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REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World 

Wednesday, Aug 19 1998
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Aries (March 21-April 19): The poet Muriel Rukeyser said the universe is composed of stories, not atoms. The physicist Werner Heisenberg declared that the universe is made of music, not matter. And I believe that if you habitually expose yourself to inferior music and stories -- even unwittingly -- you could wind up living in the wrong universe. I bring this up now because it's never been more important for you to nourish yourself with righteous tales and tunes. Whether it's Jorge Luis Borges' Labyrinths and the devotional singing of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, or Jane Hirshfield's Women in Praise of the Sacred and Jane Siberry's When I Was a Boy, seek out

only the best building materials.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Saturn slipped into Taurus back on June 9. It'll remain there through Oct. 25. Then it'll leave until early March 1999, when it'll return for a 25-month stay. Already you should be feeling a foreshadowing of the ringed planet's gifts -- and costs. Frivolous ambitions may be losing their hold on your imagination. You could be feeling an unmistakable push to stop messing around with time-wasting activities. My advice is to respond with grateful enthusiasm -- now. The sooner you hone your self-discipline and tighten your focus, the less likely it is that you'll spend the year 2000 writing "I will not squander my riches" a billion times on Saturn's blackboard.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Logic and analytical thought are, I hope, among your most prized possessions. In a culture where nearly all opinions are lazily conceived, informed by poor research, and driven by unacknowledged emotional biases, a rational and objective mind is a superpower. Now and then, however, even that isn't enough to guide you; you need to rely on your intuition. In many people, unfortunately, this subtle faculty has atrophied through neglect and lack of respect. Luckily, it's always ready to grow stronger in response to loving attention. And that's what I suggest you focus on in the coming weeks, Gemini.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I wouldn't be surprised to see you wearing a beaded cocktail dress and white sweat socks at the same time this week, or a baseball hat with a tuxedo. For that matter, I can easily imagine you making killings in the marketplace by day and healings in the bedroom by night. The metaphors will be so mixed (often for the best) that you're more likely to change unicorns or platypuses, not horses, in midstream. It'll be a perfect time to master the art of coopetition -- the curious blend of cooperation and competition.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): For a couple of days, five planets will be crammed into Leo. If there were no other astrological factors to consider, I'd predict that this mass gathering would either turn you into an incorrigibly vain showoff, or else a healing source of resplendent beauty. But since a solar eclipse will also grace your sign, and Mars in Leo will be in opposition to Neptune (the planet of unconditional love), I'm sure you won't be able to get away with embodying the dark side of the cosmic confluence. Therefore, I say: Be a generous angel overflowing with beneficence -- or else.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Psychotherapists everywhere seem to favor the last two weeks of August for their vacation time. According to my sources, for instance, upward of 75 percent of New York's shrinks have currently deserted the city. Fortunately for you, Virgo, exuberant cosmic forces are yanking you out of your doldrums just in time for this mass exodus. You don't need no stinking gurus this week. All you require is a place to celebrate your release from the suburbs of hell.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): How could you possibly top your recent feats, Libra? By being well-balanced without indulging in indecisiveness, you've at least temporarily mastered one of the toughest challenges your sign faces. You've also managed to express record-breaking amounts of receptivity and sensitivity while maintaining an iron will. Forgive me for waxing melodramatic here, but I believe you've come closer than ever to actually doing what God sent you here to do. It seems the perfect moment, then, to offer you the cautionary advice of Nigerian writer Gabriel Okara. "[O]ne of the two hard things," he said, "is knowing your purpose in this world. The other, which is harder, is not to corrupt it after knowing what your purpose is."

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I'm happy to say you're now behaving in a way that's diametrically opposed to the Renaissance popes who sired children with mistresses and to the American founding fathers who owned slaves even though they declared slavery was immoral. In other words, Scorpio, your head and heart are united in a sweeping conspiracy to become the genuine article you always said you wanted to be. Congratulations, O Pure One. You're the antidote for the welter of posers and con artists out there. Of all the signs in the zodiac, your hypocrisy levels are the lowest.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to mystical tradition, God is not up above and far away, but rather inside you and as close as your breath. One good way to seek communion with the Divine Wow, therefore, is to sit quietly with your eyes closed in a sheltered sanctuary. Curiously, an equally viable approach is to stand on top of a mountain with all of creation spread out before you and open yourself up as wide as you'll go. I think either method will work for you this week, Sagittarius. The stars are plotting to give you a more intimate yet expansive view of your soul's destiny than you've had in your last three incarnations.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): A Capricorn reader, weary of what he called my endless mixed messages, recently wrote: "When will I become," he moaned, "the most secure, attractive, intelligent, humorous, wealthy, influential, happy person in the history of the world -- and of course also be paired with a gorgeous, witty, smart, financially secure mate?" As much as I may be peeved with the greed oozing from such a question, it's my duty to report that the answer is: this week. Well, except for the "in the history of the world" part. Substitute "in the history of my life," and many of you Capricorns are quite likely to fit the description.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): My friend Irene is a matchmaker. Her specialty is helping single people dream up their ideal marriage contracts. She finds this often clarifies their notions of what they want in a mate, and leads, in mysterious ways, to them actually meeting their mates. Interested? You should be. The Aquarian urge to merge is beginning to peak, and it would be good medicine for you to design your own wedding ritual and vows. If you're already mated, you and your partner could use this as a good excuse to reinvent your bond.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Where exactly is hell in relation to heaven, anyway? Is it the equivalent of a billion light-years away? Or are they within shouting distance of each other? Lots of ancient religious texts suggest the latter. For instance, Yalkut Koheleth, a Jewish commentary on the biblical book Ecclesiastes, claimed the two domains were "a hand-breadth apart." I bring this up, Pisces, because I believe you'll soon be able to add your testimony to the evidence. In a blink of your crying eyes, you'll migrate from the Dank Pit to the Sweet Spot.

About The Author

Rob Brezsny

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