Winter Solstice/Lunar Eclipse 2010

December 21st is the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. With the Winter Solstice comes the longest shadows and the day with the fewest daylight hours – this is due to the northern hemisphere being tilted farther from the sun then at any other point in the year. This day in 2010 is a landmark for a few other reasons going on in the heavens as well. There will also be a full moon in Cancer on this date, at 12:15 am (PST) and to top it all off, there will also be a full lunar eclipse. It might not sound like a big deal, but the last time this happened was over 400 years ago, so I think it is noteworthy. The full moon is very much at home in the position of Cancer. The energy is feminine, fruitful, moist and very strong. It is a very good time when you want to grow things – flowers, fruits and vegetables for example will all do well now. It is also the moon associated with mothering, so make sure you check twice on that overdue goat, sheep, horse or cow that has been holding out on you this fall.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, earth, and sun are all lined up with the earth in the middle. Lunar eclipses occur twice a year, but some are only partial, like the last one we had in June of this year. This will be the first total eclipse of the moon in nearly 3 years, the last one being in February of 2008.  The total lunar eclipse will begin at 11:41 pm (PST) and will last over 70 minutes. The moon will reach the earth’s umbra (the dark center of our planet’s shadow) at 12:17 am, and slowly begin to glow orange (there will still be light from the sun bouncing off the other planets, so the moon will still be somewhat visible.) Thousands of years ago, full eclipses of the sun and moon used to weird people out (to use the technical term) and there was much ancient folklore and strange happenings associated with them. As fascinating as they are, these days we understand them to be just the rhythmic events in the grand celestial choreography that plays out in our universe, and nothing to be frightened of.

On the other hand, if you find yourself locked up in a house full of cranky kids and relatives because of the inclement weather right about now, or you have been standing in long lines of impatient Christmas shoppers – you have a good excuse to blame the moon for all the bad behavior. Tonight, gather everyone around together in the kitchen to bake a big batch of Christmas cookies. That should get everyone back into the holiday spirit!

No humbugs allowed!

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Shari Johnson on December 23, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Hey Kim Whats haapening at the farm with all the recent rains? I think we dodged a bullet with the last storm thru The creek was impassable sunday and monday and wednesday needless to say I really need to get outside for more than half hour during brief drizzle between rain. Been inside doing the christmas stuff like fudge making and baking too long specially when I dont get to eat it !!!! Love to you Merry Merry Christmas! Come by soon Shari


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