Falling Stars, Lunar Eclipse, and a Long Night

It seems as if the world of occult blogs is all excited about the lunar eclipse on the Solstice.

I’m excited too I guess, but I’m mixed. The eclipse occurs at 0130 EST (excluding the penumbra) of the 21st though using more traditional metrics such as sunrise starting the day and planetary hours that means the eclipse is really still part of the day before, but I’m told I occasionally nitpick. I keep seeing people claiming it’s the first lunar eclipse to happen on the winter solstice in over 450 years, or in nearly 500 years. The last one was in 1638 so apparently people are either using different math than I am, or not using proper sources. Of course it is a fairly uncommon event, while the last one occurred in 1638 it was the first one this side of the Jewish Carpenter’s birth. Though you’ll be happy to know if you survive another 84 years it will happen again.

Now the Sun and the Moon will both be Squaring Jupiter in Pisces, the sign it rules. So the Sun and Moon will be at “odds” with each other, and both having issues with a strong Jupiter in its more spiritual/religious aspect. The Sun is conjunct Mercury (but that happens a lot) and conjunct Pluto as well.

For me this eclipse holds special meaning, and not all of it has been figured out, but as the ritual is in a few hours we’ll see what get worked out. First let me talk about the solstice in my tradition. Winter Solstice we call Night of the Falling Stars. It is a celebration of the Family, in this sense Family is the belief that groups incarnate together for a time for various purposes. We celebrate the Family and our connection to each other. On the darkest night we light a beacon for the Family, we call to those who aren’t present and ask for them to enter our lives. We remember those who we know but aren’t present due to death or separation, we remember those who we know of but haven’t yet met, and we remember those who have come together in this life. In October during Dancing with the Family, we offer the Family, this side, and/or the otherside energy/merit/communion so they can do what they need to do. Now that they’ve been given the energy to do what they need, we invite them to join us one more. To those on the otherside in October we may help them seek out new birth, in December we call to those who have taken up new birth to find their way.

The astrology regarding this eclipse on the solstice is interesting and has some personal repercussions in my system. Our system has three “primary” planets, Pluto, the Sun, and the Moon. Yes, none of them are technically planets (though I’m still hoping we get Pluto back), but the term is used for more of the astrological sense. Now whenever all three planets are in aspect with each other it means something special for us depending on the aspect, and when we have an eclipse it is important because it removes either the Sun or the Moon from the equation. On the solstice we have the Sun and Pluto conjunct, opposing the Moon, but the Moon will be eclipsed anyways so it gets taken out of the picture. The Moon represents on the most basic level the Lower Self, the person who is here now. The “Moon of Kalagni” so to speak, is the person who just had a birthday, is attending university for two simultaneous degrees, likes to climb the Bluffs, solves Rubik’s cubes galore, has a soft spot for Babylon 5, likes blue, etc. The Sun is the Higher Self, the animating Soul, the part of me and Me (or you and You) that continues beyond death.

So during a lunar eclipse our tradition holds several ideas, but basically the Moon, the Lower Self isn’t part of the equation. What does this mean? All reality is cause and effect, how we move about and interact with the world and what we can do within it is related to this Lower Self. During a lunar eclipse we believe we can affect more changes with less interference from the Lower Self, both consciously and karmically. The part of the Lower Self that doesn’t believe in magick, or thinks we’re pushing too hard too far for a result, it is silenced, and the accrued karma associated with that Lower Self for that period cannot interfere with our workings. The lunar eclipse is the time to push yourself a little farther, and do what you usually can’t/don’t. Are you a competent magickian but can never get love magick to work? Try it during the eclipse, perhaps the part that can’t do love magick is associated with the Lower Self. We are both propelled forward and restrained by our past and Lower Self, but in this fragmentary moment we’re released from that.

It’s interesting to think what this means with Night of the Falling Stars. For this holiday Family firmly relates to the Sun level, the Higher Self, something spanning lives. So it is oddly appropriate that the Moon is not in commission during the ritual, leaving the Sun and Pluto to be the primary drives.

Currently it is a bit cloudy, but the satellites show it may clear up in the next eight hours. While being able to see it doesn’t matter (though for some reason we disregard eclipses that aren’t visible from our current location, odd disjuncture) it would be nice to be able to see it. I performed a ritual during the 2004 total lunar eclipse and the visual of the moon disappearing into a red haze was just amazing.

I recommend every magickian try something during the eclipse. Doesn’t matter what your system says about it, it’s the only time for the next 84 years you’ll have a chance to do it so why not take it? At very least go out and watch it. Eclipses are fascinating astronomical phenomena. What’s the point in living in such a brilliant universe if you’re not going to appreciate it?

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