Stargazer – astrology for January 2023
Image: Josh Hild| UnsplashSaturn in Pisces – realism meets mysticism | Manifesting dreams | Dealing with destructive, escapist behaviour | Year of the Water Rabbit, and more...
by Stella Woods"You may feel like a hapless victim wanting to escape a harsh, cold world, but Saturn in Pisces will make you face up to reality and the consequences of any escapist behaviour. No matter how grim the forecast for climate apocalypse, social disconnection, over-population, and mass surveillance, we all have a choice about how we face the future. Sober and grounded is a good start. Saturn in Pisces asks us to pull ourselves together, avoid bitterness and cynicism, and be part of the solution." 2023 – coming ready or not!2023 will be a challenging year. Why? Because everything is changing and will keep on changing. I hear people talking about life before coronavirus and lockdown. And whether life will ever return to normal. The truth is, life pre-2020, with its traditions and certainties, has gone forever. Is that good or bad? It all depends on your age, point of view and how attached you are to the way things used to be.
Changing of the guardAstrologers believe that the cycles of the planets in our solar system can help us understand the cycles on our own planet. Between 2023 and 2025, three of our five outer planets – Saturn, Pluto and Neptune will change zodiac sign. The exact crossover dates are debatable as, from our earthly viewpoint, planets move backwards and forwards. But the bottom line is that the old order is cracking apart and new energy is rushing in to take its place, ready or not!
The key players: Saturn, Pluto, and Neptune
Saturn = structure, law, karma, temporal power
Pluto = death, transformation, rebirth, unconscious power
Neptune = dissolving boundaries to reveal new realities

In March 2023, Saturn will move from Aquarius to Pisces for a 3-year stint to 2026. The same month, Pluto will move from Capricorn to Aquarius for a 22-year stint to 2044. And in 2025, Neptune will leave Pisces and enter Aries for a 14-year stint to 2039.

Aquarius and Pisces are the final two zodiac signs and Aries is the first sign. The theme over the next 2-3 years seems to be wrapping up the old and laying the groundwork for the new. I will write more about these mega-shifts in cosmic energy as the year unfolds, but as March is just two months away, let’s take a look at Saturn’s move into Pisces.
Image: James Garman | UnsplashSaturn in Pisces – realism meets mysticismSaturn represents reality, structure, and boundaries, as well as patience, self-discipline, and wisdom. He symbolises law, government, and patriarchal authority.

For thousands of years, Saturn was thought to be the final planet in our solar system, the known edge of consciousness. Saturn teaches us our limits and the importance of discipline and right action. Without Saturn, we would never achieve our potential, take responsibility for our actions, or learn how to cope with the harsher realities of life.

Water sign Pisces represents the dissolution of separateness and structure, as well as deep feelings, imagination, dreams, creativity, and transcendence. Pisces is the mystic, the soul, the unconscious, and the divine.

Practical, realistic Saturn and ungrounded, mystical Pisces have little in common, but as the final sign in the zodiac, Pisces represents endings and the seeds of new beginnings, while Saturn stands for karma and the end of life. Therefore, we can expect this three-year period to feature many endings and the dissolution of old structures.
Disillusionment and dark night of the soulThe biggest challenge of Saturn in Pisces may be disillusionment on a personal and/or collective level. Impending climate doom has encouraged nihilism, despair, and depression. The collective mood is sombre with a rise in anxiety, hopelessness, and fear of the future.
With mental and emotional health under stress, and many struggling to pay bills, the most important thing we can do is count our blessings and start helping each other. Collective suffering can be massively reduced by practical Saturnian action. We all have something to give.
ReligionAs societies developed, religion was invented to join people together. This is the core meaning of the word religion (think ‘ligament’). The idea of uniting a group of people under a common faith or belief system is wonderful. The problem begins when one religious group starts fighting with another. Or when religion is used as justification to control behaviour or abuse human rights. Most countries have been guilty of this at some stage in their history.

Pisces has always ruled the soul and by extension all religious faiths, so we can expect some kind of religious crisis when Saturn moves into Pisces. Or perhaps certain religious groups seeking more Saturnian control.

We could use the Saturn in Pisces energy to expand the boundaries of faith and become more inclusive of people whose beliefs, creeds, and practices are different to our own.
Listening to the subconsciousSaturn in Pisces is a great time to keep a dream journal or explore your subconscious mind using guided imagination techniques, shadow work, or meditation. Events may occur that force you to turn inwards and deal with any feelings you’ve been denying or repressing. The idea is to recognise and dissolve negative patterns and habits, and develop greater self-acceptance, patience, discipline, and wisdom.
New breed of artistsAs Pisces rules the entertainment industry, the constrictive nature of Saturn could force major studios or fashion labels to close down, with artists and creatives creating their own labels instead. Those working in fashion, music, entertainment, and other creative fields will want to use their work in a way that benefits others, rather than working for big bosses. Expect more focus on independent films and videos mirroring everyday reality. Out with the glamour filters and airbrushing and in with more appreciation of the true beauty in the world.

As Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune all cross through Aries over the next decade, a new breed of artists will rise, focused on the future. The answer will not be to shun technology, but to put it to higher service. Those experiencing their first Saturn Return in Pisces (born 1993-1996) will be particularly eager to share their gifts.
Manifesting dreamsDreams can be turned into reality when Saturn is in Pisces, although this will depend on doing the work. Imagination is the realm of visionary Pisces, while physical manifestation is the realm of practical Saturn. Everything in life has to be imagined before it can become real.

