At times, astrology can feel like a black hole: The deeper you dive into understanding the nuance of planetary transits and aspects, the easier it can be to get lost in the cosmic void. Planets are in constant motion, moving forward and retrograding backward in positions that are thought to affect us on Earth on any given day, but not all transits are created equally. That’s why we’ve tapped five astrologers to help us navigate the astrological milieu of 2023 and identify the major astrology events poised to have an outsize energetic impact.
And not to pull a total Bachelor move on you, but the astrological shifts on the celestial docket for this year are, indeed, some of the most dramatic to transpire as of late. According to astrologer Stefanie Iris Weiss, coauthor of Surviving Saturn’s Return, “2023 brings more earth-shattering and measurable change than the last three years put together.”
Below, five astrologers break down the key astrological events underscoring that change and explain the real-world effects we can expect as a result.
1. Pluto enters Aquarius for the first time since *1798*
If there’s any celestial body most associated with large-scale transformation, it’s Pluto. And this year, the planet (yes, it still functions as a planet in astrology) is shifting into a new sign—something that only occurs, roughly, every 20 years—on March 23. It just so happens to be the sign that’s also most connected with change, evolution, and innovation, aka Aquarius. Do the math, and you’ll find that Pluto hasn’t been in Aquarius since 1798, which is why every astrologer I spoke with called this one of the major (if not the most major) astrology events of 2023: It is, literally, a once-in-a-lifetime transit involving none other than the prime change agent of the zodiac.
“As the ruler of power, transformation, death, and the collective shadow, Pluto doesn’t mess around,” says astrologer Narayana Montúfar, author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. “Whatever it transforms, it does so at a very deep level.” Since 2008, it’s been moving through Capricorn, meaning its upheaval has been focused on Capricorn-ruled areas of life, like the workplace, government, big-scale institutions, and authority figures. As a result, we’ve begun a restructuring of society, says Weiss, “in which protest movements have…laid out demands for structural change and progress.”
“We will see a shift in how the collective responds to sources of information like the internet.” —Ellen Bowles, astrologer
Now, as Pluto shifts into Aquarius (where it remains until 2043), we can expect similarly intense change to occur in Aquarian facets of life, like technology, humanity, and social community. “We will see a shift in how the collective responds to sources of information like the internet,” says astrologer Ellen Bowles, coauthor of Astrology SOS, “and we’ll be confronted with the question of how technology can better connect, rather than divide us.”
The resulting ripple effect could engender even deeper societal changes, according to astrologer Gahl Sasson, author of The Astrology of 2023: Traversing the Bridge. Just consider that “during the last time Pluto was in Aquarius, we saw the French Revolution and the signing of the American Constitution,” he says.
One extra-transformative thing to note for this year, in particular, is that Pluto is only just beginning to dip into the first degrees of Aquarius. This means the planet’s forthcoming retrograde, starting on June 11 (and lasting through the end of the year), will take it back to 29 degrees Capricorn, “a particularly chaotic and destructive placement, as the degree of a sign that signifies endings,” says astrologer Corina Crysler. “During this time, the planet of power and evolution will expose its final efforts to change the paradigm around the systems and structures that govern our world.”
It’s essentially the end of an era—a time to release the systems of your own life that don’t serve you in preparation for even more revolutionary upheaval to come in Pluto’s Aquarian jaunt.
2. Jupiter meets up with the north node in Taurus
If the above news has you worried, you can take solace in this major astrology event of 2023: expansive Jupiter—known as the Great Benefic for its association with luck, serendipity, and good fortune—is making some powerful moves this year in our collective favor. For Taureans, in particular, Jupiter’s shift into Taurus on May 16 (where it will remain until May 2024) could bring good vibes galore, as having Jupiter in your sign is thought to be the very pinnacle of cosmic blessings. But everyone stands to benefit when the lucky planet joins the north node (a point in the sky associated with fate and destiny) in conjunction on June 1.
“Jupiter expands everything it touches, and in this case, it will expand the powers of the north node in Taurus,” says Montúfar. That means we’re all more likely to have positive, seemingly fated experiences in connection to Taurean themes, like security, sensuality, and all the material pleasures of life. “It’s a time for thinking big, seeking knowledge, deepening our spirituality, and building solid relationships with people who can help us achieve our dreams,” says Montúfar.
3. Saturn ends its years-long transit in Aquarius, moving into Pisces
Since March 2020, taskmaster Saturn has been moving through Aquarius, lending its tough-love, hard-work approach to Aquarian themes. But on March 7, just before Pluto is about to take its own turn in Aquarius, Saturn takes a “once-in-30-years plunge into the oceans of Pisces,” says Sasson, noting the societal-level friction this transit could surface.
Whereas Saturn is all about limitations, borders, and structures (the planet was long thought to be the edge of our solar system), Pisces energy reflects the free-flowing abyss of our collective consciousness and culture, linked with dreams and the inner psyche. This oppositional combination could require us now to “take accountability for the areas of life in which we’ve let things get out of order,” astrologer Stephanie Campos previously told Well+Good.
Piscean topics—including high-octave focuses of spirituality and healing and the lower-octave disillusionment and escape—could be put under close review, as Saturn inspires “hard-core reality checks,” says Weiss, “where people collectively question the validity of anything that can’t be proven.” The tension in this transit will be in figuring out how we can apply the grounded, realistic vibe of Saturn to the spiritual searching and creative imagination inherent to Pisces.