In 2023 we leave the year of the Black Water Tiger and enter the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. This is a year of the black rabbit. Black represents the element of water in Chinese astrology. The Year of the Rabbit, as with all the animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, comes round once every twelve years. But then we also have the rotation of the four elements in the Chinese zodiac: Earth, Water, Wood and Metal. The last year of the Water Rabbit was 1963.
2023 Chinese New Year Day is on Sunday, 22 January 2023 and is widely announced as the start of the new Rabbit year. However there is a distinction to be made between New Year and the first day of the New Zodiac Year which in Chinese astrology is based on the lunar calendar.
Technically speaking, the first day of the 2023 Chinese Astrological Year is actually 4 February or the previous day depending on the lunar calendar in any given year.
This date marks Li Chun (立春), the Beginning of Spring.
This means that for a baby born before 4 February 2023, the baby’s Chinese Zodiac sign is still technically the Water Tiger, and not the Water Rabbit. Just be aware, the dates vary depending on the date of the February new moon. If your birthday is in February you need to check the dates in February for that particular year.
You are a Rabbit if you were born in the following years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011
In the astrology of Vietnam the Rabbit is replaced with the Cat, and in Malay astrology, the Rabbit is represented instead by a mouse-deer.
The Year of the Black (Water) Rabbit ends 9 February 2024 when we will enter a new Wood Dragon year.
The rabbit is traditionally regarded as one of the happiest Chinese zodiac signs. People born in a Rabbit year are known for their extreme patience, and for reliability, kindness, loyalty and also elegance and a certain air of mystery. People born in a year of the Rabbit are quick-witted, sociable, careful and inventive – even ingenious. But they are watchful- cautious just as in Nature the real Rabbit is a prey animal. The rabbit runs. But nothing is ever quite so simple or one dimensional, and the rabbit will also fight. A rabbit will kick or box ….allow me to share an old family story.
Back in the sixties, my parents had a buck rabbit, Arnab, who once offended a Syrian ambassador. His name, Arnab was Arabic for rabbit. We had friends from Damascus and Palestine who lectured in Arabic Studies at the Uni of Durham. Arnab got his name when Hanan and Hussein came round for drinks one night (they were Muslim, officially but they drank alcohol- and they celebrated Christmas too) and Hanan said, ‘oh, you have an ARNAB??’
They were not keen on rabbits- or rodents, ‘oh, Margaret (this to my mother) You have a filthy arnab!”
Cue my mother’s unrepentant screams of laughter.
One day Hussein asked my mother to host a visiting guest to the Department of Arabic Studies at Durham University while he visited Hanan who was in hospital.
This guest was a VIP, a visiting ambassador from Syria, a certain Judge Hoshea (if I have the spelling correct.) This gentleman duly arrived at my mothers house for afternoon tea, and was seated in an armchair by the gas fire, which on this chilly day in early spring was switched on, not least for the greater comfort of a guest from warmer climes.
While my mother was busying herself in the kitchen, Arnab, who had the run of the place- my mother says she should have forestalled this but she had thought Arnab was asleep in his favourite den in the airing cupboard upstairs- came loping down the stairs and into the sitting room.
Arnab had an ongoing feud with the gas fire. Apparently, he had burned his paw on it one time. Now, when he came in and found it switched on, he would establish his dominance and also exact revenge by pissing on it. Possibly he was also trying to put the fire out, who knows. A tiny puff of steam would rise, the hotter the fire, the bigger the puff of steam but this pissing competition, the filthy Arnab would always win, the steam whiffing ever so slightly of a cabbage-like smell.
Mother comes in with the tray, bone china cups and saucers, a dainty plate of cakes and notes the whiff of cabbage and the tiny whiff of steam coming off the fireplace.
Arnab has the guest at bay, loping round the feet, the elegant shoes of the distinguished guest.
Judge Hoshea is sitting rigidly, clutching the arms of the chair, his face like stone. But impassively correct, exquisitely courteous, he sips his tea, saying not a word as Arnab is unceremoniously shooed from the room and shut out.
He has the most beautiful manners. But it doesn’t need saying. He has now understood and is still processing this terrible truth- horrors- he is truly among the barbarians.
The point of this story is to address that non confrontational Rabbit archetype, and somewhat round out the picture.
A rabbit may indeed be aggressive, at least the buck/jack.
However the rabbit is not usually confrontational, and this may prove welcome news in 2023 in geo-politics. This year is expected to be a little quieter overall than 2022, the year of the Water Tiger which represents outward, expansive – and maritime Yang energy.
The Rabbit is creative. Spring is rime Rabbit power season. March, the month of the Rabbit in the year of the Rabbit is therefore looking like the key window in 2023 for launching new jobs, plans, projects and enterprises.
China’s President Xi has recently been ramping up aggression in Taiwanese air space, but he is being very careful, and he has Covid to contend with and all the attendant economic implications looking likely at least until March, the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The Mars in Cancer transit (war at sea?) could, though not necessarily, be detecting maritime developments or tensions late March-late May-
This could be detecting developments in the Black Sea.
President Erdogan, a Pisces native, turning up in the cards as the King of Cups, will most assuredly not want to see Russia succeed in taking the Ukrainian port of Odessa. This would be a challenge to Turkey’s maritime hegemony in the Black Sea. But President Erdogan does not want to fall out with Moscow,one of Turkey’s key trading partners, and has a tricky balancing act, with a general election coming up June 2023.
When I look at what if any single factor may affect when/how this war ends, I draw The King of Cups reversed. There are two figures here who fit this descriptor; the mutable Piscean ‘water king’ Erdogan-and the fixed Scorpionic ‘water king’ President Biden, and we don’t need cards to know that.
All the same. Readers can only work with the cards they get, or do not get.
For the rest of us in general, the rabbit is at its prime in the spring, saying March-April 2023 is the optimal time for new opportunities. This is the time to make a push and to persist. “The early bird catches the worm”.
The diplomatic Rabbit again, brings hope of a ceasefire in Ukraine in 2023, or negotiations just possibly late in March-late April, and an easing of tensions in other areas, while astrologers in India are predicting a boom year of economic growth for India.
