This week is special. We were blessed with a rare cosmological-astrological event: the bloodmoon lunar eclipse.
I loved watching the slow progression of the eclipse, turning the moon a hazy and wild red. But what I loved most was how many people paid attention to the sky that night.
I passed a young girl on the street explaining to her mother how precious and rare this particular eclipse was. My sister-in-law sent a group email with info about viewing conditions and times. When I mentioned the eclipse in my class Sunday night, everyone nodded — they knew it was happening. And between 8-11pm, social media exploded with images across the world of one single point in the sky: the moon.
The Life-Changing Benefits of Looking Up
During my trip to Cape Cod last year, I learned how to take nighttime timelapse photos of the sky. When you take a series of hundreds of photos, one to three seconds apart, then piece them together flip-book style, you can watch the stars travel on their invisible tracks in the sky. You realize the dome above you, the arc of the atmosphere, and the steady progression time.
I never saw the sky the same way again. Now, even with my naked eye, I can perceive the movement of the stars. I can see the density of the universe.
So what I loved about this week’s eclipse was that: we were watching. We were all watching the same sky, the same moon. We were feeling the earth move between the moon and sun, as if we were all parts of one single body.
I can’t help but think that, when people remarked the next day on how “spectacular” and “beautiful” the eclipse was, it was really this universal energy of connection that they were feeling.
How could we not feel it?
To prepare us for the cosmological-astrological effects of the eclipse, numerous astrologers offered up their insights about what we could expect to feel and experience in the days and weeks surrounding the full moon.
One insight that has stuck with me is this one, from astrologer Cathy Pagano*:
This eclipse was one of four in the last 2 years, a rare occurrence.
All of these eclipses….”point to a collective lesson we all have to work through, old patterns to be dropped and new lessons to be learned.”
She goes on, “…All new things start with our choices. Our free will is our greatest gift, and yet many people don’t use theirs. That’s when we get stuck in life and can’t seem to find a way out.
“…Choices begin the process of change. Our brain chemistry changes when we make choices. Making a choice signals our brain that we’re ready to begin a journey. So the choice is the first step in changing our behaviors….”
This concept resonates so much with what I feel in myself and in my students.
Embracing our ability to choose is one of the clearest paths to cultivating presence and contentment in our life. Every single moment is an opportunity and a choice. To choose to breathe. To choose how and where to move your body. To choose to let go, even if just a little bit.
So, as the effects of this major moon event settle into your life this week…
Choose to close your eyes,
to look inward,
to believe in your own power,
to sit tall,
and to breathe your fullest expression of breath.
And every once in a while…. choose to look up at the sky.
Love and stardust,
*Astral insights via MysticMamma.
All photos (c) Katie Braja 2015, except the cover image, which is by Anders Jildén via Unsplash.