Welcome to the Chinese Lunar Year of the Wood Dragon. The Dragon is the only mythical animal in the Chinese Zodiac. Dragon years are associated with great strength, positive transformation and interesting challenges. The element of Wood symbolises creativity and adaptability. Buildings of all kinds are likely to be repurposed or made more sustainable in a Wood Dragon year.
Leave Room in Life for Life In the Aquarius New Moon chart, a finger of fate aspect formation points to Juno and is pushed by Aquarius and Aries significators. Tune in to the call of Your Soul. Who are you? Why are you here? Are you being true to your essential Self? Relationship goddess Juno is in a grand trine with Venus and Uranus presenting surprises. Expect the unexpected. In 2024, Juno frequently pairs up with Black Moon Lilith. On February 25, retrograde Lilith meets retrograde Juno in Virgo, revealing the shadow sides of workaholism and or relationships. This year we will have multiple opportunities to review the health of work and relationships.
Mars ventures into Aquarius on February 13, uniting with big player Pluto on the 14th, prompting a volcanic power surge. Will this energy continue being intertwined with patriarchal power over dynamics, or could we direct it towards the well-being and benefit of all? On the 17th, Venus arrives in Aquarius, immediately joining Pluto and empowering us with agapē, a divine and selfless form of unconditional love. When Venus and Mars meet on the 22nd, we are motivated to act on improving our connections with others.
On the 19th, 23rd and 28th, the Sun and Mercury activate the slower-moving planets in Pisces. Saturn arrived in Pisces in March 2023 and Neptune in 2011. They will both leave Pisces in early 2026. Saturn and Neptune have not been in Pisces at the same time since 1847 - 1849 when anesthetics and antiseptics were first used. Saturn represents form, Neptune formlessness. Although energetically in contrast, Saturn/Neptune combinations are associated with social reform, minority rights, the foundations of faith, mysticism, realising dreams, making peace with the past, releasing suffering and putting burdens to rest. Notice conversations around the 29th when Sun and Mercury meet Saturn. Mercury conjunct Neptune on March 9 stimulates our imagination. Give artistic dreams expression. Deepen spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation.
"Heartsong" by Kathy Crabbe - artwork featured in 2024 Moon Diary
If we need to heal, we need to feel
At the first New Moon of 2024, the Moon meets Pluto on the critical 29th degree, stirring deep emotions. Let emotions flow, taking responsibility for them rather than pushing feelings down or placing blame elsewhere. The anarectic 29th degree is associated with difficult decisions, fatalistic endings and urgent change. The prevailing cardinal signs, Aries and Capricorn, are perfect for bravely facing the unknown and ambitious goal setting. Mercury into Capricorn on January 14 adds valuable ideas. Venus conjunct Ceres on the 17th inspires the love of wild open spaces and passion for adventure.
On the 21st, the Sun meets Pluto in Capricorn, and then both step into Aquarius, ushering in a power-packed evolutionary 20-year-long era. Pluto's last transit through Aquarius was 248 years ago, from 1778 to 1798, coinciding with the American, French and Industrial revolutions. In the next 20 years, humanity will transform radically. What we imagine, we create, so hold fast to positive future visions. We will likely witness exciting and perhaps scary developments in technology, space exploration, science and medicine.
Venus, in Capricorn from January 23 to February 17, invites the enjoyment of serious pleasures. Uranus, direct from January 27, and Mercury, conjunct Mars on the 28th, provide opportunities to release resistance or break free from some restraint. In 2024, Juno often travels in consort with Black Moon Lilith or the Libra South Node, emphasising karmic relationships. Mercury zips into Aquarius on February 5, befriending Pluto the next day. The first degree of a sign offers new learnings, a time to deeply ponder new ways of being coming into existence. Pallas Athene in Sagittarius from February 6 through to May 17 encourages unity, Vesta direct in Gemini from the 8th carries sacred messages, and Ceres into Capricorn from February 8 to December 7 fosters care throughout the year for our home planet Earth.
