The Sun enters Aquarius I on January 20, 2023, at 3:30 am EST. Austin Coppock called this decan, administered by Venus, The Mark of Exile, and associated it with the kind of heretical, punk, outsider status of someone who is a critic of the existing order and stands apart from it, and yet seeks to find ways back into the embrace of those social norms.
Dike, the goddess of justice, rules these ten days that the Sun is in Aquarius I. We often depict her as the goddess with a blindfold and sword, but that’s more correctly Praxidike, who hears issues of capital crimes in Gemini III. Or we see the Erinyes or Furies, punishing with the justice of the gods, those whom not even mortal justice can fairly mete out punishment. But Dike is much more the goddess of restoration of balance, dealing in fines and fees, measuring and restituting the claims of the lesser courts — returning stolen tips to the waitress and reclaiming the improperly garnished wages of the fast-food burger-flipper, claiming the fines from the self-important businessman who parks in the Handicapped spot, thrusting the speeding ticket into the hands of the old lead-foot on the side of highway 9. The citizens of Egyptian Alexandria understood, as we do today, that some laws are likely to be bent or broken in the natural course of our daily activities — but that sometimes, you were likely to get caught at it, and then you owed the community a service in exchange. To the degree possible by your circumstances, this is the week to fulfill your community duties — to vote, if there’s an election of any kind; to participate in juries, if you’re called to one; to act as an honest witness in court; to pay the fines if so assessed against you. No one likes paying these fines or doing these activities… but participating in the framework that makes such processes work, is preferable to a good many other alternatives. We cannot bow out of too many such systems without them becoming untenable and rickety.
Aquarius, in general, is the daytime home of Saturn, who is still in this sign overall. My friend M likes to tell me stories of his days in professional carpentry, and many of them start with him being told by the General Contractor, “we start at 7 am, be there,” and Matt would show up at 6:45 am and be late. Saturn in Aquarius is like that: he tells you to show up at 7am, and when you arrive early, he’s already been at work for an hour. The Sun is already playing catch-up in this part of the sky, which is where he’s least powerful and farthest from his home sign of Leo — and Saturn’s presence here is overshadowing him in the same way that your father gets tongue-tied and hesitant in the presence of his father… or his father’s grave.
Between them in this chart stands Venus, far closer to Saturn than to her lover the Sun, as though to butter up and flatter the Old Man before the Sun asks a big favor of the old fellow. But both Saturn and Venus are in the decan that Coppock called The Knot, a place of unraveled plans and quickly dismantled dreams. Whatever is put together at this time is likely to come apart; and no amount of quite-correct critique is likely to win the exile readmission to polite company. This ostracism is about power, not factual correctness.
The dodecatemoria — a colleague of mine started calling them dodeks, and I may start doing that when referring to the 2° 30′ segments of each Zodiac sign — of Aquarius I are Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, and Taurus: This is very much the “apprentice’s development sequence,” where someone who knows nothing gradually acquires part of the knowledge of their profession (Aquarius’s knowledge), followed by a long stretch of confusion in which their uncertainty about next steps wars with their desire to do something (Pisces’s back-and-forth action), followed by a new fire or burst of creative activity (Aries’s fire-in-the-head), which results in the completion of work in the material world (Taurus’s physicality). This is often the first stage experience of Aquarians who step outside the normal frameworks of professions and trades to apply old knowledge to new problems.
The Chart of Aquarius I is an interesting one, with only Mars above both the horizon and the axis of the North-South Nodes. This (only just) prevents us from being in the configuration called “The Belly of the Beast” when all the planets are on one side of the Nodal Axis, an ancient warning of troubles ahead. Yet the fact that Mars alone is above the horizon is suggestive of a different combination, which might have had other names in times past — Saint George and the Dragon, perhaps, or the Archangel Michael doing battle against Lucifer, or Zeus fighting his father Cronus for dominion over the world while all his brothers and sisters were in his father’s stomach. The armed warrior is outside the beast, alone, and all the other planets are inside — and there is a sense that the fate of the world rests on choices made over the next few months. This morning as I write this, there are reports that Russia considers nuclear war on the table if it’s defeated in Ukraine… just as there have been reports that Russia is dangerously close to a condition called deindustrialization — a phenomenal claim, suggesting that assembly lines and factories are close to shuttering, possibly for good.
