Free Will Astrology: October 27 through November 2

ARIES [March 21–April 19] In the Chinese province of Fujian, there used to be people who believed they could communicate directly with the dead. If they slept on the grave of the person they wished to reach, their dreams during the night might lead to a meeting with the spirit of the departed. I propose that you consider something similar, Aries. Why? Because you would benefit from communing with your ancestors. If you can't actually spend the night near their final resting place, find another way to contact them in dreams. Put their photos under your pillow, maybe. Halloween costume suggestion: the ancestor whose influence you need most right now.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] In an exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art, performance artist Marina Abramovic stared into the eyes of a succession of different strangers for 700 hours. I think it would be fun for you to do a variation on her ritual. You wouldn't do it to show off, but rather to get closer to the allies with whom you'd like to develop a deeper bond. Halloween costume suggestion: a mystic seer; a god or goddess with a third eye; a superhero whose power is X-ray vision.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Have you ever seen the edible fungi known as truffles? They are bulbous, warty clumps. Because they grow underground near trees, specially trained pigs and dogs are needed to sniff out their location. In parts of Europe, they can sell for up to $6,000 per pound. In my opinion, the truffle should be your metaphor of the month this November. I expect that you will be in the hunt for an ugly but delectable treasure, or a homely but valuable resource, or some kind of lovable monster. Halloween costume suggestion: a Frankensteinian beauty queen or underwear model, a rhino in a prom dress, a birthday cake made of lunchmeat.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] Don't try harder, Cancerian; try easier. Don't tense your sphincter, marshal your warrior ferocity, and stir up your righteous anger at how life refuses to conform to your specifications; rather, send waves of tenderness through your body, open your heart to the experiment of blending your energy with life's unpredictable flow, and marvel at the surprising revelations and invitations that are constantly flowing your way. Halloween costume suggestions: Mr. Smooth, Ms. Velvet, Dr. Groovalicious, DJ Silky.

LEO [July 23–August 22] "I wanted to change the world," said Aldous Huxley. "But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself." I suggest you adopt that as your operative hypothesis. Maybe in a few weeks it'll make sense for you to shower your loved ones with advice, and maybe you'll eventually get re-inspired to save humanity from its foolish ways. But for now your assignment is to fix, refine, and recalibrate your own beautifully imperfect self. Halloween costume suggestion: hermit, anarchist, keeper of a gorgeous diary, do-it-yourself brain surgeon.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] In last May's national election, none of Britain's three political parties got a majority. Eventually, the rightwing Conservatives and the leftwing Liberal Democrats formed a weird coalition, making Conservative David Cameron the Prime Minister. "I said it was like a cross between a bulldog and Chihuahua," London's mayor announced, "but what I meant is it will have a fantastic hybrid vigor." I suspect that a certain merger you have in the works, Virgo, could yield similar feelings. Halloween costume suggestion: half-bulldog, half-chihuahua; part hummingbird, part-crocodile; equal mix of Gandhi and Napoleon.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Five white tigers at a Chinese wild animal park became way too tame for their own good. Maybe they'd hung around humans too long or their lifestyle was too cushy. Whatever the reason, one of their essential instincts atrophied. A zookeeper put live chickens into their habitats, hoping they would pounce and devour, but instead they retreated as if unnerved. Tigers scared of chickens?! Since then the zoo officials have been taking measures to boost the big cats' bravado. I bring this to your attention, Libra, because I'm worried you might be headed in the tigers' direction. Undomesticate thyself! Halloween costume suggestion: a big fierce creature.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] You could use your own personal doorman—someone who would accompany you everywhere you go and help you gain entrance through the portals you encounter. In my vision of what you require, this assistant would go further. He or she would find secret camouflaged doors for you, and do the equivalent of uttering Ali Baba's magic words "Open Sesame!" If you can't find anyone to fulfill this role for you, do it yourself. Halloween costume suggestion: a doorman or doorwoman; a gatekeeper from a fairy tale.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Is the highest form of courage embodied in a soldier fighting during a war? Yeats didn't think so. He said that entering into the abyss of one's deep self is equally daring. That will be the location of your greatest heroism in the days ahead. Your most illuminating and productive adventures will be the wrestling matches you have with the convulsive, beautiful darkness you find inside yourself. Halloween costume suggestion: a peaceful warrior.

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