Learn about the February 16 Day of Challenges. How to prepare for and use this moment for maximum growth. Is this 2023’s hardest day?
There are plenty of astrologically challenging days every year—and yep, the Sun-Saturn conjunction is one of them. Roll up your sleeves this February 16, when the Sun and Saturn unite at the same degree of Aquarius and blend their energies. But hey, working through hurdles is what makes us stronger, right? (Answer: yes!)
What is the Day of Challenges?
Once every year, the illuminating Sun syncs up with tough-teacher Saturn. As they arrive at the exact same zodiac sign and degree (called a conjunction in astro-speak), they blend their energies.
To call this meetup an awkward dance is an understatement. The Sun zips through salsa moves while Saturn promenades in a slow waltz. But that doesn’t mean they can’t settle on a tempo that works for both of them. Some complex choreography is needed to get there though! And it feels a lot like this: two steps forward, one step back.
Is this an “unlucky” day? Not necessarily. But the Sun-Saturn merger puts your buoyant hopes and optimistic plans through a harsh reality check— hence, the “challenging” part.
With the right balance of Sun energy (radiance, heat, sparkle and brilliance) plus Saturn energy (caution, cool-headedness, modesty and expertise) your diligent efforts could finally pay off!
When is the Day of Challenges in 2023?
The 2023 Day of Challenges is Thursday, February 16, when the life-giving Sun joins up with sobering Saturn for a once-yearly meeting of the minds at 27º Aquarius.
What is the astrology of February 16’s Day of Challenges?
In 2023, the Sun and Saturn greet each other at 27º Aquarius, which adds another couple layers to the equation. This means that both planets will express their powers through the traits of this zodiac sign.
Aquarius is the zodiac’s team player and tech wizard. This innovative air sign disrupts the status quo, reminding us to think outside the box. But not necessarily in a destructive way! As one of the zodiac’s four fixed signs, Aquarius loves to engineer systems that we can all plug into for maximum efficiency.
So what does it mean that the Sun is in Aquarius?
The Sun energizes, illuminates and warms us up to new things. While in Aquarius each year from January 20 to February 18, it reveals opportunities for collaboration, liberation and innovation. It’s no surprise that AI tools like ChatGPT are making headlines right now.
Wise, mature Saturn visits Aquarius for a three-year cycle every 29.5 years. (Currently from March 21, 2020 to March 7, 2023.) All things Aquarius are serious business now, but Saturn reveals limitations as well.
An example of this is cryptocurrency, which was created with Aquarian “power to the people” principles in mind. This monetary system has seen its fair share of highs and lows over the past few years, idealistic though it may be. Society’s embrace (and simultaneous rejection) of Aquarian ideals like gender fluidity and polyamory exemplify the push-pull of Saturn in Aquarius.
Is a Sun-Saturn cojunction good?
When the Sun comes together with Saturn each year, it should actually be considered a lucky day! No one loves to pull the emergency brake on a speeding locomotion, but sometimes that’s the only way to stop a crash.
The Sun-Saturn conjunction delivers the perfect blend of optimism and skepticism. And TBH, the most powerful developments in history always have a healthy dose of both. Use The Day of Challenges to weigh the pros and cons.
With both heavenly bodies in Aquarius in 2023, logical solutions emerge that can de-complexify ongoing problems. But as the ringed taskmaster casts a shadow over El Sol, your buoyant hopes and optimistic plans could get a harsh reality check.
PS: Saturn is considered the classical ruler of Aquarius—before Uranus, the modern ruling planet was discovered by telescope in 1781. As such, Saturn is comfortable hanging out in this zodiac sign, easing some of its harsh impact.
What is “conjunct” again?
When two planets are conjunct, they are traveling close together in the same zodiac sign. For most astrologers, that means they are within 0-3 degrees of each other. (Called a 3-degree orb) Like two people pressed against each other on the dance floor, they will blend their energies. This can either be an extremely powerful alliance, like a megadose of one kind of energy, or too much of a good thing.
You might even have a conjunction in your birth chart. Two (or more) conjunct planets operate the same way in a chart, blending their energies and magnifying the importance of whatever zodiac sign and house they’re in.
What do I do to prepare for the Day of Challenges?
Watch for heavy moods under this annual “downer day.”
Instead of getting discouraged, go back to the drawing board with a growth mindset. Try to see hurdles as opportunities to improve whatever your goal is. (Saturn loves a milestone!)
How serious are you about that goal?
You’ll have extra muscle for your hustle as the vital Sun syncs up with enduring Saturn. Silver lining: Have you been diligently paying your dues? Your efforts could reach their tipping point at last, attracting the hard-earned respect of an industry leader. Give credit where it’s due, then accept kudos with grace.
A disciplined approach draws attention and helps you project authentic confidence. Warning: the Sun rules ego, which is not your amigo when modest Saturn is in the frame. On The Day of Challenges, you’ll catch more flies with humility than you will with swagger.
If you’ve been tight-fisted or heavy-handed—or conversely, playing fast and loose with resources—find the middle ground. Then, get back out there—with plenty of grace.
If you lose perspective, remember that this weighty energy will pass within several days.
