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 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.
Photographs of Cairnholy © Joseph Proskauer
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
pulled by swift rowers -
shielding us perhaps
from the shadow on its face
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.