The last Rabbit year, 2011, signified positive news for the economy after the crash of 2008. 2011 brought a curbing of inflation. But the last Water Rabbit year was in 1963. What events or themes of 1963 may be coming round again then, this year, echoed, recycled or followed up in this new chapter in the Zodiac book of The Rabbit?
The cycles of history do not repeat, but they have a strong tendency to echo.
In the Water Rabbit Year of 1963
French president Charles de Gaulle prevents Great Britain’s entry into the Common Market.
Nuclear test ban treaty is signed by the U.S., Great Britain, and USSR.
Buddhist-led military group overthrows the government of South Vietnam.
Kenya becomes an independent republic.
Assassination of John F. Kennedy (by LBJ? That is the rumour. Strictly a rumour)
-Instant coffee (freeze dried and generally made with Robusta beans, rather than the highly aromatic Arabica beans traditionally used in coffee.)
-Dr Who and the Daleks. My father comforted us that they could not climb stairs. But then, horrors. They learned to levitate.
-The Smiley Face icon/emoji
-The Computer Mouse and Hypertext, American inventor Douglas Engelbart
-The modern Hang-glider, the flexible wing airfoil concept
-The Lava Lamp, invention by British inventor David George Smith commissioned by British entrepreneur Edward Craven Walker, founder of Lighting Company Mathmos in Poole, Dorset.
-And last but certainly not least, in the field of astrophysics came the discovery of the cosmic microwave background-detected via a previously unexplained background noise via radio signal signifying a low level of radiation throughout the known universe that was interpreted as proof of The Big Bang Theory, in which the Universe is seen as rapidly expanding. More about this discovery HERE
Lucky colours in a Rabbit year
Considered especially lucky in a Rabbit year: green, blue, black, beige, white, and silver, gold.
In western cultures too, the rabbit is imbued with symbolism and superstition. Rabbits represent fertility, but the ancient Europeans also held rabbits numinous and sacred -mysterious creatures of the underworld, because they spent so much time underground.
Wishing for the best that the Rabbit can bring to you in 2023.
Today is a new moon in Capricorn. It is also a super moon- the moon at perigee, closest in its orbit to the earth, and at its most powerful even though unseen, while the asteroid Chiron, ‘the wounded healer’ stations direct after being retrograde since July. Symbolically, a time of powerful memories; mending and healing. Christmas time always brings a tallying, a counting of heads and faces round tables, present and past. There are more ghost stories attached to Christmas than to Halloween.
The vein is thin again.
Orion is spectacular right now, striding westwards in the southern sky. It is the season of the brightest stars, as seen in the northern hemisphere. The story of the Star of Bethlehem, or Christmas Star, appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew chapter 2 where “wise men from the East” are inspired by the star to travel to Jerusalem. These magi were later re-designated kings, but they may well have been astronomers.
Norah Lofts wrote a novel, ‘How Far to Bethlehem?’ published 1965 in which she retells the story.
Melchior had never seen anything like it; the star was so bright, so full of tragedy and glory. He knew at once that it was his task to find the child and warn its parents. But Melchior was old, poor and unwise in the ways of men. Providence took him to the barbarian king, Gaspar, who wanted to know if this great King in the East would be a threat to his empire. It was Balthazar, the escaped slave with a wonderful knowledge of languages, who helped them find their way across hazardous and violent country to Judea. Just as the three men began their journey, a young girl stood bravely before her betrothed husband in Nazareth trying to find the words to tell him that she was pregnant. Not only was the child not his but she had never known a man. How could she make him understand that their destiny was to raise the Christ-child together?
Astronomers speculate that the Star of Bethlehem may have been a
*triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn c 7-5 BC
*conjunction of Jupiter, Regulus (little prince) and Venus (birth).
We are in the first decan of Capricorn territory, the element of earth. The quality is cardinal. These natives are instigators, initiators and executors; natural born leaders, naturalists and historians. Their drive is to inquire, build, conserve and consolidate.
The first decan of Capricorn is associated in the Tarot with the Two of Pentacles/Coins/Disks-or Stones.
The symbolism here is bridge building, or juggling resources.
Vladimir Putin is a Libra subject, but this card has previously shown his ambition to create a new land bridge, joining port to port. He will join a Russian controlled corridor Mariupol all the way to Kaliningrad if only he can. Though it isn’t looking as though he can though he may have another go at taking Odessa, thus land locking Ukraine, hence the recent public display of talks with Lukashenko.
But should he launch a new front in Transnistria come the New Year, this may be the ultimate aim. What if Germany, using Putin’s same arguments, decided it wanted to liberate Kalingrad, and take it back…decided it was still Konigsberg, actually.
In more general terms Capricorn says, what do we mean by homeland?
It is my mother’s birthday today. A true Queen of Pentacles, daughter of Demeter, she wrote this poem:
The Stone People
We are the people and we are the stones
The greater the stones, the higher we stand
We are the stones, our feet in the earth
And under the earth and over the ground
The shape of the stones is the shape of the land
And the shape of the land shapes us
And the shape that we are says who we are
And the shape of the land is us
And the stones where we are is the place where we are
And the place where we are is us
And we are the stones and our bones are the stones
And the stones are us, are us
When we are not here to hold hands in our ring
To talk and plan as we must
You can hear the beat of our stony feet
In the circles that stand for us
from ‘Mrs Noah Lives In The Real World.’
People of the stones. Our natal, native, physically formative patch of ground can be identified thousands of years after our death by the mineral profile of our teeth.
The lucky stone particularly associated with this time of year is the Moss Agate. It is not a true agate, as it is not banded, but is counted in this family and considered a semi-precious crystal. It’s made of silicon dioxide and chalcedony. The hue comes from emerald ore and a minute quantity of metallic particles, such as iron or chrome.
In superstitious or magical terms it stands for Earth itself and the element of water on Earth. It is said to be a wealth attractor; to soothe anger and calm grief, and to protect against atmospheric pollutants.
Season’s Greetings. I’ll leave you with We Three Kings…wait for the bagpipes-are they Northumbrian pipes-or Persian?
