Tuesday, May 31, 2005

May 2005

It was a dark and stormy night as Great A'Tuin swam through the vast fastnesses of Space...well, of course it was. It's always dark in Space, unless you happen to swim near one of those balls of burning gas. And this is uncharted Space we're talking about. I mean, who among you would go out into the darkness and the freezing cold and the emptiness and, well, the spaciness of Space just to chart it? Any volunteers? No, I didn't think so. But as it happens, someone has indeed charted the stars of uncharted Space. Um, the constellations at any rate. Er, the ones that ancient eyes once viewed as being noteworthy enough collections-of-stars to resemble some anthropomorphic manifestation or other, or lady in a chair, or a giant starry tortoise, or...you get the idea. And the idea, naturally, is that these might-be-a-turtle-or-just-a-big-sock collections of distant stars actually influence our hearts and minds and daily lives. Of course they do! I should know, I get paid good Ankh-Morpork dollars every month to sell, um, I mean explain the arcane movements of the stars to you. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. As I predicted last month, A'Tuin's wanderings have taken us into a new quadrant of mostly-sort-of-uncharted Space and thus into new skies and new influences. But what with Space being seriously big and all, the main effect has been a perspective-y one: some "new" constellations are actually old ones that weren't obvious from our previous angle of wossname. So without further ado, Lady Asterisk - that's me - shall present:


Fasten your sextants (no, Gytha, that's not what "sextant" means!) and away we go...

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

Hoggers have been known for their short tempers, arrogance and sometime talent for prognostication, but under the slightly skewed new influences on the cusp of Ramjambamalam, you have a new tendency - sheer recklessness! Yes, all the foolhardy schemes you always had the sense not to try are now beckoning you with the allure of an exotic Al-Khali harem dancer (not Beti). So realise your dreams! Follow your wandering star! This month, it's highly possible that those dreams and schemes might actually come true. Especially ones involving daft moneymaking scams. Why, who knows, you might turn out to be the next C.M.O.T. Dibbler! Or, if you're lucky, you might not. Burn an offering of incense to the Lady on the 13th to consolidate your chances. If a short, pale stranger, bedecked with astrological sigils and burdened with star charts, offers you shares in a new overseas pearl-mining company, go for it. The world could be your bivalve.

Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

You thick-skinned, single-minded Gahooligans, always known for your odd combination of passion and stoicism, will find yourselves leaning more to the passionate side this month as the new Heavens cause your Moon to rise in Venalus. What's more, your lucky star, Hu Minor, is now positioned in the House of Rausmit-Du, and passion is always in fashion when Hu's in the House - and better still, there's an extra love-life boost on the 21st, owing to the fresh influence of Gahoolie's major star, Euno Hu. Now is the time to trade your brickbats for bouquets (or for those in the dairy industry, buckets) and go get yourselves some good lovin'. Remember, Venalus in the ascendant means Gahooligans in the horizontal. A small sacrifice to Sessifet, Goddess of the Afternoon, never goes amiss. Wear a blue ribbon in your hat during the last week of the month; there's no special astro-illogical reason for it, but Miss Battye has asked me to mention it because she's doing special rates on blue ribbon trim until the first of Grune.

Herne the Hunted (formerly The Two Fat Cousins) 22 May - 21 Jun

Do you feel strange feelings coursing through your veins? That's the new influence of the small but perfectly-formed constellation of Herne the Hunted, the god to whom all prey pray! Paradoxically, beings born under this Sign tend to be bold, forthright, decisive and leaderlike, so what you're feeling is your formerly sensitive Twosie skin thickening as Herne rises from the starry copses to join the Zodiac. The subgroup of stars known as Bulwynkel or Herne's Horns
smiles on you now, so at last you can consider a career in door-to-door retail, or enter the military in a front-line capacity, or even stand for public office. A Hernian (I bet you wondered how I was going to get around that) has the heart of a tiger, the skin of a rhinoceros, the boldness of a brass monkey and the sensitivity of a herrydeterry noble; unsurprisingly, Hernians make good big-game hunters. The 9th will be a good day for you, but then so will every other day of the month. You can even join in those UU bunfights you were once too shy to attend. Orphaned Hernians have exceptionally good aim with projectiles, so let him who is without kin throw the first scone.

