Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) Because of the position you put yourself in, you're subject to more scrutiny and accountability than you'd like. I'm sure it's uncomfortable, especially given the irony that you try to get away with less than most people (though you're no angel). Luckily, this week you should be able to get everyone to cut you a little more slack than usual. If you can't force them to relax their judgment, perhaps get them to loosen their vigilance instead; evading their notice might be easier than escaping their nitpicking. Get your admirers to create a distraction for your critics, if necessary. That should buy you enough time to get into whatever kind of trouble you'd like to. Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) I understand that sometimes people are reluctant to stretch and move after they've been injured, but that's what life is: expanding, growing, learning, and getting back up and continuing after you fall. You need to figure out how to be open and compassionate and loving even though you've been burned in the past. Everyone's been screwed over at some point. If you let that define you forever, you're being criminally lazy, denying yourself and others the shiny brightness of your full potential. Luckily, it's never too late. You've felt sorry for yourself long enough. Get up, now. Stretch. Open up. Make it a habit. Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) The trip you're on is not the intense, uphill-both-ways-in-the-baking-heat trek you're making it out to be. Sure, there are challenges to the path you've chosen, but whining about and exaggerating them isn't likely to garner you sympathy or help. Let's see just how rugged and self-reliant you can be; ironically, the less help you need, the more you'll get. Soldiering on in spite of the obstacles in front of you, without complaint, will get you a lot more positive attention than making a big stink about them ever could. This week, suck it up and try that. Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) You're right—you don't have to prove anything to anyone. You know who you are and what you're up to, and none of that will change regardless of who does or doesn't believe in you. However, I'm sure you can understand why some people might be suspicious, cynical, or untrusting. On some level, you may seem too good to be true. Try not to take it personally if someone doubts you and all your bright and shining qualities. It's a rough world we live in, one that often breeds suspicion and distrust. Cut people a break, and show them that you're worth believing in. Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) Some friends and I were discussing whether most people looked more attractive naked or with their clothes on. In your case I suggest leaving your metaphorical clothes on—not because what lies beneath isn't beautiful, but because a bit of mystery is likely to be far more enticing than spelling everything out. No one wants to be deceived, so take care to avoid unpleasant shocks; however, leaving room for pleasant surprises could go a long way toward making your love life the unending thrill you've always wanted. Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Sometimes people can push your buttons; everyone has a sore spot or two they don't want anyone to touch. But when it's hard for even total strangers to avoid setting you off, offending, or insulting you, then there's something deeper going on that needs to be addressed. Why has your skin gotten so thin lately? It's one thing to be sensitive, quite another to be fragile. This week, spend a little time figuring out just why your nerves are so raw. You can't do anything about it until you know exactly what "it" is. That, my dear, is this week's burning question. Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20) If you really want to feel needed, ask an adventurous friend to put on a blindfold and let you be his caregiver all day. You want people to depend on you, but I'm not sure you know what you might be getting yourself into. Don't set yourself up to let anyone down. Make sure you're truly up for whatever you're offering to do, and will be, no matter what happens in the near future. Will a tiny setback, delay, or bump in the road keep you from coming through? Then please don't set anyone up to be disappointed, because you'll surely encounter one or more of those soon enough. Aries (March 21–April 19) Do you know why you're my favorite sign, Aries? Because around you I'm never bored, confused about your intentions, or starved for attention. The things that bother other people about you—your occasional obnoxiousness, insensitivity, or inconsistency—don't really bug me much. Fortunately for you, there are a lot of people like me who are more into appreciating your positive qualities than harping on your negative ones. Play those up and find the people who'll love you for them, and have a great time this week and this full moon (which is in Aries). That's not to say you shouldn't keep improving yourself whenever you can—just that the bulk of this kind of work can wait until next week. Taurus (April 20–May 20) Go ahead and be judgmental. One of the things I like and respect most about you is that you have robust opinions. Whatever you do, don't pretend you're chill about something you actually feel strongly about, whatever pressure you feel to make things look that way. It's not fair to anyone, and this week doing that would lead to some terrible misunderstandings. Own your damn opinions, and don't let anyone convince you that you don't have a right to them. You do. Being unequivocal about how you feel is an integral part of who you are. Embrace it. Gemini (May 21–June 20) Play the mediator, since you're the only one in a position to do it. You don't have to pick sides—in fact, since you're the only one who can see that neither side is really in the wrong, you're the best person for the job, like it or not. Be careful to stay neutral; after all, despite the intense emotions in the air, this is a conflict of perspective, not right vs. wrong. The people involved may never be able to see things completely the same way as those they oppose, but with your help they should be able finally to come around to a place where they can just agree to disagree. Without your help, I think it's needless to say, they may just be doomed. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Shotgun wedding, here you come! If you're not careful this week, you could walk unwittingly into insane commitments you aren't really prepared for, and which you'd have an impossible time getting out of without causing a lot of pain and heartache. In other words, be as tight-lipped as possible this week, and do your best to say nothing without thinking about it first. Consider what it might really mean. Be careful, people might try to goad you into saying stuff in the heat of the moment which you'd certainly regret later (and not for the reasons you might imagine). The more you can keep your cool and your mouth shut, the more likely you'll get through this week without getting stuck somewhere you just don't want to be. Leo (July 23–Aug. 22) Good or bad, at least you're consistent. The closer you can get to the core of who you really are, the happier you—and everyone who chooses to be close to you—will be. What you should strive for is an authentic self who can exist in every situation you find yourself in. A lot of people present different sides of themselves depending on their circumstances; if you can be the same genuine person everywhere you go, you'll find that most of the conflicts of your existence will recede into the background. You're pretty lucky, if you think about it. Just being the real you, always and forever, is the best gift you can give—to yourself and to anyone who loves you. The sooner you figure out exactly who "you" are, the better.