The New Year begins as it did in 2022, with a Venus-Pluto conjunction. Venus is itself emerging from its combustion, after being burnt up in the purifying rays of the Sun. As Venus re-emerges alongside Pluto, it may show something we could not see before.
It's time to get real, as Venus reappears in the sign Capricorn, meeting with Saturn in Aquarius in February. Make reality your friend, and people get closer. Try to avoid the issues and a distance may develop between you.
Mercury is retrograde from the beginning of 2023, having stationed on Dec 29, 2022. So, it’s not in any way a fresh, clean start to 2023 in January. It’s full of setbacks and frustrations because of Mercury's, and Mars’, continued retrograde. Mars stations direct by Jan 12, with Mercury stationing direct by Jan 18. There may be some frustration until after this period, as Mars aspects Mercury. Whatever we wish to achieve must be approached patiently.
Saturn enters Aquarius on Jan 17, a key turning point in the depths of the winter on the northern hemisphere. Although changes are slow to take hold anywhere on the planet, they are slowly doing so. Venus joins Saturn in Aquarius by Jan 22, requiring realism that may not always feel good. This may lead to a sombre mood, but at least we’re all more aware of what must be done at this point.
Venus conjunct Pluto Jan 1
Venus has just returned to our evening skies after its period of combustion. This is a more sensual and loving role for Venus, as evenings are best kept for romance and enjoyments, the division of the day related to Venus being 6 to 9pm.
As Venus reappears, however, it must meet with the 'lord of the underworld', Pluto in the sign Capricorn, and then with Saturn in February in Aquarius. When we add this to the northern hemisphere's experience of winter, it may get quite bleak.
Though Venus and Saturn are seen as friendly to each other, they have an interesting relationship. Saturn restricts things, of course. But Venus-related things can benefit from a bit of restraint. If we continually overindulged, we don't enjoy things as much. The New Year period is usually a time we restrain ourselves naturally anyway, as Venus is usually transiting Saturn's signs.
Pluto is a different story. Its conjunction with Venus can reveal all kinds of hidden dynamics and intrigues we may not wish to expose. But it can also show the blocks we have, or the problems we create for ourselves we may or may not be willing to look at.
We're usually quite happy to look at others' blocks, but not so much our own. Others play out our deepest, darkest desires, even if it's only in art and storytelling.
Venus conjunct Pluto in Capricorn and a lunar mansion that is all about austerity can bring up all kinds of issues with having to do without. We may project our fears of lack on others who seem to be controlling the flow. They may indeed be, but many times we may simply think they are.
We may not wish to look at something within ourselves that is just too 'dark', and point the finger at those who display these traits more obviously on the world stage. That's not usually a problem for us, but when we do it with our partner's or others in our circle we can cause issues.
Recognizing you may have an ulterior motive for acting a certain way, or simply acknowledging feelings that might be a little uncomfortable, can mend relationships as you both delve into the issues.
The benefit of Venus in Capricorn is the ability to take a step back and ask if it's worth it. This may be a question you ask about a relationship or some purchase. In either case, try not to bury your head in the sand about the issues, as and when Venus meets with Saturn by Jan 22, you can no longer avoid them.
Full Moon in Gemini (Punarvasu) Jan 6
The Moon reaches the opposite degree to the Sun in sidereal Sagittarius and the lunar mansion, Punarvasu, meaning 'light again'. The light returns after the storm, clarity after confusion.
The more the confusion, the more the clarity feels like a breath of fresh air. Yet this may be not easily accessed with Mercury and Mars continuing to retrograde. Mercury conjoins the Sun's degree on Jan 7, its inferior conjunction, the mid-point in the retrograde cycle. This is, in essence, a 'New Mercury', opposite this Full Moon. This may feel like a culmination point in your life, yet you may not know exactly how to progress, especially in any practical way.
