Chart for the Solar Eclipse in Aries

Harnessing the Bonfire

This powerful Solar Eclipse is in the last degree of Aries, and is the second New Moon in Aries in a row! This puts the spotlight squarely on Mars in Cancer and still Out-of-Bounds by declination. Mercury Retrograde also plays a key roll in this powerful New Moon Eclipse!


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Apr. 20, 2023, 12:12 AM EDT

Apr. 19, 2023
11:12 PM CDT
10:12 PM MDT
9:12 PM PDT
8:12 PM AKDT
7:12 PM HAST

London, UK:

Apr. 20, 2023, 5:12 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Apr. 20, 2023, 2:12 PM AEST

Eclipse Watch

You can watch this eclipse in part from much of southeast Asia, and the best view is in northwest Australia, East Timor, and Indonesia. Remember not to watch the Solar Eclipse in the sky without proper eye protection or you could seriously damage your eyes.

Remind me that the most fertile lands were built by the fires of volcanoes.
~ Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase

Welcome to Eclipse Season!

We have now entered the first of 2 eclipse seasons of 2023. First we have a Solar Eclipse in Aries on April 20, followed by a Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio in 2 weeks. Between these eclipses it may feel like 2 weeks of solid Full Moon – wide-open emotions, stirred up potential for change, and showing you hidden possibilities – for better or worse. The eclipses show the Sun and Moon in a completely different light (literally and figuratively!). Astrologically, latent energy is often released that was previously unconscious, camouflaged or hidden.

In this case, the nature of that energy is through the zodiac sign of Aries. At its best, this is the life force, new beginnings, rebirth, confidence, enthusiasm, courage and action. On the rougher side, it could also raise anger, aggression, violence, impulsiveness, self-absorption or insensitivity.

Stellium in AriesThe Sun and Moon aren't alone in Aries – they're rubbing elbows with Jupiter and Chiron, which forms a Stellium which stokes quite a bonfire of Aries energy. Apparently it's not enough to simply have a powerful Solar Eclipse – it has to bring extra mega-Aries energy along with it. ;-)

This is the second Aries New Moon in a row, the first being the New Moon of March 21. Usually each New Moon sequence goes from one sign into the next. So, it's somewhat rare to have two New Moons or Full Moons (lunations) in a row in the same sign, although it happens pretty regularly, about every 2½ years or so. When this happens, the first lunation is usually at 0 or 1 degree of the sign, and the second one is at 28 or 29 degrees. It gives us a chance to experience the new emergence of that sign's energy as well as what that energy develops into just as it's about to shift gears into the next sign. (Is this like a Blue Moon?)

What makes this one special is that this second New Moon is also a Solar Eclipse. All that exploding Aries energy from the first New Moon develops into a mature bonfire at the end of that sign. In addition, the transition from Aries into Taurus through an eclipse makes for a very dramatic exit!

The Sun and Moon are conjunct, making it a New Moon, and this one also happens to be a Solar Eclipse. The Sun and Moon are in a tight square aspect to Pluto (90°) which adds considerable intensity – think Aries Ram with nuclear missiles for horns! In other words, this eclipse is likely to carry extra forcefulness, determination, and perhaps aggression.

Aries Solar Eclipse Sqr PlutoPluto is in the 2-year process of changing signs, from Capricorn (where it's been since 2008) into Aquarius (where it will be until 2044). Pluto tends to bring change and transformation (although while this is going on, it's often called crisis or coming apart). A slow-moving planet like Pluto stirs up slow-moving change, but whatever it touches (to other transiting planets or to the natal chart) tends to encounter a much deeper level of whatever that energy is.

In this case, Pluto touches the Aries Solar Eclipse through a dynamic, perhaps arduous square aspect. But this is a more complicated interaction than usual – they are sextile by sign (60°) but square by degree (90°). So, in some ways this could bring an invitation to plant your new Aries seeds a little deeper by contemplating the broader implications of what those seeds could become. Yet, in another way, it also suggests there's a challenge to stretch your mind from a personal perspective to a transpersonal one. This may require you to sacrifice something about your own wants in order to connect with that greater potential.


