REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): In the next month, it'll be crucial that you and your cohorts don't deceive each other, not even with little fibs and semi-innocent omissions. As preventive medicine, I urge all of you to gather together one night over beer or cheesecake and stage a full-scale Lying Contest. Compete to tell the most creative and outrageous whoppers. Get the urge to bend the truth out of your systems in one reckless binge, in other words, so that it doesn't infect the truly critical information you'll soon need to be sharing.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): In the rodeo technique of bulldogging, a cowboy grabs a bull by the horns and throws it to the ground. The matador's strategy, on the other hand, is to make a fool of the beast. In your role as a symbolic bull, you've probably suffered through a version of both those experiences from time to time. But I predict that in the next few weeks you won't. You'll be too rugged and rip-roaring to be outwrestled or outwitted by anyone.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): I doubt you'll run into a burning house to save a potbellied pig in the next few weeks. Nor do I expect that you'll help a political prisoner escape from a Nigerian jail, or make love to two supercuties at the same time, or chance upon the smoking gun that proves once and for all that UFOs are real. And yet, Gemini, I believe you will have your mind blown by adventures that are -- at least on the surface -- less spectacular than those I named. In case I'm right, better keep a canteen of vodka with you at all times.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): I apologize for being so blunt, but you now have a certain resemblance to a millionaire who dresses in rags and sleeps on a straw mat to save money. Forgive me for mentioning it, but the way you're conducting yourself reminds me of when I holed up in a windowless room and wrote morose poetry at the height of a glorious springtime in Santa Cruz. Please consider the possibility, my dear, that you are currently in the grip of a scarcity consciousness that's preventing you from seeing, let alone seizing, the abundance that surrounds you.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Will you find love in the cat food aisle of the grocery store? Possibly. How about at a chichi party crawling with celebrities and CEOs? Doubtful. The gate that leads to more sweet intimacy is likely to be in a mundane setting, not a glamorous one. Will love make it possible for you to escape on exotic journeys to previously unimagined realms of bliss? Probably not. Will it seduce you into taking on righteous commitments you've tried to dodge all these years? There's a very good chance it will -- and you'll be a smarter and more spiritual seeker for it, too.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When you were a kid you probably fell victim at least once to a prank known as a "catch tale." A friend might have come up to you and recited the following poem, for instance: "Adam and Eve and Pinchme/ Went down to the river to bathe./ Adam and Eve were drowned,/ And who do you think was saved?" At which point, if you had never been bamboozled by a similar trick before, you innocently replied, "Pinchme." Whereupon your friend gave a sharp squeeze and a twist to the flesh on your arm. I bring this up, Virgo, because I believe you'll face a subtler and more metaphorical version of this snare sometime in the next eight days. Be on your guard.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you have any cake left from your wedding, make a ritual meal of it this week. Or read over the love letters you wrote to each other when the fire had just ignited. Or gaze at photos of you two from the days when your auras were beginning to weave together. It's time, in other words, to reconnect very vividly with why you became partners in the first place. And what if you're single right now? This would be a perfect moment to conspire to eat cake with the one you have a crush on, or get your picture taken together, or compose a smoldering Valentine.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I happen to love the phrase "I don't know." To me, it's a mantra of power, a declaration of independence from the tyranny of having to figure it all out. Will you intone the magic words with me now, Scorpio? I DON'T KNOW. Ain't it a relief to let go of the pressure to be on top of everything? Doesn't it feel real to embrace the only truth we can all be totally sure of? I DON'T KNOW. Sing it loud and proud. Let it empty your mind and lift your heart. I DON'T KNOW. Use it as a battle cry, a joyous affirmation, a manifesto expressing your oneness with the Great Mystery. I DON'T KNOW!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Freedom of the press belongs to those who can afford to own a press. Even more freedom of the press accrues to those who promote the kind of information that advertisers like to subsidize. With these facts in mind, I suggest a hefty increase in the funds you allocate to support your own free speech. Use the long-distance phone lines to spread your influence farther and wider. Or invest in a more professionally packaged resume or a better printer for your computer or a few trips to a therapist who'll school you in communicating more effectively. (Confidential to filthy stinking rich Sagittarian plutocrats: It's prime time to acquire a TV station, newspaper, or record company.)

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