This week’s solar eclipse in Aries is the third lunation across the Aries-Libra axis in the past month – and the first solar eclipse in the Aries – Libra cycle of eclipses. The cosmic shift from the Taurus-Scorpio series of eclipses is a reminder that life needs to move on – and with this solar eclipse in Aries, I think we will see that begin to occur fairly rapidly, both in our personal lives and in events that will unfold in the outer world. This solar eclipse also kickstarts a hyperactive astrological week, with Mercury also turning retrograde in Taurus.
I cannot stress how important this solar eclipse may turn out to be; as I wrote this post, I checked out my predictions for the last solar eclipse of the Taurus-Scorpio eclipse cycle in October 2022 (you can check it out here). In that post, I warned about the possibility of ‘meltdown’ occurring – especially in a financial sense. In the UK that happened with the kind of extreme impact – and power play – that you would expect from a solar eclipse in Scorpio. The events of that time are still reverberating around us, with increased mortgage payments and soaring price inflation. So, what happened?
The new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, had announced a disastrous financial and economic plan only a couple of weeks earlier (just prior to the September New Moon in Libra). It caused meltdown in the financial markets, crashed the UK economy and she was forced to resign on the day of the solar eclipse – October 25th, after the shortest premiership in history. The final solar eclipse in the Taurus-Scorpio cycle certainly made an impact – but will the first solar eclipse of the Aries-Libra cycle make a similarly major impression? In this post, I’ll be looking out for the warning signs.
What is a Hybrid Solar Eclipse?
I’ll deal with the astro-technicalities first. This solar eclipse is a hybrid solar eclipse – and that’s rare. A hybrid solar eclipse comprises both a total solar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse. Together. So, you have the eclipse beginning as an annular eclipse (an annular eclipse is what we often term a partial solar eclipse) turning into a total solar eclipse as the Moon crosses the face of the Sun, and reverting to an annular solar eclipse as the eclipse ends.
This occurs because of a misalignment between the orbital planes of the Moon and Earth as the Earth orbits the Sun and the Moon orbits the Earth, and it’s something that only happens a few times each century. What makes it even more unusual, is that none of us get to see that process in its entirety; depending on where you are in the world, you may get to see a partial solar eclipse or a total solar eclipse – not both. And, of course, many of you won’t be able to see the solar eclipse at all.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore it; in astrological terms, rare celestial events often have an impact that far outstrips their rarity – and I suspect that this solar eclipse will be no different. What it will do, however, is signify a shift into new territory – and we can thank the solar eclipse sign, Aries, for that.
Solar Eclipse in Aries: The Energy
Aries energy is urgent and direct. It’s an energy that bursts out with immediacy and it can be violent – as befits the sign ruled by Mars, the god of war. It’s an extroverted and expressive energy, characterised by qualities such as impatience, impulsiveness and aggression. It’s energy that’s best pointed towards a particular goal – and it’s an energy that can run out of steam unless there are other factors that can support it. It’s also best applied to new endeavours – because Aries often signifies the start of something new.
So, Aries energy is at its best for getting things started – and this particular hybrid solar eclipse heralds a period of time when whatever transpires is likely to intensify – perhaps suddenly – before it is complete. When I think of Aries energy, I often compare it to a car engine; on this occasion, not only is the key going to be turned in the ignition, there is also going to be a big gear change required in order to complete the journey. This hybrid solar eclipse suggests there may be a bump in the road – something occurs (or is revealed) that suggests things are not quite what they seemed to be at the outset.
In astrology (as in life) all things are connected; Mercury turns retrograde the day after the solar eclipse occurs.I’ll be writing about Mercury retrograde soon, but for now – I need to assess its impact in the context of this solar eclipse. As Mercury reaches it’s point of maximum declination in a few weeks time, it will turn direct close to where the Moon’s node was positioned during the solar eclipse; that may cause a few of us to take a more practical and realistic approach to the ways in which we approach life in the coming months – in fact, that may be a necessity rather than a choice.
This is because the Moon’s node represents one of those ‘fork in the road’ moments; it’s the point of destiny – but you have to choose which path to follow. To help you (and all of us) to make a good choice, remember the following: the solar eclipse sign is Aries, the sign of initiative and new beginnings. With Mercury retrograde being in Taurus, those new beginnings are going to involve our values – and the things we value – more than ever. And it’s also going to involve being practical and realistic. Also remember – we reap what we sow.
It will certainly be time to get our heads around the implications of that. There will be financial implications, practical implications, moral implications – and the suggestion that this is going to be the time when we have to get down to the hard work of securing the future. That has a broad application, from financial security to environmental sustainability and material productivity – in both a personal and societal sense. So, there is likely to be a big question and a choice to be made between greed and generosity – it’s a choice that is yours to make.
It’s likely there will be a sense of realism about what’s going to transpire in the period following the solar eclipse – and Mercury retrograde in Taurus may signify a good time to focus on new ways of addressing the pressing needs and urgent situations that are likely to emerge after the solar eclipse. However, there is a risk that we become unable to do what is required to forge a new path.
