Some of us loved reading the newspaper for the "funnies", others enjoyed buying their favorite magazine for the horoscope section, and the horoscope section alone. I imagine that astrology is easily one of our first introductions to magic in this lifetime. Certainly, the case for me! And I've only become more drawn to it as I've grown older, from checking the compatibility of my latest young loves in high school to trying to understand my inundated singleness in grown-ass womanhood. For as long as I remember astrology has been popular, but with little understanding of anything other than our Sun signs — the most mainstream of signs until recently.
Recently, with the help of apps and the growing visibility of Black and Brown astrologers, more people are coming to learn and better understand the intricacies of our entire chart. At the bare minimum, most people are aware of the Sun, Moon, and Rising signs these days! In the past, all we knew was our sun. Where we might have known to look beyond our Sun sign for compatibility in the past, we're now understanding that there are so many aspects that are telling of the romantic connections we're seeking out. Astro expert Avalldar Astrology says, "For many people, the Sun will not necessarily be the most influential placement when it comes to romantic compatibility, precisely because we have entire charts that we need to look at, in order to see all the dynamics at play between all the planets."
So what exactly do we look to when we're looking at love? Well, you should know that there are so many different types of astrology and different astrologers use different combinations, formulas, and theories (much like any other profession that is rooted in research) to draw their conclusion when it comes to compatibility. When it's all said and done, she reminds us that although she feels it necessary to have a "global" understanding of things, the aspects you look to are dependent on what it is that you prioritize in your relationship.
Personally, Avalldar feels that "Moon and Venus signs are definitely among the most important planets to look at, as they will mostly concern our emotional needs within the relationship, and the type of things we enjoy and are attracted to, respectively." At least, on the surface level.
Zodiac Sign Compatibility, According To An Expert
"When it comes to romantic compatibility, people focus on Sun sign affinity a lot, probably because the Sun sign is the easiest placement to determine in astrology. All you have to do is know the dates of each zodiac season, and which zodiac sign is associated with your birthday. Those dates are constant, so it's easy to find," Avalldar says. "In astrology, there are more than Sun signs, we have entire charts with multiple planets and houses as well, and the way our charts are set up can make things vary widely and even create surprising dynamics!"
However, the real big three we ought to be looking at when it concerns compatibility, at least outside of the planets themselves, are "element (fire, earth, air, water), modality (cardinal, fixed, mutable), and extensively, aspects (conjunctions, trine, squares, and sextiles extensively) — which are lowkey at the core of elemental and modal dynamics." Once you understand just how in-depth this goes, it might bring greater understanding as to why people may not be compatible and why it is encouraged to do a deeper dive than what can be offered through your favorite publication.
"People with earth Suns would most likely get along best, with people that have their Sun in earth signs as well. On a personal level, the way they define their sense of self (one of the things the Sun encompasses) is influenced by the earth, so there's a common understanding, a common ground, and on top of that, earth signs are trine to each other (signs that share the same element are trine to each other in general). Trines are the most harmonious aspects, they indicate dynamics in which energies flow naturally."
That said, we spoke with another Astro expert Madison Mikay better known as Venuzian Scorpio to get the breakdown of the most compatible Sun signs:
The Most Compatible Zodiac Signs
1. Leo and Libra
When a Leo and a Libra are together, they are almost always the center of attention! With Leo being ruled by the Sun, they know how to satisfy the Libra's desire to be appreciated and reassured. With Libra being ruled by Venus, they know how to shower Leo with the love and attention that they deserve. Both Leo and Libra know how to bring out each other's true star power and help each other grow into their best selves.
2. Scorpio and Pisces
The watery pair of Scorpio and Pisces just instantly understand each other. Although not many others can match Scorpio's intense and passionate energy, Pisces is almost always up for the task! These two are able to be truly vulnerable with each other and appreciate the depth of their connection. Pisces' intuitive side always knows how to break through Scorpio's barriers and immediately knows how to comfort them. Scorpio challenges Pisces to take a walk on the wild side; Pisces encourages Scorpio to be themselves.
