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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard about the April 8th total solar eclipse that will be visible in its totality across a narrow band stretching from Mexico through the USA to Canada.

And if you’re getting ready to go hide under a rock because you read somewhere that hiding is the best way to handle this admittedly intense and powerful eclipse, hold up. Don’t give into fear-mongering, or you’ll miss out on the remarkable opportunities and insights that are built into this eclipse chart. If you gather your courage and engage with whatever life brings your way in the weeks ahead with strength and determination, you can make huge strides not only in your personal and spiritual growth, but in relationships, health, and material circumstances.

The reverberations of this chart will be in play for some months to come, but the month ahead is particularly fertile ground for change. Your attention and intention will be key to navigating it successfully.

I’ll look at where the chart suggests we are most likely to find inspiration, support, and allies, but first I’ll take a few paragraphs for the astrologers and astro-curious among you. If that’s not you, just skip over the italics.

(Astrologers: Cast the chart for April 8th, 2:21 PM EDT, Washington, DC [or adjust for your preferred location/time zone].

This is an exceptionally powerful eclipse. It’s within 4 degrees of the North Node [being especially close to a node is what makes it a total eclipse], partile conjunct the minor planet Chiron, which brings a focus on healing, teaching, and the search for wisdom.

It’s also conjunct a retrograde Mercury, which itself is partile conjunct the dwarf planet Eris – watch for yet more disruptions in communication, trade, and travel. Note that it was also conjunct Eris in the chart of the March 25th lunar eclipse.

Venus is also in Aries, tightly conjunct the asteroid Hygeia, which sharpens the focus on issues of health and healing. She is also in a tight semi-square to the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Taurus, which she rules.

Mars rules the eclipse and is conjunct Saturn in Pisces. Neither planet is particularly happy in this sign, but together they will always be kicking ass and taking names. Though that’s a bit less effective when wearing flippers and learning to swim.

There’s a lot to unpack with this conjunction, but here are a few things you might want to watch for: Passive aggression. The warrior and the strategist. Irresistible force meets immovable object. Water wars and water pollution. Anger management. Existential anxiety. Particularly when co-present with Neptune, infectious diseases run rampant. Also self-discipline, focused creation, determination and persistence, controlled passion.

Consider that Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces, which ties the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Taurus to the Mars-Saturn one. Note that the infectious disease du jour is the H5N1 bird flu strain showing up in cows — remember that Taurus rules cattle. It also rules money and farm land, music and dance, precious stones and other items of value and beauty. The exact conjunction occurs on April 20th. The conjunction occurs every 13-14 years, and is a harbinger of breakthroughs and revolutionary changes in culture, science, and technology. In Taurus, [the last one in Taurus was in 1941] agriculture and the environment are in play. Some of these changes will be a flash in the pan, some will be long-lasting. And I have no idea if the 4/20 date is an omen of change in the laws about weed. But one can hope.)

“Change is the essence of life; be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

The energy of an eclipse is one of amplification and instability. Eclipses often play out in a dramatic fashion on the global/national stage with changes in government, environmental upheavals, cultural and financial shakeups, and science/technology breakthroughs and breakdowns. And given that the eclipse is only one of several major astrological alignments this month — not to mention a comet — we should be prepared for chaotic energies sweeping through our communities, our nations, and across the globe.

To some extent, these energies can be directed and shaped on an individual level. As the energies of change swirl around us, there is a focus in this chart on healing.

Illness of all kinds — physical, mental, spiritual— is often caused or held in place by the energy of stagnation. If we set aside our fears around change, we can clear away obstacles with surprising ease in the upcoming weeks, but only if we pay attention, and work consciously with the ambient energies.

The keys to getting through this volatile time and ending up in a place of progress involve facing fears, honest self-assessment, and strengthening spiritual foundations. Those three things are intertwined, and solidifying your spiritual connection is probably the best place to start, because only a strong, experiential, bedrock foundation in a larger reality will allow us to manage the fear and anxiety that are part and parcel of living in the material world.

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ~ Maya Angelou

Courage is a keyword for the sign of Aries, and this is a good time to develop and strengthen our courage by facing the fears that we know are holding us back. Spending time in self-reflection and asking for help from spirit allies will help us do that.

Aries is a sign of action and new beginnings, so consider where you’ve been procrastinating, where in your life you’d like to clear the decks and start over, then gather your courage and take the steps to make those changes.

The Magick of Road Opening

The question of whether or not to do active, operative magick during an eclipse will no doubt be argued far into the future, but magical folk do not simply turn off their magick when faced with the unstable energy of an eclipse. Magick is not just something we do, but an integral part of who we are. We may just observe, but we observe with a magical eye. And when we choose to take action, our actions are infused with magick, because that is what it means to walk a magical path. Whether we are actively working magick or not, we will interact with an eclipse in a magical way.

