Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Moon Magic (Full Moon Eclipse Tonight)

The Quickening Moon
The February full moon is often referred to as the 'Quickening Moon' as this is the month when new life is beginning, when animals are pregnant with young to be born in Spring and the seeds below the earth begin to grow.
This year, we will see an eclipse of the Quickening Moon, not on Thursday afternoon, as I mistakenly posted on Monday (that would be the time of the eclipse in Oz!), but at 3am on Thursday morning. If the skies are clear, it will definitely be a sight well-worth staying up for (or setting the alarm for a clearly crazy time!)
More about the eclipse from a more scientific perspective later. First though, a little moonmyth and moonology:
This year the Quickening moon falls in the sign of Virgo - organised, realistic, grounded, detail-oriented, and analytical -which is good news for those of us feeling a little lost, or scattered:

"If you've been feeling as though the holidays destroyed the structure and discipline you had in life, this full moon is an excellent time to re-align yourself with your higher purpose."

Dan Furst explains: In the Wiccan calendar, this full moon begins the Month of Quickening, when the latent potential of all things begins to be stirred towards birth in the Spring.

Thantalas has provided a useful table of full moon names and meanings, which lists the Quickening Moon as that moon that "marks the time when Winter is officially banished. Spring has been born and with it the birth of all Nature. At this time everything in Nature is pure potential waiting for fulfillment. This marks the Quickening, the renewal of all things."

We have had a very bitter but very beautiful frost for the past two days, just to remind us that Winter is still here, but Spring is in the air. Trees are beginning to bud, bulbs are peeping though the leaf mould, birds are pairing up, the air is filled with hope and expectaion and lovely clean feshness.

Crystal Pomeroy describes the Sabian Symbol for this Quickening Moon as A Volunteer Church Choir Singing Religious Hymns, and explains it as: "Luna now guides us to heed our loving hunches, not only experiencing heartfelt goodwill, but acting on it while implementing our altruistic aspirations."
This full moon is also full of healing energy, according to astrowisdom: "This is the Full Moon of healing and service. Virgo understands that disease manifests itself in societies as well as in individuals. There is so much dis-ease in our world and we all need to awaken to our role as healers. This is especially true on this Full Moon in Virgo, with a total lunar eclipse. The soulful, peacemaking Pisces Sun opposes the scientific, nature-based healing Virgo Moon. What a perfect night to release your New Moon in Aquarius intentions for radical change (especially if they revolve around health issues) and celebrate the hard work you have done over the last two weeks toward these goals."
It's a time to celebrate the love in our lives, to banish unwanted influences, to dream, to wish, to make plans for ourselves.
Or to simply lie on the grass at crazy o'clock and gaze at the spectacular sight in the heavens. To feel small, to feel alive, to feel blessed.
The Full Moon Eclipse
The full moon eclipse tonight is a rare and magical thing. It will not be repeated until late December, 2010. But as part of the Saros Cycle it is much rarer than that, being repeated only once every 18 years and 11 days.
Science daily explains why the moon will be a glorious red colour tonight:
ITWire explains why there will also be beautiful turquoise colours in the moon, particularly at the beginning and the end of the eclipse.
As the shadow of the earth eclipses the moon, Saturn and the star Regulus will become visible. This is a rare thing too, as they are both usually hidden by light reflected by the moon.
The NASA website lists other stars that will be unusually visible during the eclipse.
Sky and Telescope describes the five distinct stages of a lunar eclipse, and suggests there will be 'an excellent view' of tonight's spectacle from Europe and the Americas. (They also have advice about taking photographs of the eclipse.)
This will of course depend on the weather. You can check out your local weather for tonight at UK Weather.
The exact times for each stage of the eclipse are listed at Wikipedia. In this country, it will start at 1.43am and finish at 5.09am.
I hope you will get chance to see it (if you're as mad as I am and decide to stay up all night) and that the weather will be kind to us all.


aliqot said...

Fabulous info on the eclipse. Here's hoping we have clear skies - I know lunar eclipses are not quite as dramatic as solar ones, but you've reminded me of watching the total solar eclipse in August 1999. We stayed with friends in N.E. France, only to have clouds come over in the crucial ten minutes or so...still an amazing experience.

Moondreamer said...

Thanks, ali! I had a similar experience of the solar eclipse, having just moved into this house. It was too cloudy to see properly, but was shared with friends and is now a lovely memory.

Hoping for good weather here for tonight, though it's not looking likely. Oh well, ever the optimist, we have planned a Full Moon get together to watch it!

If you're up and it's a clear night, perhaps you could take some pictures? I think you have a natural talent for photography.


aliqot said...

I'll try, though I'm not sure the camera is up to it. We might get camcorder shots if the conditions are right.

Casdok said...

My son will be up very early so i must remember to take a look!

Pacha said...

We've had such cold crisp clear nights lately and tonight, overcast. Typical!

Will set the alarm. Will need to get some sleep in tonight (I can't cope without me sleep!) and hope that by early morning the sky has cleared some! (If so, will wake the kids too...)

I'll let you know!

So exciting!

aliqot said...

No joy, here - I did get up briefly at about 3am, but the sky was covered in cloud.

:-( Oh well.

Pacha said...

Didn't get to see it here either. Cloudy all night EVERYWHERE. So unfair!

Oh's hoping for 2010!

Moondreamer said...

Casdok, I hope you had chance to see it.


Alison and Pacha, what a shame!

We did see it here, it was cloudy but very windy so lots of gaps in the clouds!

We could have done with some binochulars though, the moon seemed very high in the sky last night. Eldest daughter stayed up too, and was very unimpressed!

There's another lunar eclipse in August I think, but a partial eclipse rather than a total one. Will let you know.