2023 Overview: Initiation, Integration & Innovation
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After a significant 3 year cycle for humanity, 2023 feels like a ‘bridge’ year before we move on to the next major cycle that starts in 2024.
If humanity is to start down a very new pathway, which we have long been destined to do, we can’t do that overnight. There are cycles within cycles within cycles, each playing their part to prepare us for what lies ahead. Within those cycles we get glimpses of potentials to inspire us forward, and we get snapshots of shadows, alerting us to things we need to be aware of.
If we call 2020-2022 years of Initiation, 2023 is a year of Integration, all laying the groundwork for 2024 and beyond: years of Innovation. Of course, nothing is as black and white or as strictly segmented as that – we weave between all of these themes all the time, personally and collectively. But if we had to give these periods of time energetic headlines, that’s what they feel to be.
Saturn in Aquarius was the predominant astro-influence from March 2020-March 2023, highlighting very different, polarized expressions of these influences, ultimately asking us: which do you choose?
Saturn can be the authoritarian Father, represented by over-reaching governments and institutions. Saturn also challenges us to grow up, to step into our next level of adulthood, to own our autonomy and take responsibility for our lives. Aquarius represents humanity and freedom. It is also associated with advanced technology, AI and the digital world. These things can be used as tools for control by those in authority. They can also be used responsibly as tools for greater freedom and expansion. For 3 years we were confronted by all of these Saturn in Aquarius themes in extreme ways, from lockdowns, mandates and QR code check-ins, to freedom marches and human rights movements. On a collective level, with the next 20+ years awaiting our answer, we were being asked: which expression of Saturn do you prefer? Which version of Aquarius do you want?
Our first Saturn Return at age 28-29 often comes with some sort of initiation regarding our next level of adulthood. Saturn’s journey through Aquarius presented an initiation into our next level of adulthood for humanity as a collective. For a lot of people, and in this case for humanity, this ‘initiation’ often only happens after we realise our Father* is too dominating and we break free to gain our own independence. Or we realise on deeper levels than before that our Father for one reason or another isn’t there for us, has never been, and will never be, and so we have no choice but to strike out on our own. It can be a painful yet empowering time. *“Father” might be your literal father, a father figure, your family, community, culture, religion or society of origin, it can represent the systems, structures and authorities whose rules you have abided by or been expected to abide by. During your Saturn Return, even if you had a very positive, healthy relationship with your father, your ‘initiation’ would still have involved a ‘time for next level of adulthood’ theme in some way.
Saturn is associated with restriction, yet also with the growth and lessons that inevitably come from that. Even though for a while there, especially 2020-2021, we may have do