New Moon Solar Eclipse in aries 2023

April 20 12:13 AM EST

This is a pretty monumental eclipse to begin our Aries/Libra eclipse cycle that will last through 2025. We haven’t had any eclipses in Aries/Libra since 2016 and so from a personal level we can cast our minds back to the time period between 2014 and 2016 when we were experiencing Aries/Libra eclipses to give us a hint of some of the themes that may be coming up for us.

Aries and Libra as a polarity is focused on the spectrum between individuality/independence (Aries) and partnership/balance (Libra). We may have learned a lot of lessons around these themes during that time and they are back on the table to navigate in our current collective reality and personal situation. Certainly a lot has changed in our outer world since that time. Since 2020 we have been experiencing eclipses in the Gemini/Sagittarius polarity and Taurus/Scorpio polarity. These have been creating a dominant narrative around news/information (Gemini) and beliefs (Sagittarius), as well as financial/ecological resources (Taurus) and power dynamics (Scorpio). The final Taurus/Scorpio eclipses occur this year, so we have a blending of the themes of Aries/Libra and Taurus/Scorpio dominant in this calendar year (in addition to other major ingresses, of course, such as Pluto in Aquarius and Saturn in Pisces).

This eclipse takes place at 29 degrees of Aries, the final degree of the sign. The final degree is sometimes called the “critical degree”. It has something of a “hail Mary” kind of energy to it, or a “kitchen sink” vibe where it’s like “all bets are off” and anything and everything related to that sign can rise to the surface in unexpected ways. With Aries this has to do with the realm of autonomy, impulse, violence, primal instinct, aggression, vision, self-belief, willpower, risk taking and courage. When balanced and in high vibration, Aries symbolizes the primal urge to take action on behalf of oneself and ones needs and forge ahead into the unknown with confidence and an inherent sense of fairness that all humans have a right to thrive and self-express. When unbalanced or in lower vibration, Aries is willing to trample over others rights trying to meet their own needs, can have a conflict-oriented approach, or be unnecessarily foolhardy, risky or short-sighted.

Even though we have not had Aries/Libra eclipses since 2016 and NO outer planets have been transiting EITHER of those signs since 2018 (when Uranus left Aries), 2020 was a year that had many Mars/Aries themes. I wrote at that time about how Mars out-of-bounds at the beginning of the year was a precursor to Mars in Aries which was a very unusually long transit of Mars in that sign for more than 6 months at the end of 2020. Mars usually spends about 2 months in a sign. Mars in Aries was all about “what we are fighters for” in our lives, and in that period, between June 2020 and January 6th 2021 there was an unprecedented wave of “protests” and violence of all kinds across all parts of the political spectrum, in the United States and around the world. In the United States, the presidential election was held during this time and the capitol riot of January 6, 2021 took place in the final hours of Mars in Aries, when Mars was at 29 degrees of Aries. This is, of course, the degree where this eclipse is taking place. Another reminder of the potency of the “critical degree”.

Once again, Aries is at a fundamental level about human autonomy independence and freedom, and when one feels these things are threatened in their lives, for whatever reason, the Aries instinct to fight kicks in. This can be a tricky area. For if Aries is not rooted in a healthy knowing that while we are having a unique individual experience in this life that ULTIMATELY we are all part of a single cosmic energetic whole (symbolized by Pisces) then they can become extremely focused on themselves at the expense of the whole. Beyond this spiritual remembrance of oneness/wholeness (Pisces), Aries is also tasked with recognizing and integrating the perspective/experience of its opposite sign Libra which is oriented around cooperation, harmony and the fair and just balance of human relationships. So likewise, if Aries energy is disconnected from (or disinterested in) the Libran lessons of fairness and balance, then the Aries expression can become wholly self-serving, aggressive and single-minded.

In many ways we are now, in 2023, “coming to terms” with a lot of what happened in 2020 during this other highly Aries/Mars time in our recent experience. Things have continued to evolve at a rapid pace since then, but 2023 is very much a transitionary year and part of that has to do with perhaps finally processing what has been happening over the past several years and what impact that might have moving forward on us personally (Aries) as well as on our relationships (Libra). I say 2023 is a transitionary year for several reasons. One of which is that we are straddling the Aries/Libra and Taurus/Scorpio eclipses so have one foot in “unresolved issues” and one foot in “the future”. Also because while Aquarius entered Pluto in March 2023, for the first time in more than 200 years (!!), it retrogrades back into Capricorn in June where it will remain for the rest of the year. It will not be fully into Aquarius until late 2024, so we are still dealing with Pluto in Capricorn themes, and the ramifications of the Saturn Pluto conjunction in January 2020.