Like after a prairie fire...It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning, the soil is richer, and new things can grow....People are like that, too, you know. They start over. They find a way.
~ Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Mars (Still) on the Loose

By now, you may be feeling a bit exhausted from all the Mars activity we've had for the last several months – OR you might be riding high on its powerful wave of energy and hoping it will never stop!

Mars rules the current New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Aries, as well as the previous New Moon, also in Aries. And the upcoming Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio is also ruled by Mars. So, whatever Mars is doing continues to be amplified in significance and intensity for weeks or even months to come.

Is that enough Mars for you? Here's a map of some of the more notable stepping stones on Mars' path:

  • August 20, 2022 – Mars enters Gemini
  • September 3, 2022 – Mars enters the retrograde shadow
  • October 22, 2022 – Mars goes Out-of-Bounds
  • October 25, 2022 – Solar Eclipse in Scorpio, ruled by Mars
  • October 30, 2022 – Mars goes retrograde
  • January 12, 2023 – Mars goes direct
  • March 15, 2023 – Mars leaves the shadow
  • March 25, 2023 – Mars finally leaves Gemini for Cancer
  • April 20, 2023 – Solar Eclipse in Aries, ruled by Mars
  • May 5, 2023 – Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio, ruled by Mars
  • May 5, 2023 – Mars finally comes In-Bounds
  • May 20, 2023 – Mars leaves Cancer and enters Leo

Mars remains OOB until May 5 – about 6½ months in total – and comes back In-B the same day as the Lunar Eclipse in his sign of Scorpio. Going OOB and returning In-B can often coincide with a dramatic event, significant experience, or a turning point of some kind.

In short, Mars has been a busy little boy for quite a while now. In fact, start to finish, we'll have enjoyed—or endured—9 months of a very active Mars! Seems like the perfect time span for something new to be born in your life, right?

Mars is now in Cancer where it is "in fall," meaning it's harder for Mars to express his essential, raw energy. Au naturel, Mars likes to be active, rambunctious, rough and tumble, direct and spontaneous. But in Cancer that Mars energy becomes much more sensitive and aware of how one's energy might be affecting others. So his sharp edges need to soften, so that expressions of caring don't feel like you're being hugged by lamb's wool with teeth.

If Mars is gestating a new direction in your life, then Mars in Cancer is an excellent time to explore how to nurture this new birth with careful tenderness without losing your impetus, motivation and enthusiasm.

On the other hand, Cancer's deeply feeling nature can amplify insecurity, depression or vulnerability. Mars' protective instinct could respond with overreaction, anger or defensiveness as a form of self-protection. So, if you find yourself in a grouchy mood, check to see if the Cancer part of you is feeling a bit more vulnerable than usual and take care of your Inner Child.

Mars Square ChironIn the Solar Eclipse chart, Mars is approaching a square aspect to Chiron in Aries. This speaks of a need to protect the inner wounds from getting bruised again, but again, be aware that Mars can go overboard even when driven by good intentions.

Mars square Chiron could also be a warning that too much or too little protection or caution might lead to undoing the good that is being generated. Ask yourself if you feel you're not getting enough tenderness and support—or might you be playing it a bit too safe and therefore losing out on fresh possibilities that require some risk or determination?

While Mars is OOB in Cancer, you could be invited to stretch your nurturing arms a little wider. It's a time when you could go above and beyond your usual comfort zone, and see past your reservations, biases or inhibitions when it comes to how you perceive and respond to your fellow Sapiens, be they near or far, familiar or different.

"Sometimes," he said, "it is necessary to go back before we can move forward."
~ Mary Balogh, Simply Love

Mercury Retrograde

At the time of the Solar Eclipse, Mercury is stationary and turns officially retrograde the day after the eclipse – and he's got plenty to say about it!

Mercury is in Taurus for the entire retrograde cycle, which encourages you to be practical, to pace yourself, and remember that the best things take time. At the same time, under Mercury in Taurus you may find you're more receptive to music, art, poetry and pleasure of all kinds.