"Talisman" by Rose Donaghy - artwork featured in 2024 Moon Calendar
Chart calculated for NZDT 12.32 pm,
Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, NZ
On December 20, Vesta retrogrades into Gemini for additional information gathering and research. Raumati, or Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, is on the 22nd when the Sun goes into Capricorn, and the Full Moon is in Cancer. Remember to celebrate the years' achievements amongst the push-pull between home and family and external goals concerning work, money and success. On the 23rd, the Sun conjuncts Mercury as the winged messenger backs into Sagittarius. Enjoy an exhilaratingly wide variety of thoughts and revelations now, and get the ball rolling on innovative plans as Mercury moves into conjunction with Mars on the 28th.
On the 27th, Chiron goes direct, resolving some of the New Moon activism. Venus into Sagittarius on the 30th implies romantic adventures, while Jupiter moving direct on the 31st generates expansive feelings about life and refreshes our optimism around future security.
2023 Diary artwork "The Living Cosmos" by Katrina Leah
Chart Calculated for NZDT 10.28 pm, Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, NZ
Trines in the Fire and Water signs help us navigate the erratic and tricky aspects in the Scorpio New Moon chart. Eris, North Node in Aries, Neptune in Pisces, Uranus in Taurus, Lilith in Leo, South Node, Pallas Athene in Libra, the Sun, Moon, Mars, and Ceres in Scorpio are all closely involved. The stormy teacup sesquares, seesaw quincunxes, challenging oppositions and confrontational squares ask us: Are we brave enough to stand up for what we believe in? Can we draw on the wisdom of the past, call on the healing power of love and envision a better future for all?
The Sun catches up with Mars on the 18th, demanding honesty, while on the 19th, Pallas Athene begins a 3-month journey through Scorpio, inviting a deep dive into core insights and nitty-gritty wisdom. Horizons expand between the 21st and the 25th when Sun, Ceres, and Mars meet and cross into Sagittarius. We may become more eager to explore and acquire new knowledge. A friendly Full Moon in Gemini on the 27th opens valuable lines of communication. Cardinal Fire is dominant in the Full Moon chart - great for getting a critical initiative underway.
Mercury into Capricorn on December 2 is perfect for careful planning, shrewd thinking and material success in business, while Venus into Scorpio on the 5th adds seductive glamour. In his book, All Around the Zodiac, Bil Tierney writes (about Venus in Scorpio): “Love is never a frivolous pursuit; in fact, it can help motivate us to reexamine emotional values needing an overhaul or a rebirth”. In the days after Neptune goes Direct on the 7th, our mental skies may brighten and clear. We may see our known world and beyond in an inspiringly fresh way. Telepathic connections and synchronistic events are likely to occur with greater frequency now.
2023 Diary artwork "Hine-nui-te-põ" by Sofia Minson www.NewZealandArtwork.com
LIBRA NEW MOON Sunday 15 October 2023
Chart calculated for NZDT 6.55 am, Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, NZ
Partial Sun Eclipse 7.00 am NZDT
Today's Partial Eclipse is immensely powerful and could suddenly manifest in crisis or as the clearing away of enormous obstacles. The Moon's Nodes of karma and destiny suggest assessing how much of ourselves we give out to please others. Time to review or break free from unsupportive or oppressive relationships. In Leo, Black Moon Lilith and Juno indicate how inappropriate egocentric behaviours can follow if we or others are taken for granted, ignored or rejected. Override challenging aspects by consciously calling on the trines between Mars, Saturn and Eris/North Node, Lilith/Juno to help us contain turbulent emotions and stand firm in our truths.
From October 18 to August 2024, Juno in Virgo offers multiple opportunities to play and work with relationship patterns and beliefs. How can we evolve out of all that is no longer useful? Avoid confusing tangles when Mercury meets the Sun on the 20th, but be ready to dive deep from the 22nd when Mercury goes into Scorpio, followed by the Sun on the 24th.
A Partial Full Moon Eclipse on the 29th is the last in a cycle of seven Taurus/Scorpio eclipses. These potent eclipses connect with personal and shared resources and may echo thresholds crossed since November 2021. What do we value? How do we invest in ourselves and others? Mercury conjunct Mars on the 30th highlights positively thought-out actions, while Vesta retrograde on November 3 encourages us to nurture sacred space in our home environment. On the 4th, Mercury conjunct Ceres suggests deep caring understanding, while Saturn direct implies imaginative leaps forward. Venus into Virgo on the 8th and Mercury into Sagittarius on the 10th signify fidelity in love relationships and intellectual adventures.
