What the Stars are Whispering at Eclipse

There’s a Lunar Eclipse overnight Thursday to Friday this week, November 18 to 19, 2021, inaugurating the second season of shadows for the year, visible over all of North and South America (and elsewhere ~ click this map for more).

The eclipse happens when Moon is near its apogee, the place on its orbit that’s furthest away from us. Because of this, it won’t be total, but nearly so, with 97% of the Moon’s surface draped in shadow.

The Moon will be in the region of Taurus at eclipse, with the star cluster of the Pleiades nearby. The Pleiades are the most storied about group of stars in the sky, oftentimes associated with the mighty foundations upon which all things are created.

A nearly Total Lunar Eclipse occurs overnight Thursday to Friday, November 18 to 19, visible for all of North and South America. Image from MSU’s Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar.

Pleiades marks the left shoulder of Taurus the Bull, and at this time of year, this region of sky comes to its highest place. Normally, on the November Full Moon, Pleiades would be washed out by the moonlight, but this year, something different is going on, because the light that would otherwise diminish these stars is diffused. So what might that mean?

The clue is in an Ancient Egyptian house shrine depicting the Pharaoh Akhenaten, and his wife, Nefertiti, carved when the point of Vernal Equinox moved through the region of Taurus stars. Here there’s an interesting array of intermediary spiritual beings, often, though mistakenly, I think, described as their children. One of these beings stands directly over the left shoulder of Nefertiti, exactly where we find Pleiades in Taurus. She has her arm extended up through Nefertiti’s neck, where the larynx is in human physiology. It’s as though she’s drawing down the organ of speech from the foundations of world becoming, right into the human form.

In this imagination, the horns of Taurus become the ears and Eustachian tubes, all of it suggesting that the organs we have for speaking and listening are a sacred gift from the stars, the astro-logos, that would become, through us, an astro-sophia, star wisdom.

This week, we are called to sense this mystery, through the shadows.

Stay tuned for more ways to engage with the eclipse season, when eclipsed Moon diffuses the light that would diminish Pleaides November 18-19, and totally eclipsed Sun unveils Venus in the daylight, December 4th,


As always, hear this episode on Interlochen Public Radio and my Storyteller’ Night Sky podcast.