January is all about maintaining a positive vision for the future and finding your balance amid change. A lot is going on this month, yet everything that is occurring is bringing things back home. Life is moving at its own pace this month, and the more you can trust the timing of life and where things are moving, the more you can gain. The month begins in the midst of Capricorn Season, with Mercury and Mars both in retrograde. Plans may not fall through exactly how they were planned for the time being, yet everything is happening exactly how it needs to. With both these planets being in retrograde for half of the month, schedules, plans, and communication channels should be looked over thoroughly, and patience is needed.
Venus enters Aquarius on January 2nd, and love is to the community and the collective while Venus is in Aquarius. Relationships take on a lighter tone while Venus is in Aquarius, and this releases some of the pressure that’s been felt while Venus was in Capricorn over the past month. Venus now being in an air sign for most of the month makes communication key regarding relationship development, and it’s about listening to your heart just as much as you are listening to what’s being said. The Full Moon of the month occurs less than a week after, on January 6th, and this Full Moon will be happening in Cancer. Emotions run high, and a chapter closes in life to bring you closer to the soul. This Full Moon is all about letting go of old baggage and healing the heart.
On January 12th, Mars officially goes direct after being retrograde in Gemini since October 30, 2022. Mars retrograde created chaos and switched things up in spaces that were once stable. Mars retrograde's duty was to shake things up and create a new direction forward that better aligns with what you are inspired by. Now that Mars is officially direct, you can take more action on your creative vision and dreams, and there are fewer road bumps on your path to success. Mercury also goes direct in Capricorn soon after on January 18th; and travel delays, miscommunication, and stability challenges all ease up during this time. Mercury direct in Capricorn makes concrete steps easier to take, and manifestation potential is increased during this time. Dream the dream, and take intentional action on them to see success.
Aquarius Season begins as the month ends on January 20th, and there is a New Moon in Aquarius as well as on the next day. Aquarius Season is a time when inspiration abounds, and a time to find your balance between logic and magic. Dreams come true during Aquarius Season, and this Aquarius New Moon is a good time to set your intentions and plan for the future. Uranus goes direct in Taurus on January 22nd after being in retrograde since August 2022, and there are fewer interruptions and disruptions when it comes to rest, feeling grounded, and following your heart.
With so many planets moving direct this month after being in retrograde, there is a huge weight lifted off the shoulders, and plans can come together again. January overall is all about perspective, patience, and growth.
What's in Store for Aries in January 2023AriesKyra Jay for xoNecole
2023 is a powerful year for Aries and the year begins with you taking the time to rest, prepare, and re-energize before moving further into the year. This month is all about listening to your body, your emotions, and your gut instincts, and about not being afraid to go at your own pace even if those around you are going at a different one. This is your month to let a new cycle of your life appear for you, while you move through your current journey with ease.
The New Moon this month is when you will be feeling a lot of that magic that the year has in store for you. On January 21st there is a New Moon in your 11th house of hopes, dreams, and friendship, and this is an excellent time of the month to start visualizing your future and everything you want to happen over the next year. With Venus also moving into your 12th house on January 26th, it’s about finding your balance between what’s falling away and what is coming this month.
What’s in Store for Taurus in January 2023TaurusKyra Jay for xoNecole
Love is flowing into your life in January, Taurus. This is a month of emotional expression and connection, about finding a good middle ground you haven’t felt in a while. This is a month of letting your heart lead the way and discovering that vulnerability isn’t a weakness, it is a strength to commend yourself on. This month you are finding your way by listening to your heart.
Communication is vital this month with a Full Moon occurring in your 3rd house on January 6th. This Full Moon is bringing in culminations in your life regarding mental healing, growth, and clarity. Important messages are coming through for you at the beginning of the month, and the more you can express how you are feeling, the better. A very important transit occurs before the month ends, and that is Uranus officially going direct in Taurus, after being retrograde since August 2022. What you can expect now are less chaos and disruption, and more intentional change and positive surprises.
