By Jared Chausow
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TAURUS (April 20May 20): Every year of their adult lives, male emperor penguins in Antarctica spend 60 consecutive days standing out in the frigid wastes without food as they guard and brood the eggs containing their offspring. Their ordeal reminds me a little of the story of your life lately, Taurus. You've been out in the cold doing your duty for a long time. But I believe you're ready to do something akin to what the male penguins do when the babies finally hatch and the mothers return from their 60-day vacations: feast and rest, rest and feast.
GEMINI (May 21June 20): If you're like most people, you have an ailment you've learned to live with. It's bothersome though not incapacitating. Maybe you've tried various treatments for it, but it never quite goes away, or it recedes for a while and returns in force. That's the bad news. The good news, Gemini, is that you now have extra power to zap that nagging malady. I suggest you start the process by having a dialogue with the affected part of your body. Explain to it why you really want it to heal itself now. Next step: Devote yourself to doing the research and getting the help that brings a total cure.
CANCER (June 21July 22): A reviewer in the San Francisco Chronicle said this about Judy Budnitz's book Nice Big American Baby: "Reading Budnitz's stories is like experiencing the exhilaration of flight with the queasiness of vertigo. She can take you to new heights, but don't expect a comfortable ride." While this may be a good assessment of the book, it's also an apt description of your immediate future, Cancerian. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you will be veering back and forth between feelings akin to a rapturous flying dream and a dizzying free fall. Don't worry: There'll be a mostly happy ending, even if you feel a bit airsick as you arrive in the winner's circle.
LEO (July 23Aug. 22): Henry David Thoreau took his relationship with nature as seriously as he did his connections with people. "I frequently tramped eight or ten miles," he said, "to keep an appointment with a beech tree or a yellow birch or an old acquaintance among the pines." This is an attitude I encourage you to emulate in the coming weeks, Leo. Nonhuman life-forms will have a lot to give you. The great outdoors should be a classroom where you seek wisdom that will help you solve your most pressing questions, as well as a temple where you can go to bask in the presence of lively and surprising truths.
VIRGO (Aug. 23Sept. 22): Two Indian mountain climbers recently got married in a place that symbolized the fearlessness they want to bring to their alliance. Along with the officiating priest, they hung 2,000 feet in the air, suspended from ropes between two mountains. I suggest you regard them as your metaphorical role models in the coming weeks, Virgo. You'll be getting unprecedented opportunities to enjoy adventures that involve collaboration, blending, and unification. Take imaginative advantage of those opportunities.
LIBRA (Sept. 23Oct. 22): You've heard about horse whisperers, people who have a deeply intuitive, almost psychic rapport with horses. You may have also heard about baby whisperers, those who specialize in reading the body language and secret thoughts of infants. Well you, my dear Libra, currently seem to have the skills of a dove whisperer. If you like, you could probably achieve a mind-meld with those birds in the coming weeks. Perhaps more importantly, you will also possess the unusual blend of powers that doves have symbolized throughout history: to bring peace, to cultivate tender intimacy, and to bless lust.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23Nov. 21): The World Cow Chip Throwing Contest will be held this week in Beaver, Oklahoma. If you've got the time and inclination, I suggest you attend. It would be especially fortuitous if you not only watched the festivities, but also got a chance to compete. One way or another, Scorpio, you're going to have urges to sling dungeither the metaphorical or actual varietyand it would be far better to do it in a setting where such activity is sanctioned. That way, no reputations will be tweaked and no one will get hurt. If you can't make it to Beaver, Oklahoma, you should maybe arrange your own cow chip throwing contest in the nearest pasture. If you're an urban dweller, it would be worth driving out to the sticks.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22Dec. 21): "I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love," said Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. While that observation always applies to you, Sagittarius, it's especially true now. More than at any other time in the past 11 months, you require a flood of profuse, no-strings-attached love. I urge you to go out and do whatever's necessary to get it. By the way, you would also derive stupendous benefits from doling out lavish amounts of unconditional love. Your top priority, therefore, should be to both receive and give over-the-top generosity.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22Jan. 19): The Mojave Indians once had a tradition of "Great Tellings." Members of the tribe would gather together for many hours, sometimes over the course of a few days, to hear storytellers unfold long narratives about their people's history, with great attention paid to major turning points and heroic adventures. I suggest that you arrange some version of a Great Telling for you and yours, Capricorn. You need to remember where you came from. It's a perfect moment to get in touch with your origins and refresh yourself about all the influences that have led you to where you are today.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20Feb. 18): Speaking on behalf of the cosmic forces, Aquarius, I urge you to unleash a whole hell of a lot of gratitude in the coming week. I'm not talking about mumbling a few shy words of thanks here and there. I mean you should uncork a fireworks display of extravagant appreciation, delivered with boisterous cheer and expansive body language. Express your gratitude as if you were addressing not just the helper standing right in front of you, but every person, animal, spirit, landscape, and plant that has contributed to making your life as good as it is. Proclaim your reverent, praise-filled paeans of thanks as if you were giving the whole universe its proper due for its many blessings.
PISCES (Feb. 19March 20): "What I give form to in daylight is only one percent of what I have seen in darkness," wrote the artist M.C. Escher. Though he wasn't a Pisces, he could have been speaking for you and your tribe when he said that. You are the zodiac's top explorer of the darkness; you're a connoisseur of vivid and exotic mysteries that are often hard to translate into terms other people can understand. And though I know you must sometimes feel sad about how much of your experience is hidden, you should feel proud if you can, like Escher, bring even 1 percent of it alive in the sunlit realms. Now here's some really good news: In the coming weeks, you could raise that to a whopping 10 percent.
Free Will Astrology is a weekly horoscope published every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST