The year ahead

1996 astrological predictions
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lifestyles of the rich and famous: what will be, will be

in 1996, Uranus moves into Aquarius, where it remains until 2003. This planetary shift will make the population more idealistic, and people will look for new ways to express their individuality.

Musicians, artists and fashion-designers will finally be able to create products which are genuinely original, not throw-backs to earlier decades. At the same time tradition will become increasingly irrelevant. The British will become comfortable with the idea of abandoning the monarchy, and they will realise that their unsceptred isle would be better off being the California of a United Europe than being the Liechtenstein of the North Atlantic.

In 1998 Neptune goes into Aquarius. As a result of this event, governments will begin to see expanded drug use as a cost-effective method of keeping the lumpenproletariat sweet. Around the year 2000, they will be happy for a new wonder-drug to go on to the market, which combines the indifference of heroin, the vacuous stupidity of Ecstasy, the addictiveness of lottery scratchcards, and the wholesomeness of English beef.

Which brings me onto the subject of Blur and Oasis. I don't know anything about them, but apparently their success or failure is of massive international importance. Blur's Damon Albarn is an Aries, born on 23 March 1968. It seems that unexpected obstacles may frustrate his natural impulsiveness, particularly in late March, April and October. Blur in general are likely to feel this influence, and as a result they might have a slightly disappointing year. Noel Gallagher, of Oasis, is a Gemini. There is no reason why he can't have a good year, provided he can keep his ego in check.

Looking at British politics, there may be a few hiccups for the Govern- ment at the end of March, on account of a rather nasty conjunction between Mars and Saturn. There will be further evidence that the economy is still in the doldrums (where it will remain until the year 2000), and there is the possibility that the Deputy Prime Minister's political judgement will be on less than sparkling form.

The spring is also a bad time for Railtrack. This Aries company (born 1 April 1994) will run into technical and administrative brick walls. At the same time the brusque behaviour of some of its executives is likely to further alienate it from the press and the public. In mid-July, John Major hits a low point, and for a couple of moments may consider the joys of resignation. However, the man's an Aries, not a quitter, and he'll see things through to the bloody, electoral end.

As far as Tony Blair is concerned, his march on Downing Street will continue unabated. It is interesting to note that he is a Taurus, which is the most power-hungry sign of the zodiac. Other Taureans include Pope John Paul II, Robespierre, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Oliver Cromwell, Lenin, Saddam Hussein and Hitler. Another interesting coincidence is that Blair (born in 1953) will come to power when he's 43 years old - Hitler was the same age in January 1933, when he was sworn in as German Chancellor. Once Blair is in office, he will set his sights on Europe, and sometime during the first two decades of the 21st Century he'll become an elected European president provided he chooses a Frenchwoman as his vice-presidential running mate.

We now move on to Britain's favourite pastimes, namely football and the Princess of Wales. England will acquit themselves well in the European Championship finals, but they have no chance of winning; Scotland will get nowhere, and Germany will disappoint. Italy will put in a very strong performance, but it will be the Dutch that take the cup.

As far as Cancerian Princess Diana is concerned, she is 35 in July. Indian astrologers regard 35 as being an important age, at which people often accept their destiny. Part of Diana's destiny is to avenge herself on the monarchy, by contributing to its degradation and destruction. Indeed, if my calculations are correct, she is settling a very old score: in a previous incarnation she was Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded on the orders of her husband Henry VIII. Under these circumstances, Diana would be advised to fight tooth and nail against the Palace's divorce plans. She should give more interviews, and over the summer she should challenge Charles to a televised debate. This phase of Diana's life, where she does everything she can to discredit the monarchy, will continue until February 1998. After that, her work done, she will be able to settle down with a nice man, and live happily ever after.

Two 35-year-olds who have been in the news recently are Paula Yates, a Taurus, and Michael Hutchence, an Aquarian. Taurus and Aquarius can be a compulsive combination, but it does have its drawbacks. Aquarians tend to be detached people, who shy away from relationships which are too smothering. Taureans, on the other hand, are often extraordinarily sensuous: they are addicted to the pleasures of the flesh, and once they get their arms around a squirming body, they find it difficult to let go. So if Paula wants to hold on to her man, she must give him plenty of space. Looking at Paula and Michael's romantic pros- pects in 1996, I think they're in for a bumpy year. Michael will want to assert his independence, while Paula will need constant reassurance that she's still the ultimate sex kitten. If neither of them compromise, the relationship may not survive the year.