Your horoscope for February 16, the Day of Challenges
Aries (March 21-April 19)
If your crew’s been too casual for your liking, re-establish boundaries on the February 16 Day of Challenges. As the Sun beams alongside integrity-hound Saturn, maybe people have “forgotten” their wallets once too often. Or, conversations continually veer in a direction that you find triggering. It feels awkward to have to tell someone, for instance, that you’re not comfortable with their gossiping about a mutual friend or making mean-girl jokes about a colleague. But if you don’t, chances are they’ll never stop on their own.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You’re anything BUT free-flowing on the February 16 Day of Challenges as the can-do Sun fist-bumps long-range-planner Saturn in your success sector. As you start mapping out all the epic goals you want to crush in 2023, dream big while also running them through a staunch reality filter. While prestige and a pay increase could be headed your way, are you prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with the growth? Take it all into consideration as you focus on your first action steps.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Existential crisis alert! Normally, your broad-minded sign can accept that life “is what it is.” But as the can-do Sun syncs up with Saturn in revolutionary Aquarius and your expansive ninth house, you’ll find yourself questioning every assumption at the February 16 Day of Challenges. Being a jack-of-all-trades may feel limiting; you’re craving mastery! This is a stellar time to sign up for a workshop (or a degree program) and to find yourself a mentor who can walk you through something big that you’re taking on. Ready to share some of YOUR wisdom? Start researching appropriate outlets for teaching and broadcasting.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Don’t blink! Boundary issues could get triggered on the February 16 Day of Challenges as the Sun syncs up with no-nonsense Saturn in Aquarius and your eighth house of joint resources. Socially speaking, you might realize that you’re tired of always being the one to compromise in an effort to please other people. Or perhaps you sense someone close to you is hiding a secret. Whatever the issue, it’s worth discussing it in a calm, cool manner. That’s the first step to solving the problem, hopefully for good.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
Partnerships can flip from “light and breezy” to “heavy and stormy” in the time it takes to read a text message as the Sun merges with leaden Saturn in your relationship house for the February 16 Day of Challenges. In business and in love, you may suddenly feel the need to establish clear boundaries or bring up issues of accountability. If everything is in good stead, use this as an opportunity for a relationship tune-up. Single? It might be time to up the ante by hiring a love coach or professional matchmaker.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
There’s no cutting corners on the February 16 Day of Challenges as the life-giving Sun links up with disciplined Saturn in your sixth house of work and wellness. Sticking to any sort of routine requires commitment, Virgo, but that’s rarely a problem once you set your mind to it. Whether you’re overhauling your daily work schedule or revamping your fitness plan, don’t try to tackle everything at once. Finding a single new class can keep you pumped up. In the food department, experiment with adding in one healthy item to each meal, like inflammation-busting berries, avocados or salmon.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
Tune out the world so you can listen for messages from your muse on the February 16 Day of Challenges, Libra. As the creative Sun winks at structured Saturn in Aquarius and your fifth house of self-expression, get serious about a talent that you’ve been taking for granted. Withhold judgment and devote a few hours to pursuing your craft—whatever it may be. Romance could reach a passionate peak, but you need to know if the object of your affections is playing for keeps. Ask!
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Who’s the boss here, Scorpio: you—or your emotions? On February 16, when the Sun mashes up with responsible Saturn in your emo fourth house, the heavy weight of guilt could dog you. But check in: Are you bearing a burden that isn’t totally yours to carry? Go ahead and feel what you’re feeling, but stop short of taking on other people’s pain, or their duties. Take a timeout to get centered, then find ways to empower them without enabling.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
On the February 16 Day of Challenges, as the can-do Sun teams up with sober Saturn in your thoughtful third house, you might only be able to see the storm clouds and zero silver linings. Even if you can’t change a situation that’s causing you frustration, you CAN change your reaction to it. You could certainly take a few small, proactive steps in the direction you want to steer this. And if nothing helps, reach out to friends for advice and recommendations. Someone with expertise in this area may offer illuminating insights.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
The beaming Sun aligns with your ruler, structured Saturn, for their annual conjunction—and this year, they’re holding their summit in your second house of practical magic. That’s good news for Capricorns who may feel ungrounded lately. This February 16 astrological event we call the Day of Challenges is about taking time to remember who you are and the value that you bring to the world. Do something that boosts your self-esteem, like booking a salon appointment, getting a coaching session on the books and having dinner with a friend who sees you in your highest light.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
On the February 16 Day of Challenges, you may suddenly get serious about a personal passion as the can-do Sun syncs up with structured Saturn in your sign for the final consecutive year of three. This conjunction can be weighty, but if you use it to your advantage, Aquarius, you can put some serious heft behind your visions before the ringed planet moves on to Pisces (and leaves you alone for 30 years!) on March 7. Since Saturn likes lists and project plans, envision yourself at the finish line, then work backward, mapping out the milestones you’ll need to achieve along the way. This dream could be far more achievable than you imagined!
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Flex the muscles of your helping hands, Pisces. You may be in particularly magnanimous spirits on the February 16 Day of Challenges as the can-do Sun links up with grounded Saturn in your twelfth house of healing. Your urge to give time, money or advice to a loved one in need is admirable, but don’t cross the line separating compassion and fostering codependence. And remember: Generosity is a two-way street. When you let someone help you, you’re blessing THEM with the gift of good karma!
Feature art by Rosie Dienhart