Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are you up for an underworld treasure hunt? I'm not talking about trolling for spiritual wisdom while watching "The Sopranos." I don’t mean seeking out dating tips in horror films. I urge you to scare up some riches in the soul's natural habitat, also known as eternity, the collective unconscious and the fourth dimension. Shamans, meditators and ordinary people at crossroads in their lives slip into this altered state to explore the underpinnings of the material world. The big insights they snag in the dark depths can dissolve problems virtually overnight when they return to normal waking awareness. Are you interested in finding out what's beneath the tip of the iceberg? Halloween costume suggestion: the other you.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A couple got married one Halloween at the Edge of Hell Haunted House. Their motivations weren't profound; they just thought it would be fun to tie the knot while disguised as ghouls and surrounded by vampires, gargoyles and dragons. I'd like to take their idea a step further and offer it up to you. It's based on my perception that every relationship born from the fires of attraction will from time to time have to deal with each partner's smoky madness. There's no use trying to hide from this truth; in fact, your intimacy will be far healthier if you account for it up front. I propose that you and your closest ally dress up as your inner monsters this Halloween, perform a bonding ceremony, then go everywhere handcuffed together.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here are the raw materials that could soon prove surprisingly valuable: glop, slop, slush, scum, slime, muck, bilge, grime and scuzz. This stuff is likely to contain hidden gems. I hope you can overcome any squeamishness about rooting around for the buried bounty. Halloween costume suggestions: toxic waste disposal engineer, sexy maid or suave garbage man, wizard or priestess working undercover as a janitor.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Would you consider being a cowboy, pirate or biker this Halloween? Or maybe a traveling circus performer or wandering medieval minstrel? A half-animal, half-human hybrid wouldn't be bad either, like the goat god Pan or an Aztec bird-goddess. The important thing is that you push yourself way beyond the edge of what you usually imagine yourself to be. It'll provide an outlet for the restlessness that subtly undermines your domestic stability during non-Halloween time. It'll compel you to molt the defense mechanisms that are holding back your scheduled expansion.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The guide was discussing the habits of the ancient Romans. "Their day's work was customarily finished by noon," she said. "The rest of the day was spent in pleasure or amusement. More than half the days of the year were holidays." As I took in this rosy vision, my thoughts turned to you. Though you couldn't possibly live like the Romans all the time (could you?), it really would be best to do so right now. Do you have the guts to give yourself that much leisure and spaciousness? Can you summon the chutzpah to rebel against the daily grind so as to honor the rhythms of your body? Halloween costume suggestions: silk pajamas, chic hobo rags worn with a supermodel attitude, elegant underwear on which you've pinned candy bars.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You've served enough time as a scapegoat to last you forever. You've shouldered the blame and accepted the responsibility far more than your fair share. Therefore, you are hereby authorized to be a prince or princess this Halloween. You're further entitled to corral a volunteer to dress up as your "Prügelknaben." (cq) In old Germany, this was a companion who served as a stand-in scapegoat, getting spanked every time the prince or princess misbehaved.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): During this economic downswing, many macho financiers have sought psychological counseling. As Alessandra Stanley said in the New York Times: "Now that the bubble has burst, investors are not seeking the courage to be poor. Patients want their heads examined to regain their wealth." It’s a favorable time to heal your inner greedhead. Dig deep to dissolve your unconscious barriers to attracting greater abundance. Hiring an expert who specializes in this stuff wouldn't be crazy. Halloween costume suggestions: a banker carrying a stuffed animal; a mental patient flashing rolls of bills; Sigmund Freud with a piggy bank half-stuffed down your pants.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "So many poets have the courage to look into the abyss," wrote Kenneth Koch in describing Nobel Prize-winning poet Saint-John Perse. "But Perse had the courage to look into happiness." It's a radical departure from what traditional astrologers say about you, but I'd like to name Perse your patron saint for November. More than ever before, you now possess the capacity to set aside your fascination with darkness and gaze smartly into the complex depths of sweetness and light. Halloween costume suggestions: angel carrying a clipboard, cheery clown wearing a stethoscope and white doctor's coat, a bride with a blow-up doll of the Dalai Lama.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The bad news is that you're racing down that famous road to hell, the one paved with good intentions. The good news is that there's a bumpy patch that'll soon slow you down. Even better: There are several speed traps after that; if you try to resume barreling along, you'll be pulled over well before you reach the Unpromised Land. With any luck, you'll be taken into protective custody and then totally lose interest in reaching the wrong destination. Halloween costume suggestion: a model prisoner, reformed criminal or sober alcoholic.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." So begins the third chapter of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. There is "a time to be born, and a time to die," it continues, "a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak." For the purpose of your horoscope, though, the most important polarity mentioned in Ecclesiastes is this: "a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted." For I say unto you that it is time to pluck up that which was planted many months ago. Halloween costume suggestion: not a grim reaper, but a happy, grateful, satisfied one.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You are God. I don't mean to imply that you alone possess the throbbing mojo of the Source; just that you have an eminently useful portion of it right now. Likewise, when I assure you that you have unimaginable power to actualize the life you want, I'm not suggesting you can instantly activate all of that power; once you get started, it'll take a while. Finally, in advising you to act as if your creativity is essentially the same force that shaped the solar system from a cloud of dust and gas, I hope it won't make you nervous about wielding such primal energy. Halloween costume suggestion: Zeus, Isis, Jehovah, Shakti, Shiva, Kwan Yin.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Who or what are those mysterious other identities in you that work below the surface of your conscious ego? Are they autonomous entities or exiled aspects of your own psyche? Are they spirit guides, your ancestors, the different self-images you've had in the course of your life, the characters you were in your past lives or your future memories? Maybe all of the above. I encourage you to ask them for great gifts in the coming days. They're closer to the surface than usual, and they're very eager to help. Halloween costume suggestion: the ancestor who fascinates you most. What secret identity are you ready to reveal this Halloween? Tell all at

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