Tarot of 2023

By Suzanne Corbie

Tarot of 2023

A divinatory look at the advice that the Tarot can offer us for this year. 

The Card for this year is the Tower, representing truth or awakening into the reality of a situation that brings about change, sometimes of a sudden nature. 

A quote that springs to mind from A Few Good Men that resonates with this card is; “The truth? You can’t handle the truth!” And ain’t that the truth!  We know what is happening but we choose not to see. We are aware that things are not right but ‘seeing’ them means we have to acknowledge them and then maybe we have to make decisions and take responsibility. Such things are not done lightly. 


NB: 2023 is a number 7 year (Chariot), or 16 (Tower) broken down into 1 + 6 – 7. If, like me, you travel through all the major arcana over the years, you will inevitably have double figures and this year, for me, it is the Tower. (For Tarot readers and teachers, see my footnote at the end).

Arcana XVI: The Tower

“Three things cannot be long hidden; the sun, the moon and the truth” Buddha

At some point in our lives, all the effort and time spent envisioning, building, planning and bringing together dreams, hopes and focused goals is not enough. Things need to change and what we have built no longer serves us well. The Tower that represents the sum of our existence, has been hit by a powerful force and is crumbling. What happens when we find our dreams are broken illusions? When we no longer fit into the role we chose for ourselves? When our career, family life, social life or even just the way we are living our lives – just isn’t making us feel alive? When we find the years of work meaningless? When a revelation pierces through the fabric of our lives? What do we do and what does it mean?

This is at the heart of 2023; established thoughts, organisations, governments, patterns, the way we live our lives – all to be confronted by truth, shattering illusions and demanding change. Our relationship with our ability to change, our perception of what is true and to let go of what we believe and follow may all come under question– in the macrocosm of our wider world and the microcosm of our personal lives.

Change is something we are already used to with the challenging stars of the past few years, but this year hits at the core of who we are and what we believe in and build our lives around and upon. It may be that circumstances or relationships are making you reconsider what you thought was rock solid. It may be that the path you have been treading, be it spiritual, emotional or physical, does not feel as strong beneath your feet. It may be that the shifting sands of the world around us is offering an existential question. I can promise you that you won’t be alone in such feelings. They are the visceral effects of staggering changes of tsunami proportions across our world that have swept in on the wave of technology and thrown us in the deep end to find out how to swim.  Now we are looking at the cost. What has survived and what is growing? Where is our new terra firma?

Title of the Tower: Lord of the Hosts of Matter

Ruled by Mars, the planet of action, courage, passion and desire – we build our towers out of our own inner desires and hold them together with our and all passion, effort and all the energy we can muster.  2022 was the year of the Devil which does not actually exist except as an impression, a feeling, a perspective in our minds, projected onto another issue or person. The Tower however, true to its title, is how we build and construct our lives, mentally and physically, avoiding the truth that nothing material can last forever. If we cannot accept that, we continue to hold fast to structures long past their sell by dates and suffer the cost of that accordingly and invest in a dream rather than a reality. Change is the one thing of which we can be certain in life and we can either move and grow with it, as difficult as that may be, or we can fight to keep our structures from falling, even though many are long past their sell by dates.

Fear of radical change, and make no mistake about it, this is the challenge of the Tower,  can make us respond in abrupt, harsh, sometimes even cruel and certainly defensive ways, triggering old resentments and anger as we fall from our high towers of judgement and certainty. However, the gift in the Tower is of equal proportion to what is lost in the falling. New ways of being, thinking, building and living are possible. Ideas and dreams of a healthier way of living, of greater respect to the planet and nature, consideration and thoughtfulness of others, equality and freedom- not new concepts – but the tower offers all of these in the process of what follows. When we think that the next card is the Star, that rises from the ashes of the tower, we can see that the gifts can be inspiring and uplifting.  We only have to let go of what is familiar to embrace the unknown.

Qabalistic Correspondence: Path 27: Netzach to Hod: Here beauty and harmony acts with courage and boldness to destroy the old and establish the new with greater powers of communication to fuse the new wiring together. There is greater flexibility, more understanding and an ability to adapt to change rather than holding on to past success. Think what is harmonious and beautiful as a guide to knowing whether you are on the right track.


It is interesting that last year and this year focus on communication as being significant to both exposing illusions and informing truth. We have been learning how to navigate both and it has changed and will continue to transform the way we communicate, how we source our information and what we allow to influence us and shape our characters and our lives. 


“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart



The Hebrew letter Peh is a double letter and known as a gateway of soul through communication, including the connections between our mind, body and soul as well as with each other and in the bigger picture of a global stage.


Communication is absolutely key here and emphasised by the symbol of the mouth which can nourish and make connections where previously none were possible. Integrity and living the truth of what we speak is paramount here as false messiahs will be exposed as quickly as they rise.  When we communicate without integrity, divisions and illusions spread like wildfire and cause disruption and fear. Nourishment is given by communicating with wisdom; speaking truth through the windows of reason, allows light to enter and the light is the revelation or lightening bolt of the tower. If only such wisdom could prevail on the countries that suffer so very much from the language of power and war.


