Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) If you can't be there personally, be careful whom you choose to represent you. Not everyone who'd volunteer truly has your best interests at heart. In fact, most would put their own selfish desires first and only look after what's good for you once their own needs are taken care of. This is likely to have small consequences if you're just sending someone to do the grocery shopping, but tremendous ones if there's more at stake, like a job or a lover. It might feel harsh to pass over the first volunteer and elect someone who might not even want the job; however, that is nevertheless what I'd recommend. Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) You couldn't be more surprised if the Queen of England showed up on your doorstep and declared you heir to the throne. Unfortunately, if you land in a position of power on any scale, it's not likely to be as good a deal as it seems at first. In fact, if I were you, I'd be highly suspicious—whoever put you up for the job was probably trying to avoid falling into a trap themselves. However, now that the Queen's here, it's not as though you can tell her to take back the crown and go home. Now that you know this is a curse dressed as a blessing, you can start looking for the silver lining of this shitstorm. It may not be as huge or shiny as you'd wish, but it's there. Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) It's as if you're desperately thirsty but refusing to drink because the restaurant has only lemonade, beer, and water, and you're craving iced tea. Yes, the options before you are nothing like what you came looking for, but they're what's actually on the menu. Raising a stink isn't going to make what you want appear out of thin air. Yes, you could walk out and try someplace different, but chances are it'll be more of the same. Make the best of things as they are right now, instead of wishing they were otherwise or passing them up because they're not perfect. Have a damn beer, chill out, and enjoy it as much as you can. Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Watch out for the sucker punch. You've gone relatively unchallenged for so long that the only way anybody will have the guts to try knock you down is by attempting to surprise you, go behind your back, or otherwise take advantage of your laid-back nature and your trust. Now don't get all paranoid and suspicious. The vast majority of the people in your life still deserve the benefit of the doubt. One or two people you know are a little shadier. You know whom I'm talking about. Keep an eye on them this week. Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) Here's to quitting your day job, or transforming it into something you actually like. That means being more imaginative, resourceful, and risk-taking than you have been this past year. While it's not necessarily time to take the leap just yet, that moment is fast approaching. You already have some ideas about how you might bring about this exciting and, you hope, more fulfilling chapter of your breadwinning career. Spend this week setting yourself up so that when it's time to jump, you'll be suited up and ready, with a parachute and a soft place to land. Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) People change, even you. While your thorough self-knowledge can be a strength, as with all such things it can hold you back as well. What you knew about yourself years ago may no longer be true, only you haven't bothered to check. Your assumption that you're the same person you were a decade ago is more wrong than right. Take a minute to review what you think you know about yourself. Some of your dreams, desires, and preferences have mutated while you weren't looking. Take a few minutes to reassess and reorder your priorities accordingly. Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20) How long will you let yourself feel stuck in your own skin? Everyone wants to change, and you've already figured out that you're not like those impetuous Aries or determined Capricorns; you can't wreak true transformation on yourself overnight. You need time to practice being the new you, time to unlearn your habits. Give yourself that time this week. Hint: It's a lot easier to try on a new way of being in a place where no one knows you. Head out of town to get your practice in. When you get back home, you won't be a different person, but you'll be a step or two closer to the you you want to be than you were before. Aries (March 21–April 19) Learn tact. Usually you just bumble through with your brash, uncensored honesty and people roll with it, forgiving you when you go too far and finding you hilarious and refreshing when it's just enough. However, that strategy doesn't always work, because it requires a certain amount of goodwill on the part of those listening to you. Your style of somewhat-brutal truth only makes those already hostile toward or suspicious of you more defensive. This week might require a bit more diplomacy. You actually know more about being polite and subtle than you let on. This week, show us just how inoffensive you can be. Taurus (April 20–May 20) Knowing what you like is mostly a good thing, but it's also limiting. Just because the rut you're stuck in is comfortable doesn't make it any less a rut. Go ahead and stick to the tried-and-true most of the time, but make openings so something fresh and unfamiliar can enter your life. Resolve to try one new thing a day, starting now. Out of the 365 things you'll sample in the next year, I predict no fewer than 12 will make you wonder how you lived without them before, and one will have the potential to transform your life. On one hand, this may not seem like a great ratio—343 "failed" experiments await you, after all—but on the other, I can't see how you could pass it up, anyway. Gemini (May 21–June 20) Don't get too upset if you're disrespected by someone you barely know this week. Also, don't go out of your way to try to "fix" their ideas about you. People are likely not only to see their own skewed version of you, but to misinterpret what you're up to. I wouldn't waste my time trying to correct them right now. Instead, keep up with your own agenda, and give these people as little time, thought, and energy as you can get away with right now. There'll be time to address their misconceptions later, if you still want to. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Some people just plain don't like you, and they're not likely to be shy about expressing it this week. What you have to ask yourself is this: Do they hate who you are, or your actions? Obviously, if it's your very identity they disapprove of, there's not much you can do about it; I'd just ignore it, and them, in that case. If it's what you're up to that's consternating them, however, that's a different story, since it's something you could actually do something about. Ask yourself if you could quit what you're doing to make someone happy. In most cases the answer would be, "Screw that," but this week I'll wager it's worth asking yourself twice. Leo (July 23–Aug. 22) You're you without apology, and you wouldn't really have it any other way. However, that does occasionally lead to tough situations in which you have to face the fact that some people just can't stand you. Stick to your guns anyway, even in the face of what may turn into open hostility. Be real. What you'll discover is that your enemies and critics are no less likely to back down than you are. However, when you boldly stand your ground and face them, your allies are much more likely to come out of the woodwork, and chances are—if you've been principled and consistent, anyway—they'll outnumber your detractors two to one.