By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
ARIES(March 21April 19):Nineteenth-century English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote a series of sensual sonnets inspired by his relationship with his wife, Elizabeth. Before he could publish them, Elizabeth died. He was so distraught he placed the only copy of his manuscript in the grave with her. Years later, he decided the love poems were too good to consign forever to the oblivion of the dirt. He had the coffin disinterred and recovered his work. I suggest you draw inspiration from this story, Aries. Reclaim riches that you once abandoned or left for dead. Halloween costume suggestions: grave digger, archaeologist, miner, psychic medium who communes with the spirits of the departed.
TAURUS [April 20May 20] "Jaws" is the most common name for pet goldfish. Take your cue from this fun fact, Taurus. Identify the mildest, tamest, most passive part of you, then push it in the direction of becoming more daring, assertive, and courageous. If it helps to give that part of you a nickname like "Jaws," by all means do so. Halloween costume suggestion: a shark, Tyrannosaurus, dragon, or football player.
GEMINI [May 21June 20] A sizable proportion of Christians are addicted to pornography, according to a poll conducted by a major Christian website (christi an news.christianet.com). If that's true, it's dramatic proof of what psychologists say: that we're prone to be unhealthily obsessed and possessed by whatever we demonize. Meditate on how this theme might apply to you, Gemini. Investigate whether you're being hurt by your scorn and anger and hatred. And please note that I'm not advising you to protect yourself from people or things you judge as bad, but rather from your attitudes about them. Halloween costume suggestion: a fundamentalist porn star.
CANCER [June 21July 22] In December 1984, come-dian T.R. Benker told jokes for 48 consecutive hours at a restaurant in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Last year, Ethiopian oddball Belachew Girma laughed nonstop for 100 minutes at a club in Munich. These two chuckle- meisters are your role models, Cancerian. Your assignment is to stimulate massive attacks of reeling merriment and potent doses of sacred revelry as much as possible, both in yourself and others. Halloween costume suggestion: a court jester who relentlessly doles out compliments; a smirking prankster with angel wings and a halo; Santa Claus with a bag full of joke gifts; Lucille Ball imitating Sarah Silverman or vice versa.
LEO [July 23Aug. 22] Most flowers depend on pollinators to reproduce. Birds and insects brush up against a flower's male parts, picking up pollen that they leave on the female parts of the next flower they visit. But nature has created an anomaly that doesn't play by these rules. A wild orchid known as Holcoglossum amesianum fecundates itself. Its male bits actually move, carrying out a complicated maneuver to reach around and down to deposit pollen directly into its female portions. This orchid is your power symbol, Leo. I hope it encourages you to learn more about self-fertilizationto increase your mastery of the underappreciated art of inspiring and teaching and taking care of yourself. Halloween costume suggestion: a hermaphrodite carrying a wild orchid.
VIRGO [Aug. 23Sept. 22] French author André Gide said, "The color of truth is gray." Make that your watchword, Virgo. Resist the temptation to fall in love with bright, shiny red facts or alluring azure maxims. Run like the wind from anyone who tries to sell you a story about good guys in white hats versus bad guys in black hats. The more comfortable you are with veracities that have the hue of dirty dishwater, the more likely it is you'll see things exactly as they are, free of delusions and deceits. Halloween costume suggestion: any elaborate, intricate getup, like a commedia dell'arte character's outfit, that's all gray.
LIBRA [Sept. 23Oct. 22] Chinese professor Cao Shizhong is head of the Slanting Building Correction Research Institute. His company specializes in straightening vertical structures that are tilting. He has offered to fix Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa, though not completely. Recognizing that it's a tourist attraction, Shizhong doesn't want to make it so upright that it'll lose its appeal to the curious. So he has offered to give it the same mild slant it had when it was first constructed in 1350. Let's apply this as a metaphor, Libra. I suggest that you partially rectify something that's slouching or lopsided in your life. Don't be such a compulsive perfectionist that it loses its soulful charm. Halloween costume suggestion: a beauty queen with a big pimple; a superhero with a broken arm.
SCORPIO [Oct. 23Nov. 21] You're ready for takeoff. It's time to taxi to the launch location and prepare to go airborne. I suggest you do what birds and airplanes do, which is to fly directly into the wind as you leave the ground. As long as you're forcefully propelling yourself forward, that will give you maximum lift. Oh, and flap your wings gracefully, not frenetically. Don't stare at the ground right beneath you, but rather fix your gaze on a distant point high above you. Halloween costume suggestion: eagle, jet, hang glider, dragonfly.
SAGITTARIUS [Nov. 22Dec. 21] About 7,500 people live on Nauru, a coral atoll in the South Pacific. For years, their primary source of income has come from bird droppings, from which they harvest and export phosphates. I suggest you draw inspiration from their example, Sagittarius. Can you think of any wastes you could cash in on? Might it be possible for you to make money from something you think of as useless and messy? Is there some muck that might actually turn out to be valuable if you only considered it from a fresh perspective? Halloween costume suggestion: a plumber carrying a wad of bills; a garbage man or garbage woman wearing a royal crown; a janitor sporting shamanic accessories.