REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): In the name of the astrological powers that be, I ask only two things of you this week. First, create a three-hour tantric ritual with your Valentine. And second, at the height of your timeless ecstasy, visualize your heart spilling open with vivid gifts for the two of you -- like Georgia O'Keeffe paintings sitting atop giant birthday cakes, elephant pi–atas riding in azure canoes, toasters made of pure gold falling through the sky at the end of magenta parachutes, the two of you being born in a diamond fountain, or any image that might sear this moment of shocking delight onto both of your psyches forever.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Cut your fingernails short this week. Eat nothing but healthy foods. Flossing is crucial, of course, and so is your 110 percent commitment to perfect hygiene. Men: If you don't wear a beard or mustache, keep your face scrupulously cleanshaven. Women: Temporarily suspend the use of perfumes so that your natural pheromones won't be disguised.

Have you got all that? I know I'm verging on getting too personal, but I simply must be sure you have all the basics in place for the main event: the most spiritually arousing love-in since 1992, starring you and your angel.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): It would be a perfect week to get naked with your Valentine on an ocean cruise and gorge on ice cream by candlelight while sipping cognac from a glass slipper -- especially if the two of you took advantage of this magic moment to seriously fantasize about the goals you could accomplish together in the next two years. If it's beyond the scope of your pocketbook or time to make this happen in an exotic wonderland, at least pull it off in the privacy of your own bungalow.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I finally tracked down the horoscope of one of my role models, the Dalai Lama. As I'd always secretly suspected, he's a Cancerian like you and I, born July 6, 1935. This week I predict he'll experience an almost ridiculously fierce flare-up of sexual energy, which he will heroically sublimate into a daring and righteous stroke of genius in behalf of world peace and social justice. You and I and most other Cancerians will also feel this eruption of cosmic eros, but we're more likely to just want to boink, boink, and boink some more.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): If you're wildly brave, love will be like an ocean in the next week -- surging, primordial, unfathomable. If you're not quite bold enough for that adventure, love will be more like a river -- flowing but contained, restless but manageable. Too chicken even for that? Then how about a romantic interlude that's placid and motionless, like a shady pond?

Just make sure you're not so fixated on adolescent images of love that you won't allow the real adult thing to moisten you at all. Avoid the metaphor of the icy puddle.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Sociologists did a study to determine the touchy-feely quotient of people in different parts of the world. They observed the behavior of couples sitting in cafes to determine how often their bodies interacted. Here are a few results: The average number of tactile contacts per hour in Mexico City was 133. In Paris: 67. In Pittsburgh: 2. In London: 0. Why am I bringing this up? My astrological research tells me that it is absolutely crucial in the next two weeks for all you English-speaking Virgos to transcend your cultural programming and get up to at least the Parisian levels.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In yogic circles it's known as kundalini. Devotees of Wilhelm Reich called it the orgone energy. To some tantrics it's phoenix nectar or pearly thunder. Me, I favor the term dragon gumbo. Whatever your pet name for the stuff, Libra, you're now in possession of record-breaking amounts of it -- perhaps more than your sign has experienced in decades. Does it have something to do with the fact that Mars, Uranus, and the sun are lighting up your House of Lust like a volcano erupting during a forest fire? Whatever the cause, I suggest you make extensive plans to share it with a partner who has the nerve to welcome it all with a wide-open heart.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Relax. Place yourself in a comfortable position and begin to relax. All tension is fleeing your libido. Your muscles are growing supernaturally playful. Even your imagination is shimmering with gentle explosions of serenity. It's as if your memory banks were having wet dreams about ruby-throated hummingbirds; as if lustful compassion were bursting out of your heart in spiral hallelujahs. With each word you read, you are becoming more relaxed -- and yet you are not falling into a trance. In fact, you've never felt more alert and horny in your life. That is why, when you finish this message, you will go make a phone call to set in motion a chain of events that will dissolve the greatest single obstacle to a more perfect love.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Here's a foolproof recipe for a successful relationship, according to stand-up comic Mark Davis: Find someone who's your physical and sexual ideal. Then make up a personality for them, pretend fiercely that's who they really are, and stick to it no matter what behavior they exhibit.

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