The New Year has finally arrived after the wild ride that was 2020. This month we've got Mars finally shifting out of impulsive Aries after a six-month stint into down-to-earth Taurus for the next couple of months, gifting us with a more grounded, steady approach to our 2021 resolutions. When Venus and the Moon meet up in Capricorn, it's time to get serious, whether that's taking a relationship to the next level or committing to that new career goal. The middle of the month could shake things up once Uranus goes direct. Towards the end of the month, things are getting a little weird with our first Mercury Retrograde of the year. Read more to see how this month's cosmic blueprint affects your zodiac sign!
AriesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The New Year starts off on a high note with Mars leaving your sign and transitioning into Taurus to help mellow you out. When Mars enters Taurus on the 6th, you're taking a slow and steady pace towards your financial goals. On the 8th, Mercury shifts into Aquarius reigniting the flame of passion towards your dreams. Rally the troops, Aries. There are people that can't wait to be a part of what you're creating! When Venus and the Moon meet up on the 13th, you're attracting positive feedback from an influential figure that could help boost your own social status through an opportunity extended to you.
On the 14th, Uranus goes direct which could require you to switch up your approach to making money. Don't limit your abundance by pigeon-holing yourself into one lane when you have the ability to expand in other directions. When Jupiter squares this part of your chart you're encouraged to embrace the changing tide guiding you toward a new tribe. Aquarius season officially begins on the 19th, assisting you in making new friends and growing your social media following. The Full Moon on the 28th invites you to nurture your inner child by going on an adventure or doing something creative. Some of you may even announce a pregnancy around this time. January winds down with Mercury going retrograde, giving you a chance to revisit some old connections that may have the potential to be integrated into your life again.
TaurusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
January begins with Mars transitioning into your sign after a six-month long stint in Aries. Over the next couple of months, you'll have a lot more energy to get things done with a slow and steady approach. When Mercury enters Aquarius, you're focused on strategizing your way up the career ladder. On the 13th, Venus meets up with the Moon which could have you attracting romance from overseas or from someone who is culturally different from you. When it comes to finances, imports and exports are on the brain as you come up with some ways to work around the current shipping delays.
Uranus goes direct on the 14th which could have you feeling a little agitated. Be mindful of your temper leading up to Jupiter squaring off with Uranus on the 17th. Either your supervisor, or someone in a position of authority, is getting on your last nerve. Don't let them take you there! On the 19th, the Sun enters Aquarius which could have you receiving recognition for handling a recent career challenge with such grace. The Full Moon on the 28th could stir up some tension within the home environment or family unit. Take a deep breath and count to ten before responding. The month closes with Mercury going retrograde, inviting you to reassess your strategy for success. Work smarter, not harder.
GeminiLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The New Year kicks off with Mars entering Taurus on the 6th which could have your energy levels lower than usual. Avoid doing the most during this transit and pace yourself when it comes to achieving your goals in the year ahead. When Venus and the New Moon meet up on the 13th, financial support lands in your lap from an unexpected source. On the 14th, Uranus stations direct after disrupting your subconscious for the past five months. The greatest revolution is our personal, inner transformation. When Jupiter squares this part of your chart, you may feel like someone is trying to enforce their way onto you as if they're some Higher Power. Avoid getting sucked into their drama of self-righteousness and continue along your own path.
The Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th, encouraging you to expand your horizons and making this a good time to go back to school or sign up for that workshop to refine your knowledge. On the 28th, the Full Moon motivates you to use your gift of gab to catapult you into the spotlight. It's your time to shine, superstar! January winds down with your ruling planet going retrograde, making it a good time to review any travel plans, study material, or written work to make sure everything is in order. If you're taking a trip, make sure to arrive at the airport earlier than usual to avoid delays!
CancerLaci Jordan for xoNecole
You can finally breathe a sigh of relief now that Mars has exited fellow cardinal sign Aries and transitioned into slow and steady Taurus. The troops are rallying around in support of you so make sure you're using your social network to your advantage. When Mercury shifts into Aquarius, you're focused on analyzing your emotional landscape which could have you feeling a bit disconnected from others. On the 8th, Venus enters Capricorn which has you considering a long-term commitment with your current partner. If you're single, the New Moon on the 13th could orchestrate a fated encounter with someone who will be significant to you in the year ahead.
On the 14th, Uranus goes direct which could be the lucky break you've been waiting for to catapult your brand or business to the next level. Unfortunately, with your success comes jealousy from those intimidated by your will power to make sh*t happen. The Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th, inviting you to take a more objective look at some of the painful experiences you typically cling to, but this energy helps you healthily detach that old sob story. The Full Moon on the 28th helps you resolve any financial issues by clearing out debt and those frivolous spending habits you've developed during the quarantine. January wraps up with Mercury going retrograde, guiding you to uncover another layer of your healing process.
