One Sky For 2023: Going Low And Deep To Go High
This post is a sample of the monthly horoscopes I send everybody on my mailing list. Do you want this info every single month, a couple of weeks in advance, along with other cool stuff like weekday Zazen and the occasional discount? Sign up for free!
This diamond mine in Siberia is the largest in the world, and is so deep that helicopters get sucked into it
The year ahead gives big love and redemption vibes. It’s all about the way suffering… and oh, there has been suffering over the past three years… is a reliable path to experiencing the way we are all held by the divine. The year is about the way being held like that changes everything and nothing at the same time. It’s about our responsibility to transform our suffering and pain into love and wisdom instead of projecting it out onto others. 2023 is about falling so far that you have to change. And it’s about the way falling did not show you that you suck or that you failed at all! Rather, it transformed the playing field itself, and showed you how fundamentally loved and worthy you are. 2023 is a year that brings extreme levels of sustained goodness to the parts of our lives that have taken on the biggest burdens of the last three years. And, of course, those blessings are not just going to rain down from the sky. Rather, they come with some pretty serious demands for self growth and accountability. The challenges of the year have such an explicitly spiritual tenor that I wrote five drafts of this attempting to open up my symbolism so that folks who perhaps have been hurt by religion or shut their ears at god talk could find a way in, and I gave up. Our sense of reality and truth will be challenged in ways that are just not going to be helped by materialist frameworks. You know how light is a wave and a particle? I have a feeling that by the end of this year, and if not then, certainly by 2028, we are going to need to be able to hold everything the way we hold the nature of light. We are going to need frameworks for truth that are far more accepting of what we don’t already know, and that can handle multiple things being true at the same time.
There is still work ahead! But it’s different work, and there’s more payoff. And it makes sense, given the last three years, that all this goodness that’s coming is being described by the astrology as a function of resilience, wisdom, grit, and responsibility. It makes sense that some of us are going to slide right off of the good stuff, and instead get caught up in fearful fantasies. It makes sense that the good stuff could very well be a little dangerous, and will need to be handled with intention and care. Given where we’ve been, it makes sense that better doesn’t mean easy yet.
Let’s look at the highlights!
March 8, 2023
Saturn, a/k/a the reality principle, will leave many years of being in his own gritty territory and slip into the abundant, interconnected seas of Pisces and a long co-presence with Neptune, whom you could definitely call the dissolution principle. On one hand, this is going to lighten everything up considerably! We’ve been living with Saturn on his own rocky, extra-real turf since 2018. Saturn moving into Jupiter’s sign would normally signify reality still being real, but being lit with a nice, soft, diffuse light from the right angle. With Neptune in the mix, this softening and enhancing could tip over into Facetuning. Be prepared on a collective level for a lot more misinformation and propaganda, which could continue to lead to the dissolving of rules and structures. And in our own lives, we might want to walk into the year with a keen awareness that there will be a drive to make things out to be better or scarier than they actually are. That said, the power of this transit is that it will bring rigor and depth to anyone who is already engaged in a spiritual practice. It could also prompt a helpful re-imagining of truth at an individual level.
March 24, 2023
Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld who describes, among other things, what you hide from and the way it will keep biting you in the ass until you deal with it, will enter Aquarius for the first time. The way Pluto is directly following Saturn is interesting because they both love responsibility taking, and in different ways they both speak to the way hard earned lessons deepen our character. Pluto and Saturn working tag-team in Aquarius suggests that the limitations, struggles, stress tests, and reality checks over the past three years are not something you’re going to be able to wait out. Instead, over the next 20 years, Pluto will take all that work Saturn was doing in Aquarius to make you do things like set boundaries, accept some hard limits, and structure a more ideal situation that benefits other people in addition to yourself and slowly turn it into a new way of being. Be ready for this process to involve things like grieving, or taking far more responsibility than you feel like you should.
