OMEN: Winter Solstice, Lunar Eclipse Overlap First Time In 456 Y - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

OMEN: Winter Solstice, Lunar Eclipse Overlap First Time In 456 Years

OTTAWA - This year's winter solstice — an event that will occur next Tuesday — will coincide with a full lunar eclipse in a union that hasn't been seen in 456 years.

The celestial eccentricity holds special significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and a time that is associated with the rebirth of the sun.

"It's a ritual of transformation from darkness into light," says Nicole Cooper, a high priestess at Toronto's Wiccan Church of Canada. "It's the idea that when things seem really bleak, (it) is often our biggest opportunity for personal transformation.

"The idea that the sun and the moon are almost at their darkest at this point in time really only further goes to hammer that home."

Cooper said Wiccans also see great significance in the unique coupling of the masculine energy of the sun and the feminine energy of the moon — transformative energies that she plans to incorporate into the church's winter-solstice rituals.

Since the last time an eclipse and the winter solstice happened simultaneously was just under five centuries years ago, Cooper said she wasn't familiar with any superstitions or mythologies associated with it.

Instead, she said, they can only be interpreted personally.

"Wiccans don't think of things as being good or evil — they just are. Our experience of them makes them positive or negative for us."

The winter solstice also played an important role in Greco-Roman rituals.

"It's seen as a time of rebirth or renewal because, astrologically, it's a time where the light comes back," said Shane Hawkins, a professor of Greek and Roman studies at Carleton University in Ottawa.

For the ancient Romans, it was also a time of great feasting and debauchery.

"If (the eclipse) happened on the 21st, they might well have been drunk," he said.

A lunar eclipse taking place during the solstice is not an event Hawkins has seen in research, but he said it would have been viewed as something special.

"Eclipses could be taken either way," he said. "Certainly it would have been an omen, but it would have been up to the interpretation of specialists of whether it was good or bad."

And that interpretation would likely be based on whatever was happening at the time.

The last time the two celestial events happened at the same time was in AD 1554, according to NASA.

An otherwise seemingly unexceptionable year in recorded history, the darkened moon happened during a bleak year for Tudor England.

Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for treason that year, while Princess Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Mary of Guise — the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots — became regent of Scotland.

Scientifically, however, it's just a coincidence of natural cycles.

"It's quite rare, but there's no profound significance. It's luck of the draw; you got dealt four aces," said Robert Dick, an astronomy instructor at Carleton.

The eclipse will start just after midnight Eastern Time on Tuesday, with the main event starting at 1:30 a.m. ET and lasting until 5:30 a.m., when the moon reappears.

This story is from Montrealgazette.com

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • FIRST ON KHQ: Former Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal facing felony theft charges for welfare fraud

    FIRST ON KHQ: Former Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal facing felony theft charges for welfare fraud

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:09 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:09:50 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Former Spokane Chapter NAACP President Rachel Dolezal is now facing legal trouble that could land her behind bars. KHQ has confirmed that Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, is accused of 1st Degree Theft by Welfare Fraud, Perjury in the 2nd Degree, and False Verification for Public Assistance.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Former Spokane Chapter NAACP President Rachel Dolezal is now facing legal trouble that could land her behind bars. KHQ has confirmed that Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, is accused of 1st Degree Theft by Welfare Fraud, Perjury in the 2nd Degree, and False Verification for Public Assistance. Her potential punishment under RCW 74.08.331 could include up to 15 years in prison.

    >>
  • Mysterious wolf-like creature shot in Montana

    Mysterious wolf-like creature shot in Montana

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:58 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:58:21 GMT
    Image Courtesy KXLO via KFBBImage Courtesy KXLO via KFBB
    Image Courtesy KXLO via KFBBImage Courtesy KXLO via KFBB

    DENTON, Mont. - A large wolf-like animal was shot and killed May 16 by a rancher near Denton, Montana. It now has wildlife officials and the public wondering what it was, according to KFBB. The animal came within several hundred yards of the rancher’s livestock. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) said in a statement the rancher shot it and reported it as required by law. The animal was a young, non-lactating female and a canid, a 

    >>

    DENTON, Mont. - A large wolf-like animal was shot and killed May 16 by a rancher near Denton, Montana. It now has wildlife officials and the public wondering what it was, according to KFBB. The animal came within several hundred yards of the rancher’s livestock. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) said in a statement the rancher shot it and reported it as required by law. The animal was a young, non-lactating female and a canid, a 

    >>
  • Three men arrested for rape of 14-year-old girl in downtown Spokane apartments

    Three men arrested for rape of 14-year-old girl in downtown Spokane apartments

    Thursday, May 24 2018 6:03 PM EDT2018-05-24 22:03:25 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Three men were arrested on Wednesday, accused of raping a 14-year old girl in a downtown Spokane apartment building. According to court documents obtained by KHQ, the girl ran away from home on April 1 because her parents were fighting. She took the bus to downtown and went to Riverpark Square. That's where she was approached by a man she'd never met before. The girl said he appeared to be high 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Three men were arrested on Wednesday, accused of raping a 14-year old girl in a downtown Spokane apartment building. According to court documents obtained by KHQ, the girl ran away from home on April 1 because her parents were fighting. She took the bus to downtown and went to Riverpark Square. That's where she was approached by a man she'd never met before. The girl said he appeared to be high 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/