REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): We only get one Friday the 13th in 1997, and this is it. So be sure to take advantage. Remember, 13 is only unlucky to those who worship the values of patriarchal “civilization” (like waging war, exploiting women, conquering nature, and accumulating wealth). The goddess-worshiping cultures that were subjugated by the mean old daddies of yore regarded 13 as a blessed number. So if you treasure the unity of all life and consider the claims of the soul to deserve as much respect as the demands of the ego, celebrate this week's exalted omen. It should have an especially salubrious effect on your friendships and alliances.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): A Pisces reader recently wrote me, “Rob, I can tell you're a spiritual guy. So why do you hardly ever write about astral projection, psychic phenomena, magic spells, reincarnation, and telepathy?” I had to chuckle. You Tauruses would never ask me a question like that. Like me, you treat spirituality as a very practical and visceral matter. I mean you may enjoy out-of-body travels to other dimensions now and then (as I do). But you know the real proof of soul power lies in the integrity and grace with which you weave your daily life. This week you'll reach new heights in your role as an earthy angel. Other folks may be bragging about their Ouija board revelations while you're making damn sure that financial and ethical concerns aren't diverging.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): One of this century's greatest composers was Igor Stravinsky, a Gemini born in 1882. His most famous and influential work, The Rite of Spring, debuted in late May of 1913. It was not exactly well-received. Audience members were so outraged by its daring jungle rhythms and strident melodies that they hissed and stomped and catcalled. One newspaper review summed up the almost universally hostile reaction: “The music is ingenious since if the composer be more than two years old he must have suppressed all he knew in order to devise it.” Yet 84 years later, the piece is regarded as a brilliant classic. Let's hope that you don't have to wait quite so long for approval of the novelties you're now introducing.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): There's a pink dragon in a green polka dot dress right behind you and ready to pounce, Cancer. Ha! Tricked you! April Fool in June! In all honesty, though, Cancer, a devilish character disguised as Santa Claus is plotting to foist a gift on you that you don't even want. Ha! Got you again! April Fool in June! However, I really mean what I'm going to say this time, Cancer, so listen closely. You've got a huge new wart on your attitude and you're too emotional to succeed in this cold, cruel world and you'll never never never get the love you need. Haw! I can't believe you fell for my stupid pranks again. April Fool in June! But seriously, Cancer, aren't you dog-tired of communing with hallucinations and lies?

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Your attention to detail may have deteriorated slightly, a bridge you just crossed is smoldering, and one of your poetic licenses is about to expire. But who cares? You've either outmaneuvered or co-opted your competitors, you're soaking up an abundance of rewards and recognition, and your ability to win friends and influence people is at an all-time high. The modest karmic debts you'll have to start working off in July will be a small price to pay for this much raging glory.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): June features a number of special observances. It's National Frozen Yogurt Month, Pest Control Month, Fireworks Safety Month, Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, and Surrender Your Virginity Month. Let's see which of these commemorations make sense for you to celebrate from an astrological point of view. Fireworks safety is definitely a go, since you're likely to be playing with fire and creating spectacles more than ever before. Pest control is a good bet, too, since your power to eliminate annoyances is at a peak. And no observance could be more apt than surrendering your virginity — not just in the sexual sense, but in every area of your life where you've been naive and untouched. It's high time for you to go pro.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Ever hear that song “Semi- Charmed Life”? Your story in the coming week could easily have that title. Why? Because you'll be the recipient of a load of really dumb and highly strange luck. Most of this stuff will be helpful only if you're able to capitalize improvisationally on the curious opportunities it opens up. Example: One fine day you may accidentally run into a networker who can hook you up to the inside dope and rich resources you've been angling for; the catch is that you've got to drop everything you're doing and instantaneously jettison your expectations about those rich resources.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The rest of the story will soon begin to spurt out. You know: the subtext that's been hidden all these weeks; information about the adventures in the underworld that you've been pursuing behind your own back; and the furtive explorations of the soft underbelly that have been teaching you secrets you weren't prepared to accept until now. What a relief it's gonna be to finally get these missing links out in the open. A bit messy, perhaps, but a relief nonetheless.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To celebrate the most paradoxical phase of your yearly cycle, I'd like to offer you a sampling of the trickiest truth I know. Here's an excerpt from “Unconditional,” a poem by psychotherapist Jennifer Welwood.

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Should you winnow, cull, and prune? By all means. Should you lop off, truncate, and mutilate? NO WAY! Is your time best spent refining, editing, and purifying? Most definitely. Does that mean you should bowdlerize, censor, and emasculate? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Ah, but here's a question that's not so unambiguous: Should you flense? (To “flense” means to strip away the blubber.) The answer is: only if the “blubber” is not a buffer or protective layer.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): We go now to our undercover journalist, Deeper Throat, who's standing by for a live report from under your bed: “Well, Rob, the beautiful creature I'm spying on seems to be turning into a bliss addict. The ambience here is lush and sensual. The air is saturated with juicy pheromones. Yet there's also an unmistakably sacred feeling. It's not out of the question to speculate that Aquarius is poised to break all previous records for Spiritual Growth While Under the Influence of Lust.”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): I thought of you today as I helped out at my daughter's kindergarten class. The kids were engrossed in an activity that to the naked eye looked like nonsensical busywork: They were carefully washing the rocks that mark the perimeter of their little garden. Watching their eyes sparkle and their manic moods relax as they toiled, I fantasized that this was the perfect Zen assignment for you Pisceans; that maybe it could bring you all the way down to earth. Therefore, please make it your job to lovingly soap, scrub, rinse, and dry the 10 most beautiful rocks you can find. (P.S. For best results, use a toothbrush.)

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