February invites us to restore our hope for a better future for all of Earth's inhabitants. Over the weeks to come, your unique mission becomes all the more clear as well as the people you'll need to help you accomplish your vision. Even though the Rona has restricted the way we connect with others, we're being challenged to find innovative ways to maintain a sense of community and connection. Check out the horoscopes to see what's in store for your zodiac sign in the month ahead!
AriesAriesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month kicks off with Venus moving into Aquarius which has you wanting to spend some quality time with your friends. The New Moon on the 11th is a supportive time for collaborating with like-minded folks that are equally as passionate as changing the world for the better, just as you are. Be mindful of your triggers around the 17th, particularly when it comes to outdated patterns of relating to others. You're naturally competitive which can sometimes rear its ugly head in your relationships. There's enough room for everyone to shine.
When the Sun shifts into Pisces, you're invited to lay low in preparation for your birthday season. Once Mercury goes direct on the 20th, you're crystal clear about who is #TeamAries and who isn't. On the 25th, Venus enters Pisces, encouraging you to unplug from the chaos of the world to reconnect with Spirit to receive instructions for your steps in this next year around the Sun. You're making a big impact through your social media presence when Jupiter trines the North Node. Consider how you want to influence people that look up to you. February wraps up with a Full Moon helping you resolve bad habits that interfere with the lifestyle you want to experience.
TaurusTaurusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
February is a busy month for you particularly surrounding your career development. With Venus and the New Moon in this part of your chart, you're encouraged to think beyond your material desires. How can you be of service to others through the work that you do? You have the ability to influence others in a major way so make sure you lead with integrity instead of force. Tensions may be high around the 17th as you try to find a middle ground between working your ass off and finding some time for you. Rome wasn't built overnight so take a break to avoid burnout. The Sun shifts into Pisces on the 18th, lighting up your social life. Make the extra effort to connect with others whether that be through social media or planning a girls' night.
On the 20th, Mercury goes direct, helping you clear up any miscommunications with an authority figure. If you've been wanting to talk about a promotion, the weeks ahead are more supportive of your efforts. When Venus shifts into Pisces, you're encouraged to dream a little more. What does your "Heaven on Earth" look like? It's time to invest in your talents when Jupiter meets up with the North Node. A possible shift in career is likely if you're out of alignment with your destiny. The month ends with a Full Moon encouraging you to explore a creative outlet to restore your peace of mind.
GeminiGeminiLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month ahead invites you to expand beyond your comfort zone with Venus transiting through Aquarius. When the planet of love meets up with the New Moon on the 11th, you're ready to commit to a path that will elevate your mind and spirit, making this a good time to go back to school, sign up for that workshop, or read up on a topic of interest. When Saturn squares Uranus on the 17th, be mindful of how others impose their truth upon you. As free-spirited as you are, you must learn to trust your path. There is no guru outside of you. When the Sun shifts into Pisces, do your best to stay grounded when it comes to your career goals. You've got some lofty goals. A little strategy and a whole lot of discipline will take you far.
Your ruling planet goes direct on the 20th, helping you move stuck travel plans forward. If you've been waiting on that visa or passport, it's on the way sooner than you think. On the 25th, Venus shifts into Pisces to miraculously clear up any stuck energy related to your career progression. Your faith is necessary in receiving creative solutions for any challenges you're facing. A much-needed shift in your life path could be up for review when Jupiter meets up with the North Node. By the end of the month, matters of home and family take precedence. Give yourself a chance to recharge so you can be more productive with your work.
CancerCancerLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The beginning of the month is a bit more introspective for you as you sift through rigid thought patterns that are stifling your growth. When Venus and the New Moon meet up in Aquarius, there's a deep desire for freedom to express yourself uninhibitedly. It's time to come out of your shell, babe. Be mindful of inner conflict that you're feeling around the 17th. You've got some big dreams in mind but your inner critic may be louder than your faith. Try not to feed into any self-deprecating thoughts and get into your affirmations to create a more empowering narrative that will help you align with your goals. When the Sun shifts into Pisces, you may find it difficult to stay focused as you daydream about your next vacay.
Mercury Retrograde wraps up on the 20th, making it a good time to start planning for that international getaway. If you've recently applied for a loan or grant, you'll likely receive news about an approval in the weeks to come. On the 25th, Venus enters Pisces, inviting you to merge with the Divine. Spend time meditating, read your favorite spiritual books, or attend a workshop for developing your intuitive gifts. When Jupiter and the North Node meet up on the 26th, you are deeply tuned into your Higher Power which may provide you with instructions for you next steps through your dreams. The Full Moon at the end of the month invites you to get organized. You can't put off your to-do list any longer. Create a reward system for yourself to motivate you to follow through with your responsibilities.
LeoLeoLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Boundaries are your best friend this month. When Venus enters Aquarius, you're ready to get serious when it comes to matters of love. Get clear about your expectations and your vision so you don't waste time on someone who is all talk but no action. The New Moon on the 11th could have you starting a new business partnership. Triple check the terms of agreement since we're still navigating Mercury Retrograde. Frustrations may be at a high when Saturn squares Uranus on the 17th. If someone in the workplace has been a little too pushy with you, calmly assert yourself or step away from the situation to give yourself some breathing room.
When the Sun shifts into Pisces, it's time to get real about some emotional hang-ups that you've been avoiding. On the 20th, Mercury goes direct, granting you clarity on the direction that a commitment is going in. You'll have a chance to take this connection deeper when Venus shifts into Pisces on the 25th. If you desire more intimacy, you have to be willing to show someone all of you—not just the pretty, shiny parts that the world adores you for. A game-changing collaboration starts coming together around the 25th, helping you move closer towards your dreams and the end of the month affirms that when you let go of your insecurities, anything is possible.
VirgoVirgoLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The beginning of the month invites you to get your practical affairs in order. Life has been hectic but try not to forget that self-care is just as integral to your routine as handling your tasks at work. The New Moon on the 11th is the perfect time to create a new routine that reflects a better work-life balance. You may be feeling restless around the 17th if you've been drowning in responsibility. If you're not able to take a vacay at the moment, create a vision board on Pinterest to kickstart the manifestation process.
When the Sun shifts into Pisces, your relationships take center stage. Reassess the balance of give and take in your partnerships and contractual agreements. On the 20th, Mercury finally goes direct, clearing up any confusion and disorganization in your life. When Venus shifts into Pisces on the 25th, it's important that you're seeing your relationships clearly and not just projecting your fantasy onto other people. You may find yourself making some changes in your career when Jupiter and the North Node meet up. Keep in mind that the work that you're doing now is simply a stepping stone to where you want to be. The month wraps up with a Full Moon in your sign, encouraging you to retire the martyrdom act and finally put yourself first.
LibraLibraLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The beginning of the month invites you to explore you to put your to-do list to the side to nurture your inner child. With Venus transiting through Aquarius, you're encouraged to explore your creativity. The New Moon on the 11th is a good time for starting a new hobby or project. When it comes to matters of love, you're looking to partner up with someone that you can make a difference in the world with. On the 17th, be mindful of how your fears stifle your creative expression. In more simple terms, stop overthinking it and allow the flow of inspiration to be channeled through you.
The Sun shifts into Pisces on the 18th, bringing your focus to your health and routines. Try to work in a little exercise routine while you binge watch your fave Netflix series. Once Mercury goes direct, you're more clear on where a casual relationship is headed. When Venus enters Pisces, you'll be challenged to stick to those lifestyle changes you're making. Aligning yourself with someone who shares a similar approach to life will keep you on track with your fitness goals. When Jupiter trines the North Node, your spirit is calling you to level up by embracing a leadership role. The Full Moon helps clear out past life energy that inhibits you from believing in your skills and abilities. Get into those affirmations to boost your confidence!
ScorpioScorpioLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The first part of February invites you to tend to matters of family and home with Venus transiting through Aquarius. The New Moon on the 11th could have you considering your next move. Be mindful of signing a new lease or closing on a house until Mercury goes direct later this month. If you're on a tight deadline, triple check the terms of agreement. When Saturn squares off with Uranus, it could result in some tension in your living environment. A desire for freedom may clash with existing obligations whether it be your job or relationship.
When the Sun enters Pisces, exploring your creative side may be the break that you need from the monotony of your routine. On the 20th, Mercury goes direct, giving you the green light to renovate, relocate, or invest in property. The planet of love enters Pisces on the 25th, sweeping you right off your feet. Surrender to the magic of romance without getting caught up in the long-term. Around the 25th, you'll need to be flexible, particularly regarding shared resources with a partner. The two of you have the ability to be successful in whatever venture you set your sights on but it will require compromise. The month wraps up with a Full Moon reminding you just how important you are to your tribe.
SagittariusSagittariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
February kicks off with you focused on the mundane tasks on your to-do list. With Mercury Retrograde in this part of your chart, you may find yourself revisiting some unfinished business. When Venus and the New Moon meet up in this part of your chart, you're curious about a new topic of interest, making this a good time to take a course, buy some books, or do some research online. You may be conflicted around the 17th when Saturn squares off with Uranus. Life has gotten extremely busy lately, making it important for you sustain your work-life balance.
