Thursday’s Solar Eclipse Will Effect Your Next 6 Months—Here’s What to Know

Illustration of a solar eclipse in pastel colors with an abstract woman's face over the moon.
Svitlanalana Onypko/Getty Images

On Thursday, April 20 (or Wednesday, April 19 if you’re on the West Coast), we have a solar eclipse in Aries. This is our first solar eclipse of the year and with its arrival, we officially begin this year’s eclipse season (which continues with a lunar eclipse in Scorpio on May 5). Eclipses bring sudden beginnings and endings, speeding up time while we’re in what astrologers sometimes call the “eclipse portal.” To prepare for this supercharged time, we’ve put together a quick refresher on what all this means and, more importantly, how it may affect your life—astrologically speaking.

So, What Is A Solar Eclipse?

On an astronomical level, a solar eclipse is when the moon stands between the sun and the Earth, blocking or “eclipsing” the sun’s light to us on the ground floor (is Bonnie Tyler’s song making more sense now?).

I’ve Heard This One Is Also A New Moon? Can You Explain?

While all solar eclipses are new moons (the very beginning of the lunar cycle when the moon reflects the least amount of light from the sun, appearing nearly invisible in the sky), most new moons are not solar eclipses (we have two, sometimes three, per year). So, the April 20, 2023 solar eclipse is a special (though not rare) occurrence.

I’ve Heard That Eclipses Are Bad Omens. Is That True?

Astrologically speaking, the sun is our life force. When its light is obscured, vitality is low and experience gets distorted. Life cannot continue “as normal” during an eclipse. But I think considering it to be a “bad omen” (especially in one’s personal life) is also a bit extreme.

Sure, in ancient times, eclipses were thought of as highly malefic events and solar eclipses especially were thought to put the king in grave danger—rulers would often be hidden away, and a “fake king” would be installed during an eclipse. Nowadays, eclipses are still harbingers of change and instability, but modern technologies like electricity have made it so the sun’s light going out for a bit just isn’t as big of a deal.

So What Does This Solar Eclipse Mean For Me?

New moons are the start of a lunar cycle, representing renewal and new beginnings. But when a new moon is a solar eclipse, we start off the cycle with scattered and unpredictable energy. This is not good energy for manifestation! Though solar eclipses are not inherently bad, and can often bring opportunities, good news and possibilities you didn’t see coming (a hot date, an unexpected job offer or quick turnaround on the apartment of your dreams), you won’t know what an eclipse is going to bring until it’s happening.

What Should I—Astrologically Speaking—Do During This Solar Eclipse?

The solar eclipse goes exact at 12:12 AM ET on Thursday, April 20 and for a window of time (about 24 hours before and after, to be generous and safe), you’re likely going to feel super exhausted. Ancient astrologers would advise their clients not to go outside during eclipses (to avoid the so-called “baleful rays”!), but today’s advice is more along the lines of: take a nap. It’s best to avoid scheduling anything super important during eclipse days as things are more likely to get switched around or go awry. Of course, life happens and sometimes you’re forced to take a meeting or make big moves at the time of the eclipse. Solar eclipses have a lasting effect for up to six months after the eclipse date, so if something big does come up, this might be a clue about the major changes that are on your horizon.

If you’d like to mark the occasion with a ritual, remember that though this is a new moon, a solar eclipse isn’t about setting intentions. This is a time to let things go. Try dimming the lights and drawing a nice warm bath (grab some essential oils, Epsom salts of one of those CBD bath bombs if that’s your style!). Once you’ve soaked off the intense energy, journal about what you’d like to release so that you can call in what’s meant for you over the next six months. Lay low and stay hydrated and notice what’s bubbling to the surface! This is only the beginning of a new, remarkable period.

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Jaime Wright is an astrologer and writer based in NYC. She has been writing PureWow’s weekly and monthly horoscope columns since 2019, and also authors the cult favorite...