by Maya del Mar
How we depend on a regular rhythm of dark and light! How upsetting it can be when that pattern is disturbed! We live and are guided at our deepest levels by the rhythms of the Sun and Moon.
Part of the cycle is eclipses. A Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moons shadow falls on the Sun. A Lunar Eclipse is when the Earths shadow falls on the Moon. For any eclipse to occur, these three bodies must be closely aligned on the ecliptic, which is the plane of the path of the planets around the Sun.
A Total Eclipse occurs when the Moon is close enough to the Sun that its shadow entirely covers the Sun. At an Annular Eclipse, like the one on June 10, the Moon does not quite cover the sun; it leaves a ring of brightness around the shadow. At a partial Eclipse, the shadow hits only a part of the Sun.
A Solar Eclipse is visible only along a narrow path, a Lunar Eclipse wherever it is totally dark during eclipse time.
Eclipses are awesome. Their mystery is palpable. They generally take about four hours from beginning to end, and every one is different. One of my most spectacular experiences was flying into a Lunar Eclipse, from San Francisco to Minneapolis. The night was perfectly clear, and because of the time factor we kept flying along with the eclipse, so that it was in slow slow motion. Finally it came to its spectacular finish exactly as we set down on the tarmac!
Eclipses occur about every six months, and they tend to occur in pairs, one Solar and one Lunar. There are always two solar eclipses each year, but there can be anywhere from one to five lunar eclipses. Two is average, so that in a typical year we have a solar and lunar, and then about six months later, another solar and lunar (not necessarily in that order).
To be continued