When the Sun shifts into Pisces, your focus is on family, home, and emotional security. This is a more sensitive time for you. Surround yourself with nurturing people and do your part in taking care of your beautiful heart. Mercury finally goes direct on the 20th, helping you get more clear about a message that you need to communicate to someone that has you fixated. On the 25th, Venus joins the Sun, inviting you to spend a little more time at home to rest and recharge. A relationship matter changes for the better when Jupiter trines the North Node. Miraculous turnarounds and breakthroughs reflect the fated nature of this connection. The month comes to a close with a Full Moon, offering you a chance to step into the limelight. Stay ready so you don't have to get ready!
CapricornCapricornLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Money matters are your priority in the beginning of the month but what's new with the boss b*tch of the zodiac? When Venus meets up with the New Moon on the 11th, be mindful of emotional spending. Put yourself on a strict budget to stay on track with your financial goals. A new opportunity could present itself around this time but keep in mind that Mercury is still retrograde. If you must accept this offer, triple check the contractual agreement before making a commitment. If you're feeling frustrated around the 17th, that's just your inner child throwing a tantrum. You can only work so much. Gift yourself the freedom of doing something just for fun.
When the Sun shifts into Pisces, handling your daily obligations is a little more difficult. Create a reward system for handling your business so you can stay focused. Mercury finally goes direct on the 20th, giving you the green light for a new job opportunity. On the 25th, Venus enters Pisces which has you feeling super romantic. Write some poetry or jam out to your favorite ballads to channel your feels. A change in your lifestyle or work is likely due to an "aha" moment you're having on the 26th. The month comes to a close with a Full Moon encouraging you to take a leap of faith to bring about the change you desire.
AquariusAquariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
All eyes are on you with Venus transiting through your sign. The New Moon on the 11th invites you to plant the seeds for what you'd like to accomplish in the year ahead as you establish a new set of rules for how you want to live your life. On the 17th, Saturn squares off with Uranus which could have you feeling pulled between your needs and those of your family. When it comes down to it, choosing yourself is what's best for everyone involved. A growing need to create an identity separate from your family can no longer be ignored.
On the 18th, the Sun shifts into Pisces, bringing your focus to money, material assets, and your values. Miraculous financial breakthroughs are possible as well as deep healing related to self-esteem issues. Mercury finally goes direct on the 20th, lifting the fog of confusion and clearing your path of any delays. When Venus shifts into Pisces, be mindful of emotional spending habits. Although you're tapped into the abundance of the Universe, try not to abuse your power by being superficial. On the 26th, you're ready to tap into your creative potential. Stop over-identifying with the old you to embrace the upgraded version that wants to express itself. The month winds down with a Full Moon, helping you settle imbalances with your finances and within your closest relationships.
PiscesPiscesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The beginning of the month is more introspective for you with Venus transiting through Aquarius. As introverted as you already are, there will be an increased desire for privacy as you reconnect with your Higher Power for some spiritual medicine. The New Moon serves as a catalyst for phasing out old cycles and habits that you've been stuck in for quite some time (maybe even for lifetimes). Clear out your karma so you can enter into your new solar year light as a feather. If you're feeling overwhelmed around the 17th, schedule a little time in your day to do what you do best—daydream. You're not the biggest fan on the mundane tasks so it's important that you cultivate a little magic in your life on a daily basis.
When the Sun shifts into Pisces on the 18th, all eyes are on you in celebration of your birthday season. Your vitality is at its peak during this time of year so make the most of it. Mercury finally goes direct on the 20th, helping you make sense out of all of the spiritual downloads you've been receiving over the past few weeks. On the 25th, Venus shifts into your sign and the blessings are pouring in. This is also a supportive time for revamping your appearance to match the new and improved you. Your ancestors are surrounding you closer than ever when Jupiter trines the North Node. You can't hold back anymore. Your destiny is calling. The month closes with a Full Moon encouraging you to compromise within a significant partnership or choose to amicably part ways.
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What Are Intrusive Thoughts & How Do We Manage Them?
TW: some depictions of intrusive thoughts may be disturbing for readers.
Have you ever caught your mind drifting off to entertain the most disturbing scenarios imaginable? Maybe you can’t stop thinking of all the ways a loved one could pass away or worrying that you left every candle lit in your apartment to which you’d return to a home in ruins. If distressing ruminations like these have crossed your mind, you may be experiencing an intrusive thought.
What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted or distressing thoughts, images, or impulses that pop into your mind without your control or consent. These thoughts can be repetitive, unsettling, or even violent in nature, and can cause anxiety and frustration for those who experience them.
