I have always had a thing for eclipses, solar or lunar. And yesterday’s partial lunar eclipse, so soon after Yule, felt special.
The Winter Solstice was a quiet time for me this year, no wild celebrations (or hunt!), no circles, no Pagan gatherings (unless you can count a meditation group close to the date). I spent some time between the sea and the land on Solstice, encouraging, in ancient Shamanic tradition, the Sun to rekindle its fires for the coming year.
I had been aware of the coming of the eclipse for a couple of weeks due to my membership of a science email community where one particular gentleman keeps us informed of the interesting happenings in the sky ahead of time, but last night when it was all happening I was caught up in personal business. Fortunately another friend rang me and asked if I was outside watching it, so I made sure I was.
It was about halfway through. Knowing that the previous day the Moon had been a nearly-full gibbous moon, it was odd to step outside and see a perfect half-moon, just as though we were at the lunar first or third quarter. As I stood under cold, clear skies, I fancied I could see the shadow move: not smoothly, but jumping by tiny increments.
The half-moon became a fat crescent with the Dark Lady just visible in grey even despite all the light pollution around here, then the Dark Lady became thinner and smaller, until the moonlight streamed over the sleeping countryside from a perfectly circular silver beacon.
I looked around. Only my daughter and I were outdoors. In this supposedly well-educated, enlightened suburban area, we were the only two taking note of this astronomical event. In the secular, supposedly under-educated bush town where I recently came from, half the township would have been out in the one local park, holding a barbeque and passing a few pairs of binoculars around. One day I will be back in Western Australia.