What’s in Store for Gemini in January 2023GeminiKyra Jay for xoNecole
January is all about the direction in life you are heading in right now, Gemini. The month begins amid Mercury retrograde, and Mercury retros are always a little closer to home for you with Mercury being your ruling planet. This Mercury retrograde is a little more impactful, however, as Mars is currently retrograde in Gemini as well. With the energy of reflection flowing through your world this month, there is a need to consider all options and really define what you want to create in your life.
On January 12th, Mars in Gemini goes direct after being retrograde since October 2022 and Mercury goes direct on January 18th. This is a major win for Geminis, as the pressure is lifted off your shoulders. Mars retrograde made the plan ahead feel more confusing than you wanted it to be, and the lack of energy this transit brought was difficult to move through. Now that you are in direct motion, you are ready for some dreams to come to fruition, and your mind is looking ahead with hope and strength.
What’s in Store for Cancer in January 2023CancerKyra Jay for xoNecole
January is all about maintaining a clear vision, and about putting your manifestation gifts to use, Cancer. This is a month of everything coming together one by one, and about you feeling confident about what is unfolding for you this month. You have your eyes on the prize, and you are headed in the right direction right now. January is here to show you that anything is possible with the right mindset, heart, and belief in yourself.
The Full Moon this month is happening on January 6th, and it is occurring in your sign. A Cancer Full Moon is always more emotional than most, and this is the time of the month to let go of any emotional baggage you have been carrying and allow healing to take place. This Full Moon is closing out one chapter, and you are preparing and lining everything up for a new one. January is a month of moving forward, moving on, and taking your dreams seriously, Cancer.
What’s in Store for Leo in January 2023LeoKyra Jay for xoNecole
Abundance is yours to claim this month, Leo. January is a month of good fortune, love, and a time of paving a new path forward for yourself. You have a lot of opportunities for success this month, and blessings are falling into your lap. The seeds and intentions you have been planting in your life are blooming as the new year begins, and you are soaking in all the magic that surrounds you.
The financial abundance you are seeing this month is only one part of the story, as love and your relationships are also seeing positive growth in January. With the Sun moving into your opposite sign Aquarius on January 20th, and a New Moon here the next day, you are seeing new beginnings in love as the month ends. You are turning the page from a time of feeling like you have to do everything yourself and you can’t rely on others, into a time where you are feeling that support, connection, and emotional stability in your life.
What’s in Store for Virgo in January 2023VirgoKyra Jay for xoNecole
January is your time to heal, Virgo. Your heart needs recovery time, and this month is your month to emotionally process, accept, and move into a new day. There is an energy with you this month of taking into account what has happened over the past few months and taking the time to release the heaviness and pain of the past. You are getting the opportunity to move into a new direction in January, however, leaving behind the old isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. Take as much time as you need this month, and allow what’s meant to be, be.
With your ruling planet Mercury, retrograde in your 5th house of romance, creativity, and happiness this month, there is a need to reflect on happiness and what that truly means to you. Do your vices serve you or do they harm you? Do the people around you reflect the love you feel or want to see in your life? Once Mercury goes direct on January 18th, you feel a breath of fresh air, and all the emotional heaviness you have been feeling begins to ease. January is overall a month of healing and growth for you, Virgo.
What’s in Store for Libra in January 2023LibraKyra Jay for xoNecole
Fortune is on your side this month, Libra. January is a month of positive change, blessings, and moving into a new beginning. The grace you have shown yourself and others through all of the changes you have been through is showing fruition this month, and you are receiving the benefits of this patience. January is all about remaining flexible and open to change and riding the wave of abundance and positivity.
Mars officially moves out of retrograde and goes direct this month, and this is good news for you when it comes to travel, adventure, education, and spiritual pursuits. Look out for opportunities for a vacation this month. The New Moon on January 21st is occurring in fellow air sign Aquarius, and this New Moon is bringing a new beginning for your heart. This New Moon is here to fulfill some dreams of happiness, love, and connection; and self-expression is key right now. Overall, January is about moving into a new chapter of your life with ease.
What’s in Store for Scorpio in January 2023ScorpioKyra Jay for xoNecole
January is a month of getting inspired, Scorpio. You are thinking a lot about the future this month and where you are headed right now, and your perspective is everything in January. The inspiration you are feeling this month is creating a new vision for your future, and you are ready to redefine what you want to put your energy into and focus on. The sky's the limit for you Scorpio, and this is a month of truly believing in yourself and taking those intentional steps toward your dreams and goals.