3. Aquarius and Sagittarius
Aquarius and Sagittarius never have a dull moment with each other! Sagittarians are always in pursuit of knowledge and live for adventure. Aquarians love to discover the most unique subjects and are always down for a good two. This pair knows how to mentally stimulate each other. Although they both value their independence, they know how to effectively divide and conquer. They both enjoy learning from each other and helping each other explore new territories.
4. Taurus and Cancer
With Cancer's protective nature and Taurus' romantic tendencies, these two are one of the most loving couples ever! Tauruses help Cancers to ground themselves and provide them with the comfort and stability that they crave. Cancers help Tauruses get comfortable with expressing their emotional sides and make them feel appreciated. This couple is the epitome of the phrase "home is where the heart is." They truly understand how to make the other feel at peace and how to cater to each other's love languages.
5. Virgo and Capricorn
Virgo and Capricorn are the power couple of the zodiac! These two earth signs know how to get things done when they are together and can truly motivate each other. They both want to see each other win and will supply each other with the encouragement that they need. Virgo and Capricorn almost instantly bond over their witty sense of humor and their intellect. Virgo shows Capricorn how to appreciate the small things in life; Capricorn shows Virgo how to see the bigger picture from a new perspective.
6. Aries and Gemini
When Aries and Gemini are together, the conversation almost never stops! These two know how to keep things and will always be the life of the party. The passion between these two signs is almost unmatched! Aries knows how to perfectly capture Gemini's attention and keep the relationship fresh. The Gemini values all of the Aries' complexities and knows exactly how to keep their fire alive. Gemini teaches Aries that life does not have to always be so serious. Even as a couple, these two are genuinely the best of friends!
Astrology Says Our Zodiac Signs Aren't Compatible, Now What?
In order to understand astrology and its authenticity, you must first understand that your natal chart is a blueprint of sorts. And, oftentimes, blueprints can be tweaked or manipulated to give us the outcome we desire. Your natal chart tells you what you were born with, what could be a potential roadblock/challenge, or what will allow us to thrive. But much like the idea of destiny or prayer to a higher power or the universe, you get out what you put in. They each give you the free game, but you have to figure out how to make that work for you.
I say all of that to say, you aren't intended to live your life in a bubble because you were given zodiac signs that don't immediately mesh. You shouldn't break off your engagement because the natal chart shows challenging dynamics. You might simply have to work at it a little harder, that's all. So how can you make an "incompatible" match work for you?
Avalldar Astrology gives us a few workarounds that allow for greater insights. But before doing so, she reminds us that there are pairings where simple fixes will do "and others, in which adaptation is necessary, and whether adaptation is possible or not, greatly depends on if people are willing to renounce certain things, prioritize other things instead, etc."
Look at your chart as tools for self-understanding instead of compatibility.
First, take a look at your natal chart ("Astrology Charts 101: The Significance Of Knowing Your Full Chart" is a great place to start). Next, focus on planets like Venus and Jupiter, or the Moon. When you do, think of these aspects of your chart as a tool for self-understanding versus compatibility. Avalldar explains, "Knowing ourselves and what we expect from and are willing to give to a relationship are very important points. For instance, the way the Moon is placed in our natal charts will be the indicator of things that are essential to our emotional comfort within the relationship on a personal level.
Also, considering relationships are dynamics in which we give and receive love in various forms, Venus will be the planet that indicates ways in which we prefer to be catered to/provided for, while Jupiter denotes ways in which we feel most comfortable giving/providing to our partner. "From there, when we understand that people value different things, the partners, after exploring their own charts separately, can see if what they value in terms of emotional comfort/needs, things willingly given and expected, are compatible, and ways in which they can best work around them (compromises)."
Go deeper into the relationship by having your synastry and/or composite chart interpreted.
What are synastry charts? According to Avalldar, a synastry chart is a result of putting two individual birth charts together so that they are overlaid together. They allow the couple to receive a detailed account of how each person influences the other. A composite chart is slightly different but slightly similar, as it is still two individual birth charts coming together. However, this time, the natal charts are merged into one single chart as opposed to one chart being overlaid over the other. "That chart is the representation of the dynamic of the couple overall," Avalldar states. "It doesn't show how each person of the couple is influencing each other. Instead, this chart will present the potential the relationship holds in itself."
