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2023 Overview Part 2: Eclipses & Retrogrades

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

If there were no beginnings and

if there were no endings,

we would have the absence

of inertia and the presence of stagnation.

Craig D. Lounsbrough

Part One of the 2023 Overview focuses on the significant movements of the outer planets and the big shifts occurring as Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter enter a new sign. The changes in focus that each of these planets is undergoing gives shape to the overall design for the year.

Part 2 of the 2023 Overview focuses on planetary events that cue us that a seismic shift may occur (Eclipses) and time periods that will be invaluable for us to take a step back to reflect, review, regroup and make adjustments before we move forward with decisions and plans once again (Retrogrades of personal planets).

2023 Eclipses and the Nodal Axis

Dramatic Shifts and Future Potentials

Annular Total SOLAR Eclipse, April 20, 2023 at 29° Aries 50′

Penumbral LUNAR Eclipse May 5, 2023 at 14° Scorpio 58′

Annular SOLAR Eclipse October 14, 2023 at 21° Libra 08′

Partial LUNAR Eclipse October 28, 2023 at 5° Taurus 09′

There are two pairs of eclipses each year. Eclipses mark moments when our automatic way of thinking and operating is disrupted for a brief period of time and something new can enter our lives and consciousness. They mark subtle or dramatic shifts for us individually and collectively and can take several months for their energetic to unfold into our lives.

Each eclipse happens when the Full or New Moon is conjunct the Nodal Axis. The invitation of a given eclipse is illuminated by the signs that the Moon’s Nodes occupy. Our collective past that needs to be reviewed and released (South Node) so we can move towards our collective growth point (North Node) oppose each other. An eclipse compels us to release some past way of operating (South Node) to embrace a new potential now available (the North Node).

The signs of the North and South nodes are naturally opposite each other. Every18 months, the nodal axis shifts signs and accentuates a new polarity that we are to collectively work and evolve with. This year, the Nodal axis shifts from Taurus/Scorpio to Aries/Libra, thus shifting what we are to release and what we are to move towards as a collective.

There will be a newsletter on the specific flavor of each eclipse, but the placement of the nodal axis provides the core theme for the coming eclipses, and so we will focus on this phenomenon in this overview of the 2023 eclipses.

Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter

allows you to remember who you are.

Simplicity doesn’t change who you are,

it brings you back to who you are.

Eclipses: January 2022 to July 2023

Nodal Axis in Taurus/Scorpio

Simplify and Find Ease

Since January 2022 the Scorpio South Node compelled us to release intensity and drama. We have outgrown certain desires and needs that only serve to complicate and bring added drama to our life.

Embracing the Taurus North Node we are encouraged to simplify our lives so can become more grounded and centered. We are to root out complexity and emotional drama as we strengthen our value for achieving harmony and contentment. Identifying where our true wealth and security lie, we look to maximize our resources, both inner and outer, and find ways to be more self-sufficient. By embracing the desire to simplify, there is new and solid ground on which to build our future.

We may have new insight as to what resources are essential and what we own that weighs us down. We can look into our closets, examine our financial needs, and the cost of certain habits to discover what energizes us and what makes our life overly complex. We are to streamline, declutter and simplify what we surround ourselves with, what we wish to own and re-evaluate where we want to invest our time, heart and money.

There are two questions a [person] must ask ...

The first is 'Where am I going?'

and the second is 'Who will go with me?' If you ever get these questions

in the wrong order you are in trouble. Sam Keen

Eclipses: July 18, 2023 – January 11, 2025

Nodal Axis in Aries/Libra

Freedom from Patterns that Give our Power Away

Beginning in July and for the following 18 months we will ravel patterns of codependency and areas where we compromise ourselves in favor of keeping the peace. We are to validate, not abandon ourselves. Validation and acceptance from others becomes less important than standing up for ourselves.

The South Node in Libra points to behaviors or activities that no longer support our growth and well being. With the South Node in Libra, the sign of relationships, we will look to release dynamics in relationships that are not healthy or empowering. Issues related to codependency, power dynamics, or ways we overly compromise may be accentuated as a way to for us to face ways of relating to others that we have outgrown and are ready to change out.

The North Node in Aries points to our collective future potential. At the collective level, the hero, the activist, and the pionerring spirit are fueled. We are to be fearless authentic in asserting our wishes and needs. Relationships plunge into a new evolutionary cycle as we work to balance our desire for autonomy with the necessity of interdependence.

Moving towards the future (Aries North Node) we are to courageously trust our gut instincts and validate our right to exist. We are invigorated to pursue a course where we have the freedom to be ourselves as never before, and to remove constraints or expectations that we have allowed to hold us back. We are to courageously assert ourselves, seek adventure, welcome excitement and be physically active. There is greater confidence to take risks and to realize a desire that we have been nurturing for some time.

Aries is the Warrior and Libra the Peacekeeper. The inherent polarity between these signs highlights issues relating to war and peace, aggression and diplomacy, and the pursuit of self interest versus collaboratory effort. Anywhere where peoples have bottled themselves up in the name of maintaining order and harmony, they will no longer tolerate an imbalance of power or the disempowering effects caused within a relationship that oppresses and does not respect them.

