The 2023 Winter Solstice Is Bringing Positive, Forward-Looking Vibes—And These 3 Zodiac Signs Will Feel It Most Intensely

Photo: Getty Images / Lorenzo Capunata
There’s always something a bit foreboding about the winter solstice, which arrives on December 21: It’s the day of the year filled with more hours of darkness than any other, and it heralds a season of dimness and chilly temperatures. If that description alone has you ready to hibernate, you’ll be pleased to know the cosmos is aligned for that endeavor. Astrologically speaking, the effects of the winter solstice channel big emotions that warrant some time spent processing... but this year, that reflective energy has a decidedly positive tinge to it, especially for the three zodiac signs most affected.

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The winter solstice figures big in Western astrology not only because it marks the changing of the seasons, but also because it’s the day each year when the sun moves into the cardinal sign of Capricorn, says astrologer Narayana Montúfar, author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. (If you picture the zodiac calendar, as a whole, you’ll note that each of the solstices and equinoxes falls at the start of a new cardinal sign's season.) “This is a supercharged moment in time that will set the tone for the collective vibrations we will experience for the next three months, until the spring equinox arrives,” she says.

As for what that tone will be? Consider first the seriousness, ambition, and depth of Capricorn, which is a sign focused on “building strong, long-term foundations,” says Montúfar. Translation: We could find ourselves thinking long and hard about big projects and goals.

This year, a few coinciding planetary transits also align with the season’s focus on goal-setting, drumming up anticipation for the new year to come. Yes, Mercury may be retrograde until January 1, but Montúfar says that the negative effects of this transit (which tend to come in the form of crossed wires and travel mishaps) will pale in comparison to the collective positive energy of the weeks ahead.

“As the sun enters Capricorn on the winter solstice, it's going to form a trine with Jupiter in Taurus,” says Montúfar. Given that a trine is a supportive aspect and Jupiter is the planet of luck and fortune, this cosmic alignment can only mean good things: “There’s this activation of an optimistic, long-view philosophical energy of Jupiter,” she says, which we can harness by taking a big-picture approach to projects instead of worrying about the minutiae. “Because Mercury is still retrograde during the solstice, you won't have all the answers, and that's okay. The message we're getting here is to trust that things will work out,” says Montúfar.

And if you needed more proof? Consider the fact that Jupiter ends its months-long retrograde not long after, on December 30, and as it stations direct, it offers us even more forward momentum to pursue our passions.

“Because Mercury is still retrograde during the solstice, you won't have all the answers, and that's okay. The message we're getting here is to trust that things will work out.” —Narayana Montúfar, astrologer

Given that the winter solstice brings the start of Capricorn season, it’s no surprise the sea goats will be deeply impacted by its astrological milieu. But according to Montúfar, there are two other zodiac signs destined to feel the effects of this winter solstice (and sense the exciting prospects of the new year) just as intensely: the other Earth signs, Taurus and Virgo.

All three signs will benefit from using the winter solstice as an opportunity to reflect on their life’s path and consider whether their methods for achieving their goals are fruitful and aligned with their values, says Montúfar. “Earth signs like to do things a certain way, but they'll need to get out of that mindset, and think bigger or try something else,” she says. “That's going to be the vibe of the entire year—thinking about seeing your life from a different perspective.”

Below, Montúfar shares the particular vibe each of these signs can expect from the winter solstice, and how to make the most of it.

The 3 zodiac signs poised to feel the effects of the winter solstice most powerfully


Huzzah—it’s the start of your season, Capricorn! That means you’ll be in your element as the winter solstice hits—which, for you, means prepared to work hard toward new and ever-loftier goals. However, this year’s winter solstice will require more reflection and introspection than you’re used to, according to Montúfar.

Ahead of the new year, you’ll want to reflect on your values, and consider whether your work, your actions, and the people in your sphere align with them. “It's going to be slow for now,” says Montúfar, “and then accelerate a lot in the first quarter [of 2024].” That's because Mars enters Capricorn on January 4, a new moon arrives in Capricorn on January 11, and come January 12, the sun in Capricorn will be trine to Jupiter again. “Having the sun in your sign trining Jupiter means that this will be a season of personal growth—but first, you have to dive in, and get dialed in. After all, you can’t really manifest something for yourself if you don't get super clear on what it is that you want to manifest,” she says.

That's why the current moment is so ripe for reflection. “Take stock of everything,” says Montúfar. “It's really important for you to go within, to use the current Mercury retrograde as an opportunity to slow down and figure out what you desire.” It's possible that certain people or things in your life might not serve you anymore, and letting go of them will make room for more aligned opportunities to arrive.


You’re typically grounded and hard to rouse, but with the moon entering your sign on December 22 (just after the solstice), you may feel more emotional than usual, Taurus. Trust, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: The moon in Taurus is referred to as "exalted" by astrologers, meaning it's in a favorable position—which is good news for you.

You can manage any emotional undercurrents by focusing on self care and really listening to what your body needs, says Montúfar. Funneling attention toward your physical self may help you strengthen your mind-body connection and feel more comfortable expressing emotions (which isn't typically your strong suit).

In particular, slow movements (like a calming yoga flow) and soothing breathwork might help you release tension and connect with your feelings, says Montúfar. “Your intuition has some big ideas to share with you—major a-ha moments could be on the horizon—but if the body is not being taken care of, you'll struggle to access them.”


It’s high time to let loose and live a little, Virgo. The arrival of the winter solstice highlights your fifth astrological house of romance, bringing a playful energy that opposes your detail-oriented personality. Montúfar suggests trying to abandon (some of) your need for perfection: Those around you already know how dedicated you are to doing your best work—there's no need to prove yourself.

While the rest of the zodiac may feel compelled to put in work this Capricorn season (after all, Capricorn is the most work-oriented sign of all), the solstice invites you to relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw, and indulge in life’s simple pleasures.

“The vibe is completely the opposite for Virgos [as it is for everyone else]; it's more about having fun,” says Montúfar. “It feels like a time for thinking, mind expansion, and learning.” Leaning into fun, too, should help offset the fatigue and confusion caused by Mercury retrograde. “Instead of worrying so much about getting everything right, have a little bit more fun,” says Montúfar. “Let's say your computer's breaking down [in classic Mercury retrograde fashion]—close it, and plan to come back to it later, while doing something you enjoy in the meantime.”

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