Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When I advise you to spend the Halloween season awakening and nurturing your wildness, I'm referring to the definition of that word offered by Robert Bly in his book The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart. To be wild is not to be crazy like a criminal or psychotic, but "mad as the mist and snow." It has nothing to do with being childish or primitive, nor does it manifest as manic rebellion or self-damaging alienation. The marks of wildness, Bly says, are a love of nature, a delight in silence, a voice free to say spontaneous things, and an exuberant curiosity in the face of the unknown. Follow these leads, Aries, and expand on their meaning. Halloween costume suggestions: whirling dervish, ecstatic saint, Green Man, Artemis, Pan, trickster crone.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In his book How's Your AQ Today?, ex-business executive Ed Rychkun says that our culture is so twisted that most bosses and leaders are jerks. In fact, it's often necessary "to be an asshole in order to succeed." (The "AQ" in his title stands for "Asshole Quotient.") I doubt that you're an arrogant tyrant, insensitive egotist, or deceitful bully, Taurus, so I can't imagine that you have a high AQ. That may also mean you've never been in a position to manipulate and exploit lots of people. According to my reading of the astrological omens, however, you need to temporarily experience what corrupt power is like. It will fill a gap in your education. That's why I suggest you disguise yourself as a domineering, hyper-ambitious honcho this Halloween.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Most of us lie regularly. Studies say the average person unleashes three fictions per day. Our deceits are often harmless, designed to avoid hurting someone's feelings or to spare ourselves from inconvenience. Still, the habit is so unconscious it puts us in peril of falsifying more important matters. Your task in the coming week, Gemini, is to investigate your tendency to distort the truth. The masquerade season presents you with an opportunity to do this in a radically fun way: through parody and exaggeration. For your Halloween persona, you could be the "Big Liar." At parties, tell nonstop whoppers. Wear white clothes on which you've written fibs like "I am president of Madagascar," "Eating ice cream and potato chips prevents cancer," and "Luxembourg is hiding weapons of mass destruction."

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CANCER (June 21-July 22):Real estate developer and TV star Donald Trump filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He was seeking to get a legal death grip on his signature phrase, "You're fired!" That inspired me to try to get a trademark for one of my favorite declarations, "You're a genius!" I haven't had a good excuse to direct that praise your way any time recently, Cancerian, but in the coming weeks you'll be the sign most deserving of it. You are now at the height of your originality; you're as close as you've ever been to discovering your special mission here on earth. For Halloween, consider dressing up as a famous prodigy, including any of the following: Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, Stephen Hawking, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Georgia O'Keeffe, or hip-hop artist Missy Elliott.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "In the very earliest time," wrote the Inuit shamaness and poet Nalungiaq, "people and animals spoke the same language." Your Halloween assignment, Leo, is to find within you the atavistic remnant of that magic. Imagine yourself as an animal that speaks. Visualize yourself as a human who growls or brays or warbles. Picture yourself as a creature who can easily shift back and forth between the two parts of you, the animal that talks and the human who crows and bellows and purrs. Costume suggestion: panther-witch, eagle-clown, crocodile-executive, dragonfly-doctor, bear-rock star.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Nothing could give you more power over your fears than a Halloween devoted to impersonating them. That's why I suggest you get yourself a costume that will let you pretend to be what you're most afraid of. If a nuclear explosion is your greatest bugaboo, dress up as a mushroom cloud. If your boss is the source of your most primal dread, become him or her for a couple of days. If you're terrified of being exposed as a fraud or descending into poverty or losing your good looks, dive into the heart of that scary experience.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): No provocative poetry this week, Libra. No sublime philosophy or soulful psychology. Just the facts, ma'am or sir. It's time to get down to earth and back to basics; time to cut the crap and prune the weeds. So try this no-nonsense straight talk on for size: Don't negotiate when you're exhausted. Tolerate a temporary hassle if you're sure it will lead to a permanent upgrade. Be a creator rather than a spectator. Sell yourself first, then your product. Don't vote for smiling monsters who play on your fears. For Halloween, dress up as a hundred-dollar bill or a hammer and a nail or a book called How to Be Real.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To be silent when it's time to speak is a weakness, says a Persian proverb. I say it's also a bad idea to speak when it's time to be silent. In the coming week, one of these rules or the other will always be in effect for you, Scorpio. To know which one is in ascendancy at any given time, you'll have to be very alert; conditions will be shifting constantly. Make it your goal to be so attuned to the fresh truth of each new moment that you will always express yourself when the time is ripe, and shut up when it isn't. Halloween costume suggestions: a pythoness or fortune-teller; a talking mime or a silent clown who carries around chalk and a portable chalkboard to communicate; Triumph the Insult Comic Dog with a muzzle.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In 1204, Roman Catholic crusaders destroyed Constantinople because it was the spiritual center of the Orthodox Christian Church, which had broken away from Vatican rule. Almost 800 years later, Pope John Paul II formally apologized to the Orthodox leader, Bartholomew I. It took a while, but Bartholomew finally accepted the apology in 2004. In the coming week, Sagittarius, I urge you to be inspired by their actions as you carry out an orgy of atonement. Extend forgiveness even to those who hurt you long ago, and ask for forgiveness even from those you hurt long ago. Halloween costume suggestion: religious penitent or self-flagellant.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Lessons available to you in the near future will offer more long-range benefits than you can imagine. If you take them to heart, they could influence you to make changes that will ultimately allow you to live past the age of 100. They might also help you bring your 10-year and 20-year master plans into sharper focus. Added bonus: Your priorities concerning love will receive a spiritual version of a chiropractic adjustment. Halloween costume suggestion: an eager, curious student who carries books and takes notes everywhere you go.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The omurasaki butterfly is native to East Asia. Though beautiful and graceful, it's unusually big and strong. In territorial battles over who gets the right to suck the sap of the kunugi and konara trees, it beats out all of its butterfly competitors, and is even known to chase away birds that try to horn in on its sweet treat. I suggest that you dress up as the big, purple-winged omurasaki this Halloween. It will symbolize your soul's growing ability to be elegant yet tough—to be a gliding and lyrical yet willful force of nature.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I predict that in the next 11 months you will be wanted, needed, desired, and adored more than you have ever been before. You may also be mistrusted and doubted more frequently as well. To put yourself in a frame of mind that will prepare you for this state, I suggest you choose from the following disguises for your Halloween revels: a gorgeous femme fatale, a generous billionaire, or a barrel of oil.


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