While you can use either of these charts as tools to learn more about your relationship with your partner(s), Avalldar advises pacing yourself. A synastry chart might be great for a new couple looking to gain an understanding of their newfound relationship. For couples who are more so on the long-term track, the composite chart might be considerably more useful.
For more from these astrology experts, follow them @avalldar and @VenuzianScorpio.
Featured image by Shutterstock
Originally published on March 10, 2021
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Unapologetically, Chlöe: The R&B Star On Finding Love, Self-Acceptance & Boldly Using Her Voice
On set inside of a mid-city Los Angeles studio, it’s all eyes on Chlöe. She slightly shifts her body against a dark backdrop amidst camera clicks and whirs, giving a seductive pout here, and piercing eye contact there. Her chocolate locs are adorned with a few jewels that she requested to spice up the look, and on her shoulders rests a jeweled piece that she asked to be turned around to better showcase her neck (“I feel a bit old,” she said of the original direction). Her shapely figure is tucked into a strapless bodysuit with a deep v-neck that complements her décolletage.
Though subtle, her quiet wardrobe directives give the air of a woman who’s been here before, and certainly knows what she’s doing. At 24 years young, she’s a “Bossy” chick in training— one who’s politely unapologetic and learning the power of her own voice.
“I'm hesitant sometimes to truly speak my mind and speak up for myself and what I believe,” she later confessed to me a couple of weeks after the photoshoot. “It's always scary for me, but now I'm realizing that I have to, in order to gain respect as a Black woman— a young Black woman— who's still navigating who she is. And you know, I'm realizing that closed mouths don't get fed. And if I keep my mouth shut just because I'm afraid of what people's opinions of me will be or turn into, then that's not any way to live.”
For Chlöe, the journey into womanhood is about embracing who she is, without succumbing to the perceptions of what others think of her. From the waist up she’s everything you’d imagine. A gorgeous goddess with the kind of sex appeal that some work hard to embrace but fail to exude. But unbeknownst to anyone not on set, her bottom half is covered by a white robe, surprising coming from the girl who boasts “'Cause my booty so big, Lord, have mercy” on her first hit single “Have Mercy.”
But that’s the beauty of Chlöe. There’s more to her than meets the eye. More than what a few sensual photos sprinkled throughout an Instagram feed could ever tell you. Just like the photo-framing illusion of her portrayed from the waist up, what we know about the songstress is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more beneath the surface.
Some hours later Chlöe leans back in a high chair as her locs are transformed from a formal updo to a seemingly Basquiat-inspired one. It’s pure art, and at her request, no wigs are a part of the day’s ensemble. She’s fully embracing her natural hair, a decision that wasn’t always a socially accepted one.
In the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, (Mableton, to be exact) Chlöe began to explore the foundation of her self-image. At an early age she and her younger sister, Halle, demonstrated a vocal prowess and knack for being in front of the camera that caught their parents’ attention. Soon after, they were sent on a parade of local talent shows and auditions, and eventually broke into the digital space with song covers on YouTube.
It was during these early years that Chlöe first learned that the entertainment industry could be unforgiving to those who didn’t fit a particular beauty standard. Despite the then three-year-old snagging a role as the younger version of Beyoncé’s character, Lilly, in Fighting Temptations, casting agents requested that her natural locs be exchanged for more Eurocentric tresses. Ironic, considering that growing up Chlöe saw her hair as no different than that of her peers. “I remember specifically in pre-K we had to do self-portraits and I drew myself with a regular straight ponytail, like how I would put my locs in a ponytail,” she says. “I just never saw myself any different.”
Chlöe would also learn the true meaning of a phrase that would later become an affirmation posted on her bedroom mirror: “Don’t Let the World Dim Your Light.” After attempting to wear wigs to fit in, the Bailey sisters instead chose to rock their locs with pride, which undoubtedly cost them casting roles. Yet they would have the last laugh when making headlines as the “Teen Dreadlocked Duo” who landed a million-dollar contract with Parkwood Entertainment, and the coveted opportunity to be groomed under the tutelage of a world-renowned superstar.
