The first part of the month invites us to be more intentional about our self-care practices. With Mercury transiting through the sensitive sign of Cancer, we are encouraged to sweeten up our dialogue with self and others. With Chiron going Retrograde on the 15th, some deep healing is under way related to how we define our identity. Once the Sun shifts into Leo, it's time to show the world what you're made of. The exchange between Venus and Mars this month reminds us to not take everything so seriously--especially matters of love and romance (at least for the time being). Check out how your zodiac sign is affected in the month ahead!
The month begins with a sweet New Moon on the 9th inviting you to plant the seeds for a new home, renovations, or a new addition to the family. When Mercury transitions into this part of your chart, be mindful of some minor inconveniences and challenges that push you to redefine what home and security means to you. On the 15th, Chiron begins its retrograde through your sign, giving you a chance to put into practice the lessons you've been learning in establishing more independence in your life.
The Sun shifts into Leo on the 22nd encouraging you to reconnect with your inner child, creativity, and pleasure.
The Full Moon on the 23rd could illuminate some misalignments within your tribe, which could result in you choosing to go separate ways. Once Mercury enters Leo, you're confidently expressing your truth regardless of whose feathers you ruffle. July wraps up with Venus meeting up with Mars on the 29th which could place you, or someone you work with, under some scrutiny. Get your inner critic in check so it's not wreaking havoc in your life and others.
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Life gets sweeter with the New Moon in Cancer on the 9th helping you take on a more gentle approach with communicating to yourself and others. When Mercury enters into this part of your chart, you're reminded that "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything." That also goes for the thoughts that you have about yourself and your worthiness to be nurtured. During Chiron Retrograde, you're invited into the depths of your subconscious to clear up old hurts and disappointments that trigger a sense of rejection or alienation within you.
On the 22nd, the Sun enters Leo which could kick up a little tension amongst family or in the home. Choose to lead with love, not your ego.
The Full Moon on the 23rd has you feeling pulled in various directions. Even through the discomfort, a sudden breakthrough can occur, shifting you in a more solution-oriented direction. When Mercury enters Leo, signing a lease or contract for a new home or investment property is supported. By the end of the month, Venus meets up with Mars in Virgo encouraging you to lighten up and let your inner child live.
The month kicks off with a New Moon on the 9th inviting you to set some intentions for your financial security. Seek out ways to align with money-making opportunities that support your personal values and fulfill you emotionally. When Mercury enters this part of your chart, contracts and negotiations are up for discussion. On the 15th, Chiron begins its retrograde, giving you a chance to put into practice the lessons you've learned about self-reliance. Your social network or friends could be triggering your need for space so kindly communicate your need to just do your own thing for a while.
The Sun shifts into vibrant Leo on the 22nd, making you the talk of the town. Don't be afraid to shine that brilliant light of yours no matter who it blinds.
The Full Moon on the 23rd has you in the spotlight sharing your gems of wisdom and experience with those that look up to you. Travel restrictions may also be released around this time. When Mercury enters Leo, your social media following and engagement can increase. The month wraps up with Venus teaming up with Mars in Virgo on the 29th. You're encouraged to be less critical and judgemental to experience the love that is available to you through the tribe you were born into.
July begins with a sweet New Moon in your sign inviting you to make a wish and blow out the metaphorical (or literal) birthday candles for what you'd like to manifest in the year ahead. On the 11th, Mercury enters this same part of your chart, making life a little busier. Stay on top of your emails, text messages, and phone calls during this transit. You never know who may be trying to connect with you. When Chiron goes retrograde on the 15th, you're on a mission to reclaim the power that is your authenticity.
The Sun shifts into Leo on the 22nd, bringing your focus to your values, self-esteem, and money.
The Full Moon on the 23rd helps you resolve a debt, but on a deeper level, this can be a powerful time of releasing old stories about you being too "weird". Dare to be different, boo! When Mercury enters Leo, don't be afraid to brag on yourself to get the most out of an opportunity. On the 29th, Venus meets up with Mars in Virgo which could have your inner critic going crazy. You're not faking this process of becoming the truest version of yourself. You're simply remembering who you've always been.
The first part of the month is a bit more quiet for you with the New Moon on the 9th. Rest and retreat into the sacred space of your bedroom. When Mercury enters this part of your chart, your dreams are more active than usual. Keep a journal to record the insights and decode the messages. On the 15th, Chiron begins its retrograde, inviting you to reestablish trust in your Higher Self, not anyone that you've deemed as some all-knowing guru.
The wisdom you seek is within yourself. On the 22nd, the Sun shifts into your sign which has you ready to celebrate your beautiful life and another year around the Sun.
The Full Moon on the 23rd could result in a severance of ties within a relationship (romantic or professional) if you don't think the connection is growing in the right direction. When Mercury enters your sign on the 27th, everyone wants to catch up, grab drinks, go to brunch, etc. You'll need a calendar to keep up with your busy socialite schedule. The month ends with Venus meeting up with Mars in Virgo which can help you in the art of financial negotiations.