Spiritual Intelligence: The Exciting Intelligence:  Here we are invited to have the courage to ‘right’ the ‘bad’ situations we find ourselves in or have any influence in. Instead of focusing on the person or their action, consider if the situation has any merit, or whether the bigger picture or outcome might be worth focusing towards rather than the immediate visceral response. Our courage lies in our first battle, which is with the ego and the self which needs to understand that it is not separate, but in fact needs to be re-aligned with the higher self.


Courage is found in unlikely places” J R Tolkein


Archetype of Liberation


The image of a tower falling down has long been a symbol of disaster, striking as it does at the heart of a structure of stability and growth. Since 9/11, our own modern interpretation has only deepened our awareness of it as an archetype. Here the tower represents the structures we have built our lives on; faith, work, reputation, partner or children – there comes a point where, if we have not allowed those structures to grow and evolve and change us, they collapse. Sometimes, these structures are reinforced by fear of judgement, desire, dreams, memories, fear or greed, all holding the structure together –  as fear of its collapse is greater than the damage the inability to confront the truth may have on our lives.


“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” George Orwell



But its hidden gift is liberation – from all that held us in the devil (which was last year’s card). Do we know this deep in the recesses of our hearts? Have we sensed it for some time? Does it matter? We are liberated when we are ready to face our truth which has the power to release us from the towering prison of our outworn defences, habits and attitudes. I often think of the Tower as the gift that releases us if we haven’t been able to shift our mind-forged manacles that bound us in the Devil.



Astrological themes of 2023 through Tarot


Saturn moves into Pisces (The World moves into the Moon) in March bringing with it a watery, healing and sensitive, dreamy energy. Married with direction as it is with the Chariot (a 7 year as is 2023), it can be powerful, understanding and inspired. Here we can learn how to turn dreams into reality and see our vision become reality. If our towers are crumbling, we need a vision to aim towards, otherwise we wallow in despair and loss of direction as well as living without meaning. And our visions will need substance. Relying on intuition alone won’t be enough and faith and belief will be tested in the Alchemist’s Crucible to see what emerges when it is tested.


“This is why alchemy exists,” the boy said. “So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life. Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead; and then lead will have to turn itself into gold”. Paul Coelho, The Alchemist


Pluto moves into Aquarius (Judgement moving into the Star offering an awakening of a new vision of life) for a couple of months from late march to mid-June. Pluto has been challenging, disrupting the structures of our societies and ways of life in Capricorn since 2008 and this new shift will offer an insight into what is approaching in the future when it moves back into Aquarius in 2023. Whilst the rise of the individual, equal opportunities and solo enterprises rise against the corporate and collective mindset, we may struggle to find unity and a moral compass that brings us together instead of tearing us apart. Dreams and visions will need to offer tangible realities if they are not to be revealed for the illusions they are.


New ways of working, living, coping and governing are already changing, but so far it has felt too much like a distant vision with the hardship being felt in the breaking down process of the old ways. As our towers fall, we need to have hope to move forward. When we move further into the Star (Pluto into Aquarius), the vision will begin to manifest more visibly and we shall see more clearly what changes worked and which ones fell by the wayside.


2023 Year of the Water Rabbit

Water being yin, emphasises the gentle, sensitive and receptive nature of the rabbit, who is generally considered to be peaceful, if not fertile! Whilst kind and caring, the rabbit is weak in mindset and can be easily influenced or distracted. If integrity and truth matters, we will need to be focused and not waylaid by pretty dreams. This marries with the influence of the Chariot, which 2023 also represents. The Chariot is ruled by Cancer and thus the moon and invites us to acknowledge our feelings, listen to our heart and use our intuition in order to navigate the challenges ahead.



And with this, my sixteenth annual divination which began in 1999, I wish you all a happy and healthy new year, with adventure and magic, wisdom and honesty, courage and patience as it is all, at the end of the day, a work in progress..

With many blessings

Suzanne Corbie

1st January, 2023


Note for tarot Readers and Students; 

The year card is discovered by adding up the digits in the year together and reducing to one digit. 2022 clearly adds up to 6 but there’s a catch if you are doing this every year. 

In using the numerology of the year, (2 + 0 + 2 + 3= 7), we can only go up to halfway in the Major Arcana, unless we continue into double digit figures. If we don’t use the double digits, we are not using the whole of the Major Arcana and journeying through the entire journey of the fool – we remain in the first half and then repeat. However, using the double digits means that you will, at some point, have two cards rather than just one for a year. Thus for me, this year was a 16 year – the Tower but I have referred to the Chariot as the 7 year.  Up to you how you interpret that as there are no rules.