The Astrology of 2023: II

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys for the final time in 2022 as following on from last month we usher in and take a deeper look into 2023.

The three slower moving outer planets of the system, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (we are still calling Pluto a planet for the purposes of astrology) define and delineate the overarching themes that the world experiences collectively. Uranus for example takes 7 years to travel through one particular sign, Neptune twice that much and Pluto varies but is slowest of all. What this means is that within, for example, that 7 year period in which Uranus is in a particular sign, that every birth chart and other chart that is created has something in common – Uranus in that sign. Furthermore, because these planets are slow moving, when they aspect one another the aspects also stay in effect for longer periods of time which means that, for example, if you are born in any year where Uranus is in opposition to Pluto then that’ll remain true for many years and so everyone born around the same time period as you will have Uranus in opposition to Pluto. This then becomes a feature of an entire generation of people. In the same way, already living human beings experience these transits as ongoing situations which affect the entire global population in various ways.

These influences transcend single forms. As an example from recent times, the transit of Uranus through Aries (2011 to 2019), which resonates with uprising and rebellion, saw the widespread unrest known as the Arab Spring, the Egyptian revolution and everything that followed it, as well as the triumph of Trump over the establishment in the USA, among other things. With the passage of Uranus into Taurus in 2019 we entered a volatile period of global financial instability and shock, and soon after we had lockdowns and global trade was disrupted more than at any other time in recent history, and most have been or are now facing economic hardship, collapse, inflation, rising prices, a sudden lack of common supplies like toilet paper and antibiotics, etc. What this means is that when slow-moving planets change signs it represents a shift in the global mindset and collective experience, one which may arrive suddenly and shockingly or alternatively it may creep in like a fog changing our view gradually. This becomes especially important this year in relation to Pluto, which dips into Aquarius for the first time after having been in Capricorn since 2008, and its entrance is a giant bang to the drumbeat of Mars and Jupiter.

Here is the graph from last month for ease of reference:

Unlike recent years going back to the middle of the last decade the skies of 2023 are less troubled by major planets forming aspects that hang around for long periods of time. This means that the overall tone of the year is not about situations dragging on as it has been in previous years but is actually more about new things kicking off, something that is driven very strongly by Jupiter in Aries (see last month) at the start of the year. The shift of Jupiter into Taurus (once it clears its square with Pluto) and Saturn into Pisces later in the year is very significant and helps to calm things in general, but the upcoming conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus in 2024 could well see those themes of economic upheaval exploding dramatically. Nevertheless, the skies overall do look less turbulent and grueling, as we are finally freed from a gruelling 5 years of strong Saturn in major conflicts which has brought us so much collective isolation and hardship.

URANUS in TAURUS (14°-23°)

This year Uranus moves between 15° – 23° of Taurus, retrograding in August back to 19° and therefore placing strong emphasis on 19° – 23° Taurus from August onward. His only major encounters are with Mars – a helpful sextile from Cancer in April and a trine from Virgo in August, with the more disruptive meetings taking place with Mars in Leo (end of June) and Mars in Scorpio (mid November). This means that, generally, the craziest and most volatile times of the year (in which change tends to have immediate, unforeseen consequence or backlash but which also creates exciting adventures and major, dynamic breakthroughs) are at the end of June and mid November, while efforts to create change will flow more controllably and smoothly in April and August. If you have the Sun, Moon or other important objects at 15° – 23° of any Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), this is especially significant. By Sun signs, this includes everyone born around February 3rd – 13th, May 5th – 15th, August 7th – 17th or November 7th – 17th. All of these people are among those who will experience some kind of major life change in 2023, one that is meant to push them towards more freedom and independence, but they have to be extremely careful about acting selfishly in this pursuit as it will carry many consequences. Many new things will emerge for these people.

I have written an extensive article about Uranus in Taurus and its history. Essentially this influence disrupts the normal way of life in such a radical way that it never returns. Uranus in Taurus is a global lesson that nothing is changeless and that all things are required to undergo radical shifts. There was a time, for example, when people hunted their food. This lasted for millennia until agriculture began to develop, forcing what was assumed to be a forever way of nomadic life into radical change. The development of inventions drives much of this change. Uranus in Taurus was probably strongly involved in these transitions. Today we have a hugely complicated, electronically powered global economy in a similar state of radical transition, this time the machines are growing intelligent enough to replace us at our manual jobs and labors, having evolved from the plough into semi-aware robots. This is calling into question the viability of future jobs and even the sense of carrying on with the same financial structure. It will globally disrupt the status quo irreversibly. This problem won’t go away when Uranus leaves Taurus in a couple of years, it is being just initiated and established in our awareness now and from my perspective the oncoming new space race will just add to it. Just next door in the asteroid field between here and Mars there is a dragons dream of a treasure hoard in the form of gold, silver, exotic materials and other commodities. The asteroid Psyche is commonly quoted on the web as having gold worth approximately 10 quadrillion dollars (enough to make everyone a billionaire, but this wouldn’t happen because gold would suddenly be rendered virtually worthless), and this is just one rock. The existence of these resources – not just gold – throws the entire capitalist system into chaos, and we are now able to drag them here. These are the future seeds being planted now by Uranus on Taurus.

Ultimately we are presented with the necessity for change by Uranus and in this case, in Taurus, that change happens to the things that we place physical and material value on. Money, is of course the number one thing that we place value on, but stretching back this includes all jewels and shiny things, and even deeper and more fundamentally a well-stocked supply of food, fresh water and the security that comes from a stable, flourishing Earth. The Earth is clearly in a state of turbulent change, regardless of the causes. Interruptions of basic supplies and even an ongoing disruption of the natural order as the planet adapts to change seeking a new equilibrium must be accepted. We have not seen much of it yet, but I believe Uranus in Taurus will not only permanently reshape national borders politically (for example the war in Ukraine) but also environmentally. There are a couple of years left for this to transpire, if it will.

Uranus has cleared its exact squares with Saturn in Aquarius but the hangover if you like of those squares is still with us for as long as Saturn stays in Aquarius. This shift occurs in early March, marking a significant but subtle shift in the way Uranus is behaving in our skies from that point on. He is no longer trying to undermine authority and overthrow oppression as directly, his agenda shifts and at first it is not altogether clear where it is going since he forms no major aspects with other planets this year. The closest he comes to one is a sextile with Neptune in Pisces, which he gets 3° away from in October. There is an interesting dance to this sextile with Neptune – they draw close together this October then pull apart, they draw closer still (just 1° apart) in October of the following year but then pull apart again, they try again in 2025 but just before Uranus catches up with him Neptune leaves Pisces and moves into Aries, evading him. Uranus himself then leaves Taurus for Gemini, looking to make a sextile in different signs. However, both Uranus and Neptune then retrograde back into Taurus and Pisces to finally make the exact sextile in November 2025. It is almost as if Neptune plays a few unexpected vanishing tricks on his brother in a game of hide and seek. This has the feel of something that keeps trying to manifest or of a steadily increasing buzz or hum that bursts into music, with the first rhythms appearing in October of this year and then repeating in October annually until 2025.

