REAL ASTROLOGY For An Unreal World

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Don't you think maybe it's time to write your autobiography — or even your autohagiography? Some people might say you're too young for such a hubris-tempting effort. I would disagree. In light of how heroically you're living through turning point after turning point, I'd say you're in just the right state of mind to survey your life from the mountaintop perspective. As a test of your readiness, let's have you do a brief run-through. Take out three pieces of paper and write a kamikaze version of the story of your life.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): What would you like to be in your next incarnation? A wiseass heterosexual white man with a $150,000 education and connections up the wazoo? A morally vibrant eco-warrior fighting to keep species loss down below a hundred a day? Or perhaps you'd prefer to be pretty much like the person you are now, with the same problems and talents — except with a little more wisdom and compassion.

Ponder well on this matter, O Seeker. What you do in the next month will set in motion tidal forces of karma that'll ultimately reshape the contours of your next incarnation. (If you don't believe in reincarnation, take this as a metaphor for what you'll be 10 years from now.)

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Back in the 1960s, Gemini Andy Griffith starred in a TV show in which he played a sweet-tempered sheriff of a small town. Shortly after the program was canceled, Griffith had a nightmare in which he beat the living crap out of his co-star, nerdy deputy Barney Fife. Puzzled at this dream violence, Griffith asked his psychiatrist what it meant. “You're just killing off your old image,” the shrink said.

I bring this up now, Gemini, because I think it's an excellent time to have a dream in which you scour away your old, outdated images — especially the ones that are starting to mold.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In case you haven't noticed, the Great Treasure Hunt is well underway. Quick! Don't fall behind. Retrace your steps and try to recover the hot tips you've overlooked. Then make yourself hyper-alert for the slew of new clues that'll be arriving any minute. In fact, here comes one now: What current situation in your life is most like a duty-free store in an international airport or a speakeasy during Prohibition?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You say you weren't listened to very well as a child? Weren't breast-fed or hugged constantly? You say your parents were crack-smoking serial killers who kept you handcuffed in a filthy closet? I'd certainly understand, then, if you wanted to spend the next 30 years of your life bemoaning your cruel fate and dreaming up ingenious ways to get revenge on mommy and daddy.

But if you've been wondering if there were better ways to spend your time, I have wonderful news. Due to a rare astrological quirk, you now have the power to actually erase ancient memories of feeling neglected — and set yourself on the path to become almost as secure as if you'd had a happy childhood. To get started, try to arrange to be held, cuddled and stroked at least two hours every day.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): On Days of Our Lives, Tony replaced Kristen's birth-control pills with placebos. All My Children's Janet packed a concealed crowbar to a rendezvous with her blackmailer. Bold and Beautiful showed James tearing away Laila's veil to discover she was actually Taylor. But all of that's Sesame Street compared to the soap opera you'll be dramatizing this week. Are you ready for shocking confessions and madcap sex? Secret identities and missing fortunes? Recovered memories and lost taboos? Let's see how often you can laugh and cry at the same time. (P.S.: For maximum entertainment, make it your policy to tell the godawful truth whenever you have a chance to change someone's life for the better.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Buckminster Fuller once made the observation, “Pollution is nothing but resources we're not harvesting.” In light of the smoggy effluvia that's currently tainting your personal ecosystem, I'd urge you to regard his comment as the best advice you could possibly get. If you're a songwriter, for instance, the semi-toxic emotions you're awash in would no doubt inspire a killer tune. If you're a lover, the weird vibes you're processing could motivate you to absolutely forbid a dumb history from repeating itself.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I fully expect you to discover the secret to your masterpiece this week. I'd be surprised, too, if you didn't stumble upon the precise cure to a humbling old wound. In fact, I predict that during the next 12-15 days, you'll have the feeling that you're doing things exactly right more than 80 percent of the time.

Sorry, no bad news to report. If you're the kind of person who can only get off on misery and disaster, you're in for a boring week. Oh, one other piece of good news. There's a strong likelihood you'll find yourself exhibiting the traits of a sixth-grader in love.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to children's book writer Beatrix Potter, squirrels lose many of their nuts simply because they forget where they've buried them. Sort of reminds me of certain humans I know — especially Sagittarian humans. As much as I love the way you centaurs are always bursting with energy and overflowing with ideas, you drive me crazy sometimes with your nonchalance toward the basics. Could you please look into this matter? The astrological time is ripe to store up for the future … and invest in the homefront … and remember who your friends are.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The rest of the world seems to be getting more National Enquirer-ized every day, but you're moving in the opposite direction: toward more class, credibility and competence. Voyeuristic tales of sex and violence may be the titillation of choice for millions of entertainment victims, but you, my picky friend, require more noble stimulants.

This week I'm going to ask you once again to prove that the bottom line has nothing to do with the lowest common denominator. Surprise all those mediocrity addicts out there who've forgotten the meaning of the word integrity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If there ever was a time when you could get away with challenging your boss, demanding more interesting responsibilities or redesigning flow charts to meet your special needs, that time is now.

If this seems too bold for you to pull off (though I assure you, it's not), maybe you could work up to it by, say, scrawling subversive graffiti around the workplace. (Disguise your handwriting, please.) Or maybe you could plant suggestions in the fertile minds of co-workers who're likely to join your cause in a future uprising.

PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20): You could very well be the star of a loaves-and-fishes scenario this week. Know what I'm saying? To the naked eye, there won't be enough love, money or whatever to go around. But just as Jesus was said to have fed more than 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fishes, you too will magically stretch the available resources. I'm sure no one will mind, then, if you walk around with a messiah complex for a while.

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