Today is the full moon of July 2018. So what’s special about that? Every month has at least one, if not two full moons when the second full moon is called a blue moon. Blue moons are rare enough. But tonight’s full moon is rarer still. Because it is a blood moon and more.
So what is a blood moon? A blood moon occurs when the full moon is also a total lunar eclipse, where the moon is obscured by the earth’s shadow falling onto it, due to the direct alignment between the sun, earth and moon. The moon when it is overcast by the earth’s shadow appears bigger and redder, thus giving it the name blood moon. It loses its usual lustre, the silvery tone, during the time of the eclipse and becomes a big reddish-orangish dot in the night sky.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon is behind the earth’s shadow completely and the sun, earth and moon are in direct alignment, lying as if in a straight line. Ideally the moon would turn dark as if it’s a new moon when obscured by the earth’s shadow if the earth were a smooth sphere with no atmosphere, just like the sun turns dark in the moon’s shadow during a solar eclipse. However, due to scattered light through the atmosphere of the earth, some sunlight still gets bounced off the earth’s edges, to reach the moon during a lunar eclipse. Usually blue and violet lights are scattered more than red and orange, so more of red light hits the moon thus nicknaming it the blood moon. Hence the satellite is still illuminated by the sun’s light filtered and refracted by earth’s air, creating a real spectacle in the night sky.
Okay so blood moons do occur occassionally during lunar eclipses, but what is so special about tonight’s blood moon? Well it happens to be the longest lunar eclipse in the entire 21st century and will last for a whopping 1 hour 44 minutes as the moon passes through the center of the earth’s shadow! Now that is something extraordinary, isn’t it? You may not live to see the next longer lunar eclipse! The longest that the moon can be in total eclipse according to calculations is 1 hour 47 minutes. And tonight is one of the longest, with only 3 minutes short of the maximum time the moon can stay completely behind the earth. The moon will be in earth’s shadow for four hours, and totally eclipsed for 104 minutes. Not only that, but the red planet mars will shine much brighter than usual, in tandem with the blood moon all night as the lunar eclipse happens to coincide with mars reaching opposition with the earth. Hence this day, this night is indeed special and unique due to such a lovely cosmic coincidence, a real visual treat for those curious souls who happen to look upon the night sky and gaze at its myriad displays of artwork.
Most of the world will be able to see the blood moon tonight except for some countries in North America. By the way, the full moon of July is also called a buck moon, because of the new antlers that emerge from a buck’s head around this time of the year! A buck is a male deer. It is also called the thunder moon, hay moon and wort moon. Thunder moon because of the frequent thunderstorms in summer, hay moon takes after the hay harvest in July, and wort moon indicates July as the time to gather herbs (worts) to dry and use as condiments as well as for therapeutic purposes. So many nicknames our dear moon has, ya? We sure do love the moon much, don’t we?
The moon is special tonight, not just because of astrological significance, but also due to spiritual and evolutionary importance. As it climbs into the earth’s shadow, it can bring up shadow aspects of our consciousness to light. Shadows are parts of ourselves that we have not accepted, rejected in childhood, that we don’t believe are worthy of approval and hence hide or these are shoved away deep in our subconscious minds from the long past. But when we resist parts of ourselves, they don’t go away, they fester then later come up as blind spots in our lives. Sometimes we are held hostage by our past due to unresolved emotions from childhood and puberty especially that becomes the entire blueprint of our adult lives and we don’t even realize it. These unresolved baggages from the past can literally make people behave in immature ways, react in childish manners, taking to addiction and all sorts of destructive behavior. And unless we can shift these patterns, they hold us back from living the life we’ve always dreamed of. Feelings of not being loved, not being good enough, unworthiness, and other such deep buried insecurities may surge during this time. Everything you see around is consciousness at play; all the dysfunction in our world today is due to a disempowered consciousness, limiting belief systems and thought patterns that come up as devastating acts of humanity. To shift these patterns, this is a good time to do some shadow work, reflect on past hurts and traumas, bring them to light, understand and release them. This shadow impact will stay strong until the solar eclipse next month. It is time for some self-love and radical self-acceptance.
So take out some time to reflect your life, look at where it is going, if it needs a direction change and do some soul-searching today! And while you are at it, enjoy musing the moon, the night’s mate.
Blood moon rising! Friday, 27 July 2018.
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