It’s not until 2024, however, that the new agenda of Uranus in Taurus starts to unroll in the form of major aspects. This year it is likely a wrapping up of what has been going on in the last few years with regard to the conflict between freedom verses rules or responsibility. While the other placements this year (Jupiter in Aries and the Pluto collision with Mars and Jupiter in May) do not exactly generate quiet times, as far as Uranus is concerned, he’s pretty quiet.

His first meeting with Mars is on April 28/29th with Mars in Cancer. This is a sextile that helps us to break out of bad habits in unorthodox or lateral ways. It helps us to move forwards but not directly, more sideways like a crab, so it helps us to tackle problems from new and unexpected angles. Often these positive combinations of Mars and Uranus stimulate new directions and new activities and are good for either shaking up our convictions in refreshing ways or pushing us to experiment boldly. His next meeting while in Leo (June 26th) is not nearly so easy-going. This is the kind of influence people lose their temper under very quickly, becoming bossy and domineering and forcing their will upon those around them. It can bring out the predatory side of Leo, the bloodied tooth and claw and the red matted mane. On the positive side though it can help us to stand our ground against an offensive, especially when we believe in the cause and have allies. Mars then encounters Uranus in Taurus on August 16th while in Virgo, a trine, which is probably the best time in the year to plan a major change around since the flowing interaction between these two will allow you to make progress quickly. This is also an extremely productive period that is fundamentally good for anyone wanting to get the work done and put in hours or make tangible improvements. His last encounter with Uranus in 2023 comes when he is in Scorpio, and it is likely the most problematic. This takes place on November 11th and can lead to power struggles in relationships and upsets in the balance of power generally, it makes people more pushy and aggressive, more possessive and driven to get things their way, but it’s also potentially offering a major emotional, physical or financial breakthrough for people who have been working hard or diligently. Most encounters with Mars will last at least a week to arise, climax and then fade out, some longer.

The last instances of Uranus in Taurus between 14° and 23° occurred over 1938/39, 1854-1856, and 1763-1765. These have ominous resonances in history – the outbreak of World War 2, the Crimean War (which decimated Russia and redefined Europe), and the end of the Seven Years War (a global conflict that involved most of Europe’s powers). The grim historical theme is clear – global warfare, poverty and high prices/unavailability of basic goods, turbulence and disruption to the balance of power in Europe. If things go awry for us in 2023 it is because of this karmic interaction with Uranus in Taurus and the events involving Pluto in May. We are about to re-experience the consequences of these times and the way things have always been done before will undergo even more radical change than they have already. This also seems to centre around the conjunction of Jupiter with Uranus in Taurus, but that does not manifest until April 2024 (this year the closest they come is 7°- 8°, in the third quarter).

NEPTUNE in PISCES (22°-27°)

Neptune spends 2023 floating in the 3rd decan of Pisces, preparing to make shore with Aries in 2025. Even though Saturn is now in Pisces and is slowly gaining on him, the two will not join in a conjunction in Pisces. Instead Saturn will meet Neptune in Aries, also in a couple of years. As with Uranus, Neptune makes no major contact with other slow-moving planets, only interacting with Mars (and of course the Lights, Mercury and Venus interact with all the slow moving planets on an annual basis). The closest it comes to a major aspect is the sextile with Uranus (described in the previous section) that almost happens in October but has to wait 2 more years before it finalizes. Positive or easy to handle interactions with Mars/Neptune are placed in the middle of May and the middle of November while the more tricky aspects occur in mid March and August and at the very end of December. Interactions between Mars and Neptune essentially relate to refinement and the importance of subtlety in the way we express our drive, willpower and desire nature. They help us to imaginatively assert ourselves and gain insight and greater clarity into who we really are and what pushes our buttons. They can also be useful in developing the psychic will, the capacity to create forceful impact with the imagination.

Although Neptune in Pisces has occurred a number of times in recorded history having a cycle of just slightly than 150 years it is an extremely subtle and difficult to define or pin down influence, its nature being related to the intangible and ethereal as well as the unseen world. What Neptune in Pisces does essentially is alter the astral field around us rather than the physical field and this is not something that we see recorded in history books very often if at all. There are aspects of Neptune in Pisces which affect the invisible world and the spirit world and the way it interacts with us, for example the way that we have destroyed and removed the habitat of many nature spirits, harming them or forcing them to move on, and the way that the ocean life around us is being affected with only the most visible signs showing up on our shores. These effects gradually accumulate under Neptune in Pisces like drops of water in a bucket or grains of sand in an hourglass, eventually manifesting themselves physically all at once and making people wonder about the mystery of it all and where it came from.

What the historical record shows is that Neptune in Pisces has powerful effects on what we believe and how human belief is expressed. Going back to the excommunication of Henry VIII and the creation of the Church of England, then the spread of Christianity and Catholicism into the Americas, leading (the last time Neptune was in Pisces) to the publication of ‘The Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin, what we see is an evolution of the human idea of God or Creation and its mysterious implementation in the physical world. The importance of Darwin here is that he shows that Neptune in Pisces is not really concerned with religion but more with what is believed about existence. The form of things is largely irrelevant with Neptune. It just permeates them whatever they are. This is a quality it has in spades while in Pisces. Something permeates the imagination which seeds it with a new level of consciousness or alters the way that collective human belief is expressed. In the past Neptune in Pisces has represented a waning of power for those in positions of religious or spiritual authority – the Pope loses England, the priests of South America are overthrown and destroyed, the grip that religious thinking has is loosened by scientific theory and discovery on a remote Pacific island, etc. We see similar things happening today with the scandals arising in the Catholic Church, the (probably foireign power instigated) rebellion of women in Iran, the reaction from many religious Americans to what they perceive as a corrupted and condemned society, etc. We still have two years of Neptune in Pisces to play out and it is unwise to try to summaries it before then but it also seems strongly connected with the pandemic outbreak and developments in epidemiology and health care. Neptune in Pisces brought us Florence Nightingale and the initial observation about cholera breaking out in a contaminated water pump in London that led to the modern understanding of epidemics. Florence especially is an example of the way that Neptune in Pisces raises compassion and empathy and brings charity and kindness into play, sometimes though this emergence of greater compassion comes through an experience of unbearable suffering and sacrifice as we see in the story of the slave ship Hannibal. Flooding is also a theme of Neptune in Pisces – it’s not just floods of water but floods of emotion.