Continuing on the theme of the media, the tabloids would be well-advised to adjust to some of the planetary changes going on in the late 1990s. As Uranus moves through Aquarius, the public will grow bored of the lives of starlets. When Neptune goes into Aquarius, in 1998, popular support for "family values" will take an unexpected dive.

1996 and 1997 are going to be important years for the Independent on Sunday. The paper is an Aquarian, born on 28 January 1990. From February through to April 1996 there is likely to be a degree of reorganization, which may be repeated in December 1996 and January 1997. There could be a spectacular increase in the paper's circulation from February 1997 onwards. ARIES

21 march - 20 april First the bad news. Saturn, the planet of duty, Karma and retribution, is about to enter your star sign. This means that 1996 is going to be a challenging year, during which you will have to grow up, and behave like an adult. If you leave things to chance, ignore your social responsibilities, and allow your life to degenerate into mindless hedonism, then Fate will inevitably stomp on your head. Now the good news. If you can summon up the courage to deal with the challenges around you, then your efforts will be rewarded by the end of the year. This is particularly the case if you treat friends, colleagues, and family with the respect and consideration they deserve.

When it comes to career matters, it is essential that you get your timing right. In January and February your natural optimism may convince you that you can afford to take a gamble. Well, you would be advised to hold your fire - otherwise an unfortunate set of events in late March and early April may cause you to come badly unstuck. By the end of May, and through into the summer, the situation changes completely. You have the opportunity to get what you want at work, and there is a strong possibility of a pay rise or a promotion. However, don't be too pushy; gentle persuasion will get better results than histrionic tantrums.

Relationships will need a lot of attention. At the beginning of the year those closest to you may be feeling a bit low; you must do something to cheer them up. Perhaps you could do something generously special for them around St Valentine's Day (for the non-romantics among you, that's on 14 February). Another day to watch out for is 4 April, when there is a total eclipse of the Moon - if you look out of the window on that day, at around 1am, you will see the full moon go pale red. This eclipse is a heavy-duty event and it could signify a watershed in your love life, especially if you're born in the first week of April.

Those of you who are single, or are bored with existing relationships, should find some new romantic interest, probably early in the year. In July and August there are some sizzling aspects between Venus, the planet of passion, and Mars, the planet of lust. Your sex appeal will be on stunning form, and your lust will find rich and plentiful avenues down which to satisfy itself - though remember my warning about the dangers of mindless hedonism. TAURUS

21 april - 21 may This is going to be an interesting year. You will be able to show the world that not all Taureans are boring, pro-establishment toadies, and that you in particular are a person of vision and inspiration. So make sure that you take every possible opportunity to rock the boat, both at work and in your social life. It is probably a good idea for you to drastically change your image; wear loud and tasteless colours (mauve and indigo are extremely lucky colours for Taureans in 1996), and buy a venomous pet, such as a rattlesnake or a cyanide-tipped budgerigar.

On a more serious note, your spirituality is likely to take centre stage from the beginning of January onwards. You will want to transcend everyday reality, and get a glimpse of the eternal. So once you've finished reading St John's Gospel and the Bhagavad Gita, you might consider going on a retreat, or taking a meditation course. In this light, it is worth noting that any programme of spiritual growth started in the first fortnight of February is likely to yield handsome dividends, both in this incarnation and the next.

Moving on to your career, it seems that a major change is in the offing. Perhaps you're heading for a complete change of direction, or else the pattern of your working life may soon be revolutionized by new technology. Whatever the change is, it will be beneficial, provided that you are well- prepared; so if you know nothing about computers or audio-digital tri- functional quasi-virtual information compaction systems, then enlighten yourself asap. From March onwards your career progress may be slightly hampered by a rival, who is probably male, bloody-minded and below average height. You can get the better of this person, provided that you don't launch your counter-attack until the first week of July.

As far as romance is concerned, 1996 is not a particularly passionate year, and it is unlikely that getting laid / finding true love is going to be your main priority. However if you are looking for companionship, then the best months for finding someone special are January and October - particularly if you wear the recommended mauve and indigo. Taureans who are already attached may experience a bit of turbulence in the first months of the year, but by mid-April the romantic situation will have normalised. GEMINI

22 may - 21 june Many Geminis are in a grim mood at the moment. They feel that success is slipping through their hands, and that urgent measures are required if disaster is to be averted. You will, therefore, be pleased to know that things are nothing like as bad as they may seem on the surface. Although the last year or two has been a battle, you have achieved more than you give yourself credit for, and in 1996 you'll make a couple of decisive breakthroughs. This is especially the case from early April onwards, when Saturn, the bringer of delay and despair, moves out of Pisces.

