June and July 2011 are exciting months for astronomy (and astrology) buffs. These months mark a “triple” eclipse in a solar–lunar–solar cycle. The solar eclipses will be partial, but the lunar eclipse will be total. A triple eclipse is an uncommon event, though perhaps not rare. The last one was in 2009 and was a lunar–solar–lunar cycle (the lunars were partial and the solar was total). The one before that was also a lunar–solar–lunar cycle in 1991.*
What does a triple eclipse look like? Sadly, those of us residing in the United States will not find out this year. What?! Why do the gods deny the Gret Stet of Texas this enchanting vision?! *sigh* Alas, the gods do as they will. The solar eclipses will be visible in arctic region of the Northern Hemisphere. The lunar eclipse will be visible in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. You can check out the Naval Oceanography Portal for more maps and information.**
While we may not be able to see the triple eclipse physically, we can at least see it conceptually. I’ve modified an image used in an earlier post to describe lunar cycles and pagan holidays. In this figure, the exterior images are the ones we see from Earth.
There was a partial “midnight” solar eclipse earlier this week. Oddly enough, this eclipse began on Thursday, June 2nd, at dawn in northern China and Siberia, then moved across the Arctic, crossing the International Date Line and ending in the early evening of Wednesday, June 1st, in northeastern Canada. Woah. I think I need The Doctor to help me wrap my head around that one! Just kidding. Celestial bodies do not conform to our silly human measurements of time.
I don’t know if the total lunar will have an interesting story like the first solar eclipse, but it if does (of even if it doesn’t), The Sky this Week will surely provide a lovely description of the event. Here is a segment from The Sky’s description of the partial solar event:
“Across the pole, residents … will see about 60% of the Sun obscured as Old Sol skirts the horizon at local midnight!”
That’s sigh-inducing stuff! And so unexpected on the U.S. Naval Observatory website.
So, what does a triple eclipse mean to pagans? That is a good question. The Oracle (sometimes known as Google) doesn’t say much about this. Pagans who also follow astrology are probably teeming with ideas for observations and possibly some energy work. Harmony in California shares her thoughts on the eclipses and offers suggestions on how to internalize these cosmological events — if that’s of interest to you. For my own part, I will be very thoughtful about the triple eclipse when I observe the Summer Solstice.
What say you readers? Do you follow astronomical events and interpret them using astrological teachings?
* I could only find one site that mentioned a triple eclipse before 2009 (and boy, is it gloomy!), but this site contains no citations, so I don’t know how accurate it is. If you find a better reference, please share it!
** This page contains links to NASA sites on solar and lunar eclipses that provide more details about times and visibility locations.
+ Featured image is the Lunar Eclipse on March 3rd 2007. A time lapse movie created by Thomas Knoblauch of the lunar eclipse from March the 3rd 2007.