The question of “What If…?” invites us to stretch into higher human potential without ignoring the fires burning at our feet.
An exclusive excerpt from The AstroTwins’ 2023 Horoscope
A mystical thing happens while we’re planning the cover art for our annual horoscope guide book. As we sense our way into the year’s cosmic lineup, imagery “arrives” before we have concrete understanding of its relevance.
A moonlit medicine ceremony was the subject of our 2020 cover, conceptualized at least half a year before the world plunged into the darkness of the pandemic. In early 2021, we were “feeling aliens for next year,” not knowing that the Pentagon would soon release a UFO report and NASA announced formation of a “UFO committee” research group as we write this.
So when Egypt was floated as the 2023 theme, we accepted that there must be a reason why. And thus, we began our astrological dig…
Egyptian history informs 2023 astrology predictions
Inquiry led us to a pivotal time in Egyptian history, approximately 1177 BCE, when a systems-wide civilization crash occurred, known as the Bronze Age Collapse. And it wiped out one of the earliest global trade networks in history. Within 100 years, an astounding number of ancient civilizations fell, taking with them a 2,100-year-old economic system.
At the source of this cataclysm was an eerily familiar issue: Climate change.
No, it wasn’t greenhouse gasses shifting weather patterns back then. But there was a century-long megadrought which spiraled regions into famine. In turn, this caused mass populations to flee their homelands in the name of survival. (Also a present-day issue and, predictably, a looming one, for hot, dry regions.)
Among the afflicted ancients were the “Sea Peoples,” now believed by historians to be the Philistines. Simultaneously refugees and raiders, they arrived at major Bronze Age ports, burning cities to the ground and wiping out most of the civilizations who traded the copper ingots and tin used to make bronze.
At the same time, a series of earthquakes ripped through the Mediterranean zone. This storm of chaotic events decimated a number of ancient groups, including the Hittites, Minoans and Mycenaeans—whose disappearance erased the writing system, Linear B, and plunged the Greeks into a 300-year dark age of illiteracy.
But Egypt survived the Sea Peoples invasions and natural disasters. Under the rulership of Ramses III, they fended off multiple attacks and remained one of the few civilizations standing in the region. Yet this was the beginning of the long, slow finale of ancient Egypt. After Ramses III was murdered in a coup, the civilization entered an age of decline, was divided in half, and ultimately defeated by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE.
So what does this have to do with 2023’s astrology?
In a word: Pluto
Perhaps the most profound astrological event of 2023 arrives on March 23, when Pluto, the cosmic ruler of death and rebirth changes zodiac signs for the first time since 2008. For the coming two years, Pluto weaves back and forth between iron-fisted, hierarchical Capricorn and innovative, community-focused Aquarius, ready to shake up one system after another.
Pluto made the same shift from Capricorn to Aquarius in 1162 BCE, right smack dab in the middle of Ramses III’s reign.
And here’s another goosebumps-inducing coincidence, perhaps one that will shine a more hopeful light. Pluto do-si-do’d between Capricorn and Aquarius from 1777 to 1778, right after the Declaration of Independence was signed. While Pluto was firmly housed in Aquarius (in 1788), the United States Constitution was ratified and remains the world’s longest surviving written government charter.
“We The People,” as the Constitution begins, could be followed by so many sentiments in this current Age of Aquarius. And what if “we the people” could find a way to work together? What if, indeed.
2023 is the year of “What if…?”
While writing our annual horoscope book, we began so many inquiries with those same two words that we’re dubbing 2023 The Year of “What If…?”
“What If…?” is a fork in the road of our mindsets. The inquiry can take us in one of two directions: to enervate or innovate.
A “What If…?” conversation could spin us into apocalyptic anxiety. Or it can turn the key in the ignition of our imaginations.
Like the ancient Egyptians, we’ve reached a peak moment in humanity. Never before have we had so many resources and information at our fingertips. In 2021, there were 79 zettabytes of data produced in the world. Zettabytes. That’s 79 trillion gigabytes, in case you’re wondering.
Along with our cloud storage capacity, anxiety has been spiking in children and adults since 2020. The pandemic, war, inflation, political fractures, climate change and overall uncertainty about the future—there’s no shortage of triggers to flood our bodies with stress hormones.
Paying attention to our thoughts is more important than ever. We’re not suggesting an ostrich’s approach of burying heads in the sand. But where do we “go” with the current state of the world? Can we take the cold, hard facts and spin the “what if” in an innovative direction?
In the year ahead, the planets seem to be asking us to do just that:
- On March 7, grounded Saturn drops anchor in Pisces, the sign that rules our mental and emotional health. This transit, which last occurred between 1993-96, makes it time to get serious about our mindsets and the subconscious messages we’re absorbing.
- The Chinese Year of the Water Rabbit begins on January 22, turning on the taps of compassion and creativity.
- In numerology, 2023 is a 7 Universal Year, a reflective and introspective “timeout” before a three-year cycle of change that begins in 2024.
- The lunar nodes spend the first half of the year in Scorpio (South Node) and Taurus (North Node), bringing powerful opportunities for shadow work and an invitation to simplify our lives while living in tune with Mother Earth.
- On July 17, the moon’s karmic South Node journeys back to Libra for the first time since June 2006. While this warns against “peace at any price,” it can accelerate negotiations between the warring factions that may be activated by both Jupiter and the North Node in combative Aries.
- And speaking of Jupiter, when the joy-inducing planet heads into cultivated Taurus from May 16, 2023 to May 25, 2024, the human instinct to create beauty, music, romance and art will not be suppressed.
The goddess, Isis, represents many themes for 2023 “What If…?” astrology
Given all of this, Isis was the obvious choice for our 2023 horoscope book “cover model.” As the goddess of resurrection, transformation, loyalty and magic, she represents so many themes of 2023. Using her glorious wings, Isis flew to the underworld to deliver fresh air to her husband Osiris. (Who was also her brother…hey, it’s mythology.)
We depicted Isis wearing the crown of Hathor, who is the goddess of pleasure, fertility, love and motherhood. With its cow horns and sun disc, Hathor’s crown represents abundance and the cosmos.
With her ability to dive into the shadows and call in the light of the sun, Isis has range. And that’s something we could all use this year when the question of “What If…?” invites us to stretch into higher human potential without ignoring the fires burning at our feet.
As an ancient Egyptian proverb tells us, “To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” While 2023 may deliver both, it is also time for a restructuring.
Our hope is that the 2023 Horoscope will meet you with serendipity as you go through moments of your yearlong journey, whether you’re seeking inspiration, comfort or deeper understanding of what loved ones are going through.
And with that, let us sign off as the ancient Egyptians did, with an em hotep, which means “in peace.”