Posts Tagged ‘celebrate death’
Due to the “freak” weather in England (we had a slight bit of snow – the kind that Canadians laugh at) I was unable to get back from Canada as planned. My plan was to return before the Winter Solstice so that I could spend that day going out to a sacred site, communing with my favourite ancient yew tree, and getting some guidance on the activities for the next part of the Wheel of the Year. All that was scuppered by a few inches of snow at the major European airports and so I was delayed by several days. I could have been far worse, and apparently was for many people, so I accepted our lot and bunkered into the Calgary airport hotel at the expense of the Dutch airline KLM. Thanks KLM – you did a great job.
This opened an opportunity up for me that I hadn’t realised, though. It was widely reported in the Canadian media that there would be a lunar eclipse on the night of the 20th December, going into the 21st. This was an opportunity not the be missed, and despite the fact that I would be flying for 11 hours the next morning at 4:30am I decided I could sleep on the plane instead of miss this great celestial display.
Whilst my wife slept (sensibly) I stood alone outside the Delta Hotel at Calgary Airport at 11:30pm waiting for something to happen. As I stood there several things came to mind in that quiet (quiet? aircraft were taking off left, right and centre!) space as I waited…
- It was the first total lunar eclipse on a Winter Solstice for over 450 years
- It was the Winter Solstice when the eclipse would occur – a special day in my calendar and a day of special energies
- The moon would be full when the eclipse occurred – a prefect time for a magickal encounter
I began to take pictures at ten minute intervals in order to capture the event in a sequence. Here are the pictures from that night:-
Click here for a time-lapse video of the event.
As the eclipse unfolded, one of the chefs from the hotel came out occasionally to join me. He introduced himself as Davide, a French ex-patriot who now lived in Canada and we chatted in the minus 20 degree night air. I explained the significance of the phenomenon to Davide, and he began to get increasingly excited as I explained the trinity of alignments: date, full moon, and eclipse.
When he couldn’t stand the coldness any longer (I was dressed for it – he was in his kitchen whites) I was once again alone to ponder the event as it reached its dark climax. I called upon my spirit guide to see whether anything could be revealed about what actions I should take in the next part of the year, fully expecting a message along the lines of “Take a rest now, consolidate the year’s work, and don’t do anything until Imbolc.” That wasn’t the message I got!
In my head I heard the phrase “Celebrate Death“. Perhaps this was in response to the “death” of Winter and the moon that night? On my return home this message would be hammered home in two significant ways. Firstly there was a note form my father-in-law who had been minding our house during our absence: our dear old neighbour Dolly had passed away a few days before the solstice. I also noticed that the old beech tree that had been standing at the end of our neighbour’s drive and which gave us such resplendent view through the seasons had been cut down! Nothing now remained but a stump. I’ll tell you more about how that came about soon in another post, but needless to say, although we knew it might happen it was as shocking as any human death to me.
So I can see now how this Winter Solstice event was symbolic of Death – the death of The Moon and the death of the Year 2010. I was being asked not to mourn for the deaths that had occurred, but instead to celebrate them. This is what I did on my next visit to a sacred site, but I also found out that my quest was not what I thought it was, and that the celebration was to be a one-off, not part of the Wheel of the Year after all. More on that soon.