Concerning the Eclipse

Concerning the Eclipse.

The universe is always talking to us if we will only pay attention. Some messages – predictive text, coincidences, newspaper headlines, the words of a song, minor mishaps – are small. Some are bigger. The powers that be appear to first hint, then jolt, then finally reach for the baseball bat. On this scale an eclipse is pretty big.

It was Derek Walters, still the only Western authority with any kudos among Chinese Masters, who first introduced me to Chinese Astrology. And when he was asked about events likely to follow the 1999 Eclipse said that it suggested the destruction of bridges. This was largely because it fell into the mini-constellation (or Mansion of the Moon) known as Bird that rules bridges and joining. As it happened, shortly thereafter NATO planes destroyed the bridge across the Danube at Belgrade. That same month the bridge connecting the European and Asian parts of Turkey partially collapsed.

Selene the Moon Goddess, like her counterparts Ashtaroth, Cerridwen and Diana represents the wild gentleness perhaps of the yin principle which though it is shared amongst men and women alike is essentially feminine. And a Lunar Eclipse like this one as I write, July 27th 2018, involving as it does the masking of the Moon, is inherently related to woman. Red Moons like Red Tents may indicate natural cycles shared equally by tides, women and the Moon. Clearly the power and the treatment of women is an area that we should be attending to. These goddesses like Shiva are both the destroyers and the preservers; the mothers and the lovers but also the widows.

Back in the 70’s when I was a teen tycoon, I use to put on bands at the Plaza Ballroom in Guildford. Today that turn of the century music hall building is a nasty nightclub and the classic 1890’s brickwork has been painted over. You don’t need to understand sam he feng shui to know that’s sacrilege.

One of those bands was called Casablanca. Casablanca possessed four outstanding assets: two of the most beautiful girl singers I had ever seen* and one lovely song “Concerning the Eclipse,” featuring a sublime solo from 4th asset cult guitarist Barrie Clarke. The moment those women took the stage my attention was drawn irresistibly away from the box office. I was 17. What do you expect?

Eclipses are referred to several times in the Yi Jing, that is I Ching or Book of Changes. Generally not in a cheery way. The word used in point of fact means “regret”. And the Lunar Eclipse tonight, is no exception. There are those who see it as the herald of all sorts of nastiness – war and natural disasters are big favourites.

But I’m not sure about that; as it happens the eclipse by my calculation, falls towards the end of the Lunar Mansion of The Well. The Well rules over natural resources and their preservation. This is not necessarily a poor portent. But it may be a timely reminder: preserve it or lose it. Vaqitas, the mini-dolphins of Baja California are gone as are black rhinos. And the orang utan is on its way as long as we continue to consume palm oil as we do. Is this connected to the wild gentleness of the Moon Goddess? I doubt we need to care for the Earth so much as ensure she continues to care for us.

The hint is pretty emphatic: tonight’s eclipse is almost as prolonged as is physically possible given the speed of movement and relative sizes of Sun and Moon and it’s visible all around the globe other than Greenland, Canada and the USA. Which implies some sort of separation from the New World. There is appropriately a tale that Columbus himself extorted help from the Carib Indians of Jamaica by warning them that if they didn’t cooperate he’d be forced to turn the Moon red. Which he did. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

So here’s an idea: the world has never been more in need of the love and mercy of the yin principle. This theme of separation and resources may indicate that those of us who care about these things may need to regroup. We can perhaps no longer rely on leaders to treat their responsibilities as to the people and the world they preside over rather than to themselves. And it may be that the USA risks no longer being part of the civilised world.  Perhaps the UK too.

Back in the simpler times of 1974, I remember puzzling over Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. I didn’t really get it for another thirty years or so: when “they cut down all the trees and put them in a tree museum and charge the kids a dollar and a half just to see ’em”, she sang, don’t be surprised if a Big Yellow Taxi takes away your old man. Or children. Or right to reside. Or passport. Or back garden. Or neighbourhood.

The words# of that Casablanca song suggested a connection between emotional and physical eclipses. I remember so well the voices of those lovely women. My attention however, frankly was not upon the words. As I say, I was 17. What do you expect?

*Aliki Ashman and Juanita Franklin since you asked.                                                  #Lyric by David da Costa, as I recall.


Richard Ashworth©

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