Taurus (April 20–May 20) What do you do when you throw your heart into something, and all you get back is derision, sarcasm, and spite? While some enlightened part of you may recognize that the negativity coming your way has its roots in jealousy, insecurity, and some people's built-in defense mechanisms, that doesn't stop it from hurting. You may be tempted to simply pack up your things, give up, and go home. In fact, it may take every effort of will not to do so, but I hope you can find a way to keep on keeping on. Don't leave, and don't lash back. Instead, see if there's any shred of truth in the critiques you're hearing. Take that on, and let the rest just roll off your back. Gemini (May 21–June 20) Unless your parents home-schooled you in the boonies far away from other people, deprived you of television, and didn't even tell you about the Internet, there's no way you're as naive as you're pretending to be. You may actually be somewhat innocent here, but trying to play that up would just push it over the top, and everyone would start to have trouble suspending disbelief. Roll with what's happening. If it's truly new to you, soak it up like a sponge, instead of making sure everyone knows just how novel it is. You don't have to be anything other than what you are, but if you decide to push perception in one direction, make us think you're more worldly and experienced, not less. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Too much information is too much information. Even if you feel that what you've got to say is vital for everyone to know, pay attention to the cues you're getting. Sometimes people just don't want to know. Of course, you can always force this stuff on them, but why? Let people have their blissful ignorance if that's what they want. Enjoy the privacy and personal space that gives you as well. It's not going to hurt you much for them to remain unaware; it might cost them in some way, but that's their choice—not yours. Leo (July 23–Aug. 22) You're good, but you're not godly. This week's struggle is against that powerful ego of yours. When you receive well-deserved and hard-earned recognition for what you've done, it's difficult not to let it go to your head. The line between simply feeling proud of yourself (which you ought to) and believing you're a gift to all humanity gets blurry at these times, and too often you find yourself just a step or two on the wrong side. Grab some modesty and strap it on. Slather yourself in SPF 60 ego-block. Gorge on humble pie. Do whatever it takes to keep your pride from getting the best of you. Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) At first glance, seeing the new person in your life may feel just like looking in a mirror, but as you get to know them, you'll start to notice more and more differences—some of which are profound. Your first reaction is likely to be alarm. You might be disturbed that this person you thought was so much like you could disagree on such fundamental issues. Don't flee, though. These cracks in the mirror are where are all the interesting stuff is; here you'll find opportunities to learn about yourself, to grow, and to experience the exciting sparks that can be caused by that kind of friction. Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) I'm kicking myself for my own prejudices. Some of my favorite people come from your tribe, but I've met so many Librans who bored the hell out of me that I confess I sometimes don't give you guys the benefit of the doubt. It's unfair that you may have to start with a kind of deficit when you meet someone, and have to prove how interesting you are before you'll get your due. Unfortunately, you'll encounter this kind of thing often. Try not to resent it. After all, if you're a cool Libra, you've got more than enough talent to prove that you're worth knowing, if you care to, and more than enough friends not to bother proving anything if you don't feel like it. Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) You're feeling fairly strong and hard to topple these days, like a massive sequoia with roots spread deep into the earth, able to withstand hurricanes and forest fires and any other sort of massive calamity headed your way. But remove a small strip of bark from a tree in the wrong spot, and the tree will die. This is what you need to watch out for. You're relatively immune to the big stuff that could go wrong right now; the threat you need to worry about is insidious, tiny, and hard to detect, let alone resist. Minimize the chances that it'll find an opening. You know which weak spots need protection. Defend them well, but remember—it's best if no one else even figures out where and what they are. Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Your Jedi mind tricks won't work this time. Once, you could dissuade your critics or disarm your opponents with a word or a smile, but these days they're more persistent. They have more to gain now, and thus your usual tactics are no longer effective. You've got to step up your game, too. Your only real chance here is to stay one or two steps ahead of the people who want to trip you up, and that's going to involve more diligence, guile, and sweat-inducing labor than you're used to. Don't rely on clever tricks, charm, or luck. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) Don't expect unearned slack, nor even slack you may deserve. Although people really ought to let you get away with what you're up to this week, considering how much leeway you've given them in the past, don't hold your breath. They're going to call you on your shit, completely forgetting all the times you bit your tongue when your positions were reversed. Life's so not fair. Feel sorry for yourself later, though. For now, you've got to work on covering your ass and making sure you'll succeed despite the opposition and finger-pointing you'll be subject to in the coming weeks. Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Being patient sucks, especially when at the end of your long wait (which you endured as gracefully as possible) you don't even get what you were waiting for. That's why this week I'm giving you permission to toss patience out the window. Get out there and seize what you want. Do it as wisely and cleverly as possible, but don't delay another second. Haven't you waited long enough? It's now or never. Since the answer's going to be the same whether you ask the question immediately or wait, why not find out what it is right away, for good or ill? Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20) Forget about walls, armor, or psychic force-fields. They're all worse than useless right now. They can't keep out unwanted intruders, and they're only likely to signal that you have something worth protecting (and thus taking). Since you can't block intrusion with a wall, your chief hope is escaping notice altogether. Go invisible, or as close to it as you can manage. Be subtle, covert, and wear just enough camouflage to blend in with your surroundings. Don't go overboard—that's just as obvious as wearing a suit of armor. Luckily, the danger's clear; you'll know exactly when it's safe to come out of hiding. Aries (March 21–April 19) You're a person of conviction. It's written all over you, so you don't usually have to prove yourself. This week, however, requires that you go the extra mile in order to keep people from getting the wrong idea about you. Luckily, you have all the skills you'll require to navigate this week without hurt feelings, wrongful impressions, or disastrous misunderstandings. Those skills come naturally to you: being direct, forthright, brutally honest, and totally transparent. You may piss off or disappoint people by not telling them what they want to hear, but that's something you can live with. The anger or disappointment you'd face if you led them on, even by accident, would be much, much worse.