Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Whether you call it your adversary, your bugaboo or the influence you love to hate, it's mutating. Soon you'll no longer be able to play off this familiar foil to generate so much perversely enlivening energy. What'll you do then? Search frantically for a new candidate to serve as the focus for your projected fears? Let's hope not. Instead, maybe you'll dispense altogether with your need for a scapegoat. Then maybe you'll finally be able to face the enemy within you — and begin the tricky negotiations that will ultimately lead to a lasting peace. Halloween costume suggestion: the Big Bad Wolf, the Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Mystique from the X-Men, a Taliban mullah.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Reverse psychology is when you try to get people to do what you want by slyly suggesting that they do the opposite of what you want. Reverse censorship is when you speak or write the exact thoughts that have been forbidden. Reverse cynicism is acting as if it's hip to express joy, enthusiasm and optimism. This is a fine week to practice all these reversals, Taurus, and just about any others you can think of, too. How about reverse egotism? That's bragging about what you can't do and don't have. Halloween costume suggestion: the famous person who is least like you.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): For Halloween, I recommend that you dress up as a stuffed animal or a corny hero you had in childhood or in whatever costume makes you feel perfectly secure and at home in the world. I realize you may have a problem with this rather radical suggestion. There's a part of you that disdains stability, which thrives on being edgy and rootless. But trust me, Gemini: For the foreseeable future, it not only won't kill you to feel utterly comfortable with yourself; it'll feel strangely natural.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Confidential to Cancerian film actor Harrison Ford (born July 13): As you may know, some of your co-stars, notably Helen Mirren, have publicly said you're a bad kisser. The good news is that the planets are now aligned to help you and all your fellow Crabs upgrade your lovemaking skills. In fact, you're primed to make greater inroads into the romantic frontiers than you have in many moons. Read how-to books, baby! Ask your partners copious and specific questions about what they really like. Most importantly, practice, practice and practice some more. With all the cosmic momentum coming your way, you're destined to become a supreme master of giving and receiving sensual pleasure. Halloween costume suggestion: Don Juan, a temple prostitute, a sex therapist.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I'm a big believer in augmenting the analytical power of the intellect with the wisdom of the heart. During the coming weeks you will be especially dependent on the latter, Leo, so please tap into it regularly. I'd also like to suggest you draw on two other underutilized sources of intelligence: your feet and your butt. Believe it or not, both can provide brilliant instinctual guidance. This is not a joke. Tune in frequently to the feelings that originate in those parts of your body — you'll be amazed at the useful prompts they provide. Halloween costume suggestions: winged platform boots and purple velvet boxers embroidered with sacred symbols.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The current phase of your astrological cycle is potentially packed with useful lessons. To stimulate your self-instruction, here are three questions to meditate on. 1) Before your life is over, what new subjects and skills do you want to master? 2) Is it possible that your mastery of certain subjects and skills has given you license to avoid trying new things you're not good at? If so, what are you going to do about it? 3) What Halloween costume can you wear to ritually symbolize your readiness for a fresh, hot teaching?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It's time for your equivalent of a pledge drive, Libra. Get out there and hustle up more funds, more applause, more love, more of every little thing you crave. Brazenly tell everyone exactly how much you're worth to them and why they need you. You've heard of matching funds? I'll be lobbying on your behalf with the gods, working to double the hard-earned luck you're drumming up by yourself. Halloween costume suggestions: a T-shirt with your résumé printed on it; a sandwich board with a list of every one of your accomplishments since age 5.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You've felt more feelings in the last month than most people stir up in an entire year. By my count, you've exorcised three demons, exposed two false allies, reversed the effects of one bad dream and two nasty habits, dismantled a self-sabotage mechanism and transformed a demeaning ordeal into a semiheroic breakthrough. Now, finally, you're ready to digest and integrate all the fertile chaos whipped up during these successful ordeals. To begin, I suggest you pour your uncensored thoughts into a journal or patient listener. You might also consider being a storyteller for Halloween — a wild, wise tribal elder who narrates the drama of your life as if it were an epic myth. (It is!)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In this year's model of the dark night of the soul, there are far more nightlights than ever before. Not only that, there's a kind of Greek chorus of cheerleaders shouting encouragement and shepherding you away from the abyss. I'm afraid that with this much love and splendor shimmering from the shadows, Sagittarius, you won't be able to relish your usual knock-down-drag-out depression. Cheer up. Maybe it means you no longer need to be tortured in order to grow. Maybe you could actually learn from — gasp! — pleasurable experiences. Halloween costume suggestion: Dress up as your holy guardian angel, spirit guide or animal ally.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): After a weighty meditation on your planetary omens and a Jungian analysis of your archetypes, I've determined that the current phase of your astrological cycle should be referred to as party time. To be in maximum harmony with cosmic forces, you should indulge in an unusually large amount of revelry. I'm even tempted to conclude that you have a karmic responsibility to pursue merriment and conviviality with an unprecedented intensity. Polite socializing and strategic networking will be good, but they won't go far enough; you need to carouse and hobnob with fascinating lovers of life. Halloween costume suggestion: the ultimate party animal.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The astrological omens suggest that you'd be well within your cosmic rights to rebel against the conventional wisdom, not play by the rules and dream up amusing new approaches to tired old dilemmas. In fact, you're likely to unlock the full glory of your destiny only if you tinker with just about every formula that has worked before. In the spirit of total reinvention, how about sprinkling your conversation with freshly coined words? Here are a few that should come in handy this week. Dulce-electrico: electrifyingly sweet. Decrustification: getting to know someone better; penetrating the surface appearances. Dankurtis: a joyful flood of curiosity and spontaneity. Find more at

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The Assertiveness Training Wing of the Piscean Support Group is pleased with your recent promise to leave your little safety zone. But the pushy folks who're in charge over there are also worried you'll become so enamored with talking about the fresh courage you've mustered that you won't actually act on it. They've been badgering me to mention this to you. I agreed to do so, since their concern jibes with a potential problem I detected from your astrological omens. Let's hope that reading this warning will be the gentle shock you need to stop gazing at the maps and get your ass into the actual frontiers. Halloween costume suggestion: wilderness guide, racecar driver, skydiver, peace protestor. 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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