Congrats everyone, you made it through the first half of 2018. With some of the hard aspects that we have all shared this year, that is a huge accomplishment. July's heat wave will present a few bumps in the road, but a lovely grand trine right in the middle of the month will cool things off. This trine is so beautiful, in fact, that I would schedule major events and even births (if you can) on and around July 13th to 15th. But more on that later for some of the signs below. Heads up…Mercury goes retrograde on July 29th (you'll start to feel it by the 26th) so make sure that you buy your electronics, sign your contracts and have your tricky negotiations before the end of the month. Happy summer!
June 21-July 22
“Water your seedlings"
Happy Birthday to our summer friends born under the sign Cancer the Crab. The end of June would have been a bit of a struggle for you. Things are going to lift at the beginning of this month and line up by July 10th. This July 4th holiday will be especially fun and meaningful. Be with loved ones and celebrate. Just don't overindulge. How do you take advantage of the Earth sign grand trine around July 13th-15th? Water your garden. I mean your actual garden…but also your metaphorical garden. It's a good time to take action around tending to the goals that you have already set and not spending too much time dreaming…or planting new seeds. Work on your company's process, renovate your property, take care of warranty issues and pay attention to your assets. God will take care of growing the plants right now. You just need to be a good caretaker.
July 23-August 22
“The party is over"
It's time to clean up all the remnants of the good times that you've been having lately. It's not just drudgery for you, it's just time to get to work. The earth trine July 13th-15th calls you to focus on the practical application of your dreams. Be realistic. You still have lovely Mars energy on your side this month and on July 5th-6th you can convince anyone to do anything. Get prepared for Mercury going into retrograde at the end of the month in your sign of Leo. Not a good time to take a trip, but a great time to rest and organize your home with Venus in Virgo. What have you invented lately? Write it down.
August 23-September 22
“I can see clearly now"
Are you ready to receive your vision dear Virgo? This month is especially magical for you. It's like the universe picks you up, alights you on top of a beautiful mountain, and gives you a glimpse of your future including all the miracles, obstacles, treasures and hills to climb. It's so beautiful. Don't miss it because you are too busy looking down obsessing over the details or looking behind you trying to understand what went wrong. Look up and out. Your life is becoming a heroic tale. Have faith and keep moving.
September 23-October 22
“Digging out from under"
This Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn has been weighing on you for quite some time now. It feels heavy, like you can never finish what you've started. Keep going for there is a reward at the end of this marathon. It's just going to take a while. In the interim, dance with your Mars in Aquarius…dream, create, try new things. The “new" is your friend right now. New restaurants, travel destinations, ideas and cultures. Be frugal with your assets, especially real estate. It's the season of living below your means. That can be hard for the Librans that love new things and “retail therapy."
October 23-November 22
“Knights in white satin"
Scorpios who know anything about astrology understand that right now is a golden time for them because of the lovely transits happening in the major planets. For Scorpios, these auguries represent grand life visions, work abundance, asset building and spiritual connection. In other words, you are being blessed right now in the short term and long term. So why can't you be more respectful to those around you? Why do you feel like it's ok to lose your temper and have a negative impact on the people that matter the most to you? I'm not talking to the more mindful and conscious Scorpios right now. But for many of you it's the everyday interpersonal frustrations that are the stress for you right now. Some handle this better than others. Try to stay in an attitude of gratitude. It's a medicine that will do wonders.
November 23-December 21
You still have the gift of persuasion and gab right now, but the Mercury in retrograde at the end of the month (starting July 26th) is especially “interesting" for you. With the grand trine in earth signs and the retrograde coming, I would choose my words carefully and focus on getting my assets and finances in order presently and for your retirement. It's also a time to downsize as a part of a future vision. In other words, don't get into a situation where you have to “put your money where your mouth is." This month is not a time to gamble on anything. That's a bummer for Sagittarians because they practically invented the art of making a wager. Trust me, right now you can't afford to lose.
December 22-January 19
“Manna from heaven"
Woohoo! Hot damn what a month for you. Sorry was that too loud? Capricorns don't like making a scene. It's uncouth. In fact, they would rather assess all of their abundance and good fortune in private. Smart Capricorns (everyone else please take note) know that this is a sellers' market. They are unloading real estate and assets. They are building up a fund to buy up the deals when the market inevitably goes soft soon. This is just business as usual for them. The only difference is that the way they see the world is how the world is right now. Slow and steady wins the race. This isn't always the case. There is also love happening for our Cap friends. But, of course, that is very private. Look at their faces closely…see the little corner of a smile on that otherwise stern face? There it is…Caps are winning.
January 20-February 18
“Hear ye, hear ye"
I know it has been slow building the path to your dreams lately. It feels like the foundation is never quite finished. You are never done. You want to move on to the fun aspects of your vision. You want to start living in your vision. It's simply not time yet to have everything that you want. It wouldn't even be fun if you really think about it. Would you want everything that you've ever desired to eat all on one table in front of you at the same time? You wouldn't be able to be present for all of it. Besides, right now the universe is asking for you to share your process of building as an inspiration to others. The story of your struggles and process is an important teacher. Speak your truth to help others out.
February 19-March 20
You have been out in that Piscean, watery sea for quite some time now. You are comfortable in the ocean of emotions, vision and creativity but everyone needs to throw an anchor down at times to recharge and replenish your cargo. Now is your time to take a furlough on dry land. In other words, reap financial and physical rewards for your hard work and put your focus on evaluating assets and the structure of relationships. Take stock of your resources and plan for your future resources. Buy or sell real estate. Move or edit possessions if it's needed. Work on career planning. Make or break a commitment within a relationship. The sky is clear of storms…time to make your intentions clear as well.
March 21-April 19
I call this “tsunami season" for Aries. You have all the major planets squaring or otherwise not trining your sun. Imagine yourself on a surfboard in the middle of the ocean. The horizon looks calm but I'm letting you know now that there are several tsunamis on the way. There are a few ways to handle this news: 1. Stay in a denial that they aren't coming. 2. Become paralyzed with fear that they are coming. 3. Get excited about how amazing the surfing is going to be and where these waves may take you. For an Aries, the latter is almost always the choice you will make. Just keep one mantra in mind: submit. You must submit to the forces of fate that are beyond your control right now. See it as an exciting adventure and don't resist. You will end up somewhere wonderful and new I promise.
April 20-May 20
“Upside down, downside up"
Like I've said previously, this month is a wonderful bounty for the earth signs and you are no exception. The special twist for Taurus is the Uranus transit of change and surprise. Taurus is not usually one for surprise, but I suggest that you put your life vest on and get excited (see Aries above). Your fortune could change, your identity could change, your whole life could change without any planning on your part. While this is happening, your finances can become more stable. Your creative life will flourish, and your emotional life can become more fulfilling than ever before. Just try to watch what you say and how you say it with Mercury in Leo. Don't gloat. Some people will be jealous of your success.
May 21-June 20
“Eye on the ball"
It's a month to stay focused and on task for Geminis. Revisit your long-term goals. Who do you need to network with to get to where you want to be? Who really has all the power? Are you staying within a budget or are you living above your means? It's a great time to sell real estate. It's not a good time to make major financial commitments that are a stretch. You have Mars energy on your side, but it is not the time to start new things. It is a time to assess your strategy and to eliminate redundancies. Keep building and plugging away on your projects and eliminate the word “should" from your vocabulary. I should have this by now…I should be there by now…you are exactly where you “should" be right now.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.