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October Horoscopes: Lost Empires

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October is bright and ghoulish.

We are about to be showered with blessings and none of them are subtle. All signs can look forward to health, wealth, and romance. The compassion that we have had to dig up this year–amidst a sad political climate and Poseidon-ruled natural disasters–will ease its electric current as we collectively relax into our real lives. As we continue to chip away at our realized and unconscious pain, there is something important we all need to do lest our efforts are in vain:

Surrender.

In October, Libra transitions to Scorpio. Libra initiates energy and Scorpio maintains it, and the madness that follows is cathartic instead of cauterizing. It’s when Seattle sees its most unrelenting, pelting rains. It’s when America’s hidden and desecrated pagan past reveals itself with a vengeance so bright that we find joy in darkness. October is when we begin to invoke our magic, a process built on intuition and trust. It’s a time we should self-nurture and express ourselves in the highest, most authentic degree—only to surrender, because that is the ultimate admission that we have done our best, and we are ready to be freed or rewarded. This is a brighter narrative for death, or transformation, which is ruled by Scorpio. No one will come out of October the same, but that is precisely the point.

Art by Ayqa Khan

Aries

You are the first sign and this is important because power lies in order. Your mysticism is pioneering. Your ability to perceive and intuit is cutting yet often underestimated. A dendrite is the first cell body to receive a signal on a neuron. Only from there are dreams and reality created. Your psychic powers are original and primitive.This month, they will connect dream worlds to real worlds.

In the “Star Wars” saga, Luke Skywalker reclused to the the first Jedi temple on the island-planet, Ach-To. It was one of the few temples that remained after an attack by the Galactic Empire. In every “Star Wars” film, Skywalker is seen enjoying the sweet simplicities of his hermit lifestyle. Scenes were shot on the island of Skellig Michael in Ireland, where Celtic monks once also lived as hermits.

There is a way that imagined narratives compel those which have been lived. Your gift is that you can see the recycled normalcy in every present situation. This month, society’s tired rules will go out the window as you dance in the dark romance and comedy of your life. For others, you may be a wacky, mystic guide. The first bent beam of madness in life’s strange reflection of art is in you, Aries.

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Taurus

The legend of Atlantis is one of the most famous myths to have lived to this day. In Atlantis, we see our lives and desires before an inner child died–before we were lectured, molded, heartbroken, tamed, machined. In this story, there is ritual, romance, mischief, artifact, sacrifice, self-sufficiency, justice, and deep, empathic feeling. These are characteristics of the world a Taurus builds over the span of their lifetime. This is the health of a Taurus.

The original Atlantis is a fictional island mentioned in Plato’s dialogues Timaeus and Critias. In the dialogues, Atlantis is an antagonistic naval power that sinks into the Atlantic Ocean after defeat from Athens. The catch is that Atlantis represents Plato’s ideal socio-political state while Athens represents a power we still know today: the Western World.

Atlantis may be symbolic of an inner world we have lost and thus desire. Our current, shared reality is tough. This may be a desperate call to rebuild the magic we have always held on to inside of us. Anything is possible. You are here to give us the tools and foresight, Taurus.

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Gemini

Gemini is a sign of inventiveness and trickery. The latter quality is misconstrued, creating a difficult reputation. It’s just not true. A Scorpio is vengeful, a Leo is vain, a Pisces is manipulative, a Sagittarius is scattered. We are souls housed in stitched-up flaws. The endearment of you, Gemini, is that you are a moving embodiment of the duality in all of us. But there is a piece many forget: that space between shadow and light–or life and death–that keeps us glued together. Maybe another name for it is gravity. This is what you makes you lovable. The difficulty of you is beautiful and necessary.

The Sailor Moon series highlighted the hypnotizing worlds of villains and heroes. They were as beautiful as each other, a unique quality of anime. Queen Nehelenia, the Negamoon Sisters, Queen Metalia, and Chaos are just a few of the magical villains in the series. I suggest you study some of your favorite ones, Gemini, and pick out what you like about them and what they do right. You might see their vulnerability. This might be the reason why people find the graciousness inside of themselves to rehabilitate those who have committed crimes. There may be little difference between a hero and villain, after all.