Personally, given the chaotic energy of an eclipse, I tend to observe and consider where I want to see change before and during, then perform any needed magick after Moon has moved on from the eclipse. And if you’re ready for change, ready to clear some of the stagnant energy in your life, ready to move ahead with healing, then road opening magick can help make that happen.

Road opening is a wonderfully descriptive term of art originating in the Afro-Caribbean magical traditions. It focuses not only on removing obstacles, but calling in spiritual support and blessings as you walk the road. Traditional spells and materia are available online, but pretty much every magical/spiritual tradition has guidance for clearing obstacles and calling in spiritual support. And if you are a dyed-in-the-wool iconoclast, the concept is pretty easy to develop into spells, ritual, or a series of prayers.

Of course, it only works if you get out of the armchair, sit down at your altar, and do the work. And, as the days go by, you’ll want to keep in mind that you asked for help, asked for signs to and help clearing a path ahead, so you need to be ready to walk that path when it’s pointed out to you.

Doing magick and then resisting the outcome is a recipe for trouble.


As we walk a road towards healing, let’s remember that like the centaur Chiron, we are all wounded. So spare some thought, consideration, and caring for the other travelers you meet on the road.

Also like Chiron, we all have at least some ability to heal others, and that ability grows with practice. Practice caring, practice helping others heal. As we work to heal ourselves and others, we help give birth to a civilization that prioritizes caring for each other, for the Web of Life, and for our extraordinary planet. That’s where the astrology is leading us, but we have to step up and walk the path.

On the National Stage

Astrologers: I’m looking at the eclipse chart cast for Washington, DC, and also that chart in a bi-wheel with the Sibly USA chart using Equal Houses.

Non-astrologers: you’ll need to tiptoe through the astro-jargon to get to the predictions in this section. I’ll bold a few key takeaways for you.

The eclipse itself happens in the 5th house of the Sibly chart, but because 9 of the 10 major planets plus minor planet Chiron, dwarf planet Eris, a few asteroids, and the North Node are all jammed together in a less than 70° arc, the surrounding houses are pulled in tightly. Since this all happens under the horizon, in the second quadrant of the chart, this strikes me as focus on internal issues. So although foreign affairs may be tugging at us — note Mercury, ruling the 7th house of negotiations, retrograde in Aries, tightly squaring natal Mercury — our attention will be split.

The fifth house points to a spotlight on children and their education, financial speculation, entertainment, and “royalty” — in other words, those we put on a pedestal, even if we disdain them — celebrities, tycoons, leaders, billionaires. Weak spots in these areas will be exposed, because that is an essential first step towards healing and rebuilding.

The eclipse is in the 9th house of the Washington, D.C. event chart, which spotlights law and the judiciary, religion, international trade and travel, higher education. The 8th house (debt, taxes, death rate, money shared with foreign nations) is also quite active.

Other things to note about the event chart are the Leo Ascendant, Taurus Midheaven, with Jupiter-Uranus conjunct in the 10th, and the Mars-Saturn conjunction ruled by and in Jupiter’s decan and bound.

Especially in mundane astrology, Jupiter tends to make anything bigger, be it good or bad. Now Uranus is right there to help, and its help often expresses as explosions, eruptions, earthquakes and other surprising events that could be environmental, cultural, or political. But both planets tend towards more positive outcomes, or at least mitigation of bad ones. That would look like scientific and technological breakthroughs, cultural, artistic, and athletic triumphs, and a road to freedom for those who are in some way contained, repressed, or outright enslaved.

So, to distill all this down into some of what we can expect, chaos is likely in more than one arena. Internal divisions will demand attention, and some form of tough response may be the best solution. But foreign affairs continue to heat up, and also demand attention.

There will be communication, trade, transportation and travel issues that could, in the worst case lead to military action if not war, and in the best case, give us the opportunity to identify our problems in those areas and get them sorted.

One or more infectious diseases could become a problem, and hopefully be skillfully dealt with before they reach epidemic stages. The necessary skills and abilities are available if we put them in play.

Flooding and water pollution will likely be in the news, as well as some kind of financial, banking, and/or real estate upheavals.

I offer this information to help people plan and prepare for what’s ahead. If your reaction is fear, then go back and read the part about solidifying your spiritual connections. Knowledge gives power. Fear drains it.

As always, if you’d like to know more about how the current sky will be affecting you personally, contact me and we’ll set up a consultation.

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