Esoterically Neptune in Pisces awakens the third eye or psychic senses, the creative imagination. This has both good and bad effects because it means that people are more willing to believe in things that are only imaginary while also opening their minds. It makes the entire world feel more surreal. What is needed with Neptune in Pisces is a strong grounding (astrologically this means a good connection with Saturn or the Earth signs) because the visions are so enchanting or the surrealism beyond parody, beyond farce. Certain spiritual truths are so sublime that they transcend words and some situations so surreal that they defy reality and this is the experience that Neptune in Pisces stimulates and leads to. Those who are consciously working with this impulse find themselves able to develop their psychic potential through empathy and compassion very rapidly and smoothly while those who are needing to become more discerning about the nature of material reality often grow extremely confused and tired. To integrate the higher energies of Neptune in Pisces we need to be in an altered state of consciousness and this is why many people find it hard to stay awake during these times. However it is not enough to simply alter our consciousness, we also have to learn how to do this consciously which means without the aid of things like drugs or sleep. Neptune in Pisces involves us in all of these issues, which can lead us deeper into addiction if we are not aware of it. Really we have to develop and clarify our discernment of what reality is first and then Neptune in Pisces becomes a powerful boon to the awareness.

Mars first meets with Neptune as he is leaving his long passage through Gemini in mid March (15th). This encounter is problematic as the symbolism fosters confusion, clumsiness, awkwardness and a kind of slippery evasiveness or outright deception. There is a fogginess to communication and an inability to clarify what we intend but also potentially a turning point in which we overcome self-deception or delusion about who we are and what we want. If the roads are icy at this time it is not a good idea to travel because of the literal slipperiness of this square. A couple of months later in mid-May (15th) the two meet again, this time on far more friendly terms with Mars in Cancer. This is one of the better times in the year to express what we feel and to assert or somehow act upon our intuition or imagination but we need to overcome any shyness. In particular this aspect helps us to empathise with those whom we are emotionally invested in taking care of as well as the vulnerable in general. However there is little directness and forthrightness to this aspect so it can be more difficult for us to say what we really mean and easier for us to fall back on passive-aggressive behaviour in getting what we want. Overall this is a good month for working on the emotions. On August 22nd Mars and Neptune meet again, this time in opposition, their most direct antagonistic relationship this year. Mars in Virgo pulls us towards activities which emphasize and empower the desire for the facts while Neptune in Pisces pulls in the other direction looking for the essence and the invisible undercurrent, not the actual words or deeds but what is written between the lines. This is the essential conflict here but it can manifest in different ways, for example as a contradiction between the perceived facts and evidence (Mars in Virgo) and the instinct and intuition (Neptune in Pisces). Mars then gives us a second Water trine with Neptune, this time from Scorpio in mid-November (17th). This one is more forceful because Mars is in a sign that he rules and it avoids the passive-aggressive problems but replaces them with more overt passions and temptations of desire. However overall this is a very strong aspect for expressing the emotions and allowing them to flow as well as transforming them by taking control of them when they are destructive and cleansing them. Pursuit of peace is still a pursuit that Mars can get behind and there is powerful regenerative and restorative power available here. To end the year (December 28th) Mars in Sagittarius gives us a square with Neptune, a tricky aspect that can throw spanners in the smooth running of things, disrupt or confuse long journeys or quests, lead to slippery slopes where dogma drives a crusade, create confused arguments or lead into a hidden ambush, trap or snare of some kind. On the positive side we can perhaps use this aspect to realise that some of goals are too ideal, visionary or impractical and then make the necessary adjustments.

Neptune was last in this area of Pisces (22° – 27°) in the years 1859 – 1860, 1694 – 1696 and 1530 – 1532. It was in 1860 that Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species” and the first Neanderthal bones were discovered in Germany. This is also the time when John Snow began the science of epidemiology and Florence Nightingale founded her school for nurses. The period in the mid-1690s saw a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the founding of the Banks of England and Scotland, the completion of the Potala Palace in Lhasa and the horrific voyage of the slave ship Hannibal which ended with the deaths of nearly half of the 692 slaves aboard. In the early 1530s Rome was engulfed in a flood, the Knights of Malta were formed and the Church of England was created after King Henry VIII of England secretly married Anne Boleyn. In almost archetypal Neptune in Pisces style a portrait painting of Saint Dominic was gifted by ‘three ladies of wonderful appearance’ in Soriano Calabro, Calabria and was deemed a miraculous gift from St. Catherine, Mary Magdelene and the Virgin Mary.

PLUTO in CAPRICORN and AQUARIUS (27° Capricorn – 0° Aquarius)

This is the last significant year of Pluto in Capricorn. In May he makes a short visit into the beginning of Aquarius before retrograding back into Capricorn for the rest of the year. In Capricorn, the closest he comes to a major aspect is a near sextile from July until around October, but the real action happens while he is briefly in Aquarius in May as he opposes Mars in Leo and squares Jupiter in Taurus, both of whom also newly arrived in those signs. His positive interactions with Mars occur in late August when Pluto is in Capricorn and Mars is in Virgo and in mid-November with Mars in Scorpio. He not only clashes with Mars in Leo (when Pluto is in Aquarius) in mid-May but also with Mars in Libra (when Pluto is in Capricorn) in the first half of October. May could be a month in which there are extremely dynamic but stressful breakthroughs, while the first half of October is problematic because it tends to create arguments in relationships, often over money. Both late August and mid November provide energy bursts for whatever you need it for, with Mars and Pluto providing the raw power to stick to our guns and forge ahead.

As we reach the end of Pluto in Capricorn we can begin to look back on what has happened in the world since the time it entered the sign in 2008 seeking insight into what it has brought. Quite obviously, this has been a time of economic turmoil with huge bailouts and desperate rescue plans for entire nations, many of which have been broken as a result. We’ve also seen a tightening of the grip by authorities and an escalating threat of environmental destruction, fatalism concerning capitalism and the material way of life, many revolutions in many countries and governments, the concentration of greater power and wealth in the hands of the already super wealthy and the emergence of the first corporate superpowers (Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Disney, etc). Quite likely, 2023 will see us reviewing all of these matters and attempting to draw lessons and meaning from them as this period draws to a close. It is time for the final arguments and moves on these matters to be made before they are replaced by startlingly new but even more urgent matters. Very likely this involves the imminent emergence of advanced artificial intelligence and robotics, key themes of Aquarius. The talking points this May and which develop more next year will help us to foresee what the major talking points of the next 20 years will be in the same way that the near financial apocalypse of 2008 forecast the talking points of the next 15 years.

There is an interesting suggestion in the historical record of Pluto moving from Capricorn into Aquarius that already has some resonance for us today and that is the it tends to coincide with the sudden death of a monarch, institution or ruler followed by some kind of radical reformation. Back in the mid-1770s this was the American War for Independence, in the early 1530s it happened at Chichen Itza with the arrival of the Conquistadors and in the mid-1280s there was the coronation of the last King of Jerusalem and the sudden death of the Scots king when he fell from his horse. Things happen to people at the top, usually bad things, there is a vacuum and it is quickly filled by something radically new. My thoughts here are not only on the UK with the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II but also on Russia, China and the USA because Aquarius has powerful effects on all these nations. In Russia and China this connection to Aquarius is expressed historically as communism and a strong emphasis on communal identity while in the UK and United States the emphasis is being placed on individual freedom and independence, at least notionally. The rift between these nations will probably widen under Pluto in Aquarius as it will both transform and intensify the different paths they have taken. Or perhaps Aquarius will play its trump card and reshuffle the entire deck and all hands in a completely surprising way.

