REAL ASTROLOGY for an unreal world

Aries (March 21-April 19): Very important that you treat yourself like a recovering alcoholic this week — like an incubator baby or a sick puppy just regaining its health. Best if you sit quietly in a chair and watch CNN as much as possible. Think you could arrange for someone to wait on you hand and foot?

April fool! I was just testing how gullible you are to media pundits like me! In actual fact, astrological indicators are practically begging you to go mountain-biking and rock-climbing and river-rafting and scuba-diving and hang-gliding and face-licking.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): The past has gifts for you. A dead relative may bestow a valuable tip in the middle of the night. Or perhaps you'll hook up again with an old ally you thought had disappeared from your life forever. Or maybe you'll find a treasure chest buried under an old oak tree, and it'll be filled with priceless antique junk bonds from the 1980s.

April fool! I just made up that thing about the junk bonds. But everything else is true.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Gemini Newt Gingrich believes in tough love for the group he deems most responsible for America's ongoing financial crisis — welfare mothers and their kids. I urge you, too, to demonize and scapegoat the people in your life — as well as the parts of your own personality — that are weakest and most vulnerable.

April fool! Yes, you need more tough love. But don't, for Christ's sake, direct it at the meek and underprivileged. Aim it instead at whatever's bloated, overprivileged and unaccountable.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Forty-three years from this week you will experience an eruption of personal power so monumental that you will appear to be a magician. Clouds will seem to disperse at your command, rivers will run upstream, time will stand still.

April fool! It's true that around April 1, 2038, a surge of godlike energy will turn you into a virtual wizard. But it won't give you the mojo to order clouds around. The only purpose it'll be good for will be to accomplish a very personal goal that's eluded you all your life up till then. Come to think of it, a similar surge will animate you this week.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): On the morning of April 1, the big, sweet, happy planet Jupiter will seem to suddenly turn tail and rumble backward in the sky. As a result, all the big, sweet, happy things that've been transpiring in your love life (courtesy of Jupiter) may begin to get TOO big, sweet and happy. Consider this horoscope to be your too-much-of-a-good-thing warning.

April fool! You've never been better equipped to deal with the curious stresses of abundance. As long as you stay alert for signs of creeping laziness, you have nothing to worry about.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): What you need most of all this week is something like toasted ice cream. Or a very tender kick in the butt. Or a long-distance journey to a place not too far away … or a wall that brings people together instead of keeping them apart … or a big secret that everybody knows.

April fool! While you do in fact need the things I just mentioned, what you need even more is a riddle that can't possibly be solved through logic — a riddle that forces you to change your mind about the nature of truth.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A Buddhist wiseguy whose name escapes me once said that you can never step in the same river twice. His point was that the spot where you dip your foot in today may look like the place you dipped in yesterday, but the water coursing past you now has never been there before and will never be there again. By the same logic, you can never make love with the same person twice. This week I challenge you to prove that wisdom to yourself — and a very special friend.

April fool! You can never read the same horoscope twice. Next time you study this message, it'll mean something different than it did this time.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Here are a few images from my dreams that capture the essence of your week ahead: 1) yellow wildflowers sprouting from a traffic island at the most congested corner in town; 2) a woman in a gray tailored suit riding a one-speed bike while balancing a huge, lit birthday cake on one hand; 3) ugly rust-colored graffiti, scrawled on the white wall of a beautiful building, that reads “Miraculs Happen.”

April fool! Those aren't images from my dreams. Each one of them will show up in your dreams sometime this week.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): This just in! Lorena Bobbitt's first choice to play her in the movie of her life is Oscar-winning Sagittarius spitfire Marisa Tomei. Meanwhile, Courtney Love has hinted she'd like to see Sagittarian wild thing Anna Nicole Smith cast as the lead in her biopic, while both Princess Diana and SinŽad O'Connor are leaning towards Sagittarian Kim Basinger as their stand-in. Do you see any pattern here?

April fool! Of course there's no pattern here. Using astrology to make empty generalizations about celebrity hijinks is as stupid a use of the ancient art as can possibly be imagined. On the other hand, it is true that you Sagittarians are currently as melodramatic, sexy and over-the-top as you ever get.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This week Capricorns will seem to be obsessed with Chinese food. They'll dream of eggrolls and potstickers and fortune cookies. Their mouths will water every time they think of Szechuan sauce — and fortune cookies. They'll know they've gone too far if they find themselves knocking at the door of Mandarin Moon at 8 am, begging the janitor to whip them up some Hunan-style lamb — and slip them a handful of fortune cookies.

April fool! You Capricorns who read this message will be able to avoid this bizarre fate, because you'll know that what you really need is not Chinese food per se but a fortune cookie with the perfect fortune. And that perfect fortune is this: What you think you want is only a disguise for what you truly want.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): After a 75-year absence, the tricky, electrifying planet Uranus slips into your sign in the early hours of April 1. You know how some people receive radio broadcasts in the fillings of their teeth? I won't be surprised if Uranus' arrival turns your whole body into one big antenna. And you know that weird tingling you feel when you ding your crazy bone? I won't be shocked if Uranus changes your whole body into one big crazy bone.

April fool! You won't become a tingling antenna forever — just until June 8, when Uranus slips back out of Aquarius.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Chinese pirates have illegally reproduced and sold scores of North American products, including Universal's Jurassic Park, Microsoft's MS-DOS, Chrysler's minivans — and recently, for the first time, copies of my column. To mess with the pirates' heads — and their illicit profits — I will deliver your horoscope this week in prose which is impossible to translate into Chinese. Here it is: Your money chakra is ready and waiting to channel prosperity consciousness into your higher self's aura. All you have to do to launch the process is astral-project your holistic karma into the spirit guides of everyone you know.

April fool! Yes, the Chinese are pirating my column, but who cares? All information wants to be free! Chinese Librans, here's your translation: To get more, give more.

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