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gal-dem horoscopes: ease into the new year this Capricorn season

Our resident astrologer reminds you to pace yourself this January for the year ahead. 

11 Jan 2023

Nadia Akingbule

Welcome to 2023. Capricorn season is here and the Gregorian calendars have turned. Where do you find yourself at the start of this new year? 

January begins amidst omnipresent retrograde energies that keep us moving slow, and dredging through the past. With both Mercury and Mars retrograde waning as the weeks go on, the start to 2023 doesn’t carry that usual excited burst of energy that we’d normally like to kick off the year with. Instead, the cosmic tides guide us to one of the strongest lessons and pillars of Capricorn energy: pacing oneself. Let yourself ease into the changes you’re eager to implement in your life.

Results aren’t going to happen overnight, and it’s important to be measured with personal expectations for the goals you’ve set. Be gentle with yourself! Whether it’s doomscrolling through an ex’s social media or arriving late to the girlboss vision-boarding party, remember that shame or guilt is never the starting point with the most momentum. As much as the Saturnian rulership of Capricorn season (and a simultaneous Capricorn Mercury retrograde) invites you to be self critical, focus on extending yourself a nurturing hand. 

“As much as Capricorn season invites you to be self critical, focus on extending yourself a nurturing hand”

The first day of the year packs a powerful punch, as power-shifter Pluto crosses paths with loveable Venus. This connection is a breeding ground for passionate first impressions and whimsical fantasy, so ground yourself in carnal passion which you don’t attach yourself to in the long-term. Bonds forged during Mars and Mercury retrogrades are often fraught and shrouded in unknowns. The next day on 2 January, Venus moves into Aquarius where an airy distance and dreamy divisiveness enters our lives. Here, Venus looks at the bigger picture of adoration and passion rather than the hyperfixation on just one partner or lover. Keep your sights set on the types of love that nurture yourself and the community you keep. Treat the company you keep like a vital appendage that needs to be cared for by your suitors as well.

“Keep your sights set on the types of love that nurture yourself and the community you keep”

The full moon in Cancer on 6 January sits across the sky from retrograding Mercury, causing tears to flow and boiling points to be reached. It’s a sensitive time, so orient your manifestations around how you can avoid past pains and grow from them. Prepare to feel the full range of emotions that processing a difficult event from your personal history always brings. Dump those feelings outside of your body and let them fade into the fibres of your tissues. 

12 January brings the main astrological feature of our month – Mars finishing its retrograde cycle through airy, chatty Gemini. This long and testing retrograde has brought us so much pettiness, confused conflict and chaotic outbursts. Now that Mars is no longer moving backwards in the sky, it’s not that we won’t be engaged in spicy debates anymore, it’s that we can finally reach a level of clarity with our decision making. For example, a messy conflict may still be messy when Mars retrograde ends, but your perspective and plans of action will feel more succinct. 

About a week later on 18 January, Mercury retrograde through Capricorn ends as well, giving us the green light on the ‘new year, new me’ momentum we’ve been seeking. THIS is the beginning we want and need to kickstart ourselves the way capitalism tells us we’re supposed to. 

“21 January brings us a new moon in Aquarius that cleanses retrograde season from our palates”

21 January brings us a new moon in Aquarius that cleanses retrograde season from our palates, and pushes us to look at our lives from a more holistic perspective. What type of friendships do we want to cultivate? What do we desire for our community to reflect in ourselves? Set intentions around the mobility of your dreams, and how they tie into the wider ethos that is woven through everything you do. Figure out what you stand for, and commit to that vision. Every decision we make is a political one, and as the new moon falls on the first day of rebellious and value-based Aquarius season, we’re ever-reminded of this.

The push and pull of time is our biggest battle this January. With all of this in mind, here are my thoughts for each of the 12 signs this month!

Capricorn & Capricorn Rising 

Happy solar return, Capricorn. You’re not stuck in a rut – you’re incubating. 

This month is one that you can feel in your bones, joints, nerve endings. Your body feels like it’s coated in molasses and movement isn’t flowing in the way you prefer, which is most likely in the manner of a well oiled and reliable machine. Treat January like a time for fueling up at a pit stop. There’s only so much you can do with the engine turned off. To my January Capricorns – try to actually enjoy your birthday. Inspect your ‘engine’ with the care and precision that you offer when critiquing your friend’s CV or your partner’s choice of words over the dinner table. Focus on setting financially motivated intentions during the new moon in Aquarius on 21 January.

Aquarius & Aquarius Rising 

Are you ready to stop arguing with yourself, Aquarius? There are more important tasks at hand than the conspiracy theorists duking it out in your mind.

January’s energy wants you to create more space for intuitive creation as a form of research and sketching. Move through being stuck by your own thoughts. Everything you create doesn’t have to be a precious work of art. Be messy, unhinged and unkempt with your artistic endeavours and romantic flings if you need to be. Your new moon on 21 January is here to help you clear the patterns of thought that hold you back and have you running rat races between your sheets. Get excited about the bad art and writing you’re going to make – those pieces will be your best learning tools.

Pisces & Pisces Rising

January is for being in your bed, Pisces. Home is both your clean cotton sheets and a state of mind.

Mars’ retrograde has been an especially draining one for you, dear fish. Words mean things to you (something you’ll always find frustration when trying to teach the fire signs) and the tumultuous firing of rhetorical ammunition in recent months hasn’t sat well with your psyche. Now is your time to rest and recharge unapologetically. Hibernate like the gentle giant you are. Take inspiration from a barnacle that can lodge and close itself against a hard surface, turning it into its home. The Aquarius new moon on 21 January opens a space for you to spiritually reset and nurture your subconscious. Do a witchy ritual and take a cleansing salt bath while setting intentions around what type of spiritual year you want to have. 

