Eclipse Rituals and Unexpected Insights
Looking for ritual ideas?Â Â Sometimes an impromptu ritual can be very insightful as I realized when my candles began â€œtalkingâ€ to me.Â Read on for ideas you can incorporate into your next rite or meditation. (photos copyrighted by Lorna Tedder)
I hadnâ€™t planned a Full Moon ritual for the eclipse on 21 December 2010–not because I didnâ€™t recognize its importance this year but because I wanted to incorporate that energy into my annual â€œBurning Bowlâ€ ritual at a gathering in my home the following night.Â All Iâ€™d planned for the eclipse was to stay up all night and watch the celestial light showâ€¦maybe do a little praying and a lot of thinking about a particular situation in my life.
When I glanced outside to check the skies at 1:15 AM (central time), darkness already covered half the moon, and suddenly I knew that I was going to be doing an impromptu ritual while I craned my neck to watch the chilly, clear night play out before me.Â I gathered up what seemed absolutely â€œrightâ€â€”though I didnâ€™t know whyâ€”and carried a blanket and an armload of items into my driveway where I had the best view.Â Normally, I would be in my back yard fire circle, but the tree obscured the slightly western view, so I opted for a discreet corner out front.
It was a powerful night, one in which most people claim to feel small and insignificant watching the grander movements of the Universe, but not me.Â I felt powerful, felt the power, felt my significance toÂ Deity and the love shining all around me.Â I was not separate from my Gods but a part, andÂ I felt sacred and blessed.
When I began my ritual, I had no idea what to do with the items Iâ€™d selected to take outdoors.Â Â Very quickly, I realized that some of the smaller candles represented particular situations and people in my life. Following my prayers, I watched in amazement as one of the candle fell against another and the wax began drip into words and symbols.Â Perhaps Iâ€™m the only one who would imagine those particular words and symbols, but as a psychological tool, the candles provided the clarity and confidence I was looking for.Â I knew the answer to aÂ question that had beenÂ plaguing me for a while.Â In fact, I already knew it, but just needed to see it symbolically to acknowledge the wonderful possibilities.
The powerhouse moment of the evening came for me twice.Â The first time, I had set out three large candles in a semi-circle to represent what was happening above in the eclipse-filled sky as I prayed for a friend going through a time of soul-searching and darkness.Â The black candle on the leftÂ represented the darkness that had covered him.Â Â The white candle on the right stood for the return of the light and being able to see his path clearly.Â In the middle was a red candleâ€¦the one for a period of transition.
As I set flame to wick, I looked up at the sky and saw that the moon was fully engulfed in shadowâ€”and a dull rusty-red color like the candle.Â And as I was praying, the words came out of my mouth, â€œBut youâ€™re in transition, too.â€
I stopped.Â What was it Iâ€™d just said?Â The words had come out of my mouth at the end of my prayer, but they were directed at me, not from me.Â Â But yes.Â Yes!Â I am in a transition period as well.Â I am leaving behind an old way of life and soon stepping out onto a new path, even though I have utterly no idea yet what that path will be but Iâ€™ve been feeling it coming and Iâ€™ve been grappling with uncertainty over my path.Â Â In the day after the eclipse, I had this transition reflected back to me by two close friends who are in similarâ€”scary–situations of upcoming freedom and adventure, and that was simply a validation for me of what Iâ€™d realized in my eclipse ritual.
The other powerhouse moment of the evening was that split second when the moon turned from red to a spark of light on the higher border as the full moon moved every so slightly out of the Earthâ€™s shadow.Â It made my heart sing to see it, and that was the second big epiphany of the night:
Itâ€™s not so much theÂ eclipse I love as that moment when the light peaks out again and grows with the promise that everything that was covered in darkness will soon become bright with light.
And I mean that both in the astronomical and metaphorical sense!