Saturn can help test our visions and ground our ideas in creative work through the Piscean disciplines of music, film, photography, fashion, drama, poetry, and novels or short stories.
Spiritual study, contemplation, and meditationSaturn in Pisces is the perfect time to engage in spiritual study, contemplation, and meditation. Through discipline and self-mastery, we can learn to surrender to the mystery of life and experience a renewal of faith, even if times are challenging.

Many will be attracted to practical service wanting to help those who are less fortunate. But be sure to maintain good boundaries to prevent overwhelm and burnout. And avoid using spiritual practice to avoid or excuse real problems. If you’re in a destructive relationship with someone who lies and cheats on you, don’t be fooled into thinking they are your twin flame or soulmate!

Saturn in Pisces will expose fake spiritual teachers and new age swindlers and help us return to a more realistic spirituality grounded in truth, compassion, and caring.
Dealing with destructive and escapist behaviourPisces is an expert at escaping unpleasant situations and thoughts. Some favourite methods are drugs, alcohol, gaming, gambling, and all the various addictions, or as someone put it, ‘scrolling, snorting, and swiping’.

You may feel like a hapless victim wanting to escape a harsh, cold world, but Saturn in Pisces will make you face up to reality and the consequences of any escapist behaviour. No matter how grim the forecast for climate apocalypse, social disconnection, over-population, and mass surveillance, we all have a choice about how we face the future. Sober and grounded is a good start. Saturn in Pisces asks us to pull ourselves together, avoid bitterness and cynicism, and be part of the solution.

We can expect increased accountability and restrictions in the adult film industry, gaming, and social media platforms. Crackdowns on overconsumption of alcohol. And efforts to control the power of pharmaceutical industries, legal and illegal. Interestingly, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded when Saturn was in Pisces back in 1935.
Mercury and Mars retrograde – truth and integrityWhile 2023 promises new beginnings, with major shifts in the outer planets, projects could get off to a slower start than hoped for in the first half of January, with both Mercury and Mars retrograde.

The Mercury retrograde period in Capricorn began in late December and ends on 19th January. Mars will be retrograde in Gemini until 13th January.

Mercury and Mars are two of our most important planets. Mercury deals with communication, commerce, contracts, transport, gossip, and information. When Mercury is retrograde, all sorts of hidden information comes to the surface to be dealt with. And Mercury retrograde is also famous for transport strikes, vehicle breakdowns, missed appointments, and problems with mechanical, electrical, and electronic devices. Plan and double-check everything carefully.

Mars rules passion, war, conflict, assertion, aggression, wilfulness, and fighting for what is ours. When Mars is retrograde, we are pushed to re-evaluate, re-assess, reverse, reconsider, and slow down. Buried anger and frustration often comes up to be dealt with. Whatever you do, don’t shy from conflict. Be prepared to apologise, back down, and face your shadow.

Of course, there is nothing stopping us from signing contracts, booking holidays, and buying cars or phones at this time of year; but retrograde periods are best used for research and contemplation, rather than action and initiative. Often information comes to light during retrograde periods that helps us make better decisions, once the planets turn direct.

New moon in Aquarius – Year of the Water RabbitThe Chinese Year of the Water Rabbit begins on the 22nd January at the Aquarian new moon. Those born in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011 are all born in the Year of the Rabbit (in some countries known as Year of the Cat).

Rabbits/Cats are rather private individuals, and can be a little introverted or withdrawn. They would rather work behind-the-scenes and enjoy being part of a group rather than leading the group. Friendly, articulate, talented, and ambitious, Rabbits are well-balanced people who avoid confrontation and aggressive behaviour.

When angry, a Rabbit will approach the situation with calmness and consideration, rather than throwing a temper tantrum.

Rabbits are known for their sense of style and love of culture, tradition, and custom. They appreciate understated quality, comfort, and elegance, and can often be found curled up at home on the couch listening to tasteful music. Diplomatic and cooperative, they make excellent partners and family members, offer good advice, and always walk their talk.

2023 will be a year when Rabbits can really shine, both personally and professionally, and overcome any recent setbacks or obstacles. For the rest of us, the Year of the Rabbit offers us a chance to catch our breath after the roller coaster year of the Tiger. The Rabbit is the fourth of the twelve animal signs of the Chinese zodiac.
North node in Taurus – sharing and appreciating resourcesIn the first half of 2023, the karmic north node continues his journey through earth sign Taurus (Jan 2022 to July 2023). Taurus is the most practical sign of the zodiac, ruling the physical body and five senses. Taurus governs our food, water, money and resources – the things we need to survive. Without Taurus we die.

On a wider level, Taurus is about land, the environment, nature, and the bounties of planet Earth. North node in Taurus will make us even more aware of the importance of fresh water, clean air, abundant food, open space, and good health. Those on a spiritual path often underestimate the importance of physical comfort and security, but Taurus teaches us that a solid, stable, secure foundation is vital for an abundant spiritual life.

To understand Taurean energy, we simply need to consider or experience the consequences of a life without it – homelessness, starvation, poverty, disease, drought, pollution, and war.

Faced with Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, the ongoing worldwide COVID pandemic, rising inflation and interest rates, worldwide climate disaster, and rocketing food and energy prices, the north node in Taurus is revolutionising the way we appreciate, create, store, and share our physical resources.
About the author:
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher, writer, and consultant. Contact Stella at or or

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