Wisdom from Seanmháthair Gealach (Grandmother Moon)
Lunar Month 8: August 21 - September 19th
Theme:Endarkenment and Enlightenment
Important Dates in This Lunar Month
Moon Phase Dates Please note that each source may vary the exact time of each phase by a minute or two. I use the Moon Phases tables in TimeAndDate.com as a standard reference. This is a great source, and can be customized for your location.
The major phases of this lunar journey are noted above, and you may want to note these in your Moon Chart or journal. And coming soon is the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. Although the Equinox is in the next lunar month, just three days after the New Moon on September 20th, we will feel that energy.
The Solar Eclipse is most visible in North America, and appeared as 100% totality in a broad stretch across the United States. Here in Vancouver -- and many other parts of North America -- it appeared as a partial eclipse, but still very powerful, and a dramatic way to start this Lunar month! Here in Vancouver the eclipse will began at 9:10 AM PT, peaked at 10:21 AM PT, and ended at 11:37 AM PT, just seven minutes after the arrival of the New Moon
Equinox (Cónacht in Irish Gaelic) Strictly speaking, the Equinox occurs in the next Lunar Month but we will be feeling it's energy and our Soul Work will likely reflect that as we approach this time of balance and seasonal change. The Equinox arrives on September 22nd at 1:02 PM Pacific Time / 20:02 UTC.
For those in the Northern Hemisphere, this Equinox marks the astronomical start of Autumn and is known by many in the Pagan or Wiccan communities as Mabon, asAlban Eilir(Light of the Earth) in Druid communities, and as Cónacht Fómhair in Irish Gaelic
For those in the Southern Hemisphere, this Equinox marks the astronomical start of Spring and is known by many in the Pagan or Wiccan Communities as Ostara, Alban Elfed (Light of the Water) in Druid communities, and as Cónacht an Earraigh in Irish Gaelic.
Solar Eclipse Energy
So let's talk about this Solar Eclipse, and Celestial Mechanics
In many ways, there is "nothing new" here. Ancient astronomers - including the Greeks, Mayans, Egyptians and Chinese - devised methods to predict eclipses, based on the cycles they observed. Archeologists have demonstrated that some ancient stone monuments designed to mark the solstices may also have been used to predict Eclipses. The Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge are a good example.
Of course, those ancient astronomers were also astrologers, advising leaders of auspicious dates for action and which days to avoid. The outcome (especially failure!) of their predictions sometimes resulted in serious consequences, such as being beheaded by an angry King or Emperor, who followed their advice . . . and failed. Astrology was used to guide many a leader, past, and present. It is said that US President Ronald Reagan consulted astrologers regularly to determine best dates to sign documents, birth new initiatives, etc.
Did you know that each year has anywhere between four and seven lunar and solar eclipses, some partial and some full? The Lunar Eclipses always occur at the Full Moon, and the Solar Eclipses always occur at a New Moon... the simple facts of celestial mechanics. The actual time, frequency and maximum visibility vary due to the elliptical orbit of the Earth around the Sun, and the 5-degree tilt of the Moon's orbit relative to that of the Earth.
In 2017 we have two partial lunar eclipses and two solar eclipses — one annular (the sun appears as a thin ring around the moon) and one total (The moon totally covers the sun, depending on location).
So let's talk about the Solar Eclipse, and the Magick it creates with the New Moon in Leo
If there truly is "nothing new", why are people getting so excited about this solar eclipse?
A total eclipse is rather a rare thing at any specific location, even though they happen regularly around the world.
The energy of a solar eclipse can be profound. For some, it may feel like a year in a minute or two, especially those born in Leo, and the other Fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius.
Think of the Quarter Moon, when the face of the Moon is equally light and dark, a balance of Yin and Yang. Now, imagine that energy amplified to the Nth degree: light and dark, Yin and Yang, brilliant manifestation and deep Shadows, the Divine Masculine and Divine Masculine, a liminal point in time between your deepest subconscious and vast universal knowledge /connection.
Eclipses appear to disrupt the natural order of things. They confuse the birds, the insects, the animals, the plants. Use this disruption FOR you... disrupt old (and no longer useful) patterns... create something new from the perceived chaos and birth it in the New Moon!
Are you still breathing? This is huge!
With this Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Leo, it is time to reload... re-initialize... reboot!
Lunar Energies and Soul Work
This SECOND New Moon in Leo is rather dramatic, coinciding with a Solar Eclipse! And that celestial event has a profound impact on this lunar month. It is also a Black Moon, which has various definitions. Here it refers to a fourth New Moon in a season, defined here as between the June Solstice and the September Equinox. It is time for deep deep work, uncovering of old patterns, shifting paradigms and uncovering blocks by bringing them into the light.... and new beginnings. And with the Fire Sign of Leo at the New Moon again, we have the coeur-age to continue with this work.
That deep combination of light and dark, Yin and Yang, at the Eclipse and New Moon, has birthed our theme for this lunar journey:
Endarkenment and Enlightenment
We often refer to the gaining of knowledge or wisdom as Enlightenment. . . or speak about it as "coming into the light", or "a lightbulb moment". But what if wisdom comes not just from the light, but from the Shadow . . . from our unconscious or subconscious?
Let's think about the birthing process and how it is associated with darkness . . . seedlings deep in the dark earth beginning to sprout . . . a fertilized egg deep with the darkness of the womb . . . Is there anything filled with more possibility or potential than these? And when we are in the darkness, connecting with our own deep Shadows and our subconscious, when doing Soul Work and journeys and meditation, is this not where we connect to our own deep internal wisdom, with the Goddess within?
Perhaps Women's Wisdom is both Endarkenment and Enlightenment, mirrored in the Yin and the Yang of the Eclipse and the New Moon/Dark Moon energy.
In your Soul Work at the New Moon, perhaps using the ritual and card layout below, meditate or journey on the dark and light within you.
If you haven't done the ritual, no problem. Do it now, or do the Medicine Wheel Layout we recommend for your New Moon Soul Work. As you prepare to pull your cards, sit for a moment first with the feeling of the Solar Eclipse -- or how you imagined it if outside the zones of totality or partial eclipse -- the shift from light to dark and back to light.
How does it feel to be in darkness, physically, emotionally, spiritually. . . when you are deep within your Self. . . connecting to your life flow as a woman . . . standing in a place of deep wisdom, seeing your Self in all your glory and yet also seeing all the patterns and beliefs that might be holding you back?
What does your journey to shadow or darkness reveal?
What might you start birthing in the endarkenment that you couldn't birth in the light?
How does it feel to bring all that into the light, from the dark of the subconscious to the light of the conscious mind?
Using the active outward Yang energy of light, and the energy of the Waxing Moon, what can you now manifest or transform?
Ritual for your Soul Work
For the Solar Eclipse New Black Moon in Leo, I posted a new Ritual to our blog that included an optional Card Layout. Although created for the Solar Eclipse, the ritual but it is also very powerful and appropriate for the First Quarter and Third Quarter Moons. If using for the Quarter Moons, you can do this indoor or outdoor, but preferably in a darkened room for maximum effect.