2023 so far has been full of major shifts, such as Pluto entering Aquarius and Saturn entering Pisces. Eclipse season is no different. This one has a changeup effect of coming a day before the Mercury retrograde station.
The Solar Eclipse Itself
The Solar Eclipse goes exact at 29 Ari 50’11” on April 19th, 2023 9:12:29 PM PDT / April 20th, 2023 4:12:29 AM UTC. The lunar cycle beginning is at the last critical degree of Aries, and is the second Aries New Moon this year as a result. This indicates that our identity, our relation to our selves, our ego and drives are in focus for the next several months.
As usual, Sun conjunct Moon is an indicator of new beginnings, though this time around these beginnings will be impacted by the Mercury retrograde cycle about to begin shortly afterwards. Beginning new repairs, revisions, and returns, however, will prove to be more fruitful. Given the critical degree of this eclipse and the Mercury impact, I think that we’re more likely to see the beginning of major endings for a while.
This is a tricky eclipse to handle, as the Moon will cross over into earthy Taurus shortly after the exact conjunction. Also, as this is an eclipse, any aspects from personal planets (Sun/Mercury/Venus/Mars/Moon) and points (Ascendant/Descendant, Midheaven/IC, North/South Nodes, Vertex/Antivertex) should be looked at. Those with these bodies and points from 25 degrees Aries/Cancer/Libra/Capricorn to 5 degrees Taurus/Leo/Scorpio/Aquarius will feel this much more acutely.
Those with solar returns happening within two or three days within this eclipse will face heavier impacts throughout the entire solar return year. I speak from personal experience when the North American Eclipse of 2017 took place within two days of my solar return that year.
Other Aspects to the Solar Eclipse
Death and Rebirth
Solar Eclipse Aries makes an off-sign square to Pluto in the first degree of Aquarius. This is going to be an intense eclipse cycle just from this placement alone. Pluto is death and rebirth, and it’s in the domain of both Saturn and Uranus.
As a practical matter, the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) and the rapid advancement of this and other technologies are challenging many of our self-interests right now. In particular, there is anxiety going on regarding how AI will affect academics and professions, and the fear of workers being replaced by tools such as ChatGPT. This is one example of this Pluto square to the Aries Solar Eclipse in action. Judging from this placement, it will only accelerate.
We have to adapt to the major structural changes that are going to come from this, and other structural changes that are inbound. Pluto will retrograde back into Capricorn later on before the next eclipse cycle, so expect the Capricornian institutions (government, academia, etc.) to make a last stand before the inevitable forced changes come.
Keeping Heads Below Clouds
Saturn in Pisces makes a weak sextile to this Solar Eclipse in Aries. Pisces is generally dreamlike, illusory energy. Saturn is discipline, tasks, hard work, and it contracts. We may have some increased mental focus following this eclipse in a way, though not as much as if this aspect were more exact.
We can use this influence to look more objectively at our dreams and goals. Figure out what is more realistic, and develop a plan to get to your desired outcome in a more controlled, disciplined manner. We can use this over the next several month and make great strides.
If our minds have been wandering and we’ve been more scatterbrained leading up to this, we can regain some control now. It won’t be easy going with the upcoming Mercury retrograde, and we’ll have to revise. But it is doable.
Opportunity For (Minor) Growth
Jupiter making a weak conjunction to the Solar Eclipse in Aries offers a chance for us to broaden our horizons somewhat. Jupiter rules expansion, luck, optimism, and we could use some of that regarding our sense of self now.
We should consider that at the same time Jupiter makes a tighter conjunction to Eris, so there’s also the factor of increased discord and an air of chaos right now. If we are wise, we can take steps to protect ourselves from the worst of the discord going on right now.
Sometimes shakeups aren’t necessarily a bad thing.
The Solar Eclipse in Aries is also making a weak conjunction to Vesta in Taurus. We should be experiencing a slight degree of growth in confidence regarding what we believe in in terms of both personal and financial growth. That growth does need to be tempered with realistic expectations, however. Do your due diligence before making any risky financial moves.
Other Noteworthy Aspects During the Solar Eclipse
Hold Your Tongue
Mercury’s got a lot going on with this Solar Eclipse. Mercury in Taurus conjunct 128 Nemesis, Uranus, and sextile Mars in Cancer and Nessus in Pisces makes an interesting pattern.
Mercury is communication, and as it’s about to reverse direction from our perspective here on Earth, communications are likely to be a bit skewed. Combine that with the unpredictable and rebellious nature of Uranus, and there’s an element of uncertainty in our messages to others now. Nemesis with this indicates the possibility of retribution as well.
