The Great American Eclipse: Where and How to See the Eclipse

Eclipses are inherently shadowy subjects, obscuring the light of the Sun and the Moon from our typical view. They usually happen without us witnessing them, but occasionally, you might find yourself in the “path of totality” which is where you can visually see the eclipse take place.

One such magical event happens this year over a large swath of the United States. The upcoming new moon solar eclipse in Aries on April 8th will be visible for a specific section of the United States. But remember, even if you aren’t physically viewing this eclipse, its energy will be strongly felt. This eclipse occurs at 11:20 am PST, so set a timer and tap into your intuition around that time if you’re able.

This is the second total solar eclipse to cross over the United States in less than 7 years. You might remember the last one that happened on August 21st, 2017. That one was in the sign of Leo, and unsurprisingly, there was a lot of media coverage! Businesses closed early, and people had viewing parties throughout the country where the eclipse was able to be witnessed.

It seems significant that there’s now another eclipse path of totality making its way across the country in a relatively short period of time. Here’s what you need to know about where and how to see the upcoming total eclipse in Aries.

Eclipse Length

Eclipses can last anywhere from a fraction of a second to 7 and a half minutes long. So, even at their longest, they are rare occurrences that are never even 10 minutes at a time! They’re very quick-moving celestial phenomena, and their brevity is, at least in part, what makes them so magical to witness firsthand. 

This year’s Aries eclipse will last about twice as long as the one that could be viewed in the United States back in 2017. While the one back then was about two and a half minutes, this one will last for about 4 and a half minutes.

Where to View

The 2017 eclipse that crossed the US ran from the northwest to the southeast of the country. But this “Great American Eclipse” happening on April 8th runs from the southwest to the northeast of the country. It enters Mexico and then crosses through central Texas, the southeast of Oklahoma, central Arkansas, southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and northwest Ohio. Then, it crosses Lake Erie and Ontario, Canada, where it moves across the US/Canada border with Toronto and Montreal at the outer edges of the path.

Dallas, Texas, looks to be one of the best cities in the country to view the eclipse because it is close to the center line of viewing the eclipse. It will happen in the afternoon, and almost the entirety of the eclipse (close to five minutes) should be able to be witnessed. If you’re not near Dallas, though, there are several other cities worth visiting to be able to experience this eclipse in real life! And as much as being along the path of totality is important for the length of your viewing, you might also want to consider the town’s ability to withstand potentially thousands of tourists arriving for the big event.

A small town is likely to be less crowded than an already busy city. Traffic is likely to be an issue in the more populated places that the eclipse is crossing, but if you choose a place that’s more under the radar, you could have a more peaceful experience.

As ever, trust your intuition. If you happen to live in one of the cities that the eclipse is crossing– lucky you! You might be able to step outside and view it from your very own front porch. Otherwise, these are some of the best United States cities for viewing the April 8th eclipse in Aries this year:

  1. Lampasas, Texas. This is a small Texas town that will have a great viewing of the eclipse. It’s about an hour outside of Austin, and while it doesn’t have all of the amenities of a big city, it should experience much less eclipse traffic.
  2. Indianapolis, Indiana. While this is clearly a big city, they will hopefully have the infrastructure in place to handle some eclipse tourists. Indiana’s eclipse time will be a bit shorter than in Texas, but it’s still a great option at just under 4 minutes total.
  3. Cleveland, Ohio. Similar to Indianapolis, this is another big city with great eclipse-viewing potential. 
  4. Erie, Pennsylvania. The idea of viewing a total solar eclipse on the shores of Lake Erie seems…a little…eerie in the best of ways. This is likely to be a very popular viewing destination.
  5. Niagara Falls, New York. While the path of totality isn’t as closely aligned as some other states, this is potentially one of the most beautiful places to view this year’s Great American Eclipse.

How to View

To view a total eclipse in person is a rare and extremely potent event. It’s impossible not to feel the eerie magic of the sky going dark during the day. The birds stop chirping and a silence descends that is hard to describe unless you’ve witnessed one personally. Being in the path of an eclipse tends to foretell major changes up ahead.

Physical Safety Precautions

It’s important to remember the physical implications of viewing an eclipse. You should never stare directly at the sun and should always wear protective lenses if you’re viewing an eclipse. You can purchase special eclipse glasses that have an extremely dark tint so you can view an eclipse safely. It’s important to know that sunglasses are NOT the same as eclipse glasses, so it’s worth ordering a pair online.

Outside of your eyes, regular sun protection (sunscreen, hats, etc.) is highly recommended as well. The rays will only be obscured for a few brief moments, so your usual sun protection is still appropriate.

Spiritual Viewing

If you live in or are visiting one of the cities that the eclipse will be crossing this year, you’re in luck! How magical to be able to witness something so rare and special in this lifetime. While physical safety will be an extremely important factor, of course, once you’ve ensured your body is protected, you might consider some spiritual aspects of viewing an eclipse as well.

If you work with crystals and/or astrology we have several tools available and the Aries Eclipse Workbook to support you during this Aries season, which is the sign where this total solar eclipse is occurring. There is no “right” or “wrong” crystal to use during an eclipse, but you might find ones that align with Aries energy to be especially powerful at this time. Otherwise, choose your favorite and keep it close while you experience the eclipse. Then afterward, you will know that it has been imbued with the same powerful energy you experienced.

If you practice Tarot, viewing an eclipse can be a very special time to have a deck (or several!) handy to pull a few cards. While you’ll likely want to watch the eclipse happen for the few minutes that it’s occurring, pulling Tarot cards before or after the big event can really reflect what the energy is bringing through for you.

And remember, eclipses tend to take six months to unfold, so this is a greater story rather than something happening overnight. Whether you’re viewing this eclipse in person this year or you just plan on leaning into the powerful energetics surrounding the day from elsewhere in the world, trust that the eclipse energy is on the side of your highest and greatest good.

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