It’s the dog days of summer and we have an interesting numerology combination of characters in the sky to contend with. Here’s one thing I can promise…no one will be bored this month. Six, yes I said SIX, planets will be in retrograde in August. What does that mean? Well it depends on the planet and sign. Many people believe that retrograde brings out the negative or dark side of a planet. I disagree. I think that retrograde can dim the power of a transit or require us to revisit that category of our lives and reassess our behavior or choices. In other words, clean house, “come to Jesus,” change course, try a new approach, or apply discipline. With so many areas of our lives being affected by this you have a big list to choose from in terms of focus. Overwhelmed? Here’s my advice: What area of your life have you been putting off changing? What behavior or situation do you need to wrangle, control, change or pay more attention to? You know what you need to do. Don’t feel like making any effort this month? The consequences of your inaction will ratchet up until you take responsibility. If you take your medicine some tough situations could be permanently resolved. Now doesn’t that sound better than mayhem?
July 24- Aug 23rd
“What about moi?”
Happy Birthday my lions and lionesses! Summer is your season in every way. The Sun is even your ruling “planet.” You have an actual burning massive star as your patron heavenly body. Wow. Remember that because I’ll come back to it in a minute. With some of the bigger planets in Earth and Water signs in retrograde, this is a time of rain on your proverbial parade. There is a heaviness or a damper at times on your moments of frivolity or passion. Situations may not resolve at the pace that you desire. There are always complications to wade through. When you feel frustrated try not to turn it on others. This is a month where words can hurt and do damage. Hold your tongue and direct your reflection inward. You are a burning star. You have a generator that is bigger than any circumstance. Own your inner power. The sun doesn’t attack the rain, it just evaporates the closer it gets to its surface. Shine your light and let problems take their own course and dissolve.
Aug 24th- Sep 23rd
You, like everyone else, will be affected by the Mars and Mercury retrograde this month. Virgos are less likely to speak out of turn…they are typically too careful for that. My advice is to cut those around you who struggle with foot in mouth disease some slack. Don’t take everything so personally and hole up to lick your wounds. Yes you are right but they are human. Life isn’t about always being right it’s about connecting and compassion. The last week of August is a divine moment for you all with a grand earth trine- AGAIN. Lucky you, especially those Virgos born August 25th- 30th.
Sep 24th- Oct 23rd
“My milkshake brings all the…”
Yes, the earth and water retrogrades are heavy for you this month but the stars are giving you some lovely breaks too. Firstly, while everyone else is saying the wrong thing in conflict, you have an opportunity to speak up for yourself. August will give you your voice back so it’s time to tell it like it is!
Your other gift is from your patron planet Venus who is home to stay for a little while in Libra. This means extra money and the ability to attract potential partners of all kinds. You don’t even need to pull out your milkshake machine or bat your eyelashes!
Oct 24th- Nov 22nd
“If it’s not broken…”
Many of the transits that are wreaking havoc on others are propelling you to success right now. The retrogrades may slow down your progress a bit but you are still moving forward and expanding your life. With Mars and Mercury squaring your sun AND in retrograde, you may be feeling over confident and taking risks or saying things that may backfire on you. Even though things are going well, hold back this month. Be conservative with your energy and ventures. Don’t disturb or change things that are going well.
Nov 23rd- Dec 22nd
“With the Sun at my back”
This time of year is always good for you with the Sun in Leo. It helps your life vision. How can you improve your dailyness? Do you need to change your habits, routine or choice of activities? This Mercury in retrograde informs you to be calm with your loved ones, even in the face of frustration. After August 7th some funds could release in your favor or a past partner or love could come a callin’. If you are in a relationship, enjoy a magical last three months of August. If you are not in a relationship put yourself out there. You could meet the one this month. Romance is in the air.
