Previous Months Forecast

WHAT’S UP – January 2023

Astrologer Belinda C. Dunn

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon

January 6 @ 6:08 pm EST

Mars direct

January 12 @ 3:56 pm EST

Mercury direct

January 18 @ 8:12 am EST

Aquarius New Moon

January 21 @ 3:53 pm EST

As the Earth turns in perfect concert, New Year celebrations, one after another, burst out across the globe, saying goodbye to the past while ringing in the new. For most, there is joyful and gleeful anticipation of a clean slate, a chance to begin anew. For many, anticipation mingles with dread, tainted by real and desperate conditions, just another date manufactured by adherence to the Gregorian calendar.

In this realm of contrast, on this small, blue/green gem of a planet, we don’t have to ascribe meaning as much as to know there is meaning behind all events on planet Earth . . . if one looks for it. Finding and making meaning in this apparently random cosmos is what humans do best as an essential part of our shared humanity.

It is winter in the northern hemisphere, and 2023 begins on a somber note. The stinging, biting, cold wind of reality is blowing up a storm. Not only is Sun in Capricorn, but Mercury, Venus and Pluto join in a rare conjunction, applying a powerful punch of truth and consequences.

Let’s take a look at Mercury first. Tracking its motion is a reality check, giving many clues as to decisions, and timing in general. Mercury entered Capricorn on December 6. You may have noticed a more grounded and realistic state of mind. Mercury in Capricorn is optimal for organization, and identifying priorities in the step by step process of getting the job done. But, just when the plan appeared to be laid out and doable, Mercury went retrograde on December 29th. For some people this means going back to the drawing board, and making new plans. For others, this signifies the real work involved in manifestation aided by the diligent, patient and methodical nature of Mercury in Capricorn.

Mercury goes direct on January 18, an indication of progress based on the previous weeks of review. At this point, Mercury will retrace its tracks, continuing in Capricorn until February 11 when Mercury enters Aquarius. Therefore, from early December to mid-February, there are nine full weeks of stops and starts, all in reckoning with reality. However, there is a fine line between dealing with issues in a realistic way, and/or giving in to cynical and fatalistic thinking.

To grasp the importance of this transit, we go back to Pluto. Telling the story of collective and evolutionary consciousness, Pluto has a 246 year orbit, spending approximately 14-15 years in each zodiac sign. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, a year marked by the conclusion of Bush’s presidency along with revelations of financial turmoil, corporate greed, and massive bank bailouts. Tremendous and unprecedented developments came in November with Obama’s election, and his campaign slogan, “Yes, we can!”

The years since have brought more and more revelations of the hidden activities of governments, financial institutions, corporations, and so much more. In many cases, the underpinnings of power have been exposed for what they are, a vain attempt to maintain control, at any cost. Acting without regard for the environment, people, society, and sovereign countries, strong armed bullies have run roughshod over human decency and common goodwill.

These days are over. Really? You may ask. But, now that Pluto is in the final degrees of Capricorn, its work is largely done. This year, March 23rd, to be exact, Pluto enters the next zodiac sign of Aquarius. While humans, and the planet, may be on the brink of extinction, a whole new era is dawning on planet Earth.

In the meantime, Pluto transiting at 27-29 degrees of Capricorn will bring many conclusions throughout the year. In numerous dramatic scenarios, the curtain will close, falling on an empty stage. The once revved up audience is ready to move on, no longer interested. Other more important and compelling matters begin to emerge, ready to take center stage, marking 2023 as a year of transition.

As the year gets underway, there are three significant go ahead, green lights in January. In addition to Mercury direct, Mars goes direct on January 12, and Uranus on the 22nd. Altogether, these planets give a tremendous boost to any and all projects that have been delayed, or on hold during autumn months.

As the planet of action, Mars is especially pertinent. Let’s review, Mars entered Gemini on August 21. It was full speed ahead until a sharp retrograde turn on October 29. On the energetic level, this may have felt like approaching an enormous hurdle, or even running into a brick wall. Issues cropped up, and circumstances demanded a pause of reorientation, along with careful planning in order to move forward effectively.

