We have officially transitioned into the fall season, which encourages us to reclaim a sense of balance in our lives. The New Moon on the 6th invites us to recognize where we are giving or taking too much. When Venus shifts into Sagittarius, there's a desire for a wild, romantic adventure to shake up our routine. This month, we have three planets going direct—Pluto, Saturn, and Mercury—helping us feel a greater sense of forward momentum. The fiery Full Moon on the 20th liberates us from a need to fit in with the crowd and to, instead, become a trailblazer of our own destiny.
Towards the end of the month, the Sun and Mars motivate us to lock in on our goals and see through to completion. Check out how your zodiac sign is affected in the month ahead:
AriesAriesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month kicks off with a New Moon on the 6th inviting you into partnerships that are more in alignment with your personal evolution. On the same day, Pluto goes direct and the changes you've been making internally are more evident. You've spent a lot of time unlearning old programming and confronting your fears in regards to your career, authority, and success. Now it's your time to shine. On the 7th, Venus enters Sagittarius, making this an ideal time to plan a baecation or take a solo trip. If you're single, there's a possibility of meeting someone special during your travels.
When Saturn goes direct on the 10th, you're ready to put those lessons you've been learning about friendship and community into action. On the 18th, Mercury goes direct to help clear up any miscommunications within your closest connections. The Full Moon in your sign on the 20th is the much-needed spark that you've been craving since Leo season. It's time to reveal more of your magnificence to the world. By the end of the month the Sun and Mars team up in Scorpio inviting you to do a deep dive into your psyche and your most valuable relationships. Sexual healing, transformation, and intimacy await you during this transit.
TaurusTaurusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Your health and wellness are top priority around the New Moon on the 6th. Implementing new routines, habits, and a fitness regimen will help get you back into alignment if you've been feeling off lately. On the same day, Pluto goes direct, giving you the opportunity to walk your path with more confidence after spending the past several months redefining your spiritual beliefs and personal philosophies. When Venus enters Sagittarius on the 7th, you're invited to get clear on the kind of people that you want close(r) to you. Fickle energies just won't do for a fixed sign like you.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct to get you back on track with some of your longer term career goals and the legacy you're building for yourself. When Mercury goes direct on the 18th, you're able to integrate any recent changes you've wanted to make within your work environment or daily schedule. On the 20th, the Full Moon stirs up some inner tension and frustrations--possibly more so within your dreams. Find healthy outlets for your anger to avoid getting snappy with others. The Sun shifts into Scorpio on the 23rd, then meets up with Mars on the 30th, bringing your attention to your partnerships, marriage, and contractual agreements. Hidden resentments can come to the surface but it's all about how you address them so you and the other party can get on the same page moving forward.
GeminiGeminiLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with a romantic New Moon in Libra inviting you to put yourself out there--especially if you're single. It's time to ditch the sweatpants and oversized t-shirts for some real clothes. This is a particularly creative, sweet, and playful time for you, so make the most of it. On the same day, Pluto goes direct, coaxing you out of hermit mode to rejoin the rest of the world after spending the past several months in cocoon mode. When Venus enters Sagittarius on the 7th, you're attracting some interesting partnerships and collaborations meant to expand your worldview.
When Saturn goes direct on the 10th, you're ready to move forward without all of the karmic debris you've been clearing out in relation to your spiritual beliefs and practices. On the 18th, Mercury goes direct to push along any projects that have stalled due to reasons beyond your control or procrastination. The Full Moon on the 20th encourages you to showcase what makes you stand out. Ultimately, this will align you with the right crowd that can support you in fulfilling your vision. On the 23rd, the Sun shifts into Scorpio, then teams up with Mars on the 30th giving you a much-needed boost of energy to handle your daily responsibilities and still have enough fuel to squeeze in a workout, too.
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Home and family matters have your attention around the New Moon on the 6th. Investing into property or family planning may be on the list around this time. On the same day, Pluto goes direct, helping you move forward in your most significant relationships with more ease after confronting some of your fears these past several months. Financial partnerships are also highlighted, making this an auspicious time for opportunities that will bring you more power, security, and success. When Venus enters Sagittarius, you could start feeling restless with your routine, making it a good time to switch up your approach or environment in some way. If you're looking for remote work, this could be a lucky time to find the perfect opportunity.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct which has you feeling more empowered in your ability to make the right connections and build upon your ideal community of people that can help you achieve your bigger goals. When Mercury goes direct on the 18th, this is a more favorable time to sign a new lease or close on a property. Any rifts with family members, roommates, or a live-in partner can also be resolved more easily. On the 20th, the Full Moon requires you to step up to the plate and flex your boss muscle. You've got what it takes to handle any challenges in your career. Towards the end of the month, the Sun and Mars shift into Scorpio, intensifying both your libido and creativity. Baby-making season is in the air!