At the level of the collective, there will be an increasing tendency to favor nationalist interests. Countries that have felt subservient to other countries, or have felt stymied by agreements or treaties, that lock into a codependent relationship, will decide that the costs are noy worth the gains of the arrangement. Citizens who have felt oppressed or marginalized will stand up the right to exist, to matter and to be treated with respect. Assertions of independence and the desire for self-rule can easily fuel aggression. Wars, and fighting in general, can erupt as peoples and countries assert their rights and look to have their interests supported. Conflict is exacerbated with increased anger, protests and rioting.

There may be less inclination to find a diplomatic solution as this method has not historically produced a satisfactory result. However, we are to forge new ways of engaging in diplomacy and skirt the impulse to annihilate the relationship and what we see as the opposition. We are called to mature in how we engage diplomacy to ensure that the sovereignty and needs of all peoples are upheld.

The polarizing conflict and anger that has been escalating in peoples worldwide may reach a crisis point that breaks the spell of us versus them, polarizing, populistic, volatile herd mentality that has been gripping large segments of society. It can be the catalyst for people to break out a groupthink and come back to themselves and their own humanity.

To resolve the Libra/Aries polarity, we don’t abandon our ourselves or our values for the sake of peace and cooperation. We do both. Balance can be found by engaging in authentic dialogue as a means to find common ground that can forge greater equity and balance in our relationships. It is less about going our own way but finding a way to be fully ourselves so that relationships can enter new territory and win/win solutions are found.

It is not about keeping the peace just so we can all get along. We will feel prodded to dig deeper to find what creates peace between us and others. We need to be at peace within ourselves, trust ourselves, be willing to be forthright and seek resolution in our relationships from a place of self-empowerment. Wanting to annihilate the opposition, punish or get the upper hand is reactionary and will not lead to a satisfying outcome. Sometimes conflict is a necessary means to restore balance and establish true and lasting peace in our relationships. If we mistake the means for the end, we will only become more entrenched in the systemic patterns of domination and oppression.

How the Eclipses will Impact us Individually. Identifying where the Libra/Aries axis falls in our birthchart will illuminate where we are seeking added balance between the polarity of independence versus interdependence. The next round of eclipses will reveal the areas of life were we may be overly accommodating, overwilling to compromise and where we quiet ourselves in order to the keep the peace. We can see where we are called to greater authenticity with a willingness to assert ourselves with the aim of finding a healthy balance between validating our personal needs and the needs of others.

There is a rhythm in things.

A heartbeat.

Waves in the ocean.

A stretch of trees

As they drink in the sky.

And the song

of raindrops on your window

as you listen

for your place in it all.

Gabriel Andreas

Mercury Retrogrades

A Time to Ebb so we can Flow Easily

December 29, 2022 to January 18, 2023: 24° – 8° Capricorn

April 21 - May 15, 2023:15° – 5° Taurus

August 23 - September 15, 2023: 21° – 8° Virgo

December 13, 2023 – January 2, 2023: 8° Capricorn to 22° Sagittarius

Mercury Retrogrades are built into the rhthym and cycles of a year. Like clockwork, every three months Mercury turns Retrograde cuing us to take a step back to reflect, regroup, re-evaluate and catch up with ourselves. In this, we discover things that have fallen through the cracks or information that was overlooked. We tend to what has been neglected or set to the side, like self care, a stack of mail, friendships, or that closet we keep meaning to clear out.

There are Ebbs and Flows within the cyclical nature of life. In the Flow of life, we make decisions, move forward, and implement plans. Mercury Retrogrades signal the time to Ebb, and become like a tide that retreats back into the sea. In these periods, we take a step back and reflect on how things are going, discover what is missing, and make needed adjustments. This is part of the balance of life and of our nature to honor the ebbs so that we can flow in a good way.

Problems in a Mercury Retrograde. Mercury Retrogrades gets a bad rep because we are steeped in a cultural mindset that believes we should continuously flow and flow, make progess and go, go, go. We feel compelled to keep busy and be productive. By insisting on flowing when we should be going inward, this is when difficulties and misshaps occur. The retrograde periods stirs up mischief if we don’t heed the cues to slow down, take time to re-evaluate how things are going and regroup. In a time of Ebb, when we experience unforeseen complications with communications, the functioning of technology, or within a decision being made, we are simply being reminded to take a step back, reflect on what is missing and catch up with ourselves. If we do this, Mercury Retrogrades can bring wonderful realizations, fresh perspective and a chance to feel better aligned with ourselves and what we are about. If we need to make a decision in a Mercury Retrogrades, decisions can go well if we make them from an informed, calm place and abstain from making decisions impulsively or acting from a false sense of urgency.

Practical Application of an Idea, a Dream

2023 Mercury Retrograde Themes

In 2021 and 2022, Mercury Retrogrades were in Air signs, having us finetune the vision of our future, look at ways we can utilize technology to support our plans, and contemplate how to better interact and partner with others to exchange ideas, information and expertise. The focus of the retrograde periods was on further shaping an idea or a shared idea.

