As happens at the beginning of every solar year, thankfully, the Sun will ingress Aries this coming March 20, and the Earth,
in concert with the Sun, will achieve the glorious seasonal milestone known as the Spring Equinox. A quick description of this astronomical milestone, from Almanac.com:
“In the Northern Hemisphere, the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox across the globe) occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator going south to north. It’s called the “celestial” equator because it’s an imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator. Imagine standing on the equator; the Sun would pass directly overhead on its way north.
After the spring equinox, the Northern Hemisphere begins to be tilted more toward the Sun, resulting in an increasing number of daylight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets! (In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite: the March equinox marks the start of autumn, as the Southern Hemisphere begins to be tilted away from the Sun.)”
So, whether you’re located where the Sun will be gracing humanity with longer days or longer nights, there’s welcome change in the air; you’re either—literally or figuratively—sowing seeds for a new growing season or beginning to harvest what you’ve already sown.
This ingress will also mark a renewed opportunity for Mars, as the ruler of Aries, to strut his stuff—hopefully in healthy, productive ways, but that might be a stretch for these times of increasing politically-charged violence. We discussed an egregious case of police violence in the last post here; unfortunately, violent incidents targeting women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals or the politicians who are likely to support these groups have become almost normalized in our daily lives.
Also unfortunate is that these dynamics are all too predictable: hateful actions follow hateful, defamatory rhetoric, and today’s haters are adept at hiding behind “free speech” as they attack segments of society on behalf of toxic power players. Those who have been deluded into thinking they’re “warriors” for some cause with their violent threats and actions are clearly seeing the world through a toxic and distorted Mars lens that needs to be challenged for what it is—vicious and hateful, pure and simple.
In fact, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Justice Department from over 11,000 law enforcement agencies across the nation in 2021, 8,673 hate crimes were reported, numbers that broke down as follows: “Crimes against persons: 66.7%; Crimes against property: 30.0%; Crimes against society: 3.3%.”
These numbers and the magnitude of the problem suggest a seriously corrupt Mars principle at work in American society, but that’s only the tip of this toxic “iceberg.” The Southern Poverty Law Center, which also tracks hate crimes and extremism and publishes a “Hate Map” for each year, found that in 2021, 733 documented “hate groups” were active across the nation. Many of these groups characterize themselves as “militias” of one kind or another—another distortion of Mars’ normal association with soldiers and the military and with the whole concept of military heroism.
Based on 2021-22 data and published by the Southern Poverty Law Center
In another horrific example of distorted Mars energy, mass shooters who post conspiracy-laced manifestos online before targeting innocent civilians gathered in the so-called “safe” spaces of churches, grocery stories, schools and public events like holiday parades may also be deluded into thinking they are heroes for some cause, but they are fundamentally the tools of toxic power brokers who somehow benefit from the chaos and pain and suffering they produce. I suspect that Mars’ months-long (in and out of orb) Gemini square to Pisces Neptune has played a role in this.
As for those hundreds of hate groups, chances are good that members of these groups are behind a lot of the domestic terror threats we’ve been hearing about—against school boards and librarians; against Democratic election officials; against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); against the power grids of cities like Baltimore. Can our collective Mars principle remain that seriously out of whack for much longer before we finally say, enough?
So, let’s hope that this year’s Aries ingress delivers the fresh and healthy Martian spirit we so desperately need in our public discourse. The spirit of action in the face of inertia and procrastination and misinformation; the spirit of truly courageous warriorship, capable of confronting those who clearly mean this nation harm; the determined spirit of innovation and competition that will fuel and serve real human progress in all dimensions of American life.
We also need Mars’ robust physicality and muscle to accomplish today’s infrastructure building priorities, designed to equip the nation for serious challenges on the horizon. The world needs that muscle for the sake of crisis rebuilding and relief—my deepest condolences to those mourning in earthquake-ravaged Turkey and Syria this week.