“Generally they're unwanted thoughts that come up in our head that interrupt what we're doing or thinking, and can feel very foreign,” says Adia Gooden, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and host of the Unconditionally Worthy podcast. “It’s any thought that intrudes or interrupts what you are doing. They can be distressing and upsetting for us because it feels like we are not in control of them, and they're coming up out of nowhere and aren’t in line with how you normally think.”
What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?
Certain trauma or stress can contribute to the development of intrusive thoughts, so having a challenging experience from the past or current life situations may trigger them to form. “An intrusive thought could come in the form of a flashback, image, or a thought about something that's happened to you,” Dr. Gooden tells xoNecole. “When it gets to the point where you feel like you can't function or make clear decisions, that's when intrusive thoughts become really challenging.”
While some of the 1 billion videos found under the #intrusivethoughts hashtag on TikTok would lead you to believe that these thoughts are nothing more than casual displays of our imagination going untamed. Intrusive thoughts are more than sticking your hand in a soap dispenser, wanting to cut all your hair off at 3 a.m., or having a random impulse to eat fake bread in public.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America reports that approximately six million individuals, equating to roughly two percent of the American population, encounter intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are often linked with obsessive-compulsive disorders, but they can also manifest in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety.
Examples of Common Intrusive Thoughts
Because of the explicit nature of intrusive thoughts, they tend to cause shame and internal conflict in those who experience them. Although these thoughts can differ from person to person, these ideation can consist of:
- Violent or aggressive thoughts towards oneself or others, such as harming or killing someone;
- Sexual thoughts that are unwanted or inappropriate;
- Repetitive thoughts, such as a song or a phrase that keeps repeating in your mind;
- Contamination or germ-related thoughts or the fear of contamination and getting sick;
- Religious or blasphemous thoughts, such as questioning one's faith or having thoughts that go against religious beliefs;
- Doubts or uncertainty about one's own actions or decisions, such as fear of making a mistake or fear of not doing something right.
Intrusive Thoughts and OCD
That’s why Dr. Gooden encourages everyone to understand the difference between our fleeting thoughts and impulses and true, intrusive thoughts. “What level of distress does it cause and is it something you would never consider,” she says. “If you're finding that these thoughts are getting in the way of you living your life and that you're controlled by the thoughts, those are some signs that it would be good to get some support in navigating it.”
She also emphasizes the importance of understanding that while we may not always have control over our thoughts, we can control our behavior. “On TikTok, people are sort of blaming intrusive thoughts on their behavior, and our behavior is always a choice,” she says. “If we are in our right mind and we're not having a psychotic episode, our behavior is our choice — we are not obligated to follow any given thought that we have.”
Are Intrusive Thoughts Normal?
With intrusive thoughts, it’s natural to question whether these thoughts are “normal” to have. However, these thoughts are not meant to define who you are as a person but simply indicate that you have a functioning human mind with automated thoughts that you, or any of us, can’t control. These thoughts may come, but they don’t have to be acted upon, nor do they define who you are.
“I've worked with clients in the past who say, ‘Why am I thinking these things? What's wrong with me?’ But if you're not acting on the thought, then it's probably not a huge issue,” Dr. Gooden says. “If you are thinking a harmful thought towards yourself or someone else and you are making plans to act on that thought, then yes, we need to do something about it.”
How To Manage Intrusive Thoughts
If you are struggling with managing unwanted thoughts, Dr. Aida suggests taking these tips to help manage your mindset when they occur:
- "Recognize that it's a thought and thoughts are just thoughts. We often put a little bit too much weight on our thoughts, and that can create a lot of distress. But remember that thoughts are not facts."
- "Having a thought that's disturbing or upsetting doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't mean that you are suffering from a mental illness."
- "Sometimes the best thing you can do is say, 'Huh, that was an interesting thought. I'm going to let that go. That thought is not helpful for me right now."
- "Ask yourself: is this helpful? Is it helpful for me to buy into this thought and believe this thought? Asking that question can be really helpful because we are not at the mercy of our thoughts. If it's not helpful, you can let it go."
Intrusive thoughts can feel bizarre and foreign when they come up, but they aren't inherently "bad." Our minds can sometimes be filled with random and inappropriate thoughts, but that's what our stream of consciousness does: it thinks. Fortunately, we can release those thoughts at any moment; you don't have to follow through with them.
And ultimately, not every TikTok diagnosis is one that we should label ourselves with.
"It's important for people to acknowledge what they're experiencing but not run too quickly to diagnose themselves with some mental illness or disorder," Dr. Gooden advises. "It ends with confusion, and we miss the opportunity to understand the people who really do have that mental health challenge."
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