Credit: Derek Blanks
While that could be the end of a beautiful fairytale of self-empowerment, the reality is that it’s just the beginning of the story of her evolution. For most girls, the transition into womanhood takes place in the comfort of their own worlds, often limited to the number of people they allow to have access to them. But for Chlöe, it’s happening in front of millions of critiquing eyes just waiting for an opportunity to either uplift or dissect her through unwarranted commentary.
Many in her position wouldn’t be able to take that kind of pressure. But Chlöe is handling it with grace. “I feel like all of us as humans, we have the right to interpret things how we want,” she says. “I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
Chlöe isn’t the first artist to receive criticism for her carnal content, and she certainly won’t be the last. In 2010, Ciara writhed and rode her way to banishment on BET when the then 24-year-old released her video for “Ride.” In 2006, 25-year-old Beyoncé received backlash for “Déjà Vu."
"I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
So much so that over 5,000 fans signed an online petition demanding that her label re-shoot the video because it was “too sexual.” Even 27-year-old Janet didn’t escape critical headlines when she shed her image of innocence for a more risqué appearance with the 1993 release of janet.
It’s almost as if public reproach is a rite of passage for young Black women R&B singers on the road to stardom. Good girls seemingly “go bad” whenever they embrace the depths of their femininity, and fans only like you on top figuratively. But Chlöe has learned not to bow down to other people’s opinions, but to boss up and control the narrative. As the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history. If sex appeal is her weapon, she wields it well.
On set, Chlöe exudes the energy of Aphrodite in an apple red, off-shoulder dress with a sexy high split. In between shots, she mouths the lyrics to Yebba’s “Boomerang” as it echoes throughout the space in steady repetition at my recommendation. The hour grows late, yet Chlöe is heating things up as eyes stare in deep mesmerization of the girl on fire.
Credit: Derek Blanks
Through music, she explores the depths of her being, a journey that seems to be, at its foundation, rooted in self-discovery. Whereas their debut album The Kids Are Alright (2018) boasts a young Chloe x Halle empowering their generation to embrace who they are while finding their place in the world, their second album Ungodly Hour (2020) shows the Bailey sisters shedding the veil of innocence for a more unapologetic bravado.
What fans looked forward to seeing is who Chlöe shows herself to be on her debut solo album In Pieces. In an interview with PEOPLE, she confesses that releasing her first project without her sister was “scary.” "It was a moment of self-doubt where I was like, 'Can I do this without my sister?’”
Chlöe has never been shy about sharing her insecurities or her vulnerabilities, all of which are laced throughout the 14-track album. “I want people to have fun when they listen to it and to just realize that they're not alone and it's okay to be vulnerable and raw and open because none of us are perfect; we're all far from it. And I think it's healing when we all admit to that instead of putting up a facade.”
The gift of time has given the self-professed “big lover girl” more encounters with romance and heartbreak. Love songs once sung for their beautiful riffs and melodies become more than just abstract lyrics and are replaced by real-life experiences, which she tells me is definitely in the music.
In her single “Pray It Away,” for example, she contemplates going to God for healing instead of going at her ex-lover for revenge for his infidelities. “With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable,” she says. “I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
Has Chlöe been in love? That still remains to be said. Of course, she’s been linked to a few potential baes, but dating in the digital age isn’t as easy as a double tap or drop of a heart-eyes emoji. It requires a level of trust and vulnerability that’s hard to earn, and easy to mishandle. To let her guard down means to potentially set herself up for disappointment. “It’s difficult dating right now, honestly, because you really have to kind of keep your guard up and pay attention to who's really there for you. And you know, I'm such an affectionate person and I love hard.
"So when I meet the one person that I really, really am into, it's hard for me to see any others and I get attached pretty easily. And you know, I don't know, it's…it's a scary thing.”
Credit: Derek Blanks
“With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable. I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
While broken hearts yield good music (queue Adele), what’s in Chlöe’s prayer is the desire to be happy. What does that look like? Well, she’s still figuring that out herself. “Honestly, I'm the type of person who I don't truly learn unless I experience it. So it's like I can view and watch my parents and watch the loving relationships that I see in my life and be like, ‘Oh, I want that. I would love to have that.’ But then I also have to experience [love] on my own and see what my flaws or my faults might be or see what my good things about myself are. I feel like it's really all about self-reflection. And even though our base is our family and that's our foundation, we are still our own individuals and we have to find out specifically the things about ourselves that may be different from what we saw from our parents when we were growing up.”
