New Moon/Solar Eclipse

Cancer by Eric Williams

July 1, 2011 at 4:54 am EDT. At every New Moon, the Sun and Moon are in the same sign. This month it is Cancer. New Moons are great times to begin something new, and since it is in Cancer, the sign of the home, it is a great time to do something new with your home. Notice how the symbol for Cancer is the crab, who carries its home with it wherever it goes. This New Moon is a fantastic day to move into a new home, since you start your new nest surrounded with Cancer’s love, comfort, and nurturing energy. But if you’re not moving into a new home today, you can buy something new for the home, or clean your house, or bring in flowers. It’s a wonderful day to remember how lucky you are to have a home, especially during these challenging times when tornadoes, flood, and fire are leaving many people without the comfort of a place to live. The symbol for Cancer looks like two arms circling and protecting. Do something today that makes you feel warm inside, and gives you a feeling of protection and safety. You can lay in the arms of your beloved, or hold your child to your breast. All of these things are part of the energy of Cancer. Or maybe, like the crab, you are carrying your home on your back, carrying a suitcase and cellphone as you explore the world. Just remember that home is where the heart is, and you can find love wherever you are. And since this New Moon is a partial solar eclipse, the energies are even strengthened and deepened.

Don’t worry if you don’t see this partial solar eclipse. No one else will either! It will only be visible if you are in an extremely remote part of the world, an uninhabited region on the coast of Antarctica, where the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Still, the symbolism is significant, and the energy will still be available if you take the time to meditate or tune in.  A solar eclipse happens only at the New Moon and occurs because the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth, blocking the light of the Sun. This is an image of a partial eclipse taken in January 2011.

This solar syzygy, is a perfect union between the Moon, your Soul, the Sun, your Spirit, and the Earth, your body. It is a good reminder to live this  life (Earth) in alignment with your greater purpose (Sun) and in connection with your intuition and deeper knowledge (Moon).

Summer Solstice on Tuesday

On the Summer Solstice, Tuesday June 21st at 1:16 pm EDT, the Sun enters the zodiac sign of Cancer and summer officially begins. The yearly cycle of the Sun is similar to the monthly cycle of the Moon.  Both remind us that we are rhythmic creatures. Our physical bodies have their own rhythms. Our hearts beat like a steady drum, and our breath gently brings the rising and falling of our chests, which gives the sensation of being rocked by the waves of the ocean. We live in communal rhythms of 9 to 5 jobs, Monday through Friday workweeks, and yearly rituals such as birthdays, anniversaries, and religious celebrations.

We are also part of the natural rhythms created by the Sun. The daily cycle of sunrise and sunset creates circadian rhythms that set our awake and sleep cycles. The Sun also creates the seasonal cycle that begins March 21 at the Spring Equinox, when the growing light stirs new growth (and our moods). Next comes June 21st, the Summer Solstice, when the abundance of heat provides the fullness of growth and when we spend the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. During the Fall Equinox of September 21st  the Sun begins its decline and the days become shorter and colder and the earth produces the abundant harvest that we celebrate at Thanksgiving. And the last phase of the cycle begins on December 21st at Winter Solstice, when the cold and darkness take hold and seeds rest in the ground, and we rest in bed.  And every year the Sun begins its cycle anew when the light of Spring again stirs the seeds to growth.

Participation in communal rhythms, like birthdays and New Year’s Eve, bring us into the emotional, spiritual, and physical bond of community. Likewise, the participation in the earth’s natural rhythms link us to the cosmos and heavens in a deep and profound manner that goes beyond intellectual understanding.

As a society we are losing touch with nature. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that children spend an average of 7 hours in front of entertainment media in a typical day. This is compared to the only 7 minutes the average child spends outside per day. And the night sky, which used to be such a powerful and awe inspiring part of our lives, has now become faded and nearly forgotten due to city lights and pollution. By remembering to move in rhythm with natural cycles of the Sun and Moon we re-tune ourselves to the harmony of the cosmos.

We need these natural and cosmic rhythms. We need these connections in order for our Body to slow down from the rush of an overactive life. We need these rhythms for our Mind to clear out the buzz of technology and bring back the sound of silence. But most of all, we need them for our Soul and Spirit. We have within ourselves a natural connection to a divine Spirit, and that connection is hard wired into us through our Soul. But the Soul and Spirit are subtle and quiet and are easily overshadowed by the increased noise of our Mind and Body. One way to remember our Soul and Spirit and provide them the stimulus they need to become central part of our existence, is to remember our connection to the cosmos and our link to the heavens, which we can do through these solar and lunar cycles.