May 16, 2023
Jupiter, the planet of luck and abundance, will enter Taurus and start hanging out with Uranus, the f-bomb of planets that brought us the itchy, job-quitting, “I gotta be me!” part of the Saturn Uranus square that we’ve been living through since lockdowns started. This will last a whole year, and it’s a lot more fun and productive than Saturn picking a fight with Uranus for three plus years! But it’s big, and the first month is so big that it needs a warning. Jupiter will immediately walk into a square with Pluto, which symbolizes, among other things, power generally, and nuclear fission specifically. This will be further punctuated by a three way standoff between Pluto, Jupiter, and the god of war, Mars, in Leo May 20th. Put this whole week on your calendar now. It’s a big dose of movement coming to three fixed signs that really want to keep things the same, and that have been under a lot of pressure to change for a long time. The movement could be directed well, or not! Jupiter loves preparation, and Pluto loves it when you take responsibility. Put yourself in the right place in a way that’s right by others, and you could be on the rocket, blasting off, whatever that means for you. Waiting around to be showered in blessings in May, on the other hand, could wind up feeling like you got caught holding a lit M-80 in your hand.
June 5, 2023
Venus enters Leo, and will take a long retrograde there, finally exiting October 9. Venus is all about love and attraction, and her retrogrades are most often described as a trip to the underworld and back. That’s not necessarily a bad thing–I fell in love with my husband and held my newborn daughter through Venus retrogrades! But let’s just say they are always deep, and always a time of recognizing where love is, and also where it is not, and could feel good or bad–again, there’s a responsibility taking element here. George Floyd was martyred during the Venus retrograde in 2020, and astrologer Nick Dagan Best has done interesting work correlating racial violence in the US and Venus retrograde cycles. If there is reckoning that you have to do around love and compassion, that could happen too. This adds to the summer of deep, complicated blessings in the fixed signs.
April 20, May 5, October 14, October 28, 2023
Eclipses are a regular cycle of big beginnings and big endings, and all four eclipses this year are either ruled by Mars in Cancer or Venus in Virgo. These are both planets that are in their fall–places where they are likely to be impeded at the work they want to do, prompting stories that are not directly about success, but are often about redemption, grace, and overcoming. There’s a lot to say about each eclipse individually that lends to the redemption narrative, and we’ll go there as the year progresses. But what’s striking about them as a group is the way each of them is telling a story of going low. This could be as literal as falling into a hole or meeting a significant obstacle, or the eclipses could deepen an existing Plutonian narrative of going low by letting yourself grieve, or developing intimacy with, and taking responsibility for, your own underbelly.
Your Sky: Rising Sign Horoscopes for 2023
Serious financial abundance, maybe even with a side of intense romance, is in the cards next spring and summer, and it all hinges on what you learned over the last three years about belonging. Can you love yourself even when you are not loved by everybody else? Can you do things like work a room, fundraise, and gather support with supreme integrity? In some way, you probably spent these pandemic years trying to find your people. Whether or not that effort was successful, the ongoing work is going to be to integrate what you learned about yourself in that process so that you can gather the resources you need. Your financial life has been changing a lot, and these regular changes will start moving into the sign that represents you, as well as the sign that represents all of your most important relationships. You will change significantly over the next year and a half! The first stab at this change in May is likely to fall short, perhaps because of a family conflict, but that is okay. Be open to evidence that you are still loved, still held, even when things could have gone better.
It’s your year! Instead of struggling with your public life or career roles as you keep itching to become a more authentic version of yourself, it’s time to integrate what you learned from those struggles so that you can accept the luck and abundance that is coming your way, probably with a nice heaping side dish of familial love. Whether the last three years have been about leveling up and deepening professional commitments or butting your head against significant limitations, taking time to love yourself for the work you did, the professional boundaries you set, and the ways in which you had to be the boss, even if only to yourself or to “manage up” a superior, is crucial because an important support from last year and the year before that will change. In 2021 and 2022, your friends, supporters, and loose social networks probably kept you going. In the coming years that support is going to feel more confusing. Being able to love yourself, and love your public self, could give you the space you need to let those friendships and social networks be what they are, instead of projecting your needs and fears onto them.