The month begins with the New Moon inviting you to expand your social network. When Mercury enters this part of your chart, you're wanting to nurture the connections that mean the most to you. If your inner circle is just you, it's time to put yourself out there to connect with a tribe that wants to pour their love into you. When Chiron goes retrograde on the 15th, you're diving deep into a traumatic experience that stifled your independence and authenticity, making this an opportune time to address codependent patterns of relating and connecting to others.
The Sun shifts into Leo on the 22nd, inviting you to rest and prepare for your birthday season. The Full Moon on the 23rd empowers you to overcome a bad habit that's been affecting your physical and/or mental health.
On the 27th, Mercury enters Leo which has your dream life active. Also be mindful of repressed anger that wants to be expressed and processed. When Jupiter goes retrograde on the 28th, you're invited to do some soul-searching in regards to relationship patterns that you want to resolve and even some new ones that you want to establish. The month wraps up with Venus and Mars meeting up in your sign which makes you super sexy and magnetic. Do what you will with your magic.
The month kicks off with a New Moon opening up opportunities for you that will help you climb up the ladder of success. When Mercury shifts into this part of your chart, you'll catch more flies with honey. Use your skillful art of negotiation to assure that any career moves are a win-win for everyone involved. When Chiron goes retrograde on the 15th, you're invited on a journey of reclaiming your independence. Healing childhood attachment wounds and addressing codependent relationship patterns is encouraged during this transit.
On the 22nd, the Sun shifts into Leo inviting you to connect with your tribe. Don't play it small and don't take it personally if you ruffle some feathers through your assertiveness.
The romantic Full Moon is a good time for a date night or girls' night out. Good vibes and conversation is all you need. On the 27th, Mercury enters Leo, reminding you to speak life into your dreams. Hold a positive vision in your mind to ensure epic results. At the end of the month, Venus meets up with Mars in Virgo. Keep your love matters discreet during this time. You can pop out with your boo in August.
Your desire to expand beyond your comfort zone is at a high with the New Moon on the 9th. When Mercury enters this part of your chart, you'll be making arrangements to travel abroad. Opportunities to teach, guide, and nurture others can present themselves to you. When Chiron goes retrograde on the 15th, you're invited to journey inwards to address the psychological causes underlying any health concerns--especially recurring issues you've experienced since childhood.
On the 22nd, the Sun shifts into feisty Leo giving you the oomph you need to trailblaze your way to the top of the career ladder. The Full Moon liberates you from the expectations of your family.
Breakthroughs in generational healing are likely. A relocation may also be on the horizon as you re-establish what home means to you. On the 27th, Mercury enters Leo which has you feeling more assertive than usual. If you talk like a boss and act like a boss then you must be a boss. If all else fails, fake it til you make it. By the end of the month, Venus meets up with Mars in Virgo helping you overcome any friction so you can harmonize with your friends.
The first part of the month invites you to do some soul-searching. The New Moon supports you in exploring different healing modalities that can help you break through intimacy blockages developed in childhood. When Mercury shifts into this part of your chart, chatting with a therapist, tarot reader, or energy worker can guide you through some difficult emotions. When Chiron goes retrograde on the 15th, you'll be diving even deeper into the inner child wounds and the lack of support you received in helping you clearly define your identity separate from your parents and family.
The Sun shifts into Leo on the 22nd which has you ready for another passport stamp.
Where to next, thrill-seeker? The Full Moon is a supportive time for launching any new digital projects, products, or services. Who knows? You may just become the next overnight social media sensation. On the 27th, Mercury enters Leo encouraging you to share your wisdom and experience with others. Remember, "each one teach one". The month wraps up with Venus linking up with Mars in Virgo bringing the pressure in career matters but if there's anyone that thrives off of a challenge, it's you. Boss up, boo!
Relationship matters get a little more sensitive on the New Moon, inviting you to reconnect with your tender side. When Mercury enters this part of your chart on the 11th, contracts and negotiations are up for discussion. This is also a good time to re(establish) boundaries within your one-on-one connections. When Chiron goes retrograde, you're invited to examine your early childhood foundations. Were you given a chance to develop a healthy sense of autonomy or do you still find yourself constantly seeking advice from outside sources? 'Tis the season of learning to trust yourself.
On the 22nd, the Sun shifts into Leo, encouraging you to dive deeper into your psyche to explore blockages in your confidence and self-expression.
The Full Moon provides you with insight on how to break out of a financial rut. Rediscovering your hidden gifts and talents can be just what you need to get on top of money matters. On the 27th, Mercury enters Leo reminding you are more than what you're capable of giving to others. Being yourself is more than enough. By the end of the month, Venus meets up with Mars which could have you attracting people in your life that need guidance. Maybe it's time to offer some consulting services next time someone asks to pick your brain for free.
The beginning of the month kicks off with a New Moon inviting you to establish some new habits that will better support your emotional well-being. When Mercury enters this part of your chart, you may lack a little direction but just lean into the flow, trusting that you'll get back into your routine. When Chiron goes retrograde on the 15th, reconciling your self-dialogue so that it actually honors your individuality (instead of suppressing it) is recommended.
The Sun shifts into Leo on the 22nd, bringing your attention to partnerships, contracts, and boundaries. Make adjustments as needed and aim for a win-win scenario for both parties involved.
