The solar eclipse – dubbed by many the ‘Great American Eclipse’ – is just around the corner.
For those fortunate to be based in the USA, the celestial event could be a stunning spectacle, with the sun being completely blacked out for several moments. Here in the UK, though, things are a little different: around 4% of the sun will be covered by the moon for approximately 40 minutes before sunset.
Or, as some have poetically described it, the moon will appear to “take a bite” out of the sun.
There’s no denying that the partial eclipse will still make for spectacular viewing. But, for those who are more spiritually inclined, there’s much more to an eclipse than the way it looks.
For starters, an eclipse always takes place during the new moon – which makes it of particular importance to spiritualists, wiccans and all those interested in the occult.
Indeed, according to A Glossary of Magickal and Occult Terms, an eclipse “gives us the energy of an entire cycle of seasons, or cycle of a day from twilight, darkness, dawn to light, from the waning light of autumn to the darkness of winter, to the growing light of spring and brightness of summer.
“This is powerful energy to harness, and can bring about big change quickly.”
And, in some ancient and modern cultures, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes – or even regarded as bad omens.
All in all, it’s a time of meaning and great significance for many, *no matter whether they see a full or partial eclipse,* so it should come as no surprise to hear that it can affect our horoscopes, too.
Whether you believe in astrology or not, plenty of us know what our zodiac sign is – and even more of us take the time to read our horoscope each day, soothed by the idea our futures are destined by the stars themselves.
With this in mind, we spoke to moonologist Yasmin Boland to find out what we can expect from tonight’s solar eclipse.
What astrological meaning does the solar eclipse have?
“Astrologers everywhere have been warning that the USA will see some tumult as a result of the eclipse,” says Boland, “but eclipse seasons always signify times of upheaval – and not just in the places they are visible from.”
Which… well, which sounds more than a little negative for people all over the world.
Thankfully, though, Boland adds that “there are two sides to everything, and that includes eclipses.” So it doesn't necessarily mean we'll be thrown into chaos, but that change, of some kind, is on the horizon: it’s up to us to channel that change into a positive force.
How can we use the solar eclipse to change our lives for the better?
Boland advises that those hoping to harness the ‘magical powers’ of tonight’s eclipse should turn to meditation.
“Buddhist teachings say that during a solar eclipse the effects of positive (and negative!) actions are multiplied by 10,000,” she says, “so how about a 10,000 times more powerful than usual meditation?”
The monologist goes on to insist that we can “connect with the new moon and use it as a portal to the divine” if we only put our minds to it.
To do this, we should set aside time tonight and chant the sacred sound of “om” (a mantra supposedly imbued with high spiritual and creative power) for at least three minutes – although Boland adds that 20 minutes is better.
That done, take a moment to make your “new moon wishes” and set your intentions.
“Any time is a good time to set your intentions – witches and warlocks have done it forever,” says Boland, “but a new moon is an extra good time, and a new moon eclipse is a triply good time.
“It's the start of the new lunar cycle and there is a lot of energy in the air.”
To make your wishes, Boland advises that you write down your top 10 dreams, making sure to add some ‘action points’ after each wish, mapping out exactly how you plan to make your dreams come true.
“The process needs to be as practical as it is magical,” she says.
Boland continues: “Afterwards you can burn the list, for best results. Burning it releases your wishes into the ethers and lessens your attachment to the outcomes which paradoxically increases your chances or manifesting your dreams.
“Or if you're a bit of a sceptic and want proof later, keep the list somewhere you can find it in six months, to check (eclipse energy lasts about six months, until the next eclipse season begins).”