The action in May is also intense. As Pluto dips into Aquarius (May 23rd) he encounters both Jupiter (May 18th) and Mars (May 21st/22nd) in early parts of Fixed signs and this creates a T-square, an explosive opposition between Mars and Pluto that is exaggerated and enlarged upon in scope by Jupiter. Mars-Pluto oppositions are sometimes connected to horrific war crimes and Jupiter elevates the potential to a mass scale. The fact that Mars is in Leo does not help because it implies that egos will be involved while Pluto and Aquarius looks like some kind of humanitarian outrage. Aside from its implications for war and destruction, this arrangement could also bring about a sudden overthrow of power, not just in one place but in many places, it has the quality of people having had enough of hard conditions or demanding more pay (Jupiter in Taurus) starting a violent revolution (Mars/Pluto in Leo Aquarius). We might also see some kind of geographical or environmental disaster – a huge eruption, the loss of an ice shelf or a powerful earthquake for example. If we are looking to draw some positive advantage from this potential in May we should first of all be prepared to back down when we feel that we are absolutely in the right because this configuration can blind us but also encase us in stubborn ways that we need to break free of violently. If we are already trapped in a suffocating or life destroying situation then this configuration could help us to finally smash our way through it but likely not without a high cost. It is a very risky sky to gamble under or to guess with – chance can lead to profound ruin. Perhaps the best path with it is to accept that sometimes growth depends on sacrifice or the greater good depends upon us giving up upon or changing what we want and to work on figuring out how that applies to us. If a metaphorical bomb goes off in your life during this time it is perhaps some comfort to know that this situation will not stretch on as it emerges in May but vanishes very quickly from the sky and does not return. It is, however, probably a trailer or preview of how Pluto in Aquarius will interact with you over the long term starting next year.

The opposition with Mars in Leo on May 21st is Pluto’s first clash with Mars this year. In general we have to be very wary of getting involved in power struggles and power plays under this aspect as well as perhaps having to rein in some of our more compulsive desires. Pushy, bossy and domineering behaviour towards the people around us will very likely cause an intense backlash at this point. There are strong opinions around about what is best and who to follow but this aspect challenges us to transcend that and to seek within for the light that will allow us to courageously express our own unique and deeply considered opinions while allowing others to do the same. The next tussle between Mars and Pluto is on October 9 with Mars in Libra which creates a dynamic that can cause arguments between us and our partners, especially over matters of finances and security, but also it tends to create a need to choose between two different ambitions or to divide time and resources between two goals. Problems can arise when we take into consideration what our partners want as it may conflict with our long-term goals or plans. Potentially this square enables couples to renegotiate the rules of their relationship. The positive interactions between Mars and Pluto come from Mars in Virgo (August 25th) and Mars in Scorpio (November 22nd). The August interaction is productive and efficient, able to make select and precise changes that have profound impacts. It is good for tidying or arranging things and getting things in order as well as for stabilising them or streamlining them. However, it can be a bit nitpicky. The November sextile with Mars in Scorpio is more erotic and arousing, stimulating sensual and emotional desire but keeping it controlled so that it becomes like steam. This is also good aspect for money spinning ideas or activities and it can help when we need a strong will for something.

The last time Pluto was in the last degrees of Capricorn and moving into the beginning of Aquarius were 1776-1777, 1531-1532, 1285-1286. Some of the events that we see occurring in this period are the American declaration of Independence and the formation of the Bavarian Illuminati (secret societies seem to be connected with Pluto in Aquarius but for obvious reasons their activities are hidden from the historical record), the famous appearances of the Virgin Mary in Mexico City, Guadeloupe (visions and miraculous events that have profound impact also seem to be connected to Pluto in Aquarius), in the 1531-2 period the Comet Halley suddenly appeared in the sky, causing consternation and wonderment (perhaps Pluto in Aquarius has something to do with threats that come from space or dark omens related to the sky), and Kublai Khan made extensive plans for a final Mongol invasion of Japan but then had to call it off when he didn’t have enough money or resources (Aquarius often involves last-minute changes or reversals being forced upon us).

That’s all for this month and for this year, thank you for journeying with me, I look forward eagerly to our next year together! Blessings and peace to you all.

The Astrology of 2023: I

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! To round off the year I’m exploring the astrology of 2023 in two parts, this first part focusing on Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron.

There are many ways to approach the task of analysing the astrology for a particular year. Last year I published a forecast delineated according to what was happening in each of the 12 signs and previously (almost a decade ago actually) I have talked about ingress charts. I’ve also used the graphic ephemeris quite often, a very handy visual tool provided by Solar Fire which I will use again here. In writing up the signification of planets in various signs, for instance Uranus in Taurus, I have also tracked their history, showing the commonality that emerges from that placement. In this years forecast I will use that method of tracking in combination with the graphic ephemeris. This is an especially important year to do that in, as the results will show that we are now living through a repeat of and reaction to the astrology of the 1930s and early 1940s according not only to the placement of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which we come to next month, but also Jupiter and Saturn. Chiron is instead in the same position he was in the 1920s, approaching Taurus which he was last in as the 20s turned to the 30s, so he is also riffing on that period in history.

Once again the astrology is clear – in 2023 the karma of the 1930s and early 1940s is afoot. Something else is happening too, though – Pluto is dipping into Aquarius for the first time in April and May, a huge shift that will be covered next month in more detail but the indication here is that we’re getting a preview of the long-term future in these two months. So we are both looking forward and backward in 2023. One other notable feature of the overall picture, as can be seen in the graph below, is that there is only 1 major new interaction between the heavy hitting slow-moving planets. This is probably something to be very thankful for at this point but unfortunately the single clash is a huge one. The big troublemaker in the sky is actually in May when Pluto is in early Aquarius, Jupiter in early Taurus and Mars in early Leo. This is a very worrying picture. Pluto is retrograding, going back into Capricorn in June, and Mars and Jupiter do not dally or retrograde, so this is a situation that arises quickly (probably mid May) and ends quickly but the sky is not entirely clear of it until the end of June. Aside from this, the rest of the troubles of 2023 stem from Mars as he interacts with everything else. There is a potentially painful point when Jupiter and Chiron conjoin in Aries in March, but the Saturn – Uranus square finally terminates and no major new ongoing conflict between the planets emerges to take its place. In short, if we get through the spring into late June without wider war breaking out, we are lucky. The period from mid May to the end of June is the time we have to watch this year.