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Cancer

The Borrowers might be a postmodern take on Thumbelina. These are stories celebrating human industry and adaptability. We learn how much space is in a crevice. This month, make your world a bit bigger by collecting all the things you find. Use them for the most utilitarian or magical purposes you can think of: spells, stepping stools, art supplies, toe rings, blankets, birthday gifts, good luck charms. When you sleep, picture your bed as a folding tulip. On your commute, think of the flying, buttressed highway strips as wings on a favorite bird. This is meditation for your waking life. As your thoughts change, so too does your world. You may laugh at yourself at first, but you will be delighted with the blessings that show up.

The Borrowers film is based on the novel by Mary Norton. Hendreary Clock, one of the Borrower family members, went fishing in a bowl of soup for chunks of food. Homily Clock had a penchant for the finer things in life, like dollhouse furniture. These situations might seem impossible to recreate in our complicated, human-sized lives but they reveal the joyous manifestations of our resourcefulness. You have always had this quality, Cancer. Now it’s time to get creative.

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Leo

Wherever Michael Jackson filmed his music video “Scream” with his sister Janet is your lost empire. In fact, it’s not really lost. It’s still living. The visual backdrop for the song is futuristic and ahead of its time. Its set design has not been outdated or novelized. The Jacksons glare at the world as they lounge on pristine loveseats. They show off, they show up, and they show the world that justice always prevails. The music video was released after Michael’s difficult and highly sensationalized trial. He stands by his sister as he makes eye contact with the viewer as a man scorned. The rage and frustration is some of the best the world has seen. This is just one of the ways he has left a legacy to be envied for eons.

You, Leo, also know how to channel your creativity. You are riding off the creative power of Cancer this month, and buffing it up until it shines to perfection. “Scream” was a retaliatory song directed at tabloid media. There’s nothing wrong with releasing a deep-set, driving emotion. It can lead you pretty far. This is a month to be fiercely unapologetic and galactically, out-of-this world strong.

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Virgo

You are the center of the zodiac and on a radical wave, Virgo. In Star Trek, the Orions were a matriarchal society where females drove males to delusion by emitting powerful pheromones. Their name is taken from one of the world’s most prominent constellations, the Orion Belt, where three bright stars serve as our galaxy’s compass. Depending on the time of year, we can be staring into the center or looking at the edge of the galactic disk. This month, it’s the sharp edge. This is not too far off from the science of real life.

Pheromones are airborne chemicals our bodies give off to each other in moments of attraction. Trust everything your body has to tell you. Basic physiology will trump the lies and the logic of your mind as Libra and Scorpio season moves forward. There is a lot of power in this. You’re not as privy to the projections of others as you may think. As long as you focus on your most carnal, animal needs this month, you will have the inner abundance to tackle any difficult or unexpected interaction. The irony of your sign is that it symbolizes the “Virgin,” when you are actually one of the greatest seducers of the zodiac.

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Libra

Your lost empire actually existed outside of our imaginations. The Ashoka Empire was built on catharsis. Everything that we are filled and emptied of manifests in our shared society. Regime after regime, we have materialized our thoughts and feelings. Ashoka received letters from Greek rulers during the Hellenistic era, when art took a turn to reflect the reality of the people. There was a focus on realism, on the lines and emotions of bodies and faces, riding on themes of sensuality and passion. After a long time, people of all ages and social classes were finally depicted in art. Many Hellenistic kings were ambassadors in Ashoka’s high court. In the Ashokan Empire, religion, art, and democracy were not at war. This was because this era followed–and still faced the aftermath of–a destructive time. We have yet to consolidate these arenas in our present world, but we may be moving towards it.

You understand this kind of history, Libra. You have a mind for patterns, diplomacy, and problem solving. But you also know how to inject the richness of our diverse experiences into a cohesive fabric of existence. This is just one natural skill you will bring to the turning cogs of our changing world this month, Libra.

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Scorpio

How could you embody a single empire? In the lushly illustrated (and wildly popular, New York Times bestselling) comic series Monstress, by Sana Takada and Marjorie Liu, Maika Halfwolf traverses a string of prolific lands and discovers a convoluted family line rife with secrets. There is an island in which she acquires a bone-key to unlock a land-portal to her past, an unnamed feline-dominated society, and the war-torn Arcanic empire, to name a few– each has a unique and rich set of complex characters, none of which quite fit the protagonist or antagonist role but all of which are strikingly beautiful and doing their very best in personal conquest.

