Predictions for the USA in 2023

For two and a half centuries, the USA has been an unusually dynamic national entity with much influence in the world. It is guided by admirable ideals about individual human freedom, but which coexist with pathologies that have entailed the suffering of large sub-sections of its society. These characteristics are clearly visible in the 20° Cancer rising SAMVA USA chart.

The struggle to improve the conditions of those disaffected has been there for the world to see, including the American Revolutionary War when the colonists freed themselves from restrictive British rule in the 1770s, the repercussions to the Trail of Tears of native American indians in the 1830s, the US Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the 1850s, the repulsion towards the Jim Crow laws that segregated the newly freed blacks in the South in the 1870s, the Populist movement to curb the excesses of the ‘Robber barons’ in the 1890s, the Progressive Era to spread the prosperity among ordinary Americans in the 1900s, the rebuilding of the economy and creation of new jobs based on a greater role for the federal government in the Great Depression of the 1930s, the fight for the cause of freedom in the face of the rise of totalitarian fascism around the world in WW II of the 1940s, the civil rights battles and victories for blacks in the 1960s, the rise of the 99 percent in the 2010s and Trumpian revolution to reclaim prosperity for the middle class in 2016, and the fight over open borders to ensure that America remains a nation that welcomes immigrants fleeing poverty and persecution, but also to protect its own citizens from the associated drugs, crime and human trafficking in the 2020s.



In an sense, the USA has a rather unique national identity among the nations of the world. Fittingly, the statement

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses …”

is inscribed on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty pedestal.

In 1944, Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish economist, referred to the American Creed in his study of race relations. He suggested the creed was a

“collection of  ideals that include the rule of law, equality, freedom, hard work, and individualism.”

In 1984, the UN suggested the Statue of Liberty evokes

“ideals such as liberty, peace, human rights, abolition of slavery, democracy and opportunity.”

In the 2020s, the evolving demographics of the nation (see graph) demand an ever greater recognition of  the values and aspirations of the growing non-white population of the USA, with a greater diversity in religious or atheistic outlooks, in terms of an ever greater freedom for personal expression.

As described in the 2007 article introducing this authentic national chart for the USA:

“The national character of the USA is shaped to a large extent by the sign Cancer that rises in the ascendant of the SAMVA USA chart and the influences of planets on the ascendant or on its lord, the Moon. There are many happy events in the lives of those with Cancer rising. The sign brings grace and cleverness and makes those born under it good hosts, capable of receptivity and adaptability, generous, peace loving, with humor, wit and imagination or overly emotional, sensitive, shy, moody, attached, dependent and full of concern, both for themselves and for others. Cancerians tend to be sensitive and restless.”

The nature of the national identity was further explained in terms of

“The royal planet Moon is exalted in Taurus, the eleventh house of income, hopes and friends. This makes the Americans visionary but also gives them a good income. The aspect of Jupiter, as the lord of conflict, in Scoprio, to the Moon gives the Americans a fixed and war-like nature. The aspect of 10th lord Mars in Scorpio to the Moon as 1st lord gives the nation its fame for their laws, technological know-how, bravery and enterprise. The creation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights spread the fame of America far and wide in the early years of their Republic. It is also an important ingredient in their ability to be the first nation to send men to the Moon and bring them back alive.

A further and major influence on the American character is the placement of the Sun in Capricorn, in conjunction with the rising degree of the seventh house. The king of the planetary cabinet, the Sun, becomes the lord of wealth and status for Cancer born, as well as the President. It is the general indicator of the soul and vitality. This powerful placement gives Americans their considerable status and influence in the world and a strong Presidency. It also gives American’s their sense of identity as “God’s own country.”

At the same time, there are numerous elements in the chart that reveal a less than ideal situations, such as those of the functional malefic (FM) Moon’s nodes.



“The placement of the lunar nodes, Rahu in Aries tenth house and and Ketu in Libra fourth house, has caused many tragedies and difficulties in the national life, involving upsets in the political sphere and the social calm. The influence of Rahu has repeatedly led to exposure of corruption in government and legislative affairs, disrupting the communal harmony.”

In the fall of 2022, as predicted, there have been numerous exposures of such manipulations in terms of the Twitter files and then there has been an intense clash over the open borders policy, involving human trafficking and the smuggling of deadly Fentanyl. Indeed, by exposing the truth, the US has a hope that it’s future remains bright.

In any event, through all of its upheavals, American prosperity has steamed onwards and upwards, as shown in this figure, but more so during the periods of strong and functional benefic planets, like the Sun, ruling the 2nd house of wealth in the 7th house of foreign affairs, and Moon, ruling the 1st house placed in the 11th house of income.

With population growth and technical progress, the natural environment has been infringed upon. However, this has resulted in corrective forces being gradually awakened and in needed changes being implemented. Pollution abatement, nature preservation and the ongoing shift from Internal Combustion Engines to Electric Vehicles are cases in point.



As explained above, the most significant feature of the Cancer rising chart is the placement of its ruler, the Moon, as 1st lord in the 11th house of ideals, alliances and income.

For the third time in its history, the Moon period is running in the SAMVA USA chart, from April 16, 2022 to April 16, 2032. Given the many constructive influences on the Moon and its 1st house, we may expect significant progress for the masses, involving the laws and governance.

The sub- periods, however, carry an additional important trend influence in 2023, including:

  • Moon-Moon: April 16, 2022 – February 14, 2023. Strong focus on indications of Moon.
  • Moon-Mars: February 14, 2023- September 15, 2023. Strong focus on indications of Mars.
  • Moon-Rahu: September 15, 2023 – March 16, 2025. Strong focus on indications of Rahu.

