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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Keke Palmer and Casandra “Cassie” Ventura are two of the most recent prominent Black women who have spoken out about their current and past abuse by intimate partners. These conversations seem to be happening more frequently today, but the truth is domestic violence and sexual abuse of Black women within the Black community is not new.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 45.1 percent of Black women will experience physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, in contrast to 30.2 percent of their white counterparts who experience similar abuse. Additionally, the Black Women’s Health Project also found Black women are three times more likely to be killed by a partner than white women.
As a result of these findings, it determined that domestic violence is the number one health issue facing Black women today.
Despite these stark statistics the prevalent misogynoir Black women face within their community further reinforce the stigma, victim-blaming, and culture of silence that prevent Black women from seeking help when experiencing abuse. Both Palmer and Ventura are examples of how Black women suffer in silence for years at the hands of an abusive partner. In Palmer’s court filings, she alleged Darius Jackson, her son’s father, abused her in multiple instances over two years. Yet, not until recently did she seek help from the courts to obtain a restraining order and sole custody of her son.
Likewise, Ventura’s lawsuit highlighted over a decade’s worth of alleged domestic violence, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking. Though Ventura and Sean Combs’ relationship ended in 2018, she shared the importance of speaking out now instead of remaining silent. “After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story, and to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships,” she shared in a statement.
Though many prominent Black women such as Rihanna, Tina Turner, Kelly Rowland, and Megan Thee Stallion have spoken out about their experiences with domestic violence, there is still a great stigma regarding the issue in the Black community.
This stigma and lack of protection for Black women manifests through people questioning the validity of Black women’s claims, which we saw on full display in the case against Tory Lanez on behalf of Megan.
We still see it in the way people make tasteless jokes about the late Tina Turner’s abuse from Ike Turner; and even in how people questioned “what Rihanna did” to Chris Brown for him to hurt her in such a way. Actions and behaviors such as these lead to the staggering reality that 91 percent of Black women are killed by someone they knew according to a study conducted by the University of Illinois Chicago.
This study also highlighted the fact that the leading cause of death for Black women between the ages of 15 and 45 is murder by an intimate partner.
As someone who has experienced physical violence in an intimate relationship, I can attest to the anxiety and doubt I felt in sharing my truth with others. Even though there was physical proof to corroborate my claims, all I could think of were the words my mother said when the news of Rihanna and Chris Brown came out, “She did something to that boy for him to do that to her.”
I share this story because even though the celebrities we see going through these experiences may never hear the conversations we have behind closed doors, there are women in our lives who are experiencing the same things and won’t speak up because of what we say.
I still remember the feeling of self-blame in my relationship with physical proof of abuse appearing on my body and the mindset that if I were only somehow a better partner and more “submissive” in my relationship these things wouldn’t continue to happen.
However, what I and all other abuse survivors know is that there is nothing you can do to appease your abuser, and the only true way to end the abuse is to leave the relationship in the safest manner possible.
Yet, what many abuse survivors also know is leaving is one of the most difficult challenges in an abusive relationship. On average it takes victims of abuse seven attempts to leave their abuser and stay separated for good according to RESPOND Inc., New England’s first domestic violence agency. Though physical and sexual abuse are often discussed the most in conversations of domestic violence and abuse we need to acknowledge that it often begins with mental and emotional gaslighting and manipulation.
According to the (NCADV) 53.8 percent of Black women will experience psychological aggression by a partner in their lifetimes. In Kelly Rowland’s 2013 song "Dirty Laundry," she showcases how psychological abuse appears in relationships with lyrics, “he said, ‘Don't nobody love you but me Not your mama, not your daddy and especially not Bey.’”
As Black women continue to speak out about their violence and challenge their abusers, it is also important for the Black community to create a safe space for them to do so. If a friend or family member confides in you about experiencing abuse be supportive and listen, avoid casting blame on them, and most importantly ask them what they want to do in terms of the next steps or leaving the relationship.
Lastly, if you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner abuse and wants help reach out to National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) for support and resources.
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