Year of the Rabbit 2023: Lunar New Year Horoscope

Farewell, Year of the Tiger 2022! Soft and fluffy is the mood for Year of the Rabbit 2023.

The following is excerpted from The AstroTwins’ 2023 Horoscope book

Farewell, fierce Year of the Water Tiger! The Year of the Rabbit’s mood when the gentle, emo Water Rabbit hops to the helm—our new lunar ruler beginning on January 22, 2023.

What year is the Year of the Rabbit?

The Year of the Rabbit is the lunar new year for 2023, which begins on Sunday, January 22, 2023 and ends on Friday, February 9, 2024.

In Chinese astrology, Rabbit is fourth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac signs. Past Years of the Rabbit include: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1875, 1963, 1951.

Find your Chinese zodiac sign with Astrostyle’s calculator.

What does the Year of the Rabbit mean?

Top tip for 2023’s Water Rabbit

Try a little tenderness. (Make that a lot of it!)

After clawing our way through the cold, competitive energy of 2022’s Water Tiger, it’s time to change our stripes. Not a moment too soon, the ethereal Water Rabbit arrives to restore us to serenity.

Lunar new years eve is celebrated during the annual Aquarius new moon, which is the final day of each year. Note: The timing is based on the lunisolar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar, which is why Lunar New Years shift dates annually.

In 2023, Lunar NYE—and the Aquarius new moon—arrive on January 21 and New Year’s Day is January 22.

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What is the Year of the Rabbit personality?

Themes of a Year of the Rabbit

  • Serenity
  • Abundance
  • Ethereal mood
  • Creativity
  • Heightened sensitivity
  • Expressing affection
  • Desire for intimate bonding
  • Escapism; addictive tendencies
  • Victim mindset

The Year of the Rabbit is ruled by water

The Chinese zodiac is divided into five key elements of nature, or Wu Xing: wood, water, metal, fire and earth. Each lunar year is governed by a different element. A year ending in 2 or 3 is ruled by the water element, such as 2023’s Year of the Rabbit.

Yin in its expression, water brings the energy of deep emotion, creativity, fluidity and fluctuation. Ideally, these are years meant for diving deep, examining feelings and shapeshifting. However, depending on the ruling animal, water can flow hot, cold, icy or steamy.

What to expect in the Year of the Rabbit

Last year’s Water Tiger aroused feelings that were reactive and revolutionary. It was anything but calm! Conflicts centered around extreme convictions, from the Russia-Ukraine war to the hijab-burnings in Iran to the fight for reproductive rights and fraught U.S. Midterm elections. In our personal lives, many of us bear battle scars from standing up for our principles with neighbors, family and once-close friends. It was indeed the Tiger’s jungle out there.

While these ideological wars aren’t going to dissipate overnight, the shift on January 22 will be palpable. Think about it: We are flipping from the ultimate predator (Tiger) to the ultimate prey (Rabbit). Suddenly, our sense of safety will be tantamount. Survival instincts: activated!

While Tiger is solitary, Rabbit is social and communal. The emotional dam may break in 2023, bringing an outpouring of empathy. We could drown in feelings of sorrow or victimhood. Or we may just get so overwhelmed that we need trusted allies to pull us out of a hole. That’s good reason to huddle with a support network—or to actively go develop one.

What to do in a Year of the Rabbit

Calling all cuddlebunnies: The affectionate Rabbit loves to cuddle and bond. This is the year to wrap our arms around each other…literally! Studies show that a hug lasting for 20-30 seconds triggers the body to release soothing neurochemicals like oxytocin. 

Funny bunny fact: When rabbits are happy, they literally do a full-bodied leap into the air called a “binky.” If you’ve ever witnessed one, we bet it sparked instant joy for you. Go watch one on YouTube and we dare you not to smile!

During this touchy-feely year, we’d all be wise to consider the phenomenon of emotional contagion observed by neuroscientists. Feelings can, er, bunny hop, from person to person, even if we’re simply witnessing a facial gesture. Yes, your smile could literally turn someone’s frown upside down—or vice versa. So check that RBF!