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with a New Moon in Libra inviting you to negotiate your way to the bag. Networking figures strongly into your life during this time. Stay ready so you don't have to get ready. You only get one chance to make a first impression. On the same day, Pluto goes direct empowering you to implement positive habits and routines into your life. A little bit of discipline goes a long way. When Venus shifts into Sagittarius on the 7th, your sex appeal is out of this world. If you're open to romance, just have fun without putting too much pressure on things (at least for the time being).
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct, helping you get more clear with your boundaries in existing relationships (including your relationship with your work). Mercury goes direct on the 18th, moving forward any stalled communications. The Full Moon in Aries on the 20th stirs up your wanderlust which could have you planning a great escape to some far-off land. On the 23rd, the Sun shifts into Scorpio then meets up with Mars on the 30th, bringing your focus to settling down a bit.
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The New Moon at the beginning of the month invites you to explore new ways of making money. As multifaceted as you are, there's always another way of getting the bag. On the same day, Pluto goes direct, empowering you to express your creativity in ways like never before. This energy is extremely cathartic and supportive of you creating some of your best work to-date. When Venus shifts into Sagittarius on the 7th, your home environment could have you feeling a bit restless. A need to expand beyond your comfort zone is hard to ignore which could have you considering a more nomadic lifestyle.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct, making it a lot more easy for you to get back into a structured routine. A week later, your ruling planet, Mercury, goes direct, giving you the green light when it comes to new business partnerships and opportunities. The Full Moon in Aries on the 20th motivates you to release your perfectionist tendencies so you can finally pursue your hidden desires. On the 23rd, the Sun enters Scorpio which could have you feeling exposed in your vulnerability. Be mindful of who you're sharing your secrets with during this time. Once Mars meets up with the Sun, there's potential that someone may just be trying to gather intel on you as a part of some bigger scheme.
LibraLibraLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with a New Moon in your sign inviting you to make a wish for what you want to accomplish in the next year around the Sun. On the same day, Pluto goes direct after being retrograde since the Spring. An inner transformation related to your upbringing and family has now been completed empowering you to stand in your truth. You only have one life to live. Make sure you're living it for yourself. When Venus shifts into Sagittarius on the 7th, your natural flirtatious ways are enhanced making this an auspicious time for attracting romance into your life. Keep your expectations light during this time and just have fun getting to know people. Be open to connecting with someone from a completely different walk of life. There's so much to learn from an experience that differs from your own.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct which has you more clear about the kind of long-term commitment you want. Don't be afraid to explore unconventional ways of going about a partnership. What works for someone else may not be a good fit for you. The Full Moon in Aries on the 20th helps you release your people-pleasing tendencies so you can start establishing more sovereignty in your life. Towards the end of the month, the Sun and Mars transition into Scorpio, motivating you to initiate new financial partnerships and streams of income. Know your worth and add tax!
ScorpioScorpioLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The beginning of the month invites you to reflect on situations that need some closure. Your karmic debt has been paid, so there's no need to prolong your suffering. Make peace with what hasn't worked out the way you thought it would. The Divine has something way better in store for you anyway. On the same day, Pluto goes direct after spending the past six months retrograde. Your inner dialogue has gone through a major transformation that will ultimately support you in aligning with the life of your dreams. On the 7th, Venus enters Sagittarius which has you dreaming up a way to make money while not having to be confined to one space. When it comes to romance or financial partnership, be open to connecting with someone from a different walk of life. You can learn a lot from their perspective.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct, helping you get more clear about what family, home, and tribe means to you. If you've felt restricted in any of these areas in the past several month, the energies ease up moving forward. When Mercury goes direct on the 18th, you're clear on what (and who) needs to be left behind. You've gone as far as you can within this situation and now it's time to venture into new territory. The Full Moon in Aries on the 18th breaks you out of a lethargic funk to reinvigorate your sense of passion and purpose in your daily affairs. On the 23rd, the Sun enters Scorpio and meets up with Mars on the 30th, enhancing your drive, motivation, and will power. This an opportune time to tackle your to-do list and make some major moves.
SagittariusSagittariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with a New Moon in Libra on the 6th inviting you to expand your social network and reconnect with friends you haven't seen in a while. On the same day, Pluto goes direct which has you feeling more in control of your finances moving forward. Investments and wealth building are your top priorities in the months to come. When Venus shifts into your sign on the 7th, your luck factor increases even more as you find yourself on the receiving end of a lot of attention, opportunities, and blessings.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct, setting you up with the right mindset that you need to achieve your goals. Don't throw in the towel just because your growth isn't happening quick enough. On the 18th, Mercury goes direct, supporting the forward movement of your long-term endeavors and ironing out any communication kinks you've had with a team member that may be helping you in the process. The Full Moon in Aries encourages you to indulge in some pleasure and romance. Towards the end of the month, the Sun and Mars in Scorpio are kicking up some suppressed frustrations (and possibly revealing some hidden enemies). Make sure you're viewing someone's actions objectively, minus all of your idealizations.
CapricornCapricornLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Matters of career take precedence at the beginning of the month with the New Moon in Libra and so the next phase of your journey begins. Be mindful of power struggles with anyone in a position of authority. If you don't like being bossed around, then create an exit strategy to become your own boss. On the same day, Pluto goes direct in your sign, empowering you to recognize just how effective you are at making shit happen. Unlike some, you don't have a problem rolling up your sleeves and getting into the nitty gritty for the sake of the legacy you're building. When Venus enters Sagittarius on the 7th, your love life blossoms behind the scenes, making this a good time to enjoy some privacy at home with that special person in your life.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct, moving money matters forward. Where you once felt restricted, the energy starts to open up again in the months to come. Mercury goes direct on the 18th, making it a good time to finalize any negotiations and contracts that have been hanging up in the air. On the 20th, the Full Moon in Aries brings an issue to the head amongst the home or family. The pressure to make a quick change to your environment may be looming over you at this time. When the Sun and Mars shift into Scorpio by the end of the month, your friends may be the source of stability that you need. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. You've got more people on your side than against you.
AquariusAquariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The New Moon in Libra on the 6th has you ready to spread your wings to take off on a new adventure, whether that involves you traveling to a place on your bucket list, enrolling in a spiritual workshop, or applying to go back to school. On the same day, Pluto goes direct and you can finally come up for air after doing some pretty intense soul-searching these past six months. Now it's time for you to apply these lessons you've been resolving into your daily life. When Venus shifts into Sagittarius on the 7th you're feeling the love amongst your friend group and may even want to celebrate your bonds with a long-awaited girls' trip.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct encouraging you to embrace a little more structure and discipline. You're full of brilliant, progressive ideas. It's just time for you to really commit to them and follow through on your goals. When Mercury goes direct on the 10th, you could find yourself in the position of teacher or mentor to those that look to you for your expertise. Writing and public speaking figure strongly into this energy, making it a good time to get your message out there. The Full Moon on the 20th grants you the courage to say what you mean without fear of backlash. Some people are intent on misunderstanding you which is their problem—not yours. Towards the end of the month, the Sun and Mars enter Scorpio, giving you a much-needed boost to conquer your career goals.
PiscesPiscesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The beginning of the month starts on a more quiet note for you with the New Moon in Libra. A silent partnership may be in the works for you around this time, which can grant you the leg up that you need to move your financial and business endeavors forward. On the same day, Pluto goes direct, helping you take a different approach to your friendships and social networks. After re-evaluating this area of your life these past six months, you're now more clear about who you want to join forces with. When Venus enters Sagittarius on the 7th, you're feeling the heat—whether it be from the pressure to step up to the plate in your career or a romantic attraction that is brewing between you and someone with a whole lot of influence.
On the 10th, Saturn goes direct, continuing this process of cleaning out the metaphorical trash in your subconscious. Limiting and restricting beliefs have to go for you to fully embrace your magic. When Mercury goes direct on the 18th, you're given the green light to sign off on any financial contracts. The Full Moon in Aries on the 20th liberates you from playing small. It's time to recognize your worth, raise your prices, and add tax. On the 23rd, the Sun shifts into Scorpio and is followed behind by Mars on the 30th inviting you to step into your power and role as a leader. You have no idea how many people you're inspiring on a daily basis but soon enough it will be made evident.
For more about zodiac signs, horoscopes, and astrology, check out xoNecole's Horoscopes section here.
Featured image by Laci Jordan for xoNecole
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What Are Intrusive Thoughts & How Do We Manage Them?
TW: some depictions of intrusive thoughts may be disturbing for readers.
Have you ever caught your mind drifting off to entertain the most disturbing scenarios imaginable? Maybe you can’t stop thinking of all the ways a loved one could pass away or worrying that you left every candle lit in your apartment to which you’d return to a home in ruins. If distressing ruminations like these have crossed your mind, you may be experiencing an intrusive thought.
What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted or distressing thoughts, images, or impulses that pop into your mind without your control or consent. These thoughts can be repetitive, unsettling, or even violent in nature, and can cause anxiety and frustration for those who experience them.