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

Staffies, once mainly concerned with self-gratification and big dinners, now find themselves looking outwards and asking, "What's it all about? Can I do more to help my fellow beings? Is there jelly for dessert instead of double-custard cream trifle?" The good news is that there is more that you can do! The Wizard's Staff and Knob, remember, holds sway over the mouth, tongue and index finger, and now, with the extra added astral benefit of heightened oratorial powers, the time is yummily ripe for taking up a career in charity fundraising. What's more, you're no longer so averse to travel - so you can visit the slums of Brindisi, bring aid to flood victims in Llamedos, trek across the wastes of Klatch in search of needy nomads, comfort the downtrodden in Djelibeybi...why, now you can even venture into the Shades to assist at C.M.O.T. Dibbler's Seven Spoons of Sek Soup Kitchen! And best of all, you'll be invited to lots and lots of, wait for it, fundraising dinners. That's right, dinners. See? With the new caring, sharing Staffies, everybody wins.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

Bilians beware! While some Signs are gaining new benefits from the rearrangement of the Heavens, for you long-suffering victims of this Sign things will only get worse. And you thought that was impossible? Hah! Flatulus, God of Winds, and Dyspepsiacola, Goddess of Acid Indigestion, have been, um, stirred to new action by the celestial discombobulation, and they've not taken kindly to being disturbed - so get ready for some more than usually unsettled times ahead, and a new low mark in ghastly mornings after. But it's not all bad news...ish. Embryosia, demigoddess of nascent nausea-free mornings, will look kindly on offerings given in the second and third weeks of the month, and Heuei and Wralf, twin Guardians of Pylorus, will be helpful after the 24th. Yours is a hard lot to bear - particularly after long company outings and stag nights - but eventually things will get better. In the meantime, consider joining the Temperance Society. Six months is a long - erm, just do it.

Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

It's not true that all Mubboons are village idiots! Sure, it's true that they make the best village idiots, but remember that Cohen the Barbarian was born under Mubbo, and no-one ever accused him of being idiotic - well, not more than once, anyway. Now your other natural attributes of honesty, kindness and empathy will come into their best strength. The actors among you will win new kudos (and perhaps even get paid); the Fools among you will be top contenders for this year's Scarlet Bladder and Custard Pail, and the barbarian heroes will do more liberating of slaves and less, well, let's just call it pillaging, shall we? This Sign's tendency to gullibility will also now lead some Mubboons to a stronger religious bent, which may be of some concern to anti-priestly Reformed Llamedosians; keep a careful eye on your Mubboon offspring, or before you know it they'll be utterly gone to rune.

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

Great news for Boring'uns: nothing has changed! Yes, once again the Small Boring Group of Faint Stars has proven to be so small, faint and boring that even Great A'Tuin's far travels haven't caused this Sign's influence to change by a jot or tittle. And by the way, do any of you know what a "tittle" is? The very sound of the word gives the impression of smallness and faintness and boredom. I hereby give you custodianship of this word. It's a nice word, a safe word, a word too inoffensive to attract any danger or undue excitement. Tittle, tittle, tittle. See? Who needs worrying horrorscope predictions when you have nice fluffy little tittles? - oh, all right then: you will have a very boring month. No-one will bother you unduly, no monsters from the Dungeon Dimensions will make sudden unwelcome appearances, no fire will rain on you from Cori Celesti, and your socks will come back from the laundry in perfectly matched pairs. Feeling better now? Tittle.

Androgyna Majestis (formerly Okjok, the Salesman) 24 Oct - 22 Nov

What a...fascinating Sign you've come under at present! Androgyna Majestis, known to the Ancients as Duud Laika-Laadi, is the god and/or Goddess of mixed signals, confused lovers and unusual parades; as s/he straddles the quadrant of empty Space between the Small Boring Group of Faint Stars and Great T'Phon's Foot, the characteristics of your typical Andy owe something to both these Signs. To put it simply, an Andy is both safety-mad and adventurous, both agoraphobic and fond of travel, and simultaneously pessimistic and full of almost insane cheery hopefulness. Needless to say, this makes for some very self-conflicted people! Even as I clacks this horrorscope to my faithful readers, a new branch of Igor-lore and practice is being developed to meet the needs of those born under Androgyna. So my advice to you for this month is to be as patient (ha, ha) as possible, practise lying (also ha, ha) on couches, and for Io's sake keep taking the Dried Frog Pills!

