A new year is upon us, and it looks like it’s going to be a good one. We need a good year after the last few dicey ones. There aren’t many challenging planetary aspects, and the Chinese New Year is the gentle Water Rabbit. Let’s hope the Rabbit is happy this year. So, what is going to happen in 2023?
There aren’t many rare transits during this year, but the ones that are occurring are pretty flashy. On May 17th, Jupiter in Taurus squares Pluto in Aquarius. Jupiter has an orbit of 12 years and Pluto’s orbit is the slowest of all the planets at a 249-year orbit. Jupiter is all about expansion and growth. Since Pluto’s orbit is so slow, that planet relates to momentous changes in society.
Jupiter Square Pluto on May 18 at Zero degrees
Even though positive Jupiter is involved, this one is going to be a doozy. Why? The transit happens at zero degrees. Why is that significant? When a planet enters a new sign, which is called an ingress, it’s like the planet is walking into a new room and is flinging the door open at zero degrees. What is in this new room or phase in history? No one knows for sure.
Both Jupiter and Pluto will be at zero degrees at the very same time. But zero degrees is a much bigger deal for Pluto, since he moves so much more slowly. When Pluto does an ingress into a new sign, it heralds an entirely new phase in society. A new paradigm. PPluto is leaving the stodgy, authoritative sign of Capricorn, where he’s been since 2008. If you remember, that was the year of the Great Recession. The 2008 fiscal crisis was caused by cheap credit and lax lending that fueled a housing bubble. The banks were left holding worthless subprime mortgages. That was also the time of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision called Citizens United. This very controversial decision allowed corporations to fund political PACS and candidates secretly.
Capricorn rules the Supreme Court.
Pluto is now entering the revolutionary sign of Aquarius and will stay there for 20 years! He enters Aquarius on January 22, 2024, and won’t leave Aquarius all the way until January 20, 2044! That’s an exceptionally long time, even for Pluto.
The outgoing Capricorn era was about hierarchy and authority from the top down. Cap likes to protect the status quo while Aquarius is here to break old molds and bring the future. Capricorn needs to control everything, versus the Aquarius need for free will. Cap runs by the rules of the leaders and Aquarius works by consensus. Aquarius will have decentralized action as the organizing principle for society. Aquarius is about group consciousness and community and not at all about authority figures. I will be writing an entire article about Pluto in Aquarius for my Aquarius newsletter. This is the beginning of the Aquarian Age, folks.
Ok, back to the Jupiter square Pluto at Zero degrees. So, when Pluto enters the new Aquarian room, Jupiter gives him a huge push forward. A bit jarring but obviously necessary for a strong start to the New Age. It is interesting that Jupiter rushed through the entire sign of Aries to also be at zero degrees to align with Pluto at the perfect time.
The Moon’s Nodes are Changing Signs
What are the Nodes of the Moon? They are points in space that are the intersecting points between the orbit of the Sun and the Moon. There are two Nodes that form a plane in space . . . the North Node and the South Node. Physically, when the Sun and the Moon join the Nodes, there is an Eclipse. On a personal chart level, they relate to our Karma and past life patterns. Looking at humanity, the Nodes explain the collective consciousness of society. Their orbit is 18.6 years, so therefore they are in a sign for approximately 1 ½ years.
The Nodes have been in the axis of Taurus and Scorpio since December 2021. They will be moving into Aries and Libra on July 18, 2023 and will remain there until January 20, 2025. Taurus and Scorpio relate to money and the environment. We have definitely had an unusual time economically recently. Yes, big hurricanes too.
Aries and Libra are about relationships between people.
Aries = Me. Libra = We.
This is a phase of realigning with our loved ones . . . or community. Lots of people, after coming out of isolation from being on lockdown, are reaching out to friends who share a common ground. Who are your neighbors? What about a neighborhood garden? What is your community?
Another Aries/Libra issue will be gender equality in the workplace as well as in personal relationships. But an even more interesting Aries/Libra focus will be gender identity, which is defined as, “a personal sense of one’s own gender, which can correlate with a person's assigned sex or can differ.” Gender binary, or male and female, might not be the norm anymore. The definition of Male and Female and is being rewritten. The terms transgender, non-binary and third gender and neither are all new categories. Pronouns are becoming very important.
