What to Expect from the Solar Eclipse in Aries on April 19/20
...and tips for how to get through eclipses in general
On April 19/20, 2023, there will be a rare hybrid solar eclipse in the sign of Aries. Eclipses can bring in intensity and drama, and it’s important to make sure you don’t get negatively swept up in the moment and make choices you may later regret.
Here’s a lowdown on what you need to know about eclipses and how to get through them in general, as well as details on the flavor this month’s eclipse will bring.
A solar eclipse: the astronomy lowdown
A solar eclipse is a celestial event that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, causing the Sun to be either partially or completely obscured from view.
The Moon's orbit around the Earth is not perfectly aligned with the Earth's orbit around the Sun, which means that solar eclipses do not occur every time the Moon orbits the Earth. Instead, solar eclipses occur when the Moon crosses one of the two points in its orbit around the Earth where it intersects the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. These two points are known as the Moon's nodes.
The Moon's nodes play a crucial role in determining when solar eclipses occur, as the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth must be precise for a solar eclipse to take place. When the Moon is at one of its nodes during a new moon phase, a solar eclipse can occur. The type of solar eclipse that occurs (total, partial, or annular) depends on the position of the Moon and the distance between the Earth, Moon, and Sun at the time of the eclipse.
The nodes of the Moon are constantly moving, which means that their position changes over time. As a result, the frequency and timing of solar eclipses can vary over long periods of time. On average, we have two to four eclipses per year, but can have up to seven.
Solar versus lunar eclipse: the astrology lowdown
In both Vedic and Western astrology, solar and lunar eclipses are considered to be powerful astrological events that can have significant effects on an individual's life and collective consciousness and affairs.
A solar eclipse occurs during a new moon, when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, blocking the Sun's light and casting a shadow on the Earth. The energy of a solar eclipse can be intense and trigger important changes and shifts in a person's life or in society as a whole.
A lunar eclipse occurs during a full moon, when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, casting a shadow on the Moon and causing it to appear red or orange.
Astrologically speaking, the actual “flavor” of the eclipse will depend on the sign it falls in, what aspects it receives from other planets and whether the eclipse is triggered by Rahu (the North Node) or Ketu (the South Node). These two guys deserve a post of their own, but in general, Rahu will amp up energy, confusion and obsessive thinking, whereas Ketu is more about letting go, elimination, ungroundedness and the feeling of “losing one’s head”. Both can distort reality and hinder thinking clearly.
Solar and lunar eclipses can bring about significant and sometimes dramatic changes, beginning and endings and transformations. However, the specific effects of an eclipse on your individual life will depend on how it interacts with your birth chart (e.g., which house it falls in, what planets it’s aspects, etc.=
Eclipse Survival Guide 101
Although I’ll get into the details of the solar eclipse on April 19/20 in just a bit, I thought I’d offer a general eclipse survival guide 101 you could use any old time one rolls around, either solar or lunar.
In general, eclipses:
can be hard on your health. Don’t be surprised if your energy is lower than usual around April 19/20. Eclipses can also be especially hard on the eyes, so go easy on the screen time if this happens.
can heighten emotions and lead to unclear thinking. The sun and moon are the luminaries, and when they become eclipsed, we might not see things as clearly as we would otherwise.
can bring drama – and watch out! The effects of an eclipse are felt for months after the fact, so make sure you’re not the one creating the drama. If you are, the consequences of your actions will linger.
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What you shouldn’t do during an eclipse:
make any major life decisions. If you have the sudden desire to quit your job or get a divorce, hold off a bit before you get the ball rolling. If you still want to make major changes a week or two after the eclipse, well, alright then. However, right before as well as during the eclipse it’s really not the right time for rash decisions.
start something new. You definitely don’t have to stop life and hide in the basement, but hold off on beginning new projects or starting a business, for example, until the eclipse has passed. The general (Jyotish) rule of thumb is to not start any new activities ten days before a solar eclipse or five days before a lunar eclipse.
take drugs or drink alcohol. The world won’t end if you have a glass of wine with dinner, but in general, you should avoid intoxicating substances on the day of the eclipse.
do any manifestation. The energy of an eclipse is intense, and it may ultimately bring positive change. However, the actual time when the eclipse take place is malefic in nature, and therefore definitely not the time to do any type of spellwork of positive manifestation, if that’s your cup of tea.