Tarot readers don’t claim to ‘know’ what the future holds. They use their cards to access and articulate their feelings and intuition, and to take soundings in any given context with a weather eye on the ‘so what?’ That is all.
That said, what are the prevailing tides and currents “in the affairs of Men” in 2023 as suggested by the Tarot and in astrology?
Forecasts need a context. Let’s take a quick look back on some of the predictions made by my Tarot at the beginning of 2022, published here and at Ask Astrology.com
Review of 2022- and an ‘otherworldly’ manifestation
The study of great events in history has revealed something fascinating- that astrology is really on to something that is concretely observable on the ground, and always has been, even before science and astronomy caught up.
Large planetary cycles correlate and reflect changing patterns in human behaviour when studies as a collective whole. Empires have risen and fallen, revolutions, wars, mass movements of people, epidemics, technological and medical breakthroughs. You name it. They have been tracked and mapped in time against the ancient meanings of the major planetary movements.
Predictions need a background- a context for interpretation. We have been living through especially turbulent times since the spring of 2020, when the planetary giants Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus formed a tight, unfriendly square, and the covid 19 pandemic took hold on much of the world.
I had a peculiar and unpleasant vision or encounter one night in the first week of January 2020. I had woken and was reaching for a glass of water when a movement drew my eye, and saw a thing that with the benefit of hindsight, and for lack of a better word I could only describe as a djinn, standing in the doorway of the room where I was sleeping.
It was tall, humanoid, but the arms were too thin and long. It came closer. The head angled towards me, as if thoughtfully, but the face was hidden. It was horribly unpleasant. I sharply ordered it gone and it disappeared.
I took this vision as a warning that I needed to prepare myself for bad news to come in the next few days, and sure enough, there was some extremely concerning family news.
And then the covid thing hit, and a previously healthy young man, a friend of one of my daughters died of it, after ‘flu’ became septic shock, and he was placed into an induced coma, and several days later died.
The ‘djinn’ was a visual manifestation of some as yet unaccounted for deep state of unease, I feel.
2022 has been a tsunami of a year, dominated by war, civil unrest, mass migration by land and sea, catastrophic flooding, and all things to do with the breaching of boundaries and borders. This has included the travel and spread of new variants of the coronavirus, travelling by land, sea and air, breaching our auto-immune defences.
We predicted major upheavals to do with the blurring and breaching of boundaries and borders. These were predicted in the Tarot by the appearance of the Hanged Man. This card is ruled by the zodiac sign of Pisces, with a powerful Jupiter, Neptune and Mars influence. What will we let go of, to go where we need to go?
Neptune =water, dreams, lack of borders
Mars = aggression, fire, war
My cards predicted major issues to do with the blurring of borders and boundaries, with a Neptunian ‘watery’ theme. The Russian invasion of Ukraine 24 February happened in Pisces season. The maritime city of Mariupol was devastated. Then Russia blockaded maritime grain shipments for a short period, threatening food supplies to many parts of the world including Africa and the Middle East.
Queen Elizabeth the Second
The Three of Swords card showed the passing of a much loved national figurehead to come in Leo season or after (Leo is late July-late August. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 passed away 8 September in Virgo Season.)
I did not name the person. That would not be right or ethical, but it was the Queen of Pentacles who was seen in the reading. This card rules the Earth signs, Capricorn, Virgo and Taurus. Her Majesty, RIP, was a Taurus subject, while Leo represents the concept of a ruler or royalty.
But the Queen was not only a national figurehead. She was a global figurehead; the Head of The Commonwealth.
“The Commonwealth is made up of 54 member states from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific. The member states are home to a total of over 2.4 billion people.”
The Queen represented a link with Britain’s past, domestically and globally after the end of Empire, a link to the generations who lived through the Second World War.
That emotionally powerful symbolic link is broken now. Here again, was the message of the World card, signifying the completion of a cycle, the end of an era. I was surprised at my own grief.
We predicted a higher than usual risk of major flooding in 2022. Heavy rains caused a disastrous landslide in Peru in March 2022. Pakistan experienced unprecedented monsoon flooding June-August affecting millions of people. Australia has also experienced unusually severe flooding in 2022, from February to late April and then again from October onwards and is experiencing more flooding at the time of writing.
China and Taiwan
We predicted an escalation of tensions in the Strait of Taiwan in the second half of the year. This later manifested in the wake of Nancy Pelosi’s official US visit to Taiwan, 2 August 2022. This was seen as a formal recognition of Taiwan’s independent sovereign status, subsequent to China’s signing of the China- Solomon Islands Security Pact signed in April 2022.
This agreement has been viewed as a significant potential threat to the US and allies including Australia, paving the way for the presence of Chinese military installations in the Solomon Islands.
So what about 2023?
2023 –Broad Overview
Change is the only thing that is constant, but there are quieter periods of change, and then there are dramatic or traumatic periods of change. It is clear that we are not going back to ‘normal’ any time soon, taking January 2019 as a benchmark of the previous ‘normal’.
We talk about history in terms of ages and eras- The Greeks, the Romans, The Ming Dynasty, the Renaissance and so on. We are on the threshold of an era for which we do not yet have the name.
The big story in the astrology of 2023 is Pluto in Aquarius. We are leaving an age of Capricorn and entering a new Age of Aquarius. It starts in spring 2023 when Pluto leaves Capricorn and goes into Aquarius. It will only stay there for three months, and then we go back into Pluto in Capricorn for a while. But it will go back into Aquarius in 2024, and this time it will stay there until 2044.
This 20 year planetary transit means big changes to the organization of society, to the global economy, to the mining industries (this means not only fossil fuels, but lithium and cobalt) to crypto-currency, to science and digital, space and medical technology.
A new age of sci-fi is here, as in previous transits of Aquarius in Pluto when there was the Industrial Revolution- and also the French Revolution, and also the American War of Independence.
Pluto in Aquarius can unseat plutocrats, rulers whose power is based primarily in personal wealth/plutocracy. This will include Putin and his prime ally Lukashenko, the dictatorial president of Belarus.)
Pluto was last in Aquarius in 1778-1798. This was a period of revolutions. It brought sweeping changes-sometimes with a great deal of violence. It brought the Industrial Revolution in Britain. It brought the French Revolution. It brought American Independence. It brought the start of the movement for women’s rights.The next twenty years will be bringing social changes on this kind of scale.
