REAL ASTROLOGY for an unreal world

Aries (March 21-April 19): Was last week as good for you as it was for me? From the crazed glint in your eye, I'd say the earth moved the equivalent of a few 7.0 quakes. And yet by all astrological accounts, those were just foreshocks compared to the thunder that'll roll through your pleasure principle in the next 10 days.

I suggest spending as little time in enclosed spaces as possible, just in case you spontaneously start imitating an avalanche, volcano, or tornado. Walls will definitely fall, but that won't be a problem as long as you're in places where the horizons go on forever.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): I was admiring the bull skull tattoo gracing the bicep of the woman sitting next to me on the train. "I'm a Taurus," she offered. "Where you headed?" I replied. "Home," she said. "And where's home?" I asked politely. "Don't know yet," she ventured wistfully. "You're going home but you don't know where home is?" I stammered. "That's right," she said. "I'm just going to feel my way around until I stumble on a stomping ground that makes me feel most like myself." I was dumbfounded. "That's an amazing coincidence," I said, "because I write an astrology column, and, like, that's very similar to what I was going to tell my Taurus readers this week." She pondered. "Well, tell 'em this, too: Maybe you don't find out where you really belong until you don't belong anywhere."

Gemini (May 21-June 20): One of my heroes is Gemini freedom-fighter Suu Kyi. As a leader of the struggle for democracy in Burma, she was arrested by the military dictatorship there in 1989. In 1991, while still imprisoned, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. It was only recently, after six long years, that she was finally released. I'm telling you about this glorious twist of fate because I believe her victory foreshadows yours. I predict that millions of other Geminis will also experience a rush of liberation very soon -- like in the next nine days.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Last winter I predicted this would be the year you found your dream job. And if you've been paying attention, the first part of 1995 has teased you with hundreds of clues about how to do just that. And yet these past seven months have merely been the foreplay for the stretch run, which begins today. If you're not doing the work you love by February 1996, your momma must've lied to you about when you were born, because you couldn't possibly be a Cancer.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): I predict that a work of art begun by a Leo painter or musician this week will go down in history as the equivalent of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel or Mozart's piano concertos. I predict that a research project launched in the next 10 days by a Leo scientist will lead to an advance in technology that equals the telephone. I predict that the love made by 80 percent of all Leos will rival the ecstasy generated during the embrace of the Buddha's parents on the night they conceived him.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): To create your horoscopes, I rely mostly on astrological data, but I also use many other prognostication techniques. Some are traditional, like Tarot cards and rune stones. Some are not: I've found omens in the shape of oil stains in parking lots and in the funny oracles I string together by flipping rapid-fire around the TV dial. This week I've made myself receptive to the possibility that I'll receive divinatory clues from snatches of overheard conversation. And today, as I sat in a restaurant, meditating on what I should tell you for the first half of August, the woman in the booth next to me blurted out to her companion, "You want to know how to make God laugh? Tell her your plans."

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This week's too good to be true. Or so you, with your notorious self-doubt, are likely to think. If I brazenly revealed all the strokes of not-so-dumb luck that are on the way, I'd probably only rouse your mistrust.

Therefore, I'll now offer a few fake anxieties to keep your worry machine occupied so it won't mangle your dreams-come-true. Beware of nuns wearing boxing gloves and miniature golf courses built underground. Guard against psychic cats in runaway shopping carts and mutant tomatoes as big as soccer balls falling from third-story windows. And be very suspicious of bagpipe music that's coming from your tooth fillings.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To get in the mood for this week's skirmishes and confrontations, I suggest you head on down to the toy store and purchase a phalanx of posable action figures. Then, in the privacy of your bedroom, as you smash Red Dragon Thunderzord against Sgt. Grizzly Savage, you'll, I hope, acclimate yourself to the elevated adrenaline levels you'll need for the real-world showdowns that await you. Later, as Thunderzord and Savage lay in an exhausted heap on the floor, I trust you'll bring in Big Bird or Barbie the Nurse. Their calming influence could condition you to be extra-alert to the subtle possibilities of a real-world truce.

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