Happy 2023! While the astrological year still has a ways to go before it completes its year, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new calendar year, so it is time to look ahead to see what we have to use. The big mover and shaker to start the year off with is the Mercury retrograde currently happening in the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn. Mercury retrogrades are periods of review, reassessment, revisitation, and basically just coming back to things that are undone. The trick to this, though, is that sometimes what comes up to be addressed are things that we didn’t know needed addressing. In this way, Mercury retrograde periods are litmus tests, keeping us on the straight and narrow and making sure that things don’t fall through the cracks.
While this is good overall, I’m sure the problem is apparent. The problem is that we may be surprised by what comes up to be readdressed. We may think we have a handle on things related to Mercury (I.e., personal communication, electronics, etc.), but then the Mercury retrograde comes along, and BANG! Now we’re dealing with something, or some things, that are unexpected. Since Mercury is retrograding in Capricorn, many revisits will have to do with the career, occupation, and overall direction in life. I have always found this to be humbling, but therein lies the lesson-to be humble. Mercury retrograde periods can humble us like no other, but this also gives us a prime opportunity for wisdom if we take the time to learn.
Mars is also retrograde to start the year, and while it does not retrograde as much as Mercury does, it is still quite impactful, as it causes us to go within and see where our energy is spent and why. Mars retrograde periods also encourage us to look within to review our connection with the masculine side of divinity. Are we not being masculine enough? Are we too masculine? Do we have spiritual baggage with the idea of a masculine divine due to spiritual and emotional wounds from our youth? Any or all of these may be true, and during the Mars retrograde, these themes may come to the surface to be addressed.
The good news for both of these transits (A transit is when a particular planet is moving through the sky, and not static as it is in a birth chart) is that they will be done by the time the Sun moves into Aquarius on January 20th. As a matter of fact, a few days after that, Uranus will direct, too, and this heralds a new, fortuitous time, as all significant planets in the solar system will be direct until April 20th! This period of direct planets is longer than last year, and as you can probably surmise, this period (January 24th-April 20th) is a time for us to move forward with all of our plans for the new calendar year. Yes, usually every year around this time, we have a long time during which the planets are direct, but this period for 2023 is longer than last year, giving us more time to go forth and not have to worry about dealing with a lot of internal subjects like retrogrades bring to the surface.
January 6th brings us the first full moon of 2023, with the Sun in Capricorn and the Moon in the opposite sign of Cancer, a cardinal water sign. One of the names for this full moon is the ‘Wolf Moon,’ which generally means the wolves howl due to hunger during the cold winter, but this year, you could interpret it much differently. This year, the Wolf Moon could be your time to howl yourself into existence for 2023. True, Mars and Mercury are retrograde during this time, but that does not mean you are frozen in place when making plans for the upcoming year. For me, Mercury retrogrades have been times of planning, which of course, leaves me chomping at the bit to roll them out once Mercury directs.
The new moon in January is on the 21st, with the Sun and Moon both in the fixed air sign of Aquarius, making this a good time for new beginnings that have to do with groups you spend your time with, as well as your role in society at large. I realize many people may scoff at this last point, but remember that no person is an island, so the more we work with this new moon energy, the more we figure out how to better navigate the rest of the calendar year.
Besides these major points, January 2023 is full of a lot of emphasis on wounds, healing, and self-establishment. It’s been a rollercoaster over the last two years, making this a good time to establish your new ‘norm.’ Some people want to go back to how things were before, but usually, that is the wrong course of action. Yes, some things from the past are good to revisit and reincorporate, but it is far wiser to see this as a time for a personal upgrade built on how you have changed in the recent past. I’ll be doing this extensively, and I encourage you to do the same.
A major key to work with to navigate this transitional month is Venus. Venus begins 2023 in Capricorn and ends January in Pisces, a much better placement, traditionally speaking, so you may find that indulging in all things Venusian (art, beauty, the appreciation of such things, love, money, and the cultivation of goddess energy) is just what the doctor ordered. Moving through Capricorn, Aquarius, and finally, into Pisces, Venus reminds us of the beauty and pleasure in life and that if we don’t take time to play and create, we may find not only our growth stunted, our stress levels may be unhealthily high. In other words, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ (Proverbs by James Howell, 1659). When preparing for the new month and year, it is wise to balance out your work and play, thus setting the stage for a healthy and prosperous new calendar year!
[Right Reverend Bill Duvendack is an internationally known astrologer, psychic, presenter, teacher, tarot reader, and author. He has presented in many venues, ranging from colleges and high schools to national and international conferences. He is the author of over a dozen published books on modern spirituality, with more soon to be released. Over four dozen essays of his have been published in various anthologies, and his magical writings have been translated into seven languages. He regularly teaches digital courses on magick, astrology, and modern spirituality. He has been interviewed by the NY Times, RTE 1, and has made many TV and radio appearances. For more information about him, please consult his website: www.418ascendant.com.]