Bottom line, we need our youth to be healthy in mind and body and prepared to channel their natural Aries aggression and competitive spirit into addressing the world’s challenges. As the mother of five sons whose own children (my grandchildren) are becoming young adults, watching so many of today's young adults wasting their energies in hatred and confused delusions is painful and intensely concerning. Yes, these troubled souls are only a small segment of what will undoubtedly be one of our greatest, most impactful generations ever, but they signal failings on the part of our society and that something is deeply amiss, nevertheless.
The index and the chart
So, what can the upcoming Aries ingress chart tell us about all this? For starters, it can help us take the nation’s “temperature” for the coming solar year. If you follow this site, you’ll know that I use the traditional technique of the “cyclic index”  on occasion, to quantify the collective tone of a particular period or moment in time.
In case you’re not familiar with this technique, every cycle has an angular separation number (between the two planets involved) at any given moment that is either positive (in waxing cycles) or negative (in waning cycles), and once we know those numbers, we can calculate the “tone” of an event or time period on balance. History shows clearly that deeply difficult periods in societies tend to correspond with deeply negative cyclical index numbers, and more dynamic, forward-moving periods usually correspond with higher positive numbers. Let’s see what the numbers for the 2023 Aries ingress chart are telling us, in Table 1 below.
Table 1. Cyclic Index, 2023 Aries Ingress
Index total (waxing + waning numbers)
*”Minute” numbers (after the decimal points) are totaled separately and a rounded-up number of degrees is added to overall totals accordingly (ex., 60 minutes = 1 degree, so 30+ minutes adds 1 degree). After all that, algebraic addition is used to achieve an overall index total between the positive and negative numbers.
As we can see from the index total, three deeply waning cycles weigh down that number, indicating a still-negative tone, but one that has improved considerably from last year’s, which was more in the -900 range. The difference this year is, of course, that we have a new Jupiter-Neptune cycle that first perfected in April 2022, which shifted that cycle’s numbers into the positive, waxing column. So, despite some misgivings I’ve expressed about the potential impact of this new cycle in Pisces—for instance, it’s likely role in the ongoing inflationary trend we’ve been living with, in the spread of Avian flu and the high price of eggs, etc.--it has contributed to a somewhat lighter collective tone. People have been emerging from their pandemic cocoons, and while the disease persists and other viral threats are far from over, the will to get back in touch with life in society seems to be strong at the moment.
That said, it will take until 2026—when the Saturn-Neptune cycle finally launches anew—to experience another good-sized bump of relief in these negative numbers. In the meantime, however, the waxing cycles at work can be put to good use. More on these waning cycles to come in future posts.
For now, let’s examine the Aries ingress chart (Chart 1 below), cast for Washington, D.C.--first on its own, and second (Biwheel 1) set against the U.S. Sibly chart. The biwheel will allow us to focus more specifically on the dynamics that are likely to play out out during this pre-election year. Let’s begin.
Chart 1. The Sun enters Aries, 3/20, 2023, Washington, D.C.
The Sun enters Aries in the 7th house of this chart, which feels akin to the tradition of the Sun being in so-called “fall” in Libra. And, with Pisces on the 7th house cusp, a bit of Neptunian inertia could plague the dawn of this new astrological year. Neptune and the Moon are widely conjunct in Pisces in this house, reinforcing this concern. The American people (relevant here, with the chart cast for D.C.) could still be emerging from the Neptunian fog as we kick off this year, but perhaps we need look no further than the new regime in Congress to see how this fog effect is playing out at the moment and is likely to persist into the new solar year.
The Sun is conjoined here by an aggressive Aries Mercury and both Sun and Mercury oppose Libra Ceres Rx, suggesting that bread-and-butter issues will remain a top priority for the coming year. Child hunger is a very real crisis in our times, and not just in war zones and climate-stressed regions; perhaps the wide t-square formed between this Aries-Libra axis and the late Gemini Mars that disposes the Aries Sun will push for greater action in that area.