I recently filled out a government form that had eight different choices for my gender. One was “They.” Another one was “Neither.” Ok, I’m confused. To add to that, both Venus and Mars will be doing a retrograde this year, which doesn’t always happen. We can look forward to seeing gender and love in a new way this year.
Chinese New Year of the Water Rabbit
The Chinese New Year starts on January 22nd and will be the year of the Water Rabbit. Chinese astrology uses twelve animals and the five elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. In their system, the animal changes every year but the element lasts for two years. For example, last year was the Water Tiger and this year is the Water Rabbit. The animal has a personality, which is affected by the element. Fire will create more heat or aggression, where water will bring emotions and passion instead. Let’s get to know the little Rabbit first.
The personality of the Rabbit is refined, congenial, discrete, thorough, scholarly, well-mannered, peaceful, cautious, artistic and possessing good judgement. His soft speech and grace are admirable traits for a diplomat or politician. The Rabbit abhors conflict and is much more effective working behind the scenes.
In Chinese mythology, the Rabbit is considered to be one of the most fortunate of all the 12 animal signs. The Rabbit, or Hare, is the symbol of longevity. They are truly fortunate in money and business, due to their intelligence and extreme confidence.
All the signs have a challenging side and for the Rabbit it is his excessive self-assurance bordering on being spoiled. The Rabbit needs to watch out for being overindulgent. He very much enjoys his creature comforts in life. The Rabbit is tender and hates being criticized and will become moody as a result. That side of him can be indifferent and superficial. But regardless, he will pursue his goals with methodical precision. He is a smooth talker and will ultimately get what he wants, and with little effort.
Let’s now see how the water element affects the Rabbit. First, do rabbits like water? Not much. They can swim if they’re escaping from predators, but not for recreation. Their undercoats soak up water like a sponge and it’s like swimming in a wet coat. Most rabbits are afraid of water.
The water element brings a strong emotional nature to the already sensitive Rabbit. This will allow him to attract supporters who will rally around him to help with his goals. He is suave and persuasive. The Rabbit cannot bear bickering or conflict and is seen as a proponent of peace. But there is a challenge with his delicate sensitivity which adds to the Rabbit being indecisive. But he is so popular and successful that people don’t really care.
So, what does the year of the Water Rabbit look like?
Chinese mythology says that after the ferocious year of the Tiger, society needs a placid year so we can go to a quiet place and lick our wounds. The Water Rabbit will help us all do just that after these rough last few years in the world. It is said to be a congenial year when international diplomacy will prevail. Reasonable concessions will come easily. The world really needs this now, folks.
The challenge of this year is to not become too indulgent. The influence of the pleasure-seeking Rabbit is to spoil himself and those who like creature comfort. This could impede their ability to be effective with their duties. Uncomfortable tasks will be put on the back burner. Procrastination could occur because people are just too busy enjoying themselves, entertaining or just relaxing. Could it be too much of a good thing? We should enjoy it now because next year is the Wood Dragon, which doesn’t sound like very much fun to me.
Poor retrogrades . . . no one likes them. But can we use them instead of fearing them? Remember that it is only an optical illusion from our perspective here on Earth. The planets of course aren’t actually moving backwards. The retrograde periods are the best times to rethink, release and regroup. Mercury retrogrades relate to travel, communication and signing contracts. Venus retrogrades bring us situations so we can look at our love life and relationships in a new way. Mars retrogrades help us redirect our energy to projects that are more productive. The astrology sign that the planets are transiting through during the retrograde will determine the area of focus. The outer planets from Saturn through Pluto are retrograde from three to six months a year, so I’m not listing them.
Mercury turns retrograde three times a year for three weeks each time. This year there are really four Mercury retrogrades, since the year starts out with one. Also, all the Mercury retrogrades in 2023 will be in earth signs.
December 29th – January 18th. Mercury will be in the business sign of Capricorn to start the year. This would be a suitable time to plan your coming year.
April 21st – May 14th. Mercury will be in Taurus for this retrograde, which synchronizes with a Total Eclipse of the Sun on April 20th. Double release for this one.
August 24th – September 15th. Mercury will be in fastidious Virgo for this retrograde. What a wonderful time for wrapping up the summer and planning for the change of seasons. Mercury is right next to Mars, giving this retrograde a punch. Make definite changes.
December 13th – January 1, 2024. Mercury will be in Capricorn again for this retrograde. Mercury is trine to Jupiter in Taurus now which will give it extra support. The Capricorn retrograde opened up and closed the year of 2023.