LeoLaci Jordan for xoNecole
There's a lot of action taking place for your sign this mont,h starting off with Mars transitioning into Taurus which has you feeling the pressure to make an impression within your chosen career path. When Mercury enters Aquarius on the 8th, you're having some important conversations with a significant other, business partner, or employer. On the 13th, Venus links up with the New Moon in Capricorn inviting you to get more disciplined when it comes to your health. A new workout plan could be just what you need to jumpstart your fitness resolutions.
Lay low around the 14th as there will likely be a bit of a shake up when Uranus stations direct. Between your boss and your spouse, you may feel like you've had enough of everyone's demands when Jupiter squares Uranus on the 17th. The Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th, encouraging you to partner up with more like-minded people that can help you achieve your dreams. The Full Moon in your sign on the 28th is a great time to reveal your new hairstyle or ensemble you've been dying to show off. The month winds down with our first Mercury retrograde of the year giving you a chance to revise existing contracts and agreements so they serve all parties involved.
VirgoLaci Jordan for xoNecole
After a crazy 2020, you're still feeling pretty optimistic about the New Year, thanks to Mars finally letting up on the gas in Aries and transitioning into Taurus on the 6th. Over the next couple of months, your energy will be exerted towards higher learning, international affairs, and long-distance travel. When Venus and the New Moon meet up in Capricorn, you're feeling the romance in the air. Work can wait another day. Schedule some time to cuddle with bae or have a coffee date with a new suitor. On the 14th, Uranus goes direct, gifting you a much-needed "a-ha" moment about something that has been holding up your spiritual growth.
Be mindful of how much time you're spending on online—whether you're researching your latest topic of interest or casually scrolling through Twitter. When Jupiter squares Uranus on the 17th, you could be experiencing technology burnout. Close your laptop and put your phone on DND for a day. On the 19th, the Sun enters Aquarius encouraging you to find a community to hold you accountable for your health and fitness goals. The Full Moon on the 28th motivates you to wrap up a cycle in which you've been dimming your shine. January comes to a close with Mercury going retrograde, inviting you to revisit an old routine that contributed to a more balanced lifestyle.
LibraLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The New Year kicks off with Mars entering Taurus, directing your energy towards healing emotional wounds and traumas that affected your self-esteem. On the 8th, Mercury enters Aquarius encouraging you to indulge in some romance. If you're single, you could actually wind up getting lucky on a dating app over the next few weeks. When Venus and the New Moon meet up in Capricorn, you're setting new foundations with some long-term investments, making this the perfect time to buy a new home or rental property.
Uranus goes direct on the 14th which could cause some emotional disruptions, especially when Jupiter squares this part of your chart on the 17th. You'll be a little more sensitive around this time so be gentle with yourself and avoid harsh people that ruffle your feathers. On the 19th, the Sun enters Aquarius, reminding you to let your freak flag fly. Most people know you to be prim and proper but it's time to let your wild side out to give voice to your creative genius. The Full Moon on the 28th could be a time of sudden growth, especially if you're an aspiring influencer. January wraps up with Mercury going retrograde and some former romantic interests hitting you up in your DMs.
ScorpioLaci Jordan for xoNecole
January is packed with a lot of action for you this month, starting out with Mars entering Taurus which has you directing your energy towards relationships, business partnerships, and contractual agreements. Over the next couple of months, you could find yourself solidifying more solid connections, whether professionally or romantically. When Mercury enters Aquarius, home and family matters receive much of your attention. On the 13th, Venus nestles up with the New Moon in Capricorn which has you on the receiving end of some important communications about your career and finances.
A minor shake up in a significant partnership can occur when Uranus goes direct on the 14th. When Jupiter squares this part of your chart, be mindful of reacting strongly to other people's annoying behavior. The Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th, encouraging you to redefine what family means for you. Planning for renovations or a relocation is also supported. You could be celebrating a long-awaited career breakthrough around the Full Moon in Leo. See where hard work and consistent effort gets you? The month comes to a close with Mercury going retrograde. Avoid signing a lease or closing on a house until mid-March to avoid issues later down the line.
SagittariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The New Year kicks off with you setting some intentions to improve your health when Mars enters Taurus on the 6th. Although this is a time in which you'll likely want to lean into what makes you comfortable, you're encouraged to create some new habits and routines that truly support your well-being. When Mercury enters Aquarius, you're strategizing ways to expand your reach on within your local community, making this a good time to embrace your humanitarian side. On the 13th, Venus meets up with the Moon in Capricorn, helping you attract a new opportunity that will help you achieve more long-lasting financial security.