With the Sun in the Third House of neighborhood, communication, and extended family, we’re in a night chart. This empowers only Mars, of all the planets, since it’s the only one above the horizon in the night sky; the others are below, and only Saturn is particularly well-favored, though Jupiter has some minor dignity. The chart is unusual in that we have two besiegements, one of which will reverse quickly in the next hour, while the second won’t reverse until January 23, like a football quarterback breaking free of an attempted sacking and racing to the touchdown zone.
Let’s look at the first, though, the one that reverses. At the start of this decan, Mercury is in the hot seat, besieged between the Moon and Pluto. The waning Moon, as one of the besiegers, is in the Twenty-Second Mansion, a tavern favored of bike messengers, artists, and the priests of outsider religions. It’s called The Lucky One of the Slaughterers, and it’s famous for its halal gyros/shwarma and its house-made pita bread — but as you might imagine, it’s also a challenging place for people in the mainstream of religion, for it makes them doubt their commitments, and that can rouse anger and frustration. In the next hour or so after this chart, Mercury and Pluto will be the planets doing the besieging, and the Moon will be the one trapped between a lack of clarity about communication, and the economic violence of the system gone amok. Many families probably carried on with Christmas with their usual traditions and norms, despite this past year’s financial constraints — and the bills will literally come due in the next ten days. Families for whom Christmas is not an annual festival of excess, probably won’t have this problem.
The Sun joins both Venus and Saturn in Aquarius, with Saturn awaiting its annual meeting with Venus with steadfast seriousness. Aquarius III is called The Knot, but it perhaps should be called “the unraveling.” In the house of extended family, intimate friends, and neighbors, this annual conjunction represents the idea of the limits of unconditional love — the reality is that love does have practical limits and boundaries, and at least once a year we tend to bounce off those guardrails — this year, it’s a time for our closest friendships, and our relationships with siblings, cousins, and extended family to be stress-tested. The Sun’s closeness to this conjunction makes it seem like our role will be that of outside critic or mad-eyed prophet… but it’s worth remembering that sometimes our fears or worries can be turned into self-fulfilling prophecies.
The Imum Coeli, or well of the sky, is conjunct dreamy Neptune in the third decan of Pisces The Cup of Blood. When it comes to home and family life, our enthusiasm and zeal for loving and protecting the folks beneath our roof is far outweighed by our lack of real information about the problems they may face. Our dreams, goals and fantasies are to live in happiness and safety beneath our roof in the next ten days — but those visions may be more fanciful in the next ten days than reality can provide.
Jupiter in the fifth house, in the decan of Aries called The Double Bladed Axe, promises that there is hope and happiness, and room for future growth in the work of cutting back and limiting our pleasures in the months ahead. Winter is often the best time for pruning gardens, particularly roses. It’s strange to see Jupiter, normally a symbol of expansion and growth, in a place associated with cutting back, chopping away, and slicing-and-dicing. Yet past US Presidents from Texas and California are known for their enjoyment of brush-cutting and weed whacking (in more ways than one)…. it may be that there’s room for growth in what we choose to carve away in the next ten days.
Uranus in Taurus’s second decan The Lingam Yoni promises “sexy fun times” to at least some people in the next ten days, especially surprise quickies or impulsive booty calls — but it’s not just about nutting and nookie in the last third of January for the sake of your mental and physical health. It’s also about claiming agency and personal sovereignty in the face of growing demands on your time for social and community commitments. You may personally feel that you’d rather meet someone for coffee than masturbate —but it’s worth balancing out the outward-facing parts of your life with some relief of the inner tensions. Just recognize that getting the privacy for either a tryst or some quiet “private time” on your own may be somewhat more complicated than you think.
Retuning to Mars, with whom we began — the warrior planet is conjunct the Descendant in the decan called The Apple of Eden. The Descendant is normally an indicator of our most significant Others — business partners and peers at work, lovers and spouses, and our open rivals and foes. Here, the indication is a sudden, unpleasant, and difficult argument with these people in your life: the sudden realignment of disparate clues into an angry revelation, a furious insight fueled by a mix of ambition and rage. Remember that your anger is a weapon useful only to your opponents, these next ten days — and recollect that not every sudden burst of insight is in fact either reasonable or true. Confirm your worst suspicions about your peers in a state of calm coherence before you enact any revenge.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Decan I of any sign (usually covering the 21s of the month to the first of the following month) is free to all visitors; Decan II is only available to Patreon and Ko-Fi.com subscribers; and Decan III is available to Patreon, Ko-Fi, and MailChimp subscribers.
