Eclipse Energies, Ritual Plans, and a Warning

A lot of people have been asking about what rituals or activities to do during the Solar Eclipse in our various online spaces. In order to answer that question, let me share a bit about how eclipses have been viewed in many cultures.

Eclipses have a way of magnifying what you are doing or creating unexpected or unpredictable energy. Just as you can’t stare directly at an eclipse without burning your corneas and they are very dangerous to you, you can burn yourself by attempting to do various rituals, charge up tools, and so forth. This kind of practice can lead to being burned. Hence, we need to treat this astronomical event with due seriousness and caution.

Think about it this way—the energy of the sun—the most powerful life-giving force in our existence— is literally blocked. The sun’s rays and gravity not only illuminate the earth and moon but also impact the other planetary bodies in the heavens. When this most powerful force is blocked out, it is seen as a very ill omen. This is why many ancient peoples viewed eclipses as very maligned energy: they saw it as the sun being “eaten” or blocked by the gods due to their displeasure. Historical events such as the beginning and end of wars, the death of monarchs, and so forth often happen during eclipses. They are not viewed as energy that one should invite into one’s life or work with.

This is why AODA does not have an eclipse ritual or specific practice. We don’t want to encourage our members to open themselves up to these kinds of unpredictable energies through magic or ritual. Thus, my best advice to you is to enjoy the experience of the eclipse, keep up your daily Sphere of Protection, practice light meditation, etc, but nothing more. I wouldn’t do anything big like an initiation or major working because the eclipse energy can send it off kilter.

In terms of experiencing the eclipse, in totality or partial, my second piece of advice is to experience it from a wooded area. Every single stream of light that comes through the leaves in the trees will reflect the eclipse on the ground, making it truly one of the most magnificent sights you will ever experience. For reference, I’m attaching a photo I took of the forest in 2017. Observe away and enjoy.

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I heartily agree with this advice. Thank you for posting this.

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Yes we observed the last eclipse through the trees and it was amazing!!

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There are many cultures that view it as an ill omen. Many of them treated it as a sign of an angry god. There is, of course, the story of Columbus tricking the Jamaicans into supplying him with food. He knew that a lunar eclipse was coming, but they did not. He used their fear of the unknown to say, if you do not give us food, the gods will be angry. They refused, the skies darkened, they ‘realized their mistake’ and brought food.

The unknown is frightening, and understandably so. Death lurks around every corner and one bad season can kill off entire villages.

But, we are not ancient people. We are modern druids. It honestly makes me sad that one of the most uniquely beautiful natural phenomena would be regarded as an ill omen. The world, many believe, is struggling to survive and nature is not being regarded or honored the way our ancestors believed it should be, and yet this eclipse is bringing together more people in admiration of nature, if not worship, than any other celestial event in my lifetime. I deeply feel that should be commemorated as a win for the natural world and that we modern druids should bask in its spiritual power, its humanity-uniting power, and even that chaotic power. After all, life is chaotic.

Interestingly, there is information out there that suggests the ancient Irish may have welcomed solar eclipses as evidenced by Loughcrew Cairn L – though I haven’t found any sources for that information other than articles that say that they may have done so. Also, something about the alignment of the sun and moon opening up spiritual pathways, which intuitively makes sense to me. The sun being the ultimate life-giving entity, matched with the tide-bringing, earth-stablizing moon. Power-on-power; life-on-life, the union of masculinity and femininity. The only time when we lowly humans are able to view the crown of the life-giving king.

Personally, I will be enjoying the eclipse with my family and then I will be initiated by my dear friend and spiritual guide under the new moon – the beginning of two cycles. The start of the lunar period, and the start of the nearly 19 year saros cycle.

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I’ll be lighting a candle during the eclipse - treating it like a winter solstice vigil. This is just a humble way to remind the Sun how much she is needed and as a personal way to contemplate how darkness can reveal the light.

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AODA doesn’t view the eclipse as an ill omen, we view it as a chaotic and unpredictable time where we don’t recommend people do their initiation rituals. This is especially for those who are newer on the path.

Like everything else in AODA, each person chooses to celebrate and observe as they see fit.

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I had some thoughts on this while doing my SOP today, inspired by a talk about chaos at my UU yesterday. I take chaos to be a lack of natural order–not just human laws, but the laws of physics. If we had real chaos, we wouldn’t know whether the sun would rise in the east in the morning, or whether it would rise at all. You can imagine a million ways that the lack of the laws of physics would affect us. We could not live in such a world.

In our world that’s ordered by the laws of physics (natural law), the sun and moon have specific jobs. The sun illuminates the earth, and the moon reflects the sun’s light. But during an eclipse, that natural order appears to stop. Of course the moon is still reflecting the sun’s light, but away from us, so to us it looks like it’s not doing its job. It’s actually blocking the sunlight from reaching us though the sun is in the sky. This is like a little taste of true chaos. No wonder people and (other) animals have always found eclipses frightening.

I think that during this time, it’s the energies of the earth that will be stable. So that’s where I’ll focus myself.

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I was fortunate enough to see the eclipse from a city park in Jackson, MO, with 4 minutes of totality. It was magnificent! From an Ovate standpoint, as a natural experience, there is a great deal to see, feel, hear, and appreciate. For instance, a bat flew over my husband and me just before totality, when it was as dark as it is during twilight when the bats begin flying here at home. At 2pm, we could see Venus and Jupiter not far from the sun’s blocked-off disk.

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There is a rumor I picked up but I haven’t researched to verify, that the Mongols believed eclipses were auspicious, at least for war. But I got this from a movie, so I don’t know if it’s true.

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Well, color me jealous! I wasn’t in the path of totality, but it was socked in with clouds here, and I didn’t see a thing. We had about 94% eclipse, so the sun would have been a thin crescent. I was outside, and I noticed that the birds were quite agitated, calling and calling.

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We decided to go up to near Erie, PA where the eclipse was in totality (2 hour drive from our house). It was utterly magnificent and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We had clouds and then just before totality they cleared up and we saw the whole thing. It was magnificent, and also I can totally see why people thought it was terrifying in ancient times. I did some bardic creation and painting during the eclipse. The paintings felt benign and interesting when I was doing them, but now, a few days later I look at them and they really hold some energy!

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During the eclipse, I could feel the sudden weakening of the solar current due to the moon blocking the sun and then its sudden increase again. The relationship between the three currents became clearer to me, and how we depend utterly on the ways in which the currents, and the bodies of the sun, moon, and earth, interact with each other.

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Sadly, I was in the hospital during the eclipse. I was laying flat on my back and couldn’t move the entire day. My husband went out to see it as we were right in the path, but I could only look out the window, which was on the wrong side of the building for viewing. That was the third hospital I had been in for 1.5 weeks. I was in a home after that to get back up on my feet for two more weeks. I can no longer walk without a walker and assistance. I miss all the fun stuff. lol

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I’m sorry to hear about your recent health challenges. Will keep you in my thoughts - hopefully you will be back to normal soon.

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