ARIES (March 21-April 19) Once when I was hiking through Maui's rain forest, I spied a majestic purple honohono flower sprouting from a rotting log. As I bent down close, I inhaled the merged aromas of moldering wood and sweet floral fragrance. Let's make this scene your metaphor of the week. Here's why: A part of your life that is in the throes of decay can serve as host for a magnificent bloom. What has been lost to you may become the source of fertility. Halloween costume suggestion: a garbage man or cleaning maid wearing a crown of roses.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) What don't you like? Get clear about that. What don't you want to do? Make definitive decisions. What kind of person do you not want to become and what life do you never want to live? Resolve those questions with as much certainty as possible. Write it all down, preferably in the form of a contract with yourself. Sign the contract. This document will be your sacred promise, a declaration of the boundaries you won't cross and the activities you won't waste your time on and the desires that aren't worthy of you. It will feed your freedom to know exactly what you like and what you want to accomplish and who you want to become. Halloween costume suggestion: the opposite of who you really are.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Are you up for an experiment? Not just on Halloween, but for a week afterwards, be scarier than your fears. If an anxious thought pops into your mind, bare your teeth and growl, "Get out of here or I will rip you to shreds!" If a demon visits you in a nightly dream, chase after it with a torch and sword, screaming "Begone, foul spirit, or I will burn your mangy ass!" Don't tolerate bullying in any form, whether it comes from a critical little voice in your head or from supposedly nice people who are trying to guilt-trip you. "I am a brave conqueror who cannot be intimidated!" is what you could say, or "I am a monster of love and goodness who will defeat all threats to my integrity!"
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Are you ready to be amazed? Now would be an excellent time to shed your soul's infantile illusions . . . to play wildly with the greatest mystery you know . . . to accept gifts that enhance your freedom and refuse gifts that don't . . . to seek out a supernatural encounter that heals your chronic sadness . . . to consort and converse with sexy magical spirits from the future . . . to make love with the lights on and cry when you come. Halloween costume suggestion: the archetypal LOVER.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Some people in your vicinity are smoldering and fuming. The air is heavy with emotional ferment. Conspiracy theories are ripening and rotting at the same time. Hidden agendas are seeping into conversations, and gossip is swirling like ghostly dust devils. Yet in the midst of this mayhem, an eerie calm possesses you. As everyone else struggles, you're poised and full of grace. To what do we owe this stability? I suspect it has to do with the fact that life is showing you how to feel at home in the world, no matter what's happening around you. Keep making yourself receptive to these teachings. Halloween costume suggestion: King or Queen of Relaxation.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Unification should be a key theme for you in the coming weeks. Anything you do that promotes splicing and blending and harmonizing will get extra help, sometimes from mysterious forces working behind the scenes. The more you work to find common ground between opposing sides, the stronger you'll feel and the better you'll look. If you can manage to mend schisms and heal wounds, unexpected luck will flow into your life. To encourage these developments, consider these Halloween disguises: a roll of tape, a stick of Krazy Glue, a wound that's healing, a bridge.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) What do you think you'd be like if you were among the wealthiest 1 percent of people on earth? Would you demand that your government raise your taxes so you could contribute more to our collective well-being? Would you live simply and cheaply so you'd have more money to donate to charities and other worthy causes? This Halloween season, I suggest you play around with fantasies like that―maybe even masquerade as an incredibly rich philanthropist who doles out cash and gifts everywhere you go. At the very least, imagine what it would be like if you had everything you needed and felt so grateful you shared your abundance freely.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) What if you had the power to enchant and even bewitch people with your charisma? Would you wield your allure without mercy? Would you feel wicked delight in their attraction to you, even if you didn't plan to give them what they want? I suspect these questions aren't entirely rhetorical right now. You may have more mojo at your disposal than you realize. Speaking for your conscience, I will ask you not to desecrate your privilege. If you must manipulate people, do it for their benefit as well as yours. Use your raw magic responsibly. Halloween costume suggestion: a mesmerizing guru, an irresistible diva, a stage magician.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) I had a dream that you were in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? You were like the character played by George Clooney after he escaped from a prison chain gang. Can you picture it? You were wearing a striped jailbird suit, and a ball and chain were still cuffed around your ankle. But you were sort of free too. You were on the lam, making your way from adventure to adventure as you eluded those who would throw you back in the slammer. You were not yet in the clear, but you seemed to be en route to total emancipation. I think this dream is an apt metaphorical depiction of your actual life right now. Could you somehow use it in designing your Halloween costume?
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) I invite you to try the following exercise. Imagine the most powerful role you could realistically attain in the future. This is a position or niche or job that will authorize you to wield your influence to the max. It will give you the clout to shape the environments you share with other people. It will allow you to freely express your important ideas and have them be treated seriously. Let your imagination run a little wild as you visualize the possibilities. Incorporate your visions into your Halloween costume.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) In the course of earning a living, I have worked four different jobs as a janitor and six as a dishwasher. On the brighter side, I have performed as a songwriter and lead singer for six rock bands and currently write a syndicated astrology column. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you are primed to cultivate a relationship with your work life that is more like my latter choices than the former. The next eight months will be a favorable time to ensure that you'll be doing your own personal equivalent of rock singer or astrology columnist well into the future. Halloween costume suggestion: your dream job.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Author Robert Louis Stevenson loved the work of poet Walt Whitman, recommending it with the same enthusiasm as he did Shakespeare's. Stevenson also regarded Whitman as an unruly force of nature and, in one famous passage, called him "a large shaggy dog, just unchained, scouring the beaches of the world and baying at the moon." Your assignment is to do your best imitation of a primal creature like Whitman. In fact, consider being him for Halloween. Maybe you could memorize passages from Whitman's Leaves of Grass and recite them at random moments. Here's one: "I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,/ I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world."
Homework: Meditate on death not as the end of physical life but as a metaphor for shedding what's outworn. In that light, what's the best death you've experienced? Freewillastrology.com.