REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): When I finally got around to your horoscope this week, I was feeling abnormally lazy. I barely had enough energy to draw up the usual planetary charts. I wanted the cosmos to come hand me your oracle on a silver platter. In desperation, I decided to try what the ancient fortunetellers called “bibliomancy.” Moseying over to my bookcase, I closed my eyes, pulled out a book, and opened it at random. The passage I turned to captured the meaning of your astrological aspects perfectly. It read: “The Taoist concept of wu-wei is the view that humankind's active, creative forces are dependent on inactivity; that doing nothing may be the best way to get something done.”

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Let's consider the word “chain.” For better or worse, it's your keynote this week. The dictionary gives two main definitions: 1) “anything that restricts or confines”; 2) “a series of objects or people that are linked together, either by common interests or in a logical sequence.” And of these two meanings, Taurus, which will predominate in your life in the days ahead? It could go either way. But I will say this: To the degree that you cultivate the second meaning, you'll be able to avoid the first.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Even if you're a closet aristocrat, I suggest you apply the blue-collar approach to all your challenges this week. That means thinking with your body, being willing to get your hands dirty, and placing a high premium on hard work. It suggests that you keep a firm grasp on the fact that you're neither better nor worse than anyone else. It especially means that you shouldn't let your fine intellect get too fine. Use it to perform very concrete wonders — like for instance dragging you away from, not into, a time-sucking maze.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I boldly predict that one way or another, this will be a summer of mastery for you. Ah, but how will you use your magic powers? Will you choose to hone your skills at activities like spitting watermelon seeds long distances, driving a car without your hands on the steering wheel, and opening beer bottles with your teeth? Or will you build your expertise in more sober pursuits like cultivating intimacy, creating graceful boundaries, and smartening up your relationship with money? Whichever direction you go, there's a good chance you'll be a superachiever.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): I suspect that the old TV series The Prisoner is a parable for your own life in the coming weeks. In that show, the hero was kidnapped from his home and then left in a beautiful, well-populated village filled with all the amenities. He quickly realized, however, that the place was a prison. Some of his fellow inmates were friendly and others were adversaries, though it wasn't always clear which was which; and everyone was known only by a number instead of a name. During the short run of the series, the hero spent much of his time trying to escape or else discover the identity of the tyrannical leader, who was known only as No. 1. In the final episode, he learned that he himself was No.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A Virgo from Utah has threatened to take legal action unless I give him even more guidance than he's been able to glean from my column. “I've got to move on with my life,” he complained, “and I can't until you expand on your advice in my last horoscope. I recommend you call me back about this because if you don't I plan to sue your ass.” I'm mystified by this man's paralysis and desperation — especially now, when by every astrological indicator you Virgos should be waxing in political, social, and personal power. I'm quite sure you don't need no stinking directions from no stinking authorities and experts.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You can't whistle with another person's mouth, Libra. You can't sit in your new power spot with another person's butt. For that matter, you shouldn't try to dream with another person's heart, nor should you fantasize that you can fix your relationship with yourself by getting anyone and everyone else to change. But here's the weird thing: You can seek your fortune with another person's money.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If I ever resume my education at an institution of higher learning, it'll probably be at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder. The lineage of its teachers is the “outrider” tradition: “outrageous, iconoclastic, exploratory,” in the words of poet Anne Waldman, “doing the work to please the deities, to keep the energies dancing, not just to have a safe and tenured career.” In honor of your own entry into the outrider phase of your yearly cycle, dear Scorpio, I offer you the following visualization: Imagine kissing a holy freedom fighter. It could be the Dalai Lama or Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi or anyone who inflames your desire to experiment and dare and struggle to bring more beauty and truth and justice into the world.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It would be an excellent time to fantasize about who you'd like to be in your next incarnation. I don't mean to imply that you're about to exit your current body; not at all. I do believe, however, that you'll find it wildly rewarding to start laying the karmic groundwork for the conditions you'd like to be born into next time around. Suggested first task: Meditate on how you can thoroughly wrap up the longest-running unfinished business in your life.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you go desperately and compulsively searching for a new muse this week, the one you find will probably be toting a Supersoaker and wearing a latex catsuit, fuzzy bunny ears, and pink Army boots with 6-inch heels. True, she (or he) may be quite capable of inspiring you to fantastic flights of fancy — but with a kind of S/M edge. If, on the other hand, you can relax and wait a week or so to launch your quest for a new muse, the candidate you eventually come across is likely to have qualities far more conducive to inciting your imagination without the torturous side effects.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “My idea of heaven,” says noted Aquarian Oprah Winfrey, “is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” And maybe there are times when the rest of you Aquarians find that a vision of paradise, too. But I'm afraid you're gonna have to do better than that this week. Modest goals and wimpy fantasies just won't cut it in the face of the tricky adversaries and fresh obstacles you're about to encounter. So dream bigger, my friend. Dream tougher.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): You've reached a point that has some similarities (though much less dramatic of course) to the moment many years ago when an obstetrician severed the fleshy tube that linked you to your mother. This time around, fortunately, you're much better prepared to make the break; and besides, the umbilical cord is only metaphorical. Still, the sensation will be pretty bracing — and maybe more liberating than you're able to handle at first.

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