Indeed, Mars is elevated in this chart, suggesting that high-level priorities in its domain will receive major focus during the coming quarter, if not the entire solar year. I’m hedging on the time frame here because mutable Virgo rises in this chart. In general, that indicates the possibility of an unstable set of dynamics characterizing the year going forward: it’s best to check in with the Cancer and Libra ingresses for more insight as the year unfolds.
Virgo rising—for however long this chart applies—thus gives a prominent role to ruler Mercury, so we can expect that events going forward into this year will move along quickly, and perhaps at times, erratically and frustratingly. Mercury also semi-sextiles the Taurus Venus-No. Node-Juno conjunction and inconjoins the Scorpio So. Node, so the news is likely to be replete with empowered female figures getting on each others’ nerves. Indeed, we’re seeing that in action already in Congress. Who will emerge as the Diva of the moment? I have some thoughts on that matter from watching Biden's State of the Union speech last night, but time will tell.
Interestingly, by the time the Sun enters Aries, Saturn will have also ingressed Pisces (more on this in an upcoming post) and it will form the third leg of a tense Yod between the No. Node-Venus-Juno conjunction's sextile to Saturn and both legs’ inconjunct to Libra Ceres. With Venus involved, this is likely to pertain to the tough squabble we've been told to expect over raising the nation’s debt ceiling before June. More about this when we discuss Biwheel 1 below, but suffice to say here that the GOP has so far refused to openly admit which federal spending they’re looking to cut in return for that debt ceiling hike, but with Saturn in the 6th here, it’s probably safe to say they have their eyes on health care.
Medicare is a perennial target of theirs, of course, but at this point they’re still being cagey. Perhaps they’re hoping to hold something critical over Biden’s head that might force him into a compromising negotiation. Never mind what the moment requires (Sun-opp-Ceres); that’s literally not on the radar here.
Also of interest here is the Mars-Pluto inconjunct (Gemini-Capricorn): due to dispositor relationships, the agenda of this aggressive aspect can’t help but be colored by that frustrating Mercury-Saturn semi-sextile. Mars, in fact, squares Neptune, which disposes Pisces Saturn, so the struggle the nation has experienced with the culture of misinformation and defamatory rhetoric online is not likely to improve much in the coming season. There may be more litigation than we’ve seen to date over such online aggression, however: Jupiter squares Pallas (Aries-Cancer) and Saturn squares the MC (Pisces-Gemini).
Could these dynamics also pertain to the ongoing investigations and cases (DOJ, Georgia, NY) against Donald Trump? The GOP is doing its best to distract and vilify those legal efforts as we speak—most notably with their new Select Sub-Committee to investigate the “weaponization of Government” against Conservative interests, so the Culture-war-stoked game of smoke and mirrors (Neptune/Pisces) is definitely afoot.
This is a good moment for shifting gears and considering how the dynamics of Chart 1 above will play out against our radix national Sibly chart, so let’s turn our attention to Biwheel 1 below.
Biwheel 1. (inner wheel) U.S. (Sibly) chart, 7/4/1776, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) The Sun enters Aries, 3/20, 2023, Washington, D.C.
This biwheel reveals a good many important dynamics at work in U.S. society and government these days, in fact. This is especially true of the over-the-top divisiveness we’re all seeing in play. Punches were almost thrown during Kevin McCarthy’s Speaker of the House votes as Congress came back from the December break; verbal missiles have certainly been lobbed between the sides and there’s no mystery that the GOP’s new slim majority in the House is looking for no-holds-barred partisan revenge and warfare. Already, we’ve seen three high-profile Dems removed from long-time Committee assignments and key committee assignments given to controversial extremists Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar. Clearly, it’s going to be a lo-o-o-n-g, difficult Congressional session.
