REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): In one of your past lives you were the genius who invented pig Latin. In another, you were a nun who was expelled from your monastic order for wearing crotchless habits. In yet another incarnation you were the world's foremost collector of antique candy wrappers. All the talents you developed way back then will come in very handy as you meet this week's challenges. APRIL FOOL! None of the glorious accomplishments of the old days will be of any use to you any time soon. Your cosmic mandate is to utterly ignore and triumph over the past. Start from scratch whenever possible!

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Given the ass-over-elbows state of your astrological aspects, I suggest you draw inspiration from David Lawrence, an ass-over-elbows success story who was recently profiled in Icon magazine. Asked to describe his technique for staying fresh and creative, he said, "I think life should be one long midlife crisis." Taurus, I dare you to be as audacious as Mr. Lawrence. APRIL FOOL! You should milk your current midlife crisis for all it's worth, but not for the rest of your natural days. Keep at it another 18 days, 13 hours, and 27 minutes, not a second longer.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Lotus flowers will spring up in your footprints this week. Bursts of flowery scents will spill from your mouth as you speak. Admirers and sycophants will follow you around, writing down your every pronouncement for inclusion in a holy book that will become a New Bible for millions of devotees in the 21st century. Dare I say that even your turds will be inspired masterpieces?! APRIL FOOL! Only one of the extravagant statements I just made is likely to be true. Though if you can avoid giving in to the kind of megalomania I tempted you with, you'll have a supremely integrated and cheery and powerful week.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): This would a perfect time to sell or rent your soul. It'll be a fabulous moment to give up your integrity for the sake of the almighty dollar and to prostrate yourself at the feet of a golden idol! To propitiate the sublimely avaricious astrological aspects now favoring us Crabs, I hereby rename this column "Nike's Real Astrology," in the hope that the sneaker-maker will reward me with a juicy kickback! APRIL FOOL! We Cancerians will soon be tempted to commit the terrible sins I just described, but we mustn't give in! To inspire your struggle to resist, I hereby pledge to never get a corporate sponsorship for this column even if it would make me a millionaire!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): For all you know, I'm a jet-setting adviser to celebrities -- or else a mousy librarian whose passion is researching the history of chastity belts. For all you know, "Rob Brezsny" is a pseudonym for a multinational corporation composed of psychics, psychologists, and private detectives who know more about you than you know about yourself. APRIL FOOL! In truth, I'm a creation of your imagination, a repository for all your projections about the teacher you've always wanted. Therefore you should take what I'm about to say as the word of God, and remind yourself of its eternal validity: Only when the student is ready to know the truth can the teacher catalyze its eruption.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It will be a perfect moment to fall in love as long as you promise your sweetheart you will forever suppress the difficult sides of your personality. It will be an excellent week to attend an orgy as long as you're so open-minded you agree to boink people you're not attracted to. And it will be prime time to elope as long as you climax your honeymoon with a trip to the Richard M. Nixon Memorial Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. APRIL FOOL! Only the first part of each sentence above is true. Ignore the conditional clauses.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Your imminent fate has much in common with a TV movie that featured a kung-fu hooker struggling to preserve the bastard child she'd had with an evil drug warlord. That is to say, Libra, you'll be as vulnerable as a new mother, yet kick-ass strong; you'll bravely accept responsibility for the wrong turns you've made, and heroically maneuver to correct for them. APRIL FOOL! I'd never compare your complex life to a cartoony TV show. APRIL FOOLED YOU AGAIN! Yes I would, if the analogy was apt -- and it is.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Nothing but the most melodramatic forms of divination for you, Scorpio! I sacrificed a sheep, threw it in a fire, then read the cracks in its shoulder bones! I sledgehammered a TV 13 times and studied the intricate patterns of its smashed guts! I dripped candle wax on my arm, recorded my yelps of pain, and played the tape backward to listen for subliminals hidden therein! And I saw that it's in your best interests to stop being such a Drama Queen or King -- at least for a few weeks. APRIL FOOL! I didn't really mangle the sheep, the TV, and my arm. I just read my astrology charts. But my conclusion was the same.

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