Mercury in Taurus is stubborn and the retrograde period may make old ideas seem more entrenched. Let’s hope that when Mercury moves direct, we can capitalise on the fresh impetus brought to us by the solar eclipse – and proceed in ways that are both fast-paced yet pragmatic. The potentials contained in the solar eclipse are, of course, shown in the solar eclipse chart – so let’s take a close look at that.
Solar Eclipse in Aries: The Chart
Solar Eclipse in Aries: The Aspects
The solar eclipse chart shows the eclipse taking place at 29˚ Aries. That’s an extremely powerful position as it’s the anaretic degree – the last degree of the sign. In astrology, the anaretic degree marks a critical point – and placements (or events such as eclipses) that fall on such points tend to be more powerful than usual. It’s the point where crisis situations develop – and in Aries, those crises carry the flavour of that sign. At best, it shows a fast moving situation. At worst, a real risk of violence or confrontation. There is a sense of knowing that some things are at the end of the road.
The solar eclipse aspects Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto – but it’s the square aspect to Pluto that catches our attention. I’ll go into detail on that one below, but what we have here is Pluto also at a critical point – the first degree of Aquarius – a powerful symbol of a new beginning. The theme of beginnings and endings is strong in this chart. (Incidentally, it should be noted that the coronation of King Charles 3rd takes place just following the lunar eclipse in Scorpio on May 5th and that is the final lunar eclipse – and final eclipse – in the Taurus- Scorpio cycle of eclipses).
Solar Eclipse Conjunct Jupiter
Jupiter amplifies, so when a solar eclipse is conjunct Jupiter, its effects are magnified. The events surrounding the solar eclipse are, therefore, going to be noticeable for their scale, scope and overall magnitude. This is the sign of something big – and Jupiter in Aries may also give us a clue about the kind of event(s) to expect. Unfortunately, if there’s an argument, a dispute or a fire, Jupiter fans the flames and makes it bigger. And bigger sometimes means ‘out of control’.
The kinds of issues that are prominent when Jupiter contacts an eclipse often involve, wealthy people. They involve heads of state, diplomats, academics, judges (Jupiter represents the law) and often there is a focus on religious or political ideologies too. Jupiter in Aries is a big deal; it’s a signifier of growth, so any issues that were already in play have the potential to become overwhelming. Fire consumes oxygen, and a large fire even more so. I’m not expecting this to happen in a literal sense, but one or two big issues could ‘consume the bandwidth’ at either a personal level or beyond.
Jupiter also signifies opportunity – and the opportunity to restart the engine is big with Jupiter here. once more, we are in the realm of fresh starts and new beginnings – and Jupiter may grant us the wisdom to direct the eclipse energy in a manner that is ultimately beneficial to the world – and to the interests of us all. In mundane astrology, Jupiter represents beneficial increases or gains – as well as the kind of inflation that most of us would be happy to do without!
Solar Eclipse Sextile Saturn
The eclipse makes a sextile aspect to Saturn in Pisces. Saturn in this sign is a signifier for the completion of a cycle. It’s a message that accords with the overall themes of the eclipse chart and shows that the door is open to structuring our ideals in a practical and achievable form. In astrology, there are always two sides to any planetary placement, so we have to acknowledge that this aspect to Saturn could also signify an attempt to restrict or control. Saturn is a conservative force – but Pisces dissipates and obscures – so there my be a chance that restrictions are brought in by the back door.
Limitation and control by subterfuge is a risk in this eclipse chart, as there may be a responsibility placed on the authorities (symbolised by Saturn) to ensure that rules, law and order are maintained. In Pisces, Saturn can indicate where things need to be tightened up; it can be easy (the sextile aspect) to avoid taking responsibility when Saturn is in Pisces – and avoiding your duties and obligations may be an issue at this time. In the public realm, there may be issues of negligence (potentially on a large scale) that come to the fore around the time of the eclipse.
Solar Eclipse Square Pluto
Finally, we come to Pluto. Pluto in the first degree of Aquarius – its ingress – symbolises a new cycle. So, we have the end of an era and the beginning of a new one – and the square aspect from the solar eclipse to Pluto is symbolic of that. However, square aspects require action – and the need to be pro-active to ensure that a situation is transformed (or meets with a final conclusion) is what Pluto is all about. Pluto is an impersonal planet. In one sense, it represents something greater than the self, in that events may affect you – but you’re powerless to change things in the face of something bigger than you.
So, there’s a collective nature to Pluto (as there is with the other outer planets) and it’s geared towards the power of the collective. Again, this is important in the context of mundane astrology – particularly when we look at the meanings associated with the sign in which Pluto resides – Aquarius. At a collective level, Pluto in Aquarius is the ‘power of the people’. It’s an indication that social or societal conditions need transformation – and that’s especially so when Pluto is in the first degree of this sign.
Pluto is like a rush of collective force that operates at an instinctive and inner level. There is a a German word, ‘zeitgeist’ that is relevant here. It means ‘a general set of beliefs, ideas and feelings that set the tone of society’. It’s a truly Aquarian concept – and Pluto here suggests that our collective ‘zeitgeist’ is about to get a radical overhaul. There is no turning back with Pluto – we are on the cusp of something new and completely different than what we have experienced before. And this solar eclipse is about to herald the change.
© Sara Shipman 2023