Stargazer –
astrology for March 2023
Image: Earl Wilcox| UnsplashStargazer ~ astrology for March 2023. Putin's Ukraine invasion – 1 year on| What’s happening with Jacinda & Nicola?| 7 top tips for a balanced, fruitful autumn, and more...
by Stella Woods
"...this full moon asks you to choose a dream that’s particularly close to your heart, and then take practical steps to make it come true. The Virgo-Pisces polarity also opens the pathway to healing by providing an intrinsic and intuitive connection between body and soul." Putin and the Ukraine invasion – one year onIt’s been 365 days since the world awoke in shock to Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Since then tens of thousands of people on both side of the conflict have died and millions of Ukrainians have been forced into exile.

In March 2022, I wrote an article about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying that even if Putin succeeded in taking over Ukraine, I believed in the longer term he would fail in his mission. I still maintain this belief; not simply because of the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people and the massive worldwide support from Ukraine’s allies; but because Putin’s astrological transits in 2022 and 2023 do not promise victory and glory, but rather defeat, failure, and even death.

Even though the Russian army has succeeded in destroying homes, lives, and dreams; even though Putin is determined to fight on at all costs; even with threats of nuclear war and mass destruction, there has always been a sense that Putin and his army are not winning the war.

He does not seem like a victor, rather a weak and haunted old man. Putin’s health problems have been widely reported in the press and leaked from inside the Kremlin. And many Russians are opposed to his invasion, believing he is increasingly out of touch.

Here’s why I believe Putin’s days are numbered:
1) Putin is in the balsamic moon phaseAstrologers use a technique called the ‘progressed lunation cycle’ to look at long term trends in a person’s life over a 29.5-year period. The balsamic moon phase is the final stage of this cycle, and lasts for about three and half years. Its theme is death and endings. It could be compared to the pre-menstrual phase in a woman’s monthly cycle.

Those going through the balsamic moon phase often experience low energy, things falling apart, and loss of interest in people and activities that were previously very important. The advice is always to let go of the old, rest up, and prepare for the new moon cycle. For Putin, the balsamic moon phase began in January 2020 and concludes in July this year. No astrologer would recommend starting a war during a balsamic moon phase.
2) Putin’s solar return sun is in the 12th house
Another predictive technique used by astrologers is the solar return chart. This involves casting a chart for a person’s birthday to see what the year ahead might hold. Each house in the solar return chart has a particular theme.

Putin’s solar return chart for his birthday on October 7th 2022 has the sun (solar or vital energy) in the 12th house. The 12th house has themes similar to the balsamic moon. Endings. Withdrawal. Loss of vital energy. And we can add ‘hidden enemies’.

Putin’s solar return sun (vital energy) and solar return ascendant (physical body) are both in Libra, ruled by the planet Venus. Venus is also on the cusp of the 12th house – more endings.

The 6th house of sickness has ruler Mars in the 8th house of death. And Chiron, the planet of wounds is in the house of sickness. If Putin were my client, I’d be recommending he rest up, look after his health, and avoid starting any new or major ventures.
3) Saturn transiting natal I.C.
Saturn passing over the base of the birth chart (I.C) often represents death, endings, and what astrologers sometimes call 'the end of the matter'.

In the chart of the Ukraine invasion in February 2022, superimposed onto Putin’s natal chart (see diagram below, which is the February 2022 Ukraine invasion with Saturn on I.C.), we can see Saturn at 18 degrees Aquarius (the brown sickle on the cusp of the 4th house), passing over Putin’s karmic path or north node at 20 degrees Aquarius (the symbol that looks like a set of headphones) and also the base of the chart (I.C) at 21 degrees Aquarius.
February 2023 – one year later – south node on Scorpio ascendantA year later, in February 2023, Saturn is still transiting the bottom of Putin’s chart (see diagram below) marking a period that some astrologers call the ‘dark night of the soul’.

The transiting south node (symbol like inverted headphones), representing endings, is moving towards Putin’s ascendant at 3 Scorpio and will make an exact conjunction in June 2023.

The ascendant or rising sign represents the physical body – and the south node passing over the ascendant can bring diminished vitality, sickness, or even death.
4) Solar arc Pluto conjunct Putin’s Scorpio ascendantSolar arc charts are another predictive technique used by astrologers. In Putin’s solar arc chart for 2023 we see Pluto on his natal ascendant at 3 degrees Scorpio. Pluto being the planet of death. And the ascendant representing the physical body.
ConclusionAny one of these astrological events would be challenging, but to have all of them occurring in the same year is a clear sign that things are falling apart for Putin. The overriding theme is weakness, withdrawal, and endings.

Given Putin’s age and health problems; given the massive opposition to his invasion of Ukraine; given the changing nature of our world; it is highly unlikely that Putin will survive as Russian President and indeed his life may be coming to an end.

With transformational Pluto moving into Aquarius in 2023, over the next decade, the old systems of hierarchy and control will be challenged, revolutionised, and reformed. Even in Russia. Putin represents the old guard, living in a past that is crumbling and fading.

In the 21st century, most people understand that only by working together, sharing resources, and cooperating at an international level, can we survive as a species. Let’s hope that whatever happens to Putin, the suffering for Ukrainian citizens will soon come to an end.
What’s happening with Jacinda and Nicola?Many think we have far too few female leaders. And sadly, in January 2023, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she was stepping down after five and a half years in the top job. Just weeks later, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, announced her resignation after eight years of leading her country.

