REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): The world will be awash in omens for you this week, Aries. Here's a rundown of a few of the oracular meanings you may encounter. Seeing a squashed bee in a place far from any flowers suggests you should stick closer to your source of sweetness. Spying an empty bag of potato chips in a fountain means you should protect the sacred parts of your life from being tainted by profane trivia and dross. Overhearing someone in a public place say, "If that's not immortality, what is?" implies you should be more alert for and open your mind wider to long-lasting things.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): There's more teasing than pleasing going on around here if you ask me -- and you seem to be bearing the brunt of it. Want my advice? YOU'RE TOO DAMN COURTEOUS! So stop taking maybe for an answer. Negotiate with a wilder look in your eye. Study the bargaining techniques of 3-year-olds so you won't be outgunned by adults acting like toddlers. This is one time when nice guys really will finish last. Even worse, nice guys will end up slaving away in service to dreams they don't believe in.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Born June 5, 1878, Pancho Villa was a rowdy Mexican version of Robin Hood, fighting tirelessly in behalf of poor and disenfranchised people. Being an imaginative Gemini, though, he was no literal-minded fanatic. For instance, with a prescient grasp of the media's power to catalyze political change, he sold the rights to his crusade to an American film company. Once he even postponed a planned military assault until the cameramen arrived. I nominate Pancho to be your role model this June. Let him inspire you to fight for truth and justice in ways that bring you fun and adventure. And make sure to dramatize and advertise all your exploits so they have maximum impact on the most people.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): In the trite old metaphor about the transformation of a homely, earthbound caterpillar into a beautiful winged creature, a crucial detail is always left out: The butterfly is weak and helpless when it first struggles free of its cocoon. For a while it's lucky if it's not eaten by a predator. Let that be a lesson to you as you prepare for your own metamorphosis. Before you start spinning your chrysalis, make sure that when you emerge from it, you'll be in a protective sanctuary surrounded by vigilant nurturers.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): June is traditionally the month for marriages and graduations. After studying your astrological aspects, I won't be surprised if you're about to enjoy events with a resemblance to both these rituals. It's quite possible your marriage will experience something like a graduation, for instance. Or maybe the completion of a phase of your education will prepare you and free you for a vigorous new alliance. Whatever it turns out to be, I can in confidence proclaim mazel tov.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Ever had the privilege of consorting with a person who consistently makes you feel like your most beautiful self? Believe it or not, you're likely to attract a synergetic magician like that sometime soon. I had such a friend once. She was a Virgo writer named Lynn Luria-Sukenick. In her presence I often found myself able to speak my wildest, deepest truths -- usually with words that surprised me with their pithy fluency. Her power to listen was so masterful, in other words, that it awakened in me understandings that normally lay half-dormant. Alas, she died in 1995. This month her last book of short stories has finally been published. I pray that the wonder-worker you'll encounter, Virgo, will give you the same gift of inspiration that Lynn blessed me with.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I want to prove to you that your fate depends at least as much on your own willpower as on cosmic whimsy. Are you game? Then try the following exercise. Imagine that you've time-traveled 3 1/2 months into the future. From that perspective, write an essay titled "How I Made Myself a Better, Smarter, Happier Person During the Summer of 1997." Send this document, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, to: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Box 150247, San Rafael, CA 94915. I'll mail it back to you in mid-September.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): So after all this time, God and the devil decided to get together and compare notes about you. You can imagine how shocked they both were when they realized they'd been influencing you in many of the same ways. God, for instance, has always believed that stimulating your talent for activating other people's abilities would eventually lift you to heaven. The devil has always cultivated that same skill in you, in the belief that it would turn you into a controlling manipulator who loves to make people dependent on you. Personally, I think they both have a point. Your actions in the week ahead will be living proof.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In your dreams this week, the Three Stooges become astronauts and rocket their way to Venus, the planet of love. As soon as they land, they help a talking unicorn extricate its horn from a cleft in a cliff. In gratitude, the unicorn carries them to the lair of the planet's omnipotent ruler and love god, who is played by none other than YOU! You wisely turn the Stooges into your court jesters, and order them to teach you how to add more high jinks and jokes to your romantic rituals. They oblige you so devotedly and you learn so eagerly that soon your sex life enjoys 10 times as much laughter as it ever did before.

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