Saturday, April 30, 2005

April 2005

"In your dreams." What a wealth of various meanings reside in those simple words! This month, we are going to examine likely and appropriate dream-personae for each Sign. Sweet dreams are made of this, and who am I to disagree...

It's also worth noting that, after a year, Great A'Tuin's travels through the vastness of space will soon be bringing the Discworld constellations into a new configuration. Some Signs may disappear to be replaced with new ones, others may have influences of a completely different nature. Stay tuned; I may have to go have a nice weeks-long lie-down whilst contemplating the task of working out all the little subtleties (or possibly subtitles) of the new Zodiac. In which case I'll see you in my dreams...

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

Your dream persona: Howondaland Smith

As you wander the trackless wastes, discovering archaeological treasures and dodging fiendish foreign traps and large men with knives and crossbows, remember that this is a good month to take especial care of ropes, bullwhips and climbing equipment. The stars also smile on the buying of new hats. A simple stone, polished with horse grease, may buy you passage to any of several lost cities on the 17th, depending on how lost you are. Make a generous offering to Seven-handed Sek on the 21st. I'd tell you to beware small dusky tribesmen bearing gifts and apparently telling you in amusing sign language that you're their long-lost god-king, but you'll just ignore me. After all, it's part of your job.

Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

Your dream persona: Drumknott

What a fascinating job you have! Most people think it's all about filling out forms, wiping quills and taking notes, but your is a work day of infinite variety - dodging crossbow bolts meant for your employer, listening at decidedly dodgy keyholes, meeting unsettling personages at unsocial hours, remembering that the wrong form of address to certain heads of state may be taken as a
declaration of war...not to mention the poison-tastings...oh my yes, your job doesn't half keep you busy. Don't mention that million-dollar unofficial Assassins' contract to your boss: he already knows about it, but he'd rather you act as if you don't. Oh, and this is also a good month to avoid mentioning that overdue Unseen University tax bill!

The Two Fat Cousins 22 May - 21 Jun

Your dream persona: an Ogg daughter-in-law

Of all the dreams to have, why on Disc did you choose a nightmare? Your days are filled with terror and your nights with exhaustion; there is no relief, and no escaping the wrath of your perpetually dissatisfied, fault-finding mother-in-law. Even in your dreams, you face an endless round of scrubbing, mopping, polishing, darning, cooking, weeding, front-step-washing, rug-beating, bath-scraping, herb-chopping, dusting, gazunda-rinsing, hearth-sweeping, and of course don't ever forget to squeeze out the scumble leavings. But you have a distinct chance of a half-day on the 9th, so keep your spirits up! Speaking of spirits, don't forget to dust off Verence I's piece of castle rock - she'll be sure to check it. Be kind to cats this month, especially to big scar-bedecked mangy grey ones with one eye and an evil disposition.

The Wizard's Staff and Knob 22 Jun - 22 Jul

Your dream persona: Conina

So, life has brought you at least half of your dream - you're a hairdresser, albeit a rather, erm, mobile one. What a shame that cute little salon in Sto Lat didn't work out and you had to leave in such a hurry, but cutting hair aboard a Bhangbhangducian pirate ship gives you openings for travel, a captive clientele and plenty of healthy exercise in the fresh air, to say nothing of ample opportunity to practise your inherited broadswording skills! On the 12th, consider making that obnoxious first mate's beard-trim a little more permanent: the stars guarantee that the captain will be in a forgiving mood. Beware of romantic entanglements in the second week of the month - the stars are aligned for fruitfulness, and a life at sea really isn't suitable for infants. Oh, One Man Bucket says to tell you that Daddy says hello.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

Your dream persona: a trainee Fool

Forget about lifting barges and toting bales - wave that bladder in the air! Take your tumbles without care! Marry, marry, i'truth it be, the life of a Fool is the life for thee! Yes, you too can make friends with your inner misery and graduate with custard honours. Now comes an excellent month for the gathering of ancient jokes and foul punes. On the 19th, it's even possible that Doctor Whiteface might consider the addition of - wait for it - one new pratfall to the holy Official Manual of Foolish Behaviour, oh joyous day! The Ides provide a unique chance to experiment with - be brave, quail not (except on official cue) - designing a new Face. Are you Fool enough? Dare you Foolishly go where no Fool has gone before? The stars may never favour you in this way again. Wear your motley with pride, and remember, a buttonhole squirter in the face is worth two kicks in the crutch.

Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

Your dream persona: assistant to Ronnie Soak

Your day begins at a time when most people are still dreaming, in a place none of them will ever so much as know exists. While the rest of the world is tucked up snug in bed, you're the one entrusted with the special all-important task of making sure you load their pintas and cream and buttermilk and yoghurt onto that famous cart! If only they knew. And it's no cushy job, either - you wouldn't want to make a mistake in amounts, because that might make your boss angry. And you wouldn't like him when he's angry. To keep things sweet (except for the sour cream, of course), make an offering to Steikhegel, god of isolated cow byres, on the 13th and one to Bunu, goat-headed god of goats, on the 23rd. The 3rd and 4th are good days for purifying milk bottles and butter paddles. Whatever you do, never be late for your shift; if that happened, everything would simply become chaos. Everything else, that is.

