REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Every Aries should always have a psychic surge protector in place to ensure that valuable data isn't zapped from her memory banks during a power overload. This week, I recommend that you also have a backup in place -- for two reasons. First, I sense a possible malfunction in your existing surge protector. Second, I expect there'll be more brainstorms than usual in your vicinity, and at least one of them will come at a time when you're already drawing maximum juice from the cosmic power plant. So be overly well-prepared for bolts of riotous inspiration, Aries. That way you'll be inspired, not fried.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): That horny old goat Sigmund Freud -- a lifelong Taurus -- once said that blushing is "a mild erection of the head." To my knowledge, though, he never adapted any word to mean "an extreme erection of the entire body." If he had, I would apply it to you right now. The libidinous trickle that began to swirl through you a couple of weeks ago has turned into a gusher. With a little concentration, you can probably have orgasms in your elbows and feet this week. And don't be surprised if you're able to make people come just by gazing at or breathing on them.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): There was a time in 17th-century Holland when tulips were more precious than gold. It's hard to imagine mere beauty wielding that much clout today (unless you count unnatural wonders like Hollywood starlets with their armies of publicists and plastic surgeons). But the cosmos and I would really appreciate it, Gemini, if you could redress this neglect. We're hoping that somehow, even if just for this week, you'll put artistry, elegance, and refinement at the top of your hierarchy of values. Here's your motto to live by: If it ain't beautiful, it can't be true or good or important.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): It wouldn't be a great week to listen to William Shatner singing "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" or to flash moons at commuters from the back seat of a car. Nor do I recommend that you steal "treats" you don't really want or dare a friend to shoot tin cans off of your head with a slingshot. On the other hand, it will be a ripe time to get loosey-goosey about serious business. Maybe you could ask a Very Intriguing Person a ballsy question, for instance, or tell the shocking truth to an authority who's starving for it, or make yourself available for an experiment that could lead you to the suburbs of paradise.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Each morning I face east and do sun salutations, welcoming and honoring the source of all of the Earth's energy. This September, the solar orb is rising over the house across the street, which happens to have a life-size cardboard cutout of Fabio on the front porch. At first I resented this asinine icon. But gradually I tuned in to its power to inspire me. As an embodiment of everything that's crass and soulless, it pissed me off in such a way as to intensify my hunger for divine communion. And what does this have to do with you, Leo? I'd like to recommend my method. Find your own vulgar effigy, and use it to arouse and inflame your sleeping kundalini.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "You'd be better off eating a carrot stick that fell in your toilet than one that fell in your sink," says a microbiologist whose studies indicate the kitchen is crawling with more germs than the bathroom. I'm sure that's true, but it's exactly the kind of persnickety obsession you should swear off this week, Virgo. The best way to cultivate the robust health you deserve is not to fixate on all of the things that can go wrong. Instead, be a wild child with a wide-open mind. Make yourself magnetic to unexpected thrills that blow away your addiction to irrelevant anxieties.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I noticed awhile back that Nightline's Ted Koppel had begun to resemble a medieval hangman. The sour gloom carved into his face was so pompous and irredeemable that it made me want to sob. Soon thereafter I obtained a photo of him, and added it to the shrine I've built in my house to mourn the death of journalism. There Ted's image stood without incident until a month ago, when I noticed, to my shock, drops of water streaming from his eyes. Over the next few days, I saw tears several other times. Upon each flow, my body was filled with vital energy. On a hunch, I invited a few sick and depressed people to touch the oozing photo. Every one of them reported a dramatic boost in well-being. And now, Libra, I invite you to benefit from this healing power. Send your prayer requests to PO Box 150247, San Rafael, CA 94915, and I will daub them with Ted Koppel's Miracle Tears.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Everyone thinks it's easy to be happy and glamorous and powerful and successful. But as you slip into these altered states, Scorpio, I predict you'll gather stark evidence about all the headaches they can bring. Of course, these pangs should still provoke no more complaining than would a mosquito bite during fabulous lovemaking. Don't let yourself be unhinged by a catcall while you're basking in the winner's circle. Don't flip the table over if some klutz spills wine in your lap during your victory feast.

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