2023 Diary artwork "Suadela" by Kathy Crabbe www.kathycrabbe.com
VIRGO NEW MOON Friday 15 September 2023
Chart calculated for NZT 1.40 pm Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, NZ
The Virgo New Moon chart contains many interesting, interlinked aspects, including a grand trine between Saturn and Vesta in Water and Ceres in Air. Black Moon Lilith opposes Saturn and turns the grand trine into a kite formation. A kite adds tension to the usually easy-going grand trine and provides the focus for integration or release. The planets involved suggest cooperation and practical understanding but may raise questions about realities we only feel. Can we follow our instincts? We may fear change or struggle to structure our lives in ways that feel authentic, but choosing courage and stepping into the unknown can be hugely liberating.
On September 16, Ceres goes into Scorpio, impelling us to deepen our emotional bonds until late November. Mercury direct the same day suggests we are more likely to listen, be heard and attend to important details. The 23rd is Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. Te Koanga is a rebirthing time for sowing seeds and preparing the ground for planting and future harvest.
On the 28th, Venus meets Juno in Leo, the day before an Aries Full Moon. Celebrate the creative achievements of loved ones. Find ways to spark excitement in romantic relationships. The Sun catches up with Pallas Athene on October 2, and being at peace and creating a harmonious balance with others becomes a priority. On the 5th, Mercury joins the Libra contingent contributing charisma to any presentations we might be putting forward, while Venus into Virgo on the 9th adds discretion. Pluto direct on the 11th could indicate a fresh start, a new job or a renovation, especially if we've been plumbing the depths of our inner worlds during the winter months. On the 12th, Mars into Scorpio gifts us with extra drive and determination, while Mercury meeting Pallas Athene in Libra puts valuable negotiating skills on the table.
2023 Diary artwork "Running Wild" by Antonia O'Mahoney
LEO NEW MOON Wednesday 16 August 2023
Chart calculated for NZT 9.38 pm, Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, NZ
The many fire trines between Aries and Leo on this New Moon indicate an action-packed lunar month. Be careful! With only Saturn and Neptune in Pisces, there is little water to douse any out-of-control egocentric blazes. Eris and North Node are closely conjunct, as are Sun, Moon and Lilith. Mars and Uranus in Earth aspect the Fire signs, and Juno opposes Pluto. Hot issues demanding karmic resolution could come charging out of the shadows now. Venus, Chiron, Juno and Pluto support us in facing present-day challenges with equanimity and unconditional love. Venus, direct in early September, emphasises love and generosity during her long sojourn in Leo from June to October.
The Virgo solar month from August 23 encourages detailed attention. The next day, Mercury goes retrograde. Allow internal processing details to surface. Observe monkey mind antics. Nurture rather than criticise. On the 26th, Pallas Athene and Mercury affirm the benefits of positive thinking and meditation. From the 28th, Mars in Libra enhances relationship cooperation, while Uranus retrograde on the 29th may trigger uncertainty. The Pisces Full Moon on the 31st provides lessons and opportunities to feel compassion. Moon and Saturn help us trust emotional guidance, Sun and Black Moon Lilith allow us to honour imperfections, while fortuitous fingers of fate in the Full Moon chart pointing to Neptune and Ceres can ground us in the mystical nature of earthly existence.
Energies shift in early September. Venus is direct on the 4th. Jupiter goes retrograde on the 5th, possibly delaying a project. Watch out for miscommunications when retrograde Mercury meets the Sun on the 6th. Venus conjunct Juno on the 10th can deepen commitments, while Pallas Athene into Libra and Vesta into Cancer on the 14th offer equilibrium and practical expressions of empathy.
