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.
In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.
For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.
Believe it or not, I am happy about that.
The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.
It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).
These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.
So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.
Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.
The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."
In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.