When Jupiter squares Uranus on the 17th, be mindful of erratic communication, particularly with people in the workplace. With these planets duking it out in fixed signs, there could be a clash of opinions. Do your best to handle it with grace. On the 20th, the Sun enters Aquarius, making this a great time to work on that novel, blog, or website you want to launch. Revamping your social media aesthetic is also favorable during this time. The Full Moon on the 28th illuminates your path through some sort of spiritual breakthrough. The month wraps up with Mercury going retrograde, giving you a chance to make some final touches for your big debut.
CapricornLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Creativity and romance are lighting up your world when Mars enters Taurus on the 6th. If you've been wanting to start a project, now is the time to get to work. Just make sure to carve out some time for your inner child to play as well. When Venus enters your sign on the 8th, your personal magnetism has you on the receiving end of some amazing opportunities that can help you establish long-term wealth. The New Moon on the 13th invites you to reinvent yourself in some way, making this the perfect time for a new hairstyle or an overhaul of your wardrobe.
Around the middle of the month, Uranus goes direct, resulting in a pleasant surprise from a romantic suitor or someone that admires your creative gifts. You never know who's watching you these days. When Jupiter squares Uranus on the 17th, be mindful of making erratic decisions about your money. Aquarius season officially begins on the 19th, encouraging you to explore innovative ways to get in your bag. The Full Moon on the 28th motivates you to overcome any fears of standing out from the crowd. January wraps up with Mercury going retrograde, making this a good time to reassess your budget, debt, and savings plan.
AquariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
January is packed with action for you this month starting off with Mars directing your energy towards your home environment. The next couple of months invite you to indulge in your creature comforts. When Mercury enters your sign on the 8th, life is getting busy and everybody wants to be all up in your business. Don't be afraid to use the DND option on your phone when you need a break. On the 14th, Uranus goes direct which may require you to think on your toes if a sudden change arises on the home front. Emotions may be on edge when Jupiter squares Uranus so be mindful of family drama around this time.
Your birthday season officially begins when the Sun enters your sign on the 19th. It's time to reintroduce the world to the new you. The first quarter moon in Taurus helps you smooth out any tension that may have occurred with your family or roommates. A significant relationship or business partnership could be going through some changes as you choose to strike out on your own. The month comes to a close with Mercury retracing its steps through your sign, giving you the opportunity to double-back on an important conversation that was left open-ended.
PiscesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with Mars directing your energy towards all of the amazing money-making ideas you've had lately but lacked the vitality to follow through on. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Your disciplined effort can have you seeing big results in a short amount of time. When Venus enters Capricorn, you could find yourself attracting a lot of attention online, making this an opportune time to gather supporters for your dream team. The New Moon on the 13th encourages you to shoot for the stars and surround yourself with people that truly want to see you succeed.
On the 14th, Uranus goes direct which could have you striking gold with a genius idea. When the Sun enters Aquarius take some time to disconnect from the daily grind to reconnect with your Higher Power. The Full Moon on the 28th could reveal some hidden motives from someone in the workplace but it's nothing you can't handle with some nice, assertive boundaries or a simple "No, thanks. I'm not interested." January wraps up with our first Mercury Retrograde of the year inviting you to tie up loose ends so you can start your new solar year baggage-free.
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Featured image by Laci Jordan for xoNecole.com
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Whether it was your group chat, social media feed, or your favorite media outlet covering the spectacle, I’m pretty sure you’ve come across the viral Black wedding between actress KJ Smith (Sistas, Raising Kanan) and actor Skyh Black (All the Queen’s Men, Sistas). From their grand entrance to Jay-Z, Kayne West, and Beyoncé’s song “Lift Off” to KJ’s standout dance routine and the endless celebrity appearances, it’s an addictive TikTok scroll you can’t help but delve into.
But what many people would be surprised to know is that the couple’s original wedding plan was nothing like what it grew to be. What started as her simply scrolling through posts to get ideas eventually transformed into what the internet knows now as #TheBlackExperience. In an exclusive conversation with xoNecole, KJ walked us through her planning process, the morning of her wedding, and what she thinks of the online response.
Some women have their whole wedding planned out, from the bridal gown and venue to the bridal party and playlist. However, KJ was not one of those people. “I didn’t foresee a wedding in my future,” she reveals. “I was just gonna be the boss chick, rich auntie. I didn’t force love in my life until recently. I never had an idea of what a dream wedding would look like, it was easier for me to elope.”
