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Dissident Horoscopes for Samhain Insurgents
By Job Disney, Rob Brezsny's only partially evil twin

(For more upside-down revelations, read
Rob's memoir about his encounters with the Dark Goddess.)

PERSONAL GROWTH ADDICTS (March 21-October 17): In a perfect world, Halloween would be celebrated 13 times a year, on each full moon. At least once a month each of us would have license to dress, talk, and act like some buried part of our personality. We could put on inside-out thrift shop clothes and spit whiskey on holy statues. We could make love with flowers and ride donkeys backwards into city hall and blubber confessions to people who weren't particularly interested. If we only had these luxuries, imagine how much more sincere and relaxed we'd be the other 352 days of the year. But alas, in the real world, all the beautiful nonsense we should be able to spread over many months has to be crammed into a few days. So get out there and start cramming.

ZEN MEGALOMANIACS (April 20-December 1): Dangling rubber skeletons, thick crusty spider webs, pretend witches' cauldrons filled with pretend lizard eyes and bat wings and snake bile: I can't believe that any of the usual Halloween props actually throw a scare into you. If you'd really like to scare yourself, I mean in a good way, here's a suggestion. Contemplate the fact that there will come a time many years from now when you will die. Imagine yourself as the person you will be on that day. Look back on your life and think about all the things you wish you would have done that you didn't do. Then come back in time to the person you are today and vow that you're going to get started on accomplishing those things sometime in the next three months.

UNORIGINAL SINNERS (May 21-January 31): In a remote mountain sanctuary north of Tokyo, a sacred festival of emotional release will soon unfold. As the celebrants parade through the dark to a shrine in the wilderness, they will shout out obscenities and noises and forbidden thoughts. "My boss is a stupid asshole!" "Goddamit, mommy! I'll never be what you want me to be!" I dare you to incorporate this fun ritual into your Halloween revels. Try the following obscenities, or better yet, design your own: "All you reptile-brained jerks who're trying to mangle my freedom can just fuck off!" "Stop telling me what to do, man! Your column sucks!"

CODEPENDENT BODHISATTVAS (July 23-March 1): In tune with the true Halloween spirit, I may dress up as the type of person I understand and sympathize with least: an obscenely rich, right-wing Christian fundamentalist warmonger. I suggest you try something similar. If you're usually a Nazi skinhead stockbroker, be a hippie farmer wearing a "Free Hemp!" T-shirt. If you're normally a fat-phobic, hetero-bashing, fascist vegetarian, well then masquerade as a 300-pound, carnivorous Don Juan. And if you're a caffeinated, atheistic, workaholic, I highly recommend that you impersonate a God-drunk, love-inflamed lazybones -- not just at Halloween parties, but everywhere. (For extra credit, become your own devil's advocate.)

CHAOS LOVERS (August 23-March 28): Tired of dancing in the dark by yourself? Eager to find your lost appetite in time for Halloween? Then nail this personal ad on every telephone pole in town: "Are you a stable, down-to-earth romantic who enjoys holding hands while browsing through shopping malls? If so, please stay away from me. I'm on the lookout for a leather-clad cupid who loves to disturb the neighbors. Or a cherub-faced rebel who's into mental shortcuts. Or something like that. Let's put it this way: Are you capable of feeling sexy while wearing Bugs Bunny boxer shorts? If so, I want you to suck my beauty and truth while singing back-up harmonies to the music of the spheres. Or massage my wild compassion while interpreting the omens in my lucid dreams. Or something like that. P.S.: I smashed my TV because it was an unsatisfying companion. Can I come over and watch yours?"

PAVLOVIAN GODS (September 23-April 20): During the Halloween season, the veil between the world of the living and realm of the dead is thin. Is there a message you long to send over to the other side? An omen you're yearning to receive from the Great Beyond? One of your dead relatives will slip you a surprise if that's what you want. You could also catch a glimpse of yourself as you were in the distant past -- or will be in the far future. Take a long hot shower after midnight. Step out, light a candle, and gaze in the mirror until the secrets begin to flow back and forth.

LUNATIC SAINTS (October 23-May 31): For pagans and Wiccans, Halloween is one of the high holy days of the year. It's a time to meditate on our link with the Other Side, that realm we slip into when we dream or die or flirt with ecstasy or loosen the binds of our logical minds. Many people are so frightened of this realm that they avoid ever knowing it -- thus ensuring it will always haunt them like an ominous shadow. But because you're a Lunatic Saint, you've been endowed with a brave attraction to the Other Side. As a result, it's a source of power and renewal for you -- especially now, at the beginning of your astrological year.

DYSLEXIC SPHINXES (November 22-July 16): You could take the safe and easy route this Halloween and masquerade as a cartoony Hollywood demon. But if you want an authentic catharsis that gives you real power over what scares you most, you should act out your own personal demon. What good is it to be Frankenstein or a vampire or a character in one of Stephen King's counterfeit nightmares? You don't truly believe those silly monsters can hurt you. What about dressing up as a real monster, like the person in your life who hurt you the most?

SACRED JANITORS (December 21-August 29): You don't have to be a witch to celebrate Halloween like the witches do. Try this. Create an altar. Collect pomegranates, chrysanthemums, pumpkins, candles, bells, favorite photos, lucky charms. Drink some mulled wine, then let the magic begin. Like for instance take a piece of paper and write down an aspect of your life you'd like to banish -- a sickness, bad habit, fear, or influence that's eating away at you. Burn this paper in the flame of a red candle. Next, take three seeds and plant them in three cups of dirt. These symbolize the three joys you promise to nurture in 2014. Then, before you go out to party all night, place an offering on your altar in honor of those you've loved who are gone from this world.

CAPITALIST UNICORNS (January 20-October 25): I celebrate Halloween 364 days of the year (excluding April Fool's Day). This allows me to express my swirling multitude of personalities without ever worrying about whether I'm descending into schizophrenia. If you'd like to sample my fun and healthy approach to continually mutating identity, I suggest you try a different masquerade every day between now and November 7. Today you could be your evil twin, tomorrow your ideal self. The day after tomorrow you could be your libido personified, or your own father, or the person you'd be if you were another race or nationality.

TROJAN HORSESHIT COLLECTORS (February 19-December 29): I regard Halloween as an excellent opportunity for pretending to act out your most shadowy and repressed qualities -- qualities that might be dangerous to your ambitions or reputation. Masquerading gives you a chance to blow off steam. It relieves the poisonous pressure that repression inevitably generates. That's why I suggest you impersonate a tyrant or dictator at this year's parties. If you can play out your control-freak fantasies in their most extreme form now, maybe they won't erupt at inconvenient times in the months ahead.

APHRODITE'S CHOSEN PEOPLE (February 29-January 31): Nothing gets in the way of true love more than stale myths about masculinity and femininity. And why put up with half-assed romance? Take advantage of the gender-bending season to expand your repertoire of amorous gambits. I dare you to dress up as the third sex for Halloween -- or even the fourth. I invite you to at least pretend to be omnisexual. Hug trees. Kiss frogs. Make love to the sky and sea. Sleep with a rosy pink double-terminated crystal. Be infatuated with the moist, flaming Mystery.


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