This graph shows the positions of the slow moving planets and Mars (the red lines) throughout the course of the year as curved or straight lines. Mars is included because it acts as a trigger mechanism and also because (excepting the Moon) its movements are less predictable than the other inner planets because Mars is not as bound to the Sun. Along the left-hand side of the growth you can see the degrees that the planets are in from 0° at the top to 30° at the bottom. This means that when a line reaches the bottom of the graph at 30°, it then changes signs and goes to 0° of the next sign, reappearing at the top of the graph (you can see Pluto, the grey line, doing this as he moves between Capricorn and Aquarius in March and June and Jupiter, the blue line, does it in May as he moves from Aries to Taurus). When the lines fall back and start moving towards the top of the graph the planet is retrograde, and when they curve back towards the bottom again the planet is going direct. You can see that most clearly in the blue line which represents Jupiter – it starts to curve back at the start of September moving towards the top of the graph, meaning that Jupiter has turned retrograde. You can also see it quite clearly in the black line representing Saturn. When one or more lines cross one another there is the potential for a major interaction between the two planets, it will depend upon which of the signs those planets are in since some signs do not form major aspects with other signs. Most of the time, however, there is some kind of result. For example, the blue line from Jupiter crosses the black line for Saturn in June. Jupiter is in Taurus and Saturn is in Pisces, and these two signs to form a major aspect with one another, a sextile. Therefore, this is a major interaction between Jupiter and Saturn. On the other hand if we look at the magenta line representing Uranus we see that it also crosses the blue line for Jupiter in March, but Jupiter is in Aries and Uranus is in Taurus, signs which do not form a major aspect and so there is no major interaction between Jupiter and Uranus in that time.

So let’s look at Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron for this month, in the course of which we will touch upon the positions of the other planets which I will examine more completely next month.


Throughout the course of the year Jupiter moves almost entirely through Aries from January to mid May and then through half of Taurus before turning back in early September to retrace its path in retrograde motion through the first half of Taurus at the end of the year. It ends the year slowing down in the first decan of Taurus before stationing and turning direct, exactly at the years end.

This path leads it to meet with Chiron and Eris and to almost clash with Pluto while in Aries (first 4 months), only to clash with both Mars and Pluto immediately as he enters Taurus instead (May). He then exchanges a sextile with Saturn in Pisces (June) and accelerates towards a potential conjunction with Uranus only to turn away from it temporarily until next year when he turns retrograde and retraces his path (early September). Instead he clashes again with Mars, this time opposing Mars in Scorpio, in late October. He has a more constructive relationship with Mars in Virgo at the beginning of August.

Overall the main feature is of some kind of massive event in May involving Jupiter in Taurus, Mars in Leo and Pluto in Aquarius around the first few degrees of the signs. This is particularly significant for everyone who is born in the early days of any Fixed sign i.e. everyone born around the beginning of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius and equally significant for anyone who has an important or significant planet, the ascendant or midheaven in the earliest degrees of the Fixed or Stable signs. There will be some less acute but still significant overflow of this effect for people born at the end of Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) and with people with planets or angles in these places. For all these people May of 2023 holds something both surprising, perhaps shocking, and profoundly transformative. It’s important not to let this foreknowledge frighten you but to instead let it prepare you for some kind of major transformation. Most of the problems stemming from these kinds of patterns arise from our resistance, denial, fear or other negative reactions to them. Aligning yourself with the need for transformation as you go into the year and especially as you enter into May is wise and will not only make whatever emerges easier to handle but also shape it in more positive ways. Fundamentally this is a situation arising from Pluto in Aquarius, a condition which we are only being given the briefest taste of this year as Pluto returns to Capricorn in June, something which defuses any potentially explosive situation that has been set off. Something may still have been radically and irreversibly changed, however. It’s possible given this larger picture that we are being given just a preview in this period of what will become a major theme next year when Pluto more fully enters into Aquarius and begins to present those themes more forcefully, especially in February, June, and July 2024. However, his aspects in 2024 are easier than what happens this May, by far. The picture is of something that happens in May being extremely difficult for people to handle, but it doesn’t last too long and the consequences of whatever happens play out in ways that are easier for us to handle in 2024.

Jupiter’s role in all of this is (as usual) to enlarge the scope of it and the crux of the issue is the opposition between Mars and Pluto. I will say more about this when we discuss Pluto next month but an opposition between Mars and Pluto is a violent one involving a clash of wills and power struggles as violent forces are unleashed. This can manifest socially, as unrest and rebellion, the toppling of authority figures or the ruthless crushing of calls for freedom and so on, politically as the sudden death or removal of leaders or the rise of tyranny and civil dissent, militarily as bombs and explosions or the outbreak of wars, economically as major crashes, burst bubbles and blowouts, geographically as changed landscapes, scientifically and technologically as paradigm shattering breakthroughs or discoveries that shatter reality as we know it (for example commercial space flights) or environmentally as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, fires and drought or collapsing ice shelves and flooding that displace huge numbers of people, as well as all kinds of human-made catastrophes. Whatever it is it is something big and the fact that this is not the long drawn out aspect but one that arrives quickly and leaves quickly enables us to pinpoint its location in time more precisely as likely to e mid May but possibly also between then and the start of June. After that, the pattern dissolves and does not return, it only leaves its consequences. This is quite unusual for Pluto situations as they tend to grind on. It happens because he is at the borderline between two signs which act as a kind of on-off switch and also partly because both Jupiter and Mars are in fast direct motion and move on quickly.

Jupiter in Aries (January 1st to May 16th) sees Jupiter race through Aries starting at 1°. We had a long previous period of Jupiter in Aries in 2022 from May 10th to October 28th but this is the main event because Jupiter only reached 8° of Aries before retrograding back and re-entering Pisces. Jupiter is neither especially strong nor weak in Aries although the first 6° are his terms or bounds according to both Ptolemy and the Egyptian system. This means that he may be stronger in January when he is in the first 6° of Aries. The positive potential of Jupiter in Aries is about fresh starts, new growth, colourful creativity, spirit of enterprise, building the confidence, self-esteem and willpower, making a spiritual effort in life, the expansiveness of the power of the Fire Element, springing into action, launching something big, warmth and heat which nurtures life, tapping into greater energy and perceiving the simple and fundamental, primal truths of life. Its negative potentials are a warlike aggression, rage and destructiveness, persecution, righteousness and judgmentalism, hot-headed impulsiveness, inflammatory actions, burning and explosion, wildfire, volcanoes and drought or excessive heat.

Jupiter meets with Chiron in Aries at 14° on March 12th. The aspect starts to build in mid-February and fades out in the first half of April. This is the only major aspect Jupiter makes while it travels through Aries. Chiron has been in Aries for some time now, with the sign being confronted with the need for healing, and this aspect brings that journey into focus and allows people to move on in ways that are productive and generally fortunate provided they have been doing the work of healing leading up to this time. If we have been ignoring this need or not noticing it then this conjunction can bring about a painful realisation as the need becomes obvious, but Jupiter is gentler than Saturn with this duty. Jupiter and Chiron conjunctions can also bring teachers, gurus and mentors of all kinds into our lives and in Aries these tend to be people who challenge us or motivate us to act as well as those who help us to develop our Aries qualities.

