What an extraordinary experience, watching the moon eclipse the sun on the morning of Aug. 21, 2017.
You have probably read many essays and articles about this event in the past few weeks and days. For more on my take about the spiritual significance of this solar eclipse, you can listen to the podcast from my last service where I talked extensively about it: http://www.gaiastemple.org/podcasts
After hearing about the expected traffic, and then learning we'd see 92% of the eclipse right here in Seattle, I decided not to go down to Oregon for the totality. I thought I'd go up to the Sun Dial at Gasworks Park to view the event but woke up this morning from a dream in which I was upset by having to deal with people who were more into partying there than watching it with awe as I intended to, and I had forgotten my special glasses and then couldn't find a parking spot and was afraid I'd miss it! So at the last minute I decided to head over and find a private place to watch from the shores of Lake Washington. On the way I stopped at my bank. The parking lot was almost empty with a completely unobstructed view of the sun, so I decided to stay right there.
So exciting to see that first presence of the moon across the top right arc of the sun! To know I was seeing the Dark Moon for the first time. After all, when she is Dark, we can only feel but not see her. This was a complete thrill for a Dark Moon gal such as myself.
And as she slowly continued on her way, I was struck by how she seemed to transform the sun into a waning crescent moon. Once she arrived at what I am sure was totality to those viewing in that path, it looked as if the sun was her glorious golden crown. And I thought of the Goddess and God making love, the Goddess rolling over on the God in ecstatic union, kissing in the sky. Yeah, Baby.
But then in an instant, the image shifted for me and it looked instead like the sun was frowning with sorrow, a reflection of regret for when the exalted masculine becomes toxic, clearly visible by the shadow created by the presence of the exalted feminine. A mirror of our culture right now.
My heart filled with compassion as I stood there, leaning on my car hood, my eclipse glasses blocking out everything but this celestial interface, when suddenly-and quite closely-I hear a man's very deep voice.
After I jumped back in to my skin, I whipped off my glasses and see what is clearly a homeless man, complete with two overstuffed plastic bags, standing right there looking at me. There is a long string of white thread stuck on his hair.
"I'm watching the total solar eclipse" I told him.
"The what? "
"The eclipse. The moon is moving in front of the sun as we speak."
"Would you like to see it?" I asked.
I handed him my glasses and he put them on.
"I don't see a thing" he said.
"Look up to where the sun is."
"Huh" he said.
"You are looking at the moon moving across the face of the sun."
I had to explain what he was looking at a few times before I could see it land in his understanding.
"Huh!" he said again. "Look at that!" He gazed upward, his mouth hanging open as I am sure mine had just a moment ago. While he watched the sun and the moon, I noted the eerie change in the light.
He took the glasses off and handed them back to me. We looked at one another.
"Thank you so much" he said.
"You're so welcome."
And off he strode.
I watched the eclipse from the very beginning to very end and it required conscious presence and patience. It's not often you get the chance to focus on just one thing for over two hours without stop, and I am not practiced at it. I prayed, I pondered, I meditated, I let go, I stretched, I affirmed, I promised, I set intention, I marveled. I heard myself utter, "It's amazing!" three time during the two plus hours.
As the moon passed on to the left, the sun then started to look a bit like the waxing moon, and I thought of the strong influence the moon has in her orbit. And once she passed completely, and the face of the sun was full again, I wondered how it ever looked anything like the moon. And I pondered the mystery of the mirrors we all are to one another.
While I didn't see all the cool crescent shaped shadows lots of my friends took pictures of and posted on social media, I was struck by the difference in the quality of the light at the time the moon was eclipsing most of the sun. And I marveled at the strength of the sun; how light it still was with only 8% of him shining.
Eclipse's show us shadows and hopefully, we have become aware of what's in our personal and collective shadow that needs healing. Hopefully, we are willing to do that healing from here on out. Eclipses are fascinating to watch as they happen, but their influence lingers long after the event. May this cosmic union bring great healing. Long after the event.