The Full Moon in your sign is the grand reveal for the upgraded version of yourself minus all of the baggage. On the 27th, Mercury enters Leo which has you feeling more assertive than usual. Remember, it's not what you say. It's how you say it. The month wraps up with Venus and Mars meeting up in Virgo to get your finances and debt under control.
The beginning of the month invites you to reconnect with your inner child and creativity. When Mercury enters this part of your chart, it's time to express yourself. You're an artist at heart and this may be a time in which you can create one of your greatest masterpieces. When Chiron goes retrograde on the 15th, you're invited into some deep soul retrieval work that will have you facing some traumatic experiences that negatively impacted your self-esteem. Your struggle was not in vain and the strength you gained from it will be able to inspire others to love on themselves that much harder.
On the 22nd, the Sun enters Leo which has you motivated to get yourself back into shape. As they say, "Health is wealth."
The Full Moon marks a time of cycles completing--particularly related to your feeling of belonging within a social group. Let go of that dead weight and allow yourself the gift of an authentic, supportive, and nurturing community. On the 27th, Mercury shifts into Leo helping you tackle the tasks on your to-do list that have been piling up the past couple of months. The month wraps up with Venus and Mars creating a little tension in your relationships but you've got the ability to weather these temporary energies.
Featured image by Laci Jordan for xoNecole
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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If you haven’t scrolled upon Olivia McDowell's TikTok famous dinner parties, you may need to reconfigure your "For You Page."
What began as a passion for hosting aesthetically themed meals for her closest friends has quickly become a viral sensation. With an astonishing 12 million viewers, women describe Olivia’s picturesque dinner parties as the “dream girls' night,” complete with classy cocktails, beautiful table settings, elegant outfits, and, most importantly, food plated to perfection.
Seemingly reigniting the feminine urge to host fancy dinner parties, Olivia has perfected the finer details. Overlooking the skyline in her beautiful NYC apartment, she never fails to make her signature handmade pasta dishes while simultaneously looking effortlessly chic in the wardrobe of dreams while doing so.
Replying to @nara0630 what should the theme of my next dinner party be? #minivlog #nycliving #dinnerpartyideas #caviarinnewyork
What I love most about hosting intimate dinners for close friends are the connections and relationships that form over food. They don't require a caviar budget with a high-rise apartment, it just takes determination and a little creativity. Watching Olivia’s journey inspires viewers to be a part of a community of positive and uplifting women who share common interests and tastes in food, fashion, and decor. Simply stated, she’s raising the bar of friendship goals.
If you’re aspiring to host a holiday-themed dinner party this season, check out the four tips that will guide you along the way.
Choose Your Theme
Replying to @emz.life.tsv what was your fav part? 🤍 hope this gives you some inspiration to host a fancy friendsgiving too! #hostingtip #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Set the ambiance with a thoughtful theme, which will indeed be your guiding light for less stress during the planning process. Establishing a theme sets the tone for everything else to fall in place, such as menus, table design, and presentation. For example, a holiday-inspired dinner party is a perfect occasion for elegant all-white decor paired with draped table cloths, pillar candles lit atop luxe holders, floating floral arrangements, and, for a personal touch, handwritten place settings.
Utilizing free resources such as Canva for menu templates and creating a “Dinner Party” moodboard via Pinterest is perfect for gathering dinner inspiration for themes, decor, and recipes for the special occasion.
Simplify the Menu
How to host your own pasta making dinner party — part 1: pasta making from scratch 🤍 Hosting dinner parties has become my favorite thing to do this year. More goes into it than you expect, the prep, planning, guestlist, tablescape, etc. but it’s always worth it in the end. What do you guys want to see next? #hostingtips #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Don’t overcomplicate the menu. A simple dinner party formula to use as your guide to making sure your guests leave full of food and joy is appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. As a starter, assemble an aesthetic spread that your guest can nibble on while awaiting the main course with starters such as bread, cheese, jam, nuts, and fruit. A simple salad will do, complete with a light dressing right before your entree. For a main dish, pasta recipes always go a long way and also allows your guests to interact with one another, which leads to McDowell's third dinner party hosting tip.
Include an Interactive Element
Replying to @itstai.tv 🖤 #girlhood
To break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another, introduce interactive elements to the evening. Moments of interaction allow everyone to connect, like capturing content for social media or memorializing the essence of the night through fun Polaroids. Olivia also encourages her guests to participate in the pasta-making dinner process as a group, or if hosting a brunch, her friends indulge in building their own coffee bar as an opportunity for forming connections and conversation starters. Group board or card games are also great for laughs and healthy competition to help get the vibes flowing.
Don’t Forget the Dress code
Replying to @samantha_mendiz when all of your friends are the main character 🖤🥂 #dinnerparty #nycfashion
Tis’ the season for glamour and sparkles, so why not go all out with a super chic dress code? You can’t have a picture-perfect holiday dinner party without the coordinating attire to match. When planning, make sure to make the required attire specific yet broad enough for a range of personalities and preferences to comfortably partake while looking stunning doing so.
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