We will not be truly traversing “fresh territory” (symbolized by Aries) until 2025/2026 when both Saturn and Neptune enter Aries which is highly significant. There will be a big “collective reset” with these ingresses. So in many ways we can see the upcoming Aries/Libra eclipse cycle, including THIS Aries eclipse, as paving the way for this much bigger shift which is around the corner. The Aries/Libra eclipses are clearing the way, paving the path, both for a certain level of integration and processing of what has happened in the past few years, as well as clearing out the cobwebs so that when Saturn and Neptune (both currently in Pisces) enter Aries, they can have maximum potency and impact.

One of the uncomfortable affects of the past several years is that they have highlighted fundamental differences of opinion (Gemini) and belief (Sagittarius) between people about a wide variety of matters. This was most clearly shown by the Sagittarius/Gemini eclipses and their tendency to polarize. These aspects also exposed how deeply our beliefs/opinions are dictated by the information we have and a media we trust (or don’t trust) as was again highlighted by the recent very long transit of Mars in Gemini for the past 7 months (*Side note: the very long Mars in Aries transit of 2020 and Mars in Gemini transit of 2023 are the longest Mars is in a sign until 2031). Mars in Gemini since August 2022 (until late March 2023) re-inflamed conversations about news/sources/credibility/media. Mars has now moved on to Cancer, where it is at 13 degrees at the time of the eclipse.

But these Gemini/Sagittarius themes around beliefs and information are still kicked up, and are indeed very foundational to what we will be experiencing during this Aries eclipse, and upcoming entire Aries/Libra eclipse cycle. Quite simply, if we do not share fundamental beliefs and perspectives with some of the core people and relationships (Libra) in our lives, there could be big shifts and turning points. While the trauma we have experienced over the past several years generally catalyzes a more traditional conservative self-preservation instinct (as can be symbolized by status quo oriented Capricorn) where we merely want to hunker down, hold on to whats familiar and look for practical survival strategies, that phase is wearing off. And Pluto has moved out of Capricorn and into future-oriented Aquarius. But again, with Pluto retrograding back and forth between Capricorn and Aquarius until late 2024 we may not be fully ready to release the past (or our illusions of the past) just yet. But these Aries/Libra eclipses are getting us closer and closer, especially by highlighting WHICH relationships and situations belong in the past and which ones are our future.

This does NOT mean we are encouraged to “discriminate” against people who do not share our beliefs and opinions, get aggressive with them, or impulsively ‘cut them out’ of our lives (lower vibrational Aries). We need to remember to ground Aries healthy self-interest in a deeper philosophical cosmological understanding of the spiritual and energetic whole and being in “right relationship” to spiritual law. This is also an over-riding energetic theme of the next few years as symbolized by Saturn in Pisces, so I would recommend reading that post as well if this is speaking to you. But the truth is, even if we are in a high vibrational place of acceptance and non-judgement, we will still be going through experiences in the world and in our life where we recognize that what is right for US (Aries) is not in alignment with certain other people or relationships in our lives (Libra). And that we can go longer be on “cruise control” in some of these situations, or ignoring the elephant in the room. We may need to decide to sever the partnership or have some difficult conversations. We will need to see who and what are truly “worthy” of our efforts at cooperation, harmony and balance and who are not. Going “to war” with people we are not in agreement with is a lower vibrational possibility (or temptation) here, but ideally we use Libran discernment to simply make choices and alliances that better suit who we are NOW in our lives and simply let the past go in neutrality.

This eclipse is conjunct Jupiter at 23 degrees Aries which has several effects. Overall Jupiter in Aries is another taste or precursor to the bigger Aries shifts we have coming in the next several years. It has given us hope and optimism for the future, and for our own future. But Jupiter also “expands whatever it touches” and so any and all issues being stirred up by this eclipse, in our personal lives or the world at large, feels BIGGER, more important, more consequential, more dramatic now under Jupiter’s authority. So the Aries tendency to “leap before you look” could get amplified by Jupiter and lead us into situations or drama from which we may have difficulty backtracking, especially as the window of significance for an eclipse is up to 6 months or longer. So taking a deep breath and pausing now is extra important before we “charge forward” Aries style.

