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What the 2023 Winter Solstice Means for Your Zodiac

The winter solstice is a transitional time, both seasonally and astrologically. Here's how to navigate winter solstice astrology, according to your sun sign.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Infographic
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Winter solstice astrology

The winter solstice is a magical moment astrologically. It marks both the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It ushers in moments of excitement and restful solitude—as the holiday season begins, we have one foot in celebration mode and the other in cozy mode. And it’s a time for rebirth. As we look up into the sky, we see the lights dimming darker, and we prepare for the rebirth of the sun. As an astrologer, I have seen the effects of winter solstice astrology play out in different ways, depending on what the other planets are up to.

So what can you expect from the winter solstice, according to your astrological sign? And should you be making your New Year’s resolutions based on your zodiac this season? Here’s what you need to know.

How will the 2023 winter solstice affect you?

This year’s winter solstice takes place at 10:27 p.m. ET on Dec. 21. But what’s so special about it? Well, it turns out quite a lot! Pluto, the planet of transformation, is finishing up a decade-and-a-half-long transit in serious Capricorn. On Jan. 20, 2024, Pluto will enter idealistic Aquarius, where it will transit for the next 20 years. Think back to when Pluto first moved into Capricorn back in 2008. What was going on in your life at that time? How has the world changed since then—and how have you changed? This winter solstice marks a final crescendo to that cycle in your life. Take care of business, and then celebrate.

And while this year’s winter solstice happens on a Thursday, everyone will feel the effects in the few days following. Paying attention to winter solstice astrology will help you maximize that sweet spot, where convivial Sagittarius meets its more private relative, Capricorn. So if you feel part extrovert and part introvert, you are in sync with the stars. You can check in with your sun and rising sign to make sure you have a sense of what’s in store, and end the year on a lovely note.

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What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Aries
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Aries (March 21–April 19)

This time of year, you’re typically ready to go wild with fun activities on a packed calendar, but the especially heavy earth energy may put you in a more slow-moving mood. This mellow vibe will likely be good for your relationships and your longer-term business plans. Sometimes, Aries are pigeonholed as impatient and brash. This winter solstice will shine a light on your more mature traits, and you will magnetically pull good luck to yourself—you won’t need to chase anyone or anything. Spending time with your best friends based on your zodiac is apt to bring joy to your heart, and you may just love the way your oldest friends make you feel. Although you are known to chase excitement, this solstice may help you enjoy the feeling of stillness just as much.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Taurus
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Taurus (April 20–May 20)

On the day of the winter solstice, the moon in your sign will make you feel like you’re in the right place at the right time—because you are! Even if family issues or vacation snafus pop up, you have great instincts about how to smooth out any snags quickly. The days that follow the winter solstice still maintain a feeling of confidence for you. Take this as a sign not to second-guess yourself in the coming months. Your self-assuredness is well-earned, though you still might want to wear your zodiac power colors for an added boost of confidence. With original and experimental Uranus in your sign, you may even feel a little ahead of your time.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Gemini
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Gemini (May 21–June 20)

The winter solstice falls in your house of partnerships and legal matters. With Pluto (the planet of self-transformation) finishing up a transit in this same sector, you have a rare opportunity to do a reset with the specific matters that have dragged you down in the past. Find a quiet moment and consider what you would like to begin in the new year. Opportunities abound, so rest up, clear your mind and prepare for abundance. And don’t forget to check your rising sign and sister signs for more intel.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Cancer
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Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Winter solstice astrology is all about love for you, Cancer. Your beloved, or your closest family members and friends, are apt to appreciate coming home to you. You do well hosting a gathering and being the unifying element in the different connections between the people in your life. When you sneak in some time alone, pull out your journal and start writing down some resolutions for 2024. The heavy Capricorn energy around the solstice and in the month that follows may keep you reserved, but once 2024 is in full gear, there’s no stopping you.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Leo
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Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

