Solar Eclipse (in Ashwini) ~ Hold back on an impulse

The Solar Eclipse of April 20th sees the Sun and Moon joining with shadow planet Rahu in Aries-Ashwini.

This is a New Moon eclipse which represents a new beginning after the end of a cycle of activity, and the switch from old to new may be abrupt. Any project, possession, or even person in your life, is subject to sudden change, and the eclipse highlights the issues in dramatic style.

If you have a plan or ambition that has waned in importance lately, you may decide to finish it, or else the decision is taken out of your hands in a fated way.

This eclipse arrives less than 48 hours ahead of Jupiter transiting into Aries, and also a Mercury retrograde period, both near-simultaneous transits, which may be affected by your sudden change of thinking.

Ashwini is the essence of impulsive Aries, and its Shakti for Quick Action shows you acting in the moment and taking charge of a situation rather than letting things drift.

But though the eclipse is an isolated moment, its impact may last months or even years into the future, so don’t act on a whim, especially if you are coming from a stressed or anxious place.

You will likely see an issue quite differently after the shadowy atmosphere has passed. This solar eclipse’s rulership by Mars, currently in Gemini-Ardra, gives an even greater intensity and potential for an emotional outburst, either from you or someone close to you.

You can steel yourself to do a difficult duty with grace and detachment, but be kind to yourself too, especially in the eclipse aftermath. Meditation is always many times more powerful on eclipse days, but keeping in touch with your centre is also an essential form of self-care.

Mercury Retrograde (in Aries) ~ Carried away with new ideas

Mercury, planet of communication and commerce, is retrograde in Aries from April 21st to May 15th, in its longest and slowest retrograde period of 2023.

The contrast of Mercury’s slow motion against the drive of impulsive Aries highlights a basic tension in this transit, where you are in a hurry to find answers but also need to get your facts straight.

Mercury goes retrograde less than 48 hours after a Solar Eclipse and almost simultaneously with Jupiter also entering Aries, and may reflect the impact of an academic program or sudden flow of new information. This is either a positive mental progression, or a situation where you have to play catch-up in a competitive field.

Jupiter’s influence gives you a broader outlook and perhaps the effect of a form of teaching, travel or other real-world learning experience. Mercury begins in Aries-Bharani, a nakshatra bound up with giving birth, in the sense of hatching an idea, or style of thought and speech.

Its Shakti of the Power to Carry Things Away, shows a spiritual journey or else you take an idea in a different direction and get temporarily ‘carried away’. Take it easy with any big decision, as this retrograde phase has a way of throwing up a detail whose importance only becomes clear after the fact.

An offer which comes around a second time may have a fated quality, but it’s still best to shop around, and this time window sees you becoming knowledgeable about pricing and also the fine details of delivery.

By May 8th, Mercury reverses into Ashwini, where if anything your thinking becomes even more urgent and subject to a deadline.

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