REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Any psychologist will tell you how common it is for a time of intense intimacy between two people to be followed by a cooling-off period. A profound splash of divine love can be as scary as it is beautiful, and lovers who've shared it sometimes need to create distance between each other. Know what I'm talking about? I'm sure you do. You're probably doin' that emotional-roller-coaster thang a lot these days. My opinion is that the more relaxed you are about accepting this rhythm as natural, the more likely it is that each cooling-off period will in turn lead to a new round of delicious togetherness.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): To commemorate and celebrate the emptiest week you've had in months, I now present a cavalcade of bumper sticker and T-shirt slogans extolling the void. If you don't know where you want to go, any road will take you there. Time flies when you don't know what the hell you're doing. Life is too important to be taken seriously. Every particle of matter is 99.999 percent empty space. And finally, here's the only epigram uttered by Gandhi that has ever, to my knowledge, appeared on a mug: Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): You can't be stopped this week. No matter how hard your secret enemies try to distract you from your destiny, they will fail. Every time a fresh obstruction lands in your path, a gleaming detour will appear out of nowhere. I'm telling you, Gemini, you're charmed. Your luck is so good it's almost wacky. Fountains will show up regularly in your dreams. Allies will fight for your rights in ways you may never find out about. Work for which you've been unrewarded will suddenly pay off. So what are you sitting here for? Get out there and ask for THE GIFT you've never felt worthy of.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): More than 1,500 years before the advent of the five-day work week, Christian monks decided that Fridays, being the special day of the pagan goddess Freya, were unlucky. Friday the 13th was especially afflicted, they thought, because it combined the inauspicious day with an evil number. And where did they get this bad opinion of 13? It was the goddess' sacred number, drawn from the 13 months of the pagan lunar calendar. So if you're a Christian monk, or if you sneer at the feminine mysteries, or if you believe that the bigoted phobias of people who lived when Europe was young should be your fears too, then this Friday will certainly threaten your sanity. If, however, you celebrate fertility, intuition, serendipity, and eros, it'll be a day for the record books.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): I dreamed I was in the mezzanine office of a humongous Wal-Mart, watching a lion pace the floor below me. He was scrabbling miserably through acres of headache remedies and discounted videos and plastic garbage cans. He was out of his element, surrounded by things he had no use for, king of nothing at all. As the dream ended, I was trying to figure out a way to free him without getting mauled.

Dream interpretation: Sometimes having a million trivial choices makes you forget to exercise your far more important choices.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A recent survey of top corporations reveals what poets have always known: A modicum of chaos can increase your productivity; there's a link between untidiness and creativity. According to the study, the companies that grew the fastest last year also happened to have the most executives with messy desks. On the other hand, businesses dominated by neatniks suffered declines.

And that's just one of my excuses for advising you to allow a little more sloppiness into your life right now. Your fortune cookie says: Wild mind boosts the bottom line.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): By the authority vested in me by my mom, who has always thought the world of me, I hereby declare Friday, Oct. 13, as the one and only astrologically sanctioned real New Year's Day for people of the Libran persuasion. May auld acquaintance be forgot and all that stuff. Whoop it up. Bid good riddance to all the worn-out old trends and habits. And then, of course, formulate your New Year's resolutions. If you start practicing them now, they'll be second nature by 1996, when the Age of Your Homecoming begins.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You've been trying to get rid of that monster under your bed since you were a toddler. Yes, it's the same one, though perhaps dressed up in a different fright wig. No matter where you've traveled, that slimy bastard has slithered in and made itself at home. At least until now. Suddenly, due to a fortuitous confluence of biorhythms, logarithms, and planetary enzymes, you have the instinct and power to perform the exorcism you've been wanting to do forever. Design your own ritual of banishing (don't buy a how-to book at a New Age bookstore), and do it this weekend. Best times would be on the evening of Friday the 13th and Sunday night the 15th.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): On Nov. 24, seven planets will gather in your sign for a kind of orgiastic cosmic Woodstock. Jupiter and Venus are already there revving up the mood, and Mars arrives soon. I fully expect the next 10 days to begin demonstrating why the fall of 1995 will be the most purely Sagittarian time on Earth since late 1983. It seems obvious, then, that all the other signs are going to need a heavy dose of Sagittarius lessons in coming weeks. That's why I'm soliciting your input. Write and tell me all the ways you think everyone should be more like you. Reply to “How to Be a Sagittarius,” Box 150247, San Rafael, CA 94915.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): A bidding war for your services may already be in progress. If not that, then certainly an all-out flattery attack or sycophantic spectacular. Your value to the tribe is peaking, my competent friend, and your ego will probably be stroked and fluffed and massaged to the point of orgasm. The question is, will you be so seduced by what everyone wants you to give 'em that you get distracted from what you want to give 'em? There may be a difference, after all. And if you're too drunk on all the praise and popularity, you might offer less than your best.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The gaps in your education must be pretty glaring right now. That's good news, since maybe you'll finally be motivated to fill them up. If you're lucky, the embarrassing blanks of the last few weeks have already got you making plans to take a crash course or try sleep learning or buy one of those volumes in the “Dummies” series, like Financial Planning for Dummies or Sex for Dummies. This week will bring even more feedback about what you don't know, and it'll also provide fabulously unexpected sources of teaching. An accidental guru? Interspecies communication? A valuable lesson from the goddamn TV?!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): This would not be a good time to launch a career in illegal arms sales, move into a thatched hut in the shadow of an active volcano, or do crossword puzzles with a pen. On the other hand, it would be an excellent moment to have sex in bathtubs, separate good junk from the useless kind, and have a nice long talk with the mirror about secrets you've been afraid to think about. Dumb risks, no. Constructive adventures, yes.

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