Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You're as soaking wet with briny emotion as a Pisces on a binge. You have the potential to be as skilled and calculating a listener as a Scorpio who's trying to find secret vulnerabilities in valuable allies. And like all those beautifully twisted Geminis who are too smart for their own good, you're half-lost in a labyrinth you designed yourself. In other words, you are currently as unlike an Aries as it's possible for an Aries to be. My advice? I say go with the overflow, baby. Imagine everything you never thought you could be — then be it with fiery intensity. In fact, why not make that the inspiration for your Halloween costume?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In my long career, I've channeled a wide variety of spirits neglected by other psychics. When I ran for Santa Cruz City Council, I served as medium for Thomas Jefferson. While working at a lesbian think tank, I did Gertrude Stein. I've also provided astral links for Barbie the doll, a pig named Porker and a very special rock I call Fifi at Pt. Reyes National Seashore. This week, Taurus, I break new ground, as I channel your inner teenager. Here's the message: I want nonstop hot sloppy love now! Halloween costume suggestion: Your inner teenager, of course.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): For 49 consecutive weeks I've treated you with the deferential kindness you deserve. But now the streak must end. As you threaten to break your promises to yourself, I'm afraid I've been forced to resort to some rough stuff. Stop reading now if you're too sensitive to hear the truth. Hey saboteur, what were you thinking when you started flirting with self-betrayal? Get your nervy self-respect back on line — and ditch the martyr act — before I give you a psychic spanking. Halloween costume suggestion:

you and your evil twin as Siamese twins.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Here's how Santa Fe artist Erica Wanenmacher describes her creative process. First comes the information-gathering phase. She works from itchy intuition, trying to be sensitive but not obsessive. It's uncomfortable. She feels lost and empty and irritated. Gradually she picks up speed and ideas start to coalesce. She sets herself a deadline. For days or even weeks, she goes about the drudgery of collecting raw materials. Finally, out of nowhere, inspiration crackles. It's like the moment a tornado touches down on the ground. Flurries of synchronicities snap around her. She's a cosmic energy vortex. She can't fathom why cars don't swerve off the road near her house and end up in a pile in the yard. I offer you this description, Cancerian, because you're in the midst of a similar unfolding. Halloween costume idea: a pregnant artist.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I'd like to title this chapter in your life story, "Rumbling in the Abyss." Before you start cursing me for trying to freak you out, let me remind you that in Brezsny's Unabridged Oxymoronic Dictionary, the "abyss" is not only where your deepest, darkest secrets dwell, but also your richest, brightest secrets. To prepare for your descent, make sure you pack a lunch — well, better make that about 18-20 lunches — as well as a helmet with a high-powered flashlight attached. Also, don't forget to take cookies to feed the monsters. Remember that they're as scared of you as you are of them. Besides, some of them may be quite interesting and helpful. Halloween costume suggestions: deep-sea diver, coal miner, a mole, Sigmund Freud, the underworld deities Pluto or Persephone.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A 19th-century French Virgo, Ferdinand Flocon, worked for years at a task which symbolizes all that is horrible and marvelous about your sign's potential. In the hope of infusing bureaucratic necessity with lyrical grace, he rendered the entire civil code of his country, consisting of almost 23,000 sections, into an epic poem. I won't try to stop you — in fact I may even encourage you — if you attempt a briefer version of this weird miracle in the coming days, Virgo. But please don't sign up to be obsessed for any more than three weeks' duty. Halloween costume suggestion: Make yourself into a giant medical textbook whose cover is decorated with a print of a Matisse painting.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I exhort you to draw inspiration from the Avon ladies who have penetrated the Amazon jungle, Libra. Inflamed with faith in the value of their products, they paddle their canoes down piranha-infested tributaries in 100-degree heat in order to hawk lipstick and eye shadow to women who have previously been deprived of modern cosmetics. I pray that in the coming weeks you will summon an equal passion for promoting the beautiful things you believe in. Halloween costume suggestion: Avon lady in the Amazon.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Behind the bridge of the human nose is a tiny lode of iron that potentially gives us a compasslike power to know where magnetic north lies. Some mystics harness their pineal glands to provide the spiritual equivalent of this innate sense of direction. They practice a kind of meditation that transmutes the gland's physical composition in ways that allow them to commune quite tangibly with the living God. Let these suggestive possibilities inspire you, Scorpio. They're my way of telling you that you now have vivid access to a sixth sense which is for all intents and purposes a homing device. Want to know exactly where you belong? Make a break for the promised land. Halloween costume suggestions: your birthday suit or the finery you'd wear to your coronation.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): All the other signs are more susceptible to debilitating fear than you Sagittarians. I'm not saying you're never nervous and scared; of course you are. But your hefty reserves of raw courage almost always prevent angst from taking over your life. So, then, what the hell has been going on lately? I've never seen so many Sagittarian worrywarts. It's true that there are a few more good reasons than usual to entertain stressful fantasies, but they simply don't justify such elevated levels of torment. I'm sure this'll be a temporary aberration. In the meantime, you might as well enjoy the eerie, spine-tingling rush of high strangeness. Halloween costume ideas: a shrieking paranoid, nervous hypochondriac or a boy or girl in a bubble.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It's one of those rare moments when what feels wonderful is in mischievous alignment with what's really good for you; when the selfish thing to do just happens to be what's best for all concerned. Hard to believe, I know, but true. Given the huge piles of guilt you'll incinerate as a result, you'll no doubt squelch the tyrannical meddling of that voice in your head that's always telling you what you should be doing instead of what you're doing. Halloween costume suggestions: fairy godmother with a briefcase or Hugh Hefner wearing buttons with feminist slogans.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Seems you're still pushing to learn all you can from hanging around places you wouldn't have been caught dead in just a few months ago. I'm guessing that your experiments have been so breathtakingly educational that you'd rather not wrap them up yet. That's fine. No rush. Take your time. We here at The Grind will welcome you back anytime you're ready. We completely understand if you want to stay out there on a limb until you're sure you won't be tempted to do an imitation of a butterfly trying to revert to a caterpillar. Halloween costume suggestion: a gorgeous monarch or white admiral emerging from a cocoon.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Modern culture has reduced many of the ancient holidays to soulless caricatures. Fortunately, pagans keep the original intentions alive. As a prime example, they regard the Halloween season as a time when the veil is thinnest between this world and the next. For them, it's not an occasion for creepy fear, but for eager excitement at the possibility of communing more intimately with the spirits of beloved dead people. I strongly urge you to adopt this approach, Pisces. The ancestors have a message for you that could inspire all your work in the coming 12 months. Halloween costume idea: Be a friend or loved one or hero who has died. Meditate on death not as the end of physical life, but as a metaphor for shedding what's outworn. In that light, what is the best death you've ever experienced?

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