Looking to the year ahead, we may finally feel we have a moment to catch our breath and integrate the seismic shifts that have rippled through our lives over the last three years that were so dominated by the contraction and crisis which colors Saturn-Pluto (Oct. 2018 – Dec. 2021) and Saturn-Uranus (Dec. 2019 – Jan. 2024) time periods. These three planets have been in a dynamic and stressful conversation in the sky, as part of cyclical interactions occurring roughly every 5 to 7 years for Saturn and Pluto and every 10 to 11 years for Saturn and Uranus.  

Here at the tail end of Saturn-Uranus—which correlates to polarization, sudden reversals, collapsing structures and pitched battles between the old and the new—we might simply appreciate a slackening of tensions in various areas of our lives. Many of us will feel a weight lift as the planet of structure, boundaries and limits, Saturn, moves into the dreamy waters of Pisces on March 7, where he will float for the next three years. The arts and literature may flourish, while bureaucracy struggles to maintain order. The tendency to rigid ideology may also be on the wane, as the gray areas and ambiguities which characterize life


become more readily apparent. On a heavier note, it is expected to be an El Niño year, which typically results in hotter weather. Saturn in Pisces may indicate having to increasingly consider the importance of water and how our health is intertwined with water’s health. 

Another significant shift in cosmic emphasis in 2023 comes with Pluto’s entry into Aquarius on March 23, the first time Pluto has traveled this part of the tropical zodiac in 245 years. Pluto represents evolution, the primal desire to survive, and the inevitability of breakdown and decay which forms an intimate part of the regeneration of life. Pluto is the cosmic compost heap and just spent 15 years in the sign of Capricorn, showing us the rot in social institutions and asking for a rejuvenation of society and its agreements. We might pay attention to what happens through 2023 with respect to Aquarian themes, such as our relationship to technology, our ideologies and beliefs about the future, and the sense of being an individual self versus belonging to a collective. 

Another shift towards feeling greater freedom, though not necessarily stability, is heralded by expansive Jupiter’s conjunction with rebellious Uranus this year. From mid-2023 to mid-2024, Jupiter-Uranus, which is a key feature of the birth of the United States, gestures towards the impulse for freedom and the very idea of democracy and self-governance, as well as rapid technological development and deployment, breakthroughs in innovation and the unleashing of faith. This influence may offer some a needed respite from the heaviness of the last few years and give us some juice to jumpstart dreams which can carry us beyond perceived constraints. 

Turning to the near term, we have another supportive energy offering us a feast of the senses. We celebrate a joyful Venus conjunction with Jupiter (exact Mar. 1) which sparkles low in western skies, enchanting the evening sky from Feb. 21 to Mar. 6. Hearts open up when the planet of love and beauty, Venus, joins up with generous, expansive Jupiter, and we may be drawn to socialize more, to express our affections, to enjoy and indulge in pleasures. Venus-Jupiter implies a celebration of beauty, and an expansion of our appreciation for the goodness of life, turning us towards optimism, hope and faith.  Spring’s arrival is announced in the yellow blossom of witch hazel, and the intoxicating scent of cottonwood resin—the Sun, which symbolizes life force and creative energy, is slowly returning! And Venus-Jupiter provides a supportive influence for creativity of all kinds. 

While the Sun travels through Pisces (Feb. 18 – Mar. 20) many of us are planning out our gardens, swapping seeds, and we may already sense the richness of fall’s bounty ahead. Just beware of breaking the bank! It is easy to overspend under the intoxicating spell of Venus-Jupiter—both in dollars and in time commitments. Those who tend to overestimate their capacities should wait until a bit later in March to reflect before committing to grand creative schemes, while those who tend to be be too conservative could let this influence carry their activities and inspirations to greater heights. 

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