Horoscopes | Week of October 28-November 3, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I've always wanted to be part of one of those couplings that dress up in the best partner costumes for Halloween—Antony and Cleopatra, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Bill and Hillary Clinton. There's no better accessory than a perfectly matching companion. And when the success of someone else's masquerade is partly dependent on how much energy you put into yours, it gives you an added motivation to cover all your bases and heed every call for detail. Once committed to being some Eve's Adam or Adam's Eve, you're less likely to wimp out, decide to forego dressing up altogether, or lazily slap a paper note on your white t-shirt, announcing, "I am a ghost. BOO." If there's someone in your life to collaborate with, I recommend you pair up and come up with some great idea together. It'll be sillier and more rewarding of an effort. If you're flying solo, I'd still make sure that your costume lends itself well to, I don't know, perhaps meeting up with someone else dressed up. Little Bo Peep never knows when she might run into some stray sheep, looking to be herded back to pasture.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Trust me, we all truly appreciate the efforts you will go through to provide the best creature comforts for your friends and family. You possess some damn fine tastes. But please be aware that, sometimes, the quality and tone of your hosting gifts are incongruous with what the occasion requires. That extra nine yards you lay out at our feet impresses us conceptually, but in reality, we may not know what to do with it or how to respond. We might even feel uncomfortable. But we love you, so we try to find ways to adjust, or else to be polite. This Halloween season, remember—though I'm sure you make delicious homemade cookies or caramel apples, do yourself and the neighborhood kids a favor and just give out the familiar, easy, well-packaged miniature chocolate bars. Reese's, Kit-Kats or Nestle Crunch are all quite predictably good, and no one will wonder if you spit in the dough or innocently added walnuts (which, you know, many people are allergic to).


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you choose to indulge in celebrating the holiday, you can be renowned for having the best Halloween costumes around. How surprised would people be if you showed up at the next party dressed up as yourself? Would people even recognize you? Surely they would have to ask you to explain what you're wearing, and you'll be at the ready with witty repartee as your high-concept decoding apparatus. With your bold and beautiful self oozing extra wordsmithing charisma, you may not need to disguise yourself as a naughty nurse or nursery rhyme character this year. Even with no mask and no wig, you got it goin' on. But there's more to it than that. You can take whatever crazy ideas you had for show-stopping costumes and pass them on to those unfortunate uncreatives in your life, the ones who frantically rush to rent whatever tired outfits are left the day before Halloween. What quiet pride you'll have, smugly smiling on the sidelines as they enter the room, inspired by you, and get all that attention, for once.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): There's always some young lad or lass at who shows up on Halloween in a skin-exposing costume, slaps a demure look on his or her face, and wanders the crowd attracting gobs of attention with a little-miss/mister-innocent virgin-whore act. They may be raunchy in real life and choosing to camp up the ridiculousness of playing Polly Purebred, or they are quite reserved by nature and use Halloween as an excuse to infuse a little sluttiness into their routine. Whichever description suits you better (and I'm guessing a lot of you sensitive crab types probably gravitate more to the reserved camp), Halloween is a great time for you to toy with how people perceive you by choosing an outfit or character that might surprise your admirers. As I mentioned last week, the astrological air is ripe for Cancerians to temporarily leave their shells and find new homes in the wide open frontier, where great adventures await, even if the occasional breeze leaves your unprotected body slightly chilled. I'll bet you look great in little more than goose bumps, and I'll bet other people think so too.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Don't be cross with me for unveiling those skeletons in your closet. I see you getting ready for the Halloween party, elaborate costume with perfect attention to detail. You will undoubtedly rock the crowd when you show up, late I'm sure. But before you make it to the shindig, there's an obstacle course of emotions to jump over, duck under, and swerve around. A third of the way through preparations, you are sure everyone will hate your costume, or that someone else already thought of the same idea. You're a fraud, you think. Ninety percent done, and suddenly you don't want to go, hardly feel like making small talk or pretending to be attractive when you're ugly on the inside. You start to cry, remembering some unrelated, though momentarily relevant, adolescent trauma. Stumbling out your door, you're still buttoning up, searching for gum, and playing with your hair. Still, you make your entrance and everyone is (of course) impressed by you. Don't you see the connection between the intense reactions you receive and the ego adversities you wrestled to get here?


