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REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World 

Wednesday, Aug 28 1996
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Aries (March 21-April 19): During my stay on Maui, my normal paranoia levels have declined drastically. Fears I've always taken for granted don't make sense here in paradise. It's a sweet feeling. I'm worried, though, about how this lowering of the shields will play when I return to Battleground America. At least I'm aware of the problem. You, on the other hand, don't seem to realize you're facing a similar dilemma. During your own recent encounter with massive bliss, you also experienced a loss of defense mechanisms. And now that it's time to become more warriorlike, you're still gliding around like an all-trusting jester.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Check yourself for the following symptoms: 1) a dwindling fascination with conflict; 2) sudden explosions of gratitude; 3) crazy longings to gaze more deeply into others' eyes; 4) attacks of goofiness that "accidentally" lead to wise discoveries; 5) a mounting power to recognize and accept the love emanating from others; 6) a growing inability to be bored. If you have four or more of these symptoms, you're in ripe alignment with your astrological destiny and should continue doing what you're doing. If you have less than four, get more now.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Eons before the invention of TV, the tribe known as Gemini perfected the channel-surfer's approach to life. You and your kind have always been famous for zapping through a multitude of realities, all the while keeping track of the latest developments in each. Normally I encourage your talent for prodigious simultaneity. But this week, if you hope to soak up all the love and care and support you need, you simply can't flip back and forth among a host of sources. Please try to concentrate on sustained communion with just one or two founts of nurturing.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): The tour guide on our glass-bottom boat directed our attention to the slimy, eight-armed creature a diver was holding. "A starving octopus that can't find any food," she said, "might eat one of its own limbs." This fun fact propelled me into a meditation about us Cancerians. We're the most orally fixated sign of the zodiac, the tribe with the most highly charged issues about eating. No one uses food as a substitute for love with more voraciousness than a Crab. Sometimes, when actual chocolate and burritos and pasta no longer fill our void, we indulge in behavior that has a metaphorical resemblance to the octopus': We eat ourselves alive; we devour our own psychic reserves in an attempt to simulate the feeling of being loved. It never works, of course -- unless we do it without an iota of self-pity.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): What?! You say you're thinking of heading into the exam room with all the answers written on your hand? Isn't that kind of like ... cheating? I mean I realize that no one ascends to the heights where you are today without a little, how you say, sleight of hand and mumbo jumbo. But it would be so much better if you tattooed the info on your brain instead of your hand. That way you'll be able to respond impeccably to the exam's tough questions when they come up again in real life a few days later.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): For the old Hawaiians, the word polikua referred to the dip that lay just on the other side of the horizon, where the eye can't quite reach. I predict you'll be flirting with a fugitive vision of that magic spot all week long. If you're very vigilant -- that is, if you avoid having nana kuli, "lazy eyes" -- you'll be able to scrutinize vistas you've never had the power to even glimpse before.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I'm all in favor of you taking aggressive steps to root out pests that're eating away at your reserves. To ensure you do this with proper foresight, let me relate a cautionary tale I've picked up during my stay on Maui. There were originally no rats here, but the arrival of European whaling ships changed that. In an effort to quell the rodents' spread, local farmers imported scores of Indian mongooses. Only problem was, the rat was nocturnal and the mongoose diurnal. They rarely met. Ever since, there've been two nasty predators on the loose. Moral of the story: Make damn sure the pest-control measures you initiate don't aggravate the problem.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Krishnamurti wished there could be as many religions in the world as there are people. The ancient Hawaiians spoke of ka lehu o ke akua -- the 400,000 gods and goddesses. I see no reason -- especially now, during this spiritually potent and promiscuous phase -- why you should feel any inhibitions about spouting out prayers to any old deity you feel inspired by. The more conversations with divine presences, the merrier. Ask Christ for the impossible. Implore Isis for the unimaginable. Appeal to Dionysus for the heartiest party of the decade. Beg Kali to dissolve all that obstructs your love.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Be a wave-maker, Sagittarius, maybe even a tidal wave-maker. In other words, don't keep floating along with all the other drifters as the silt builds up at the bottom of your pool and the ecological balance deteriorates. Leap into the water and thrash about with style. Splash the cool cats who've been exploiting the comfort zone for too long. And make sure your swirling ripples reach every shore.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In Hawaii there are two plants, called ama'u and limu-haea by the natives, that are famous for colonizing fresh lava flows. Their windblown seeds insinuate themselves into cracks in the newly cooled rock and sprout long before any other species can get it together to act so opportunistically. I advise you to be like the ama'u and limu-haea in the coming weeks, Capricorn. Wander over to a frontier that resembles the wake of a volcanic eruption. Then finagle a power spot where you can bloom like hell.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I communed with the ocean yesterday. For an hour I bobbed like a heaven-fresh fetus, rocking gently in the nurturing bath. The water was womb temperature, and there wasn't a used syringe or oil spill in sight. Without warning, though, the welcoming mother turned into a moody trickster. Monster waves crashed down and tobogganed me into a sandbar; a vicious undertow dragged me out to a hidden abyss. Then, as suddenly as she'd withdrawn her favors, the sea became my placid cradle again. A half-hour later, the battering resumed, and I had to fight to stay afloat. That's how I passed the afternoon, Aquarius. And that's the way I predict you'll spend your week, too: dialoguing with the elemental forces of nature. Even if you never set foot outside.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): While hiking in Maui's rain forest, I thought of you. Why? Maybe because your inner state is like the teeming wilderness I beheld. The riot of aromas and colors reminded me of the primordial dreams that are now streaming up out of your unconscious mind. The almost oppressive lushness of the place evoked the frenetic fertility I've detected in your aura lately. And then there was the poignant tangle of decay and growth, embodied most starkly by a majestic orchid sprouting out of a rotting log. That was a perfect metaphor for the way you're reinventing yourself.

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Rob Brezsny

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