2023 is filled with astrological happenings, of course. Here are a few highlights to look forward too as well as themes you can tune into throughout this year.
The Inner Planets in 2023
Beginning with the inner planets (those closest to us) we start off the year with Mercury in retrograde. Mercury will retrograde three more times, ending 2023 in retrograde, just like 2022. Venus will start a new 19-month cycle in Leo in August. Mars spends the whole year in this current Gemini cycle that began on December 7 but will change signs over the course of 2023. Due to less pressure from the outer planets this year, compared to the last couple of years, I think there is a huge opportunity to tune into these closer planets. This offers an intention to do our own inner personal work. This is what the inner planets, aka personal planets, are all about, our individual lesson plans as we traverse our soul’s evolutionary journey.
Mercury represents the mind and our perceptions. All the Mercury cycles this year are in the earth signs. This offers a practicality, grounding, and more real-world themes to our minds. Venus is the sacred feminine planet. We spend the first half of 2023 completing the second half of the Capricorn cycle from last year and then shift into a new Leo cycle in August. The feminine has the chance to reclaim her sage-like power before moving into the Leo teachings of self-love and creativity. Mars represents the sacred masculine. Traversing a Mars Gemini cycle offers fun and a lightening-up of the masculine. Gemini is also interested in understanding that the mind cannot know everything and that there is a whole world beyond duality. This presents a great opportunity to focus inwardly and work on healing the divide and duality within ourselves.
The Outer Planets in 2023
Next, onto the outer planets that tend to create the themes of the year. Back in 2020 the coming together of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto characterized the lessons the pandemic brought. For 2023, nothing quite so “once in a lifetime” dramatic, but I can only guess what the ultimate intentions of the energies present will bring. Mostly, it is hindsight that is the biggest teacher.
Saturn moves into Pisces in March, bringing the heart into the real world. I hope this opens our hearts and brings more love. Pisces’ shadow can bring more illusion and addiction, which is what we are already seeing a lot of no matter where you stand. Pluto dips into Aquarius in March as well, after over 14 years in Capricorn. That’s a big energy shift. Pluto is just starting this Aquarius cycle, with a quick visit for a couple of months before retrograding back into Capricorn. Pluto offers empowerment, following deep soul work. We’ve been in Capricorn experiencing what needs healing and grieving within our current systems and structures.
Can we take the highlights of Aquarius and apply those community centered, egalitarian ideals? Or do we keep trucking into the shadows of spiritual bypass and denial of the shadow? Jupiter starts the year of fresh into Aries and moves pretty quickly into Taurus in May. Depending upon your natal chart, this could feel like a charge of energy and then a nice slowing down.
The Nodes where the Sun and the Moon meet, or where Spirit and Soul cross paths, change into the signs of Aries and Libra. The Nodes symbolize our directional arrow, with Aries at the point. Moving into more strength and individuation (Aries) and away from relationship (Libra). I hope this points to the power that Aries can harness in serving the community by being the protector and guardian. I hope this does not offer more polarity and me, “my way or the highway” types of attitudes. The eclipses occur at the Nodes, so there is light and shadow work to be done at these timings.
Only time will tell how we all step into these energies and what we do with them internally that impacts us all externally. As above, so below, as within, so without. Again, I refer to my first paragraph… we have a huge opportunity to look within, to impact the without, instead of pointing fingers and othering each other. Let’s all go inside and heal the divides within us and see how we can collectively contribute to the healing of the polarities around us. Fingers crossed!
January starts while Mercury is retrograde, out of the linear box. I think this bodes well for this year’s theme of looking within. Retrograde Mercury invites us to look through the right hemisphere of our brains. To perceive in new and novel ways, filled with cyclical thinking instead of unidirectional, harkening back into our ancestral brains where we looked at the whole.
January Sky Viewing – Look for Venus as the evening star, just after sunset. Jupiter and Saturn are visible in the evening sky too. You can see Mars all night. Also look for Sirius, our brightest star, in the later evening, into the early morning sky as well.
- Jan 3 – Moon with Mars
- Jan 22 – Moon, Venus and Saturn together in the evening sky
- Jan 25 – Moon and Jupiter together in the evening sky
- Jan 30/31 – Moon reunites with Mars again
Cancer Full Moon – Jan 6
The Capricorn Sun of the Solstice is opposite the Moon, illuminating the Cancer full Moon. The Cancer-Capricorn axis is in service to the community and culture. Cancer, the mother archetype, nurtures her young, while Capricorn, the grandmother archetype, teaches us behaviors that support the entire community. After the holidays, this full Moon is a lovely time to nurture ourselves, celebrate this new beginning of the solar year that the Solstice brought. Bask in the light of the Moon and ground yourself into your heart and the Earth.
