REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): In my opinion, you'd look great with a shaved head. I'd even be interested to see you with multiple eyebrow piercings, a conical wizard's hat, and a purple silk bodysuit. But it's not necessary to go to those extremes in order to grab the attention you need right now. In fact, I believe you're more likely to galvanize your would-be audiences with subliminal messages, telepathic gestures, and understated pith. Be like a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't hummingbird, not a 900-pound gorilla.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): To make a pound of honey, bees have to gather nectar from about 2 million flowers. In delivering the single survivor necessary to fertilize an ovum, a man produces 500 million sperm. I bring this up, Taurus, because I believe you're now faced with a comparable prospect. Only through a prodigious output will you be able to create a small treasure.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): The FDA recently proclaimed that certain canned vegetables are just as good as or even better than fresh produce. Anyone who swallows that BS might also believe that ingesting television news is as nutritious for the soul as reading Allen Ginsberg's poetry. You can't afford to suffer from delusions like that in the week ahead, Gemini. Simulations and artifices and secondhand information, no matter how slickly packaged, will throw you off-kilter. You need direct communion with the heart-source.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Just in time for your annual retreat to the fetal position with the blankets pulled over your head, it's National Hermits Week. This annual holiday is designed in part to celebrate the important contributions to society made by depressed scaredy-cats, agoraphobic mystics, and secretive, privacy-obsessed Cancerians whose mantra is "LEAVE ME ALONE!" Be proud of your need for solitude, Crabs. Don't let anyone shame you into coming out of your shell. Stay hidden until you're once again strong and brave enough to resume your conquest of the cold, cruel world.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Recently San Francisco's Great Northern Brewing Company offered the prize of a new Harley-Davidson to the person who got the biggest tattoo of its Black Star beer logo. That inspired me to fantasize about contests I could stage to promote my own favorite images of beauty and truth. Like for instance I could pray for a thousand years of good karma for the person who got the most gorgeous tattoo of the Buddha making hot tantric love with the Virgin Mary. I hope this daydream inspires you to brainstorm about the images that most embody your own ideals, Leo. It's a perfect moment to display them more vividly in your environment.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I don't mean to brag, but I was channeling the Old Testament prophet Elijah when today's ditzy channelers were in diapers. Of course I was barely out of diapers myself. Back then Elijah delivered a number of messages through me that I believe are about your life during the two years before the millennium. (My mom recorded them in her diaries.) One prophecy in particular seems to apply to you now. It goes like this: "In the sixth month of the sixth year of the reign of King Willie, the sixth sign of the zodiac shall enjoy the opposite of a healing crisis -- a healing breakthrough. Ever thereafter will the members of the Virgo tribe feel more robust."

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You have astrological permission to write yourself the ultimate excuse note, and then forge my signature on it. This poetic license will serve as the sole authorization you'll need to play hooky, postpone boring duties, and wriggle free of your volunteer slavery. Better yet, it will give you carte blanche to escape to a state of mind in which you can stir up far wilder and wetter dreams than you've been able to for many moons. To deeply impress your subconscious mind with the powerful privileges this special waiver provides, visualize a smiling astronaut giving you a thumbs-up as you drive through a green light in the paradise of your choice.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It's not just schizophrenics who hear voices in their heads. We all do, all the time. While we're awake, our minds are churning out a hodgepodge of thoughts with the hackneyed diligence of an all-talk radio station. We don't always notice the bedlam inside, of course, because we're distracted by our interactions with the world around us. Is it any wonder it's so hard to meditate? The moment we close our eyes and try to tune in to the still, small voice that languishes in the soul's sanctuary, the jabber triples in volume. Having provided fair warning, though, Scorpio, I'm happy to inform you that this is a fabulously ripe time to improve your meditation skills.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In old Christian and Islamic myths, the dove symbolized the Holy Spirit. So sacred was the bird that the devil, renowned as a shapeshifter, did not have the power to assume its shape. In other traditions, though, the dove personified eros. In Greece it was the special ally of Aphrodite, goddess of love, and in Rome its eggs were thought to be an aphrodisiac. And what about its current symbolic meaning? For those of the Sagittarian persuasion, I believe the dove is both divine and sexual. In fact, take this horoscope to be your official cosmic notification that horniness could very well lead you to Godliness in the coming days -- and vice versa.

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