The eclipse, at 29 Aries, and Jupiter at 23 Aries, are also closely conjunct the dwarf planet Eris at 24 Aries. While I normally stick to the 10 “traditional” planets in these posts, Eris is hugely significant here. The Eris mythology/astrology/symbolism is highly complex and potent. And for more information on that I would send you to this excellent resource. But Eris is very slow moving (with a 558 year orbit) and has been near 24 degrees of Aries for the past decade. So an eclipse “activating” this part of the sky is highly significant. Eris can be called a “troublemaker” but this is only part of her story. And in fact her meaning has evolved even over the past several years, as we have seen that those Eris “troublemakers” in the collective are often the ‘truth tellers’ whose voice is outside of the authority of “the mainstream” and who challenge it in some ways, and are hence diminished, cast out, ostracized, and become “enraged” at their sometimes ‘unfair’ treatment. It is perhaps no surprise that since Eris discovery in 2005 we have become much more psychologically aware as a collective, and certain power and manipulation strategies such as ‘gaslighting’ have taken a prominent place in the collective conversation. This is part of the Eris story for we can easily recognize the steep price that can be paid within society for being authentic or doing things our own way (Aries). We must be prepared to tread in this territory as we carve out our unique present moment path forward. We could be blamed/scapegoated/name-called for being true to ourselves if the people we are in relationship with (Libra) do not agree with our choices. Again, this is for THEM to resolve in their own relationship to spiritual law (Saturn in Pisces) and our highest path is merely to avoid the trap of ‘going to war’ in a knee-jerk way (Aries) and instead strive for fairness and balance in all of our interactions (Libra) even as we are staying true to ourselves and our own path (Aries).

Mars, Aries’ ruler, as we have discussed, plays an important role here as well. Mars at 13 degrees of Cancer is in a sign where it is traditionally considered ‘weak’. After all, Mars likes to move forward decisively and Cancer, the crab, moves sideways and can be evasive and indirect in its approach. This is both a meaningful instruction as well as a caution. With a perhaps overall energy of conflict (Aries) and confusion in the air, we are wise to move towards our goals, however decisively, with at least a modicum of caution, strategy and patience. We can actually “use” the drama of the collective to our advantage as a kind of distraction, so we can reach our goals and move forward practically ‘undetected’ by sidestepping participation in activity or dialogues that drain us or distract us. We can accomplish quite a lot this way. Especially because Mars in Cancer is trine to Saturn in Pisces. The caution is to avoid the trap of emotional games and manipulation. Mars in Cancer can also be adept at meeting their own “selfish needs” (Cancer/Aries) through being evasive or even gaslighting others- exactly the kind of behavior that Eris calls attention to and pushes back against. When we recognize this pattern in our personal relationships, in the media or on the global stage- let that be another STRONG indicator of relationships/people/businesses who may not be in high integrity. These may be the relationships/situations that are undergoing changes and reappraisal in our lives during this Aries/Libra period over the next several years. Venus at 10 degrees of Gemini reminds us that relationships (and opinions) CAN shift and change, so to leave room and openings for that, but also to get the message especially where there is lower vibrational Geminian double-speak going on.

Finally, both Pluto AND Mercury are stationing to go retrograde. This means they are on the exact degree where their retrogrades will commence. Pluto is at 0 degrees of Aquarius. And Mercury is at 15 degrees of Taurus. These are both fixed signs, concerned with the long term. Retrogrades in fixed signs can uproot and change things that “appeared set” or “unchangeable”. But during this eclipse they are NOT retrograde, merely still in the sky, “about to” go retrograde. In other words, there is still an “illusion” of ‘forward momentum’. In reality, many shifts and revisions may be necessary with the things that are getting kicked up or are beginning to bloom now. As Mars in Cancer reminds us, it is certainly not a straight path at the moment.

Eclipses have a window of influence that is at least several months long, but oftentimes several YEARS long, especially because the signs of the eclipses are highlighted for several years. So this first Aries solar eclipse is of extra special significance. And, if nothing else, we can take this as an opportunity to continue to get clearer and clearer on who we really are and what we really need and want. Once we are truly in touch with that, making the upcoming relationship decisions becomes easier and more clear as we go along.

*art by @julianmajin