Free Will Astrology: February 18 through 24

ARIES [March 21–April 19] For a limited time only, you're in a position to consciously choose your next problems, so don't allow this to go to waste. By being proactive, you can ensure the arrival of fun and interesting dilemmas, thereby avoiding the frustrating and draining kinds. If you go looking for provocative new challenges, the same old tired and trivial trouble won't come looking for you. I suggest you begin the quest as soon as possible.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Actor Sean Penn lives a few miles from where I am right now. An out-of-town friend of mine who's an aspiring screenwriter is pleading with me to drive by Sean's house and hurl a hard copy of her latest script over the high wall that affords him and his family privacy. My friend imagines that Sean will find it, read it excitedly, and call her up to begin negotiating for rights to use it in a future film. I may do what she asks. It's my policy not to discourage people's fantasies about making the connections they need, even if they're far-fetched. In that spirit, Taurus, I urge you to pursue any hunches you might have about forging alliances that could further your dreams.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] "Opportunities multiply as they are seized," wrote Sun Tzu in The Art of War. Now I'm conveying this idea to you, Gemini, as you enter one of the most opportunistic phases of your astrological cycle. What else can you do to get yourself in the right groove? First, adopt a perceptive, receptive attitude that attunes you to budding possibilities. Next, respond expeditiously to every little invitation that appeals to you. Finally, keep in mind that luck tends to happen to those who have done the hard work to generate it.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] If you ask young men what experiences have afforded them the most adventurous fun of their lives, a majority will talk about indoor activities. Some will say video games; others, their sexual escapades. Only a minority will describe far-flung events in the great outdoors or exotic locales. What about you, Cancerian? Under what circumstances have your most amazing forays into the unknown unfolded? Where have you been transformed in ways that helped you stretch to meet your destiny? I'd like to suggest that it's time to go beyond those previous benchmarks. You're ready to transcend your personal limits as you wander into the frontier.

LEO [July 23–August 22] "Dear Rob: In my dream last night, I was playing with a lion in my garden. Suddenly, it jumped up, put its paws on my shoulders, and got face-to-face with me. I realized it could either swallow my head or kiss me. I was excited by the possibility of the kiss and scared because I sensed it wanted something from me, but I didn't know what. Can you offer any insight? —Leo in Limbo." Dear Leo: A lot of Leos are dealing with themes like this right now. The thing that's most appealing to you happens to be wild. You need to exercise caution as you go forward to engage with it more intimately. Just as you want something from it, it's asking for something in return. You'll have to know exactly what that is in order to protect yourself from its wildness.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] In a fiction-writing class at Sarah Lawrence College, professor Mary LaChapelle encourages her students to practice the art of enchantment. "How do we avoid succumbing to safe and unoriginal decisions," she asks, "and aim to recognize and trust our more mysterious and promising impulses?"Keep this in mind right now, Virgo, whether you're about to create something or are starting a new chapter in the epic story that is your life.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Evolution has given the human body a profound capacity to cure itself with its own resources, writes Roger Jahnke in The Healer Within. And yet most of us neglect to call on this inner reserve of natural medicine, looking mostly to drugs and doctors for the miracles we long for. I hope you deepen your relationship with your inner healer in the coming weeks. It's prime time to take a more active role in shaping your well-being.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Benjamin Franklin said that the U.S. Constitution "only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." That's a good reminder for you as you enter a phase when you'll probably have more success than usual if you hunt for joy and bliss. I suggest you create a list of at least three sources of delight with which you want to commune. Then write descriptions of how you're going to increase and expand their presence in your life.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] At the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, the value of petroleum rose 40 percent. But by mid-January, it had plummeted, losing 12 percent in one day. Suppliers started withholding large reserves from the market. For weeks, supertankers full of fuel circled aimlessly offshore, refusing to unload their precious cargo until prices rebounded. Consider imitating their behavior, Sagittarius. Don't make your best stuff fully available until your target audience is ready to reward you for its true worth. It's OK to tease, though—or do anything ethical that will increase the demand for your services.

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