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): No one will suspect you as the one who's spending Halloween night communing with the spirit world. You're not the type to come out publicly with declarations about your private sensitivities to the dead, your uncommon beliefs in visions, and your notebook full of cosmic prophecies. Particularly now, you are primed to discover more about these hidden talents than you've known in the past—but you certainly haven't figured out what's going on yet. It's perfectly acceptable to maintain an exterior impermeable to living influences, such as whoever might be socializing with you on Halloween, while leaving your back door open for mystical visitors. If you are at home alone or out partying the night away, draw a secret protective circle around your body, not because you are in danger but rather to enhance the potential for what can happen inside. Then, within these earthly boundaries, invite the unearthly entities. Keep what you learn to yourself. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone that you're kind of a freak. If you want, you can even pretend not to understand what I'm writing to you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): A huge Halloween party, and someone walks in wearing a full-head werewolf mask. To add mystique, this person refuses to talk to anyone, just grunts in guttural wolf noises. Other guests are even wondering if they know this person, or if he/she/it just walked in right off the street. Then you meet the werewolf face to face, hear the mysterious growls, and start to laugh. "Hey, Ralph! Nice costume." Deflated by your discovery, Ralph sighs as you pull the mask off his head (in a very Scooby-Doo moment) and wonders, How did you know it was him? Lucky guess? No. Rather, your mental acuity and intuition are working at an all-time high, which means you could use Halloween as an excuse for showing off in parlor games or as an efficiency tool, trick-or-treating at only those houses you instinctively know are giving out whole candy bars or five-dollar bills. Whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll be able to play it off with charm and dignity, never revealing that even you aren't quite sure how it all works. But somehow it works.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't you just love haunted houses? Of course you do, which is why, this Halloween, you're portraying the charming and playfully sinister host of one. In your best vampiric dress, with a gruff and adorably menacing Vincent Price-like voice, you lead the unsuspecting Halloween revelers through an ingeniously designed mansion of horrors. Fake blood dripping from your fangs, you secretly thrill in knowing which creepy monsters or buckets of guts wait around every corner of the tour, ready to freak the crap out of the unsuspecting guests. But your role as host is more challenging than a show of simple theatrics will fulfill. After all, your broad range of guests varies from majorly skittish wusses to thrill-seeking smart asses who want to see something good. To be the superstar of spooky MCs, you will have to apply your people skills to determine who is just screaming for an extra scare and who needs you to be easy on them, lest they run from the house, shrieking for their mommy.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Halloween is one of those societal instances when people grant themselves leeway to act out in ways that might embarrass them in everyday life. The protection of a mask or the theatricality of a costume, a nice buzz from a few too many candy bars or Kamikazes, and perhaps unseen mischievous influences from other worlds—all can add up to some pretty interesting behaviors that reveal a lot about the drives we keep repressed beneath our ordinary normalcy. You're a pretty hearty partier when you want to be—and I would never try to convince you not to let loose and have a good time. But if you choose to spend part of your time on the sidelines, observing others closely while going unnoticed yourself, you may have an ecstatic epiphany about human nature that plays into everything you've been thinking about lately. You like to figure out what things mean, and you're starting to do a pretty good job at it. Please, though, as you're discovering the secrets to our unconscious motivations, keep them to yourself, for now. Let us play in naïve peace.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): We have faith that you will take care of things for us. This trait might be something that you scorn on occasion, when you desire complete freedom and carefree abandon but can't stop wondering how you will get everything done tomorrow. But we are thankful for it, as there are many of us out there who don't choose carelessness and frantic chaos; instead, it chooses us. Halloween is an opportunity for you to appreciate your solid core. No matter what wry witch or analytic goblin you dress yourself as, your strong watchful self always shows through the disguise. And thankful that you can't escape yourself, you watch the reckless wild masses making fools of themselves, unsure of how they will make it home or what they said to who under the influence of who-knows-what. So long as you don't let the judgmental voices come out and deem the partygoers "idiots" (though many may, in fact, be), you can enjoy the view from your sturdy perch and even have some fun yourself. Because you know who you're supposed to be, inside and out.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Parents hate that one obnoxious kid who feels responsible for telling all the other children that there's no such thing as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Was this brat just flaunting his above-average intelligence, or was he merely passing on the deep loss he prematurely felt upon his own discovery of his mom or dad putting silver dollars under his pillow? You, Aquarius, must strategically fight those urges that tempt you to blow the whistle on all philosophies and phenomena that run counter to your specific anti-establishment logic. At times, you are helping enlighten the world; at other times, you are simply spoiling other people's fun. So if your approach to Halloween is trying to convince your companions not to be scared—that the ghoulish goings-on are a natural part of the life-and-death cycle, blah, blah—try to be compassionate, and remember that lots of people delight in their fright and don't want it explained away.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Oh my God, I totally know what you mean. It's like, I had this dream the other night where I was at this Halloween party, you know, and everyone was having a great time and stuff. And then we all starting bobbing for apples, and when it was my turn, I stuck my head in the big tin bucket of water, and it was so cold. I usually don't do this, because they're really sensitive, but I opened my eyes underwater so that I could have a better chance of finding an apple, and I couldn't believe it. I saw all these faces of my dead relatives bobbing up and down in the bucket, not their bodies just their faces, kind of like plaster masks that had been peeled off them. And they just started talking to me, and I'm asking them all these questions, and the whole time I'm underwater but I'm not having any trouble breathing. It seemed like I was under there for hours, and I learned so much from the dead-relative faces. It was so comforting and inspiring and spiritual and stuff. And then, when I finally pulled my head out, I woke up. The thing is, Pisces, even though so many people are on your wavelength right now, they don't actually understand what you're talking about. You will have to find private faith in your recognition without trying to connect with words. So few people will totally know what you mean.