Taurus (April 20-May 20): Studies have shown that some teen-agers at the peak of their growth cycle can sprout up virtually overnight, adding as much as an inch to their height in a single week. I bring this up because these last 20 days or so have been as close as you've been to the adolescent groove in years. I imagine you've experienced some pretty rapid growth -- emotionally and spiritually if not physically. Next, however, come the more discombobulating aspects of this spurt. Pimples and hormonal eruptions at your age?
Gemini (May 21-June 20): I have been in denial. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I've continued to hope that the gentle, laissez-faire approach would work with you. But now I see that it's just not getting the job done. Therefore, my waffling meanderer, I have no choice but to demand that you set a deadline.
Well. Wait a minute. That sounds harsh. I can't bear to imagine that hurt look in your eye. How about this: I humbly request that you start getting in the mood to set a deadline. By, say, this time next week, promise me that you will inscribe in stone a date by which you will absolutely, positively do what you said you were gonna do.
Cancer (June 21-July 22): It's a good week to be like the fabled turtle instead of the fabled hare, and a bad week to barricade yourself inside a crumbling fortress. It's a great week to buy yourself a toy you've denied yourself for years, and an inauspicious week to watch TV until your eyes bleed. It's a fabulous week to take aggressive steps toward healing any abandonment you experienced in the past, and a terrible week to hide under the covers and fantasize about all the love you're gonna make one day.
(P.S.: This is also the best time in eight months to study the difference between what you can change and what you can't.)
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Not surprisingly, one of this century's most notorious connoisseurs of pleasure was born under the sign of Leo. "When choosing between two evils," the magnificent Leo comedian Mae West once said, "I always like to take the one I've never tried before." This would be excellent advice for you in the week ahead. I'd hate to see you hang on to the same old boring vices when a couple fresh ones are so readily available.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The cover of a recent Fortune magazine screamed: "Are you paid enough? Unless you earn four times your age, the answer is NO." So, like, if you're 25, you're a loser unless you're pulling in a hundred grand. Uh-huh. Right. And Disney's Pocahontas is based on historical fact, and the most heinous problem in the world today is cyberporn, and welfare recipients are wrecking the economy. I mean, what fantasy planet do those Fortune people live on? Ignore them and their ilk, Virgo. You've got enough pressure on you to make ends meet without trying to live up to totally unrealistic standards. In fact, my advice to you is to wash out of your brain every definition of success except the one you know in your heart is true.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Sometime in the next five nights, you'll probably dream of showing up nude for a public event, like an important meeting or the first day of school. Don't be alarmed. This is actually a very good omen. It means you've finally shed the old disguises that have been preventing you from reinventing yourself. It's a promise that you'll soon be able to find out who the New You is.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Long before the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there was a Greek myth with a similar feel. It starred Persephone, a divine person who, like Christ, descended into the land of the dead only to return transfigured. The Festival of Eleusis, observed in September, honored the theme of Persephone's demise and redemption -- as well as the rhythms of decay and renewal that are always at work in every individual's life. I invite you to celebrate the Festival of Eleusis this week by taking an inventory: What's decomposing and disintegrating in your own world? What's ripe for rejuvenation and regeneration?
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Welcome to Real Astrology 2000, your indispensable source for plotting your path into the new millennium. What do you predict you'll be doing on Sept. 21, 2000? More importantly, what do you WANT to be doing on Sept. 21, 2000? Stick with Real Astrology 2000 and on that legendary day you'll be five hard-earned, grace-filled years closer to being master of your own destiny.
Are you ready for your first assignment? Then grab some paper and a pen and write out your Five-Year Plan.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I tried and I tried to get the Dalai Lama to guest-edit this equinox edition of Real Astrology. His people politely refused the first four times I contacted them. On my fifth attempt, I trimmed my request down to one measly sign. "Please please please tell His Holiness," I begged, "that Capricorns, more than anyone else, desperately need his inspired spiritual guidance in the coming weeks." I explained to them how you're about to experience a rush of success on the material plane, putting you in danger of losing touch with your more soulful resources. Alas, my hero was too busy with Bosnia, Rwanda, and Myanmar. You'll have to rely on whatever other metaphysical muse you can drum up.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It would be a good week to take a shower with your clothes on or drink two quick soft drinks and stage a burping contest with a good buddy. Seriously. The more goofy things you do, the more open you'll be to the unbelievable truths that're trying to snag your attention. So wear a sneaker on one foot and a dress shoe on the other, or roll down a grassy hill screaming, "I am not an animal!" The less you're obsessed with your dignity, the more likely it is you'll notice all the pithy signals that're coming your way from undervalued people and other sources you usually ignore.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): If you've read this column for a while, you know that I use the word "magic" very sparingly. When I do invoke it, I make clear that it has nothing in common with the "magic" of Hollywood special effects or the "magic" of the crap that Cher sells on her infomercials. To me, "magic" should be reserved for numinous events that make the hair prick up on the back of your neck or send warm chills through your funny bone. I hope, then, that you'll be duly impressed with the following prediction: The looming equinox, which is one of the catalytic turning points of the year, will balance those parts of your life that are overextended; it'll harmonize whatever's out of whack; and it'll set in motion changes -- especially in your relationships -- that will feel like magic.