A Revealing Eclipse
The total eclipse touched something in me I didn’t even know was there. It was a physical, mystical experience where science and the sacred met – like there was an opportunity to feel deeper into how some things really are. So please read between the lines here for what you already know in your heart - that the Sun, Earth and Moon are beautiful celestial bodies in a life-giving dance. There's lots of math and science behind that and at it's core, it's also spiritually beautiful. It's a both/and, not an either/or. It's timely for me to more deeply appreciate that dance and it’s participants rather than keep taking them for granted. My guess is that I am not alone in that.
To speak poetically - which seems wisest after yesterday - there was a stark yet holy darkness to the Moon during the total eclipse. Part of me felt sheepish when the Moon's beauty struck me, like I should have asked her permission before staring. I had a sense of why the ancients associated her with goddesses of love, beauty, fertility and the rhythms of life. It's like the eclipse revealed the sacredness of the Moon’s usually unseen, underappreciated role in the relationship – like the nature of a womb that creates in the dark and the unforced, graceful rhythms that give life. The Moon was both black as night and radiant at the same time. Caressed by the corona of the Sun, her darkness felt sacred.
Please do not misunderstand what I am saying as I speak of the sacred in this way: I am not diminishing the Great I AM as the most high, most extensive, most fundamentally revealing image of God. I am speaking in the spirit that inspired St. Francis in his Canticle of The Sun where he spoke of Brother Sun, Sister Moon and the beautiful divine dance revealed in nature - in particular, how the dance of life expresses the divine in form. The dance of life in our solar system begins with the dance between the Sun, the Earth and the Moon. You and I are but some children of that dance. Our dance is completely dependent on them and their moves. Understanding that brings humility, gratitude and the opportunity to grow in wisdom. They're in the groove much better than we are. In particular, the Moon guides much, from the ocean’s tides to women’s cycles.
The Moon represents the more mysterious of the life-giving rhythms. As a sister or daughter to Mother Earth, she expresses something holy that is most often experienced at night. Because of other things we associate with darkness, she has often been seen as suspect, when that is the last thing she deserves. She represents the unjustly repressed feminine. We have a complex attraction to what she represents - both wanting and being suspicious of the power she wields in our lives through things like sexuality and primal, kundalini (life-force) energy. In particular, patriarchy has had a love-hate, push-me-pull-you relationship with the divine feminine which isn’t good for anybody. It undermines the healthy, creative interplay of the sacred in all of us. Respectful harmony between the complimentary and sometimes contrasting masculine and feminine energies is the way to go. Just ask those who saw the wonder of the eclipse. There was grace in this dance where one stepped in front of the other in perfect symmetry.
The bottom line is that you and I and every single other sentient being on this planet are born from and sustained by life-giving relationships. Science and spirituality agree on this. These relationships all start from the Great I AM, the Living God from which everything is born for the sake of holy, redeeming relationships in form. To redeem is to re-value, or to reveal value that may have been devalued or gone unappreciated. I hope the experience and memory of this eclipse helps redeem us as humans in those areas where we have lost a sense of who and what we really are spiritually and physically. The Sun, Earth and Moon are beautifully expressing themselves in a life-giving dance. They are giving us life and invite us to move in sync with them in how we live our lives. I want to live gratefully and live accordingly, with as much appreciation as possible for what gives life. That is what brings out the sacred in us.
Thanks for journeying together!
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