The Winter Solstice is literally just around the corner and oh, so auspiciously occurring within hours of not just a Full Moon, but a Total Lunar Eclipse, visible to most of the planet. So, while this all sounds terribly exciting and momentous, what does it actually mean to the magickally inclined?
This year, the Winter Solstice occurs December 21, at 5:38 pm CST (GMT -6) the moment the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn. This night marks the longest night of the year, in that the Sun will be up for a shorter amount of time this day, in comparison to every other day in the year. After this longest night, the Sun will rise a little earlier and set a little later each day until the Summer Solstice, when the Sun again begins to wane, rising a little later and setting a little earlier each day.
We metaphorically mark this return of the Sun, i.e. the lengthening days, as a rebirth of the Sun. It is the Solar New Year and the start of the Waxing half of the year.
Though magick isn’t generally worked on Sabbats, as they are times of purely worship and reverence, this is a time of new beginnings, of starting new and fresh.
This Full Moon will occur in Gemini with the Eclipse beginning at 12:15 am CST (GMT -6) early in the morning of the 21th. This initial part of the Eclipse won’t likely be visible, but it will become more obvious when the Moon passes into the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow at 12:33 am CST (GMT -6;) this will last for about 3 ½ hours, ending at 4:01 am CST (GMT -6.)
The Total Phase of the Eclipse, where the Moon is completely covered by the Earth’s shadow, will begin at 1:41 am CST (GMT -6) and will last 72 minutes.
This Eclipse will be visible to most of the planet, with all of North and South America, Northern and Western Europe, and a small portion of North-East Asia getting the best view.
The Full Moon is a time of heightened energies. It’s no coincidence that many people, regardless of practicing magick or being Wiccan or Pagan, find it hard to sleep at the time of the Full Moon. Being roughly the same percentage of water as the Earth, it’s no wonder then that we should feel Her effects as strongly. Pair this power of the Full Moon with an Eclipse, and we’re looking at a very powerful time, magickally.
During an Eclipse, the energy of the Moon is concentrated, focused, and we see the Moon go through an entire Lunar Cycle in just a few hours. This energy is very suitably aligned for Transformation, for creating deep, lasting change. So, what we have here is all the power of an entire Lunar Cycle, all ready high because it is a Full Moon, and then further concentrated because of the Eclipse, available to us all in one shot.
Working with Sun and Moon
In looking at these two events together, we see a time where energies are prime for creating powerful change within ourselves, leaving us free to start fresh and anew. This is a time of new beginnings in so many ways, for with the power of the Moon backing the Sun’s rebirth and transformation, we have the opportunity to access this energy and to be reborn ourselves, to take considerable steps towards further personal growth, coming closer to being not just the people that we want to be, but the people that we are meant to be.
Throwing the Bones