Focus on rest and good health during this winter solstice season, as the sun joins Pluto in the wellness sector of your chart. Of course as a Leo, you need to be the life of the party, but once you’ve raised your glass in toast, indulge in a little spa treatment, Netflix and chill or do whatever makes you feel the most relaxed. You are known as one of the happiest zodiac signs, and let’s face it, you are happy getting a lot of attention! You can always plan a group outing to do a little self-care, as the sound of your friends laughing at your jokes fills you with joy.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Virgo
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Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

The winter solstice marks the sun’s entry into Capricorn, where it is joined by Mercury, the planet of communication. Mercury is your ruler, and it’s urging you to apply creativity to all of your endeavors. Whether it’s redecorating your living room, journaling or diving into photography, you have extra artistic flair with words and images right now. Additionally, in the days around the solstice, you may be the object of someone special’s attention. Check for your astrological compatibility, but of course, trust your gut more than anything. Others are noticing you now, so don’t be afraid to hold out for the best date or mate.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Libra
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Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

This is a cozy time of year, Libra. The winter solstice accentuates your home and family sector, and you may want to stick close to the ones you love most. If you had to deal with miscommunications with relatives earlier in the month, this is the time when love prevails—you are, after all, known as one of the most polite zodiac signs. During this astrological event, socializing shifts into philosophizing. So maybe bring your best friends over to spend time with the family. You likely already have your core friends, but winter solstice astrology says that you just might find someone you didn’t know as deeply who really makes you feel appreciated and loved.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Scorpio
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Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

This is a very lighthearted time of year for you, Scorpio. The winter solstice falls in your house of socializing, so of course you should gadabout and have fun! Mercury, the planet of communication, aligns with the winter solstice and gives you a chance to laugh and breathe. You are coming out of a super hardworking end to the year, and the pressure is finally off. You are always thinking ahead, though, Scorpio, and will enjoy lighting a candle on New Year’s Eve, meditating for a few minutes and making your best resolutions ever.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Sagittarius
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Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

The sun and Mercury just finished up a stint in your sign, and on Dec. 21, the winter solstice arrives, christening your house of money. It’s a fine time to consider a pre–New Year’s purge of clothes and junk that would find a better home at Goodwill. Giving makes you feel great, which is probably why you are known as one of the happiest zodiac signs. They say that generous people are the luckiest, and your largesse of spirit comes back to you in surprising ways. Whatever you do this season, you are apt to find that luck turns your way, especially in matters of finance.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Capricorn
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Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

This is your time of year, Capricorn, as the winter solstice graces your sign with expansive good will. Mercury, the planet of communication, joins the sun and adds extra charm to all of your social engagements. People are finding you more engaging than ever, and as your birthday season arrives, you are ready to have more fun than you can possibly imagine. If you’re following winer solstice astrology, also make sure to check out your zodiac compatibility, as you are apt to have a flirt-a-thon during the winter solstice and in the days that follow. Cut loose and be free, Capricorn!

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Aquarius
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Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

The sun and Mercury both enter your house of endings and new beginnings during the 2023 winter solstice. Next year will be a big year for you, Aquarius, so clear out the projects, social obligations and daily habits that no longer serve you. You want to make space for expansive, exciting new opportunities to enter your life. Look back on old notes and diaries to see what you were hoping for in years past. This upcoming year belongs to you as Pluto enters your sign, where it will transit for the next 20 years.

What The 2023 Winter Solstice Means For Your Zodiac Pisces
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Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

The winter solstice accentuates your house of friends and community, Pisces. The tone is set to refresh the good times with your pals and put silly misunderstandings behind you. Generosity of spirit is the phrase of the day, and your friends love your innate ability to give. It’s a wonderful time to explore different neighborhoods and new haunts with your besties—you’re in the mood to mix things up, so go places that excite you, and go with your gang.

Jill Dearman
Jill writes about astrology and culture for Reader's Digest. She is the author of Queer Astrology for Men and Queer Astrology for Women and has written for dozens of publications over the years. She has been called the O.G. Astrologer, which is a handle she'd like to use in her imaginary life as an old-school rapper. She is also the author of several crime novels including Jazzed; a book on the history of feminism for teens; and a writing guide called Bang the Keys: Four Steps to a Lifelong Writing Practice. She writes regularly about books for CrimeReads and The Brooklyn Rail.