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REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World 

Wednesday, Dec 25 1996
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Aries (March 21-April 19): Seismologists were recently intrigued to discover the existence of slow-motion earthquakes. Unlike the fast, powerful jolts of conventional temblors, this poky variety can take days to unfold and never send plates flying off a single shelf. Of course I wasn't surprised in the least to learn this news, since for months I've been visualizing your year ahead as a kind of slow-motion earthquake. The energy release will be spectacular. The realignment of forces will be epic. And yet it should all happen with virtually no trauma or damage.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): I predict that you will not commit suicide in 1997. That probably doesn't surprise you. But what you may be amazed to hear is that I also predict you will perform at least 50 percent fewer self-destructive acts in the year ahead than you've averaged in the past. Your diminished tendency to undermine your own good works will be so dramatic that you may find yourself again and again having to shoulder the increased responsibility that comes with success -- and even that will not lead you to regress to old patterns of self-sabotage.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Goldfish confined to aquariums and bowls grow a couple inches long. But when they're placed in more spacious bodies of water, they balloon up to 2 feet. Why does this occur? I don't know, but I predict something analogous will happen to you in 1997. Wide-open spaces (or a bigger stomping ground) are even now beginning to tempt you, and if you respond, you too will expand. I'm not sure if that means you'll put on 10 pounds of fat or add 10 points to your IQ. If it's the latter, I'll bet you'll also double the size of your sense of destiny.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Events in the year ahead will invite you to become a connoisseur of recycling. And I'm not just talking about your work with old cans and bottles and newspapers. Slightly faded inspirations will be good material to work with, as well as still-useful people who've lost a little luster. In fact, see if you can squeeze untapped value out of every old shtick and secret that might conceivably be resurrectable. Make your past work for you like never before. Oh, and one more thing: Don't just recycle -- precycle.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Do I have some great news for you, Leo! But first, let's dispense with the bad news. If you're a typical member of your tribe, you spent 1996 working longer and harder than ever, with more responsibility and no increase in pay. But all that's going to change in 1997. I promise. Especially if you spend the next couple of weeks exorcising all your resentments about your job and explaining to yourself how the ordeals of the past year perfectly set up the smoother sailing ahead.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): More than ever, I'm convinced that the prophecy I made for you Virgos last August is on schedule. Back then I noted that while your tribe is famous for its exotic maladies, the day is coming when many of you will graduate forever from that reputation. Consider what's looming. The expansive planet Jupiter will be bestowing blessings on your House of Health during all of 1997. Meanwhile, the energizing planet Mars will be making a rare three-month visit to your House of Vitality (mid-March through mid-June). That's why I decree with renewed vigor that this will be your best chance ever to dissolve chronic health problems.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The 19th-century poet John Keats said, "If something isn't beautiful, it's probably not true." To the jaded sensibilities of those of us living at the end of the 20th century, the exact opposite of that statement might seem more valid, as in "If something isn't ugly, it's probably dishonest." (And in fact just today I communed with over 70 hideous truths in my daily newspaper.) Nevertheless, I have a strong intuition that Keats' formulation should be one of your guiding epigrams throughout 1997. Perhaps you yourself will be an overflowing wellspring of gorgeous truths.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If I had to compare you to a vegetable in 1996, it would, I'm afraid, have to be a turnip. You've been a sturdy little root, a serviceable and reliable dish, but not exactly brimming with delectability. Potential diners have turned to you not so much because you've aroused passionate longings but because you've been hearty and economical. All that should change, though, in 1997. I predct you'll be more like a ripe tomato, called on to serve as an essential ingredient in a wide variety of tasty recipes.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I'll be tempted to refer to you as the Pollinator in 1997. You'll enhance your alignment with cosmic luck whenever you act like the insects that carry pollen from flower to flower. Just as bees and butterflies invigorate plant life by propagating genetic diversity, you should foster the fertility of your circle by spreading around useful information and sparking new connections among people who'd benefit from knowing each other. By the end of the year, I hope I'll be able to describe you with the same words Stephen Buchmann and Gary Paul Nabhan use to praise pollinating insects in their book The Forgotten Pollinators: "The fruits are juicier, the seeds are fuller, and the diversity on our plates is much richer because of them."

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Dear Diary: Well, everything changed in 1996. I mean everything. Most years sweep away a few of my certainties, but this one got every last one. Why, then, am I still standing proud? Why am I not huddled in a corner jabbering in baby talk to the spiders? I can't help but wonder if I went numb somewhere back there and am mistaking numbness for poise. There is, I guess, a possibility that all the commotion in the early 1990s gave me so much ballast that I'll never be able to get totally knocked on my ass again. Now that's a fun thought."

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Let's briefly review the year that's passing away. And I mean very briefly, so we can put it behind us and move on to rosier explorations. I'm afraid that on too many fronts, my friend, you were dissatisfied with your life in 1996 but afraid to change it. You knew you needed a revolution but weren't confident enough or strong enough or well-informed enough to hurl more than the first volley. That's the bad news. The good news is that I predict your mousy waffling will soon be distant history. Would it be OK with you if I call you "Lionheart" during the next 12 months?

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): While Saturn was poking along in Pisces between February 1994 and April 1996, you had to slog through an impossible amount of ancient karma, much of which probably defied resolution. Nineteen ninety-seven will, in contrast, ask you to wade through a tolerable amount of old karma that will practically resolve itself. The coming year's stuff will also be far more interesting and far less cryptic than the last load. And you may be amazed at how every little loose end you tie up will liberate profound new possibilities in your intimate relationships.

About The Author

Rob Brezsny

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