad scientist simultaneously. During those high-pitched moments of truth, you'll be full of levelheaded integrity as you wander into frontiers that thrill your imagination.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Why settle for gut-rotting moonshine when you might be able to wangle a heart-awakening tonic? Why eat crow when you're still not sure what exactly your just desserts will be? The near future is rife with plot twists and sudden reversals, my friend -- most of which will be in your favor. If I had to give you one rule to live by in the coming weeks, it would be this: Don't be too sure you know what's going to happen next. I mean, why suck up cheap black-market thrills when wholesome, reasonably priced highs are almost within reach?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I'm going to make a prediction that may not make sense for a few weeks -- or longer. Not too long from now, Virgo, you will be swallowed up -- as when Jonah was eaten by the whale, or Persephone descended into the underworld, or the Native American creator god Raven turned himself into a pine needle and was gulped down by the Sky Chief's daughter. I further predict that this will be one of the best things that has ever happened to you, because in the process of extricating yourself from the darkness you will awaken in yourself undreamed-of powers.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I dare you to become obsessed with all the shades of red this week. Wear burgundy underwear and ruby slippers. Wash down beets with sangria. Use scarlet crayons to scrawl poems about fire engines and cardinals and red balloons. Red red red wherever you go, OK? And every time you see a rosy hue, I'd like you to use it to trigger this motto: "My passion is back in fashion." Visualize red and repeat that affirmation 10 times. Say "My passion is back in fashion" while imagining yourself on a crimson bed, holding a bowl of cherries, beckoning to a lover clad in vermilion silk who's holding a dozen red roses.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): According to Robert Bly, Joseph Campbell used to suggest that we should imagine a god to be like a floating ball of fire that would immediately kill anyone it touched. Through my acquaintance with occult magicians, I've seen how easy it is to become deranged if you seek out too much communion with divine entities, even friendly ones, without sufficient preparation. That's the bad news about flirting with supernatural blessings, Scorpio. The good news is that you're in prime condition for your imminent brush with them. Not only will you not be knocked on your ass by the benevolence that's headed your way; you'll actually be able to use it.

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