Jupiter in Taurus certainly cools things off, or it would do if it were not for the interaction in May. Jupiter in Taurus is again not particularly well or poorly placed although it does have some terms/bounds between 14° (15° according to Ptolemy) and 22° of the sign. It’s only in those degrees in August and September and the earliest part of October. The positive potential of Jupiter in Taurus is economic and financial prosperity, fruitful gardening and agriculture, cultivating patience, simplifying things (un-complicating them), building something, material growth and expansion, receiving spiritual inspiration from nature, grounding the spiritual laws in work, putting in a massive effort through persistent labour, saving and conserving, sharing of the riches of the Earth, embodiment of compassion, people working together and the growth of support structures and stability. The negative potential is great stubbornness, greed, avarice and envy, land grabs, excessive materialism, possessiveness, mudslides, sinkholes, super high inflation, excessive cost of living and huge prices.

As noted the arrival of Jupiter into Taurus (May 16th) is probably the big event of the year as it coincides with Mars and Pluto entering Leo and Aquarius. The square with Pluto comes first (May 18th) followed by the square with Mars (23rd), all at 0°. These squares ignite things, in this case the opposition between Mars and Pluto. After that though it is relatively smooth going with Jupiter for the rest of the year except for an opposition with Mars in Scorpio. After the fireworks in May when he enters Taurus he moves to make a sextile with Saturn in Pisces at 7° (June 19th). As noted and explored in a previous journey the interaction between Jupiter and Saturn recently entered a new 200 year cycle and this sextile is the first aspect they make in building the structures that will persist throughout that period. This sextile begins to build in late May early June and separates by mid-July. It supports the ability to create a fortunate balance between fun and work, the building of confidence and competence or expertise, good judgment in making decisions that have the potential for long-term success, tapping into wisdom, business dealings, being treated fairly or generously by institutions and authorities, creating moral government and laws that are not Draconian and treating the gloom or depression but Saturn in Pisces can bring with a measured but significant material gain or comfort. The essential quality of a sextile between Jupiter and Saturn is of the natural law of expansion and the natural law of contraction or limitation operating in ways that positively stimulate both so that there is a healthy, invigorating pulse. We are neither overwhelmed by excessive growth nor suffocated by overwhelming restriction and find it easy to build things up.

After he separates from the sextile with Saturn in early to mid July his only other interactions this year are with Mars. He first makes a productive sextile with Mars in Virgo at 13° (August 1st) and then a more problematic and challenging opposition with Mars in Scorpio at 11° (October 28th). The sextile helps us to work diligently and to build up resources and information as well as infrastructure and organizational systems. The opposition makes us too daring, too willing to push risks to far with disastrous consequences, too entrenched and intractable in our dogmatic position, more aggressive and likely to act in rudeness or ruthlessness, but it has the positive potential of spurring us onward to bigger and greater things and of finding a new balance between our desires and our spiritual beliefs as well as a potential for earning money or acquiring things through effort.

Jupiter was previously transitioning through Aries in the following periods: 1904/5, 1916/17, 1927/28, 1939/40, 1951/52, 1963/64, 1975/76, 1987/88, 1999/2000 and 2010/11. It was transitioning through Taurus just after these periods in 1905/6, 1917/18 and so on. However we must remember that it only travels through half of Taurus in 2023. Essentially this means we are mostly looking at the periods 1904 and 1905, 1916 and 1917, et cetera. We can see the connection that Jupiter in this area of the sky has to the start of World War 2 (1939 and 1940) and the middle of World War 1 (1916/17), it’s connection to the time of the dot-com bubble and the feared millennium bug (1999/2000), as well as to the time of 20s peak boom just prior to the Great Crash (1927/8), the Korean War (1951/2), the discovery of the first extra-solar planet, the beginning of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and a critical year in the development of the web (1988, the first virus and the first permanent intercontinental link between the US and Europe), China detonating its first atom bomb and the Kennedy assassination (1963) and more recently the eruption of an Icelandic volcano that disrupted global travel and the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and worlds worst ever oil drilling catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico (2010). 1904/5 saw the First Russian Revolution and the Great Baltimore Fire (while Jupiter in Taurus, 1906, brought the San Francisco quake and fires). Jupiter in this area of the sky has proved to be nothing but action packed in the course of recent history.


In yet another significant change in the sky this year Saturn finally leaves Aquarius, starting the year at 22° and leaving it on March 7th. He then remains in Pisces for the rest of the year retrograding on June 17th at 7° of Pisces, then reversing again this time turning to direct motion on November 4th at 0° Pisces and ending the year at 3°. This places a lot of emphasis on 3 to 7° Pisces so that people born in the first week of the sign are getting a heavy dose of Saturn this year and anyone born in the first weeks of the other 3 Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius) are being presented with significant challenges and some difficult or slow changes. All of these people need to take care to boost and increase their energy levels and keep on top of any gloom or despondency this year. The other Mutable signs will have to deal with this later, in 2024 or 2025, so it is a good idea for them to also begin building up their vitality and energy levels in order to meet the demand and drain that Saturn can bring.

This path does not lead him into any interactions with the other major planets, but he encounters Mars 4 times – first, he trines Mars in Cancer at the end of March, then he opposes Mars in Virgo in July, trines Mars in Scorpio in October and finishes with a square to Mars in Sagittarius in late November. Compared to the drama of the last few years when we have had Saturn in Capricorn conjunct Pluto and much more (2020) and Saturn square Uranus (2021/2), 2023 is a quiet year as far as Saturn is concerned. We are also losing Saturn in rulership, the strongest kind of Saturn we can experience by sign, the heaviness and seriousness we have been living with since 2018. This also means that, along with the end of a strong Jupiter this month and the end of a strong Saturn early next year, things are really shifting up there and there will be a sense of that in and around. Magically this means it if you want to work with Saturn for some reason the ideal time that is left is between now and March 7th, and you wont get another opportunity like it for over a decade.

The end of Saturn in Aquarius is about wrapping up business and concluding themes that have been playing out for the last 2.5 years – to name just a few, the rapid building up of web services, social distancing, mass vaccinations, blatant totalitarian and authoritative measures and fear of the outsider, whether they be communists, strangers with unclear vaccination status or some other aliens, and other threads. It doesn’t make these things completely go away but it moves them offstage where they become less central and less a feature of everyday life. Instead, Saturn in Pisces frequently denotes a thick gloom or sadness, a connection to sorrow and tears and the hardship of watching others suffer and not being able to do anything about it. It is like a heavy cloud that hangs over us making it difficult to feel the warmth of the Sun for a while, and coming out of a strong Saturn since 2018 it is partly the emotional reaction to everything we have all just gone through. There is still a lot of grief for people to process, to many it seems an entire world has died. Saturn in Pisces is very likely about processing that and feeling stuck in it for a time while struggling to give expression to the depths. We should prepare for this time by watching over the vulnerable, not just those who are on the edge or close to taking their lives but also the sick and lonely. For people struggling with feelings of loneliness or sadness it is likely to be a somewhat difficult couple of years as the soul learns to grapple and overcome these feelings, hopefully maturing in the process.

