Aries (March 21-April 19): In North America, the thumbs-up gesture means "Good job" or "Way to go," but in Australia it carries the message of "Up yours!" Pretty big difference. Just goes to show you how important context is for your communications -- especially in the weeks to come. That's why I don't recommend confessing your sins or professing your love while wearing a dirty T-shirt and eating fried gunk in a burger joint. Do it by candlelight in a gorgeous spot while dressed in your finest, or don't do it at all.
Taurus (April 20-May 20): It'll be a good week to bestow a knighthood on your cat, wear your clothes inside out, or invite gang members over for high tea. The wackier and more whimsical you are, the better for all concerned. Scrawl romantic graffiti on your lover's mirror with whip cream, or treat your friends and family to your imitation of martial artists in a Hong Kong action flick, or do whatever it was that gave you most joy as a child. And feel free to make frequent use of the following quote from the film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash, and I'm happy to say I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
Gemini (May 21-June 20): Around this time of year in Australia, the star Arcturus begins to rise before dawn. To certain western Aborigines this used to be a sign to start hunting for wood-ant pupae, which was their staple food for a few months. I bring this up, Gemini, because all the starry indicators are telling me that this is the season for you to be on the lookout for a new source of sustenance to keep you hale and hearty through Christmas. What's your metaphorical equivalent of wood-ant pupae?
Cancer (June 21-July 22): For more than 15 years, I have been the pastor, president, and pope of Parish No. 31026 of the Universal Life Church. In the early part of my ministry, I performed quite a few marriages, but in the last decade I haven't done a single one. Now I've decided to come out of retirement. What's the occasion? Well, I have the chance to sanctify a very unusual union: between you and you. Huh? Let me explain. Two different aspects of yourself that have been at odds forever -- one aspect that I call "husband" and one I call "wife" -- are finally primed to forge an intimate new collaboration. Are you ready to get formally hitched? I now pronounce you husband and wife.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): A recent news report featured yuppies who had owned their four-wheel-drive sports utility vehicles for a long time but had never actually taken them off-road. Some enterprising company was offering a training course that would give these amateurs practice in driving over logs and gravel and sand. I thought this was a perfect metaphor for you Leos to meditate on in the week ahead. You, too, are overdue to exploit spiffy tools or raw talents that have been underutilized for far too many moons.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In my prayers, I've been negotiating with the Goddess to give you the power to change the course of rivers. I've beseeched her to show you how to push the clouds around at your whim (and your moods, too), overthrow the Puppet Master (you know what I'm talking about), and turn lead into silver if not gold. I swear the Goddess is seriously considering my requests. She's already offered to send you a dream in which you'll learn how to shape a new Adam out of one of Eve's ribs. All that she seems to want in return is that you be responsible for making the sun rise on schedule for the next three days.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Icon magazine recently ran a piece on a daring and highly successful fund manager named Daniel Cloud. He believes the best time to invest in a foreign market is when a country is in the midst of civil strife or major crisis. Tumult is almost always a buy signal, he says, because that's when the opportunity for maximum profit is greatest. (Cloud's Russian fund skyrocketed 146 percent in 1996.) By this argument (and according to my reading of the astrological indicators), Libra, you should be rich pickings right now. If you were a stock, I'd pour a small fortune into you.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I know a dyke punk witch who loves to rub up against Hasidic Jews in the New York subway when she's menstruating. I know a mischief-maker who sneaked gobs of bacon fat into the broccoli and carrot stir-fry he cooked for his vegetarian friends last weekend. While I'm entertained by the high jinks of these two tricksters, I have far more respect for people who mess with their own totems and taboos -- like my anarchist acquaintance who shocked his anarchist buddies by burning his prized black flag in front of them. I'm sure by now you catch my drift, Scorpio. Violate your own damn dogmas, not your neighbor's.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Most kids these days seem to have sports stars and entertainers for their heroes. "Wow, did ya see Troy Aikman in the new Nike commercial!?" Myself, I'd get all flustered if the poet James Tate walked into the room, or the astrologer Caroline Casey, or the psychologist James Hillman. All of them are smarter and more articulate than I, and my ability to learn from them seems inexhaustible. What are your criteria for heroes, Sagittarius? Sexy blue eyes and multimillion-dollar bank accounts? Or a wise silver tongue and ideas so intriguing they keep you up at night? Whatever they are, rev 'em up. It's high time for you to get a fresh hero or two.