By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Weinstein
By Tessa Stuart
ARIES [March 21–April 19] In the 18th century, the French Academy laid down rules about the differences between professional and amateur paintings. It was decreed that true artists must create a "licked surface," hiding all evidence of their brushstrokes. Viewers could sink their attention fully into the image without being distracted by thoughts about the artist's process. When the impressionists barged into the scene in the 1870s, one of their rebellions against convention was to reject the licked surface. By making some of their brushstrokes visible, they declared they wanted their audience to get involved in their subjective interpretation of the scene that was portrayed. I encourage you to be like the impressionists. Reveal the inner workings that are whirling and humming behind your eyes.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] If your home is like a museum, I suggest you shake things up a bit. If your imagination is filled with tape loops that keep running storylines you've heard a thousand times before, shake things up a bit. If your daily actions are so thoroughly possessed by the anesthetizing demons of habit that you can't recall your last creative innovation, shake things up a bit. On the other hand, there's no need for blame. Don't berate yourself for your sluggishness. It was an inevitable byproduct of your efforts to solidify and stabilize your life. Just slip into a more playful mode and enjoy a bout of experimentation.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Maybe you know a person like my friend, Joanna. She's bright but terse, open-minded but not chatty. Like an inscrutable Buddha, she watches everything closely and churns her thoughts carefully. Now and then, though, when moved by an inner prompting that has nothing to do with drinking wine, she will suddenly erupt with a torrent of sweet talk and pithy observations and wild explorations. I predict that for you, Gemini, the entire world—even the parts of it that are not usually very forthcoming—will soon resemble Joanna when she's overflowing.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] This would be an excellent time for you to get aggressively inventive about your education. It wouldn't be too crazy, in my opinion, to launch your own school, with you as the only student. Decide who your teachers will be. Think about where you can get the stuff you'll need to expand your mind and increase your intelligence. You could call your center the University of Wily Exuberance or the Academy of Astonishing Grace or the Institute of Getting Down to Business.
LEO [July 23–August 22] For the people of Finland, the word "sisu" describes a quality they regard as integral to their national character. It refers to a courageous strength of will that can be sustained for a long time. We all could use more of that good stuff, not only to weather our personal ordeals but also to stay plucky in the face of the world's lunacy. The coming weeks will be an especially good time for you to build up your reserves of sisu, Leo. How? Start by taking inventory of all the resources and allies and skills you have at your disposal.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "Ever upstream from myself," wrote Edmond Vandercammen. "I advance, implore and pursue myself." I suggest you adopt that attitude, Virgo. Assume that your best self is sailing along at a rapid clip, and it's your job to catch up. Your highest form of expression is eluding you, but you're hunting it down. The most beautiful possible embodiment of all your potentials is surging toward the future, and it's your fun job to close the gap between you and unite with it.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] In one possible scenario I could foresee for you in the coming week, you're sweaty and tearful, enmeshed in an extreme state that causes an internal blockage to dissolve. The sweat is purgative, the tears are cathartic, and you're riding a wave of relief and release that clears out a backlog of emotional congestion. In a second possible future, I could see you as supernaturally relaxed and exuberant, periodically laughing so hard that you break up an internal blockage. The calm is purgative, the laughter is cathartic, and you're riding a wave of relief and release that clears out a backlog of emotional congestion. Which scenario would you prefer?
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Last June, Stephen Colbert reported that President Obama's TV address to Americans about the Gulf catastrophe was a failure because it went over the heads of too many people. Language experts who analyzed Obama's speech determined that it was written at a 10th-grade level—too professorial, scolded Colbert. What would he say about the horoscopes I compose, which are designed for readers who enjoy thinking metaphorically? In the coming week, Scorpio, I suggest you take the approach that Obama and I use rather than the one Colbert (farcically) recommended. Don't talk down to your audience. Raise everyone up with your appeals.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Tim Lincecum told San Francisco magazine: "I think you either get in the canoe with your oar and control the boat, or get into it and let the current take you. I'm kind of in between. I want to be able to enjoy the ride but don't want to be swept away by it; I want to see what's going on." Whether you are customarily the type of person who controls the boat or the type who enjoys drifting dreamily along, I suggest you take Lincecum's approach for now. Be half in charge and half surrendered.