The work you do in the world, whether that’s career or another important public role, really took off much of last year, and this year, that process might get a little confusing. You might find yourself believing your fears and wishes about your professional life instead of being able to reflect quietly and let what is actually happening emerge. One tool you have at your disposal to counter this is all the daily practices, rituals, and looking under the hood into your subconscious that you have been doing. Internal work–be it in the form of therapy, meditation retreats, journaling, or otherwise getting intimate with the parts of you that you do not like–is a huge growth center for you this year! Is this flashy and public growth? No! Does it align nicely with the growth metrics of late neoliberal capitalism? No! But this kind of deep diving into who you are is as lush and abundant as any other kind of abundance, and is likely to result in a dedication to physical practices that are deeply nourishing because they enact what you are learning in your spiritual life every day.
Abundance came last year in the form of escape. Maybe you traveled, dove into higher education, deeply enjoyed the way your beliefs were developing, or developed a strong relationship with a teacher. These expansive journeys could become a source of confusion, and it will be important to neither collapse into fearing that everything great has been lost, or that everything is as great as it used to be. What you can lean into as you develop the power to sit curiously with your beliefs or teachers is the discomfort of the last three years. Maybe the pandemic made you anxious, or you grieved a significant loss in it. Perhaps you got quite serious about how you are carrying on a tradition or family karma. How intimate can you get with that discomfort? Can you love the part of you that fell apart? Can you transform what you were taught into something even more wise and more loving? The more gently and lovingly you can assess any of your own breakdowns, or what you are passing along to others, the more abundance you will bring to your friends, audiences, or groups you belong to.
Your relationships and your career or life’s work have likely been undergoing a somewhat grinding, difficult, incremental revolution over the past three years, perhaps even resulting in changes to your home or family life. It might be hard to see now what on earth it is you are building as you face up to the limits of key partnerships, set clear boundaries, and get real about doing what you want and need to do, as opposed to what you are good at, or what others expect of you. This spring and summer, you might be surprised by the way a new job or career path, or abundance in an existing role springs into focus! Whatever shifts, you are probably going to be rolling with force and, importantly, be seen as the force you are! The success of this new chapter, though, is entirely reliant on the depth, seriousness, and accountability you’ve brought to working with others. There is more big change afoot at home and with your public life this year, but look for the big beginnings and big endings to shift to things like how you communicate, how you teach and learn, and what you believe and how you practice your beliefs.
The work for the next three years, starting in March, is likely about deepening your ability to sit with the paradoxical nature of your relationships, and see them as they are. This might mean confronting your own need to make things better than they are, or a tendency to catastrophize. But the challenge will be to get as still and quiet as possible, as if meditating, so that what is actually happening in a relationship can simply reveal itself. The best possible outcome for this is a deeper, truer connection than you could ever have thought possible! And the pitfall is thinking that you are already there when you are actually caught up in a fantasy about what you imagine a relationship to be. Perhaps the biggest support you are going to have in this is a sustained focus this summer on the parts of your life that hold teachers and teaching, your health and habits, and your ability to go inward and connect with yourself. To know others, you will have to both get out of your head reliably, and then reconnect deeply and take excellent care of yourself.
Big changes are on the horizon for you over the next year and a half! The first stab at this change in October is likely to fall short because it requires something that stays in your blind spot, but that’s okay. Be open to evidence that you are still loved, still held, even when you could have done better. The work over the next three years is all about recognizing that you are not simply your efforts, and that you don’t have to do everything for everybody else, and that might be hard to see. A good way to work with this might be to focus rigorously on your own health, perhaps using exercise or mindful eating to deepen your awareness of what your body has to tell you. This focus could get surprisingly profound if you can develop the capacity to watch yourself and your habits quietly and without judgment. Late spring and summer, be on the lookout for an opportunity to feel freed from a debt or an obligation, perhaps because you have found a power source in your creative life and are plugging into an audience for your art, or because what you have learned as a parent is helping you take better care of yourself and find the friendships you need.
