TAURUS (April 20-May 20): On the Internet’s Leonard Cohen Forum, Lizzy says she once thought that making "a joyful noise unto the Lord" was the highest expression of spiritual praise. Now she feels that *whispering* one’s appreciation for the majesty of creation is just as valid. Diane, going a step further, suggests that even silence can be an even more powerful form of homage. My opinion? I think Diane might be right when it comes to plants and animals, with which you can achieve easy telepathic communion. But when dealing with the divine works of art known as human beings, the best way to express praise is loud and clear. Your assignment in the coming week is to do that for everyone you care about.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish," prayed Michelangelo. He exulted in the feeling of having too much to express. He thrived on the stimulus of his delicious frustration; he used the inspiring sting of his nagging inadequacy as a fuel for his boundless creativity. Are you willing to experiment with this approach, Gemini? Do you have the nerve to love what’s imperfect about your life? Are you brave enough to laugh at the probability that your yearning will never be completely fulfilled?
CANCER (June 21-July 22): What were those square LED devices that suddenly appeared at random outdoor locations around nine American urban areas in January? They turned out to be the main ingredients of a silly promotional campaign for the TV show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." The citizens of New York, L. A., Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia took the prank in stride, but Boston officials saw it as a terrorist threat. (Is it any coincidence that this horoscope column, Free Will Astrology, has long appeared in newspapers published in all the above cities *except* Boston?) Maybe you’ll believe me when I tell you, Cancerian, that the only threat you face right now is from the part of you that thinks a certain imagined threat is real.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Here are the blessings I wish for you in the coming week: 1) not a sudden evacuation from a pitch-dark tunnel into a blinding light, but rather a gradual transition from the frigid blackness to cool grayness to warm brightness; 2) not an eruption out of a claustrophobic squeeze into the middle of nowhere, but rather a natural evolution from an interesting limitation to an expansive possibility; 3) not a stressful rocket launch from the bottomless abyss to a scary peak, but rather an exhilarating joyride from the lower depths to the ringing heights.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): High-level financial officials from the U.S. government recently visited their Chinese counterparts, scolding them for having a booming economy and strong currency that’s threatening the American economy. Here’s what Alan Abelson wrote about the meeting in *Barron’s*. "There’s something hilarious about the world’s biggest debtor, whose currency is sagging, lecturing a country that runs a humongous trade surplus and boasts a cool trillion in foreign reserves." You may soon get metaphorically similar pressure, Virgo. People with a fraction of your savvy and resources may try to manipulate you into serving their aims. Politely ignore their pressure.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Activists in the Pacific Northwest have sometimes resorted to extreme measures in their efforts to end the clear-cutting of old-growth forests. Among the most creative has been a woman named Dona Nieto, also known as La Tigresa. She has on occasion planted herself half-naked in front of marauding lumberjacks bearing chainsaws and bulldozers, stopping them in their tracks with the sight of her bare breasts and regaling them with her "Goddess-based, nude Buddhist guerrilla poetry." She’s your role model, Libra. Let her inspire you to be original, experimental and funny as you fight for a righteous cause that rouses your zealous idealism.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You’ve entered an Oscar Wilde-type phase. I urge you to get a sense of how the British author’s paradoxical brilliance worked so you can put yourself in a similar frame of mind. Study the following Wilde-isms. 1) "I can believe anything provided it is incredible." 2) "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." 3) "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh; otherwise they’ll kill you." 4) "Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess." 5) "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much." 6) "Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian philosopher Jonathan Zap reports that the typical adult has a mood change once every 90 minutes. According to my reading of the omens, you’ve been below that average for the past few weeks, lumbering along at only a few emotional shifts per day. But that will soon be history, as your hormones conspire with cosmic rhythms to send you spiraling upwards to the levels usually experienced only by people in the 13-18 age range: one mutation every 20 minutes or so. Don’t worry. It won’t last forever. And it could even be great fun if you love, respect and celebrate your inner teenager.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "It’s more fun to be the painter than the paint," mused actor George Clooney in *Esquire* magazine. Usually I agree. I much prefer to be a creator who shapes raw material into a beautiful artifact than the raw material itself. But for the next couple of weeks, Capricorn, I’m recommending the opposite tack for you. I think you’ll have more fun being the paint than the painter.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It’s not completely dumb to sell your soul to the highest bidder for a while. And it’s an all-right time to entertain iffy prospects for increasing your cash flow or to work hard to make your boss rich (as long as you get a percentage). But just because it’s an OK time to do these things doesn’t mean you *should* do them. Consider this: It’s an even more favorable time for you to temporarily *rent* your good ideas to the highest bidder, to strike a deal with proven powerhouses that you *know* can increase your earnings, and to work your ass off in behalf of your *own* dreams.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you’re playing by other people’s rules," says novelist Michael Korda, "while quietly playing by your own." That strategy works for many of the happiest people I know. It ain’t easy, though. You’ve got to figure out how to be honest and genuine even though you’re constantly performing; you’ve got to make your life a work of art that continually allows you to reinvent your innocent enjoyment of the game you’re playing. You Pisceans are probably better suited for this cagey approach than any other sign. Here’s this week’s homework: Name your greatest unnecessary taboo and how you would violate it if it didn’t hurt anyone. Testify by going to realastrology.com and clicking on “Email