From a financial point of view, 1996 looks like being a good year. You'll find it very easy to get people to part with their money, and if you're a liar or a cheat (many Geminis are) then you're going to have a great time. The very best dates for Geminis to line their pockets are from 25 July to 9 September, when you have the opportunity to get involved with a gloriously unethical scheme: it may be exporting live calves, importing Class A drugs, or strip-mining virgin rain-forest.

If you're a nice, Karmically-evolved Gemini, who is isn't obsessed with money and power, then you may be interested in expanding your horizons, and finding out about different cultures. At the very least you should learn a language - you'll probably get on best with a Slav tongue, such as Russian or Polish. However if you can, travel as much as possible, and perhaps look around for overseas employment. Late February is an excellent time to go abroad; so are June and early July. Another way for Geminis to expand their horizons is to go to college or university in 1996. You'll make rapid progress, and by the year 2003 you'll be a world expert in your chosen subject.

The area of relationships is more important than you care to admit. If you are a single Gemini, then you are secretly obsessed with the idea of finding a partner, while those of you already in a relationship will be desperate to keep things sweet and uncomplicated.

Single Geminis will find what they're looking for, provided they are patient: a romance beginning in the late spring should come to fruition by early autumn. Attached Geminis will survive most of 1996 unscathed; however in November and December domestic harmony cannot be guaranteed, unless you're prepared to compromise to the point of surrender. CANCER

22 june - 22 july There is no reason why 1996 can't be a great year for Cancerians. You have luck on your side and you should find that the world treats you with unusual generosity. If you want to do nothing all year, then you can probably get away with it - there is even a chance that you'll find a sugar mummy or a sugar daddy to look after your every need. While such laziness may have its attractions, particularly in March and April, Cancerians are unlikely to slide into a mire of bottomless complacency - you realize that your own hard work is the only thing that can guarantee your long- term security.

Over the course of the spring and early summer, it does look as if you will be given new challenges and responsibilities in your working life, which at first sight seem rather daunting. To begin with you may find it difficult to keep up with the work-load, but it won't be long before you're given a helping hand. Indeed in June you may find that you form an important professional alliance, which could prove extremely useful in late 1996 and early 1997.

Although you will be lucky with money in 1996, it will be difficult for you to keep track of expenditure. Shopping trips will turn into shopping orgies, and you may develop a taste for expensive clothes and expensive restaurants. In July and August it is worth noting that there are a couple of horribly indulgent planetary aspects, which could cost you millions. During these months you should either exile yourself to a monastery on Rockall, or else join the board of a privatised utility, and then vote yourself an unlimited expense account.

You'll be pleased to know that over the coming year your romantic prospects are superb. You and your partner will mutually transcend to new levels of togetherness, and in the real world you have the opportunity to find interests which you can both share and enjoy. As far as trouble spots are concerned, there might be a couple of minor misunderstandings at the end of March and the beginning of August, especially if you're born in June. However if you keep your cool, no lasting damage will be done. Unattached Cancerians will be flavour of the year, and they will therefore have no difficulty finding someone who is sexy, lovable and trustworthy. .LEO

23 july - 23 august Other people are going to be a real pain. They will behave in an erratic and selfish way, and if you are not careful you may find that you are frequently let down. The best way of dealing with this problem is to put your own interests first, and to avoid situations where your destiny is in someone else's hands. One-to-one relationships are going to be an especially trying area of your life, and if you are single your best bet is to remain that way until the end of the Millennium. However if you are unfortunate enough to be in a relationship, then you'll just have to be extra-assertive - particularly in January and early February, when Mars and Uranus vaporise your partner's sense of reason and responsibility.

Those of you who are love-junkies will be unimpressed by my warnings, and will plough on regardless with your romantic plans. In which case, you would be advised to focus your attention on August and September: a New Moon on 14 August could herald a new relationship, which may develop satisfactorily, at least in the short term.

As far as work and career are concerned, 1996 will have a slow start. You may have to sort out a lot of boring administrative matters, and your true talents may not be immediately noticed. However from late April onwards you are likely to come into your own. Other people will start listening to you, and in the last week of May you'll get a lucky break. Later in the year, at the end of October, the planet Mars makes a conjunction with Regulus, a star traditionally associated with fame and success. Your colleagues and employers will inundate you with praise and attention; you will also realise that some of your more far-fetched career goals are achievable in the near future. If you don't believe me, then cast your eyes across the Atlantic. Bill Clinton, your fellow Leo, will be having a great Autumn, and he'll be heading for a fabulous victory in the November presidential elections.