It’s the perfect kind of webbed story for you to walk through, Scorpio. A balancing beam is too linear and easy, but a spider’s web is made of crystal, silk, or dew, and that’s why you’re here. It’s time to revel in the deepest puzzles you can find, ones that do not follow the illusory status quo, yet that you know live in most people. A flight of morals is okay now, and the wisdom you keep sequestered inside of you is ready to be received this Hallowe’en month.

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Sagittarius

Gremlins, a violent comedy-horror film, is a parody and allegory of modern times. It is about a young man who receives a creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then generates tiny monsters called Gremlins. The Gremlins are impossibly adorable and deplorably evil. Who’s to say they’re not like us? As we move into the latter half of zodiac signs, the line between protagonism and antagonism becomes blurred (see Scorpio).

Scholar Charlotte Miller interpreted the hyper-violent scenes as satirizing hedonistic characteristics of Western civilization. Another scholar posed that the Gremlins’ shifting personalities represent cultish enclaves of society– like teenagers, Disney fans, and rich people. These Furby-looking critters are sly, coquettish, and fiercely cathartic, kind of like you.

These qualities are birthed from an equal abundance of security, vulnerability, and sensitivity. These are ingredients for human connection, determining our true capacity to be present with ourselves and others. Even in our most authentic, shining, performative moments, we are vulnerable. Vulnerability is not just sadness or damp, gray skies. It can be a demonstration of one’s uniquely palm-printed ingenuity. So, this month, take some simple means to protect yourself from the disconnected and terribly empty. You might consider wearing a circle or an eye on your lapel to ward off sucking energy.

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Capricorn

Sabriel is the first fantasy novel in Garth Nix’s award-winning Old Kingdom trilogy. Sabriel is part of a bloodline of necromancers, who can enter death and painfully shape-shift into animals. It is a story incorporating a rare exposition of death as a benevolent force. It is about transformation, coming to terms with responsibilities, and ultimately home to oneself. This is a power you also possess, Capricorn. There is ornate romance in gothic thought, and your embrace of it has probably made you misunderstood plenty a time. October suspends this power at its highest expression, but it is not to be revealed. Would you give your most valuable possession to anyone who wasn’t proven to handle it?

There is no need to expend energy on analyzing each and every person you cross but you must reinforce your personal boundaries to maintain a comfortable security this month. This is so you can do your work effectively, and yes, I mean those dark and benevolent powers. Darkness can be rich, warm, and comforting. Capricorns often achieve wealth but are often disreputed regarding the latter two qualities. Gemini also received an accolade to their useful trickery, and it’s time your darkness was recognized for its goodness as well.

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Aquarius

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is a testament to all the freaks who could never separate Christmas and Halloween in their peculiar minds. The holidays are just too close to each other. This film is tragic, celebratory, and twisted. It combines Shakespearean and Poe-like story elements to outline the mediocrity and sensationalism that lives in our own towns. This month, your psyche may be morphing so much that people you’ve known for ages may suddenly look like ghouls or werewolves every time you see them. Your city center may become a comical, make-shift structure functioning as a portal to something much greater, kind of like that train-stop in Harry Potter. All these new perceptions are accurate. Your changing brain morphology also changes your world. You’ve known this and October’s occult energies are an exaltation of this knowledge.

In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington AKA the “Pumpkin King” introduces the novelty of Christmas to his native Halloweentown, which is met by skepticism by commoners. You are familiar with this kind of pushback and may be up against a small trifle with a group who just doesn’t get you. Not to worry, this is the month of Halloween, and you will find backing and poetic justice as you steadfastly chase after your pursuits.

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Pisces

In Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, ten-year-old Chihiro Ogino and her parents take a wrong turn into a magical world as they travel to their new home. Chihiro’s perceptions, pain, and curiosities are met in this new world, finally justifying her angst as a bitter and sensitive child. This year, the New York Times named Spirited Away the second “Best Film of the 21st Century So Far.” We were all that girl. Most Pisceans are modern-day relics of Chihiro, and this is what makes them so dreamlike and temperamental. 

In a supernatural setting, Chihiro functions outside of societal constraint. Noriko Reider is a scholar who summed up the film’s theme by studying the etymology of the Japanese title. In the Japanese title, the use of the word kamikakushi, which means “hidden by gods,” symbolizes social death in a modern world. Coming back to such a world symbolizes social resurrection. In children, we find who we were before we were desecrated and wisdom filled our cracks. But there is a tough battle for every age, some that are cycled over and over. Pisces, you are familiar with such lessons, and these continue in October as you honor your deeply personal and sharply private journey.

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