Photo by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
And to many people’s surprise, that was their original plan – until Skyh brought up a valid concern. He was raised by his grandmother and thought she should be at the wedding, and naturally, that led to KJ wanting her grandmother to be there as well – then her mom – and later her sister – and, you’ve gotta invite the besties too, right? From there, the guest list continued to blossom. Much like the updo and pop of color bold red lip, she wore on her special day, which was initially on her Pinterest board as a soft glam look with her hair hanging on her shoulders, KJ is okay with changing her plan if it brings her and her loved ones happiness.
So let’s get into the wedding, which took place in Malibu, CA. The first thing you should know about the celebrity couple is that they’re non-traditional. They know, and they don’t care. So, in true unconventional fashion, they shared the morning of the wedding together.
“I woke up with Skyh, we walked our dog, had black coffee, and said good morning to the people who stayed at the venue with us,” she says.
Now, it was time for hair and makeup. While she was getting glammed up, she had Black-owned McBride Sisters wine and champagne (which ties into The Black Experience theme) on deck with her mom and friends, had her besties help rework her vows, retried on every outfit (sis is very Type-A), took photos, and ended the early-celebration with prayer and meditation. It seems very non-Bridezilla, I said.
“Yeah, I was the most unbothered bride ever. Everyone was just so supportive. As entertainers, we go on red carpets all the time. We actually have a production company,” she explains. “The get-ready process was like a day at work, but with people we love the most. Being entertainers, we didn’t feel stressed at all, but my excitement was so high.”
Things moved quickly, and before she knew it, it was time to line up to walk down the aisle.
“Yeah, I was the most unbothered bride ever. Everyone was just so supportive. As entertainers, we go on red carpets all the time. We actually have a production company. The get-ready process was like a day at work, but with people we love the most. Being entertainers, we didn’t feel stressed at all, but my excitement was so high.”
KJ Smith and her bridal party
Photo by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
Since everything started with their grandmothers, the couple wanted to ensure they honored them and planned to keep an element of their wedding traditional. Although we’ve all seen the reception videos and photos online, you may have noticed visuals from the wedding itself are harder to find.
“We planned for it to be traditional, but we’re not like that, so we tried to create those moments. We jumped the broom and had a salt ceremony (where the bride and groom individually pour salt into a glass container, symbolizing their lives becoming one.) But honestly, still, nothing was traditional about it.”
She goes on to explain that her mom caught the holy ghost coming down the aisle, her glam team was on deck, and she became so nervous with excitement that she had an anxiety attack – something she struggled with for years, she explains tearfully. Her friends had to literally cheer her down the aisle because of how overwhelmed she felt until she eventually calmed down.
“Skyh was standing there with his hand on his heart; we have our own little language, and I could feel the support,” she shares.
It was surprising to hear all these emotional moments happened before the party we saw online. That is until she once again got into the backstory.
“As a Black woman actress, for so long, it was popular to be mysterious and secretive, but that’s not who I am or what I like. Plus, we both wanted to create an experience for everyone there. We are the people who always host family and friends,” she says. “Like for me, the first order of business was getting sandals for the women so they can dance all night long. We had oxtail, D'ussé, and a coffee and sativa lounge – which is part of Skyh and I’s lifestyle and routine. We wanted to bring them into our world.”
Skyh Black (L) and KJ Smith (R)
Photo by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
She went on to discuss the dance routine she did for her husband at the reception, which has taken over the internet. Apparently, that’s another thing that didn’t go according to plan. According to KJ, she had promised a performance at their joint bachelor/ bachelorette party, but her outfit got stolen from her car. So, Skyh ended up performing for her – complete with a strip tease. Still, she never forgot her promise to dance for him.
So, she hired her friend as a choreographer, learned the routine, made friends and family watch it endless times, and attended Beyoncé’s Renaissance show a few days before for a confidence boost. It ended up being a show to remember. But that wasn’t all the night offered. Lil Mo performed, and the guests received special goody bags featuring their favorite Black-owned products like journals, hair care, and more.
“We made sure everyone was taken care of all night. That kind of stuff makes us happy. I wanted everyone there to experience the joy and love I have for myself, my partner, and for them. I wanted them to feel full and whole, and they had the time of their lives,” she says.
But naturally, the internet is going to internet, and while there were countless people praising the event and applauding the newlyweds, some thought it was too over the top. I was curious to know her thoughts on some of the criticism.
“It’s cool. We did what we wanted to do. I’ve decided to share my world with people. Just how I went on social media platforms and found inspiration, I want people to do the same,” she explains. “I don’t think it's fair to my supporters not to give that out. There’s so much I wanna share with brides, specifically Black brides. I love that people are adding it to their Pinterest boards."
