The eclipse is a moment in time when we stand face to face with our souls. It is in the positive sense a marker of our linear and relative movement through the void, a focal point for our outward vision. The duality of our world melds into a brief moment of unity—a moment of rest and reflection.
“If they ask you, ‘What is the evidence of your Father in you?’ say to them, It is motion and rest.” Gospel of Thomas 50
If the sun remains in full eclipse, life would wither and die without its warm nourishment. Motion must come into play once again or we would be consumed and destroyed by the void. In ancient times Celtic astronomers could predict when the next eclipse would occur. At that time, people performed a ritual to “force the dragon” to disgorge the sun.
For most of the eclipse, which lasts approximately one hour, the darkness of the moon slowly inches across the sun and one barely notices the decrease of light. As time approaches for the beginning of totality (the merging of the light and dark, the masculine and feminine, as polar opposites unite) the landscape quickly darkens. The dark shadow of the moon rushes with incredible speed towards the sun giving rise to primitive fears. Moments before the totality of the eclipse—the marriage between the sun and moon—a bright glow appears around the moon and a burst of light remaining at one edge gives off a diamond ring effect. The engagement before totality.
According to Egyptian alchemists, the symbol of half-sun half-moon was applied to two states of existence held together within one body, the brilliant light and the mysterious dark. The wedding of opposites also represents the desire to awaken and break free from the lonely sleep of the conscious mind and become whole. Therefore, we must navigate the passage between the separate halves of our own being to move through the void towards the Godhead.
The engagement is brief. In an instant totality is upon us and the day puts on a cloak of darkness. Then the corona surrounding the sun bursts into view—a pearly white delicate light spreading out behind the blackened moon. Nature and time meld together coming into quiet repose. Red solar prominences, arching flame-like eruptions, rise from the surface of the sun punctuating the inner corona. For a few more minutes the delicate corona, the halo of our sun, shows its glory. We catch our breath in the quiet beauty of connection with divinity. This is the moment of opportunity to realize and touch the magnificence of God’s universe with unexpected intimacy.
Eclipse comes from the Greek word meaning abandonment However, the sun’s abandonment of the sky is a temporary illusion. When we glimpse our soul in this moment of abandonment, we can choose to stay in the void of fear or see the illusion and look to the corona and know that the light is always there. The moment of totality passes and movement commences. The shadow releases the sunlight and the warm rays touch our faces once more. Breathing resumes. Anxiety is replaced by inner calm and relief. We are never abandoned by God, either during movement or in rest. The eclipse reminds us that our faith and trust are not misplaced.