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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

2023: Soften the Edges – Astrology with Pamela Cucinell

Dec 30, 2022 09:30AM ● By Pamela Cucinell
2023 is free from the dramatic planetary pictures of the past few years, but we can expect major shifts. “Separate camp” identification dissolves as new possibilities emerge. A yen for reflection and creative self-expression requires we unplug from noise.

In numerology, 2023 is a “7” year which means research, rest and assess. The wide view enables us to look within and ahead. 

January begins a slow burn. With Mercury and Mars retrograde, it’s best to weigh options rather than race out the gate. The Chinese New Year of the Water Rabbit starts on January 22. Since Mercury and Mars are already in direct motion, expect sudden leaps. In spite of the initial jolt, rabbit years bring in gentleness and tend to avoid or quiet conflict.

Well-laid plans gain momentum in February. On March 7, Saturn enters Pisces; one signal of the denouement of extreme polarization. This spring equinox begs for creative expansion. Pluto steps into Aquarius on March 23, so dare to dream big. The April 20 solar eclipse stirs deep-rooted passion. On May 5, the lunar eclipse indicates that a collective need can promote unity. Jupiter enters Taurus on May 16; value our resources and appreciate your physical connection to the Earth.

Pluto slips back into Capricorn in June; more messages on what outworn institutions must go. The voices of youth gather strength at the summer solstice, as their perspective challenges the status quo. Venus goes retrograde on July 22; reevaluate any impulse for extravagant purchases. Keep it simple in August and remember to play.

A frugal and strategic orientation in September gains emphasis at the autumn equinox. The October 14 solar eclipse ignites desire and anger. The pace quickens, but the October 28 lunar eclipse reminds us that haste indeed does make waste. Responsibility and commitment deepen in November; responses to this vary, but the long-term rewards of duty is worth the discipline. In spite of the lure of holiday events in December, many want quieter gatherings. The winter solstice sets an auspicious tone for those ready to slough off the past and start anew.

Stellar Events

In 2023, Saturn, the planet that symbolizes structures, limitations and fear, moves from Aquarius to Pisces. We see old paradigms dissolve and long for a greater spiritual connection. This can set up “false gods”, but can also forge communities with peaceful and just intentions. Like a wave that washes a grand sandcastle, we welcome a void to allow fresh starts.

The United States is in recreation mode with its Pluto return, and over the next couple of years, we are part of what that looks like. In the sign of Capricorn, it brought to light how money and power corrupted the ideal concept of this democracy. As Pluto transitions into Aquarius, we are reminded that the collective voice steers the course, but first we need to regain the tiller.

Retrogrades in 2023

When retrograde, a planet appears to move backward from Earth’s perspective. The symbolism of that planet indicates what internal processes are at play to thwart direct paths. This can be highly productive when you maximize the value of reflection or it can frustrate and even delay action.

The planet Mercury symbolizes the messenger, communications and transit, as well as humor, social media and news. People whose business or personal life depend on electronics feel the retrograde acutely. Messages misfire and directions or appointments go awry. Double-check and backup.

Mercury goes retrograde four times in 2023: December 29, 2022, through January 18; April 21 through May 14; August 23 through September 15; and December 12 through January 1, 2024.

Venus symbolizes how one loves and what is valued. Rekindle childlike play, romance or self-expression. An old love may resurface. Avoid the purchase of expensive goods. Check with your astrologer if a wedding or new financial endeavor needs to happen at this time. Venus in Leo retrogrades on July 22 and goes direct on September 3.

Mars is retrograde at the start of the year and goes direct on January 12. When retrograde, Mars slows action, anger and quiets desire. When Mars goes direct on January 12, expect an energy surge.

When Jupiter is retrograde, it indicates businesses and investment challenges. Hesitation affects speculation, travel or publishing. Resistance paralyzes sales and expansion. Legal matters limp along. Avoid a product or business launch during Jupiter retrograde. However, the retrograde period can be advantageous for research and adjustments. In the sign of Taurus, this slows down real estate. The retrograde begins on September 4 and runs through December 30.
Pamela Cucinell offers guidance, validation and spiritual insight with a practical twist. To find her comprehensive forecast of 2023, visit To find her weekly podcast, visit ActiveSpirituality.Life. To schedule a one-time or ongoing sessions, call her at 917.796.6026 or email [email protected].