Mars remains in Gemini through winter months, completing this lengthy transit around the Spring Equinox. Since Gemini is the zodiac sign of communication, media, education, travel, transportation, neighbors and relatives, you may have found one or more of these areas strongly activated.

Currently transiting through Taurus, Uranus has been retrograde since August 24. This combination has produced extreme fluctuations in market value, currency, corporate funds, and financial institutions. When combining the freedom and inventive urge of Uranus with Taurus, the zodiac sign of money, we have seen the development and rise of cryptocurrency as a means of digital transaction. During the retrograde period, one of the largest exchanges collapsed, resulting in more efforts to regulate this method of exchange. Over the next three years, it will be fascinating to see how Uranus in Taurus continues its experiment with digital currency.

Uranus plays a key role during the Full Moon activation on January 6. In harmonious alignment with Sun and Mercury in Capricorn, watch for positive developments in practical matters; profession, career, investments, property, finances. As much as Uranus implies sudden change, in the earth element, there is a longing for stability amid the push for progress. Additionally, Jupiter transiting in Aries, gives an extra dose of purposeful entrepreneurship. With elections over, congress back in session, and people back to work, many projects are able to thrive, and benefit from this planetary confluence.

Sun enters Aquarius skies on January 20, and the Moon soon follows in a New Moon on the 21st. Marking the Chinese New Year on the 22nd, this annual celebration always follows the first New Moon of any given year. In the very early degrees of Aquarius, this auspicious joining of Moon with Sun plants the seeds for another lunar cycle as well as the year of the Rabbit. All together, these factors initiate a year of good fortune as the Rabbit totem is known as lucky, patient, calm and gentle.

Astrologically, Aquarius is the zodiac sign of futurism, innovation, experimentation and progress. Forward thinking, Aquarius is more about where we are going, than where we have been. Like a rocket ship leaving the gravity of Earth, this New Moon in Aquarius instills a tremendous boost of powerful intention. Leaving the orbit of dense reality, Aquarius is airy, light, free, mentally creative and visionary.

Additionally, there are two planets in Aquarius, Venus and Saturn. Venus is in Aquarius most of January, from the 2nd to 26th. As the planet of love, Venus in Aquarius supports equality, human rights, friendship and community involvement while giving permission to love life and live free. Rigid social conventions fall by the wayside as each and all are unique in their own way. “Dancing to the beat of your own drum,” sums up Aquarius.

This brings us to Saturn in Aquarius. It takes Saturn approximately 30 years to transit through the entire zodiac. Spending 2½ years in each sign, Saturn marks the cycles of our lives as well as social and cultural trends. Now in the homestretch, Saturn is completing its transit through Aquarius this winter, entering Pisces on March 7, 2023.

We can look back over the past two years, and consider the themes of Saturn’s transit through Aquarius. Of course, themes around freedom abound, but what really is freedom? As much as freedom is espoused as a core value, especially in the United States, there are many nuances and misunderstandings. In fact, freedom cannot really be freedom if actions bind an individual or group to destructive consequences, and limited outcomes. Real freedom comes with responsibility and social conscience, never giving license for whatever and whenever. Even the universe has laws.

With both Saturn and Pluto shifting zodiac signs in March, this is another indication of numerous endings, too many to count, as one thing after another wraps up in natural conclusion. In many ways, 2023 is a year of clean-up while navigating the currents of personal and planetary evolution.

At the same time, 2023 is not a year for wishful thinking and rose colored glasses. There are very real challenges, at least on this dimension, as the fortunes of men rise and fall, ebb and flow. I am reminded of the analogy of riding a bike while trying to fix the tire. It seems impossible, but it is clear to see, the challenges before humanity are complex and multifaceted, immense and daunting, except perhaps in the eyes of the future, our children.

As the Chinese year of the Rabbit gets underway, the iconic image of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat comes to mind. Did this really happen? How is it possible? The mind is bewildered, blown away, in the presence of magic. In many ways, this is what is being asked right now. Standing on the precipice, on the brink of extraordinary opportunity, we live in an era of tremendous invention, and unparalleled advancement across a wide spectrum of possibility. Is it possible for humans to solve the riddles of our time? Yes indeed, the miraculous is happening every day.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation.;