Moon is 1st lord in 11th house and Mars is 10th lord in 5th house. Both planets aspect one another, boosting each others indications. Moreover, as they are strong and well placed as functional benefic planets in the SAMVA USA chart, their influence is powerfully positive, unless adverse transits upset the good going. In the Rahu period, however, problems may be expected, as natal Rahu afflicts the houses owned by 10th lord Mars, 2nd lord Sun and 6th lord Jupiter. Moreover, transit contacts involving FM Rahu will take place in the second half of 2023.

As before, we look to the transits of the slow-moving FMs in the SAMVA USA chart, 6th lord Jupiter, 8th lord Saturn, FM Rahu and FM Ketu.



“For Cancerians Jupiter’s Moolatrikona sign, Sagittarius, falls in their sixth house and Jupiter, as 6th lord, becomes a functional malefic planet for them.

As 6th lord, Jupiter rules

“public amity, relations with neighbors, general health of the public, political stability, financial solvency of the nation, management of debts, litigations, judicial functioning, communal harmony in the country and labor relations.”

Natal Jupiter is strong and well placed in Scorpio and the 5th house of the SAMVA USA chart. As such it supports the management of the health and financial position. However, malefic transit influences can adversely affect its indications.

Jupiter begins the year 2023 at 7° Pisces and 9th house. It will move forward with normal speed until it enters Aries and 10th house on April 23, 2023, where it will stay until May 2, 2024.

  1. While in Pisces and 9th house, JUPITER is generally considered strong and well placed. As the 9th house rules the Supreme Court, its transit there in early 2023 is therefore likely to see court decisions that are generally respected. Interestingly, in April 2022 two astrological developments took place: transit Jupiter entered the 9th house and the important Moon major period began. A few weeks later the decision to strike down Roe v. Wade was leaked, causing a great deal of national controversy. After the decision was made, a grudging acceptance was gradually observed.
  2. After 6th lord JUPITER moves into Aries and 10th house in the early summer of 2023, an increased energy of conflict is to be expected in public affairs. Moreover, the strength of 10th lord MARS, the dispositor of Jupiter, in transit becomes important for the strength of transit Jupiter there. This is doubly so, as the Moon-Mars period runs from mid February to mid September 2023. Transit 10th lord Mars will be weak from mid March to end June 2023, which is adverse for industrial production, notably the automotive sector as well as the legislature, government military and police.
  • Transit 10th lord Mars becomes badly placed and weak in Gemini and the 12th house from March 13th until May 11th. During this time, the affairs of the US Congress, the government, the military and police, as well as foreign trade, become vulnerable to losses. Moreover, in early April transit transit 10th lord Mars will come under the aspect of transit stationary Ketu at 10 °Libra and 4th house. Further, in mid April, it comes under the aspect of natal Ketu in Libra and the 4th house MEP. These disturbing transit influences may result in some sudden adverse events for the indications of Mars. Those events are also expected to adversely affect transit Jupiter at that time. Unfortunately, transit Jupiter will become conjunct transit Rahu from May 13 to June 20, while receiving an aspect from transit 8th lord Saturn from May 25 to July 15.
  • Transit 10th lord Mars will become debilitated and weak in the sign of Cancer and 1st house from May 11th until June 30th. Transit Jupiter will become equally weak at that time, even if well placed in the 10th house. This suggests fierce political conflict in the Congress at that time. The expansionary power of the US economy, especially in terms of bank lending, may become reduced at this time.
  • This is more so as transit 6th lord Jupiter in mid Aries will receive a close aspect from transit 8th lord SATURN in the 8th house from May 25 to July 15, 2023. This is a violence inducing aspect, and could be associated with obstacles and endings. A prominent personality, ruled by Jupiter, possibly in Congress or government, may leave the scene.
  • The above factors become more problematic still as transit Jupiter will also become conjunct retrograde transit RAHU from mid May until mid June. This aspect suggest confusion or manipulation involving conflict and health matters. Problems with illicit drugs and even legal intoxicants could become more noticeable. This aspect becomes exact at 9° Aries on June 2, 2023. The aspect adds an energy of manipulation to the difficult Saturn aspect to Jupiter.
  • From late July, 2023, transit 6th lord JUPITER becomes stationary around 20° Aries and the MEP of the 10th house until mid October 2023. This suggests a lot of conflict in the US Congress and government, especially after the Mo/Ra period begins. Financial problems involving foreign trade are also possible. Transit Jupiter will go retrograde on September 10, 2023 at 21° until January 2024, when it stations at 11° Aries and 10th house.
  • Related to the above transit of Jupiter, it will become conjunct natal RAHU at 18° Aries from July 11 to July 26 and again in the second half of October. Moreover, during the latter, transit 6th lord Jupiter becomes opposite transit 10th lord Mars and transit 3rd lord Mercury on top of natal Ketu on October 29, 2023. This suggests a controversy over the long standing manipulations of corporations in Congress and the US government will undermine the communal harmony. Possibly, the government and/or Congress will try to more meaningfully address the issue of illegal immigrants at that time, but with significant push back from the political opposition.



Saturn enters Aquarius on January 18, 2023, and stays there until March 29, 2025.  As 8th lord, Saturn becomes the most malefic planet in the 20° Cancer rising SAMVA USA chart. However, the transit of Saturn in Aquarius, its Moolatrikona sign, makes Saturn strong, even if badly placed in the 8th house. At the same time, this is a somber placement, lacking the flair of e.g. Saturn in Leo.

Saturn earlier transited this sign from

  • February 1905 to April 1907, a boom in “Trusts” leads to a financial crisis in fall of 1907,
  • February 1934 to July 1937, the US economy is stabilised in the middle of the Great Depression,
  • January 1964 to April 1966, first phase of the Vietnam War with growing loss of US lives,
  • March 1993 to February 1996, Bill Clinton is President and US economy struggles to gain momentum.

