by Yvonne Taylor
(Ed. Note: Yvonne lives in Cape Town, South Africa.)
We held our special eclipse ceremony at our usual weekly venue, Elandor, from noon till about 1 p.m.
There were 42 people present and the room was packed. I find it interesting to play with this number, as 42 equals 7 x 6. An astrologer here had this to say about "6" "Six is the number of love that encompasses everything that is dear and valuable to us. Its not just sex or emotional commitment. Its a wider love of all that is good and of all human kind." If we multiply that concept by 7, the amount of love energy generated by our eclipse ceremony must have been enormous.
Marie created a central altar which incorporated Cancerian and African things. Two cloths were the foundation, one was red for the fire of the sun, the other blue with a silver thread in it, to represent the moon. We designed a mini beach with sand and water which Id collected the day before. A huge white candle (for purity and Light) was the center-piece and this candle stood in sea-water, with small shells and the tiny black pearls from Iceland, submerged.
Below that arrangement was the tray of sand, decorated with shells, a few crystals, one lovely crab shell and some snow white stones Id found on the beach. Two small blue candles completed this design. Around the altar were arranged a red candle (fire), a blue candle (water) and a brown candle (for the earth of Africa; also a few feathers, a delightful wooden carving of an old Kenyan man (he seemed to preside over the whole altar!), and a few small clay African bowls, two of which were Peace bowls. Nearby was a silk scarf I had bought in Turkey, colored in shades of blue, green, pink and lilac, this was rumpled on the floor creating the illusion of a pool or rippled water, and we could lay on it anything of our own that we wished to contribute.
We always use music for our ceremonies and Marie had a last-minute idea to play typical African music, not the insistent drumming that excites one to dance, but a gentle rhythm which is like the throbbing heartbeat of Africa. The singing was by groups of black men and women - the timbre of a group of men singing seems to vibrate in ones soul, the womens voices are higher pitched and carry for long distances.
By closing our eyes, it was very easy to imagine we were sitting in a village on the vast African plains, where the singing echoes over the hills and mountains. It created for us a truly magnificent African eclipse experience.
Marie began by explaining the significance of the eclipse to us, to the country, the continent and the world as a whole, then she smudged each person with smoke from burning sage. She then took a guinea-fowl feather, dipped it into sea-water in a clay bowl, and touched the crown chakra of everyone present, with the water. After this ritual, which was intended for us to gratefully accept the gift of water, she walked around with the brown candle, each of us took the warmth of the flame into our aura, and accepted the gift of fire.
This was followed by each person breathing a light puff of air into the Peace bowl, with the intent of breathing peace for the whole continent. We then had a guided meditation, focussing on dealing with all our emotional issues, and bringing peace to our country, and to our world.
It was an incredibly moving ceremony, the energies were so high as to be almost tangible, and the added ethnic flavor made it especially relevant for everyone there. At the end of the hour, no-one wanted to leave, we sat and talked for a while before slowly pulling away. Soon afterwards we noticed the eclipse had begun, the moon had taken a tiny bite out of the bottom left corner of the sun. In Cape Town the eclipse didnt amount to much visually, just the usual bright glare was somewhat muted, and by 4 p.m. the sun was shining brightly again. But the day, and that special ceremony, were unforgettable, and seemed so perfect for what we intended doing.
My daughter was in Windhoek, Namibia that day. The eclipse was 80% visible there, but she said there was no noticeable darkening, perhaps only a slight dimming of bright sunlight. However, it did get very cold.
Ann, of Harmony Tours, told me their Zimbabwe experience was stunning and very moving, they were fortunate to see the total eclipse. Thousands and thousands of people flew into the countries in the path of totality, and Ive been given to understand it was an unforgettable sight.
One thing that has come out of this entire eclipse period is the enormous range of emotions that people are dealing with, from deep inner changes to overwhelming grief. I thought I would sail through unscathed, but connecting with the Harmony group for a weekend, brought to the surface some emotions I didnt expect or even think of. But I was also lucky to experience something else on a spiritual level which few others have been able to; I'll write about this at a later date when I am given the green light; at the moment the time is not right for publication.
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