“Generally they're unwanted thoughts that come up in our head that interrupt what we're doing or thinking, and can feel very foreign,” says Adia Gooden, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and host of the Unconditionally Worthy podcast. “It’s any thought that intrudes or interrupts what you are doing. They can be distressing and upsetting for us because it feels like we are not in control of them, and they're coming up out of nowhere and aren’t in line with how you normally think.”
What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?
Certain trauma or stress can contribute to the development of intrusive thoughts, so having a challenging experience from the past or current life situations may trigger them to form. “An intrusive thought could come in the form of a flashback, image, or a thought about something that's happened to you,” Dr. Gooden tells xoNecole. “When it gets to the point where you feel like you can't function or make clear decisions, that's when intrusive thoughts become really challenging.”
While some of the 1 billion videos found under the #intrusivethoughts hashtag on TikTok would lead you to believe that these thoughts are nothing more than casual displays of our imagination going untamed. Intrusive thoughts are more than sticking your hand in a soap dispenser, wanting to cut all your hair off at 3 a.m., or having a random impulse to eat fake bread in public.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America reports that approximately six million individuals, equating to roughly two percent of the American population, encounter intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are often linked with obsessive-compulsive disorders, but they can also manifest in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety.
Examples of Common Intrusive Thoughts
Because of the explicit nature of intrusive thoughts, they tend to cause shame and internal conflict in those who experience them. Although these thoughts can differ from person to person, these ideation can consist of:
- Violent or aggressive thoughts towards oneself or others, such as harming or killing someone;
- Sexual thoughts that are unwanted or inappropriate;
- Repetitive thoughts, such as a song or a phrase that keeps repeating in your mind;
- Contamination or germ-related thoughts or the fear of contamination and getting sick;
- Religious or blasphemous thoughts, such as questioning one's faith or having thoughts that go against religious beliefs;
- Doubts or uncertainty about one's own actions or decisions, such as fear of making a mistake or fear of not doing something right.
Intrusive Thoughts and OCD
That’s why Dr. Gooden encourages everyone to understand the difference between our fleeting thoughts and impulses and true, intrusive thoughts. “What level of distress does it cause and is it something you would never consider,” she says. “If you're finding that these thoughts are getting in the way of you living your life and that you're controlled by the thoughts, those are some signs that it would be good to get some support in navigating it.”
She also emphasizes the importance of understanding that while we may not always have control over our thoughts, we can control our behavior. “On TikTok, people are sort of blaming intrusive thoughts on their behavior, and our behavior is always a choice,” she says. “If we are in our right mind and we're not having a psychotic episode, our behavior is our choice — we are not obligated to follow any given thought that we have.”
Are Intrusive Thoughts Normal?
With intrusive thoughts, it’s natural to question whether these thoughts are “normal” to have. However, these thoughts are not meant to define who you are as a person but simply indicate that you have a functioning human mind with automated thoughts that you, or any of us, can’t control. These thoughts may come, but they don’t have to be acted upon, nor do they define who you are.
“I've worked with clients in the past who say, ‘Why am I thinking these things? What's wrong with me?’ But if you're not acting on the thought, then it's probably not a huge issue,” Dr. Gooden says. “If you are thinking a harmful thought towards yourself or someone else and you are making plans to act on that thought, then yes, we need to do something about it.”
How To Manage Intrusive Thoughts
If you are struggling with managing unwanted thoughts, Dr. Aida suggests taking these tips to help manage your mindset when they occur:
- "Recognize that it's a thought and thoughts are just thoughts. We often put a little bit too much weight on our thoughts, and that can create a lot of distress. But remember that thoughts are not facts."
- "Having a thought that's disturbing or upsetting doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't mean that you are suffering from a mental illness."
- "Sometimes the best thing you can do is say, 'Huh, that was an interesting thought. I'm going to let that go. That thought is not helpful for me right now."
- "Ask yourself: is this helpful? Is it helpful for me to buy into this thought and believe this thought? Asking that question can be really helpful because we are not at the mercy of our thoughts. If it's not helpful, you can let it go."
Intrusive thoughts can feel bizarre and foreign when they come up, but they aren't inherently "bad." Our minds can sometimes be filled with random and inappropriate thoughts, but that's what our stream of consciousness does: it thinks. Fortunately, we can release those thoughts at any moment; you don't have to follow through with them.
And ultimately, not every TikTok diagnosis is one that we should label ourselves with.
"It's important for people to acknowledge what they're experiencing but not run too quickly to diagnose themselves with some mental illness or disorder," Dr. Gooden advises. "It ends with confusion, and we miss the opportunity to understand the people who really do have that mental health challenge."
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