Natural Events 2023
The risk of severe flooding in 2023 is looking lower this year when compared with the risk of flooding we detected at the beginning of 2022. I’m not seeing flooding so clearly in the cards. The astrology, however, is not reassuring when Saturn arrives in Pisces 7 March 2023 and stays there until May 2025. Saturn describes structure. Pisces is the ancient sign of fresh water flooding in particular. Especially spring melt downriver of mountainous regions.
We may notice more solar flares, with possible effects on the earth’s magnetic shield and satellite technologies.
Uranus in Taurus which began 15 May 2018 and continues until 17 April 2026 continues bringing an upheaval of what was ‘normal’ in global health and the economy. Uranus in Taurus rules the throat- the point of entry for the disease. This problem is not going away although the incidence seems to to ease on a global scale March- August 2023.
No, the covid pandemic is not over yet. In our local hospital at the time of writing, three people are in the ICU- not with covid, but with Flu A.
All manner of rather peculiar viruses are about, at a time when more questions being raised than can yet be answered, about the action and effects of certain covid vaccinations, as discussed in a book ‘Viral,’ by Alina Chan and Matt Ridley. There is no definitive proof of a Wuhan lab leak, but they demonstrate why it cannot be discounted either, as the origin of the pandemic, with US involvement too, and with grave implications for future risk management in public health.
I am not ‘anti-vax’ as such. The zoonotic explanation struck me as entirely plausible, though I had questions. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the story here goes back some way in time, to the illness, treatment, and some deaths of miners who became ill after entering caves in South east China, inhabited by a certain species of horseshoe bat.
The risk of a there being a nuclear accident or attack instigated by Vladimir Putin cannot be discounted, but is not looking likely to happen as viewed through the lens of the Tarot, and the risk diminishes further after the end of March. There will no asteroid striking Earth.
Readers look for the cards and the card combinations which do not appear, as well as those that do. For example, there was no Star combined with the Devil or The Tower and Judgment or The World. It would take a combination of cards like this to suggest an apocalypse level event.
Aquarius is the sign of technology. Pluto in Aquarius will mean exciting new developments in mining technologies, digital technologies, crypto-currencies or space tech. Some of this we will see in 2023. There may be an event or an accident involving a satellite or something similar. But we will not be hit by any asteroid.
Pluto is the planet of death and regeneration. This includes genetics. Pluto in Aquarius says that there will be exciting discoveries in medical science. We have recently seen the first cloning of red blood cells in a lab setting. There will be more like this in 2023.
Manufacturing will enter a new phase in those countries which closed down their manufacturing in favour of globalism, choosing instead to rely on cheap imports of goods manufactured elsewhere.
The war in Ukraine and China’s attitude towards Taiwan (which happens to be the world’s biggest manufacturer of computer chips) has shown those developed nations that this was a serious mistake. They must rebuild their own manufacturing capabilities back again as fast as possible, and in 2023 they will be using new, robotic technology to do it.
Globalism has failed to ensure the maintenance of an international rules based order.
We will see more urgent issues in 2023 to do with mass migration, particularly in the spring. This is not only in Europe, though it is partly in consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is also the aftermath of extreme weather events, such as the floods in Pakistan in 2022. There will also likely be issues to do with shortages in food production, at east in the first quarter of 2023.
Attached to these events, exacerbated by them, there will be ever greater numbers of people on the move in early 2023, (esp during Aquarius) as shown by the people in the boats in The Six of Swords card, with critical legal and political developments in respect of uncontrolled channel migration in the UK, possibly taking effect by mid-late spring when Saturn (law and order) goes into Pisces (the sea).
The growing scale of migration is an emergency, not only for genuine refugees, but for those destination countries, and the strain on their infrastructure and their own populations, trying to accommodate the needs of unprecedented numbers of new arrivals.
Mars, planet of action goes into watery Cancer, zodiac sign of the family home and homeland security, Mar 25, 2023 – May 20, 2023. We could see key events to do with traffic at sea in the English Channel, or to do with events at sea in the Black Sea, the Strait of Hormuz or the Strait of Taiwan. This action, if taken, is Mars action that is defensive in motivation.
The fall of the Roman Empire saw mass migration on this scale.
Historians differ as to the dates for the beginning and ending of the Migration Period. The beginning of the period is widely regarded as the invasion of Europe by the Huns from Asia in about 375 and the ending with the conquest of Italy by the Lombards in 568
Mass migration always creates turbulence, at least initially. Social unrest or outright violence.
China and Taiwan
The reader is seeing heated words and gestures, with possible further Chinese naval incursions or illegal entry of Taiwanese air space. What is not being shown is an attempt to launch an actual land invasion in 2023.
The reader drew the Eight of Diamonds for China. Eight represents stability, Diamonds is money and government. President Xi is looking cautious this year, and seems anxious to maintain economic stability. He seems likely to avoid taking risks on anything that will seriously destabilize the prosperity of China. Putin’s actions in Ukraine, by shrinking western economies are indirectly threatening China’s economic interests at a time when it is seeking to recover from the effects of the covid pandemic, just as China experiences a whole new wave, relaxing its zero covid policy in the wake of public unrest.
Mars in Gemini is retrograde until 12 January, when its effects may ease, and its effects include airborne warfare -including missiles and also including aerosol/germ warfare. After this date Mars turns direct, though it stays in volatile Gemini until 15 March.
2023 could mean a political change in the United States which is currently experiencing its first Pluto return; a time when many empires and dynasties have risen or fallen. President Biden has come through the mid-term US Elections, not strongly, but secure enough for now. The reader is not ‘pro-Biden’ but is not detecting a return for Donald Trump 2024, and is not detecting Kamala Harris as a future US President.
The Conservative government is having a tough time in January and February but Labour has also alienated its own electorate and has hard lessons to learn. The UK will carry on supporting Ukraine in 2023. The coronation of King Charles 111 is planned for May but there could be changes to this date. King Charles continues to have worries to do with “a child who is living overseas,” shown by The Sun card drawn reversed and the Three of Wands.