Dec 23rd- Jan 20th
These transits require you to work harder on your goals and to assess your process. These activities come naturally to Capricorns. They also will require you to change some habits. Change does NOT come naturally to Capricorns. Please revisit the introductory paragraph at the beginning of this article. What do you know that you need to button up? Your diet and/or exercise perhaps? Yep I thought so. Don’t procrastinate, your health is at stake.
Jan 21st- Feb 19th
“Put a little love in your heart”
This Mercury in retrograde will be a big one for you. Heed my advice and don’t try to push people to do what you want. Convince them that they WANT to do it and that it is THEIR CHOICE. They will flock to you en masse with this approach. In other words, attract don’t force. After August 7th, good love. After August 13th, revisit your finances and/or business plan. Is it working? Does it need a tweak? You may have surprises regarding property or finances this month…go with the flow. There is nothing that you can do to prepare for these changes and they don’t have to be bad; they can be fabulous! Breathe in, breathe out.
Feb 20th- Mar 20th
I don’t know if you’ve read the other horoscopes but this month is pretty tough for the other signs. I’m not saying it’s all rosy for you but I do believe that you could be the sign with the most to gain right now. It all depends on how you use the big energy that is being dealt from the universe right now. Take a cue from Tai Kwon Do. When aggression come towards you in any form (an attack, a confrontation) do not expend energy towards it in defense. Receive the energy and turn it back towards the sender. I know this sounds woo woo but it works.
Don’t be hooked by the anger or confrontation. Just hold up a mirror in a non-emotional way and enjoy the power of nonviolent protest.
Mar 21st- Apr 20th
“The devil is in the details”
Our Aries friends don’t like to slow down for any reason. What they lack in meticulousness they make up for in sheer passion and determination. They are bold, energetic and fearless. Unfortunately, this month all of these qualities are not very useful. Please heed my advice and save your energy. You are being called to make your list and check it twice. You must stop and look at the map or the plan or the process. Ask for proverbial directions. If you aren’t good at the details, find someone who is and ask them to check things for you. You will be glad that you did and more efficiently reach your goals. Yes-you can go faster if you slow down this month.
Apr 21st- May 20th
“Fun in the salt mine”
Typically the first three weeks of August are never your favorite because Leo squares your sun. Everything will always get better for you when Virgo hits on August 24th. August of 2018, however, should be a lot more to your liking. You may feel tired and drained and quite frankly annoyed by the monotony of other people. But unlike the other signs, your productivity will be off the chart. In other words, keep your head down and produce. You can pile up results, money, strategies and clear goals. Evaluate your real estate. It may be time to sell. You also have the favor of your boss or authority figure.
May 21st- Jun 21st
“My future’s so bright…”
You may not make much progress this month towards your goals but you will have a clearer vision than you have had in a while as to where you can go. You see potential like never before. You just can’t run very fast towards your horizon. That’s ok. It’s time to plan, take stock and make a vision board. Half of the ingredient for success is being able to see where you want to be and who you want to be. Have conversations with your future self. KNOW that you will get there. Enjoy being outdoors and get some sun. The Leo summer weeks are illuminating your dreams, enjoy it while you can.
Jun 22nd- Jul 23rd
“Pot boiling over”
Not only are the retrogrades effecting you this month, they are SQUARING your watery crab sign. That means that you may feel like you are running into a brick wall constantly in lieu of making progress. This will make you very ANGRY. Especially as it pertains to Mars in retrograde in the sign of Libra. To help you cope let’s take inspiration from your spirit animal the crab shall we? Crabs are best at camouflage. They blend in and move quickly. They are quiet. They are stealthy. They are brilliant at succeeding while no one is really looking. Crabs are NOT at their best when they feel cornered and stand to attack. Have you ever seen a crab angry and trying to wave its claws to intimidate? It’s almost funny. It certainly isn’t effective. Do what you do best this month and don’t be pushed into making a fool of yourself. No angry displays, please. You can however win against your competitors with cunning hidden strategy.
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.