It is progress, nonetheless. There is something to resolve as always with a Full Moon phase. Adding Mercury retrograde into the mix simply means more things to work out. Try not to let the mind and emotions get carried away if there are seemingly too many things to figure out. As Kishori tells us, "mind rooted in the Heartfield" is more effective.
But knowing this and living it are two different things. You may know this intellectually, yet struggle to find balance emotionally with this Full Moon in Gemini opposite Mercury retrograde.
Mars stations Direct Jan 12
Have you been feeling like you've been dragging your feet in some aspect of your life lately? Or, have you felt your feet pulled from under you?! Well, you can thank Mars retrograde for that!
Now that it's about to station direct in January, you may feel the energy and intensity actually build, yet with no clear route forward until after mid-month. This is a time to be particularly patient, with yourself and others.
The point many astrologers often forget to mention, for any transit, is that the longer a transit is in effect, the more likely we are to feel its effects, for good or ill. The longer and more challenging something is in your life, the more you are going to perceive it as such. If Mars retrograde started out with irritability, it's likely to end with problems, especially if you allowed the energy to build and build, without any means of a healthy outlet. The energy has to go somewhere.
Of course, the other side of the coin is that you may be so used to setbacks at this stage that it becomes the norm. Yet it is not the norm, so get ready to start moving forward again! The issue with that is Mars stationing direct could be quite explosive. Really, more explosive? Yes, I'm afraid so.
Mars retrograde is one reason we're seeing more and more seismic activity, more volcanoes, for example. But also more shootings. The energy explodes in ways we would prefer it didn't. On its own, Mars retrograde is enough to make even the most peaceful person snap at you. Add in all the other issues and we have major triggers we must be mindful of and manage.
While it is certainly good news that Mars is now stopping its backwards motion, it's not going anywhere in January, so we must be extra patient with it. Look to what is opening up ahead and keep your eye on the horizon. At the same time, keep doing what you must where you are now.
Whatever area of life Mars represents for you personally, keep a close eye on it, but don't get obsessed about it. Find ways to blow off some steam while using the time productively. Hopefully, you will have used Mars retrograde for what's it's best for, i.e., redoing something in your life that gives you a sense of empowerment. If you've been particularly challenged by someone or something, maybe now is the time to acknowledge the benefit of the challenge, so you can strengthen yourself in the process.
And while individually we can always channel the best of what the planets suggest, we must be on guard for the more negative expressions of this in the world. This is especially felt around resources and finances, Taurean themes. We must be patient with what we are seeing unfold, and have the courage to face certain things, while looking ahead now, so we can take all that has been worked out and apply it to the next stage.
The next stage is from Mars' station from mid-January until the beginning of March, when it finally moves into new territory. This stage is about moving back over something we already have gone over twice before; once in direct motion and once in retrograde motion, at the end of last year. Now that we're moving back over it again once last time, we should know the drill and make it work better.
It's kind of like an exercise routine you've never done before. You try it once and it doesn't work for you (or so it seems). You then redo it with another approach. That gave you more insights into what may work, but it didn't quite do it either. Finally, you do it again like you did the first time you were instructed to, but this time, you have a crucial part of the routine: experience. Now that you have some experience, if you continue to do it wrong, whatever area of our life that is, you've really only got one person to blame.
It's time to take it on board and not shirk away from what you know you must do. Everyone must do the same. And while not everyone will, you must let them get on with it.
Yet you must also compromise when you do anything. That's the trickiest part of Mars in Taurus. You must negotiate with others to get what you want. Mars doesn't enjoy this part but it's an absolute must. But because you haven't got what you wanted yet, you're likely to try to force your hand as it stations direct. Do so if you must, but think about others as allies in getting where you want to be.
Sun in Capricorn Jan 14 - Feb 12
Before we get to the big transit of January; that is, Saturn's entry into Aquarius, we must shine a spotlight on where Saturn has left its mark in the last two years. As the Sun enters Capricorn, it asks us to look at the fears that hold us back from progressing in life. It may feel like a rude awakening. There's no hiding the issues. Yet it can also feel like the a silver lining, even a rainbow, on a dark and gloomy day.