"I wanted everyone there to experience the joy and love I have for myself, my partner, and for them. I wanted them to feel full and whole, and they had the time of their lives."
Photo by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
“I’m happy with it because we did what we wanted to do. They can do what they wanna do. Don’t be cruel, though, because you will get blocked,” she said, laughing.
The more I spoke with her, the more her sense of freedom shined through. People are always going to have their opinions, but at the end of the day, it’s you who has to live your life, and it seems like the couple realizes that and embraces that power. She also stressed the importance of not living for others and the lessons life has taught her.
“I’ve been to countless weddings, and I’ve been in countless weddings. I’m a generally older bride. So when women in my demographic get married, and you and your husband are busy working people like us, you deserve to have the one you want to have,” she shares.
“This is what we wanted to do. Our loved ones love and support us. We did so much to honor them, but we also wanted to start our own tradition, legacy, and creation. I'm not going to be pulled back into ideas of the past when I’m trying to create a future with my partner. “
If you’d like to see more of the couple, you probably won’t have to wait long. Although no content is planned yet, she admits to being an oversharer. “Me being open and transparent about my experiences lets people know it’s okay to have flaws; it makes you human, and for many years, I didn’t believe that was okay. I had pressure to be perfect, and I’d crumble every time,” she explains to xoNecole.
Now, she owns her flaws and uses them as a superpower to connect with her community and feel and express her love.
“Some people give us [Skyh and KJ] a hard time because they say we just seem too perfect. I’m like, why is that a bad thing? I love the people I love. From my man to my mama, to my friends - unabashedly. We move through time and space how we want to move. If we did it another way, we’d let ourselves and our union down.”
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Feature image by Stanley Babb/ Stanlo Photography
Aoki Lee Simmons Recalls Being Talked About For Her Looks As A Child & Where She Stands With Her Dad
It's hard to grow up underneath the harsh light and the scrutiny of the public eye. Add a supermodel mogul mom, a media mogul dad, reality TV shows, and Baby Phat runway shows to the mix, and you'll have a taste of what it was like for Aoki Lee Simmons growing up in the limelight. All that glitters isn't gold, and personal challenges don't discriminate against tax brackets.
Earlier this year, Aoki made headlines alongside her mom, Kimora Lee Simmons, as they publicly revealed what they had been going through privately as a family. Amid Russell Simmons' rape and sexual misconduct allegations, he is also estranged from the family, which all came to a head following a public dispute about Father's Day. Aoki supported her mother's claims that Russell had allegedly threatened their lives and also posted a recording of a video call between the two where he could be seen yelling at Aoki. She also told the public how damaging their conversations and relationship had become for her mental health.
Aoki would eventually stand by her truth in the days that followed, posting to her Instagram account, "Until a short time ago, this is the man who told me 'always defend and look after your mother girls' and 'never let a man curse at you, you call daddy if a man ever tries to yell at you or scare you that's never ok! Real men don't shout at women and girls." She added, "So to all the toxic men in my comments using 'I'm defending him' to be foul and talk about all the grievances you have with women, you can save it. It's pathetic. He would agree I know that for sure."
Despite navigating troubling times as a family, Aoki had an incredible year so far in terms of achievements. Alongside her part-time pursuit of modeling, she was able to graduate from Harvard University with a double major. At 20 years old at the time, she stands in history as one of the youngest Black women to accomplish such a win. One of her latest career moments can be found on the September cover of Teen Vogue.
The now-21-year-old spoke candidly about reading online about her looks as a kid, the advantages of being a "nepo baby," and where she stands on what happened with her dad.
Aoki on her looks being scrutinized and critiqued at a young age:
“At the time, I was reading a lot of crazy stuff: 'Poor her, she got the dad genes.' There were literally articles like, ‘Celebrity Kid Gone Wrong’ — and I was like, ‘Okay, I’m 11.’"
On benefitting from being a nepo baby:
“It’s totally true. I had no idea if I’d do modeling without my family, without their name helping me. I sometimes think when I look at shows or shoots — if I had done it, and it was that bad, and I was not me, would I get another shot? Would I have had the chance to develop the way that I have?”
“All you can do is be grateful and try to stay in your lane a bit."
Aoki on having no regrets about exposing her fractured relationship with her dad online:
“I don’t regret it. Part of it was already out there. There were reasons I thought it was reasonable to publish, because it was playing out in, like, a silent bubble.”
To read the cover story in full, head over toTeen Vogue.
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Featured image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows