I wrote this article after witnessing the eclipse of June 10th, 2002.
I went down to the park this evening, looking to observe an astronomical event of some rarity. An eclipse, even an annular one, is not an event for any Witch to take lightly. The last two eclipses observable from here were both overcast and hidden from mortal view. With the next solar eclipse not due until 2012 and the clouds resting from their tyranny I was determined to see this most awe inspiring of celestial events.
Down to the park I went, Stang in hand and drum slung over one shoulder. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of my Fathers before me had taken this same trek, down a lonely path to greet the planetary dance. We know that the Celts, and many other ancient cultures, made accurate astronomical calculations of the trajectory of Sun and Moon. One can only suppose they must have been aware when these would intersect, but I digress.
I arrived at my customary space in time to catch the first sliver of coincidence of the two great spheres of our beloved couple. As I looked through darkened glass that shut out everything save the blazing glory of the Sun I marveled at the scene before me. As I lowered the glass I noticed a group of Elders watching me. I walked over to them and saw that they were mentally challenged on the one hand, and gloriously old on the other. I offered the ladies that were their caregivers to let them see the eclipse through my glass. As each in turn brought the glass to their eyes they called out in wonder, as if a child seeing all of creation for the first time. Each took their turn, each patiently waiting for the others to finish, each marveling at a vision they had never seen before and would not likely live to see again. Through it all the Lord and Lady continued to dance, dance for the love of those blessed Elders and for each other.
I left those souls with smiles and beacon-ed eyes and climbed back to my spot. I watched for a while, and drummed, and meditated and watched. As I saw the great occlusion progressing I became aware of an energy, a feeling, a gentle touch upon my soul. The feeling was familiar, raw and exciting and yet comforting and benign. This emotive calling was achingly familiar and yet dissociative, as if I were experiencing emotions not my own, but resembling those I had owned in the past, and recently.
Suddenly it dawned on me. What I was experiencing; what I was seeing before my eyes and into my soul, was the lovemaking of our Lord and Lady. This cosmic dance, so rare and beautiful, was the consummation of passion of lovers on a scale unfathomable by Mortal Beings. Each day they pass, reaching out to one another, barely brushing fingers outstretched. Longing for the rarest and most breathtaking lover’s touch which is denied them through long years of waiting, waiting. Today then is the time, ordained from the pattern of inundate on the floor of the universe when first the cauldron of life was overturned. Today then is the time that hope and longing, hunger and passion, grasp hold of the moment. With joyous abandon they come together, each merging with the other, light and darkness, life and death, passion and fury, warmth and cool, cool, release.
As the dancers whirl and grasp I drum. As the heavens dim in awe of the spectacle I drum. As my heart beats and surges and thunders, synchronised to the ebullition that surrounds me I drum. As the last cosmic paroxysm gasps out the name of love I drum, quietly, slowly. As the lovers recline in each other’s arms and slowly separate, and with one final kiss, release to go about their stellar journey, I drum. Tears of joy and sadness fall upon the drum head, adding their staccato rhythm to the brush of my hands on skin and I remember. I remember the thrill of skin on skin and the soft trembling voice of my own Sylph, my own Earth Faery. And I drum.
I gather my things then, and leave the lovers in the afterglow of lengthening shadows. I am spent as if I had run the course myself. I ponder the mystery I have been privy to. This is the Great Rite in its most quintessential incarnation. This is the dance of life on a scale that will not be repeated for another decade. I have been privy to an act of love so fundamental that the memory of all my Fathers before me have culminated in this one act, this one union, this one Loving Embrace of Moon Goddess and Sun God. I am well and truly Blessed.