And finally, health and exercise. In 1996 your health will be good, provided that you eat well, and avoid self-destructive activities. The Full Moon on 5 January is very health conscious, and during the following week you should start either an exercise program or a diet. The most vulnerable part of your body over the next year will be your skin. It is therefore essential that you avoid exposure to chemicals, detergent and excessive amounts of sunshine. Which reminds me - don't take an overseas holiday this Summer, because you're unlikely to enjoy it. Sorry! VIRGO

24 august - 22 september Overall, 1996 is going to be a fun year. You'll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself, and your creativity will have numerous outlets. Virgo musicians, artists and writers will be on extremely good form, and by the spring they'll find that their many talents are appreciated and rewarded. Other Virgoans may discover new talents, in such diverse areas as landscape gardening, interior design and organising all-night parties. It is also worth noting that 1996 is a brilliant year for having children, so if the conditions are right, get a move on.

The year may none the less take a bit of time to warm up. Up until the beginning of April, Saturn is in your opposite sign of Pisces, and as a result things might not happen as quickly as you would like especially if you're born after 15 September. One reason for the delay might be the attitude of partners and loved ones; they might be overly cautious, or else they may try to restrict your freedom of movement. If these problems haven't sorted themselves out by the end of April, then drastic measures will be required - perhaps you'll have to seek out new relationships, with off-beat partners who appreciate your creative genius.

When it comes to your career you'll do well in 1996, provided that you stay clear of controversy - particularly in late June, when a serious argument may break out in your working environment.

In the second half of the year, relations with your colleagues and employers will be excellent, and if you make intelligent use of your charm there is no reason why you can't engineer a promotion or a pay rise. At the same time, your interview skills will be on superb form, so if you are job-hunting you'll definitely find what you're looking for.

Your main weak point this year will be money. Not day-to-day money, but things like mortgages, investments, and pension schemes. So if you're planning on making long-term financial commitments, you would be advised to get second and third opinions.

From November 1996 through to January 1997 your financial judgement is nothing short of diabolical; any investments you make during these months are likely to sink without trace. This is especially the case if your stockbroker is an Aries, Gemini, or Pisces. LIBRA

23 september - 23 october This is a time for rest and recuperation. The madness of the last couple of years will calm down and the people closest to you will be responsible and supportive. Domestically, things will work out very well, and you should therefore try to spend as much time as possible at home. I know this advice sounds boring, but it is for the best: this year extroverted behaviour will damage both your reputation and your mental health. In 1997, when the planetary situation changes, you can get back to your old tricks.

As far as relationships are concerned, the main role of your partner is to keep you in your place, and to ensure that you don't do anything stupid. If you are involved in an argument, especially from February through to April, then he or she will almost certainly be in the right, so admit that you're wrong, and buckle under. Single Librans, as well as promiscuous ones (Libra is the most promiscuous sign of the Zodiac), should settle down with one person - preferably someone who is sensible, mature and boring. Late January and early February is an excellent time to look for the perfect lover; if you leave it any later you may attract disreputable sleaze-balls, with gruesome pasts and disgusting finger-nails.

From 3 April to 7 August Venus, your ruling planet, is in Gemini, the sign of education and information. Through this five- month period you can gain enormously from reading, going to lectures, and going on short courses. You'll find learning easy, and this might be a time when you can learn a new skill. At the same time, your own teaching skills will be on brilliant form; if you have any specialist knowledge, make sure that you pass it on - either for money or for love.

Your career should prosper this year, provided that you work from home, or have a profession which involves teaching, dancing, building, mining or real estate. Other Librans will have to work extremely hard in order to get concrete results - especially in March and April, when there could be a major upheaval in your working environment. Later in the year the situation eases: in mid-July there is an important New Moon, which gives you new opportunities. You will be able to exploit these opportunities to the full in September and October. SCORPIO

24 october - 22 november This year the emphasis is on communication - you will spend a lot of time on the telephone, and there will be an enormous amount of faxes and letters to send and receive. If you have a computer, then this machine will make a serious attempt to take over your life; the allure of the Internet will be irresistible, and there is a good chance that by the early summer you'll be spending six hours a night playing head- to-head Command and Conquer with a posse of survivalist techno-cretins based in Geneva (that's Geneva, Ohio, not Geneva, Alabama). Scorpios with cars will be doing a lot of driving this year; however they'd better make sure that they're well-insured, because they'll be prone to accidents and break-downs, especially in January, February and March.