The UK could have a good year in terms of inward foreign investment in the second quarter (Jupiter in Taurus.) There could be ambitious long term plans for improvements to our waterways after growing concerns about pollution (Pluto in Aquarius, Saturn in Pisces, Mars in Cancer.)
The national mood improves later in the year during a more buoyant optimistic Jupiter-Pluto alignment around August-September, possibly due to more popular government initiatives.
Russia and Ukraine
The Star card of Aquarius has made multiple appearances. Late Feb onward looks critical for the war in Ukraine, bringing big changes for President Putin, whose natal ascendant is in Capricorn, while President Zelensky is an Aquarius subject. This is likely to represent a key juncture, and possibly a hopeful opportunity for the ending of hostilities with Ukraine in a strong negotiating position. It may be there will be disappointment for Zelensky, -Pluto (wealth, power, death) -the price of peace, as Putin seeks to redraw the border at the Dnipro river. For all the superb courage of Ukraine, there are no clear winners here that the Tarot has been able to detect. Much depends on the vision of the US but my cards are showing that if Europe does not lose its nerve, it is not out of the question that Ukraine will take back Mariupol- and the Crimea.
Putin does not win. Ukraine survives as a sovereign entity. He has chosen to respond to Ukraine’s resistance and military counter challenge by waging a total war against unarmed civilians and civilian infrastructure, and now Eastern Europe is a hive in uproar. We need no cards to see this is a war with a very long tail of consequences in geo-politics, with major implications for the future direction of NATO.
A number of Vedic astrologers have said it looks possible that Putin will remain in power in Russia until 2030. On the other hand, UK/Australian Astrologer Jessica Adams predicted on her website 13 March 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that Pluto’s temporary departure from Capricorn 24 March 2023 will mark the beginning of the end for Vladimir Putin as the man in power in Russia.
The Tarot concurs more closely with Jessica than with those Vedic astrologers. The cards rightly or wrongly do not show that Putin stays in power until 2030. March –May does look like a critical time in the course of this war, as represented by repeated appearances of The Hanged Man (Pisces.) The cards for Putin himself, on a personallevel, do not look encouraging in the second half of 2023 and into 2024.
The Ace of Swords and the Death card were drawn, suggesting his possible departure from power by or before autumn of 2024. (The Death card often does not mean physical death- although it certainly can mean exactly that. But it can correlate with Scorpio dates, late Oct-late Nov in respect of timings.)
Russia seems destined to undergo another upheaval from Feb 2026, triggered by a Neptune-Saturn conjunction, based on previous such conjunctions tracked in the history of Russia, eg; the assassination of Alexander 11, and the death of Stalin. But there are previews of this coming upheaval in 2023
The writer does not see any clear sign that there will be a lasting ceasefire sooner than the end of March. By summer (Queen of Cups-Cancer- Strength -Leo season) is looking more hopeful. But things may start to calm during this period by a series of steps and stages.
Russia has already failed to annex Ukraine in entirety. Will Russia be able to hang on to all four of those illegally annexed territories in Ukraine? It seems probable that Ukraine will very slowly reclaim much if not all of this territory, with the possible exception of Donetsk. Russia will now remain a permanent threat to Ukraine, and therefore the stability in the rest of Eastern Europe.
The political solidarity of Europe could be tested this year, particularly around April and August, but there could be new ideas and proposals for reorganization within the European Union in May/June. Germany seems to be doing better after February 2023, going into economic recovery. But as previously mentioned, this war in Ukraine has major implications for the future mission statement and changing remit of NATO.
2023 could mean a political change in the United States which is currently experiencing its first Pluto return. This is a time when empires and dynasties have risen or fallen. President Biden has come through the mid-term US Elections slightly better than predicted, not strongly, but securely enough for now. Rightly or wrongly, the reader is not detecting a second term for Donald Trump after 2024, and is not detecting Kamala Harris as a future US President. Ron DeSantis, currently governor of Florida, is said to be a man to watch in 2023 as a possible future contender for another Republic presidency in 2024.
The Chinese Year of the Black/Water Rabbit (兔年 tùnián)
In 2023 we enter the Year of the Rabbit. This is a year of the black rabbit- black represents the element of water in Chinese astrology. The Year of the Rabbit, as with all the animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, comes round once every twelve years.
2023 Chinese New Year Day is on Sunday, 22 January 2023, although I have read that technically speaking the first day of the 2023 Chinese Astrology Year is 4 February 2023. This date is different from the Chinese New Year Day for reasons based on the lunar calendar.
If a baby was born before 4 February then the baby’s Chinese Zodiac sign is the Tiger, not the Rabbit.
You are a Rabbit if you were born in the following years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011
Be aware, the dates vary depending on the date of the February new moon. If your birthday is in February you need to check the dates in February for that particular year.
The Year of the Black (Water) Rabbit ends 9 February 2024 when we will enter a new Dragon year.
The rabbit is traditionally regarded as one of the happiest Chinese zodiac signs. People born in a Rabbit year are known for kindness, reliability, loyalty and also elegance and a certain air of mystery. People born in a year of the Rabbit are quick-witted, sociable, careful and inventive – occasionally ingenious. But cautious.
The Rabbit is a prey animal. A buck/jack rabbit may indeed be aggressive, but in general the rabbit is not confrontational. This may prove good news in 2023 in geo-politics. This year is expected to be a little quieter overall than 2022, the year of the Water Tiger which represents outward, expansive – and maritime Yang energy.
The Rabbit is creative. Spring is rime Rabbit power season. March, the Chinese Month of the Rabbit is therefore looking like the key month for launching new jobs, plans, projects and enterprises.
Xi has recently been ramping up aggression in Taiwanese air space, but he is aware he needs to be very careful, and he will likely have Covid to contend with, and all the attendant economic implications at least until the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The Mars in Cancer transit (war at sea?) may be tense from late March-late May-
In the Black Sea too.
President Erdogan, a Pisces native, turning up in my cards as the King of Cups, will most assuredly not want to see Russia succeed in taking the Ukrainian port of Odessa. This would be a challenge to Turkey’s maritime hegemony in the Black Sea. But President Erdogan does not want to fall out with Moscow, for reasons of trade, and has a tricky balancing act, with a general election to fight in June 2023.
