Gemini (May 21-June 20) After last year's fiasco of a birthday, I have a feeling that you want to start hyping your birthday now. Well, go ahead. But be subtle. Don't start handing out lists of gifts you'd like, or bothering people with annoying e-mail reminders. Instead, leave some party hats where your roommates will find them. Forge your boyfriend's handwriting and write in your birthday on his calendar. Slip the card from Mom (a week early, as usual) into some papers where your snoopy boss can't help but notice it. Follow my instructions, and you'll still be able to innocently bat your eyes at your surprise party, and say: "OH! Is it my birthday?"
Cancer (June 21-July 22) It's a problem with bad reception, I'm sure. You lost your reality antenna and had to replace it with a bent coat hanger. All that wavy static and the poor selection (a mere three channels) have kept you from paying close attention to the world around you. Well, get ready to experience your life in living Technicolor and full stereo sound: By this time next week your measly wire receiver should be replaced by a high-tech metaphysical satellite dish, and you'll be enjoying the finest in digital reality reception. Now if only we could pull the same trick with your tv.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) To a television advertiser, the "mute" button is Satan. It robs commercials of nearly half their power. I imagine they meet for long hours, plotting ways to keep people from silencing them. They attempt to make commercials visually stimulating or mysterious enough to tempt viewers to turn the sound back on. I don't envy their job as much as I do your life: Suddenly, life will no longer seem like that commercial you've seen (and been bored by) hundreds of times. Quick, hit the volume! The program's back on!
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) I set up my tent today, to air it out before an upcoming camping trip. I thought I was showing excellent foresight; usually I air it out as I sleep in it the first night. My foresight has limits, evidently. Since I failed to weigh or stake my North Face down, I soon discovered some of those limits when I saw the lightweight blue structure rolling across the yard like a giant synthetic tumbleweed. I discovered further flaws in my Advance Planning Skills about halfway to it, when I realized that sandals and shorts were not the best attire for wading in a blackberry patch. This week, think twice before patting yourself on the back. If you do find yourself thorn-scraped and feeling foolish, just do what I did. Laugh at yourself. It's good for you.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Baldasare Forestiere spent almost 50 years on his fantastic creation: the Forestiere Underground Gardens. In the arid San Joaquin Valley, he excavated the hardpan by hand to create a huge complex of gardens, filling most of a 10-acre parcel. You, too, may discover that the ground you've been cultivating is too sun-parched and infertile to support the plants you hoped would grow there. Could you do the equivalent of Mr. Forestiere, and go underground? Maybe what you hoped would grow on the surface would better thrive deep down, hidden from all but the most direct rays of the sun.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Next week, I predict swelling. Lots of it. Preferably pleasurable erectile tissue, not lumps from falling down the stairs, or worst of all: your ego. To ensure the bulges come up in all the right places and none of the wrong ones should be easy. You have reason to be proud, but the puffed-up self-righteousness that sometimes comes after a coup like your recent accomplishments tends to cancel out the bonus points you'd earn with people otherwise. Keep that in mind, next time you're inclined to boast (yes, despite your subtlety, bragging is still bragging). Also, remember that corny cliche: Pride cometh before a fall. If you'd rather the fall be onto your bed than down a flight of stairs, I'd skip the pride part and go straight to the prone.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Good pagans do Beltane right. Every May Day, they chop down a tall, skinny tree and wrap it in ribbons of every hue. Then they get all fucked up and screw in the woods, like rabbits. It's a big ol' party (with centuries of history behind it). The Rites of Spring, serious as they are, were never meant to be solemn. If only most spiritual gatherings were bashes this raucous and wild. Inject a little celebration into your veneration this week. If you already do more partying than praying?fuck it: call it church. Then revel as if your soul depends on it.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) The best part of this country is the mutts (er, excuse me, those of mixed heritage). These days we're blending just about everything, including our spirituality. If you ask someone his religion, it's not unusual to hear him launch into a 10-minute spiel about how he practices Zen Buddhism, dabbles in a little Wicca and goes to his Methodist church every Christmas and Easter. People's lives are enriched and strengthened by their willingness to embrace and learn from a multitude of traditions. As for you and your strict categories?why bother anymore? I say: if it doesn't confuse you too much, let it in.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) About once a year, in the spring, I get cold sores. Perhaps it's because I tend to run myself a little more ragged at this time of year, thus stressing out my immune system, or maybe it's just this cyclical thing my body has to go through. I used to hate suffering through the whole process, and still can't say much for it, but since I haven't learned how to avoid it, I've come to appreciate it. Those annoying little sores force me to pay attention to my body, to slow down and take it easy. Much like that nagging inconvenience that's been plaguing you lately. Yeah, it's a fucking drag, but maybe it's a necessary reminder to relax. Would you listen to anything less? Well, listen to this, unless you're asking for something even more forceful (like a broken leg) to get you to slow down.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) One of my favorite Ani DiFranco stories is one she tells about overhearing people talking about her in the restroom at a gig. "Have you heard of that chick, Annie Defazio?" one asked the other. "Oh, yeah, she's cool?that's who I came to see," was the reply. Whether or not you have fans who can't remember your name, you might find yourself eavesdropping in a bathroom stall this week, or something similar. What you do with information you receive in this fashion is up to you. At least make it into a funny story you can tell your friends.
Aries (March 21-April 19) Taking care of four dogs (thank fuck only one is mine) is quite a task, even four well-behaved dogs. Just the sheer volume of attention they demand is daunting. Definitely makes me think twice about kids, at least right now. Four hungry pairs of eyes and eagerly wagging tails is its own punishment?and reward. Doesn't matter what else you're doing, animals and children demand to be noticed and taken care of?sort of like the person or problem (or both) that's due to pop up in your week. Also, depending on how you deal with it, it could be bother or it could be booty.