Things have progressed so much since Saturn made it's way into Capricorn since the beginning of 2020. Yet much has felt stunted or delayed. If you were to look at this as progress, that these things must be removed to move forward, you're likely to have a better time of it by the beginning of 2023.
There's no looking back now, except to make sure you are putting what is behind you in the rearview. It's time to make that new plan, in the cold light of day. It's time to see the saboteur at work (Sun conjunct Pluto Jan 18), so you know what to avoid on your new journey.
2023 starts in earnest now. You can too.
Saturn enters Aquarius Jan 17
This one's a biggie, folks! Saturn changing signs, and staying there, is such an important transition in our lives every few years. I needn't go on about the last time it changed in January 2020, as it's time to move on, but if you wish to revisit what or who was lost at this stage, before it moves on Jan 17, then by all means do so.
But as soon as it moves, make your move. I write this because I know from reading people's charts over the years that people do not generally do so with Saturn-type things. I'm including myself in that. We tend to put off doing what we know we should. It has even entered our language in the New Age as, "don't tell me what I should do". It's why Saturn has become demonized to a large extent.
But we all know what we should, and shouldn't, be doing. I guess that's why we don't like being told it! It just reminds us that we are not doing what we should (or continuing to do what we shouldn't).
The other point to make here is that once Saturn moves, we could do with dropping the past, as quickly as possible, or at least, the things in the past that no longer serve us. While that is true at all times, this is never more so the case then when Saturn moves into Aquarius.
Saturn in Aquarius is about implementing some new idea, and sticking with it. Now, that has it's downsides, too. If you do something and it just doesn't work, do you think you should continue doing it? Of course not! Yet that is what we do all the time.
Saturn in Aquarius is going to let us know what works and what doesn't. Anytime you do something new, check whether it works or not. If not, drop it or adjust. It's a new idea, so don't be surprised if you don't get it right the first time around. You're going to be redoing it many times in the next few years, as Saturn moves back and over the sign.
While there's no rush in implementing your new ideas, there's no time to waste!
As Saturn moves into Aquarius, it enters the Libra 9th division at the beginning of the sign, until Feb 14. This is a particularly powerful position for the planet of form and stability. It shows an underlying strength. Yes, Saturn will then move into combustion (exact Feb 16), reflecting an outer weakness along with an inner strength. Anything that no longer works can be used to strengthen your resolve at this point. Focus on your resolve to build what you want, from within. The outer stuff will line up later.
Yet Saturn in Aquarius is as much about others, even humanity, as it is about what you want. You're probably going to fair better with this transit if you can think about the impact your actions have on other people, on your community, even the global.
Read an article detailing some of the main themes of Saturn's transit in Aquarius titled, Resist Resistance here.
Mercury stations Direct Jan 18
As Mercury stations, and as Mars slowly begins to move forward, we can finally feel like 2023 is kicking into gear. Yet as anyone who drives knows, we must step up in gears. We cannot go from 1st to 5th straight away. January is a stepping up from reverse gear in many ways, so we need to completely reorientate ourselves as our lives turn around in some aspects.
Mercury's direct stations are always full of excitment and potential. Unlike its retrograde station, which feels as if everything is getting backed up and frustrating, its direct station feels like a promise of something new. The pace of life picks up and we feel excited for something moving forward at last.
As with the Mars station, be patient in January with anything you are planning. It's going to feel like a slow month in the beginning. Yet there are lots of things being worked out at this point. Allow them to work themselves out in their own good time.
It's kind of like when you have a tech issue and you get frustrated with it, trying to fix it as quickly as you can. Sometimes, you just have to turn off the computer and walk away! Ditto for any kind of plans in your life until Mercury stations. Sometimes, you just have to put it out there and step back for a minute. Let it work itself out for a while. The next time to approach it, it will be a lot easier to manage, as soon as Mercury begins to move forward again by the end of the month.