October 30, 2022 – January 12, 2023
Unlike speedy Mercury, Mars turns retrograde only every two years and lasts for about ten weeks. This Mars retrograde started around Halloween 2022 and won’t turn direct until January 12, 2023. Mars will be retrograding the entire time in the mental sign of Gemini. The good side of this will be a desire to complete old projects. If you need to edit something you have written or created, this is your chance. Doing research on a new project or business is favored. This is the best time to reorganize your office or work area. Delete or throw outdated documents away or archive them. Go through your files and color code them. Be creative. The rough side of this retrograde will be impatience or mental agitation. Don’t give into frustration because things aren’t going fast enough. This retrograde could cause necessary delays that you won’t realize until later. Try to stay as busy as you can with projects that are easy to complete. Count to ten often. Breathe.
July 23rd – September 4th. Venus only turns retrograde approximately every 1 ½ years and lasts for six week each time. Venus is associated with art, beauty, music and love. This is the best time to review and look deeply at our relationships and adjust whatever is necessary to have better connections with your loved ones. Venus will be in the sign of expressive Leo this retrograde, which will ensure drama. To give it an extra boost, Venus is square to Uranus in Taurus the entire retrograde. Uranus always makes things more dramatic and demands major change. So, this Venus retrograde should be memorable. If you’re not happy, know that this retrograde will give you a voice so you can get what you want. It might not be easy, but it will be so worth it.
An Eclipse happens when the Sun Moon and Earth align with each other. A Lunar Eclipse always occurs during a Full Moon while a Solar Eclipse always occurs during a New Moon. The Sun and Moon both join the Moon’s Nodes to become an Eclipse. Everyone can feel the Eclipse, even if it’s not visible in your location. There are two Eclipse Seasons each year that happen six months apart from each other. There will be one Eclipse, say the Lunar Eclipse, then two weeks later is the Solar Eclipse.
The Eclipses this year all have one thing in common. Pluto is square to all the Eclipses. He is the planet in focus all year long. That is quite an unusual thing to begin with, but even stranger this year. Pluto enters the sign of Aquarius this year and does a retrograde back into Capricorn until he finally lands in Aquarius and stays there for 20 years! It’s like Pluto is in the spotlight as he makes his move into a new sign. Pluto is all about making major shifts in society, so these Eclipses will take on a larger meaning because of Pluto.
Solar Eclipse – Total on April 19th at 29 degrees Aries
This is the first Eclipse with Pluto in Aquarius. There is a new era blooming. Life will seem different. Make as many changes as you can.
Lunar Eclipse – Penumbral on May 5th at 14 degrees Scorpio
This is the second Eclipse with Pluto in Aquarius. We will be feeling deep emotions now. Trust your intuition about new avenues.
Solar Eclipse – Annular on October 14th at 21 degrees Libra
Pluto will have retrograded back into Capricorn for this Eclipse and the next one. This is the time to clean up any issues from your past before moving forward.
Lunar Eclipse – Partial on October 28th at 5 degrees Taurus
The Moon is right next to expansive Jupiter for this Lunar Eclipse. You will want to resolve things so you can free yourself.
The planets always move along the Ecliptic, or the Great Highway in the Sky. The Ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun. If you notice where the Sun rises, the noon day Sun and then where the Sun sets, you know the Ecliptic. The planets always travel along that same arc in the sky, only at night. This is of course due to the rotation of the Earth each day.
Venus will either be the “Morning Star” or “Evening Star” and will never be more than 47 degrees away from the Sun. The outer planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, will move across the sky all night. Mercury is awfully close to the Sun and tricky to find, so I didn’t list Mercury.
We’re in for a treat this year because Venus and Mars will be joining in the evening sky after sunset from May through July. They will dominate the evening sky after sunset. This could be a good sign for relationships or even weddings. Make sure to tie the knot before Venus turns retrograde on July 23rd.
Venus is in the western evening sky from January until October. Venus is in the eastern predawn sky from November until the end of the year.
Mars is in the western evening sky from January until October. That’s all we’ll see of Mars for the year.
Jupiter is in the evening sky from January through February and again from October until the end of the year. Jupiter is in the predawn sky from March until September.
Saturn is in the predawn sky from February through August. Saturn is in the evening sky from September through the end of the year.
Have a fabulous 2023!