During this cycle your mind might be focused on a money-making idea or plan for building a nest-egg. April is tax time for many of us, so as you're preparing your tax return you might discover a strategy for saving money in the long run.

Mercury makes a number of repeating aspects to other planets: conjunction and parallel to Uranus and the North Lunar Node, as well as sextiles to Saturn, Mars and Venus. All those sextiles can create a fertile ground for growing long-term ideas that develop into something useful and worthwhile. This can also be a time when you're examining and adjusting your values based on recent events and experiences.

For more about this Mercury retrograde cycle, see my new article, Mercury Retrograde April-May 2023: Breaking New Ground, Planting Seeds.


Sabian Symbol

Sabian Symbol for Aries 30: A duck pond and its brood.

Sabian Symbol for Aries 30: A duck pond and its broodRemember that the previous New Moon in Aries was in the first degree of Aries, while this one is in the last degree of Aries. If the previous New Moon was the beginning of the beginning, then this Solar Eclipse is like the end of the beginning. The initial spark of life has burst into being, and the only thing to do now is to stabilize all that energy so it doesn't just dissipate into nothing.

Dane Rudhyar subtitles this Symbol as "The realization of natural boundaries." In other words, the ducks are free to come and go, to feed or swim, even though their watery home is contained within the shores around it.

Archetypally, we are at the cusp where Aries becomes Taurus – from Fire to Earth, from a wild untamed life force into a more workable form where it can take shape. We start by putting a boundary around it – not so much that the Fire is extinguished, but enough to keep it contained within manageable limits. That's essential for the manifestation process.

In doing so, we can ensure that there is a continual and predictable fuel that can sustain the fire. In other words, if you want to keep that fiery energy, to keep that inspiration or motivation or excitation alive, you need to be prepared to feed it regularly, build a resilient foundation for it, and make it useful.

If you're loaded with lots of Fire and Air, or freedom-oriented energy (Jupiter, Uranus, Mars), this transition point might feel a bit cramped as you begin to rein in that unlimited potential and start compressing it into something more specific, useful and definable. If you're loaded with lots of Earth then you'll probably feel more comfortable as the energy becomes something you can get a more solid handle on. Only in a more stable environment can fragile growth become strong enough to stand on its own.

Astrology rests on the belief that everything materialising into being is imbued with the temporal qualities of the moment of emergence.
~ Deborah Houlding, Sign Symbolism: Aries the Ram

Trust the Process

The Solar Eclipse in the last degree of Aries signals a time of taming the wild energy that exploded with the Equinox New Moon at the first degree of Aries. The stabilization process began with the Full Moon in Libra, through Libra's priority for bringing things into balance – the reaction to the action.

Now we are called upon to bring that fiery energy into a state where we can work with it, build on it, nurture it, shape it, and put it to good use. This calls for us to take a close look at what our priorities are. Think about the last 4 weeks. What has thrilled you, excited you, released something in you, or brought out new courage in you? What scared you; what made you cautious or hesitant; what made you stop and rethink; what led you to doubt yourself?

Think of the events, feelings and experiences that were the important highlights of the last four weeks. If you could pick only 3 of them to hold onto, which ones would you choose? And if you had to let go of one of those 3 things in order to keep the other two, which one would you be willing to give up?

Of course, there's no way to guarantee anything. All you can do is your best and hope the Universe cooperates with your intentions. But these questions are an exercise in finding out what your priorities and values are, and that's the most important thing you can keep in mind as you move from Fire to Earth, from Aries to Taurus.

The next eclipse is in Scorpio in two weeks. This is also a Mars-ruled sign, so you'll get to explore other sides of Mars – passion, determination, dedication, loyalty, and emotional authenticity. See you in two weeks!

The next update will be for the Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on May 5, 2023. Until then, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you. ❤️

We think the fire eats the wood. We are wrong. The wood reaches out to the flame. The fire licks at what the wood harbors, and the wood gives itself away to that intimacy, the manner in which we and the world meet each new day.
~ Jack Gilbert, Collected Poems



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