Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Once in a Lifetime Winter Solstice Eclipse

. There hasn't been an eclipse on Winter Solstice in hundreds of years.

The Astronomy of This EclipseAn article at AOL explains that not only is the timing ultra rare, but North America and Central America will have the best views of this lunar eclipse. This particular lunar eclipse also may be seen in totality from northern and western Europe, some of northeast Asia, Hawaii and New Zealand.

Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years for NASA and said, "Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 Dec 21. Fortunately we won't have to wait 372 years for the next one ... that will be on 2094 Dec 21."

Let me repeat that for emphasis. This is only the second eclipse on Winter Solstice in over 2000 years!
This lunar eclipse will take 3 hours and 38 minutes. The eclipse begins on Tuesday at 1:33 a.m. ET. It will take about an hour for the shadow to cover the entire moon. Totality begins at 2:41 a.m. and lasts for 72 minutes. If you only have time for a quick look, NASA recommends that you take a peek 3:17 a.m. ET. That's when the moon will be fully covered in an amber light.

However, not everyone will experience the eclipse on Winter Solstice. For example, if you live in Hawaii, I am sad to say your eclipse will be the day before.

This article at explains the best way to view the eclipse and how to photograph it. It also explains when to view the eclipse using PST and EST.

The Astrology of This Eclipse reports that this eclipse is unusual in that Mercury is retrograde, combust (i.e. "burnt" by a close conjunction with a fiery Sagittarian Sun) and opposed by a Geminian Moon. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, so communication is hardly likely to bring much emotional satisfaction and travel is likely to be difficult.

The article also goes on to explain how recent events in the news, in particular Wikileaks, is related to this eclipse and what to expect in the future. As I said below, this eclipse rules over communications, so Wikileaks may only be the beginning.

Each person experiences the eclipse according to where the it falls in your own chart. The Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) will be affected the most, especially if you were born late in the sign.

My favorite astrology site for forecasts is Susan Miller's AstrologyZone. Her individual forecasts will give you information on how the eclipse will affect you personally.

Susan says that lunar eclipses are emotional and mark endings or culmination points. They bring up memories, dreams, and emotions. Solstice points are considered extremely powerful, so she says this eclipse will not be easy.

Susan also has a wonderful article about how to deal with eclipses that shouldn't be missed. She goes into great detail about what an eclipse can bring and when those events can occur. Even if you aren't into astrology, considering the unusual power of this Winter Solstice eclipse, reading it might be a good idea.

The Magick of This Eclipse
The information that the astrologers have provided gives us great clues about what magick to work this Winter Solstice. Magick for anything ruled by Gemini would be appropriate. According to Bob Marks Astrologer, keywords for Gemini are communications, talking, writing, lying, traveling (short trips), doing two things at once.

Susan Miller's explanation that lunar eclipses rule endings, culminations, memories, dreams, and emotions gives us ideas for magickal workings as well.

Petition magick (a magickal request usually written on paper), chanting, charms, singing, and other magick using forms of communication are going to be very effective. Ehow has a good article on how to do petition magick.

Llewellyn has an excellent article giving suggestions for magick to do minute by minute of the eclipse. Donald Michael Kraig writes:
"As the eclipse makes the appearance of the moon wane, perform divinations this night including performing rituals to eliminate anything undesired. As it returns and waxes, do rituals for gaining health, abundance and the increase of anything. In this case, increasing psychic and magickal skills would be ideal. Witches and Wiccans might invoke the triple Goddess as we can see her faces, Maiden, Mother, and Crone the the increase, fullness and decrease of the moon in the sky above us."

He goes on to explain "this is an ideal time for magick that will set goals for the coming solar cycle (year)." So if you've been planning to set some New Year's Resolutions, forget January 1st! Take advantage of the incredible power of the Winter Solstice and set them on December 21st!

Regardless of what you choose to do to celebrate this years Winter Solstice and Yule, it will likely be more powerful than anything you've ever done before!

©The Domestic Witch

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