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

Good things are afoot for Footys this month! As the Foot goes, so goes the Elephant, and Elephants never forget their friends. Your friends will remember you too, when the chips are down; this is a good month for borrowing money, jewellery or cooking pots, especially between the 9th and the 18th. You're also likely to be remembered in wills, so don't forget to pay a visit to any ailing great-aunts or grandparents - in fact, they're the best people to borrow money from, what with being old and sick and likely to remember to change their wills in your favour. D'Jum-Boh, sometimes known as the Grand Trunk Star, will influence matters of hearth and home in the second half of the month, and since home is where the hearth is, be sure to keep yours clean and to make a few choice offerings to the dog of your choice. Not, that's not a misspelling - remember, Great T'Phon's Foot is the Sign of all the best animals. Especially the talking ones, even if they'd never condescend to come home to a hearth.

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

So you thought you could do magic, just because Hoki is the Sign of powerful witches? Well, you ain't seen nothing yet, as they say in the Ramtops (mostly because there isn't a lot to see there). Hold on to your pointy hat, because the new influences of the rare octarine star Thaumsup A mean a mighty surge of magical power is on its way to you this month! On the 5th, you'll master the trick of turning frogs into princes by kicking them - come one now, wouldn't you rather kick a prince than kiss one? On the 11th, you'll finally stop making a shambles of your shambles. On the 22nd, the lotion for your devotion potion will bring forth an ocean of emotion, and on the 30th you'll devise a spell that answers the Hedgehog Question once and for all (make sure you wear thick gloves for that one). Hoki's hold over your sixth sense grows ever more intense; not only will you see dead people, you'll convince them to do the washing-up and sweep under those hard-to-reach places below the cellar stairs. Speaking of Death, make sure to top up your biscuit jar around mid-month. I'd say you never know when exalted company might drop by, but we both know better. Avoid mirrors.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

The Gazunda is the Sign of Seamstresses, subversives, adventurers and exotic dancers, but few people realise that it's also the Sign of Multiple Personality sufferers. Keep a good hold on your sense of reality this month if you don't want to end up beside yourself! The Rather Large Gazunda is poised directly opposite to Gahoolie in the new Zodiac; this means Hu's also in your House, but yours is the House of Hedbangur, which means you're under the influence of, erm, being Under the Influence - in other words, don't sign any documents after the Sun is over the yardarm, and take a crash course from your Bilian friends in surviving hangovers. Of course, if you do suffer from Multiple Personality thingy, you could always send one of your other selves out to party hard. Be kind to ducks this month and don't forget to give generously to the Distressed Novelists' Appeal (because one should strive to do unto authors, etc.) and to fellow MP sufferer Count Notfaroutoe's rehab appeal (because one should strive to undo two Arthurs). Speaking of senses of reality, I think I just lost mine. It must be all that Space.

Lesser Umbrage (formerly The Flying Moose) 19 Feb - 20 Mar

The constellation and Sign of Lesser Umbrage is, as the name implies, rather...lesser. In fact, it's almost as small and faint as the Small Boring Group of Faint Stars. But don't be fooled by that smallness, because Lesser Umbrage is the sign of the most subtly flamboyant and dangerous people of all - yes, Assassins! Umbragians lead almost charmed lives. They are graceful, daring, ruthless and above all, stylish. And those are just the civilians. A trained Assassins' Guild graduate who's also an Umbragian is as dangerous as they come. So this month's horoscope isn't for the benefit of beings born under this surprising Sign - it's for the benefit of everyone else: be respectful of Umbragians wearing black (if you even notice them passing). Don't make them angry (especially if they're carrying small pointy things). Best of all, avoid them altogether if possible until the 17th, when the Guild holds its annual Reunion Day. You'd be better off doing safer things, like dancing with elves...

† With the exception of the notorious Contessa de Ruth, an Umbragian of many parts, friend to Lord Downey and rumoured to have been Lady Meserole's governess.

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