Foe the rest of us in general, the rabbit is at its prime in the spring, saying March-April 2023 is the optimal time for new opportunities. This is the time to make a push and to persist. “The early bird catches the worm”.
The diplomatic Rabbit again, brings hope of a ceasefire in Ukraine in 2023, and an easing of tensions in other areas, despite some much gloomier forecasts from security analysts. While the gloom is realistic, and while Putin is ruthless and very determined, the wider stakes are too high for him to be allowed to annexe Ukraine, but the more attacks Ukraine can absorb or repel, the more of everything Putin too, must spend. As ever, only time will tell.
Meanwhile astrologers in India are predicting a boom year of economic growth for India.
The last Rabbit year, 2011, signified positive news for the economy, curbing inflation. But the last Water Rabbit year was in 1963. What events or themes of 1963 may be coming round again then, this year, echoed, recycled or followed up with a related new chapter? What karma?
French president Charles de Gaulle prevents Great Britain’s entry into the Common Market.
Nuclear test ban treaty is signed by the U.S., Great Britain, and USSR.
Buddhist-led military group overthrows the government of South Vietnam.
Kenya becomes an independent republic.
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Lucky colours in a Rabbit year
These colours are lucky for everyone but especially lucky for rabbit natives: green, blue, black, beige, white, and silver, gold.
Buckle up for another eventful, sometimes bumpy ride in 2023, particularly until the end of March. World economics are definitely bumpy. But constructive Jupiter in Taurus from 16 May onward could mean a boost to the global economy, a more ‘bullish’ Stock Exchange, and smoothie Venus in diplomatic Libra from November is reason for hope, suggesting that a conflict quietens by the end of the year, starting after we pass mid-summer.
This arrival of Venus in Putin’s own sun sign in November 2023 may prove with hindsight to be significant for Putin as a Libra native. This war seems to quieten in stages after the first quarter of 2023, but it does not seem to end on any one single clear event. The Ace of Swords and Death card have come into sight though, for Vladimir Putin himself. These cards cannot be clearer in their meaning. They mean The End. It seems possible, there will be a ceasefire or a brokered peace late in 2023, and Putin may leave power, if not then, then in the following year in 2024.
Both Taurus and Libra are ruled by Venus, the celestial antidote to the sporadically retrograde, aggressive Mars energy that has been ruling the roost since early 2022.
How do we best navigate this year at a personal level?
The Two of Coins
You have got a lot on your plate, rushing to and fro. But you are coping, just about. Drop any spare baggage if you must, and travel light, but take your time. Don’t force the issue. Do not “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
Delay making big decisions until you feel more sure of the ground.
The Ace of Coins is a powerful and positive card of new beginnings to do with money, work and career. It can also be a new home. It can be a garden. This is about keeping at it, working steadily to build, to grow and to accumulate your resources. Its colour is green; a bright beautiful springtime green, like fresh new leaves on a tree.
The Ten of Cups is the card of a happy home and happy relations between family members. But there will be times early in the New Year when we might be feeling more irritable than usual.
The Ten of Cups is ruled by the zodiac sign of Pisces, and by the planets Jupiter and Mars. Gently does it round family members this year, especially with siblings. 2023 is likely to be personally demanding at an individual level, especially in the first half of the year. But we are helped along the way by generous Jupiter in Taurus and diplomatic Venus in Libra.
Jupiter in Taurus is also great news for agriculture after May 2023 when food supply issues should ease, as well as in the fields of finance, training, business, higher education and publishing, while Venus in Libra is good news for legal situations and for partnerships both personal and professional; creative and artistic pursuits, especially in the second half of the year.
Determined efforts will likely pay off, starting or culminating 16 May 2023- 25 May 2024.
Wishing you the very best for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, 2023.
What we know of Norse Mythology comes largely from the Eddas, two collections of writings from assorted anonymous writers, dating around 1250 CE.
All Hallows Eve, Halloween or Samhain is a Gaelic custom, not Norse. The Norse peoples did mark this time of year, although in a different way, with Álfablót – the Elf Ritual.
Elves were associated with burial mounds (also known as barrows) as it was believed that they lived in or around them, and more than this, elves were associated with the souls of the dead, rather than fairies in the other sense of the word, as a supernatural entity that was never human.
It is the largest burial mound in Scandinavia, 77 metres in diameter and over 15 metres in height. There are a number of stories associated with it, one associated with a roving sea-King Raki or…
Scorpio is the season of Halloween, when the sap drops, the leaves fall. The year is dying in front of us. Scorpio in the Tarot is represented by the Death card, and this is the reason why.
Next stop, the winter solstice.
This autumn/fall’s eclipse season means the partial solar eclipse, New Moon in Scorpio 25 October 2022, and a lunar eclipse at the Full Moon in Taurus, 8 November 2022.
Eclipses have been viewed as omens or portents since ancient Mesopotamia, and doubtless, long before that.
They announce momentous changes, unfolding over the next two weeks-six months.
What could this eclipse season mean in terms of real life events over the next six months?
Like the Full Moon, a New Moon happens at a particular point when the sun and moon have the same ecliptic longitude and this can be measured down to the exact second that it happens.
On the day of the New Moon we don’t see the moon. It is too close to the sun, rising and setting with the sun. The night sky is darker, making the New Moon an ideal time of the month to see other celestial objects more clearly.
A solar eclipse is seen when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, blocking Earth’s view of the Sun, totally or partially. This latest one 25 October blocked our view of the sun by about 25%.
A lunar eclipse is seen when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned and the Earth is in between the other two, which only happens on the night of a full moon.
23 October we entered the zodiac sign Scorpio, named after the constellation of Scorpius with its alpha star, the Heart of the Scorpion, red Antares, the rival of Mars/Ares.
October’s New Moon on the 25th was also a partial solar eclipse in sun Scorpio.
In astrological terms, this signified the advent of an intense period, opening new doors and bringing fated changes into our lives.
This is not a time for making big decisions or taking risks with our wealth, health and personal relationships. This New Moon eclipse can come with a sting in its tail…taking that chance or forcing that situation, pushing that envelope might look OK right now…
The sting comes later.
