This month, we have the rare opportunity to experience the September equinox and a total lunar eclipse just days apart.
Human beings have stared up at the stars since the beginning of history. What drives our fascination to learn more about the cosmos that surrounds us and shines through from the black reaches of outer space? Scientists are discovering that undoubtedly we are all interconnected; every living being on Earth originated as stardust in the Big Bang and we are all made of the same atoms and elements that make up the stars. So it is no wonder that we feel a close affinity for the moon and planets; a pull to know them, to track their movements, and to search for meaning about our own lives as we gaze into their steady glow.
The September Equinox marks the beginning of Autumn for the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of Spring for the Southern Hemisphere. The Equinox will occur on September 23, 2015. On this date, day and night will be approximately equal in length. Both hemispheres will be receiving the sun’s light equally.
Ancient peoples have tracked the course of the sun across the sky for millennia. Many of them created buildings or other sacred structures that were amazingly accurate in indicating the dates of cosmic events, including the equinoxes and solstices. The Intihuatana stone, or the “Hitching Post of the Sun,” is an Incan sacred structure which still stands at Macchu Picchu in Peru. A pillar on this stone casts a shadow upon the stone on all days of the year except on the equinox dates, when the sun is directly above the pillar, casting no shadow at all. The Great Pyramid in Egypt, and Chichen Itza in Mexico, are other sacred sites that were used to track the path of the sun through the sky.
Here is a description of what occurs on the ancient Mayan pyramid dedicated to Kukulcan, the feathered serpent, in Chichen Itza on the equinox dates:
“At spring and autumn equinoxes the sun creates an undulating pattern of light on the nine terraces of the pyramid to display seven triangles of light which link up with a stone serpent head at its base. As the sun sets on the autumn equinox, the scales undulate and eventually disappear, giving the visual effect of the serpent descending the nine terraces of the pyramid. At the spring equinox the effect is of the serpent ascending.” [Reference: Andrew Collins, Gods of Eden.] [From Belsebuub.com]
The Equinox as Seasonal Marker
Humans have celebrated the equinoxes and solstices throughout history as powerful spiritual events and markers of the cyclical passage of time. Ancient texts and sacred sites like those mentioned above exist on every continent (except Antarctica) and virtually every location where people formed civilizations. One reason was the tracking of the seasons of planting and harvesting, the natural cycles that were of critical importance for the survival of the people.
Additionally, cosmic events held great spiritual meaning around the ideas of light and darkness, as related to the cycles of summer/winter and longer/shorter days. The autumnal equinox was a time of death (as trees shed their leaves, animals went into hibernation, etc.) and preparation for the cold days of winter. The vernal (spring) equinox was a time of new life, rebirth, and anticipation of warmer weather ahead.
We can reconnect with nature by taking time in our modern lives, during the days surrounding the equinox, to reflect on what we are grateful for, plan for what we want to change, and set intentions regarding how we can live our lives more fully in tune with Mother Earth and the gifts that she offers us each day.
Closely following the equinox, on September 27 – 28, 2015 (exact date/time depends on your location), we will experience a thrilling combination of celestial events.
The most dramatic occurrence will be a total eclipse of the moon, visible from most locations in the world. For most of the Americas, the eclipse will be visible just after sunset on September 27. Within the U.S. and Canada, including the east coast and all locations east of Houston, Texas / Winnipeg, Manitoba, the eclipse will begin around 9 to 10 pm and it will last until approximately midnight. In the Western U.S., the eclipse will be in progress when the sun sets, so when the moon rises it will already be partially eclipsed. In Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, the eclipse will take place between midnight and sunrise on September 28th. Click here for more detailed information on when the eclipse will be visible from your location.
The eclipse will last for 3 hours and 20 minutes from beginning to end. The moon will be totally eclipsed for about 1 hour and 12 minutes. This eclipse is the fourth and last in a tetrad, or grouping of four consecutive total lunar eclipses in 2014-2015.
In addition to the lunar eclipse, we will have a full moon on September 27th-28th which is special for a number of reasons. This will be a supermoon, and a very dramatic supemoon at that: It’s the moon’s closest encounter with the Earth for all of 2015. The next time the moon will come this close to Earth will be in November 2016. This will bring larger than usual tides to all regions of the Earth. In the Northern Hemisphere, this will be the Harvest Moon; in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be the Sugar Moon. During the eclipse, it is also called a blood moon, a term referring to the red glow that occurs when the Earth casts its shadow upon the moon.
A Powerful Time for Changing Dreams into Reality
Eclipses are known for bringing about times of change and accelerated manifestation. The lunar eclipse on September 27, 2015 will have a powerful impact on the upcoming six-month period until the next lunar eclipse on March 23, 2016. The long-term outlook for this timeframe supports a positive evolution of belief systems and values around the globe. Our traditional roles will be challenged and more progressive and independent ways of viewing the world will grow and advance, and new paradigms will be opened. It is very auspicious that the COP 21 conferences will occur in the middle of this six-month period, as the path will be opened for great change and evolution of the human consciousness.
Simultaneously, the darkening of the moon during the eclipse represents a resetting of emotions, and especially, a clearing away of the baggage we have experienced over the past six months. So we will be free to let go of the old issues that have been holding us back, and step forward into a new and brighter future. Recent initiatives such as Pope Francis’ Encyclical and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are awakening the world to the fact that we are at a critical crossroads. The way we have lived since the industrial revolution is opening and transforming, creating a fundamental shift toward the new way we need to live in the future to protect the health of our planet. The impossible is becoming possible during this dynamic time in human history.
It is important to set your intentions clearly for the next six months. Our subconscious is quite powerful, and with the help of cosmic forces such as the eclipses on September 27, 2015 and March 23, 2016, we can effect great change in our lives if we do the work now to strengthen our vision of the future that we wish to manifest. If we resist growth, then the eclipse and the months following it can be a painful time. But if we flow with the universe and allow the birth of a new era to come forth, the next six months will be joyous as we see our dreams turning into reality.
Consider the following questions as you write down or meditate on your hopes for the upcoming months:
- How can I deepen my connection with nature and Mother Earth?
- What are some ways that I can contribute within my own community?
- How can I more clearly define my own life’s purpose so that I can move forward with conviction toward the future I wish to see?
To find out how you can contribute more on both a local and a global level, consider connecting with your regional Pachamama Alliance community. Our communities work together to promote self-discovery and social transformation. Connect with new, meaningful initiatives and take collective action during the time of growth and evolution following the September eclipse, and see where it leads and inspires you in your own life.
Featured image: Stars & Frost