2023 Moon Diary artwork "Leo" by NZ artist Stefanie Reiner
social media @theartofbeingwater
Yin signs prevail in this New Moon chart. A square aspect from Eris in Aries to the Moon/Sun conjunction in Cancer suggests women (mostly) taking a stand, perhaps speaking up for the rights of children, mothers or those in caregiving roles such as nurses and teachers. A last major push for a values shift is likely as the Moon, Sun, and Pluto move into a grand square with the Nodes. Today the Nodes begin a significant new cycle, moving from Taurus/Scorpio into Aries/Libra. In the past 18 months, the Nodes highlighted many security issues, including a sense of self-worth, money and other resources. Attachments may have eased. In the coming 18 months, the Nodes shine their light on self-awareness, autonomy, trusting inner guidance and releasing co-dependency.
On July 23, the Sun goes into Leo, while Venus going retrograde, extends her stay in courageous Leo through to October. Invite your creative mind to enjoy playful lion-hearted energies. Let in love, go with the flow, and investigate any fears of change on the horizon. Chiron retrograde on July 24 is the fifth planet retrograde. Yes, retrograde season is definitely underway, and we may feel thwarted on the external plane. However, the retro season is an excellent time for reflection and revision as our unconscious selves are closer to the surface and easier to tune into.
At the end of July, Mercury meets Venus allowing a mind-heart connection. Mercury then goes into Virgo, and our minds and hands get busy. Is it time to start a new health regime? Is there writing or a craft project waiting in the wings? Focus sharpens when Mercury meets Pallas Athene on August 9. A Venus/Sun rendezvous on the 13th intensifies pleasure, while Juno into Leo on the 16th seeks mutual support between partners and loved ones.
2023 Moon Diary artwork "Hine Takurua, The Winter Maiden" by NZ artist Katrina Leah instagram: @katrinaleahart
At Gemini New Moon, a Grand Earth trine offers a measure of peace, while a T-square between the mutable signs suggests flexibility and willingness to change. Previously, Ceres was trine Pluto in November 2022 and March 2023. Ceres Pluto themes are often associated with loss, reconciliation and return. Vesta's involvement in the earthy grand trine adds healing and regeneration to the mix.
Planets in Leo with fire trines to Aries bring warm, upbeat energies, perhaps not easily accessible. Acknowledging fear of change and being open to our vulnerable selves will help ignite the fiery sparks that motivate action. Share feelings with intimate others as the Moon and Sun conjunct with Juno. On a personal level, Juno in Gemini emphasises talking and planning. A cooperative sextile between Jupiter and Saturn on June 20 highlights social consciousness and participation in community life. Ceres into Libra from June 21 until mid-September also encourages personal and social cooperation.
The Sun and Juno into Cancer on June 22 indicate a strong need to care and be cared for. Share food with loved ones and celebrate all kitchen goddess talents. Vesta in Gemini from June 23 to mid-September enlivens conversation and information sharing. Between June 27 and July 3, Mercury goes into Cancer, meeting Juno and the Sun. Neptune in Pisces goes retrograde, and there is a Full Moon in Capricorn. The emotional floodgates may burst open. Apparently, a feeling lasts 16 or 17 seconds; our thoughts keep the emotional momentum going. On the 10th, Mars and Pallas Athene head into Virgo, suggesting fine craftwork and attention to detail. Mercury into Leo on July 11 ushers in a flotilla of clever, creative ideas.
2023 Moon Diary artwork "The Unknown She" by NZ artist Katrina Leah
After a rush of Aries enthusiasm, a gathering line-up of planets in Taurus over the last and next lunar month says Taiho/Wait! Let's organise resources, assess personal values, and ensure that our directions are good, especially in climate change and environmental matters. Careful management means what we initiate now will last a long, long time and serve future generations. There is a challenging grand square between Pluto, Jupiter, North Node, Mercury and Pallas Athene in fixed signs, with Mars in Cancer involved. Consider the exploitation behind many everyday things we might take for granted, like clothing, coffee, chocolate, computers, smart phones and EVs. The actual, hidden prices of these and many other items are often paid by vulnerable others whose lands and livelihoods are ruthlessly abused by corporations motivated only by profit. We can call these giants to account and be responsible for what we buy and where it comes from.