What you can do to help you cope with an eclipse:
bathe. I don’t mean just hop in the bathtub, although I’m sure that would also help. However, the best would be to take a ritual bath designed to protect against the negativity. I give a suggestion for how to do so at the end of the post.
spend the day at the ocean or a lake. This would be another option if you don’t have a bathtub or aren’t a bath kind of person. In general, spending time in a sacred water space is always a good idea.
meditate and focus on positive thoughts. As my teacher Freedom Cole says in this video about staying on the right side of an eclipse, Vedic astrology in particular stresses the mindset you have during an eclipse will be amplified and echo in the months to come. Do your best to make sure the echo is a positive, uplifting one rather than the opposite.
fast on the day before and of the eclipse. Although this can mean really not eating at all, you could optionally just not eat until the sun goes down or forego certain foods and drink. However, these should be ones that are an actual sacrifice for you, like your morning coffee or sweet treats.
If you don’t have the luxury of taking the day off of work (I definitely don’t), try as much as possible to take it easy and avoid unnecessary stress.
Solar Eclipse on April 19/20, 2023
Here are the technical astro deets:
Western Tropical Astrology
Sun and moon at around 29 degrees of Aries, North Node at 4 degrees of Taurus, Jupiter combust at 23 degree of Aries, Mercury conjunct Uranus and Mars (the ruler of Aries) in Cancer, its sign of fall.
Jyotish Sidereal Astrology
Sun, moon and Rahu in Aries (Aśvinī Nakshatra), Mercury in Aries in a parivartana with Mars in Gemini, Jupiter combust and gandanta in Pisces.
Where the eclipse will be visible
Solar eclipses are said to be particularly impactful and intense in the countries where they are visible. The April 2023 solar eclipse will be visible in:
South East Asia
the East Indies
Papua New Guinea
What this means
Although these two zodiacs use slightly different terminology and symbols, the message is still the same: This eclipse brings in an energy where there is a danger of abrupt speech that is said in the heat of the moment as well as lashing out for emotional reasons (Mercury and Mars). It is also a time when anger in particular may make it difficult to remain optimistic and see the bigger picture (Jupiter’s compromised state). To get a better feel for what area of your life where these topics might show up, take a look at the house in your chart with Aries on the cusp.
As far as the collective goes, the sun stands for the “king,” and in Aries, its sign of exaltation, this means a particularly influential one (e.g., world leaders, CEOs of major companies, etc.). In the days and weeks following the eclipse, we may see a crisis with someone in a major position of power. Since the Aśvinī Nakshatra has a lot of do with health, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a health crisis of a very powerful person or a one involving the medical or pharmaceutical industry. With Jupiter in such poor shape, we could also see a new or continuing financial crisis as well. Mercury and Uranus both indicate the technology and the tech industry, so we may be seeing some dramatic turns of events tied to this field as well.
Please note that this doesn’t mean the effects will all happen exactly on the day of the eclipse (although sometimes they do), but rather that they will gradually unfold until the next (lunar) eclipse occurring on May 5.
Ritual bath suggestion
For a cleansing ritual bath, use bath salt, preferably natural ones without dyes or perfumes. Set the mood in a way you find relaxing (for example, light candles, play soothing music, etc.). In addition to the bath salt, add some cleansing and purifying herbs. Natural dried or fresh herbs are best. Some great choices include hyssop, eucalyptus, lemon grass, lemon verbena, rue, rosemary and lavender.
Once you’ve selected the herbs you’d like to use, say a little prayer. If you belong to a particular spiritual or magical path, you can do so in a way that aligns with your tradition. If not, just a simple request for cleansing, positive thoughts and peace of mind is fine.
Do not add the herbs directly into the bath (it’s messy and tends to plug the drain). Instead, put them into a standard tea strainer and either add this directly to the bath or steep it in a bowl of hot water first, then add it in later. Now sit back and enjoy your bath.