The Full Moon occurring in fellow water sign Cancer on January 6th brings things full circle when it comes to your beliefs, perspective, and spiritual journey. You are taking note of what adventures in life you’ve followed through on, and what spaces and people you would still like to connect with. Venus enters your 5th house of romance on January 26th before the month ends, and love is on your side moving into February. Your heart is in a good place this month, and there is a lot of excitement in the air for you in January.
What’s in Store for Sagittarius in January 2023SagittariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
Connect with your inner strength, Sagittarius. Patience is everything this month, and your courage will help you maintain that. January is a time of letting things unfold without forcing the outcome. Hold your vision of what you want to see come to fruition, but don’t let changes to plans and circumstances out of your control waver your self-confidence. The more you can hold your ground and trust the process, the better this month will be.
January is a month of preparation for you, Sagittarius. This isn’t the most action-packed month for you and that is because you need time to gain strength, prepare, and envision what you want to see play out this year. The passion is there, but you need more time to figure out where you want to be and who you want to be there with. The New Moon occurring on January 21st is a time when you are getting the clarity you have been looking for, and connections are being made.
What’s in Store for Capricorn in January 2023CapricornKyra Jay for xoNecole
The spotlight is on you this month, Capricorn. Capricorn Season is fully underway, and there is a lot to process this month. The month begins with Mercury in Retrograde in your sign, and there is a need to have more patience when it comes to your communications with others, and to try to find your middle ground here. Not everyone may agree or see your perspective, but it’s important to maintain an open mind and trust that what is for you will feel right. January is your time to shine and to allow space for others to shine in their way too.
The Full Moon in Cancer on January 6th is a good time to let go of any relationship drama or challenges you have been having and to make space for new growth. You are closing out one chapter of life and moving into one that feels closer to love and connection. Once Mercury goes direct on January 18th, any challenges you have been having with others begin to subside, and an olive branch is given. The goal this month is self-acceptance, love, and working on building the relationships in your life rather than challenging them.
What’s in Store for Aquarius in January 2023AquariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
You are moving forward freely in January, Aquarius. January is a month of success, positive recognition, and achievement. You are moving into the new year full speed ahead, and you are ready to claim your victories. The support you have been looking for is coming into your life this month, and you have a lot to be grateful for in January. This is your month to put yourself out there, be confident, and lead the way forward for others. With Venus entering your sign on January 2nd as the month begins, you are moving into the month with love on your side.
More energy begins to move into Aquarius in the second half of the month as Aquarius Season begins on January 20th, and there is a New Moon in Aquarius the very next day on January 21st as well. With the Sun officially moving into Aquarius this month, the vision becomes clear, and the community around you is highlighted. The end of the month is a good time to connect with others, give help where needed, and work together with the people around you to create something beautiful.
What’s in Store for Pisces in January 2023PiscesKyra Jay for xoNecole
Life comes full circle, and blessings are falling into your lap, Pisces. January is a month of feeling like you have everything you need in your life, and like there is enough love to go around. You have an upper hand this month and it’s your faith in yourself and the universe that has got you here. You know that everything happens for a reason and what’s yours won’t pass you by, and you are feeling this knowing strongly this month.
January begins with a Full Moon in fellow water sign Cancer on January 6th, and this Full Moon is occurring in a zone that directly connects to the heart. Your heart is seeing clearly in January, and you like what you are seeing right now. Allow yourself to be loved the way you deserve to be, and trust that this love is here to stay. Before the month ends Venus enters Pisces, and relationship growth takes place. Venus in your sign makes everyone a little more emotional than usual, and you are leaving the month feeling seen, heard, and understood.
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Tayler Barakat is a Mystic who has studied Astrology for over a decade. She does intuitive astrology and tarot readings for people all over the world, and her work focuses on healing and empowering individuals. Follow her on Instagram @taylerbarakat_ and check out her website www.listentothevirgo.com.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masterdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masterdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masterdating All About?
Masterdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masterdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masterdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masterdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masterdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masterdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masterdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masterdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masterdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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