Astrology advises us to be especially careful with financial, land and property dealings around the time of this eclipse, and for the following couple of weeks.
This Scorpio sun eclipse will be followed by a Taurus lunar eclipse. The two will work together in their effects- which will be to do with our security, finances, food and comfort in a deeply unsettled world where aspects of the past have been coming round again, including the ghosts of the world wars.
Eclipses announce turning points. Their effects are deep, not felt at once but over a longer period. This October, that means the next two weeks until the following lunar eclipse in Taurus 8 November, or over the next six months until the next solar eclipse in Aries, 20 April 2023.
But other planetary factors are also in play during the rest of October and November.
The Saturn-Uranus square
This is a big feature in astrology during the past two years and only becomes more influential throughout the rest of October and November into December. We’ve been living with Saturn square Uranus for nearly two years, with respite when the planets have separated due to retrogrades.
This big, difficult planetary square goes exact this month so will be at its most intense from now and through November, when the square starts to separate in December 2022. There will likely be a cooling off, then, however temporary, of the conflict in Ukraine.
The Saturn square Uranus influence is challenging, full of contradictions. On the one hand there is history, tradition, duty and order. On the other, there is innovation in technology, but also rebellion and chaos.
On a collective level, this means continuing tensions, disruption and instability on the world stage, on our streets and in our personal lives, continuing well into November at least. Human society in general is in a strange, disordered place, almost hysterical, like ants running about all over the place, not quite knowing what they’re meant to be doing.
This is something that has been observed to happen from time to time in human history, particularly during the first decades of a new millennium. It will start to pass off again. Some astrologers suggest in 2026. Others think sooner. But big changes are happening. The world is reordering its axes of power and influence in a new Aquarian high tech era. This is a time for resilience and robustness on the one hand, and circumspection on the other in counterbalance the shocking speed of change. I remember in 1990, telling students about this new ‘thing’ that was coming- the ‘Information Super Highway’. But we didn’t know what it looked like yet.
It was the Internet.
Mars stations retrograde in Gemini
Fiery action planet Mars has been transiting airy Gemini since 22 August but it goes retrograde 30 October.
This may turn up the heat in trade and communications including politics. This will affect the city of London which is ruled by Gemini.
A few short days ago it meant I was wondering, could Liz Truss survive as Prime Minister beyond this date?
As it turned out, Liz Truss could not survive as PM even until this date, with another three days still to go.
This eclipse season is going to be a bumpy ride. Fasten your seat-belt, avoid making life changing decisions, and especially avoid confrontation until the timing is more favourable after 8 November- and delay it longer if you can.
We also need to avoid gossip. Gemini is a chatterbox, but when it is in Mars retrograde, this isn’t friendly chatter and misunderstandings will easily arise. Things may not be what they seem. Switch off the television and social media if it all gets too much. Very likely, it will.
The Water Element
Three out of five cards are water element cards, Cups card, dominating the mood and feel for the period between now and mid-November. (The Hanged Man, King of Cups and Two of Cups drawn reversed.)
The court card designating Scorpio in particular is The King of Cups, though he will also stand for a Pisces or Cancer subject, usually male, though not necessarily.
Scorpio is a water sign and looks set to deliver according to its deep and secretive cosmic personality. The water element was the key theme in the predictions for 2022 in general as published here at Ask Astrology in January. 2022 has been a tsunami of challenges. These are mysterious, dangerous and unstable times for the whole world.
We also predicted a more than usually high risk of extreme flooding for 2022.
Sadly, the reality has meant catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, and also in Australia, in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania only six months after the disastrous east coast flooding in March and April.
The Hanged Man
In general terms this card represents a time of withdrawal, of solitude and introspection. It can be indicating that we are looking at a situation the wrong way round. Maybe we need to take another look and think again. Sometimes we realize that something isn’t working like it used to. It hasn’t been working for some time now but we don’t see a way to fix it. Perhaps it can’t be fixed. Then we can either accept it for what it is and make the best of it. Or we let it go. Surrender it. The Hanged Man is doing some deep thinking.
The reader has come to associate this tarot card with President Zelensky in particular when looking at world events. Astrologically The Hanged Man corresponds with the zodiac sign of Pisces. I am very concerned for him, though here comes better news to offset the bad news. Jupiter, the giant planet of opportunity is re-entering Pisces 28 October 2022, moving retrograde until it turns direct on 23 November 2022. It then goes direct, moving forward in Pisces until it heads into Aries on 20 December, 2022.
What does this mean in practical terms?
Jupiter is known as the Greater Benefic. Jupiter can be a bully, king of the gods, but it is happy in Pisces, even when retrograde.
President Zelenskyy is an Aquarius subject, an air sign king, and he has been well served by an ability to emotionally detach himself during critical decision making in moments of crisis. This does not mean he does not care. Far from it. But this is what has made him such an effective leader, but this detachment may fail him from time to time, when dealing with an adversary who is operating at a primeval level, caring nothing for the damage he entirely deliberately inflicts on non combatant civilians. This new Pisces season, may be something of a personal struggle for President Zelenskyy on this long haul.
President Biden is a Scorpio subject, with mid term elections falling on the lunar eclipse and a potential money nemesis in Taurus.
Putin has Scorpio rising. The implications of this, I do not find welcome, though the prospect of an eclipse now kicking in over the next six months would be a massive relief to a very great many people who just want to go home and live their lives.
This influence is bold and expansive, opening new doors. This is a powerfully positive aspect for growth and new opportunities in any area of life, especially if there was something that we started back in May 2022. It could finally start to move forward between now and Christmas.
The King of Cups
This court card is representing the zodiac sign of Scorpio itself, sitting centrally in the reading. This is a curious coincidence, given the focus of this reading which is the eclipse in Scorpio, but then again, that is just typical of the Tarot.
Curiously, this card could stand for President Erdogan of Turkey. He is a Pisces subject, a water sign king. This figure is deep. He isn’t particularly talkative but he can be relied on for sound, calm advice.
