The Astrological New Year on March 19 Is Bringing the Cosmic Reset You’ve Been Craving

Photo: Stocksy / Liliya Rodnikova
There’s no shortage of opportunities to reinvent yourself in this world. Not to get too existential, but change is innately linked to our humanity, from the moment we touch down on Earth to the day when we take our last breaths, and every day in between. Though it's common practice to use New Year's Day as a time to jumpstart the big changes you'd like to make within yourself or your life, the cosmos has another idea: The astrological new year arrives at the start of spring each calendar year, coinciding with the beginning of Aries season and the spring equinox, which occurs this year on March 19, 2024.

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Once the astrological new year arrives, the number of daylight hours grows each day until the summer solstice (which arrives on June 20, 2024), signaling our spiritual rebirth. As new buds burst and the color returns to the natural world, we tend to feel re-energized as well—and not just because of all that extra sunshine. The cosmic energy of the astrological new year and the beginning of Aries season also has to do with initiating things, starting fresh, and taking big, bold steps forward.

When is the astrological new year in 2024?

While the 12-month Gregorian calendar restarts each year on January 1, the astrological new year shifts depending on the year, usually falling on either March 20 or March 21. Because 2024 is a leap year and had an extra day in February (leap day baby, anyone?), this year's astrological new year occurs on March 19, 2024, at 11:06 p.m. EDT, when the sun enters Aries.

What is the astrological new year?

The astrological new year marks the beginning of a new zodiacal cycle, providing us with a cosmic breath of fresh air. This cycle follows the sun as it traverses the cosmos, moving through each of the 12 constellations of the zodiac (at least from our perspective down here on Earth).

Specifically, the astrological new year happens when the sun moves out of the final sign of the zodiac calendar, Pisces, and into the first zodiac sign of Aries once more. Where Pisces is an emotionally attuned water sign ruled by the mystical planet of Neptune, and has a dreamy bent about it, Aries is a powerful fire sign ruled by intense Mars. And the sun's shift from the former into the latter tends to hit us with a jolt of Aries energy, awakening us from the spiritual daydream that is Pisces season.

“[The astrological new year] is taking us out of that dark period—symbolically dark and physically dark—and bringing us into a moment where we can finally breathe easily again.” —Babs Cheung, astrologer

Typically, by the end of Pisces season, we're left feeling a bit emotionally and spiritually sapped, as it's a sign that tends to spend a good deal of time in its own head and heart. The arrival of the astrological new year and Aries season is “taking us out of that dark period—symbolically dark and physically dark—and bringing us into a moment where we can finally breathe easily again,” says astrologer Babs Cheung. There's a sense of relief and a freeing feeling of forward momentum.

It's no coincidence, then, that it's the sign of Aries that kicks off a new astrological year: Its hallmark traits include none other than courage, assertion, and trailblazing fervor. “When we think about the beginning of the world, we might think about the Big Bang,” says Cheung. If the universe exploded into being from a single spark of energy, then Aries can be imagined as the spark that started the zodiac, she says, with each successive sign learning from the previous one’s lessons. You can think of Aries season, then, as the beginning of that process, with its focus on core themes of the self and individuality.

How to embrace the 2024 astrological new year

In astrology, this celestial transition represents *so* much more than just a calendrical turnover; it embodies a profound opportunity for spiritual renewal. While particular zodiac signs, like fellow fire signs Leo and Sagittarius, may be especially impacted by the dawn of Aries season, we're all bound to feel a surge of motivation around the 2024 astrological new year.

This makes it an ideal time for us all to jumpstart new projects, set fresh goals and intentions, ditch the habits that no longer serve us, and embrace change. You can take advantage of this day by doing activities that support the life you envision for yourself, like building a mood board or getting rid of any junk in your life—literally or figuratively—that’s been collecting dust.

You may also consider taking a moment to reflect on the strides you've made toward personal growth throughout the astrological year that's ending (so, between last spring and now), and then use this progress as motivation to set new goals for the year ahead. A few major astrology events to look forward to during this trip through the zodiac seasons? A rare (and super lucky) conjunction of innovative Uranus and dreamy Neptune on April 20, and the shift of beneficent Jupiter into the sign of Gemini on May 25, which could bring luck for the Geminis and within Gemini-ruled areas of life, like communication.

In the meantime, though, the astrological new year and coinciding spring equinox will affect every zodiac sign, setting us all on a new path forward. But if that journey seems to be starting with more of a whisper than a bang, know that that's okay, too.

If you're still feeling exhausted from the long stretch of winter, don’t pressure yourself to make massive changes overnight, says Cheung. Rather, bask in the glow of this brighter season to come, and take comfort in the fact that there will still be ample opportunity to shake things up in the fresh astrological year ahead. “Be open to the new ideas that are flooding in, but also remember that you just came from a place of slowness,” says Cheung. “After all, the new year is just beginning—there’s no rush!”

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