What is a hybrid eclipse? There are many types of eclipses. Most common are partial and total eclipses, the definitions of which are self-explanatory. However, there are two other types of eclipses, called annular and hybrid. A hybrid eclipse is a combination of a total and annular eclipse. To understand how a single eclipse could be two types, it’s important to keep in mind that nothing in the universe is stationary. Furthermore, the relative distance between Earth, sun, and moon change throughout the year. On April 20, we will experience the once-in-a-decade event of a hybrid solar eclipse. A hybrid eclipse is a total eclipse to an observer in one place, and an annular eclipse to an observer in another place, shifting between the two over a given period of time. In a partial eclipse, the moon only blocks a portion of the sun from our view. In a total eclipse, the moon appears slightly bigger than the sun, blocking out the entire solar orb. In an annular eclipse, the moon appears slightly smaller than the sun, creating what’s known as a “ring of fire” around the moon. During a hybrid eclipse, those located in the initial and final portions of the eclipse path will see an annular solar eclipse, while those at the center of the eclipse path will experience a total solar eclipse. Unfortunately, those of us in North America will see no eclipse, as it will only be visible in the Southern Hemisphere.
In literature, a foil character is someone whose qualities contrast with those of the protagonist. This person may be an adversary to the main character, though sometimes it is a friend or family member. In April, not only do we have a second new moon in Aries, but there is also a solar eclipse. The Aries new moon on March 21 was sextile to Pluto and empowered us to transform our identity. This second Aries new moon is one of shadow, and squares Pluto. It reveals a more nuanced portrait of our identity by showing us the other side of our nature, our shadow self. We are all guided by complex and often contradictory interests. This solar eclipse provides the opportunity to discern whether these interests serve to create a richer tapestry of self, or whether they are practices in self sabotage. Our shadow self is the in-built foil character throughout our life’s narrative. Whether it acts as friend or foe is up to us.