In the meantime, be patient with this area of life, especially regarding travel and trade, business dealings and communications.
Mercury in Sagittarius is about communicating something we hope for. We just have to be open to getting the details wrong in the beginning. That's okay. Make your mistakes. Refine it. Rephrase it until it has meaning. When you sense what that is, go with that.
The Sun conjoins Pluto by degree on Jan 18, just as Mercury stations, highlighting the saboteur, the wrench in the works, the part of you that may work against your own best interests. What are your best interests, anyway?
It's time to get to know them. It's also time to get to know what stops you from achieving them.
New Moon in Capricorn (Uttarāṣāḍhā ) Jan 21
The Moon reaches the Sun's degree in sidereal Capricorn, just as Venus is about to move into Aquarius to meet with Saturn. This New Moon may feel a bit sober, as pleasures are curtailed in favour of progress.
The Moon's transit in Uttarāṣaḍhā is itself a time to bear some hardship, some austerity, one of the symbols of the lunar mansion being the planks of a bed. We must give something up to get where we need to be at this point. Think of this time as a lightening your load for the journey ahead.
A New Moon in Uttarāṣaḍhā and Capricorn is certainly a long journey, or at least it may seem that way from this vantage point. But the journey itself is no longer or shorter than any. It's simply a matter of perspective. But here's the thing: the way in which you perceive a long journey will often dictate whether you'll even start it, or how you view it. If you see this as a challenge to get to where you need to be, you may simply get on with it. If you're not sure if you're up for it, or not sure if it's meant for you, you may not even take the journey, let alone enjoy it.
This New Moon is about getting clear, crystal clear, about where you are meant to be going in the first place. When you figure that out, nothing and no one is going to stop you from getting to where you need to be.
Uranus stations Direct Jan 22
Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Now, all these planets are moving forward - all of them. It's now time to move forward with your plans, and make external changes in your environment that reflect the new you.
As Uranus stations direct in sidereal Aries, it's time to do something with this new you. Yet it's also time to be open to surprises. You don't know how something will pan out until you do it, so why not treat it as an experiment?
Venus conjoins Saturn by degree on Jan 22 also. With the planet of desire-fulfillment conjunct the planet of focus and restraint, we can certainly channel these with Uranus's station to implement something, but only if we are focused and patient. Patience is the word for January, it seems. The more of it we have, the more likely we'll have a better time with it. And the more we're likely to get done.
The less patient we are, with our plans, with others, the less others, and plans, can work out to our advantage. Uranus's station in Aries is certainly about our plans, regardless of what anyone else is doing, but if we blow this out of proportion with the other transits and needs, including and especially Mars's station in Taurus, we are only going to upset others and not get what we want anyway.
Venus in Aquarius Jan 22 - Feb 15
As Venus enters Aquarius, it meets with Saturn which has just moved in and set up shop. This can be a time to evaluate the new office space, to see if it's a nice fit. Maybe it needs a refit, or some embellishments. This is about finding something to enjoy in the progress you're making in this area of your life.
Though it may not feel like much progress, you can stick with it if there's something to enjoy. Yet Venus conjoined Saturn may feel like some ambitious monster that doesn't know when to let its hair down.
Venus in Aquarius is about more than just having a good time. Clearly, it's not a breeze when conjunct Saturn. This is likely to be felt as challenging, to the economy, to relations, to diplomacy, to peace. But Venus in Aquarius, as every planet in Aquarius would contest, has a universal side to it, a universal love with Venus, you might say. It's about reaching beyond what or who we love individually, without neglecting that either. It's about thinking universally, even globally.
Venus in Aquarius is about expanding our capacity to love and be loved, to open ourselves up to new possibilities. Yes, it may challenge our boundaries, or we may challenge others' boundaries, but without ever doing so, we would never know how far we can go, how much more we can love.
Wishing you all the very best for the month of January, and the New Year!
Om Tat Sat
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.