REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): In search of a vision about your imminent future, I gazed into my crystal ball while alternately taking sips of coffee and beer. First thing I saw was a set of horns sprouting from your head. On closer look, I thought maybe they were antennas. You got a devilish look on your face and said, "Turn me on -- I'm a radio," in an inviting tone of voice. That was the end of the vision. Here's how I interpret it: You're growing new psychic receptors that'll allow you to tune in to a broader range of signals from a wilder variety of sources. This could threaten the old ways and scare old friends, however -- which might be both bad and good.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Fantasizing about a fresh, hot flood of money flowing into your coffers? You might consider changing your last name to Banks or Rich or Cash, as studies show that folks with those monikers are more likely to win lotteries. Another suggestion is to constantly survey the ground as you walk, scanning for bills that have fallen out of strangers' pockets. You could also check for change in the coin return slots of pay phones, or send away for the lucky treasure chest from the ad in the National Enquirer. If none of that helps, try boosting the levels of integrity and intelligence you put into your work. But however you do it, Taurus, please exploit the financial help that cosmic currents are now offering you.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Three words for you this week, Gemini: MIDNIGHT SEX PICNIC. If that doesn't strike you immediately as the perfect mantra, I suggest you stop reading and turn the page. Still with me? Then start musing on all the possible implications of MIDNIGHT SEX PICNIC. Whipped cream and chocolate syrup served on naked flesh? A gourmet bacchanalia under the moonlight? Festive groping amid the fruit salad on a blanket spread out at the nearest park? Only one way to find out the correct interpretation, Gemini: Write "MIDNIGHT SEX PICNIC?" on a piece of red paper and hand it to the sly creature who's best qualified to help you act it out.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Today, at my daughter Zoe's request, I bought a nontoxic kids' kit of nail polish. As I was painting a yin-yang symbol on the nail of her left pinkie, she took a brush and drew a smiley face on the wart she has on her left ring finger. I was full of admiration for her. That wart is the only thing that truly bothers her about herself, and yet there she was decorating it with self-mocking humor and grace. I couldn't help but think of you Cancerians at that moment: It was the perfect oracle to symbolize your upcoming cosmic assignment. Which is why I advise you to paint a smiley face on your own wart, or find the closest metaphorical approximation.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): 70,000 B.C.: fire first used in a controlled way by humans. 9750 B.C.: beginning of organized agriculture. 4350 B.C.: horse domesticated. 3500 B.C.: wheel invented. 580 B.C.: electricity discovered. 852 A.D.: coal used for heating. 1448: printing press developed. 1874: origin of telephone. 1903: first successful airplane flight. Late May and June, 1998: Leo folks glimpse secrets about how to synchronize their selfish ambitions with their service to humanity.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I'm asking your subconscious mind to do you a favor and dream of using an ax at least once in the coming week. Such a dream would help give you the strength to dismantle stuff you no longer need in your life. It would also remind you that in order to erect any new structure, from a shining temple to a cozy workshop, you have to destroy something first: whether it be the trees that'll serve as building materials or the old edifice that stands on the site of your future creation.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The editors of Fortean Times, a magazine that specializes in tracking unusual phenomena, recently published their annual Weirdness Index. 1997 was the most bizarre year since they started keeping track, exceeding all previous years in reports of poltergeists, UFOs, weeping statues, spontaneous human combustion, and panics over penis-stealing magicians. I bring this up, Libra, to prepare you for the next few weeks. Your tribe's adventures during this time could single-handedly boost the 1998 Weirdness Index to an all-time high. Be ready for anything, from the ghost of your future self visiting you in the night to an encounter with an honest politician.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Due to overwhelming astrological pressures, something akin to a nuptial ceremony must soon take place in your life -- maybe even an actual wedding or renewal of vows. It's totally up to you, though, whether that means eloping with the teddy bear of your dreams, or becoming blood brothers/sisters with a truth-seeking collaborator, or signing on the dotted line with the muse of business. All I ask is that you marry your fortunes together with a partner who inspires you to become a better partner to yourself.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Many Sagittarians spend their entire span of years on this planet feeling as if they're living in exile. As I've hinted at a couple of times in the last six months, though, 1998 will most likely bring a homecoming for a sizable fraction of you Centaurs. That could mean anything from finding a community that honors your restlessness to living in a building whose feng shui is an almost perfect match for your own expansive vibes. I bring this up, Sagittarius, because you're now in an excellent position to locate this dreamy sanctuary.

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