REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): No one except me seems capable of grasping your rather subtle achievements right now. That's why I'm going to name them here, and ask you to gently shove this horoscope in the face of anybody whose appreciation you need. First of all, you're seeing that you don't need to imitate the robots in order to match their proficiency. Second, you're finding out that you can't change yourself merely by changing other people's images of you. And finally, you're discovering how advisable it is not to ask questions until you're truly ready to receive the answers.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): It's Burn Your Necktie and Pantyhose Week for you Tauruses. There's never been a better time to extricate yourself from all situations where wearing neckties and pantyhose is de rigueur. Now what should you do if you happen to enjoy wearing either (or both) of those accursed abominations? Or what about if you graduated long ago from the need to have any relationship with them? Then take advantage of the spirit of this holiday to dispense with other props and disguises that you don for the benefit of others at the expense of your own comfort and freedom.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): While in a health food store yesterday, I found a stack of hand-printed lavender cards near the bulletin board. Each bore the following message: "WISHES GRANTED. Student Fairy Godmother needs practice. Send me your wishes and I will use my magic powers to help them come true. Love, Sara Lily, c/o The Fairy Godmother Academy, 524 San Anselmo Avenue, #33, San Anselmo, CA 94960. All services free. Donations welcome." I was of course delighted to stumble on this budding benefactor, first because I love naked displays of generosity, and second because I've been searching for wild-card resources like this to help you out during your time of need. Want to give the Student Fairy Godmother some practice? I urge you to send Sara Lily your appeal.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): The usual definition of "charisma" includes ideas like personal charm, star quality, and animal magnetism. But yesterday a friend of mine gave me a very different take on the concept. With utter innocence, as if she'd never heard the term associated with the likes of Michael Jordan and Brad Pitt, she said, "A charismatic person is someone who's interested in other people and makes them feel good when they're around her." I much prefer this description, Cancerian. It exactly captures the qualities that will give you personal charm, star quality, and animal magnetism in the coming weeks.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): The Buddhists imply that to achieve enlightenment you've got to shrink your ego until it just sort of disappears. I'd like to suggest that maybe there's another way. What if you inflated your ego to such humongous proportions that it overlapped God's ego, whereupon you began to absorb some of the Divine One's juiciest, most expansive insights? I've selected you as the guinea pig to attempt this daring enlightenment-in-reverse, Leo. (Have no fear: The astrological conditions are right for your success.) Please attempt every heroic and mythic task you've never quite had the courage for before. And be sure to brag ferociously about each glorious feat before, during, and after you pull it off.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Ready. Fire. Aim!" How often, Virgo, have you seen a trigger-happy Aries or a half-cocked Gemini pursue that variation on the old "Ready. Aim. Fire!" routine? Bet you never imagined that you might one day be subject to the same rash impulse. And yet here you are, just hours, possibly minutes, away from shooting yourself in the foot. Please close your eyes right now, take five deep breaths, and visualize a better target than your own big toe.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): First there was Jack Canfield's Chicken Soup for the Soul, a collection of homespun New Age-y stories oozing sentimental advice. Then there came Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul, a cute book of stories about angels, miracles, and healings by Arielle Ford. And now I'm proud to present Jalapeno Jelly for the Rowdy, Feisty, Voracious Soul. Well, I haven't actually written the book yet, but I have been gathering platitudes for it. Here's one now, just in time for one of your rowdiest, feistiest, most voracious weeks of 1998: Be careful what you ask for, because you're probably going to get it.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It's time for your annual Marathon Mirror-Gazing Ritual, Scorpio. Most every year around the first three weeks of May, the astrological aspects line up in such a way as to afford you a bluntly candid and scarily true look into the depths of your own secretive nature. Refuse the invitation at your own peril: It's only by getting to know yourself much better that you can avoid being duped by the evil twin who's lying in wait.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): This week I'll provide you with a few of the Polish curses my great-uncle taught me. They'll come in handy when you need to blow off steam. After all, I wouldn't want you to express your frustrations in your native tongue, because that might irreparably hurt the feelings of people who should and must remain your allies. So try the following oaths any time you feel like you're about to get yourself into trouble by barking out the overly bald truth. Takie duperele! (That's a bunch of crap!) Swinski ryju! (You pig's snout!) Pocaluj mnie w dupe! (Kiss my ass!) Idz do wszystkich diablow! (Go to hell!)

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