Importantly, transit Saturn will move out of the seventh house, which promises relief for US foreign policy, international agreements and the leisure industry.

A change of signs by a slow moving planet is usually attended by some events that signify the associated change in national conditions.

  •  On January 27, 2017, transit 8th lord Saturn entered Sagittarius and 6th house of conflict and illness. Establishment-hostile President Trump was sworn in, followed by increasingly hostile media coverage of him and his administration.
  • On January 25, 2020, transit 8th lord Saturn entered Capricorn and 7th house. The Covid pandemic and the impeachment trial of President Trump a few days from that date.

The transit of Saturn in Aquarius and the 8th house, into its own Moolatrikona sign and the 8th house is generally seen as good. When unafflicting or unafflicted it is indicative of easy gains and legitimacy, help from unexpected sources, protection from sudden reversals or relief from difficult situations. We may thus expect some event of that nature to take place in the third week of January. The labour movements in the USA may become stronger than they have been, making demands to raise wages and improve working conditions. Mining for oil and other resources may become more rewarding.

In 2023, Saturn’s stations will not be in the MEP, and will therefore not afflict other houses. However, such placements are seen in 2024, when transit Saturn will spend most of the year around 20°-23° Aquarius, or in the MEP of the 8th house, thereby aspecting and causing prolonged issues for public affairs (10th house), status and relations with neighbouring countries (2nd house) and the management, creativity and young people (5th house).

  1. With Saturn’s entry into Aquarius, it remains weak in infancy for around one month that is up to the middle of February, 2023. This may be seen as a transition phase from the conditions of the past few years and what to expect in the coming year.
  2. During 2023 transit 8th lord Saturn reaches its peak of 13° 01’ Aquarius and the 8th house. It then retrogrades on June 18, 2023.
  3. From March 27 to April 30, 2023, transit 8th lord Saturn in 8th house receives a close aspect from transit stationary FM Ketu in the 4th house. At that time, sudden difficulties may occur with respect to obstacles and endings. At the same time, transit 8th lord Saturn will aspect transit stationary Rahu at 10° Aries and 10th house, suggesting obstacles and endings due to manipulations in the public sphere. These aspects peak in mid April.
  4. From mid May to end July, 2023, transit 8th lord Saturn will station around 12° 30’ Aquarius and 8th house. It aspects sub-period lord 10th lord Mars at 10° Scorpio and 5th house, suggesting tensions for the government involving the management of the labour force. Union strikes are possible at this time.
  5. From early October to end November, 2023, transit 8th lord Saturn will be stationary around 6° 30’ degrees Aquarius and 8th house. From there transit 8th lord Saturn aspects natal 6th lord Jupiter at 4° 25′ Scorpio and 5th house, a violence inducing aspect, which could see setbacks for young people or children. In this placement, transit Saturn favours 6° Leo rising Donald Trump but is difficult for 10° Scorpio rising Joe Biden.



Transit Rahu remains in Aries and 10th house and transit Ketu in Libra and 4th house until November 28, 2023, when they pass, respectively, into 30° Pisces and 30° Virgo. The transit in the 9th and 3rd houses respectively, suggest disturbances to the indications of those houses, notably transportation and communication and the courts, but more so when transit Rahu in the 9th house aspect 8th lord Saturn at 27° Scorpio and 5th house as the year ends

Transit Rahu will station twice during the year, at 10° Aries from early March until early June 2023, and at 1° Aries from end August until end November 2023. In neither case do the nodes afflict natal planets or the MEPs of the SAMVA USA chart. However, they do afflict other transit FMs as noted above. Moreover, when the transit 2nd lord Sun passes over the stationary nodes has usually been accompanied by difficulty for the US President. The days in question are April 23 to 25 and October 17 to 19. The latter date is more extreme as transit 2nd lord Sun will be in abject weakness due to extreme infancy and being in its sign of debilitation.

Transit Ketu will station in the same degrees and periods in the sign of Libra and 4th house during the year, with the influences described above.

Sadly for women, 1° Gemini rising Kamala Harris, Vice President, who will be running Ra/Ke period in 2023, will likely have a very difficult time in the fall of 2023. She may not continue on the Democrat ticket heading into 2024.



The USA is at a cross roads. Befitting the Moon major period from April 2022, there are forces that seek to make the country more tolerant and compassionate towards marginal communities but also illegal immigrants. The open border policy of the Biden administration is an expression of this sentiment. Moreover, this is in line with the traditional identity of the USA, as a caring nation. At the same time, there are those who feel that ordinary Americans have for too long been sidelined from the prosperity in the country. MAGA Republicans want to close the border and put Americans first. These opposing positions will likely be reconciled before this major period ends.

The transits suggest temporary difficulties in the summer but more so in the fall, after the Moon-Rahu period begins. The public sector will likely see its share of conflict and confusion in the coming year. While the financial sector is not likely to flourish in 2023, the conditions facing labour are expected to improve, but also to be associated with problems, including how to deal with all the undocumented immigrant workers. Crony capitalism, the nexus of big money and politics, may become a target of a revitalised labour movement.

