During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth and temporarily blocks our view of the Sun. The Sun is furiously pumping away, emanating warmth and symbolizing spiritual and creative power to beat the band. Then along comes the Moon, who instead of reflecting the Sun’s light back to Earth, jealously hoards it all for herself. At the solar eclipse, intuition (the Moon), wordless and irrational, overpowers your creative center and power (the Sun). The result is a bit like a short-circuit of your internal wiring.
Here in Southern California, we have a weather phenomenon called the Santa Ana winds, hot, prickly, dry winds that blow down off of the desert. The Santa Anas are especially prevalent during the autumn months, but happen at other times throughout the year, suddenly turning cold winter weather into false summer overnight – static, tense, surreal. When I lived in LA there was a similar feeling in the air before and after any good-sized earthquake, and as kids we often made a connection between the two, calling the Santa Anas “earthquake weather.” Both made us feel a little queasy, off-center, and itchy.
A solar eclipse affects our emotional weather in a similar way. During an eclipse, the fundamental laws of the universe no longer apply. The Sun browns out, like a faulty wire that dims your kitchen light when you turn on the garbage disposal. Birds grow quiet. The world is shrouded in an apprehensive silence that you can almost hear.
A week either side of a solar eclipse finds us tiptoeing nervously through the graveyard, whistling a tune to keep the bogey man away. Solar eclipses seem much more physically affecting than lunar ones, more unnerving, and the past themes they evoke – themes from nine, eighteen years ago – are anything but subtle. The terrible accident. The death in the family. The ill-fated journey. The terrifying illness. Or more joyfully, the wedding, the birth of the first grandchild. They are big events, and evoke the feeling that something big is changing in the landscape of your life.
At the solar eclipse, something is trying to get your attention – like the Moon, rising up in front of the Sun as if to say, “Just hold it a second – you’re missing something!” People from the past or the present appear on the scene to behave in inexplicable ways. The person you used to be, the one you thought you’d outgrown, is trotted out in front of you as a reminder that you really haven’t changed all that much; you’re still the same old mess you were, back when you had the bad relationship, when you flunked out of school, when you best friend told you to get lost.
At this Solar Eclipse, take a time-out; sit at the knee of the wise Moon and let her reflect the Sun in you. Is there a wildish ego that’s running around unchecked? What is the part of you that you’re trying to disown? Let the Moon guide you, like a wise mother, toward self-acceptance and humility.
© by April Elliott Kent
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