Mars into Leo and Sun into Gemini on the 21st may lighten intensity by adding innovative shifts in thinking to the Taurus instinct for stability. Between May 31 and June 7, Vesta and Mercury meet Uranus, shaking us out of our comfort zones yet again. The Sagittarius Full Moon on the 4th and Venus into Leo on the 6th long for romance, adventure and maybe a party. Pluto retrograde reverses into Capricorn on June 11, stirring reflections on Dad - our actual fathers, or possibly the patriarchy in general and how much this paradigm needs to change and evolve into something more egalitarian. Saturn, also associated with authority figures, goes retrograde in Pisces on June 18, temporarily stalling or dampening the limitless visionary power of our imaginations.
2023 Moon Calendar artwork "Aoraki Gold" by NZ artist Sofia Minson
SECOND ARIES NEW MOON Thursday 20 April 2023
Chart calculated for NZT 4.13 pm, Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, NZ
Today's Hybrid Solar Eclipse is at 4.17 pm. A Hybrid eclipse is when one kind of eclipse morphs into another. Totality will be across parts of Western Australia and Indonesia, while partial visibility will be between Malaysia and the North Island of New Zealand. This Aries New Moon is near the cusp of Taurus. The Moon's Nodes are in Taurus/Scorpio. Five pointers in each sign tell us the energies of Aries (courage, self-awareness) and Taurus (gratitude, loyalty) are strong. In 2023, two solar eclipses in Aries/Libra and two lunar eclipses in Taurus/Scorpio suggest surrendering resistance and any attachments we may have to false harmony. Today's eclipse calls us to be brave and unearth long-buried and hidden passions.
Mercury retrogrades in the Earth signs from December 2022 through to January 2024. Mercury is retrograde from April 21 through to May 15, in sensual Taurus, the sign it is in from April to June. All practical matters - our personal and shared resources, sense of security, money, work, health, body awareness, where we live, what we value, and what we invest in - will likely rise to the surface of our conscious minds in 2023. Use Mercury's retrograde cycles to measure satisfaction levels, make changes where necessary, and tidy up any unfinished business needing attention.
There are other significant astrological events this moon month. A Scorpio Lunar Eclipse on May 6 reminds us to respect others' boundaries and may generate some spiritual excitement. Jupiter's ingress into Taurus on May 17 further emphasises resources, especially finances, while Jupiter square Pluto in Aquarius on May 18 encourages investigation of alternative currency exchanges like time banking, green money, bitcoin/blockchain/cryptocurrency, anything with potential for more equitable economic opportunities.
2023 Moon Diary artwork "Gaia's Garden" by NZ artist Rosie Mac
ARIES NEW MOON Wednesday 22 March 2023
Chart calculated for NZDT 6.23 am, Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, NZ
There are seven planetary bodies in Aries in this New Moon chart. The desire for independence and forging new pathways is strong. Our minds may be so full of things to do we feel overwhelmed. Mars has been in Gemini since August 2022, promoting a barrage of possibly exhausting mental over-activity. If weariness is part of your story, be careful about what slips unplanned out of your mouth. There can be a sharp knife edge to Mars in Gemini. Mars into Cancer on the 26th is not easy either, and we might get a bit cranky when the action slows down.
In contrast, the North Node, Juno and Venus conjunct in Taurus offer calm relief through the joy of being out and about in natural environments with our nearest and dearest. On March 31, then on April 11, Venus and Juno meet Uranus in sensual Taurus, indicating sudden surprises, delectable pleasures and many shared creative inspirations.
Ceres, retrograde on the edge of Libra, forms aspects with Pluto, Saturn, Sun, Moon and Mars, perhaps triggering further feelings of being overloaded by responsibilities - for elderly parents, young children or needy others. Simultaneously, there is potential to build bridges of understanding between parents and children and cooperate with significant others in caregiving duties.
There are two Aries New Moons in 2023. This first New Moon falls at the beginning of Aries, while the second one falls at the end and coincides with a Total Eclipse. Eclipse effects may be felt for up to 6 weeks on either side of the actual eclipse time. The Total eclipse on April 20 is associated with birth, creativity, and sudden passions. We may be unexpectedly confronted by our own inner turmoil.
2023 Moon Diary artwork "Everything Was Created from the Darkness" by NZ artist Kim Shepard-Thorn