Deep acceptance of your family life is likely to propel you into new relationships and into a new phase of your career in which you are calling the shots and are probably adored for it. Over the past three years, you have been setting boundaries, limiting contact, or deepening your commitments at home, or with your parents. And if you can take this period of struggle and figure out how to truly love yourself for having done it, there is an insane amount of abundance and new growth that is possible, on your terms. Can you love yourself if you had to say no to someone close to you? Can you love yourself if you prioritized family over other things? There is likely to be a surprising freedom in owning whatever you endured with home and family. You might find that your art, romantic life, or relationships with children become confusing in all this, and if so, it’s important to get quiet and listen carefully instead of reacting, becoming fearful, or getting overly optimistic. Truth is going to be difficult to find here for the next three years, so don’t guess! Listen, ask questions, and suspend judgment.
In May you are going to get your socks knocked off with work, and it is going to be of the utmost importance to put the teachers, habits, and daily practices in place that you need to ensure that this work is wanted and taking you where you want to go. The daily rituals that keep you sane might have become a real struggle over the last few years, or you might have gotten quite serious about them. Either way, the more you can Maxine Waters this year, and consistently reclaim your time, seeing it as the resource it is, the more likely you are to find that the hard work you will be engaged in through May 2024 is joyous, meaningful, and deeply aligned with your purpose. In all this work, don’t forget your family, home life, and your parents. What’s true at home might get confusing over the next three years, and it will take, again, strong regular practices and patience, to sit calmly and let what is really happening reveal itself to you instead of projecting fear or wishes onto it.
You’ve been doing a lot of work on your own resources in order to unlock your own joy. Whether that has meant money in the bank account, time to do creative work, or your sense of self worth, my question for you is how much you can deepen that work. How profoundly, essentially worthy can you feel? You have an interesting assignment for this spring and summer! If you can sit, powerfully, in your own basic worth, in the face of threats that might come in the form of anxiety or a sense of obligation, you could explode with joy, creativity, romance, and even frivolity. What you do with this can look as serious and Capricorn as you want–you can be in an editing bay or typing a manuscript the whole time as long as it flows. Or you could go out and fall in love! Or both! It’s that big. Be bolstered by this joy as the first of a series of big changes comes to your family life, home, parents, and your public life and career. These first steps toward things like a new career chapter or relocating are not likely to be straightforwardly successful, but they will have a lot to teach and are only the beginning.
Your focus has been on you, whether that means leveling up, facing your own limitations, negotiating health issues, or feeling particularly constrained by the world as it has been. My question for you is whether you can learn how to truly love and unconditionally accept this person you’ve become. You’re stepping into a ton of personal power next year, and it’s not going to be the kind of power that makes everything easy and perfect. Rather, it’s either the kind of depth and self awareness that makes you a fantastic leader, or it’s the kind of power to project what you don’t love onto others that makes you into a tyrant. Choose self awareness and depth, if for no other reason than because your family is going to rejoice about that in spring and summer. To put yourself in a position to hear how much they love you, spend the first half of 2023 loving yourself. Your beliefs and how you ritually enact them will change a lot over the next year and a half. This means you will likely find a lot of help in the form of a teacher, a meditation practice, or similar. Just don’t expect these first attempts at practice to be smooth–they are still building to something.
Much of last year, and some of the year before that, things were really going your way! The challenge of 2023 all the way through 2026 for you is that you might want to default to feeling like things are still going your way no matter what is actually happening. If you see that unanchored positivity come up, treat it like meeting the Buddha on the road and kill it. Who you are and where you are going is going to get a little confusing for a while. Not bad, necessarily, but not clear. Any attachment to knowing or naming who you are or where you are going, good or bad, is an illusion. It is a particularly good time to develop habits that keep you in tune with your body and spirit, so that you can get external feedback. In fact, you can go so far as to turn them into rituals that temporarily define you. There is nothing wrong, and a lot right, with becoming what you do every day. In fact, being able to turn your sense of self over to regular opportunities to listen could deepen and anchor the growth of the last couple of years.