Sagittarius: You have freedom to be yourself in the next ten days, but it may come at some cost; either family may find this new presentation to be off-putting, or you’re going to find that you get what you pay for. Focus on getting quality for your expended quantities of cash or time. Familial matters run up against unplanned-for but totally-reasonable limits; financial issues expand to fill the space available. Hold peace in your romantic and business relationships, but know that a cease-fire may end. What parts of your pleasures need to be trimmed away to make room for new spring growth? What you bring forth from the slush or compost pile has some professional bearing and helps you build your audience: dive into your back catalog to refresh something old and nearly done.
Capricorn: Spring cleaning may have to start a little early this year, as you figure out what’s still useful to you among your toys, your tools and your tchotchkes. What’s the difference between these three T’s? A Toy is a thing that you play with — it stirs the imagination, expands your horizons, and helps you sense new perspectives. A Tool is a thing that does real-world work. It doesn’t have to be a screwdriver… a Lego brick can be a toy or a tool, for example; and a huge pick-up truck can be a tool or a toy as well. But tchotchkes (from a Yiddish word meaning a very pretty young woman — how sexist!) are purely decorative objects with little usefulness. And a finished Lego model, a hyped-up car or truck, and a bowling trophy you won in an interoffice tournament in 2012 are all potentially useless to you if they’re not helping you do real world world or helping you dream about a different sort of future. Separate the toys and tools from the tchotchkes this week, and dump the tchotchkes.
Aquarius: This may be the week you stand around muttering about costs and savings, expenses and income, assets and liabilities. Even if you’re not a male of a certain age and status, this is the week you become a cheapskate New England Dad growling every time someone inches up to the thermostat. You may find that you’re wandering in conversational circles with friends, rehashing the same problems constantly, with no clarity about solutions in sight. Solution and solace is likely to be found in pursuing your hobbies, although greater care may be needed with sharp objects than usual: make some things for people that you love or that you think they’ll use; surprise them with presents out of the regular holiday season, and dream of what you can create for household daily use. You may not be able to perfect these creations in ten days, but you can at least think them into existence.
Pisces: You ought to know what confirmation bias is this week, because your fondest dreams and beliefs may appear to be solidified by outside events…. but chances are that it’s because you’re hiding your eyes and stopping your ears against harsh truths. An outside voice may be helpful in decoding your current financial situation; a brief but ugly spat with a spouse may occur at home, but it’s probably not about you specifically, only about family dramas neither of you can control. If you have any clear path to victory these ten days, it’s in demonstrating perfection and the highest quality of work in your professional life that you know how to deliver.
Aries: There’s a meme with a Viking — maybe it’s the god Odin? — telling you to choose your battles, and to put some of the battles that you’ve chosen back on the shelf. That’s too many battles, put some more back. Yeah, that’s still too many. Pick the nicest one, maybe two. Yeah: with Monty Python you can say, “Five is right out!” Whatever battles you’re fighting right now, cut the number of war-fronts in half: make peace, or at least call a cease-fire, and give yourself time and space to love yourself and accept your current limits — which are real, no matter what you keep telling yourself. Give yourself time and pleasure to learn one new thing about yourself, or for yourself.. and accept that despite surprises in the financial realm, you can get through the current messes if you only accept that some battles are not worth the fighting.
Taurus: Surprises and shifts in the ground under your feet will be common — not so much in the physical realm, as in the daily routines of your life. It’s less about earthquakes and more about unscheduled disruptions to your schedule. Keep your datebook in pencil, as it were, and expect to rearrange your plans several times in the days ahead. You’re not likely to lose money, exactly, but expect cash flow to be problematic as you wrestle with newfound options. You’ll have a window of time to yourself that feels generous in comparison to what has gone before; carving it up and using it to promote your personal happiness will be hard, though — take care to not use it all in trivial dreams, but figure out how to learn, love — and pace yourself as you learn to use your resources wisely.