The sextiles may help smooth things over somewhat if we hold our tongues. Mars is passion, drive, energy, and also aggression and anger. In the fourth sign of Cancer, there’s an air of privacy regarding seething tempers. This with the sextile to Mercury/Uranus/Nemesis could also make for some interesting home redecoration or cleanup. Perhaps the time comes to finally get rid of those mementos from an old broken relationship.
The other sextile from Mercury’s multi-conjunction to Nessus in Pisces is also telling. Nessus is obsession at best, abuse at worst. The sextile smooths this over somewhat.
The overall combination dictates that we need to hold off on contentious and incendiary arguments now. Take a step back and reevaluate the conditions now and for the next several months. This is a minefield, but there are plenty of opportunities to take this slowly, carefully, and not trip any detonations. Do not make unnecessary enemies now.
Venus on Aldebaran in Gemini square Saturn in Pisces requires us to temper some of our more creative and dreamy impulses. Venus conjunct Aldebaran favors creative works, and is normally also a time of health changes for the better. Saturn demands discipline, however.
We will find ourselves going back to the drawing board and ensuring that we have a realistic plan to go forward with our pursuits. It could be an overoptimistic workout plan that needs retooling. It could be a piece of art that needs some changes to be better. Perhaps another draft of that novel or screenplay is needed to work out some kinks.
Venus sextile Black Moon Lilith in Leo does help this along, somewhat. Consider some creative impulses that are deeply hidden, and see what you can come up with. Perhaps there was a note scribbled down somewhere about a scene to be added to a story, as one example. Or perhaps a more seductive tone of voice needs to be added to a character in a scene you’re writing down now. Experiment and see what works.
Neptune in Pisces sextile Pluto in Aquarius, and opposite Ceres retrograde in Virgo requires some clarity to move forward. Neptune and Pluto sextile indicates our deeper intuition and subconscious would benefit from some more revolutionary thinking. In other works, think outside the box.
At the same time, given the Neptunian opposition to Ceres, we need to be realistic about our loftier ambitions and how this translates to making things happen in the home front. Are we being proactive or reactive about reaching for our dreams while making sure we’re taking care of our domestic chores?
Also, this isn’t a time to be ignoring our home obligations in pursuit of fantasy.
Be Street Smart and Be Safe
North Node Conjunct Vesta in Taurus, square Dejanira and Pluto in Aquarius is a bit concerning. North Node is a point of destiny and aspirations, and right now the driving force is to stability, money, and resources. Vesta represents our most valued beliefs and ideals.
Dejanira, however, is the victimhood asteroid. With it squaring the nodes, we need to be careful that we aren’t setting ourselves up for a fall later on. Pluto is dangerously close to Dejanira right now too, though 4 degrees away so it’s technically muted. That said, Vesta is in range of the square though.
This is a time where we will be standing up for what we believe, and I would argue that this is also a time of spotlighting victims’ rights. There will be pushback from those who want business as usual to continue, however. The recent spate of gun incidents here in the United States, and in particular the trend this week (as I write this) of people being shot at, shot, and killed or seriously injured for approaching the wrong address or wrong vehicles is very much in the forefront.
Of course the gun lobby is being represented by the South Node, in my view. The people working to make changes so less of these incidents occur, I say represent the North Node/Vesta part of this aspect. Dejanira and Pluto, in this context, is rather self-explanatory: Victims ushered into the underworld, and the struggle between keeping things as they are and making changes to prevent this in the future.
All of these are slower-moving, so this is going to be a theme for awhile. And with this aspect here during the Solar Eclipse, it will shape what’s happening for the next several months. Inaction is itself a conscious decision.
To Sum It Up
As the Eclipse is active as I finish this article, I’ll skip ahead to this now: We have some major challenges and choices to be made. These affect not just the personal level, but also the societal level. Major review and revisions of how we’ve been operating as a whole are at play now. And attempting to hold to the old way of doing things will only result in more blowback and damage.
We need to make necessary changes, now. It won’t happen overnight, for sure, and there’s many aspects to this. For some of us, discipline has been lacking and some of us have felt stuck in a rut, or have been drained energetically. For others, the greater impacts have been from the results of policy both within and outside our homes, and in some cases we’ve been seeing, the consequences have been lethal.
The societal changes going on now are only going to accelerate from here. Be aware, and be safe. Take nothing for granted, especially these next several months.
Keep an eye out for the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse article to come. The other side of this Eclipse Season comes in a couple of weeks from this point.