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

The Faun Musician by Pablo Picasso

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

  • Mercury enters shadow zone: 12 December 2022 at 8°08’ Capricorn
  • Mercury at maximum elongation as evening star (becoming slower than Sun): 21 December
  • Mercury stations retrograde: 29 December at 24°21’ Capricorn
  • Mercury inferior conjunction: 7 January 2023 at 16°57’ Capricorn
  • Mercury stations direct: 18 January at 8°08’ Capricorn
  • Mercury at maximum elongation as morning star (becoming faster than Sun): 30 January
  • Mercury leaves shadow zone: 6 February at 24°21’ Capricorn

Mercury delights in questioning categorization and fixed concepts. It’s the only planet that refuses to be limited to singular categories, as it can be benefic or malefic, nocturnal or diurnal, masculine or feminine depending upon the surrounding influences it mixes with. In popular astrology Mercury is often described as linear and logical, yet the ease with which Mercury can interface with the irrational and nonlinear, such as in the interpretation of dreams and omens, reveals how its affinity for deconstruction and destabilization is an essential element of its capacity to bring about primal reordering. When Mercury shifts into its retrograde phase, the star of Hermes makes its home in the liminal, in threshold experiences of leaving one state to enter another. Mercury retrograde delivers transitions and twists in storyline, teaching pivotal lessons from unexpected circumstances. With Mercury stationing retrograde in the final days of 2022, it’s fitting that Mercury will play a major role in ushering us across the threshold into a new year.

Mercury will station retrograde on 29 December 2022 and embark upon a twenty day journey of backtracking from 24°21’ to 8°08’ Capricorn when it stations direct on 18 January 2023. As Mercury retraces the zodiacal terrain from eight to twenty-five degrees of Capricorn, he will excavate material that we need to deepen our engagement with, returning our perception to issues we need to release, rework, or reintegrate. Yet the retrograde of Mercury is not limited to review and redo, as the star of Hermes will deepen development in areas of focus as well as reseed vital ideas and inspiration to enliven work in the season ahead. After passing through a phase of putrefaction and purification, we will experience renewal on the other side once Mercury has returned to visibility and direct motion in the morning sky. Mercury first crossed 8°08’ Capricorn on 12 December and will not move beyond 24°21’ Capricorn until 6 February, creating almost two months of mercurial focus in this range of your natal chart.

Of course, the reverse direction of Mercury is an illusion stemming from Mercury orbiting in between the Earth and Sun while retrograde. With Mercury’s presence intensified due to being as close to Earth as possible in orbit, the slowness of its backward motion produces a churning quality that can dredge up issues that had been hidden from awareness. With Mercury retrograde in an earth sign, issue carried by our body and bodily senses that we have been mentally neglecting will rise into awareness. Due to Venus forming a conjunction with Mercury on 29 December while Mercury is stationing, followed by Venus forming a conjunction with Pluto on 31 December, there will be a wealth of deep-rooted material held within the body and inner recesses of psyche to uncover and explore. The connection between Venus and Pluto will activate longstanding relational patterns, with the ghosts of past relationships emerging within the present relational circumstances we find ourselves within.

There is an important connection between the alignment of Mercury, Venus, and Pluto at the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 with the previous alignment of Mercury, Venus, and Pluto that took place at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022. While the planetary combination is repeating, the solar phases of Mercury and Venus are opposite. Last year Venus was retrograde while Mercury was freshly visible in its evening star phase, whereas this year Mercury is retrograde while Venus has recently become visible as an evening star. While there may be specific relationships from last year that have mirroring issues emerge again to address, there is most likely a connection taking place between major relational patterns we needed to address at the end of last year that will be emerging again in new forms. We may realize ways in which we have experienced significant growth while also recognizing aspects of ourselves that will be requiring more inner work.

The Mercury retrograde passage in Capricorn that began in 2023 marks the first of three consecutive Mercury retrograde periods in 2023 that will take place wholly in earth signs. Last year we gained a taste of Mercury retrograde in earth signs due to the retrograde periods ending with Mercury stationing direct in each of the the three earth signs after spending most of its retrograde phase in each of the three air signs. Taking note of lessons learned from last year can help in orienting to the meaning of Mercury being retrograde in the areas of your natal chart occupied by the all three of the earth signs in 2023. A fascinating aspect of Mercury retrograde during 2023 is that the first three retrograde periods of the year in earth signs all feature Mercury in either a flowing trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus or being in close proximity to Uranus. The innovative and liberating influence of Uranus upon Mercury retrograde during 2023 will create opportunities for breaking free from past patterns and making the changes that can accelerate creative development.

In addition to paying attention to information found within your body and its connection with your mind and expression, the fact that Mercury will be retrograde in all three earth signs during 2023 will make it important to analyze and review practical structures and routines in your life as well as the infrastructure and organizational systems you utilize in your work. Capricorn is the cardinal earth sign ruled by Saturn that also exalts Mars, and so Mercury retrograde in Capricorn can help initiate the fundamental changes that need to be made within personal structures of all sorts, from exercise and nutritional considerations to the ways in which you manage time and space. Take stock of habits getting in the way of efficiency or that are needlessly wasting time that can be purged or reformulated during the retrograde motion of Mercury. Discipline is pleasing to Capricorn, and so it will be an opportune time for getting daily plans and routines adjusted and set in place that you can commit to following through within the year ahead.

Mercury retrograde in the nocturnal, cold, dry, and earthy sign of Capricorn has a strong skillset for sorting through and separating factors at play to diagnose the reforms needing to be made. The melancholic quality of Capricorn may influence Mercury to take on a downcast quality at times, brooding over anxieties and worries, but the imaginative nature of Capricorn combined with Mercury forming three sextile aspects with Neptune (on 24 December before stationing, 1 January while retrograde, and 6 February while direct) can also create opportunities for imaginative exploration that can help in re-dreaming your vision for what to produce in the new year. The cold and dry quality of Capricorn will also be tempered by Venus forming a conjunction with Mercury at the beginning of its retrograde passage, signaling that Mercury’s descent into the underworld while retrograde can facilitate a pivotal renewal of our creative potency and agency.

