REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): I was having trouble finding the right oracle for you. After getting inconclusive results from my astrology charts and tarot cards, I decided to try videomancy, a not-very-ancient form of divination I invented. “What advice should I give Aries this week?” I thought aloud. Then I switched on my TV and wrote down the first thing I heard. It was Barney the purple dinosaur singing this song to the kids:

Nice things come from shadows.
Sometimes those big scary shadows are made by little things
And they don't have to be scary at all.
If we just understand what makes the shadows,
We won't be scared by the shadows at all.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): I guess it's head-banging time again. Every year around late spring, you seem to be seized by a biological imperative to make like a battering ram. With a glazed yet horny fire in your eyes, you initiate crunchy tete-a-tetes with all manner of immovable objects. I must admit that I used to look upon this sport disapprovingly. But over the years I've noticed your cranium has grown harder and stronger. This time you may actually be able to pulverize your targets. And I must say they really do need demolishing.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): The easy part is walking on a path. The hard part is finding the Right Path to walk on. I mention this, Gemini, because you've always been so antsy to attend to the easy part that you've neglected the hard part. As a result, you may as well have been putting in a thousand miles on a treadmill at the gym. The month of June, however, is prime time to change all that.

The curious thing is that the Right Path for you might be right only for you, and for no one else in the world. In other words, the Right Path might not even exist until you make it. Bushwhacking, anyone?

Cancer (June 21-July 22): The time has come for your last couple performances at the Theater of Your Worst Fears. Congratulations. It's been a great run. Many audience members have commented they haven't been so terrified by a mere show since Stephen King's last frightfest. I'd like to compliment you on how realistic you made all that mayhem look. Your acting skills have been truly Oscar-worthy.

So what are you planning to do now that you won't be working yourself up into a hysterical frenzy every single day? I can't imagine how you're going to adjust to life without chronic crises (even if they were mostly masquerades and fictions). But I guess you don't have to worry about all that quite yet. Get out there and make these finales the performances of your life.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Time for a check-in. How are you progressing on the fulfillment of that prophecy I made for you last fall? I mean the one about this being the year you'll move closer than ever before to finding (or better yet, creating) your dream job? If you're on schedule, you should be at least halfway there by now. The goal should be in sight, and your self-discipline should be cranked up to record levels. If for some reason this isn't the case, the next two weeks are an ideal time to play catch-up.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I'm sure you know what I'm talking about when I refer to The Gossip That Refused to Die. Sorry to bring up this infernal subject, but I thought you should know: There's never been a better time for you to scour away that moldy stain on your reputation. All you have to do is perform a highly visible good deed which outshouts, contradicts, or otherwise neutralizes the alleged bad deeds. For best results, wear white and carry a rose.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Fresh new spiritual sects are erupting weekly. A recent article in Tongues of Flame magazine states that there've already been over 30 this year. I've personally enjoyed visiting the Temple of Charismatic Asthmatics and the Polyester Pagoda of the Palpitating Pulpit, both of which just opened for business in the Bay Area. I hope this explosion of religious freedom inspires you to design your own homemade denomination. It's the ideal astrological moment to do so. I mean, why try to stuff yourself into a fossilized dogma cobbled together thousands of years ago when you can concoct a perfectly tailored creed using your favorite parts from every sacred tradition you've ever heard of?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If you're an athlete, this is definitely not a good week to head-butt a referee or umpire. If you have certain resemblances to Mad Max, and hate to drive anywhere but the fast lane, you'll be wise to frequent the slow lane for a change. If you're a fan of fast food, I highly recommend you put a priority on avoiding undercooked meat. If you're a spy, you can be sure that the crucial fact you're most likely to miss will be hidden in plain sight. On a lighter note, if there's even an ounce of saintliness in you, this'll be a great time to rack up Brownie points with God.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Since you seem to enjoy making things so soggy and overheated and labyrinthine for yourself lately, I'll help you do it even better. I'll predict that you're about to submarine deeper than ever before into a watery abyss of mysteries that'll give you the hottest, wettest, most confounding thrills possible. (Which'll no doubt boost your emotional IQ by at least 20 points.) Bye-bye. See you in a couple weeks. Better batten down the hatches of your dream boat.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): According to the calendar I live by, it's time for you Capricorns to celebrate a holiday known as Get Rid of Your Guilt Week. For the next 168 hours you're invited to purge, flush, and extinguish all the regret and self-reproach that no longer serve you. For best results, begin by making a list of each source of your outworn remorse. Next, compose an atonement and give a gift to each person on that list whom you've wronged. Then write a love letter and give a gift to yourself, forgiving yourself of your sins. Finally, burn the list.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Welcome to the Kundalini Pledge Drive, lover! Call (415) 995-2670 now and tell us how many hours you're going to make love without losing your concentration, how deep you're going to look into your lover's eyes until you see the birth of galaxies erupting therein, how ingeniously you're going to work to make your compassion and lust flow from the same primal reflex. Use your imagination, beautiful. Surprise us. Tell us the idiosyncratic tricks you use to stoke the old kundalini. Share your stories about how you craft and cultivate it, swirl and billow it, uncoil it long and slow and sweet.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Hi, class. Today we'll talk about the Alamo and its relation to your life. History books often glamorize the story of the Alamo, in which 182 Texan soldiers fought off 6,000 Mexican troops for two weeks. What they rarely mention is that the “heroic” Texans were in part fighting to preserve slavery in Texas. This is just one of countless discrepancies between the myths we've always been taught about the past and what actually happened.

Now, class, who'd like to apply this way of thinking to their own personal histories? Remember some of the mythic stories of your early life. How might each one be a disguise or gloss for a more raw truth? Forget all you think you know about it, and examine it afresh.

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