I love using Pinon Pine essential oil for Cancer. It is nurturing and mothering, while grounding and filled with sacred reverence by many of the southwest U.S. Indigenous nations.
Mercury exactly with the Sun – Jan 7
When Mercury, our messenger of the Gods, meets with the Sun, it is a time of Spirit communicating its messages to its courier. A meeting of these Capricorn minds, the circle of grandmothers, who conspire to guide us into the best versions of ourselves. What messages are you receiving in your Mercurial minds today?
Basil essential oils help us to balance the halves of our brains and support allowing messages to come through into our awareness more easily.
Mars goes Direct – Jan 12
Mars, the sacred masculine representative in our sky, started his new two-year cycle on Dec 7 while retrograde. Now, as Mars stations direct, he moves into the second phase of his long cycle. Still in Gemini, we’ve matured a bit, but still in the youthful, trickster energy of Gemini. How can we each serve Spirit through the maturation process of Gemini? Perhaps through releasing the pressure of having to know everything, allowing space for what we do not know. We move further into this 2023 theme of looking within to move beyond duality. That is how Gemini ultimately serves Spirit, the focus of this sign’s modality.
Mercury goes Direct – Jan 18
After a nice respite in our more circular-focused right brains, we once again can think linearly. The left brain rules the roost, and we breathe a sigh of relief that our technology will work seamlessly again. This is the start of the new four-month long Mercury cycle in Capricorn, an earth sign, offering us a more rooted way of thinking, more grounded, centered in thinking about the whole community and where we’re headed. Where do you want the culture to go?
Basils, again, are a huge support to balancing the left and right hemispheres of our brains – very Mercury shifting directions helpful.
Sun enters Aquarius – Jan 20
The Sun moves on from Capricorn into Aquarius. Spirit continues its yearly cycle along the horizon, through all twelve of the archetypal signs. An Aquarius Sun brings light to consciousness, more thoughts, deep in the brain and out the crown chakra, and into awareness of the cosmos themselves. Aquarius flies high with the eagles, looking down, taking it all in, to understand everything and Spirit itself.
Juniper, the queen of the nervous system, is an excellent support for Aquarius. It carries an ancient wisdom and are some of the highest growing trees in the world, flying with the eagles where Aquarius likes to soar.
Aquarius New Moon – Jan 21
Following the Sun, we have our second new Moon in a row at a mere 1 degree of the new sign. It is the start of the new Moon cycle once again. Set your intention in ceremony and plant a seed you desire to grow over this one-month Moon cycle. If you set your yearly intentions at the Solstice, what is one small, manageable step you can take over this “Moon-th” in support of your larger solar year goals?
Uranus goes Direct – Jan 22
Lots of planets stationing directly over the course of this month. That usually means momentum picking up. Uranus is the planet of deeper awareness and change. Movement that supports our seeing the bigger picture, connected to Spirit, is Uranus’ gift. This and helping us to make changes that more firmly place us on our intended soul paths. You could do a little ceremony that calls in greater consciousness of your path.
Palmarosa, a grass, helps us to move more easily with the winds of all the stationing direct planets. It allows us to bend naturally with the forward-pushing movement and energies.
Venus meets the Moon at the Sacral Chakra – Jan 23
The waxing crescent Moon meets with Venus each month, illuminating our ascension through the chakras, inviting us to focus on bringing more power and life force into each one. Following the most ancient myth we have written down, Venus moves up through seven gates, reclaiming her power at each one. Do ceremony and reclaim your creativity and creative powers over this month to come. Go outside after sunset and see the Moon meet with Venus. It is a beautiful sight.
Tangerine is a great essential oil for the sacral chakra. Its bright orange color brings those light vibrations into your lower belly, bringing in the creativity and juiciness of this joyful fruit.
Blessings on your journey through January and 2023,
Join me online for an Aquarius New Moon Ceremony, Friday, January 20, 1 PM MST, where we’ll dive into more of what these energies mean, play with astrological aromatherapy, and set our Moon intentions in community. You can learn more about it and register here. Hope to see you!
**By Sheridan Semple