Free Will Astrology: October 29 through November 4

ARIES [March 21–April 19] What perplexing defeat was inflicted on you once—a defeat that you still can't figure out how to rise above? What painful memory continues to lurk at the edges of your awareness, taunting you with its implication that you'll never be whole? This is the time and the place, Aries, to solve such a riddle so you can move on to the next chapter of your life. You will get unexpected help and inspiration if you make it your intention to heal what has been hard to heal. Halloween costume suggestion: a doctor or nurse wearing a sign that says, "Physician, heal thyself."

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] You don't have to be anything you don't want to be. Read that last sentence again, drinking it in as if it were an elixir you've been longing for. You don't have to live up to anyone's expectations, you don't have to believe in ideas that make you tormented, and you don't have to feel emotions that others try to manipulate you into feeling. In short, you are free to be exactly who you want to be. Celebrate that this Halloween. Costume yourself as the person you've been hiding.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] On a few occasions in this week, you'll be wise to act loyal, playful, and unironically enthusiastic. At those times, you will attract the influences you need if you adopt the mindset of a dog that loves to play Frisbee. On other occasions, Gemini, I advise you to be cannily self-possessed, fiercely attuned to your own needs, and determined to move at your own pace. Cat-like behavior will be rewarded at those times. Halloween costume suggestion: half-dog and half-cat.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past," said Thomas Jefferson. It might feel unnatural to live as if that were your motto, Cancerian, but here's what I propose: Whenever you have a spare moment, visualize a pleasurable scene you would like to create for yourself in the future. If a fearful image pops into your mind as you do that, imagine yourself rolling that image up into a ball and throwing it into a roaring fire. Meanwhile, anytime your attention begins to wander off in the direction of the old days and old ways, pounce on it and redirect it into a vision of a fulfillment to come. Halloween costume suggestion: the person you'll be five years from now.

LEO [July 23–August 22] According to San Francisco's Famous Wayne, the shoe-shine king of the world, very few women get their shoes shined. Meanwhile, Ngo Thi Lam, the proprietress of the nail salon near my house, says that only a tiny percentage of her pedicure customers are men. I hope that you Leos buck these trends in the coming days. It's high time for you to try new approaches to the lowest part of you. You need to become more grounded, and a good way to expedite the shift will be to pay close attention to your feet. Halloween costume suggestion: Find or create gorgeous, extravagant shoes that don't make your feet hurt.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] If you and I were members of the French Resistance during the German occupation of our country in World War II, I'd want you to serve as the communication hub for our community. You'd be precise and economical in relaying messages between your comrades and allies, accurately representing the information people entrusted you with. You would be alert without being overwrought, and discerning without getting distracted by inefficient rage. In that dire setting, Virgo, I bet you'd be indispensable. I challenge you to bring those same skills to bear in the benign circumstances you're now in the midst of. Halloween costume suggestion: French Resistance leader.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] "If you don't make mistakes," says Nobel Prize–winning physicist Frank Wilczek, "you're not working on hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake." Take that to heart, Libra. Ask yourself some of these questions in the coming days: 1) "Am I dallying with challenges that are beneath me?" 2) "Are my current dilemmas truly worthy of my soulful intelligence?" 3) "Should I go in search of more interesting problems?" 4) "Is it time to upgrade the level of mistakes that I'm risking?" Halloween costume suggestions: a magnificent klutz, a daring clown, or a pioneer wearing a big band-aid on your boo-boo.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In the coming week, you can generate a lot of good karma for yourself by being an initiator. That's why I advise you to never sit back passively and merely watch what's unfolding, but rather formulate a vision of what you'd like to see happen, set your intention to make it happen, and then plunge into action with brisk aplomb. Halloween costume suggestions: fire-starter, seed-planter, fertility god or goddess.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Medical insurance is out of reach for 46 million Americans. Our country is at war in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as with a ghostly omnipresent foe known as terrorism. Our national debt is stupendous, our stock market has plunged, and many companies once thought to be towers of strength have failed. Meanwhile, Canada has universal health care and a budget surplus. Its banks are solvent, and it's embroiled in zero wars. Am I jealous? Of course. Am I planning to emigrate? No. I'm going to stay here and keep agitating for goodness and justice. I suggest that you do the equivalent in your own life, Sagittarius: Stand your ground as you work to fix the flawed situation you've been given; don't flee to where the grass seems greener. Halloween costume suggestions: an elder statesman, wise crone, or charismatic teacher.

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