Mercury will not only be retrograde in the earthy domicile of Saturn, it will also be ruled by Saturn occupying its airy domicile of Aquarius. The powerful influence of Saturn combined with Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will emphasize our relationship with collective influences such as societal conditioning from systemic structures. Societies are formed by laws, regulations, norms and taboos, yet we can forget at times how our habitual conformity with certain societal norms can keep us stuck in limiting patterns we wish to break free from. Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will destabilize our perception of societal norms and rules, heightening awareness of ways we have been restricting our authentic expression, As we deepen into a process of revelation, the flowing trine aspect that Mercury retrograde will eventually form with Uranus in Taurus on 8 January will unveil a more vibrant presence and creative expression to take on through our work. The mature and responsible nature of Capricorn can facilitate Mercury retrograde guiding us through a process of taking greater accountability for the work we desire to manifest and embody through our contribution to our wider community.

Pan (1899) by Mikhail Vrubel

We drive and are driven. / But time’s stride– / think of it lost / in the ever-remaining.

All that’s hurrying / will quickly be past; / only what lingers / grants us credence.

Boys, don’t fling your courage / into the thrill of speed / or attempts at flight.

All that is is at rest– / darkness and morning light, / flower and book.

Rainer Maria Rilke, from Sonnets to Orpheus, #22

Like the ancient Saturnalia in which societal conventions are overturned, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will invert norms in ways that bring awareness to social conformity and taboos. A subconscious portal into exploring our constructs of time and space will open so we may renew our relationship with phenomenal reality. In Capricorn, the star of Hermes takes on the likeness of his goat-horned and hoofed progeny Pan who can shepherd us through a journey into our vast inner multiplicity that mirrors the multiplicity of stars above. As Mercury descends from visibility as an evening star at sunset at the end of 2022, the new year will begin with Mercury shepherding us through its invisible phase in which it serves as psychopomp to our own underworld journey.

The association of Pan with the scapegoat is relevant, as unrecognized inner material emerging into awareness can be projected onto an Other of one sort or another. Intersecting with societal oppression, the collective discharge can often be projected through the lens of collective constructs around ideas of race, gender, or other forms of identity, taking on the ugliness of racism or sexism. When facing inner conflicts around taboos or aspects of ourselves we have been denying, we can utilize Mercury retrograde in Capricorn for coming into greater acceptance of our diverse inner nature and multiplicity of identities rather than projecting what we don’t want to look at about ourselves. In addition, feelings of scarcity or not having enough can become heightened due to the combination of collective economic uncertainty and the emphasis on Capricorn, so there will be a need to take personal accountability and transfigure anxieties into creative production generated from inner strength rather than out of fear or control.

There will be a likelihood of harsh words and wounding projections due to the powerful interplay between Mercury retrograde in Capricorn with Mars retrograde in Gemini in the beginning of 2023. There is a mutual generosity of Mercury being in the exaltation of Mars while Mars is in the domicile of Mercury. Though you may think of Capricorn and Gemini as being averse to one another due to them sharing nothing in common (nocturnal-cold-dry versus diurnal-hot-moist), their aversion is mitigated due to Capricorn and Gemini being signs of equal ascension that share the same speed as well as being contra-antiscia to one another. Planets in exact contra-antiscia form a midpoint at zero degrees of Aries, bringing the diversity of their differences together into a potent marriage of manifestation in the world.

Mercury will become exactly contra antiscia with Mars on 3 January when Mercury is at 21°21’ Capricorn and Mars is at 8°39’ Gemini. Moreover, since Jupiter is close to zero degrees of Aries, Mars and Mercury will form an exact midpoint with Jupiter on 1 January 2023. As a result, the first few days of 2023 possess a potent planetary picture of Mercury-Jupiter- Mars. The effects of this combination will be multivalent, ranging from extremes of destruction in current events to incredible creative production in our own personal sphere. Due to both Mercury and Mars being in retrograde phases, it will be an especially fruitful time for gathering resources and doing renovation that builds a stronger foundation for our visible work to emerge later in the year.

The powerful interplay between Mercury-Jupiter-Mars will occur at the same time that Mercury will be entering combustion to burn off excess under the beams of the Sun. The image of Temperance from tarot can be helpful during this time, as we will need to undergo a process of purging that acknowledges excess in order to bring about a restoration of balance. With Jupiter at the midpoint of the contra-antiscia dynamic between Mercury retrograde and Mars retrograde, we can experience a powerful initiation into a new stage of growth and development. Yet to realize the potential available we will need to take note of our areas of excess so we can become focused more clearly upon what needs to be purged and consumed by the flames of the Sun as Mercury approaches its solar conjunction on 7 January.

Orpheus, early 16th Century

O come and go. You, still almost a child, / with your spell transform for an instant / the dance figure make it one of those pure / constellations in which we fleetingly

transcend dull ordering Nature. For she was roused / to full hearing only when Orpheus sang. / You were still swayed by those ancient chords / and a bit annoyed if a tree took stock / before it followed where your hearing led. / You still knew the place where the lyre / rose resounding–; the undreamt-of center.

For it you practiced those beautiful steps / and hoped one day to turn toward / total happiness your friend’s face and stride.

Rainer Maria Rilke, from Sonnets to Orpheus #28

Mercury will become reanimated by its conjunction with the Sun on 7 January 2023 at 16°57’ Capricorn, a day after the Cancer Full Moon that will take place on 6 January. As a result, the light of the silvery Moon in her watery domicile of Cancer will fully illuminate the reseeding of Mercury in solar light. The regeneration of Mercury occurs as it aligns in between the Earth and Sun by zodiacal degree, as close to us in orbit as possible for Mercury within its cycle. Known as the inferior conjunction of Mercury, it’s a moment of clarifying rebirth that can enhance realization and seed new ideas for the Mercury cycle ahead in which it will transition into becoming a visible morning star. While Mercury is within one degree of conjunction with the Sun, even more so within sixteen arc minutes of its solar conjunction, there can be empowerment for tasks associated with Mercury since it is enthroned upon the solar chariot. Older astrological texts named this moment of Mercury’s rebirth cazimi, or being in the heart of the Sun. It’s the cyclical moment when Mercury enters what Demetra George has named the “sanctum sanctorum,” or “the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations” found within “the protected space at the heart of the Sun.”