Looking at your career, it seems that things will be hard- going up until the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox (or up until Easter, if you're a Christian). People and organisations will frustrate your progress, and there will be a considerable amount of red tape to cut through. As the year progresses the situation improves. In early June the planet Mars moves on to a star known by the ancients as "the Gorgon's Head"; this gives you the opportunity to decapitate a business rival's reputation. From early September onwards you're on a roll, and it looks as if a spectacular success will be yours for the taking.

Your love life is unlikely to be particularly noteworthy in 1996. You're not in the mood for long-term commitments, and you'll find it difficult to empathise with other people's emotional needs. Still, if you are looking for a partner, it is probably best to concentrate on July and August. Those of you that are already in a relationship need to tread very carefully in the first half of the year; be considerate, don't lose your temper, and don't sleep around.

There is some danger that from April onwards you pay insufficient attention to health and exercise: you'll prefer to drive rather than walk or bicycle, and you'll rediscover the delights of nicotine, chocolate, and high-fat diets. As a result you run the risk of being afflicted by some of the commoner Scorpio ailments, such as stress, constipation, and piles. To avoid these problems, it is a good idea to visit a dietician (preferably one who's a Taurean or a Virgo) and to do aerobic exercise at least three times a week. SAGITTARIUS

23 november - 22 december Sagittarians tend not to believe in astrology, so I'm probably wasting my time trying to forecast your year ahead. However those of you who are open-minded enough to be reading these words may be interested to know that in 1996 you are unlikely to be your usual happy-go-lucky, easy-going, Sagittarian self. You will avoid controversial and revolutionary behaviour, and you will do your very best to conform to society's norms. So you'll probably buy shares in Railtrack, join the Labour Party, and write to your MP demanding mandatory life sentences for convicted dope smokers.

Until the autumn, your career will go from strength to strength. You will be highly motivated, and you won't waste time on lost causes. In January and February you have the opportunity to exploit the weaknesses of friends and colleagues: perhaps you can take some business away from them, or else take advantage of their good nature. When it comes to your finances, you will have the Midas touch in the spring and early summer; watch out in particular for the end of May, when there is a strong possibility that you'll stumble across a metaphorical gold mine.

Unfortunately, your luck runs out in November and December. Your financial judgement will deteriorate, and other people will become wise to your scheming. Through these months it is best to keep a low profile, and to avoid taking risks. It will also be a good idea to donate some of your ill-gotten gains to charity; with a wing and a prayer, your acts of generosity will earn your mortal soul a last minute reprieve.

When it comes to matters of love, the situation is surprisingly good. Your partner will be patient and forgiving, and will support you in all your endeavours. If you haven't known each other for very long, then 1996 will see an intensification of the relationship - perhaps you'll agree to a merger of some kind. However Sagittarians wanting to get married this year should under no circumstances tie the knot before 7 April, or after 29 October. Those of you that are single are going to have a good summer especially if you claim to be five years older than you actually are. You'll attract someone naive and immature, who is looking for a battle- hardened mentor to follow and adore. CAPRICORN

23 december - 20 january Jupiter, the planet of luck and good fortune, enters your star sign at the beginning of January, and remains there all year. This is tremendous news for all Capricorns. You will have a new sense of optimism, which will carry you to new heights of happiness and achievement. At the same time, you will be charismatic and popular; other people will feel uplifted by your presence, and you'll find yourself invited to more than your fair share of parties and social dos. However it is essential that in 1996 you don't take everything for granted; so if you spend all year in bed, waiting for your lottery number to come up, then you're unlikely to fulfill your potential. None the less, Capricorn John from Greater Manchester may be interested to receive the following psi-mail message from beyond the grave, which his dead uncle asked me to forward: "The winning ticket's in my pocket - ha! ha!"

Your domestic environment may be a little problematic. Your family will require a great deal of attention, especially in April and May, and distant relatives may hassle you for money and favours. It's also possible that the physical structure of your home needs attention: in particular, check ceilings, fire places and chimneys.