With Saturn in Pisces we have a collective tendency to become trapped in whimsical fantasy, evasiveness, nostalgic memories and an overactive imagination which may cause fears where there is little or no justification for them (paranoia). On the positive side it fosters a high degree of emotional understanding and compassion and the willingness to work hard on behalf of the less fortunate. Deep meditation and reflection on the feelings will make possible profound spiritual insights into the nature of reality and helps to dissolve the potential for limiting confusion and illusion. We need more peace and quiet, time in tranquil solitude and must make a strong effort to avoid self pity. We must learn to take responsibility for what we feel now and have felt in the past and progress in understanding the ways we block our own emotional and psychic expression. The karma of the way we have treated others is a major issue that we need to face. We may need to let go of something, as Pisces often involves sacrifices and Saturn brings things to their appointed ends in time, but that letting go need not be a sadness it can instead be an unburdening, or both at once. Pisces is a dual sign capable of crying with joyous laughter and heartbreak at the same time – it is emotionally transcendent in this way and the exact definition of what it feels is often elusive because of this, a nebulous conglomeration of different states, and Saturn can actually help sort this out. Key to Saturn in Pisces is learning how to create and maintain healthy emotional and psychic boundaries, between us and the external world and within our own interior. Pisces also emphasises everything connected to the ocean and so the worrying news about coral bleaching and ocean toxicity looks like it will get far more serious and sad in these next two years. We may also learn something important about the deep sea floor, as Saturn rules depths and pressure. Saturn traditionally also represents a need for and lack of something, and so water looks set to become far more scarce in some places while washing and flooding out buildings in others – both of these are Saturn in Pisces events.

His first encounter with Mars takes place on March 30th with a trine with Mars in Cancer, at 2°. Mars is not effective at being Mars in this sign (it is his Fall), which leads him to behave more softly. It begins to arise on March 7 as Saturn enters Pisces and fades away around April 11th or 12th. The easy combination of Mars and Saturn results in an ability to understand the rules and to put them into action. It rewards persistent effort with a growing sense of confidence, pushes us beyond limitation and boundary where necessary, decreases the possibility that we will act rashly without thought for the consequences, helps us to understand what makes us different not as a thing that separates us but as a thing that defines us, helps to develop composure and resolve and overall enables us to put the Water Element into constructive effect or to make progress in wielding it successfully. There is a very defensive quality to this trine. If there are issues with this trine it is maybe that everyone feels very set in their ways and sure of themselves, or perhaps that with things getting easier we let the opportunity to progress slip by, but it could also be that we wall ourselves in and fortify seeking safety and comfort.

He next encounters Mars in Virgo, an opposition, at 6° of the signs on July 20th. It begins to form around July 13th and fades out around July 28th, Not only is this a more difficult aspect but Saturn is also retrograde at this time which tends to more problematic expressions as things are more intractable and less progressive . A prominent quality of this opposition is the feeling of failure and futility, the experience of our will and intent meeting with some kind of immovable obstacle, or of being spent with nothing left to give. We do not measure up to perfection (Mars in Virgo) and this results in gloomy and heavy feelings of being burdened (Saturn in Pisces). It can bring a feeling of oppression, unbearable pressure, grueling hardship and frustration. Anger, bitterness and self recrimination that has been suppressed can suddenly emerge. Our efforts to help and support others (Virgo/Pisces) meet with extra tough challenges and periods where we must just endure and bite through. The positive potential here is that we make constructive adjustments in the way that we express the will, learning important lessons about its tempering and how to discipline it, as well as the rewards of meeting a major challenge and working hard to see it through.

The trine with Mars in Scorpio at 0° on October 13th sees Saturn almost at the end of his retrograde (November 4th) in very slow motion. This trine is the companion to the Cancer trine of March 30th, but Mars is much stronger in Scorpio, at one of his peak performance levels and so this version carries more power and force than the other one. We know what we want and are not shy about going for it. Therefore this trine is similar but has more potential to actually achieve things and make progress, provided we have the discipline, dedication, persistence and patience called for by Saturn. It is, however, more inclined to ruthless and selfish decisions and actions as well as forcing the will on others, which the trine makes easy to do or justify, especially by playing the victim. This trine arrives strongly when Mars enters Scorpio on October 12th and fades away after October 22nd.

Finally, Saturn squares Mars in Sagittarius at 0° on November 25th. This square also emerges strongly as Mars enters Sagittarius on the 24th and it concludes rather quickly by December 3rd. Whereas the opposition with Mars in Virgo in July is more like meeting an immovable obstacle, the square with Mars in Sagittarius is about needing to find another way by deviating from the planned path. The direct, swift path to the destination or target (Mars in Sagittarius) is obfuscated by a thick fog or bog we get lost in (Saturn in Pisces). We learn that we were mistaken and this means we have to apologize for our insensitive actions, we meet with a rude authority who tests the limits of patience, we let dogma or propaganda inform our actions, or we act impulsively out of fear. Sometimes the will needs to be denied – not everything that we want is good for us! Every square has the potential to enable us to turn a corner and the square helps us to do that with the way that we express desire and spiritually it assists us in shaping the individual self according to the desires of the conscience.

Saturn was previously in late Aquarius and early Pisces in 1905/ early 1906, late 1934/ early 1935 and 1964/ early 1965. Once again we see the astrology reaching back to the 1930s period of history, the Great Depression and the political rise of Hitler being key events. This time also saw the spread of television and colour film and the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. We also see it connecting to 1905 like Jupiter in Aries and Taurus (First Russian Revolution and the Great Baltimore Fire). 1905 was also the year in which Einstein published four papers which influenced modern physics for the rest of the century and early 1906 brought on the San Francisco earthquake and the increased use of submarines in warfare. Lastly, we also see it involved in the astrology of 1964 just like Jupiter in Aries/Taurus. 1964 saw a significant escalation of US Armed Forces in the Vietnam war, the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in the US, the first supercomputer and the discovery and confirmation of cosmic background radiation which eventually led to the emergence of the Big Bang theory as the origin of the universe as well as the emergence of the cassette tape. The inventions which record things that come through Saturn in Pisces (colour film, television, cassette tapes, etc.) come about as manifestations of the recording of everything in the astral Akasha (Saturn in Pisces).

CHIRON in ARIES (middle decan)

Chirons journey this year takes him from 12° of Aries out to 20° and then back by retrograde movement to 15° at the end of the year. It is essentially the time in which he focuses on the middle decan of Aries, which includes people born in the ten days in the middle of the Aries period – the start of April. He stations and turns retrograde on July 23rd. Like Jupiter he then stations again at the very end of the year on December 27th, turning retrograde for the last few days of 2023 nd the start of 2024.

