Depending on where you live (and how early you rise) you may have gotten a glimpse of this morning’s lunar eclipse. It was visible in much of North and South America, as well as Asia, Australia and the Artic.
As you may know, eclipses always come in pairs. This morning’s lunar eclipse finishes the cycle which started with a solar eclipse two weeks ago, on March 8th. People who love astronomy (and astrology too) refer to this time of year as eclipse season because the alignments that cause the eclipses to happen actually take a little more than a month to play out.
There are many myths about eclipses. The ancient Greeks believed that a solar eclipse was the sign of angry Gods and the beginning of death and destruction. On a more positive note, Italians believe that flowers planted during a solar eclipse are brighter and more colorful than flowers planted at any other time of the year.
Lunar eclipse myths are similar, with many ancient cultures interpreting the moon’s eclipse as wreaking ‘havoc in the sky’ and believing that the same havoc was destined to happen on Earth. Personally, I like the attitude of the Batammaliba people from Togo and Benin in Africa. Their ancient myth tells them that the sun and moon are fighting during an eclipse, and the people encourage them to stop. To this day, they see eclipse season as a time of coming together and resolving old feuds and anger.
To me, eclipses signal change and new beginnings, which happens to fit perfectly with the start of spring and the Easter weekend.