To Do: Take some time around the Solstice to feel the rhythm of the cosmos. If you can, go outside at either sunrise or sunset when the Sun is moving though its daily cycle.  Get comfortable, quiet your busily thinking mind, and slow down your breath. Then connect first to your own body and its rhythms. Feel the gentle beating of your heart, the rise and fall of your chest. Then listen to nature’s rhythms. One of my favorite ways to do this is through the songs of the birds as they sing the Sun awake in the morning, and sing the Sun back to sleep in the evening. Their chorus is one of the great joys available in this world (and its free!). All it takes is just a few moments of slowing down and getting in tune with the sounds and songs of nature. Repeat as needed. I think listening to the birds is one of the best meditations available.

Total Lunar Eclipse Wednesday

If you look at this diagram to the right you will see that during a lunar eclipse the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the light from the Sun that usually illuminates the Moon. During the eclipse the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in perfect alignment, a syzygy, one of my favorite words that means “union.” The entire eclipse, from the time the Moon starts to go behind the Earth’s shadow until it shows up again on the other side, will last 5 1/2 hours. The totality of the eclipse is when the Moon is directly behind the earth and fully shadowed. It will last an amazingly long 100 minutes during this eclipse, and during that time the Moon will appear a dark red or orange. The reason totality will last so long is because the Moon is moving past the center of the earth, through the deepest shadow. This is called a “central” eclipse. The last one we had was in 2000 and the next one won’t be until 2018. This is a very special alignment, one of the closet and most centered possible. During the eclipse the Sun, Earth, and Moon will be in perfect union, you will be in perfect union.  Imagine that you are perfectly centered and aligned between the Sun, your spirit, the Moon, your soul, and the Earth, your body. Imagine yourself as the pivotal point between spirit and matter, between what is Above and what is Below.  Carl Jung’s word for this alignment between opposites is Individuation, which means in-divisible, at one. When you are in union with Heaven and Earth, all things are possible.

The eclipse will not be visible in the USA or Canada, since it occurs at 4:14 pm EDT and the Moon will not have risen yet. You can look at this diagram above for the areas the eclipse will be seen. The rising Moon occurs around sunset, since a Full Moon is opposite the Sun. The eclipse will be visible at the Moon’s rising in Europe, South America, and western Africa. It will be visible completely over Africa and Central Asia.  In western Asia, Australia and the Philippines the lunar eclipse will be visible just before sunrise. The times of the eclipse are listed in Universal Time. 

Penumbral Eclipse Begins:  17:24:34 UT

Partial Eclipse Begins:    18:22:56 UT

Total Eclipse Begins:      19:22:30 UT

Greatest Eclipse:          20:12:37 UT

Total Eclipse Ends:        21:02:42 UT

Partial Eclipse Ends:      22:02:15 UT

Penumbral Eclipse Ends:    23:00:45 UT

Full Moon in Sagittarius on Wednesday

Susan Seddon Boulet

The Sun is in Gemini so the Moon is in the opposite sign of Sagittarius. With a Gemini Sun our Conscious mind seeks what is already familiar. It navigates within the perimeters of the known, bound by family, history, science, economics, religion, and politics. While this playing field seems large, it is tightly bound by what is expected.

With the Moon in Sagittarius our Unconscious mind is inspired by Spirit to quest into the unknown. These quests of Spirit go beyond what the mind already knows is possible. It is open to finding, even seeking, ideas never before considered. This Sagittarius Full Moon is a time to lift your wings, set your eyes on a far horizon, and take flight. Let your imagination embrace that there are possibilities that you never before considered. Explore, Expand, Embrace. Albert Einstein said that “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” He also said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Let’s all join together and break free from the bounds of conventional reality and create a world never before imagined.

Last week I read an amazing story about the discovery of complex creatures living a mile beneath the Earth’s surface. This is a breakthrough discovery because scientists thought that life could not exist that far underground.  This changes everything we thought we knew about life. And it raises the possibility that life on other planets could also exist underground. Mars, for example, used to have a much wetter, warmer climate until radiation turned it into the barren planet it is today. But now it seems life on Mars could be happening underground. The researcher who made this discovery was met early on by skepticism and received no professional support or funds. But he did not limit himself to what everyone thought was possible. He sought out a like-minded risk taker who was intrigued by his ideas and brought him the research support he needed. Read about it Here

I love all the art by Susan Seddon Boulet, but this image of Eagle Woman is a favorite. To Do: This Full Moon, from Monday night to Thursday morning, meditate on this image. You are perched on a high mountain, where with the eyes of an eagle you can see far into the distance. You crouch down, ready to take flight, wings held aloft, ready to stretch out. The Sun/Spirit illuminates your journey and you are full of determination and confidence. You hold in your hand a small cup from which to give and to receive. Your exploration is happening in any part of your life, from physical adventures, intellectual inquiries, professional opportunities, scientific discoveries, creative expression, and diving into the depths of your soul. You might not know yet where you are going, but you trust to spirit and vision to find your way.