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There’s a lunar eclipse tonight (May 26th).

If you haven’t seen one, they’re actually kind of interesting (if a bit boring). And they take forever–unlike in the movies, where the whole event is over in a matter of moments. The moon actually sits in the umbra (earth’s full shadow) for about 14 minutes. In total, the whole thing takes a few hours.

But what is a lunar eclipse?

Simply put, it’s when the earth’s shadow covers the moon due to aligning with the sun. Of course, the term ‘total lunar eclipse’ is only applied if the moon is full. Any other phases, and the results are a partial eclipse. And the same goes for the sun’s solar eclipse.

lunar eclipse

Here’s what happens:

First, the Moon moves into the penumbra–the part of the Earth’s shadow where not all of the light from the Sun is blocked out. Part of the Moon’s disc will look dimmer than a regular full Moon.

Where things get interesting is when the Moon moves into the Earth’s umbra, where direct light from the Sun is totally blocked out by the Earth. This means the only light reflecting off the Moon’s disc has already been refracted, or bent, by the Earth’s atmosphere. And the moon turns red.

This redness is due to the fact that blue wavelengths are too short to pass through the earth’s atmosphere. Red wavelengths, on the other hand, have no problem getting through because they are longer. But color wavelengths are a whole other scientific subject.

So why is this such a big deal for witches?

Well, eclipses are harbingers of change, whether they be lunar or solar. A lunar eclipse like the one tonight is an emotionally turbulent time.

But that’s a good thing.

Think of it as a type of cleansing. The eclipse is basically resetting the current emotional cycle and bringing hidden truths into the light. It’s sort of like pulling The Tower during a tarot reading; it signals the end of something built on falsehoods and warns to expect the unexpected. This can bring an abrupt and sudden change, but consider it a sign from the Universe that you are heading in the right direction. Don’t forget that endings make way for things that are new.

Suggestions for tonight:

  • Put your crystals and charms out to reset them to a blank state (you’ll need to bond with them again)
  • Perform rituals of releasing and cleansing
  • Talk about growth and change, letting go of things that no longer benefit you

And be ever-mindful, for the energies of this eclipse will extend over the next three months.

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