They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing ~ these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, that had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice… Men killed, and died because they were embarrassed not to.
The carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried. ~ Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried)
On April 19th(20th) we have a rare hybrid Solar Eclipse. Hybrid, because it appears as a Total Solar Eclipse in some areas where the Eclipse is visible, while also appearing as an Annular Eclipse in others. Where it is Total, it will completely blot out the Sun, but where it is seen as an Annular Eclipse, a halo will be visible, creating the signature ‘ring of fire’ around the Moon as it moves in front of the Sun. This eclipse will be visible in Western Australia and Eastern Indonesia and much of that area of the world, on the 20th of April. Hybrid eclipses are rare, as the Moon, Earth and Sun have to be at just the right distance and angle for these phenomenon to occur simultaneously.
Solar Eclipses occur at the New Moon. And this New Moon Solar Eclipse is our second Aries New Moon of the year, a Mars sign. The first occurred at almost 1º of Aries, while this one falls in the last (anaretic) degree of Aries at 29º Aries 50’ ( the eclipse falling at 29º Aries 53’). And with all of this volatile martial Aries simmering like a loose canon, this is as much about the past, what we are bringing forward with us, but also about what we are needing to release, purify or let go of in order for the New Beginning to unfold and do its good work.
Mars, the ruling planet of Aries, is currently out of bounds in the sign of Cancer. A planet is considered to be out of bounds when it moves beyond 23º 26’ North or South of the equator. These are the points of maximum declination for the Sun’s migration to the Tropic of Cancer in June, and the Tropic of Capricorn for the December Solstice. Planets that move beyond these latitudes are considered out of bounds, and beyond the field of influence of our liege Lord, the Sun.
Free to roam, and not bound by the usual conventions and rules, these out-of-bound planets are virtually lawless. Left to their own devices, they answer to no one but themselves. This free range expression can be a good thing, even for our warrior planet Mars. For instance, an out of bounds Mars gives athletes that certain edge that allows them to perform beyond expectations, break records and reach stellar heights in their sport. This is the sort of Mars that heroes are made of, courageously running into the fire instead of away, and taking on challenges that leave us breathlessly in awe. But with its domain over the tools of war, destruction and violence (guns, knives, sharp instruments, fire and war) lawless and un-contained, out of bounds Mars can also be extremely dangerous.
Mars has been out of bounds since the end of October when it first stationed retrograde, and will continue to be out of bounds until the end of April. Eclipses however are turning point. And this coming Eclipse on April 19th or 20th (depending on where you are in the world) in the Mars sign of Aries and almost exactly square Pluto will not and can not be ignored. This is an Eclipse about moving from one era to the next, or from one stage of life to the next. And there’s nothing to be done for it, except to move out of its way. Like a snake shedding its skin, an old order is gradually being sloughed off, giving rise to a new phase, a new generation, a new way of being.
Pluto in Aquarius is about cultivating Grass Roots Movements by the People for the People. It’s about addressing power in such a way that no one person or group is so great and powerful as to diminish or overshadow the rest.
This Eclipse, at 29º Aries 50’ is asking us to release and resolve ancient tired wounds, these now rotted corpses, in order to move into our future, and fulfill our destiny. Even if we don’t want to. An old order will rarely want to release control. And it may not be what we want to do, but it is what we must do for the sake of our evolutionary growth and purpose.
What putrefying corpse from another era have we been carrying around with us, like some ancient relic hidden away in a well protected tomb of our own making? What are we refusing to let go of, even though it may be undermining our own well-being, and preventing us from growing?
Doing Pluto work is hard and humbling. Pluto represents our worst fears. Our obsessions, our shames, our guilt and laments. This is the stuff we avoid, and don’t want to confront. This Eclipse in the last degree of the warrior sign Aries is asking us to bravely confront and resolve issues compounded and accumulated over the years, in order to be able to walk into the future. Whatever comes to the surface within the ambit of this Solar Eclipse is asking to be healed, release and resolved first. And then we can walk into our future, leaving the cast off skins of our former lives behind.
These eclipses are gradually going to be shifting on to the Aries/Libra axis, and this is the first of the Eclipses to do so. But at the very last degree of Aries, it is promising a new beginning in the area that the Eclipse falls in your chart, under the condition that we allow the transition to unfold as it will. Falling in the 29th degree and square Pluto we are needing to let go of something and move on first. Aries can bring us the motivation, courage, the daring, and energy to do the things that we normally wouldn’t have the courage to do.
We have now entered Eclipse Season. Betwixt and between the eclipses, we will have the retrograde station of Mercury on the 21st, the retrograde station of Pluto on May 1st, and the Jupiter/Pluto square which perfects after the Lunar Eclipse in May. This is the stuff of which great things can happen. But as we cross through to the other side of this Eclipse season, hopefully we will also be stripped of a lot of unnecessary baggage.
This is a powerful Eclipse. If you are inclined to make any intentions with this Moon do so very carefully, and only with the intent to do no harm, and for the good of all concerned. Victories at the expense of others, revenge, anger, retribution will only ricochet in this weather, and compound problems.
Therefore may we all sow the intention to be an instrument for peace, and to do so in a way that will be for the good of all concerned.
What are you still carrying around with you, or holding on to that is holding you back and weighing you down? What are you needing to let go of or release?
What daunting challenges are you needing to face, requiring you to channel the courage and strength of a warrior?
What threshold are you needing to cross in order to get to the other side?
What are you needing to purify? In what ways are you needing to cleanse your soul, and simply Let Go?
Like a rite of initiation or purification, the Solar Eclipse on April 19th/20th is asking us to do just that.
For this week’s horoscopes, click below: