Monday, December 20, 2010

A busy day on the celestial calendar

From YubaNet. Cool graphic.

Early in the morning on December 21 a total lunar eclipse will be visible to sky watchers across North America (for observers in western states the eclipse actually begins late in the evening of December 20), Greenland and Iceland.[...]

Maybe. The sky cleared for a while last night and the moonlight on the new-fallen snow was fantastic!

This is the first time in 456 years that a total lunar eclipse has coincided with the winter solstice. Some of our, er, lunier brethren and sisteren are seeing it as a possible bad omen.

Montreal Gazette

The celestial eccentricity holds special significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and a time that is associated with the rebirth of the sun.

"It's a ritual of transformation from darkness into light," says Nicole Cooper, a high priestess at Toronto's Wiccan Church of Canada. "It's the idea that when things seem really bleak, (it) is often our biggest opportunity for personal transformation.

"The idea that the sun and the moon are almost at their darkest at this point in time really only further goes to hammer that home."

A lunar eclipse taking place during the solstice is not an event Hawkins has seen in research, but he said it would have been viewed as something special.

"Eclipses could be taken either way," he said. "Certainly it would have been an omen, but it would have been up to the interpretation of specialists of whether it was good or bad."

I'll buy that. Here's an interpretation by this "specialist":

Tonight's eclipse will be a rare coincidence of celestial phenomena, interesting to see. The mid term elections, now there was a bad omen.

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