As far as your career is concerned, everything's going to be fine, provided you make some attempt to assert yourself. In January and February the pace at work may be a bit slow for your tastes probably because some of your colleagues are lumbering incompetents. However from 25 March through to 16 May things really pick up, and if you're a super-ambitious high- flyer spectacular gains are likely. Over the summer months it is a good idea to consolidate your position, and to make sure that all your paper- work is up to date. By early October you'll then be ready to rejoin the fray - though watch out for the last week of October, when your management skills will be exceptionally atrocious.

And last, but not least, love. It's going to be brilliant, all year. If you're in a relationship, then your zest for life will ensure that it remains happy and secure (except during the last week of October, when your insensitivity could be the cause of unwelcome friction). If you're single, then you're going to be much in demand - on account of both your money and your body; you should therefore bear in mind that the best months for finding non-exploitative lovers are March and September. AQUARIUS

21 january - 18 february For the next seven years, the planet Uranus will pass through Aquarius. This means that up until 2003 you'll have a unique understanding of what's going on in the world and in society. Not only that, but you'll be someone who sets trends, rather than follows them. So whatever you do, don't be afraid of being different or controversial; although your ideas may at first attract contempt and ridicule, they will eventually attract fame and fortune.

However there is no need for Aquarians to be in too much of a hurry to succeed - after all, they've got seven years to sort themselves out. At the moment, in 1996, you would probably be best advised to bide your time, and work on your plans behind closed doors. If possible, you should avoid discussing your work with other people; it is unlikely that they'll understand or appreciate what you're doing. The situation radically changes at the beginning of 1997; all systems will be go, and you'll be able to set about baptising the world with your Aquarian fire (in case you're wondering, Jesus was born in September, which makes him a Virgo).

On a more mundane level, your finances look a little precarious until the beginning of April - especially if your birthday is after 10 February. You may have to deal with unexpected expenses, and those of you with a large overdraft may find that your bank manager exhibits bovine inflexibility. From April onwards the situation improves; you'll be able to cut down on daily expenditure, and in May and June your income is likely to increase, at above the rate of inflation.

By the summer you will probably find that you can afford a holiday; in which case head west. Cornwall, the United States and Ireland are all perfect destinations for Aquarians in 1996. If you have the opportunity, fit in some whale-watching; this activity will not only help you tune into the environment, but it will also intensify your spiritual awareness.

Relationships are unlikely to be your main concern in 1996, so if you're single, or in the early stages of a relationship, you'll expect the other party to do all the work and if you're attached, you may take your partner for granted. Still, it does seem that your indifference will act as a serious turn-on - in late March or early April you'll be surprised to discover that an Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius is crazy about you. PISCES

19 february - 20 march Pisceans haven't been themselves over the last few years. They have been pessimistic about the future, and prone to self-pitying existential crises. Up until early April, your negative outlook on life may continue - especially if you are born after 8 March. However you can counteract this negativity by getting involved in water-based activities, such as swimming, sailing, diving or fishing (this is because water tends to have a soothing effect on the Piscean nervous system). Pisceans would also be advised to avoid taking physical or emotional risks during the first quarter of 1996; the atmosphere is particularly explosive around 22 March.

On Easter Day, Saturn moves out of your star sign. You'll immediately feel a great weight lifting from your shoulders, and in the following weeks your self-confidence will return with a vengeance. It seems that your social life will be one of the main beneficiaries of this transformation. You'll become a party animal, and at the same time your popularity ratings will soar. If you possibly can, hold parties of your own on Saturday 13 April and Thursday 4 July: they will be spectacular events, which will firmly re-establish your debauched reputation.

As might be expected, your love prospects for early 1996 are lousy, and there is therefore little chance of you finding your dream lover. However in April and May the situation changes, and you have the opportunity to make a significant catch.

The person you should be looking for will be a Taurus or a Capricorn, who is tall and thin, with a sensual mouth, and an interest in wine, gardening, and domination. If you miss this chance, then there is another romantic opportunity in the first half of August - probably in the form of a hyper- intelligent Gemini or Virgo.

When it comes to your career, you are currently more interested in your ideals that in material advancement. So it is important for you to do things that are of value to society. Those of you whose line of work is socially useless will do one of three things: you will look around for a new job; or you will do voluntary work in your spare time; or you will concoct a frantic justification for what you're doing, such as "converting Swiss Francs into Belgian Francs is really useful ... it maintains the liquidity of the international economy ... not to mention the trickle-down effect ... I pay taxes, you know ..." (Famous Pisceans include Virginia Bottomley, Nick Leeson and Rupert Murdoch).