REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): It'll be a good week to get a nose job, face lift, or collagen injections, especially if you've recently escaped from prison or are thinking of starting your life over in a strange place where no one knows you.

APRIL FOOL! The truth is the exact opposite of what I just said. In fact, it's never been more important for you to shed your disguises, spill your obsolete secrets, and triple your efforts to be who you really are, so help you God.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Your life this week would provide lots of rich material for scriptwriters for The X-Files and The Outer Limits. To get the most out of the strange phenomena headed your way, I suggest you wear fake fangs, get a gargoyle tattoo on your forearm, and keep your eyes unnaturally wide open all the time. This'll ensure that you're always spookier than the spooks, who will then leave you alone.

APRIL FOOL! Your life'll be weird all right, but weird funny, not weird scary. Your best preparation for this week's comic horrors will be to don a rainbow fright wig, get a nose ring with a Barney-the-dinosaur charm dangling off, and wear your clothes inside-out.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Forget about getting any help from anyone. Resign yourself to exploring the primal depths of self-sufficiency. If you find yourself entertaining the slightest hope of being rescued or taken care of, switch your thoughts immediately to Lily Tomlin's advice, "Just remember, we're all in this alone."

APRIL FOOL! I lied! In reality, you'll be at the hub of a network buzzing with juicy activity. You'll be a magnet. A catalyst. A purveyor of inside dope and useful connections. You need only to imagine the person whose assistance you need, and he or she will call within the hour. Schmooze, baby, schmooze.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I predict that at some time this week you will be walking down the street when suddenly you will spy a runaway baby carriage skidding into an intersection, whereupon you will instantly drop the packages you're carrying, break into a gallop, clamber over a parked car, and grab the carriage just before it rolls into the path of a bus. After a TV news show hails you as a hero, a local philanthropist will buy you a new car, you'll be asked to be the keynote speaker at a college graduation ceremony, and a VIP who's always ignored you will suddenly want to be your friend.

APRIL FOOL! Everything I just said is a total fabrication, except for one thing: You will be a hero (although no one may know except me and you).

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Be more polite than you've ever been in your entire life. Observe all rules and laws -- especially the unwritten ones -- with fanatical faithfulness. Spend most of your time eating microwaved TV dinners while watching infomercials, shopping for junk you don't need in malls designed by soulless architects, and working in poorly ventilated areas with no natural light. Be ultracivilized!

APRIL FOOL! In reality, Leo, you have a mandate this week to socialize exclusively with rivers and mountains. I advise you to schedule a tea party with the moon, and to gossip with a grove of oaks. Ask a crazy question of the dawn, and tell a secret to the spring's first butterfly. Be a smart animal.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It'll be a good week to have a spotted owl barbecue, to lobby in behalf of huge welfare giveaways for obscenely rich corporations, and to propound an anti-abortion position that's merely a disguise for a loathing of sexual freedom and a fear of women's empowerment.

APRIL FOOL! It's never OK to act like I just described, even if the astrological aspects might render it easy to get away with. The real fact of the matter is that it'll be a good week to listen to welfare mothers' dreams, to pray that fundamentalists are liberated from their grotesque hatreds, and to lobby for a new law that makes it illegal to possess more than $5 million.

APRIL FOOLED YOU AGAIN! The even more ultimate truth about this week is that it'll be a great time to make fun of your most hallowed beliefs.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I predict that this week someone with whom you were lovers in a past life will dump soup in your lap. This will lead to a rekindling of your connection and ultimately result in the two of you inventing technology that will make deserts bloom all over the world and end food shortages forever.

APRIL FOOL! I was exaggerating. It's true that you will revive a romantic myth this week. And it's also true that this could bring fertility back to a wasteland. But I can't say whether it'll benefit anyone else besides yourself.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I predict that you'll quit your job so you can devote yourself full time to procuring new employment as a spy disguised as a prostitute.

APRIL FOOL! Your need to express yourself more creatively in your work will indeed tempt you to throw your hard-earned security out the window, but you'll decide against it. Instead you'll try to subtly revolutionize your current gig.

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