Although the inferior conjunction of Mercury is typically felt in hidden, interior spaces, the regenerative conjunction between Mercury with the Sun on 7 January will pack a louder punch than normal due to it being illuminated by the Full Moon in Cancer while also forming a flowing trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus that will take place on 8 January. The more we can let go of excess and outdated patterns in the lead up to Mercury’s inferior conjunction, the better we will be able to receive the emancipatory messages of Uranus in Taurus. This can be a powerful time for research and writing, especially when needing to brainstorm and generate new ideas or ways to reorganize and reconceptualize ideas already under development. It can also be a potent time for creating sacred space to nurture our imaginal, tender connections with the interconnectedness of all.

Mercury’s inferior conjunction will be just over one degree away from the fixed star Vega, a fixed star currently projected onto the ecliptic at 15°37’ Capricorn. Mercury will be within a degree of Vega’s ecliptic degree when forming its flowing trine with Uranus on 8 January. Vega is one of the brightest stars in the entire sky and has ancient significance in skylore. As the brightest star in the Lyra constellation it possesses a direct connection to the birth story of Hermes told in the Homeric hymn, an amazing synchronicity as the star of Hermes becomes reborn at this time. After Hermes was born in a cave, his immense curiosity soon led him to journey outside where he encountered the cattle of Apollo, stealing them and marching them backwards to conceal his theft in a manner mirroring the retrograde motion of the planet names after him. But stealing cattle was not all that Hermes was up to on his first journey into the world, as he also encountered a tortoise whose shell he transformed into a lyre. Once Hermes was confronted by Apollo for stealing his cattle, he sang a song with the lyre and gifted it to Apollo, enchanting the Sun god in the process.

Enchantment is central to Vega. Ptolemy linked Venus and Mercury to Vega, a further sync with the conjunction of Venus and Mercury in Capricorn initiating us into the stationing of Mercury retrograde. Bernadette Brady described Vega as bringing “creative, mysterious skill which can be used for artistic, spiritual expression or in a negative reading as a tool of deception,” with a presence that gives “charisma and the suggestion that one has been touched by the other world.” Vega is one of the fifteen Behenian stars long associated with astrological magic, possessing magical properties that amplify creativity as well as bringing protection against demons and nightmares. It’s deceptive, creative, and protective capacities are an exact match for the hidden powers of Mercury that become alive when it passes through its regenerative conjunction with the Sun, especially when also forming a flowing trine aspect with Uranus.

The otherworldliness of Vega can also be found in its mythic associations with Orpheus who played the lyre so beautifully that the music was said to enchant all of life, everything from animals to stones. Orpheus was even able to enchant the guardians of the underworld, permitting him to journey into the underworld in order to retrieve his beloved Eurydice. In addition to the ability of Orpheus to travel to the underworld and back again mirroring the psychopomp capacities of Hermes as well as the symbolic underworld journey that Mercury retrograde guides us through, there is additional chthonic associations with Vega through the image of the vulture. Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy listed the vulture as a magical image for Vega, and Vega has also been viewed culturally as the brightest star in a constellation featuring the form of a vulture rather than a stringed instrument. Vultures play a vital role in the life cycle through feeding upon the dead, and in another ancient myth it was the form of a kite (a bird of prey that also feeds on carrion) that the goddess Isis took when resurrecting her beloved Osiris from death.

Altogether, Mercury forming a conjunction with Vega as it passes through its conjunction with the Sun and trine with Uranus signifies the immense creativity that can become regenerated and activated during this time. Listen for the song to sing or play your creation into being in the world.

Pan, 1st Century BCE

Does it really exist, Time the Destroyer? / When, on the peaceful mountain, does it crush the fortress? / And this heart, always the gods’ possession, / when does the Demiurge pillage it?

Are we really so anxiously brittle / as Fate would have us believe? / Is childhood, so deep, so rich with promise, / in the roots– later on– stilled?

Ah, the spectrre of transience, / through the guilelessly receptive / it passes like wisps of smoke.

And we, with our driving, our striving, — / the abiding Strengths assume / that the gods have some need for us.

Rainer Maria Rilke, from Sonnets to Orpheus, #27

After Mercury becomes regenerated by the Sun, the middle of January will be dominated by the intensification of Mars stationing direct on 12 January at nine degrees of Gemini. With Mars barely moving in the airy domicile of Mercury, it will gather and focalize energy to solidify new movement. If you have been unable to gain traction on all of the new creative directions you have been inspired to pursue since Mars stationed retrograde on 30 October 2022, the week surrounding the stationing of Mars can be a potent time for committing to making it happen. Amazingly, around the same time that Mars stations direct, Mercury will also become intensified through its heliacal rising, becoming visible again as a morning star heralding sunrise. The divine presence of Hermes will be strongly alive and mediated by Chiron – for Chiron in Aries will form an exact square aspect with Mercury on 11 January, while Mars stations in range of a received sextile with Chiron. There may be an old wound to work through in mid-January that will ultimately prove to be an essential aspect of your work to come.

Moreover, Mercury will station direct less than a week after Mars on 18 January at 8°08’ Capricorn in an exact quincunx aspect to the degree and minute where Mars stationed direct. It will be extremely important to practice mindfulness during this time, paying close attention to any signs or omens in dreaming or waking life that reveal important lessons or insight into the choices you need to make. It will also be important to pay attention to triggers of conflict and restrain from creating additional conflict needlessly through words or behavior. At the same time, this can be a profoundly rich time for creativity and embarking upon new directions. Those involved in research or writing projects can discover deep wells of focus to apply to their work.