In this instance, his personal intervention has helped restart grain shipments from Odesa which Russia had blockaded again, although Russia has still attacked a civilian cargo ship and killed two of its crew.
In a personal reading he will often represent a father, husband or mentor.
Additionally, the King of Cups followed by the watery Two of Cups reversed shows that Scorpio subject President Biden is in for a tough mid-term election 8 November and the Democrat Party may be weakened in Congress.
The Two of Cups
In Ukraine we had a temporary pause, de-escalation and standoff- (The Hanged Man) But only temporary.
What will be the final outcome? What seems likely is that Russia will escalate again, but end up with far less than Putin was aiming at he started this war. But that Hanged Man can’t discount the possibility that Russia may still end up getting more than simple justice says it should.
When? The Hanged Man suggests that there could be an end to the Russian attacks on its neighbour 2023- late February-late March, but this does not mean the end of the consequences, which will be politically long lasting and far reaching.
The Two of Pentacles could mean a ceasefire in late December. This card correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Capricorn, approx 21 -31 December. This may be due simply to weather conditions rather than an attempt at resolution.
These are indisputably dangerous times, this second half of October month especially, although the cards have not shown a nuclear catastrophe.
resident Putin is subject to at least one rather significant check on his freedom of action in the shape of the newly reelected President Xi.
The Two of Cupsreversed
This card correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Scorpio= the first ten days of Scorpio.
This card of diplomacy is drawn reversed, reflecting the fact that President Zelensky is not ready to engage in talks with Russia, though President Putin has recently made a few noises to the effect he might be open to talks via third party mediation.
The cards weakly signal a small range of possibilities as to when there will be a ceasefire, including just before Christmas 2022, decans 2 and 3 of Capricorn, then into Aquarius 2023 and Pisces into Aries, by or before March-April 2023.
But a whole new escalation of crisis seems likely meantime, and this could come any time during this eclipse window between now and 8 November, or then again, in late December.
For us personally, what can be achieved between now and mid- November? Deep changes are happening now, whether these are personal or professional. The Hanged Man and the King of Cups are visionary cards. This might not be the time to act on them.
But something is stirring, and when the time is right, big changes will be happening, some driven by circumstances beyond our personal control but others, definitely created by us.
So much for the water cards. New readers will often discuss the water cards in terms of how lovely they are, and healing, and sensitive, beautiful, ‘spiritual’ and emotional. And they can be. But great emotions will just as readily wreak great turmoil. There are floods. There are storms at sea. Sometimes tsunamis.
The fixed water sign that is the Scorpion of the zodiac is ruled by Mars and Antares. It doesn’t freeze. It may steam. It may gently simmer. But it may scald. It may boil.
Three of Wands Reversed
This is fiery Mars energy. The Three of Wands is great news for global business or launching an enterprise, but the card has been drawn reversed. There could be snags or delays with exports, imports and deliveries, whether we are sending them or expecting to receive them. If we’re going off on foreign travels we had better treble check every single travel document and take out comprehensive insurance cover.
Any renewal of escalation in Russia’s aerial attacks against civilians in Ukraine would seem most likely to happen around this time, 23-30 October and the following few days, but this does not mean that it WILL happen.
Tarot shows the human weather conditions, but no reader can claim to see ‘the future.’
What the cards do is detect, reflect and project past, present and possible future events and the reasons for them, glimpsing hints of the most and least likely possibilities.
Two of Pentacles reversed.
This card is about juggling finances and options and is talking about the continuing global economic situation which seems likely to continue more volatile than usual until Christmas (Capricorn).
The Hanged Man
This card requires us to recognize that we are not in control of some situations. There are times we just need to go with the flow. This is a time to watch, wait and reflect. This is not a time to push an issue. If in doubt, as always, it is probably wisest to do nothing.
The Two of Coins reversed
We probably need to take things a bit easier this month. We’re rushing about juggling time, energy and finances. We are spreading ourselves too thin, and need to reconsider our priorities. This also means looking for where there is money wastage e.g.; with standing orders and subscriptions we may have forgotten that we even had, looking for easy ways to reduce financial wastage and tighten the budget.
The King of Cups
This king is the court card associated with the zodiac sign of Scorpio but more generally stands for any mature man born under one of the water signs, Pisces Cancer or Scorpio. Maturity demands that we learn to exercise our best judgement and self-control even when feelings are running high. That’s the best policy this eclipse season- but there is plenty of scope for enjoyment with the King of Cups. When he represents a life partner or a potential new partner, he is deep, devoted- and passionate.
The Three of Wands reversed
This eclipse is not the time to launch-well, anything really. A work or business plan or project may require more planning and research before it’s ready to go, or there could be tensions within a small group or a team at this time.
Easy does it. When this card is drawn the right way up, it’s time to go for it. But right now, we need a bit of a rest. Scale back. Reschedule. Turn the volume down. Nothing constructive is likely to be achieved at this time by rushing.
The Two of Cups reversed
This card appears to be detecting the upcoming Venus in Scorpio transit, 23 October and it’s talking about relationships and money for the next six months. The Two of Cups is about love relationships and friendships. Scorpio is about passion. The card has been drawn reversed so things could go either way, or both ways. On the plus side, we could be in for a truly wonderful time with our loved one, or we could meet someone we are very attracted to. On the other hand, the intensity might be welcome or it might not.
Admirers can be obsessive when Venus is in Scorpio, whether we feel the same way or not. Beware unwanted admirers and be careful how much information you share with other people.
When it comes to existing relationships, the Two of Cups says Venus in Scorpio can bring power struggles and money concerns out into the open. How money is spent or invested is about to become an intense point of focus in partnerships where financial resources are shared.
Venus in Scorpio is powerful stuff. Allure, sexual desire, lust for power or wealth. Secrets.
This is looking like an especially profound and powerful eclipse season for us, Halloween 2022
Note the Biblical ‘pale horse’ and the white rose. The rose signifies beauty and immortality.
All that has ever once been, is recorded somewhere, somehow, forever.
Scorpius is a massive, spectacular j- shaped constellation located in the skies over the southern hemisphere near the centre of the Milky Way. In the Northern hemisphere it can be seen in July and August, and is most visible in July at 9.00 PM. In the Southern…