The major encounter he has on this path is a conjunction with Jupiter in March, the last major aspect Jupiter in Aries forms before entering Taurus. Aside from this he meets with Mars five times, in mid February, late April, late June, late September and mid December. The meetings in late April and September are the more painful or difficult ones.

I have explored Chiron in Aries in a dedicated journey back in April 2016, and if you are interested in learning more about its signification I recommend you read that as I also go into greater depth on the historical connections it has. A major feature of this passage is that everyone born between 1968 and 1977 is having their Chiron return, and this year it is especially focused on people born in the middle of that period, around 1973. Being born as an Aries person in the early 1970s makes you especially sensitive and aware of these energies, with the most acute experiences happening to Aries people born in early April 1973 (but including 1971 – 1975 as well). We are still learning about Chiron, having only been studying it since the late 1970s – ironically, our awareness of Chiron itself is having Chiron return right now, the first that we have observed as a collective. What we have seen of Chiron in Aries recently supports many of the points I made in my journey six years ago.

Here is a summary of the main points identified in that journey:

  • New horizons being breached or penetrated by heroic pioneering efforts, often with immediate consequences and being exploitative of a power source found there.
  • Hardship, struggle against adversity, desolation of the will and the spirit and struggles for survival
  • The death or loss of warriors, people who come to symbolize bravery, courage, a spirit of valour. Additionally, dangerous, villainous figures also emerge as part of the dark face of this resonance.
  • A connection to human ancestry and particularly bones
  • Themes of heat, ruptures and the harnessing of the natural laws of light
  • ‘Tribal’ styles (body piercings, facial tattoos, Mohican haircuts, etc.)
  • Overcoming obstacles leading to self awareness and spiritual identity
  • The quest for true and genuine self confidence and self determination
  • Needing to fight for something but having to know who you are first
  • Existential pain, the notion that being alive hurts

As far as the March 12th conjunction of Chiron with Jupiter at 14° is concerned it can go two ways – either Jupiter provides some form of remedy to pain or it exacerbates the pain, enlarging it so that attention is drawn to the need for healing. This latter outcome is considerably less likely than the former and usually applies when the need for healing has been denied or blocked for too long. Jupiter can bring in teachings in the form of people or lore and so this is a good time for people involved in learning about the healing arts. The overall interaction between Jupiter and Chiron here makes it easier for us to directly comprehend and experience the truth of holistic healing, the natural laws that govern the interaction between the physical, astral and mental bodies which taken together create the conditions for health or disease. We can see, for example, that when we change our interior emotional state that physical healing takes place, or that when we use affirmations to strengthen the health of our mental body, we feel better as the astral body is affected and eventually get better as the physical body must follow the natural order of things. Experiences like these come to us more readily at these times containing what we need to know about the laws and truths of healing. Since Aries emphasises the will, that may be an important part of this teaching. This conjunction begins to build around February 6th, reaches its peak on March 12th and fades away around April 12th.

As far as Mars is concerned trouble comes in late April (27th) in the form of a square with Mars in Cancer and in late September (24th) in the form of an opposition with Mars in Libra. Chiron troubles with Mars can make healing journeys more difficult. The situation in April starts around the 16th and concludes around May 9th. The square takes place at 17° and is likely to bring something emotionally painful, perhaps through sensitivity or defensiveness. There is increased resistance to transmutation – the thought of suffering, pain or the necessary rite of passage that leads from pain to healing can become overshadowed with aversion. The natural instinct for self preservation takes over and leads to chronic anxiety or lashing out in pain. This can lead to paralysis, an inability to act in the face of extreme hazards and threats, such as when a deer is caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck, or a wilder, more feral reaction. The key to handling it is to stay calm and not over-react to anything that hurts our feelings or bodies. Sometimes we just have to push through pain and this may be one of those times. The September opposition at 18° is more argumentative and inclined to cause disruptions in relationships as we encounter very different people with very different ways of doing things or somehow inflict hurt upon the people we want to help. Relationships can get painful when people want different things, and this is a possibility with this opposition. A key truth that must be learned with this Mars is that power over others will not make us safe or truly secure our goals – the damage this does unravels it. Only by joining our power in cooperation with others can wounds be healed and the splits mended. There is always a sense with Mars oppositions that righteous indignation at injustice must be aggressively confronted and fought, that something must be done to put something right, but this attitude only opens up more wounds. Instead, what must happen here is an acceptance of the pain first and then a willful effort to see the pain the other is in too. The opposition begins to arise around 17th September, peaks at September 24th and fades away around October 1st or 2nd.

The other three interactions are easier for us to handle and help us move forwards in healing journeys. The first is a sextile with Mars in Gemini at 13° (February 11th). It covers the whole of January but really begins to build once Mars turns to direct motion (January 12th) and doesn’t really abate until March 2nd. This aspect is a bridge building and road building energy that enables us to move forward along some kind of path. It stimulates healing through communication and discussion and increases the desire for healing. Next comes a trine with Mars in Leo (June 23rd) at 19°. This energy starts building around during June 12th and lasts until around July 3rd. It’s more powerful than the sextile and increases the healing power of the Fire Element. The ability to command and direct the will in a focused and powerful way is being stimulated and supported with the result that is easier to build up confidence and self-esteem but with a slight danger of going overboard and being egoistic and bombastic, a braggart. The life force or vital energy – the will to live – also gains a powerful healing potential. A second trine, this time at 15° with Mars in Sagittarius, completes the journey of Chiron for the year. This trine starts to build starts to build around December 8th, peaks on December 15th and fades out around December 23rd. Similarly increasing the healing power of the Fire Element, this trine differs in that it is more motivated and optimistic as well as more martial than the Mars in Leo trine. It increases the adventurous spirit, especially the desire to explore nature, and the healing power that comes from the wilderness, in particular from contact with wild animals. It facilitates swift momentum on the healing path and can sharpen the instinctive intuition.

Previously, Chiron was in Aries 1723 – 1732, 1771 – 1780, 1868 – 1878, 1918 – 1927, 1968 – 1977 and its current passing through is 2018 – 2027. This connects it with the Moon landings, the first Ebola outbreak, the death of rock music icons (Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison), the death in exile of Napoleon, the “Lost Generation” following WW1,the flapper era, the punk era, the first television transmissions and face-lifts, the discovery of Antarctica and the moons of Mars and the launch of the Voyager deep space probe, among other things.

We will pause here for now and next month we will continue deeper into the solar system and look at Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in 2023 – see you there!

Rising Signs I

Greetings, Solstice Blessings and welcome back to Journeys! 🙂 Things are still busy in my life, but I am returning to you this month and next with a two-part series that complements my earlier two-part series on rising planets published this year, “Arising Worlds”, by looking at each of the 12 signs on the ascendant. This month I take you through Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo and Virgo. I will cover each sign in terms of 5 categories: embodiment (how it affects the body, aura, attire and gait and posture), traits (mostly psychological), difference to the Sun or Moon sign, significance of rulers placement and well known faces. If you enjoy this or benefit from it, please consider pledging some support on Patreon. journey deeper…