April 2023’s New Moon Solar Eclipse in Aries Burns Down the Past
April 2023 kicks off spring eclipse season with a fearsome solar eclipse in Aries.
It has begun and nothing can stop it. Eclipse season launches on April 20 at 12:13 AM EST with a hybrid new moon total solar eclipse in Aries, officially initiating the Aries-Libra eclipse cycle. What shadows will emerge when the sun goes dark, even for only a moment? And how should you prepare for a Hellmouth battle royale? Consult our guide for everything you’ll need to come out alive.
On a new moon solar eclipse, the moon passes over our view of the sun, momentarily obscuring its rays. Archetypally, the sun represents the ways we project our identity onto the world. The moon, meanwhile, maps the soul’s domain, felt but not necessarily seen. When the moon crosses over the sun, it’s a bit like The Purge: the rules of the daylight fall away, and that which has been bound is unleashed. It’s the moment when a dog becomes a wolf — entre chien et loup.
On rare hybrid eclipses, the moon will, at different moments over its passing, partially and entirely blot out the soon. Depending where one is in the world, the moon may produce a momentary “ring of fire” effect, in which the edges of Sol burn through, or shut out its light completely.
Though the actual phenomenon of an eclipse may last for only a few moments, its effects reverberate globally, often setting the themes of the entire year. Eclipses aren’t times for can-do wellness optimism, spiritual manifesting or intention-setting. They’re more like cosmic “wait and see” climaxes, in which we observe what emerges through the gate, what old demons are finally laid to rest, and what work remains for us to do. Not incidentally, Evil Dead Rise drops in theaters just as this eclipse goes down. Sometimes, the dead won’t stay dead; better grab your chainsaw.
Though the Taurus-Scorpio eclipse saga is indeed not yet over (look out for a scorching Scorpio lunar eclipse on May 5), this April edition officially launches the Aries-Libra eclipse cycle, running through spring 2025. The Aries-Libra axis concerns individual self-definition (Aries) versus social integration (Libra). After the last few years, we’re out of isolation and back in contact (or conflict) with one another. Now we have to figure out how to get along.
This eclipse arrives at the tail end of Jupiter in Aries, a once-a-decade revivification in which youth movements, revolutionary ideas, and artistic visionaries explode onto the scene. Jupiter in Aries moments — like 2010-2011’s Arab Spring and Occupy movements — are meant to be incendiary, exciting, and optimistic. They break the static. This round has awakened massive revolts against authoritarianism in Iran and Israel; renewed fervor to protect rights for bodily autonomy in the US; protests against Draconian public health countermeasures in China and…whatever is going on in Paris. It’s a time of action and unlikely optimism.
Over the last half decade, with Saturn touring Capricorn and Aquarius (2017–2023), the world met a new kind of hero, one proud to claim space at every turn in a humiliating culture landscape: the performative social media warrior. Ever-asserting their moral superiority under Sauron’s all-seeing eye of globalized responsibility, this self-congratulatory champion took stands which nobody asked them to, over conflicts which bear no consequences to life as they know it. Unlike Spider-Man, action is not their reward, but attention. These losers have had their moment. The world is on the brink, the end is nigh.
When the sun goes dark on this eclipse, the lights go off, the cameras come down, and the show comes to a pause. The real conflicts of this decade have begun to emerge, and along with them the new vanguard of visionaries, leaders, and authentic creators. The dark of the moon will evacuate performative identities, returning us all to the core of who we are and what we are here to fight for. What offenses have you adopted by proxy? What chaos have you indulged in just because? What are you really about? And why does this always have to be about you?
It’s likely that things aren’t going to get easier anytime soon, or any calmer. But after years of dissociative, digitalized, one-size-fits-all Aquarian rule, the Aries-Libra eclipse cycle will throw us back into direct conflict with one another. This eclipse strips us down and readies us to re-enter the world authentically — whether it’s in conflagration, union, or both. Are you ready to be authentic?
HOW TO DEAL
As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries reboots the entire cycle. When the Aries sun goes dark, it’s like a brief powering down of our identities. As you power back on, notice what feels old, dead, and outdated. What narratives about you and others no longer feel alive? Is someone you know is supposed to be canceled, but you can’t quite remember why? Who cares? It’s not to say that you should forgive and forget with no due process, but rather clear space for what actually matters to you.
With Jupiter entering Taurus, you can count on this summer to unleash new visions, creations, and connections. Now’s the moment to open up your world. Observe which relationships, projects, or investments feel like products of the old cycle, and leave them in storage. If you haven’t done a hardcore spring cleaning, this eclipse may be as good a time as any. In the Orphic tradition, new moons mark the celebration of Deipnon, when we cleanse our homes and leave offerings to Hekate, goddess of the crossroads. And make no mistake: we’re at a crossroads. Unburden yourself now, so that you can enter this new era without the baggage. We travel light. Let’s hunt some Orc.