Scientists have invented a new kind of black paint. It uses special technologies and fibres to ensure that once it has been applied, more than 99 per cent of the light that hits its surface will be absorbed rather than reflected. That's seriously dark. Things that have been coated with this won't just look a bit black, they will look like they hardly exist. Thank heavens that human negativity can't have a similar effect when it is applied too thickly to various options and possibilities. Or can it? Watch what you are not watching today.


Newspapers must have headlines. Those pages would look dull without all the big print, drawing our eye to some major matter. But news, itself, does not always conveniently break, to suit editors' deadlines. So, on some days, the front of the paper may appear to be yelling loudly about some factor that only deserves a passing mention. Other days, several tales may be equally important, yet not all can have prominence. Don't let some noisy drama dominate your attention today, when it hardly matters at all.


Let's try an experiment. Suppose I were to say, 'I have a secret to reveal. If you read this forecast right through to the last word, you will become much wealthier.' Okay. Now let's suppose I say, 'though you don't know it, an assassin is training a rifle on you. Unless you read this forecast right through to the last word, you will be shot!' You surely don't believe that threat. You probably don't believe the promise that preceded it either. But which was more pleasant? Anyone who takes a dark tone with you today, deserves to be ignored.


You can draw a line if you want. You can establish a sense of separation. You can announce that you are perfectly within your rights to be kept apart from something that you want no further, deeper involvement with. Will you be derelict in your duty if you do this? Will you be abrogating your responsibility? Or reneging on a commitment? Will you just be entitling yourself to a little time out that it is high time you took? Today, it becomes clear that there are some burdens that you are not obliged to continually carry.


Living heroes and heroines often create uncomfortable expectation. The ones who dwell only in the history books are immune from this. Their reputations just increase as more years go by and more tales are told. But if someone is famous for a particular gift or ability - and if they happen to be right before our eyes - why on earth would we not want them to perform? It would seem that word of your prowess has gone before you. Does someone seek to challenge this or to verify it? Either way, you are not obliged to oblige.


People who rarely agree with other people are often, perhaps not surprisingly, described as disagreeable. But those who acquiesce too freely and attempt to side-step contentious conversation, may be thought of as deceptively - or even dishonourably - affable. Folk who seemingly seek harmony at all costs, may find that they privately pay a very high price indeed for suppressing their secret, strong opinions. Doesn't a vital point deserve honest discussion today? That can hardly happen without a little candour, even conflict.


Just before we begin your forecast today, may I take a moment to say what a pleasure it is to be preparing predictions for someone quite as splendid as yourself. You are an exceptional individual - and these days you are displaying ever more proof of this. Now, how does that make you feel? Go on, admit it. A part of you hardly cares whether I can produce the astrological justification to support such a statement. It just feels so nice to be told this. Keep that in mind and use flattery, shamelessly, to your advantage today.


We were discussing, yesterday, the number of human beings who are currently on the planet and whether, despite the experts' reassuring rhetoric, it is statistically and mathematically possible to verify the current popular claim of 7.2 billion. And there is probably another little wrinkle we ought to take into account. Are we quite sure that they are all human? It's just that some of them seem to be behaving in ways which... Well, it is not for us to make such judgements. Be generous with the benefit of every doubt today.


We may grow out of childhood; but do we all grow into adults? Might some of us still be children at heart who have somehow learned to emanate a convincing air of authority and maturity when required? Poets and seekers of spiritual enlightenment often speak of the need to be childlike. It would not be surprising then if a few were to misinterpret this message as an encouragement to be childish. Throwing a tantrum is most unlikely to resolve a problem today. But being open to a new possibility might well yet bring a minor miracle.


'These people are doing terrible things. Surely we have a duty to stop them in their tracks by doing terrible things to them!' With questionable logic like this, wars are justified and vicious cycles are spun around on their awkward axes once more. There surely has to be a better way. In your life now, aren't you hearing some rather dodgy explanations and justifications? Finding the strength to challenge these may require courage. A degree of diplomacy might also be advisable. But there is never any need to fear the truth.


None of us like to be ill-thought-of. Ideally, we prefer it if even our enemies occasionally find themselves having to express a grudging appreciation of our finer qualities. We are, indeed, so sensitive to the possibility of incurring disapproval, that we formulate explanatory statements in the backs of our minds. Should our finer qualities ever be even remotely questioned, we regurgitate these to all and any who will listen. But for anyone who has eyes to see and ears to listen, today's mooted speech hardly needs to be made.


Politicians would prefer it if issues were cut and dried and rights and wrongs, were crisply defined. 'Oh, those pesky grey areas, how they confuse and bemuse us. Why can't someone just silence those ifs, suppress those buts and leave us all to wallow in the comforting bliss of a nice swift, simple, supposition?' Indeed, these are far from the only folk who wish that they lived in a less complicated world. None of us relish being made to think. A question today, needs answering. Doesn't it deserve more than a token appraisal?