Less than a week after Mercury stations direct on 18 January, Uranus in Taurus will station direct on 22 January. Combined with the New Moon in Aquarius on 21 January that demarcates the Chinese New Year of the Yin Water Rabbit, the week following the stationing of Mercury will bring an extraordinary turning of the tide and a massive shift into generative forward motion. After Uranus stations direct on 22 January, all of the planets will be moving direct until the end of April when Mercury will station retrograde once again in Taurus. In the week following the Aquarius New Moon, Mercury in Capricorn will complete its final square aspect with Chiron in Aries on 27 January with Mars three degrees away from an exact sextile with Chiron. Pay attention to how the tests and trials of the past month have led to newfound strength and courage to face adversity and push forward with your goals and growth.

Matching the forward momentum of this time, Mercury will reach maximum elongation as a morning star on 30 January. The maximum elongation of Mercury demarcates another threshold to cross, as it initiates us into the phase of Mercury speeding up as well as accelerating our capacity for integrating the many inner changes that took shape during the retrograde. Gary Caton described this solar phase of Mercury as being similar to the rubedo phase within alchemy in his book Hermetica Tryptycha. As we work to integrate the insights and changes in perspective realized during Mercury’s retrograde journey, Caton noted that we should expect to endure a phase of chaotic volatility as we make a commitment to embody a new presence of being. With Mars in Gemini also beginning to generate more forward momentum, this will be a key period to take direct action on whatever you have been developing.

Interestingly, Mercury will complete its final sextile with Neptune in Pisces on February 6, the same day that it moves beyond the place where it originally stationed retrograde. A few days later Mercury will finally complete an exact conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn on 10 February before leaving Capricorn to enter Aquarius on 11 February. These final major aspects for Mercury in Capricorn will take place around the same time as an extremely potent Full Moon in Leo on 5 February that will be forming a square aspect with Uranus while applying toward an opposition with Saturn in Aquarius. The Leo Full Moon will be the final major activation of the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that has dominated astrology during 2021 and 2022.

As a result, two of the longstanding transits that will be ending in 2023 – the transit of Pluto through Capricorn and the square between Saturn and Uranus – will both be stirred up as Mercury finally finishes its passage through Capricorn. Of course, the new year will not bring the final end of Pluto in Capricorn, as Pluto will only be in Aquarius from 23 March until 11 June, and we will continue experiencing Pluto moving back and forth between Capricorn and Aquarius until entering Aquarius for good on 19 November 2024. Though you have already experienced immense regeneration in the Capricorn section of your natal chart since 2008 in relation to Pluto’s transit, the months ahead will bring opportunities for receiving deeper lessons of insight into the ways that Pluto in Capricorn has reshaped your life and perception. May Mercury help us receive and integrate the lessons and meaning we need to learn.


Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.

Caton, Gary. (2017). Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Rubedo Press.

George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: a Manual of Traditional Techniques. Rubedo Press.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2004). Sonnets to Orpheus. Translated by Edward Snow. North Point Press.

Aster-Obit: Pele

December 29, 2022 saw the passing of a man generally acknowledged as the greatest soccer player of all time, Pele.  The mononymous sports superstar is the only player ever to compete in three winning FIFA World Cup finals, holds the Guinness World record for most lifetime goals, and was designated Player of the Century by international soccer’s governing body, FIFA.  Raised in poverty in the Sao Paulo state of Brazil, too destitute to afford a real ball, Pele learned his sport by playing with a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied off, or a grapefruit.  He joined his first professional team at age 15 and was picked up by the Brazil national team a year later.


Pele fielded offers to play all over the world, but remained loyal to his home country until retirement from Brazilian club football in 1975, when he signed with an American team, the New York Cosmos, for three seasons before full retirement at age 37.  In later life Pele was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.  Over the decades he has been involved in many charitable organizations and in 2018, established the Pelé Foundation, which endeavors to empower impoverished and disenfranchised children from around the globe.  Pele died of multiple organ failure, a complication of colon cancer.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, there is some mystery about Pele’s birth and nickname.  Although an official birth certificate is extant, listing 21 October 1940 at 3 AM BZT in Tres Coracoes, Brazil as his birthdate (Rodden Rating AA), in his own autobiography of 2006, Pele lists the date as October 23.  I have used the official birth record information to cast the chart.  Pele also claims not to remember how he became associated with the nickname by which he became world famous, which has no meaning in Portuguese (the language of Brazil), but derives from a Hebrew term meaning “miracle”, surely an apt descriptor, however he came by it.

Pele was at one point the most famous athlete in the world, perhaps facilitated by asteroid Edisona (named for Thomas Edison, with Pele’s given first name as Edson, also named after the inventor) exactly opposed an exact conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, which suggests an expansive, larger-than-life (Jupiter) persona (Edson) and career (Saturn); Mars inconjunct to Jupiter/Saturn channeled this energy into the sports world

Not surprisingly, Pele has an asteroid named for him by that moniker, but I have also used asteroid Edisona, named for inventor Thomas Edison, for whom Pele’s parents originally named him “Edson,” dropping the “i”.   As his career blossomed and his reputation spread, Pele also became known as “Rei”, Portuguese for “king”, and I have added asteroids King and Rey (the Spanish version) to the interpretation.

Natal Mars at 10 Libra doesn’t make the sort of statement one might expect of an international sports star, nor does asteroid Pele at 29 Scorpio, though the two are widely semisquare each other.  Mars does oppose asteroid Brasilia at 7 Aries, named for the capital of the country Pele represented on the soccer field for 19 years.  There is also a close inconjunct to an exact pairing of Jupiter with Saturn at 12 Taurus, which in itself implies a larger-than-life (Jupiter) career (Saturn) as an athlete (Mars).  Mars is semisextile the 9 Virgo Ascendant, a weak aspect, while Pele is semisextile the 27 Libra Sun and opposes Uranus at 25 Taurus, perhaps the source of his phenomenal energy and inventiveness of play, with Pele pioneering many of the sport’s signature moves.

