I Talked To An Astrologer To Understand What's In Store For Us Ahead Of The Total Solar Eclipse, And Phew, I Don't Know If You’re Ready

    "It is best for us to approach the eclipse with a sense of curiosity, wonder, and openness to a new way of living." —@rebeccagordonastrology

    Astrology is kinda having a moment right now. In just a little over a month, SZA, Kacey Musgraves, and Ariana Grande all sang about their Saturn returns on their new records.

    Three female artists performing on stage; first singing into mic, second in a flowing dress, third playing guitar

    Now, we're on the heels of a total solar eclipse next Monday, April 8th — and whether you're astrologically inclined or not, it's a big deal.

    A solar eclipse with a prominent corona visible around the obscured sun

    Solar eclipses are natural, visible phenomena that have fascinated humans since ancient history. According to NASA, the first recorded eclipse in human history may have been in 3340 B.C.E. in County Meath, Ireland. Since then, humans have constructed various supernatural and scientific explanations and reactions to these celestial events.

    Solar eclipse sequence over a silhouette of trees with onlookers

    OK, so wait — what is the deal with eclipses though? Why does it feel like they're always some "rare" occurrence, but they've happened before? Didn't we just have one in 2017?

    Every time we have an eclipse, I hear someone say, “This won’t happen again for another 150 years,” but then the shit happens every year and a half.

    — Jason, ex Inferis (@benedictsred) March 30, 2024
    Twitter: @benedictsred

    First, contrary to popular belief — this guy is (kinda) correct. Eclipses are not rare; they happen twice a year ~somewhere~ on Earth. However, seeing them in the same place on Earth IS rare, and total eclipses are less common. For example, the last total solar eclipse in the US happened in 2017, and the next one visible in the US won't be until August 2044.

    Two individuals wearing eclipse glasses looking upwards, likely viewing an eclipse

    And, this total eclipse (now cueing "Total Eclipse of the Heart") is particularly special, at least that's what Rebecca Gordon, a New York City astrologer, author, and astrology school founder tells me. So, if you're like me and dabble with your birth chart occasionally, Rebecca helped break down what this total solar eclipse means, why it's special, and what it might mean for you.

    Rebecca Gordon wearing a sparkly dress and a statement necklace, posing outdoors

    So, Rebecca, we know what a solar eclipse is, but astrologically speaking, what's their significance?

    Phases of a solar eclipse progression, with the total eclipse in the center

    Ok, I kinda love that. I feel like we all need a wake-up call from time to time. How does a solar eclipse differ from a lunar eclipse?

    Diagram showing phases of the Moon with labels for each phase and days it takes to transition. Earth is at the center

    Didn't we just have a lunar eclipse?

    Rebecca Gordon:  "Yes, we had a partial lunar eclipse on March 25, 2024. Eclipses come in pairs, so whenever there is a solar eclipse, there is also a lunar eclipse either two weeks after or two weeks prior. Lunar eclipses are essentially 10x-powered versions of full moons. Full moons signify endings. So, a lunar eclipse will show you where you walked across the bridge, and now the bridge is in the water. There is no turning back. Lunar eclipses show patterns in your life that must come to an end. This could mean letting go of a habit, a relationship, a job, or anything else."

    Ok, and if eclipses mark a big breakthrough moment, it kinda makes sense then that they have reportedly halted war, led to scientific discoveries, and occurred alongside historical events, such as the birth and death of kings, queens, and rulers. So, how do you think the total solar eclipse on April 8 might impact us?

    Historical painting of a crowd observing a solar eclipse with buildings in the background

    Eclipses have also evoked various meanings for different cultures throughout history — for some fear, for others rebirth, change, and growth. But it seems like an eclipse is kinda what you make it. Is a solar eclipse something to be feared, or embraced? How should we approach eclipse season?

    Two people observing a night sky with visible clouds and a bright crescent moon

    Rebecca compared the eclipse season to a faltering radio broadcast. She said, "The sun is like a radio station that broadcasts light and encoded information to Earth. When the moon crosses the sun during an eclipse, the radio station shuts down. By the end of the eclipse, that old station can no longer be found." It's like your life changes a station, and you must welcome the new music, despite it being unknown.

    Person tuning an old-fashioned radio with a dial and buttons

    So, I have to ask about myself – while I'm astro-curious, I certainly am no guru. After hearing about “Saturn returns” buzzing in popular music right now, I thought ‘Huh, maybe I am going through my Saturn return too,' because things just feel a little out of whack. But I'm not in my Saturn return season. Could it be that the eclipse has something to do with it instead?

    Musician seated playing guitar with two accompanying musicians against a starry backdrop on stage

    Oooh, I'm excited by this. All this time, I thought I was in my Saturn return, but really, I'm rather poignantly in the throes of eclipse season (at exactly 19 degrees of Aries!!!). Ok, enough about me though, let's talk about everyone else. What might the eclipse mean for different zodiac signs?

    Alright, got it? Excited, nervous, scared, skeptical? Don't worry — according to Rebecca, it's natural. She said, "Eclipses force us to evolve beyond our comfort zone, and even if you resist, nature has a way."

    Cartoon of a personified house lying on a lawn like a human, with a caption about resisting growth being a fulltime job

    Alright, phew. Changes, reflections, and hard truths. Accept it with open arms. Got it. I think what I appreciate about astrology, is that even if you're like, "This is BS!," there's some truth in all these platitudes. Whether you believe in any of the spiritual interpretations of the eclipse or not, we can all take time to reflect on some truths we've been ignoring. Perhaps the eclipse season is just that perfect moment to do so.

    Solar eclipse with a silhouette of a person holding an umbrella underneath

    And look, while I just rattled off a whole convo with an astrologer, I'm a skeptic too. But I find beauty in the fact that ancient to modern cultures, tribes, and the present-day fortune cookie BuzzFeed quiz astrologists have all found connections through the stars, wondered about their existence, and questioned their meaning to our Earth.

    Three panels depicting historical astronomy, illustration from The Little Prince, silhouette of two people stargazing

    And, to give the celestial some more credit, there's some wacky sh*t. Like, Rebecca told me about all the events that just so happened to occur during eclipse season, like women's right to vote (1919), the founding of the UN (1945), and the passing of the US Civil Rights Act in 1964. And apparently, there's a thing with the Royals and eclipses (soooo many have born and died on them, like what?).

    Women suffragists hold banners questioning the President about women's liberty next to a building

    So there you have it! Do with the total solar eclipse season as you want. Take it, leave it, throw it in the trash, whatever — you'll have to face those hard truths one way or another!

    For the astrologically inclined, you can keep up with Rebecca Gordon on Instagram and her website. And, if you're lookin' to understand your birth chart better, you can use her free guide.