REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): In my dream, I'm watching a game unfold on a savanna. The players are both lions and humans. I can't figure out how the game's played, but it involves twisty dancing, ritual fighting, and a wickedly beautiful blend of songs and roars. I decide to take refuge in a tree until I can learn more. Up in the leafy branches, I find you in a treehouse. “Should I be worried about those lions down below?” I ask you. “They only devour people who're scared of their own animalistic power,” you reply, “people who don't have the guts to be like lions.” “Hmmm,” I say, “I take it you're fully in touch with your own inner king of beasts.” “Grrrraaaooooowwww,” you purr like a horny rock star, then lick my face roughly but playfully.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Have you mastered the art of feeling at home wherever you go? Does your ability to be at peace in the world come not from doggedly preserving the status quo, but from eagerly embracing ceaseless change? Do you inspire other people, through your example, to hunt a sense of security in the midst of whirling chaos? If you said no to any of those questions, Taurus, please retreat to a sanctuary and meditate like hell to learn how you can feel more wildly comfortable in your body.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): If I were planning your education, here are the workshops I'd suggest: “How to Launch Your Own Newspaper or Web Site or Grapevine” … “How to Be in Three Places at Once Without Ending Up Nowhere at All” … “How to Say Exactly What You Mean Without Losing Your Highly Attractive Mysteriousness” … “How to Eavesdrop for Fun and Profit” … “How to Stick Your Nose Into Places Where People Say It Doesn't Belong — and Not Get a Broken Nose.”

Cancer (June 21-July 22): A few weeks ago, I was one of many entertainers at a huge benefit in San Francisco for porn star and performance artist Annie Sprinkle, whose houseboat had burned down. In addition to the stage show, there were booths outside the theater where gender outlaws offered a variety of services in Annie's behalf. For a fee, you could fondle the naked breasts of 60-year-old Aunt Peg, or get spanked in a most interesting way by Mistress Illsa, or try your luck at throwing rings around strap-on dildos worn by fully clothed lesbians. I hope these approaches to raising funds will motivate you to drum up your own financial juju, Cancerian. The more libido you can sublimate into revving up your cash flow, the better.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): I have a taboo against advising you to be like me. You and I are so different, after all. How could the tricks that work for me be right for you? But now an exception has arisen. Chalk it up to the warp factor of the approaching millennium. And so I say unto you: Be like me. Be sensitive and vulnerable but irreverent and insatiable. Believe in freaking miracles but maintain your sardonic skepticism. Be extra good to the creatures who sustain you, but be alert for rebellious inspirations arriving from left field. Don't take anything too seriously but treat the whole world as a sublime gift. Make sure that love is your highest law.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): According to my first astrology teacher, Virgo's key lesson is “Serve or suffer.” That's too damn Protestant Ethic for me, but I do think Virgos are most robust when they're in service. There are many different ways to be “in service,” though — some holy and others more like pandering. You can be “in service” to people's numbing narcissism, propping up their fixations and feeding their false pride and encouraging them to avoid dealing with their own shit. On the other hand, you can offer a rowdier kind of service that's more entertaining to you and more useful to them: the kind that flicks spitwads at their foreheads and stage-whispers, “Time to awaken from your delusions now, sleepyhead.”

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): What advice could you possibly need from me? You'll be a fertility specialist this week, a fount of dumb luck, a skilled initiator of group hugs. Wherever you wander, you'll inspire the most interesting forms of harmony, not the contrived, sentimental kind. Every gift you give will increase your capacity for receiving gifts you've always assumed you didn't deserve. Had enough good news, Libra, or can you handle more? You'll be an irresistible tear-jerker who revives droopy spirits, an accidental therapist who whips up team spirit by subtly smashing the obstacles to group solidarity. What advice could you possibly need from me? Only this: Don't just go with the flow; go with the overflow.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In my perfect world, singing and dancing wouldn't be luxuries pursued mostly by professionals. They'd be a regular part of everyone's life; we'd all croon and shimmy daily. In school curriculums, song and dance would have equal status to history and math. Politicians would be expected to begin their speeches with a little tune and some interpretative movement. That's my dream planet, Scorpio. What's yours? The stars say it's time to get very serious about envisioning the soul medicine you'd enshrine in your own personal utopia.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I've seen real, live angels four times. They were close by when the obstetrician made a brilliant move during a difficult moment in my child's birth, when I took a radical risk that ultimately propelled me out of poverty, and when I unexpectedly got a chance to sleep with a goddess I'd admired from afar. (The fourth time's too embarrassing to mention.) I must say, though, that none of my divine visitors were pure white shiny creatures with majestic wings. One looked like an Australian Aborigine with a badly scarred cheek, another resembled a petite but muscular female from southern India, and then there was a young Chinese stud who cackled incessantly. Keep this in mind, Sagittarius. Your heavenly assistance will likely come in a form you don't expect.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I'm having pangs of guilt about how relentlessly meaningful I've been lately. To atone, I'll brag about two lessons I learned recently while in the company of a couple of 8-year-old girls. 1) It's quite fun to smash your fist down on unopened bags of potato chips lying on a table, thereby creating a loud pop and sending a spray of crumbs out one end. 2) The maximum amount you can let a string of snot droop down out of your nose and then suck it back up is 14 inches. There you have it, Capricorn. If you know what's good for you, you'll follow my silly example. Get out and correct for your own excessive gravity.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I'm reporting this week from the Psychic Olympics in San Rafael, Calif. For three days, I've been pitting my skills against the world's top aura readers, ghostbusters, astral travelers, and spoon-benders. So far I've earned a silver medal in the category of channeling the spirits of dead celebrities. I psychically foresee that by week's end I will also receive a gold in the category of most accurate fortunetelling. Here's the prediction that'll win it for me. “Dear Aquarius: You'll soon be at the peak of your ability to tune in telepathically to those people who have things you want.”

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): My Piscean pal Jeff is on a 10-day trek to Iran's legendary city of Esfahan, which is on the “path of totality” for the solar eclipse. Mystic-minded friends warned him that such a ballsy pilgrimage would be thumbing his nose at fate, what with Nostradamus' most dire prophecy looming and five planets now enacting a “Cosmic Crucifixion” in the heavens. Even down-to-earth cohorts told him he was nuts to show his American face in Iran during its violent political unrest. But Jeff chose to blast through his deep Piscean tendency to equivocate, coming to the same conclusion I did about these last hysterical months at the end of the millennium: None of us is really “safe” except for those who summon unreasonable courage and dare to stretch our limits by doing (in Yeats' words) the hardest work which is not impossible.

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