REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): A respected poll recently found that only 27 percent of New Hampshire's adults do not believe in angels, and that a full 46 percent read their horoscopes. Sociologist James Tucker was shocked: “You usually think of New Hampshire as conservative, traditional, and pretty conventional. This is really something you'd expect to find in California.” I'm going to take this as a sign that it's time for me to come out of the closet as an angel-hugging, UFO-fondling, reincarnation-cherishing, out-of-body-traveling, telepathy connoisseur. I'm counting on the possibility that you won't judge me too harshly — especially because this is an opportune astrological moment for you to pursue your own woo-woo tendencies.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): For decades the Chinese government prohibited Western scientific teams from searching for dinosaur remains in the Gobi desert. Not until 1990 did it lift restrictions. The first expedition recovered a rich plunder of fossils, including many previously unknown species, which rivaled the greatest dinosaur discoveries of the last half-century. This story reminds me of an imminent development in your own life. A territory that's long been off-limits to you has now reopened for exploration. As soon as you get brave enough to investigate, you're likely to dig up some stunning relics that will reshape the contours of your memories — and alter your entire self-image.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): What would be the best way to tell the object of your desires that you need more potent intimacy? Here are three suggestions. 1) Compose a cute little note in the style of a personals ad, and tape it on the windshield of his or her car; something like, “Voracious but choosy tiger-in-training seeks sweet, freaky angel for vigorous exchange of juicy secrets.” 2) Leave a sophisticated, Jungian-style message on his or her answering machine; something like, “My anima wants to eat crackers in bed with your animus.” 3) Go up and whisper in his or her ear, “You have what I need, so share it already!”

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Like everyone in the world, your body has some special weakness. Since you're a Cancer, chances are that the problem originates in your stomach or lungs. Like everyone in the world, your skill at coping with your special weakness is undermined by a mix of hopelessness and uninformed theories. Since you're a Cancer, you're now in prime time to change all that. To start getting inspired for reinventing your approach to healing, try reading Andrew Weil's Spontaneous Healing, James S. Gordon's Manifesto for a New Medicine, or Michael Murphy's The Future of the Body.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): It might be helpful for you to read Anne Klein's book Meeting the Great Bliss Queen. The title's a bit misleading, though. It's not so much a celebration of feminine forms of hedonism and ecstasy as it is a treatise on making traditional Buddhist practices accessible to Westerners. And besides, your fate will be far more vivid if you do more than merely read about meeting a great bliss queen. I suggest, instead, that you do whatever it takes to be invited into her actual presence. Everything you need to attract into your life would rush in at once if you could only drink in the confounding, utterly transformative luminosity of a great bliss queen.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Once or twice a year, there comes a grace period when it's actually pretty painless to express hard-to-admit feelings. This is one of those times, especially if you schedule the spill-a-thon to take place in your home. I advise you to begin working behind the scenes right now to make your nest a sanctuary where unspoken wishes and mysterious trends can safely and constructively erupt into view. You might want to launch the festivities with a pillow fight or food fight in which everyone has permission to shout out teasing complaints. And be sure to give everyone the chance to melodramatically sing a song wherein they reveal their most intriguing torment.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I apologize in advance for being so bossy, but I simply must insist that you start living up to the next level of your true potential. And please don't give me any of that “But Dr. Brezsny, I don't even know what my true potential is.” When you talk like that you remind me of my friend Marta, who spends so much energy worrying about whether or not she's a genius that she rarely gets around to doing the work that would prove she is a genius.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I'd strongly advise you not to indulge in a good old-fashioned self-loathing session this week, or to punish yourself for other people's sins. On the other hand, I fiercely encourage you to add a halo to your devil's-advocate impersonation, and to stop leaving apple cores in those places where you sort of implied you were going to deposit diamonds. This'll also be an absolutely fabulous time to achieve puttylike consistency in the presence of a master sculptor.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Astronomers have made a wacky discovery that seems symbolically related to your recent fate. In a stellar cloud located in the constellation of Sagittarius, they detected a vast reservoir of vinegar. The reason I find this so eerily apropos is that your moods have reminded me of vinegar lately, as has the predominant expression on your face. On the other hand, as the astronomers noted, vinegar was probably one of the building blocks of primordial life on Earth. Maybe it'll serve as a metaphor of genesis for you in the next few weeks.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I heard a story on the radio recently that reminded me of a predicament you'll soon face. The speaker was a man named Ed Dames. He recounted how he'd been walking on a beach when he spied a motionless pelican. Assuming it was sick, he decided he'd try to help. To his horror, he found it was covered with ants. He brushed them off as best he could and drove the bird to a veterinarian. The doc informed him that the pelican was suffering from a rare fungus which, if Dames hadn't interfered, would probably have been eaten away by the ants. In other words, Dames had prevented the pelican from attending to its own healing. Keep this tale in the back of your mind during the coming weeks.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The slogan I like to use to promote my column goes like this: “I live in the future so you don't have to.” Only problem is, that won't apply to you in the coming week. You're going to be visiting the future at least as much as I am. Here's my question. Will this merely become an excuse for you to escape and ignore today's most pressing dilemmas? Or will you take advantage of your time-traveling to nab visionary revelations that'll be useful in resolving those dilemmas when you return to the present?

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): The dictionary includes these definitions of “window”: “1) in space research, a period of time within which a spacecraft must be launched to accomplish a particular mission; 2) the area at the limit of the Earth's atmosphere through which a spacecraft must pass for successful re-entry.” Both those meanings remind me of the advice you need, Pisces. You'll soon be zooming back from your adventures in the wild blue yonder, you see. And you'll be more likely to find practical translations for all the heady lessons you've learned out there if you can manage to come back down to earth through the right window.

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