2023 Mercury Retrogrades are in Earth signs. The retrograde periods will lend themselves to a sobering look at how things are actually working or not working. We are to make adjustments that incorporate practical considerations. In evaluating our approach, we will make decisions that are sound and lead towards greater functionality. The retrogrades will bring us out of the clouds and back to earth so that our feet are squarely planted on the ground. From the 2023 retrogrades, we will become more realistic and sensible in how we tend to our lives and dreams.

April 21 - May 15, 2023: Mercury Retrograde at 15 – 5 Taurus

Mercury turns Retrograde just weeks after Saturn and Pluto change signs and on the heels of the April 19 Solar Eclipse. Big shifts are at play. New potentials are dawning. Rather than running towards meeting these changes and possibilities emerging, we are cued to slow down, take time to contemplate what it is opening for us, talk to others, do some research and take the time to give more definition to what is stirring in us. We will have a pragmatic eye on our finances, and want to make decisions that curb overextending ourselves us and allow greater ease and reduced stress. We want to ensure that we are on solid ground before we take the next clear and defined steps to realize our dreams.

August 23 - September 15, 2023: Mercury Retrograde at 21° – 8° Virgo

What is notable about this Retrograde is that it will overlap the Venus Retrograde, and occur while several outer planets are also retrograde. With two personal planets retrograde (Mercury and Venus) we are especially encouraged to take a time out and give ourselves a personal retreat. Even when we are with others, we will be observing ourselves, others and the dynamics at play. In Virgo, our eye will be on the details, the specifics. It is a great time to organize a closet or look over the line items of a budget, We will be analyzing the particulars as part of a sorting process, to tweak what stays and what needs to be let go. Our mind will not be less able to see the big picture, the forest for the trees. Instead, our mind will be laser focused on not just one particular tree, but on what is happening in the bark or at the root. Focused attention will magnify issues that are easily overlooked or not seen in the regular course of our life.

December 13, 2023 – January 2, 2023: Mercury Retrograde at 8° Capricorn to 22° Sagittarius

The final Mercury Retrograde of 2023 begins in an earth sign and ends in a fire sign, as we round the corner to 2024. In Capricorn, the retrograde will have us looking at our resonsibilities and accountability, just as the Mercury Retrograde did at the beginning of 2023 when it was in Capricorn. We will have a second round of identifying where we need to step up our game as well as where we are looking to release some responsibility we are holding. Capricorn fuels ambitions and we get clear on the authority we need to assume if we are to be successful - whether in our family life, community, professional life, or inner life. As the Retrograde progresses and dips into Sagittarius, we will then assess how our beliefs can be better integrated into our activities. The result of this retrograde will have us be more committed, more fully engaged to the areas of life where we have chosen to accept responsibility.

You’re not stuck.

You’re just committed

to certain patterns of behavior

because they helped you in the past.

Now those behaviors have become

more harmful than helpful.

The reason why you can’t move forward

is because you keep applying an old formula

to a new level in your life.

Change the formula to get a different result.

Emily Maroutian

Venus Retrograde

July 23 – September 4, 2023 at 28° – 12° Leo

June 19: enters Retrograde Shadow at 12° Leo

July 22: Stations Retrograde at 28° Leo

August 13: Inferior conjunction with Sun at 20° Leo

September 4: Stations Direct at 12° Leo

October 7: leaves Retrograde Shadow at 28° Leo


Venus has a retrograde cycle every18 months. While she is Retrograde, we evaluate our relationships. We explore how we can move towards who and what we love most, while also honoring our needs. We may be inclined to take a step back from a relationship to gain perspective on dynamics and reflect on how our values are expressed or compromised in a relationship. We look at creating a transformational shift within ourselves that will lead to a newfound reality where our relationships become a better expression of our values and self worth.

In addition to relationships, Venus rules finances, business partnerships and creative projects with an eye on how to up level them and the value they bring to our lives. As part of the Retrograde, we may feel frustrated in one or more of the above-named areas. Our focus zeroes in on where energy is blocked and stagnating. Feelings may surface that have us question if we are lovable. If we give ourselves to the lessons of this Retrograde, our heart opens in a new way, self worth is renewed and our relationships are upleveled so that they become more an expression of joy and and less about restraint.

Leo is about joy. It is heart energy. Play, fun, and creative expression are all expressions of Leo. With Venus Retrograde in Leo this summer, we may not feel very playful. We will be more aware of where we have closed off our heart to love and to joy. We, or others around us, may wish to play alone while we ponder how to shift some pattern so that the love flows more freely.

If we start a relationship during the Venus Retrograde, take it slow. Both people need time away from the relationship to contemplate the dynamics. It is also wise to hold off making a large purchase, decide to get married or file for divorce while Venus is Retrograde.

More will be offered on the potentials of each of the eclipses and retrogrades in future newsletters during the time they each occur.

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