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.
The Migration Period was a period in European history marked by large-scale migrations that saw the fall of the Western Roman Empire and subsequent settlement of its former territories by various tribes, and the establishment of the post-Roman kingdoms. The term refers to the important role played by the migration, invasion, and settlement of various tribes, notably the Franks, Goths, Alemanni, Alans, Huns, early Slavs, Pannonian Avars, Magyars, and Bulgars within or into the former Western Empire and Eastern Europe. The period is traditionally taken to have begun in AD 375 (possibly as early as 300) and ended in 568. Various factors contributed to this phenomenon of migration and invasion, and their role and significance are still widely discussed -(Wiki)
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.