What can we learn from past Rabbit years?

Rabbit years are times when our fears are easily triggered.

And there are plenty of scary things happening in this fast-changing world, from the climate crisis to inflation to autocrats with nuclear weapons forming alliances. (All when we are still grappling with new strains of COVID and monkeypox…)

In 1963, the last Water Rabbit year on the books, JFK was assassinated—and Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed—stirring up global fears, conspiracy theories and unrest.

To mitigate our overwhelming feelings, we run a high risk of escaping into addictive vices during Water Rabbit years. Yet these Band-Aids only send us plummeting further down the wrong kind of rabbit holes. There’s nothing wrong with self-soothing but opt for healthy means of release.

The Rabbit’s ruling planet is Neptune

The Rabbit is ruled by spiritual Neptune and shares traits to the Western zodiac sign of Pisces, the sign that rules illusions, escape, boundlessness and profound visualization. Reality may be a fluid concept in 2023, one we may wish to scurry away from as often as possible. 

Rabbit Year caution, and action

A wise use of Rabbit’s Piscean-style energy would be to work on your subconscious mind.

Think: guided meditation, binaural beats, hypnotherapy and sleep sanctification. Keep those blue-light-emitting devices out of the bedroom, turn on the soothing music (instead of an agitating streaming series) and pipe in calming scents from an aromatherapy diffuser. Try natural supplements like magnesium or various adaptogenic mushrooms before tucking in. Dreams will be vivid during the Water Rabbit Year, so do what you can to make them sweet.

Because rabbits are skittish, they can be docile and easily manipulated by treats. Metaphorically, Water Rabbit years are times to be extra careful of the carrots being dangled in our path. It’s almost too easy to turn to a so-called enlightened master who is actually a master manipulator—or a full-on cult leader. (Three words: Follow the money.) Careful what you get yourself wrapped up in when you’re feeling lonely, isolated or in need of a community.

Of course, maybe it’s time to amass a metaphoric cult following? For artists, 2023 is prime time for attracting fans. Beatlemania broke out in 1963, the last time we had a Water Rabbit year, with frenzied teens going wild for those four Brits with funny bowl haircuts and boppy ditties about holding hands. 

Year of the Rabbit and money, climate

The Water Rabbit can open up more flow: financially, creatively and spiritually. Rabbits are abundant creatures, capable of bearing seven “kits” in five litters every year. Metaphorically, 2023 is a year that’s fertile in possibility. Creative financing could afford us opportunities via bartering or shared economic models.

Neptune, the Rabbit’s galactic guardian, rules the seas, which are currently in crisis. As we enter 2023, there is much work to be done. Oceans are warming to the tipping point. The watery devastations were massive in 2022: Florida’s west coast was ravaged by Hurricane Ian, parts of China’s Yangtze River dried up, monsoons flooded India and droughts in the western U.S. brought a surge of forest fires, water shortages and other alarming shifts to weather patterns. 

While we hoped that 2022’s Water Tiger would spur innovations, solutions remain at large. Perhaps the Rabbit will apply its creativity the process. 

What to manifest during a Year of the Rabbit

Rather than fall prey to fear, Rabbit years are powerful times for healing and visualization. In 1963, the prior Water Rabbit Year, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his legendary I Have a Dream speech—a Neptunian/Piscean ideal if ever there were.

As we enter 2023, we are ready for another dream that, ironically, wakes us up. As much as we might want to tune out, ignore the news and focus on what’s convenient, that sort of escapism could be detrimental to our existence as a species.

Manifestation is a powerful tool during the Water Rabbit year, but not if we confuse it with blithe “positive thinking.” Problems must be addressed while we hold the vision of a better, brighter future.

It’s a paradox, but our future as a species might just depend on it. Fortunately, Rabbit years give us great survival instincts. Let’s hop to it!


The AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.