Her ideal beau, she tells me, is someone she can feel safe to be her fun, goofy self with, but who also gives her the space to be the boss chick chasing her dreams. A man who understands that just because the world compliments her doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hear those words from his lips or feel it in his touch. A bonus if he shows up on set after a long hard day of work with vegan cinnamon rolls. You know, the basic necessities. “I like whoever I'm with to constantly tell me they love me and that I look beautiful because I do the same. I am a very mushy person, and if I see something or you look good, I will never shy away from saying it out loud. And I want whoever I'm with to do the same, be very vocal. Tell me that you love me. Tell me what you love about me because I'm doing the same for you because that's just the person I am.”
Until she meets her match she’s married to the game, and for now, that seems to be perfect matrimony.
Credit: Derek Blanks
On stage at the 2021 American Music Awards, Chlöe solidified her position as a force to be reckoned with. It was a full-circle moment. In 2012, bright-eyed and baby-faced Chloe and Halle would walk onto the set of The Ellen Degeneres Show and blow the audience away as they bellowed out their future mentor’s song. Ellen would present the sisters with tickets to attend the AMAs, assuring them that they would be back and had a promising future. Nine years later, Chlöe descends from the sky cloaked in a snow-white cape and matching midriff-baring bodysuit for her debut performance. It’s the first time she’s graced the stage of the very award show that she was once an audience member of.
As she shakes and shimmies and boom kack kacks out her eight counts, it’s clear that she’s in her element. Just like her VMA performance a couple of months prior, and the many more stages she’ll continue to grace, she brings an energy that has earned her comparisons to the beloved Queen Bey herself. An honorable statement, considering few R&B songstresses are getting accolades for their entertainment capabilities. It’s on these very stages, in front of hundreds of astonished eyes and millions more glued to their televisions at home, that she tells me she feels most sexy. Powerful, even.
But off stage, it’s a different story.
It’s more than just the commentary about her image and media-flamed rumors that get to her. Mentally, she’s in competition with herself. The desire to be the best burns at the back of her mind with every performance, every production, and every time she steps into the booth. Before, she could share the weight of this burden with her sister. Being a part of a duo meant she could turn to Halle for quiet confirmation and encouragement without a word being exchanged. But lately stepping on the stage means stepping out on her own. And despite being a breathtaking, five-time Grammy-nominated star, Chlöe doesn’t escape the reality that sometimes we can be our own worst critics.
Over the last year, she’s been coming to terms with who she is on her own while overcoming the fear of failing to become who she’s destined to be. While the world waits to see how Chlöe wins, the real triumph is in every day that she chooses herself and continues to walk in her purpose. “I don't really have anything all figured out, honestly. But what I try to do, a lot of prayer. I talk to God more and I just try to do things that calm my mind down and just breathe.”
To whom much is given, much will be required. She’s been chosen to walk this path for a reason. Once she fully embraces that everything she’s meant to be is already inside of her, she’ll be an unstoppable force. “My grandma, Elizabeth, she just passed away and my middle name is her [first] name. So I feel like I truly have a responsibility to live up to her legacy that she's left on this earth. I hope I can do that.”
There’s no doubt that she will. With a role in The Fighting Temptations at three years old, a million-dollar record deal, a main role on five seasons of Grown-ish, five Grammy nominations, a number one solo record in Urban and Rhythmic Radio, a debut solo album, and starring roles in recently released movies Praise Thisand Swarm (just to name a few), Chlöe’s certainly already made her mark, and she’s just getting started.
Photographer & Creative Director: Derek Blanks
Executive Producer: Necole Kane
Co-Executive Producer: EJ Jamele
Producer: Erica Turnbull
Digitech: Chris Keller
DP: Alex Nikishin
Gaffer: Simeon Mihaylov
Photo Assistant: Chris Paschal
2nd Photo Assistant: Tyler Umprey
Features Editor: Kiah McBride
Special Projects: Tyeal Howell
Hair: Malcolm Marquez
Makeup: Yolonda Frederick
Fashion Styling: Ashley Sean Thomas
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