Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) Even though this week is likely to throw some comically oversized wrenches into your plans, stifle the drama. Sure, these delays are a bit over-the-top, but they're not the miserably unfair prison sentences you're tempted to make them out to be. Blowing them even slightly out of proportion to gain sympathy, or simply to make yourself feel better, is likely to backfire, as they may expand to fill the extra psychic space you give them. Instead, make these mountains back into molehills by treating them as such, even if it's daunting. They may just humor you and behave that way. Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) The cliché about quicksand is that the more you struggle, the faster you'll sink. I don't know if that's true, but it certainly applies to the situation you're likely to find yourself in this week. Take a deep breath and chill. Until someone throws you a lasso, there's not much you can do except try not to get mired more deeply. This is, essentially, the universe telling you to relax and wait for help to arrive. You need it, and attempting to do without it will just make matters worse. Help is on the way! Be patient and let it get here. Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) You may be surprised to find heretofore undiscovered wells of some unpleasant tendencies (racism, homophobia, or a fervent love for Celine Dion, perhaps) in someone you thought you knew well. I'm sure this will be shocking, and a huge turn-off. However, remember that some people have never had these beliefs challenged since some bigoted or tasteless relative imposed them. Your goal, this week, is to gently steer people away from their very bad ideas. Pointing an accusatory finger and screaming "Bigot!" won't do much good, though—but a truly compassionate discussion could prove very fruitful. Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Although many sexual encounters turn out to be just one-time flings, their repercussions can last much, much longer. Therefore it's wise to establish a few ground rules about what you'll get into, and with whom, before situations arise. Sleeping with co-workers, for example, is generally an awful idea. Being clear with yourself about this stuff will help you this week, especially when it comes to avoiding temptations that really wouldn't be that tempting if you'd just look at the bigger picture. There are plenty of people to get involved with who aren't your ex's best friend, or your boss, or the like. Abjure messy entanglements and go find one of those. Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) Children can be selfish, stubborn, annoying, and completely irrational, but because they're just kids, you've learned to manage when you've needed to. Unfortunately, adults can sometimes be nearly as bad (especially when they get old), and, regrettably, their unreasonable demands can't be denied or corrected as easily as a 4-year-old's. Nevertheless, coping with someone who is just that shortsighted and illogical is this week's task. You'll need phenomenal patience and luck, but persistence and resolve most of all. Also, remember that when reason fails (as it probably will), the best weapon left in your arsenal is probably humor. Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Don't let loyalty cloud the truth. If someone you loved did something wrong, of course it's perfectly acceptable for you to defend them anyway—some might even call it admirable. However, just be clear about precisely what you're doing, and why you're doing it. If loyalty trumps morality, so be it, but don't let it distort reality. Convincing yourself that they didn't do the bad thing, or that it wasn't so awful, just so that you can be on their side? That would be sort of delusional. It's OK to love and protect someone even when they're wrong. Own that. Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20) Like anything else, technology like Facebook and cell phones can be used either to bring yourself closer to other people or to alienate yourself from them. It all depends on how you use it, and with what intentions. I've seen people become slaves to their phones; they wouldn't dream of letting it go unanswered, even if it meant interrupting a social event they were already partaking in. I believe that when you let tools shape how you live your life, you're making a mistake. Instead, form a vision of what your life and interactions should look like, and then figure out how to make the tools available to you help bring that about. Aries (March 21–April 19) Well-meaning parents often drive their children directly toward whatever it is they want them to steer clear of. By being a source of confusing anger and stern reprimands, they make the forbidden ever so much more comforting and desirable, whether it's a "bad" boy/girlfriend, cigarettes, or booze. There's a way to be compassionate, and, ultimately, to create much more desirable alternatives. When considering how to guide someone you love through a difficult situation, remember the above example. Negativity or anger are more likely to exacerbate than help. Can you see how being a loving, compassionate presence, one who allows for and creates the possibility of better choices, would make them more likely actually to pursue those options? Taurus (April 20–May 20) Even though you get where they're coming from, you may be in a position where you must tell someone that their demands are simply unreasonable or unrealistic. Given their state of mind, this won't be easy, and should be approached with caution (beware of flying crockery!). However, allowing their delusions to continue by tacitly agreeing to them (and not actively disagreeing may be construed as exactly that) would be a grave mistake that would probably result in even more angst (and projectiles). Wear protective gear if necessary, but step up and provide the reality check they desperately need (and may not "want"). Gemini (May 21–June 20) How well-established and clear are your boundaries? I suspect that many of the problems you're experiencing right now are caused by a lack of clearly established and communicated limits. You'll find that once you make it obvious what you expect, as well as what you will or won't accept, most of the people concerned will do their best to honor your wishes. You may also discover that the rare occasions when they do cross a line are both more forgivable and more correctable. Stop blaming other people for intruding on your comfort zone, when you haven't really made the effort to let them know just where that is. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Here's the problem: Every time you've gotten hurt, it's made you more reluctant to trust and be vulnerable. While that's understandable, it's hardly healthy or likely to lead to greater happiness. This week, you must begin to focus on a new direction. Instead of allowing your past experiences to progressively narrow and limit your world and shrink your horizons, let them instruct you. Here's a revolutionary concept: Everything you've been through should make you quicker to trust, not slower, because after all you've experienced you should have a better idea who's worthy of trust—and who's not. Leo (July 23–Aug. 22) When you look in the mirror, I'm sure what you see there isn't perfect (and if you think it is, get a second opinion from someone who'll be honest with you). Some days you'll like what you see better than on other days. However, this week I want you to focus on ensuring that the person reflected back is someone you generally like more with every passing day, not less. You probably have a few ideas on how to do that, but I want you to brainstorm more. By the end of the week, you should have dozens. And by the end of the month, you should have plans in place on how to implement most of them.