Ardern (born 26th July 1980) said: “I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility – the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice.
If the question is, can I battle on for another few months, then the answer is yes, of course I can. But if the question is, can I give this job everything it demands and deserves for another year, let alone for the remainder of this parliamentary term… give it every ounce of energy that it needs in the way that I have strived to do every day for the last eight years, the answer honestly is different.”

Sturgeon (born 19th July 1970) said: “In my head and in my heart, I know that time is now, that it is right for me, for my party and for the country. …Though I know it will be tempting to see it as such, this decision is not a reaction to short term pressures… This decision comes from a deeper and longer-term assessment. Is carrying on right for me? And more importantly is me carrying on right for the country, for my party and for the Scottish Independence cause I have devoted my life to?”
Balsamic moon and midlife crisis?Ardern, like Putin, is in the balsamic moon phase – a time of endings, closure, and withdrawal from the public arena. The balsamic moon phase often brings physical and emotional exhaustion, regardless of a person’s age or usual state of health. Ardern, at age 42, is also in the midlife period (sometimes referred to as the midlife crisis) when people try to balance up their lives by focussing on what they inwardly know is missing. In Ardern’s case, this seems to be time with family and, in particular, with her daughter Neve Te Aroha.

Neptune in Pisces has been opposing Ardern’s Saturn in Virgo since mid-2021. Transiting Neptune opposing natal Saturn pits the desire to escape to a more peaceful, pleasant, and serene world against the need to honour duties and responsibilities. Neptune reveals endless possibilities and avenues of escape from mundane reality, once the imagination is engaged.
Chiron return and South Node on AscendantSturgeon, unlike Putin and Ardern, is not in the balsamic moon phase, but she has just completed Chiron return – a once in a lifetime transit occurring around age 49-51. Chiron return brings healing and a recognition of one’s own limitations. And it often paves the way for a completely new life path, one undertaken with the wisdom and experience of age.

The south node (karmic endings) crossed Sturgeon’s Scorpio ascendant a week before her resignation in February. Interestingly the south node will cross Putin’s Scorpio ascendant in June 2023.
The importance of cyclesArdern and Sturgeon as mature, experienced, and successful leaders have acknowledged and responded to the cycles in their own lives. By listening to the voice within, they both took the decision to stand down, instead of trying to hold onto power. And by recognising it was time to move on, they acted in their own interests, as well as the interest of their parties. I very much doubt these were shock resignations or admissions of failure, but rather examples to us all. There is a time to sow, a time to reap, and a time to lay fallow.
Autumn equinox – harvest timeTalking of reaping, March 22nd, the autumn equinox, is a key reaping date in the astrological calendar as the sun moves from Pisces to Aries and day and night are of equal length.

Many ancient civilisations considered the equinox and solstice points the most important days of the calendar, with all life in balance. For the next six months, nights will be longer than days, which means it is time to start withdrawing energy from the outer world and prepare for the cooler months ahead.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes the view that external changes of season are also reflected internally. If you adjust your daily habits (sleeping, eating, clothes, activity) to reflect the seasonal changes then you are more likely to stay healthy.

Seven top tips for a balanced and fruitful autumn
  1. Adjust your sleeping habits to follow the sun. As the days grow shorter, do less in the evenings and go to bed earlier, get more sleep, and try to rise with the sun. 
  2. Dust off the cooking pot and rustle up warming stews and oven-baked pies to share with friends and family.
  3. As the weather cools down, get plenty of fresh air, but dress warmly. Give your wardrobe an overhaul, making sure you have a selection of clothes you feel good in.
  4. Stock up your pantry and freezer with all the delicious fruits and vegetables available at farmers markets, orchards, and your back yard.
  5. Enjoy five minutes of deep breathing each day. Lie on your bed, on the couch, or on the floor, and breathe air into all parts of your chest. Pause for a few seconds, then release the air slowly along with all the tensions of life. Place your hands on your belly and feel the rise and fall of your breath. You too are part of the natural world.
  6. Light the fire, put the kettle on, organise some tasty snacks, and curl up on the couch with that book you’ve been meaning to read for months.
  7. Autumn is a season of golden days and cool nights. Spend half an hour each morning putting your home and garden in order and reap the benefits.
Full moon in Virgo – choose your dreamThe March full moon falls on the 7th in earth sign Virgo. With the sun in imaginative and creative Pisces opposite the moon in sensible, grounded Virgo, there’s bound to be a clash between the need to be practical and hard-headed vs the desire to chase dreams and let your fantasies run wild.

Of course these two paths are not mutually exclusive – this full moon asks you to choose a dream that’s particularly close to your heart and then take practical steps to make it come true. The Virgo-Pisces polarity also opens the pathway to healing by providing an intrinsic and intuitive connection between body and soul.

And this full moon is a good time to take a risk in personal relationships with love goddess Venus aligned with Jupiter and Chiron in Aries.
New moon in Aries – fresh burst of energy
The new moon falls on the 22nd March in fire sign Aries at the autumn equinox. With five planets in Aries including communication planet Mercury, expect a fresh burst of energy, new ideas, and mental breakthrough.

Use the powerful energy of this Aries new moon to launch projects, take risks, set challenging goals, or commit to a fitness program. Aries is the sign of the warrior, so any activity requiring physical strength, bravery, or fighting spirit is favoured.
About the author:
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher, writer, and consultant. Contact Stella at or or

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