What to Expect for the New Year

Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images

It’s happening, babe: 2022 is over. Whether these past 12 months were the best ever or left a lot to be desired, a new year provides us with an opportunity to reset, refresh, and reclaim our lofty goals and ambitions. But, um, how? Astrology, obviously.

By knowing the major astrological happenings you can expect in 2023, along with the biggest themes that will dominate the lives of every zodiac sign, you can better think about, and plan, how to make the most of the new year. Or, at the very least, know when Mercury retrograde is happening and panic accordingly. Keep reading for an astrological preview of 2023.

Since 2017, Saturn — the strict taskmaster of the zodiac associated with responsibility, maturity, and long-term lessons — has been cruising through the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius. But on March 7, Saturn finally moves into Pisces, a water sign with a very different nature. Because Saturn is all about structure and Pisces is associated with creativity and spirituality, this presents an excellent opportunity for us to get serious about our artistic and mystical practices. More metaphysical content in 2023? I, an astrologer, love to see it.

Saturn into Pisces means that a new cohort will begin to experience their Saturn return: If you were born between May 21, 1993, and June 30, 1993, or January 28, 1994, to April 7, 1996, Saturn in your birth chart is about to experience a full cycle, which means you’ll be slowly (but remarkably) shifting into a profound moment of growth, transformation, and maturation. (Don’t freak out: This Saturn return survival guide has everything you need to know about this astrological coming-of-age.)

What were you doing on April 5, 1777? For Pluto, that date was the last time the distant dwarf planet at the far end of our solar system entered the sign of Aquarius. It takes Pluto a whopping 248 years to complete an orbit, which means Pluto’s movements are a very big deal. In fact, Pluto hasn’t changed zodiac signs since 2008, when it entered Capricorn and embarked on a 15-year journey through the ambitious (cough late-stage capitalism, cough) zodiac sign.

Pluto represents long-term generational transformation that shakes us from the ground up. So when Pluto moves into Aquarius — the final air sign of the zodiac, associated with progress, innovation, and revolution — we can anticipate profound developments relating to technology, medicine, governmental structures, and even society at large. From now through the year 2044, Pluto’s movement through Aquarius is guaranteed to challenge our status quo.

If there’s one planet that knows how to party, it’s definitely Jupiter — the celestial body associated with expansion, abundance, and lady luck herself. Whichever zodiac sign Jupiter occupies is guaranteed to get a sprinkle of magic in the year ahead… and, in the year 2023, fortune will shine on Taurus. On May 16, Jupiter shifts into earthy Taurus — the zodiac sign associated with pragmatism, purpose, finances, and the environment. Not only will the second astrological house of Taurus in your birth chart — by the way, if you haven’t calculated your natal chart yet, plug your information into an astrology software, such as TimePassages or Astro.com, to take care of that — receive a jolt of good vibes (as well as any planets inside that house), but on a collective level, this has the potential to have a positive impact on ecological and economic progress. And for folks around the ages of 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, and so on (increments of 12 because that’s the duration of Jupiter’s orbit), prepare to experience your Jupiter return — a delightful astrological milestone that comes with an extra helping of luck on your side.

You know how eclipses are, like, big deals? It’s because they activate the north and south nodes of destiny — and, approximately every 18 months, these powerful celestial points make a significant move. In 2023, the nodes will shift onto the Aries-Libra axis for the first time since 2014. With the north node (the future) in passionate, spirited Aries and the south node (the past) occupying partnership-oriented Libra, themes will focus around autonomy, individuality, and goal-driven singularity. Translation: Big changes related to our contracts and alliances are coming. This journey will kick off on April 20 with a total solar eclipse in Aries and continue on October 14 with a second solar eclipse in Libra, with the path of totality (the path where the eclipse is most visible) forming a dynamic diagonal across the United States. Ancient astrologers believed that an eclipse across a country signaled major, cataclysmic changes for that nation, and while it may take several years to understand the implications of this transit, there’s no doubt that big changes are always coming. (This also happened in 2017, so do with that what you will.)

Every 18 months, Venus — the planet of love, beauty, and values ​​— pauses and pivots in the sky for its semiannual retrograde motion. From July 22 through September 3, Venus will move backward in Leo, the zodiac sign associated with passion, visibility, and larger-than-life theatricality. Because this retrograde is speaking to matters of the heart, anticipate shifts relating to love during summer 2023. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — in fact, this might be just what the doctor ordered. While it’s not advisable to make any major aesthetic changes during Venus retrograde (in other words, you may want to hold off on spending lots of money redesigning your living room during this time), this planetary move empowers us to get clear on our wants, needs, and expectations. So, if there’s a certain type of connection you’ve been craving — maybe it’s defining the relationship or taking a break — don’t be surprised if you receive clarity on your truth during Venus retrograde.

Last but certainly not least not least, we’re “blessed” with a whopping four Mercury retrogrades in 2023: from December 29, 2022, through January 18, April 21 through May 14, August 23 through September 15, and December 13 through December 23. When the planet of communication goes backward, we can expect communication meltdowns, transportation delays, and technology failures. What’s interesting about next year’s Mercury retrogrades, however, is that all of them occur in Earth signs (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn), which means that these particular transits will challenge our structures, routines, and schedules. While this may seem like the most annoying thing you’ve ever heard, it’s also an opportunity for us to embrace spontaneity and chance. After all, the journey is the destination – what happens when you relinquish rigidity and go with the flow? That’s the Mercury retrograde way!

  • Aries: Independence, success, individual progress
  • Taurus: Resources, finances, values
  • Gemini: Career, professional development, legacy
  • Cancer: Travel, adventure, philosophical expansion
  • Leo: Opportunities, exposure, reputation
  • Virgo: Partnerships, alignment, collaboration
  • Libra: Growth, transformation, discovery
  • Scorpio: Romance, recognition, creativity
  • Sagittarius: Healing, breakthroughs, recovery
  • Capricorn: Structure, stability, groundedness
  • Aquarius: Revolution, autonomy, progress
  • Pisces: Discipline, maturity, prosperity

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