Pele often seemed to defy gravity, as in this astounding kick from his first FIFA World Cup in 1958; asteroid Pele (named for him) opposed Uranus depicts his phenomenal energy and the innovative style of play, with many soccer moves pioneered by him

It is his given name of Edson, in the form of asteroid Edisona, which makes the greater impact; at 12 Scorpio this exactly opposes the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, and is just within orb of natal Mercury at 22 Scorpio, one of the four most common placements for one’s own PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid), which typically interact with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury (as ruling the naming function).

Asteroid King, which became another referent for Pele among his countrymen, appears at 13 Virgo conjoined the 9 Virgo Ascendant (one’s public image) and Venus at 16 Virgo, suggesting the universal admiration and esteem in which he was held, beloved of many.  Asteroid Rey at 16 Pisces closely squares the 15 Gemini Midheaven, denoting status, reputation and place in the world.

The FIFA World Cup is a quadrennial event, occurring every four years; Brazil is the only nation to have won three of these competitions, in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and Pele the only player to have performed in all three.  At the final of the Sixth World Cup on 29 June 1958, the first in which Pele participated, the Sun at 7 Cancer opposed asteroid Pele at 15 Capricorn, spotlighting the talented newcomer.  A T-Square is formed with Mars, ruling sports and competitions, at 15 Ares on the fulcrum; a second T-Square involves Mars, Pele and Jupiter at 21 Libra, but this is too wide to be considered a Grand Cross with the Sun.  It does, however, boost Pele’s reputation (Jupiter) as an athlete (Mars).

pele 1962
Pele with his second World Cup trophy, in 1962; all three wins show asteroids Pele, Edisona and Brasilia (for Brazil’s capital, the country he represented) in significant aspect for the final, winning match; the 1962 games featured a T-Square of the Sun and Nike (Greek goddess of victory) with Brasilia on the fulcrum, and Edisona opposed Victoria (Roman goddess of victory), with Pele squared fame-accruing Jupiter

Brazil’s victory is seen in asteroid Brasilia at 21 Sagittarius, exactly conjoined Saturn and opposed asteroid Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, at 23 Gemini.  Pele’s personal triumph is reinforced by asteroid Nike at 13 Pisces, named for Victoria’s Greek counterpart.  Nike is at station, and sextile to both Pele at 15 Capricorn, and asteroid Edisona at 9 Taurus, granting Pele his winning vibe.

At the subsequent World Cup, the Seventh, in 1962, Pele and Brazil again dominated.  The final match occurred June 17th, and again shows Brazil in a winning position, with asteroid Brasilia at 29 Virgo in a T-Square with the 25 Gemini Sun and asteroid Nike at 22 Sagittarius.  Pele’s role is seen in asteroid Edisona at 8 Capricorn, opposed Victoria at 11 Cancer, while asteroid Pele at 6 Gemini squares Jupiter at 12 Pisces, further heightening the reputation of the soccer star, fast on his way to becoming a global legend.

pele 1970
Pele is carried off the field by his teammates after his third World Cup victory in 1970; Edisona is squared Jupiter, with Pele on their midpoint, semisquare to each, while Brasilia squares Victoria

Brazil and Pele’s third World Cup win came in 1970, at the Ninth of the series, with the final match played on June 21st.  Pele’s fame is now assured, with asteroid Edisona at 29 Cancer in square to Jupiter at 26 Libra, and asteroid Pele at 14 Virgo on their midpoint, semisquare to each.  Asteroid Brasilia at 4 Gemini squares Victoria out-of-Sign at 28 Leo, granting Brazil the laurel wreath in that contest.

When Pele passed away on 29 December 2022, transit asteroid Edisona was stationary in the sky at 6 Virgo, having turned retrograde just two days prior, signaling a literal “turning point” for the soccer phenom.  Edisona further conjoins Pele’s natal Ascendant at 9 Virgo, exactly squared by transit Mars at 9 Gemini.

Transit asteroid Pele at 8 Scorpio was exactly squared asteroid Atropos at 8 Aquarius, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death.  Pele also rests on the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to both Mars at 9 Gemini and asteroid King at 7 Aries, for the sports (Mars) legend nominated “the King” by his countrymen.  As if to confirm this, transit King exactly cojoins Pele’s natal asteroid Brasilia, and both are exactly squared by the transit Sun at 7 Capricorn; transit asteroid Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, makes this a T-Square from 3 Libra.

pele trophies
Pele in later life, clutching his world-record-setting three FIFA World Cup trophies; when he passed, asteroid Edisona was stationary, conjunct his natal Ascendant, indicating a literal “turning point” for the star athlete, while asteroid Pele was exactly squared asteroid Atropos, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death

A precise pairing of Saturn, ancient lord of death, and asteroid Lachesis, named for Atropos’ sister Fate who determines the span of life, at 22 Aquarius, exactly squares transit asteroid Requiem at 22 Scorpio, named for the funeral mass for the dead, and is exactly trine Pele’s natal Moon at 22 Gemini and exactly squared natal Mercury at 22 Scorpio (which is exactly conjoined by transit Requiem), bringing news (Mercury) of the death (Saturn, Lachesis, Requiem) of Pele’s physical body (Moon).  Transit asteroid Brasilia at 18 Pisces conjoins Pele’s natal Lachesis and Rey at 15 and 16 Pisces, signaling the death (Lachesis) of the man whom Brazilians (Brasilia) recognized as their “king” (Rey).

And so another global legend passes into the firmament, where a place has already been prepared for him by astronomers.  RIP, Pele!

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