That probability shows up in transiting Jupiter and Chiron, conjunct in Aries (outer wheel) and opposite Sibly Saturn (Libra); this axis t-squares Sibly Sun-transiting Pallas (Cancer). The Select Committee purports to investigate the weaponization of government against American citizens; clearly the aim of the Committee is to do the very same thing, but with the goal of undermining a second Biden run (Sibly Sun = Executive). Pallas could offer some protection to Biden, but the Justice Department is not supposed to involve itself in politics, so how this all shapes up will remain to be seen.
This t-square could also have something to say about the ongoing cases/investigations against Trump, as former president. Many have cautioned that prosecuting Trump will rip the nation apart, but then there’s the danger that not holding him accountable for trying to overturn Election 2020, etc., etc., will severely alienate another big segment of the population. We can see this dilemma here, with the grand cross formed between the transiting Nodal axis (Taurus-Scorpio) and the Sibly Nodal axis (Leo-Aquarius); to say AG Merrick Garland has a no-win situation to navigate is a vast understatement.
Trump would like everyone to believe that he’s the victim here, of course—hence the frenzy in Congress for “investigating the investigators”--unfortunately, transiting Mars’ t-square to the Sibly Neptune-transiting Neptune opposition may stall and drag out some cases against him. A lot is going on with his transits and progressed chart at the moment, however (a story for another day), so we can’t dismiss the possibility of convictions, either. Clearly, his eagerness to be the first to declare his 2024 presidential run is about being able to claim that his legal woes are “disgraceful” and “politically motivated,” certainly not his doing, and no doubt, we’ll be hearing a lot about how the DOJ has “weaponized” government against him going forward.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) on investigating those investigating him.
Whatever the experts in possession of the facts decide about pursuing charges, IMHO, political campaigns should not be allowed to function as shields against justice and accountability. We can see this concern here, with transiting Saturn conjunct Sibly Pallas and Moon (Pisces/late Aquarius), widely square Sibly Uranus (Gemini) and trine Sibly Venus and Jupiter (Cancer). These aspects draw together concerns of justice (Pallas), the well-being of the People (Moon), the nation’s civil technologies and infrastructures and institutions (Uranus), and the Economy (Venus-Jupiter).
Attempts to undermine the delicate checks and balances between key structures and institutions seem well underway, but I suspect this Saturn is more resilient than it might first look in Neptunian Pisces.
In a season of frustrating inconjuncts, there’s one more between these two charts that warrants attention: transiting Uranus inconjoins Sibly Saturn (Taurus-Libra), suggesting shockingly rebellious pressures applied against Congress and the Judiciary. Any change forced on those two branches of U.S. government is likely to also impact the Executive branch, although perhaps less forcefully so (transiting Uranus sextiles Sibly Sun). The exact form such changes are likely to take is an open question, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the current tensions playing out in Congressional sessions explodes at some point.
In fact, it has been reported that the GOP’s slim House majority has overturned the rule against carrying guns into House Committee hearings . If this action is allowed to stand, it’s anyone’s guess how this will end.
Despite so much of the above, I remain optimistic that a blast of fresh Aries energy inserted into our political and social discourse in a few short weeks will be more helpful than hurtful. In so far as the Aries ingress is considered to be a window on the year ahead, however, it seems like a good time to acknowledge that volatility and serious dysfunction in D.C. are clear possibilities between now and election year 2024.
Next up will be a deeper analysis of Saturn’s impending ingress into Pisces and more about what we might expect from that transit in the near future. Saturn will, of course, be waning deeper and deeper into its cycle with Pisces Neptune as it finds its “sea legs” in this watery sign, so we’ll consider that larger context as well.
Meanwhile, be well, be safe and keep it Light!
 I first encountered this technique in Mundane Astrology: an Introduction to the Astrology of Nations and Groups, by Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey, Thorsons, London, 1984, pp. 168-74.
Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and retired educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. She’s published articles on these topics in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. For information about individual chart readings, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Raye Robertson 2023. All rights reserved.