The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars 24 Sept - 23 Oct

Your dream persona: a H.E.M. Department wizard

Ahh, lucky you! Unlike dreamers under the Signs of Mubbo and Gahoolie, your boss, erm, immediate supervisor, erm, Head of Department is a fairly easygoing chap. All you need to do to stay on his good side is to not nick the last slice of banananana and sushi pizza, to remember to feed the mouse and the ants, and to keep stray piece of, well, could be anything really, off the FTB and the ram's skull. Oh, and to make sure somebody whispers a timely warning whenever the Archchancellor approaches the High Energy Magic building. And to avoid trying to discuss quantum with the Bursar (although if you catch him in certain phases of madness, he may well be able to provide new insights in coherent phrasing). It's also a bad month for sitting up all night inventing roleplaying games with those clacks geeks at Tower 13. Play it safe - that's what your Sign is all about!

Okjok, the Salesman 24 Oct - 22 Nov

Your dream persona: a Troll Watchman

What a fine life this is, being paid whole dollars for bashing soft creatures, getting to shout officially and carrying a huge club without a special permit! And no-one really minds if you tear apart those Slab dealers rock from rock. And the hours are good, and there are those nifty air-cooled helmets that mean that you can have more than one thought per hour whenever you're on duty. Of course there's a downside - having to be nice, or at least relatively non-violent, to those unspeakable Koom Valley ambushers - but all in all it's a far better living than the one you used to eke out back in Copperhead, isn't it? There's a likelihood of a cold snap during the second week of the month; use that time for doing your taxes. Practising meditation after the 24th may give you a more serene outlook and lower the number of accidental-bashings demerits.

Great T'Phon's Foot 23 Nov - 21 Dec

Your dream persona: an Alchemist

The good news is that this is an auspicious month for experimenting with volatile chemicals! The bad news is that the stars' influence this month is likely to make chemical concoctions far more volatile than usual, most notably during the second week of the month, and on the 26th-29th, and oh yes on the 4th, 5th, 7th, 11th, 18th, maybe this is a good time to consider a change of career. Though if you were sensible and not accident-prone, you wouldn't have become an Alchemist in the first place, would you now? Oh well, never mind. You may want to put off lab-work on the first weekend of the month, though, unless you really fancy a short trip to Genua with a rather, erm, disastrous end. And on the off chance, you might want to know that there's an opening coming up soon in the Sing Ho House of Marvellous Fireworks factory. It's a much safer job. Trust me.

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

Your dream persona: Millie Chillum

It's a rare honour to serve a Queen, even in your dreams, and never before has the Disc had such as queen as this! None of this "Off with her head!" rubbish, though you might find your head being regularly checked for unhygienic life-forms, you might be subjected to all manner of naturopathic remedies and preventatives, and you also might have to submit yourself as a test subject for the King's occasional Modern Ideas. Still, it's a good job. But keep a close eye this month on little Esmerelda, whose Moon in the ascendant will boost her spirit of adventure - make sure you keep her away from Mr Brookes' hives on the 10th, and don't let her near His Majesty's organic slurry pit! On the 30th, a handsome young envoy will arrive from Forn Parts; play your cards right and you may well find yourself walking out with him, though possibly not quite in the way that Mistress Ogg is so fond of suggesting.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

Your dream persona: Angua

As you race across the frozen mountainous landscape of your dreams, your heightened wild-thing senses pick up the scent of hot, fresh prey. This month the pickings will be rich, because as I happen to know, Herne the Hunted, god of small frightened creatures, is away on his hols. Watchmen don't have gods, as we know, but a small sacrifice to Put, the Djelibeybians' lion-headed God of Justice, wouldn't go amiss. Put aside personal desires for vengeance (particularly those involving family members) until the stars are more propitious, and you won't have a care in the world - you can carry on racing under the moon and dancing with wolves to your heart's content, howling and hunting and never even dreaming of the noisy smelly complicated cities. But then you'll realise that you have to pay for two sets of haircare products, and with a low, mournful howl you'll trot dutifully back to your distant place of employment. Ah well, there are compensations...

† Unless you are Angua - seeing as how this is your Sign - in which case just follow my astrological advice even when you're awake.

The Flying Moose 19 Feb - 20 Mar

Your dream persona: the Bursar of U.U.

What were you thinking when you approved that requisition of five hundred Tezuman iguanas and ninety yards of al-Khali samite for the High Energy Magic Department? Probably not a must have been passing through one of your little turns. Oh my, the Archancellor is not going to be pleased! And don't forget to make a small offering on the 9th, if you can pass through one of your lucid phases long enough to remember when the 9th is, to Cephut, god of cutlery. In fact, make it a big offering. Who knows, that might even convince Mrs Whitlow to let you have some tableware with sharp edges for a change.

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