Gemini: The Others in your life — spouses or lovers, business partners, rivals — are likely to take central stage in your thoughts in the next ten days: how do you overcome them, how do you win them over to your point of view, how do you woo them like it was your wedding night all over? You may find yourself strategizing and planning your battles in the early hours of the morning or while lying in bed too awake and jazzed up to sleep. Take care not to let this dreamy enthusiasm overtake your real-world labors, or put you or your household’s valuables at risk — not just stuff, but also the intangibles like trust and mutual cooperation. Your siblings and extended family may also test the limits of your love and compassion. You don’t have to be a villain; but you will have to keep boundaries clear.
Cancer: You may feel a sense of drudgery in the next ten days if you’re not careful to acknowledge that you have responsibilities that touch all areas of your private life: you have financial records to keep and tax information to collect; calls to extended family to make and neighbors to propitiate; household chores to complete; children to prepare for school or labor; daily commute schedules and exercise routines to adhere to, and lovers to please and be pleased by. Even your hobbies are not exempt: whether it’s adding a line of knit or purl to your current knitting project, or a few hammer-blows on a piece of hot iron, or a ball kicked around a field during practice, these are the things that must be done, so that you continue to do them. But these next ten days, it may feel like work, and not enough like joy. No matter: find the secret cup of joy even in daily routines, and the ten days will fly swiftly by.
Leo: Own up to the reality that you know the next skill or knowledge-set that you must learn, AND that you don’t want to learn it. Perhaps you’re an accountant or an engineer who must study poetry; maybe you’re a poet but you need to take an accounting class. Don’t worry about it, and just go do it: take the class, get the certificate or the diploma or the grade. Wallace Stevens was a poet of unusual sensitivity and grace, and he managed to get by as an insurance company executive for decades, despite the teasing and comical ribbing he took from colleagues and friends. They laughed at his poetry career, but it was poetry that secured his immortality. So it is with you, for now: go into the dark place and learn what must be learned this winter — but remember that you are the lion, and your roar will be all the stronger once you have eaten the beast in its own cave.
Virgo: Your reputation hangs on understandng that there are professional tools that must be brought out from their casket, resurrected from the dead, and turned to useful and living purposes… but first, like Frankenstein’s monster, they must first be remade and repurposed — But begin, not with some grand purpose, but with a kind of morbid, grisly playfulness. What if this part attached to that one? How now, if this bone joined that sinew? Where does this muscle join with this joint? How shall the whole hang together to accomplish my ‘dark and villainous’ purpose (even if it’s only theoretical exercise)? I expect that this is a useful thought process in the next ten days — “If I were a supervillain, what would I need to do?” Once you’ve identified how you’d act as a supervillain and what your priorities would be, you’ll find it much easier to put on the white hat, and the armor of light, and defeat exactly the sort of villain you could be if you wanted to… and the parts of the monster will remain where they should, lifeless on the table.
Libra: You’re likely to have a range of invitations to social and professional gatherings in the next ten days, but some of these events, even those with your closest friends with the deepest of confidences, may have to be rescheduled, delayed, or put on hold. Your whole calendar may need to be reorganized, in fact, around issues on the home front, and managing runaway expectations and changes. Routine plans with sweeties may take priority, or maybe it will require a “yes to Tuesday, no to Friday, and maybe to Saturday morning” negotiation. Navigating the upheaval to home and household will require vision and improvisation, even when you don’t have the full details. Just be aware that a lover or partner may have a lot of money on the line, and try to reschedule or delay the least expensive or most-flexible plans first to take account of your own upheaval.
Scorpio: Sudden changes in a partner’s schedule may bring grief and frustration to you, at a time when loneliness is an expensive and troubling necessity. You can rarely control other people, but you can control your own response to it: indulge in a hobby, read a book, phone a friend and go to a movie, re-dye your hair — but don’t belabor or rehash an argument or play-act outrage for an audience of one: your partner can’t help the changes, and taking offense to their difficulty won’t solve the problem. Phone your brother, facetime your aunt, invite a cousin to dinner (but set some limits on hospitality — this isn’t a long-term issue). One way or another, be flexible in how you find contentment in the ten days ahead, and you’ll find that you’re happier and healthier on January 1 than you are today.