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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Cosmic Dance

Almost sunrise on the solstice, December 2010

Solstice eclipse snow contributed by Hazel Buchan Cameron

This particular dance combined three acts in one - solstice, full Moon and eclipse.
Then there was a further act - another eclipse.

Joseph Proskauer says:>

It must be very rare indeed to have both an eclipse of the Moon near the start of Christmas, and an eclipse of the Sun near the close. It seems we are experiencing an unusual harmony of Earth, Moon, and Sun. "May human beings hear it."

Apparently, Joseph says, it is very rare that the moon-rhythms (phase and height of path) should coincide exactly on the solstice and it is even rarer that a total eclipse should also occur then as well (although eclipses do always occur on new and full Moons.) He says that, to the best of his knowledge, the last lunar eclipse on the solstice was 372 years ago.

The second eclipse, the partial solar eclipse - along with the new Moon - occurred around 8.50 am GMT on 4th January 2011.

The powerful rhythms and alignments of the celestial bodies are reflected in our own lives, in our dreams and our waking experiences, and we will express them creatively in different ways. This particular filament of the Golden Thread did not manage to see either eclipse, as they were obscured by clouds, but just going out walking in the hills on those mornings was quite magical, especially on the solstice, when the ground was still covered in snow, and all the trees and plants had their individual coatings of frost.

The photographs are of sunrise on the solstice.

Photographs of Cairnholy © Joseph Proskauer

Two quintas:

Solstice full Moon
hides behind morning clouds -
at evening, edges behind buildings -
finally, on the dark deserted beach -
what took you so long? It says

the Sun on the horizon
behind boat-clouds
pulled by swift rowers -
shielding us perhaps
from the shadow on its face

Morelle Smith

sunrise and solar eclipse

Song for snow

Golden leaf on silver bough -– break

Branches under snow –- shake

A Siberian wind -- flakes

Drift deep below

Black cloud thunder mass -– glow

Of midday outline -– through

To the gleam and glimpse -– blue

Shadows on the hill

Dark and light together -- spill

With birds raucous as they -- fill

The glen and loch and -– will

Skein their way south

Winter now forms our world -– north

Spin the seasons – earth

Works her systems – death

with birth interdwelt

Glaciers may return or –melt

Ice or flood our future – dealt

All beneath Orion—held

As we marvel faithfully

Tessa Ransford (December 2010)

Note: The poem’s form is taken from Gaelic Pibroch music, and in this case the tradition for a ‘call to arms’. The last word in each line is emphasised and leads on in meaning to the next line. Three lines rhyme with the fourth last line of each verse leading onto the rhyme for the first line of the next. I have imitated this from a poem of Hamish Henderson’s called ‘Brosnachadh’.


Cloaked in a curtain of cloud

the sun burns

through black fabric

glares like an old woman

in a shroud.

It hovers above us

as we sit in the moving bus,

trying to warm our cockles in winter

willing the sun to shed

her widow’s veil

and shine over our discontent.

Nalini Paul

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