This season’s Solar Eclipse occurs at 05.12BST at 29 Aries on 20 April. At eclipses the balance of light and shadow between Sun & Moon, and how we receive their energies in our lives on Earth, shifts and changes. Eclipses therefore have a reputation as carrying watershed energy. Events and experiences shift our awareness, even our lives, in tangible ways. This eclipse is a rare one, occurring around once in a decade. It is known as a hybrid solar eclipse as it changes from annular to total and vice versa along its path. This occurs when the apparent size of the Moon closely matches that of the Sun as seen from the Earth.
29 degrees of any sign is known as the anaretic degree. This degree carries the peak of a particular sign’s energy, purported to be a degree of fate. As first fire sign of the zodiac, Aries represents new beginnings. This doubles-up on the themes of a watershed moment. Aries fire carries the potential for new life, yet also for action/reaction overload.
The expression of Aries fire, in terms of the three fire signs, is like a match striking. Just as a sparky comment can provoke or escalate a disagreement, a match can either create a blaze or be quickly blown out. Seemingly minor actions and reactions have the potential to cause major disruptions at this Eclipse. Yet this is also a place of power, for with awareness we can catch the spark, deactivate it where necessary, or allow it to kindle new inspiration.
Pluto in Aquarius, square to this Eclipse, also suggests a point of power that has vast implications. Pluto is far out in our solar system, thus represents the long-term evolutionary processes of our lives. Newly arrived in Aquarius, Pluto with this Eclipse suggests the large and the small, the short and long-term, the individual within the collective. How seemingly insignificant actions can lead towards major change in terms of our evolutionary processes. This suggests a seed point at this Eclipse that reaches far into the future. It’s a theme of both arising, defusing or acting on potentials and their long-term implications, amplified by Eclipse ruler Warrior Mars in the sign of Cancer. The archetype of Mars is the warrior, moving in direct action and confrontation. Mars cannot move effectively in the water signs. This placement coinciding with the Eclipse tends towards taking life and communication personally. What is to Aries an innocent remark, can be wounding to sensitive Cancer. What we experience as sharp, reactive, or provocative, is a trigger point, either for old patterns or for new life.
Think of the crab’s hard shell and tender innards. It walks sidewards rather than directly ahead. When threatened it stops, waving its big claw in defensive action but it doesn’t attack. This watery sign of emotional connection tends to take what it receives inward. Although uncomfortable to Cancer’s vulnerability, this type of reactivity can mitigate conflict. Yet we are left with discomfort rather than the sense of connection that Cancer enjoys. This is strengthened by Warrior Goddess of Wisdom Pallas Athena also in Cancer, being square to Amplifier Jupiter and Disruptor Eris in Aries. There is a strong need to be truly present with what disrupts our sensibilities. To address the discomfort in the Aries way, with a direct instinctual response.
Elias Lonsdale’s Chandra symbol for this degree has a flavour of disrupted sensibilities that is very Eclipse orientated. It is: An anatomist delivers a lecture on the kidneys. Objective awareness specialises in taking particulars and demonstrating principles through fascinating examples. This way, each thing encountered in life adds up to a total vision, a theory, a hypothesis, some overviewing myth or realisation. Such a mode of seeing and knowing and communicating is calibrated to fit within existing situations, to meet a demand, to keep the world going in its fascinating, stimulating, external workings. It repeats, recirculates, regurgitates data, theories, pet notions, popular soundbytes. For it is meant to popularise, to spread, to universalise, to get the word out there.There is no personal note struck. There is no subjective interpretation indulged. There is no earthly undercurrent a given clear voice. All of this is inside consensus reality, solidly embedded in the world view of the Old Earth.
What happens when a revolution, a radical evolution hits this place? The outer veneer is pierced. The husk of conformity gives way. What do we meet underneath?
The machine drones onward. The outer mind keeps spewing facts and theories. But somebody is alive in here. They are not the end, the old, the recycled mind set of the past. They bear something vital to be connected up at a level beyond the outer mind arena and all its dynamics.That resurgent vital edge is always lurking, waiting. Just one more tour of duty, and then….But the times catch up. There comes a moment when what your guts tell you overrides the ideologies of mind and you stake your life upon the instinct.
Kidney energy in Chinese medicine synergises the balance between Yang (Aries action/reaction) and Yin (Cancer receptivity). We need both in balance for a healthy life, along with the capacity to flow between the two. As the Chandra symbol states: ‘What happens when a revolution, a radical evolution hits this place? The outer veneer is pierced. The husk of conformity gives way. What do we meet underneath?’ Well, inevitably we fall out of that balance. This is necessary for growth. For ‘what is underneath’, ie. what we are not aware of, is calling to be met. Interestingly, the Sabian Symbol for the Eclipse degree gives us clues to this unveiling. It is: A Clear Mountain Stream. When we get caught up in reaction to the piercing of our shells, the potential is we stay on the surface, not meeting the revelation or the revolution available to us. The water energy of Cancer (where eclipse ruler Mars is placed), with its natural capacity for rippling and flowing around obstacles, is key here. The water in this stream is pure and clear, always lying under our surface experience. We can see into it, to what lies beneath. This symbol suggests allowing a cleansing to take place. To recognise our trigger points, the actions or reactions that stem from them, with clear perception, to look through them to what is revealing itself underneath. To allow the clear and fresh mountain stream to move us in a new flow.
Cancerian energy is Yin; it takes inward, nourishes and holds, sometimes to its detriment. Aries energy is Yang; it expresses directly and dynamically outward, sometimes too forcefully. There is something about this synergy of Yin and Yang within you calling for renewal at this eclipse. Mars, Eclipse ruler, is our capacity for action. An Aries Eclipse is a starting point. Beginning anew is an Aries gift; it’s the capacity to respond, simply and directly, no forethought, no agenda. Often in life it’s the smallest incident that leads towards renewal. It’s the unplanned moment that can change everything. Eclipses are all about the surprise of what is unplanned, especially in Aries. Unplanned doesn’t mean we are not ready; it’s simply the seed point of the next cycle of expression that has been gestating. This is perfectly Aries, whose job it is to bring that underlying urge for growth into action. Its dynamism expresses in different ways yet the key is always movement. It is only in movement that the next cycle is activated. Yin meets Yang meets Yin, spiralling us inwards and onwards in our evolutionary potential. In Aries that movement is instinctual. Its potential is to reveal what we are not yet conscious of.
As Messenger Mercury stations retrograde less than 24 hours after this Eclipse, whatever spark of new life is ignited, time is a factor in its full expression. Mercury’s retrograde spans 15-5 degrees of Taurus, the sign of our personal values, resources and grounding. There is also a Lunar Eclipse on 5 May at 14 Scorpio. Potentially it’s not until 14th May onwards that we begin to experience the full impetus of this period of Eclipse seed point of renewal. Whatever is awakening in this new cycle needs to get its roots into the soil of our lives before it begins to emerge.