Aries & Aries Rising 

Do your ideas sometimes move faster than your mouth can, Aries? There’s a massive disparity between your social battery in the first half of January versus the second.

When Mars is released from its retrograde spiral on 12 January, it’s time for positive conflict to replace messy outbursts in your friendships and sibling quarrels. Your yearning for learning is back in full action, which means it’s time to play nice with the other children in the schoolyard! A genuine (key word, genuine) apology is invaluable – remember that. The Aquarius new moon on 21 January drives you into exciting social settings that help you find clarity around the joint-ventures you’re embarking on this year. Set intentions accordingly.

Taurus & Taurus Rising

Is your sense of responsibility interfering with boundaries you need to be drawing, Taurus? January wants you to figure out what’s yours to tend to, and where you need to kindly MYOB.

Prioritise your work this month. When I say ‘work’, this doesn’t necessarily need to correlate to the labour you do for capitalism (although it can). It’s more about knowing when to step away and commit to the routines and actions that contribute to your wider goals and desires. Maybe that means skipping out on a group hang to get your presentation prepared or saying no to a friend who needs assistance in their own job. Take some moments to yourself that feel selfish. The new moon in Aquarius on 21 January offers a space to set new intentions around how you want to be perceived and received as a leader in this next calendar year. 

Gemini & Gemini Rising 

Release is ready for you this January, dearest Gemini. What new facet of your entity are you looking to unlock?

While you’re a forever-student and lover of learning, Mars’ retrograde has made it difficult to know where to focus your energies. Research has felt scattered for it, and it’s all more messy than usual; like you’re sitting amongst piles of half-finished projects with no clear reason why they’re happening. Luckily, as retrogrades die down and the new moon in Aquarius restores your concentrated curiosities, there’s a more concise vision coming into focus for you. Seize it with both hands and don’t let go. Let the new moon in Aquarius help you find the destination of your next big trip.

Cancer & Cancer Rising 

January is a straightforward assignment for you, Cancer. Rest, rest, and more rest. Yes, straightforward and simple are two different things.

You’ve entered your intense self-care setting era, dear water sign. It’s time to apply the modes of care that you offer others to yourself, and focus on finding as many quiet spaces as possible to centre your mind. Mars going direct could spark some overwhelm and guilt about ‘picking up the pace’ this January, so be sure to stave it off with affirmations revolving around how your personal timescale will always look different to that of others. The new moon in Aquarius on 21 January invites you to release some romantic bonds that needed to be retired many moons ago. Say goodbye and ‘pay off’ debts, no matter how brutal it may feel.  

Leo & Leo Rising

Your social world is taking on a new formation, Leo. How are you settling into the circles you frequent now? Perhaps they look different to the ones you inhabited this time last year.

It can be hard to assemble your voice without an audience at times, Leo. Luckily you’re often surrounded by comrades who are excited to lend an ear and laugh at your jokes. However, the other side of this coin is that being perceived too much is inevitably exhausting. Your January task is to practise existing in space and with people who don’t drain you. Learn your social boundaries and adhere to them. The new moon in Aquarius on 21 January arrives with a fresh start for your romantic bonds and close partnerships. Set a fresh pace, and love differently with this lunation.

Virgo & Virgo Rising

Does it bring you joy to see something that you managed come to fruition and unfurl itself beautifully, Virgo? January has you in a position that naturally lends itself to being in charge and making things happen.

Your hyper-independent streak may ebb and flow, but it never fully ends, does it? My challenge to you this month is to know when your voice isn’t the one that’s needed. To know when to back off and delegate or defer rather than push through a request. As much as people may put you in the position of mentor or guide, it’s not always your seat to take. Admit you don’t know something when it feels foreign to you. The new moon in Aquarius on 21 January asks you to ground yourself in your body, and set new wholesome routines that help you care for your physical form.

Libra & Libra Rising 

What knowledge are you hungry for, Libra? Your jack-of-all-trades tendencies are being challenged by January’s focused astrological energy.

You’re good at looking for the things you like and are passionate about, dear air sign. Taking an active role in finding that perfect top for the party or flavour of cake for your best friend’s birthday comes naturally to you. However, narrowing your focus isn’t as easy. This month is about honing in on something you seek, and letting yourself fall down that rabbit hole again and again. Create the scheme of all schemes! The pitch of all pitches! Let the new moon in Aquarius on 21 January reawaken your creative energy and help you plan this adventure or a subplot related to it.

Scorpio & Scorpio Rising

Have you ever broken a blood oath, Scorpio? Loyalty means a lot to you, which also means a sense of betrayal lingers at your doorstep when engaging with people you hold close.

January is about reckoning with conflict within your deepest interpersonal bonds. Whatever rose to the surface while Mars was in its retrograde path can finally have a conclusion. Whether this ends a romantic era or rekindles a lost love, prepare for a core part of your history to shift. The new moon in Aquarius on 21 January sends you into an existential vibe where questioning the notion of ‘home’ might come up more than once. Foster an idea of how you want to treat ‘home’ in this next year of life, and set an intention to make it happen. Hold yourself accountable by telling your best friend about it.

Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising 

Romantic releases are underway this January, Sagittarius. Are you ready to let go of conflict that has plagued you from relationship to relationship?

There are certain shadows in life and love that have followed you for a while now. It’s easy to feel like you’re outrunning them, especially when you’re a fast-moving fire sign like yourself! However, the slowness that we begin this month with really asks you to sit with these feelings, and unpack why you’re carrying around such hurt. It might just be that an unexpected fight with a lover or ex sparks your realisation about how this has all occurred. Let the new moon in Aquarius on 21 January help you set new intentions with your learning and writing style.