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Start Your Engines

Astro Notes for Aries Season 2023 (March 20-April 19)

The astrological year begins when the Sun enters Aries. Despite our adherence to the Gregorian calendar, the March Equinox is the real beginning of the annual cycle. If you’ve been fretting over your stalled progress during the last couple of months, don’t worry. That’s all about to change.

Aries season — and thus the whole astrological year — kicks off with an incredibly auspicious New Moon on March 21 at exactly 0 degrees Aries. It’s hard to imagine a more potent symbol of new beginnings than a New Moon falling on the very first degree of the zodiac. It’s like the cosmic reset button. If you’ve been gestating a creative project or vision through many months or even years of darkness and struggle, this may well be the moment you get to finally press go.

Aries is an interesting energy. Most people tend to associate the sign of the Ram with its fiery, feisty side. This is not wrong — Aries is ruled after all by the God of War. But there is also a purity and innocence to the first sign of the zodiac. Aries corresponds developmentally with new born infants. It is associated with the first signs of Spring, the first shoots emerging out of the seed, the first buds on the trees, the first birds singing. If Pisces is the surrender to the Mystery that occurs at the end of a cycle, Aries is the rebirth out of the Mystery that takes place at the beginning.  

The link between the two sides can be explained by the paradox that a true warrior has an innocent heart. A person with an innocent heart recognizes an act of sacrilege in a way that a more scheming, sophisticated person cannot. He doesn’t overthink his response, but acts instinctively in defense of life. Although in modern times we have understandably grown weary of war and aggression, this kind of fighting spirit is essential, for it gives us the courage to carry out our sacred assignments against all odds. Indeed, given the imminent explosion of AI and its associated risks, we’d better embrace the archetype of the sacred warrior  — and soon — if we are going to rise to the challenge and opportunities of our moment.

Speaking of AI…..on March 23, just two days after the New Moon, Pluto enters Aquarius. Woah. Pluto has been in Capricorn since early 2008. Its ingress into Aquarius is undoubtedly the most significant transit of the year. When Pluto changes sign, it usually makes an unmistakable entrance. In 2008 we had the Global Financial Crisis. And now, as Pluto prepares to change sign again, we are seeing another run on the banks.

Pluto will be in Aquarius for just a couple of months this year before heading back into Capricorn for the remainder of the year. It will enter Aquarius again in January 2024, then move back into Capricorn in September before returning to Aquarius for good in November 2024. It will then stay in Aquarius for a full twenty years.

Pluto’s function is to ruthlessly dredge up from the shadow all that is out of alignment with reality for purification. Its movement in and out of late Capricorn between now and late 2024 will create a kind of ‘rinsing’ effect whereby any patterns within ourselves or our world that are out of resonance with the zeitgeist of the coming age will be forced up to the light for transformation. While intense and difficult, there is an immense opportunity here for massive personal and collective evolution — if we lean into the hard work of owning and integrating our shadows.

Pluto in Capricorn has exposed much darkness and corruption in the governing institutions of society. It has revealed what is not working in the established structures of politics, media, health, and finance. Pluto in Aquarius will involve the radical transformation of all aspects of society. Pluto in Aquarius signifies revolutionary social change. The last time Pluto was in Aquarius coincided with the American and French Revolutions and the birth of the modern period. By the time Pluto leaves Aquarius, the world will be a very different place indeed.

Much of that transformation is likely to be connected to the exponential growth of AI. Aquarius rules technology, so AI will undoubtedly be a core theme of the next twenty years, for better or for worse. Of course, many of us are concerned about the ‘worse’ part.

There is no getting around the dark side of exponential technology. Yet it is important to remember that Pluto’s function is to expose the dark to the light of truth for purification. Pluto in Aquarius will shine a powerful light on all that is corrupt and unethical in the realm of technology. That’s a LOT of darkness to bring to the light. It will be a wild ride for sure. But it may be the messy yet transformative process that allows us eventually to harness the more creative and humanitarian possibilities of AI, which would represent the more exalted potential of the Aquarian archetype.

Meanwhile, until the end of March we are still within the influence of the Jupiter-Chiron conjunction I focused on in my last Astro Notes for Pisces season. This aspect is separating now, but there is still a window for integrating our core wound on a deeper level than ever before and realizing how it can be transformed into our greatest gift.

On March 25, Mars enters Gemini. Mars changing signs would not normally make my astrological highlight reel, especially in a month with such an epic transit as Pluto moving into Aquarius. But Mars has been in Gemini for six long months. That is a ridiculously long time for Mars to be in one sign. It’s probably safe to say we’re all very much over this transit by now. Dear Universe, I think we’ve got the lesson, thank you very much.

It’s a dramatic time. A bold time. We’ve all been roughed up quite a bit over the last few years. We’ve all had to endure so much. If you’re still standing, and your vision is intact, get ready. The real race is just about to begin.


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