It is a powerful celestial moment, the moon is full and just fully eclipsed, the winter solstice is upon us, and the Earth is soon to reach perihelion where we are closest in orbit to the sun. The shortest, darkest day of the year is today so what better time to duck into the dark alignments of the universe and make magic.
The full moon amps up all of our psychic abilities and is perfect for dream spells, fertility spells and spirit conjuring. Consider setting your intentions and goals for the new year not on New Years Eve but tonight with the power of the cosmos at your back!
Or borrow a solstice ritual, perhaps you’d like to:
*Cover your doorhandles with butter for Beiwe the Saami goddess of sanity and fertility, who needs fat for her journey through the dark sky to dispel winter and seek spring’s greenery…
* Repel unwanted ghosts by preparing Patjook and sprinkling it around your home or office, as the winter solstice is a notoriously haunted day on the Korean calendar…
*Give gifts of salt, coal or whiskey to your friends or neighbors to bring luck and plenitude to their households in the year to come, a tradition my pagan Irish grandmother celebrated on the solstice rather than Yule designated to the 1st by the Church.
If you think tonight’s Moon looks unusually big, you’re right. It’s the biggest full Moon of 2010. Astronomers call it a “perigee Moon,” some 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons of the year.
Johannes Kepler explained the phenomenon 400 years ago. The Moon’s orbit around Earth is not a circle but an ellipse, with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. Astronomers call the point of closest approach “perigee,” and that is where the Moon will be Friday night through Saturday morning.
A good time to look is around sunset when the Moon is near the eastern horizon. At that time, illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view. For reasons not fully understood by psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through foreground objects such as buildings and trees. Why not let the “Moon illusion” amplify a full Moon that’s extra-big to begin with? The swollen orb rising in the east may seem close enough to touch.
And what’s that bright orange star right beside the Moon? IT’S MARS! In a coincidence of celestial proportions, the Moon and Mars are having close encounters with Earth at the same time. Moreover, the two will spend Friday night gliding across the sky side-by-side…
Readers with backyard telescopes should train their optics on Mars. It looks bigger through a telescope now than at any time between 2008 and 2014…
SEPTEMBER 15 — HRANT DINK
Armenian-Turkish journalist, editor, columnist, martyr.
SEPTEMBER 15 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
China: MOON’S BIRTHDAY. Offerings of fruit are left on rooftops and in open courtyards, with lanterns burning all night on houses, pagodas, ships and river boats. Children get special candies and moon cakes. Flowers and seeds fall from the moon.
ALSO ON SEPTEMBER 15 IN HISTORY…
1782 — Congress adopts a Masonic emblem as the Great Seal of the U.S.
1889 — Writer Claude McKay born, Sunny Ville, Jamaica.
1943 — Paul Robeson gives 296th performance of Othelloin New York City.
1954 — Armenian-Turkish journalist, martyr Hrant Dink born, Malatya, Turkey.
1959 — Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev denied right to visit Disneyland.
1963 — Bomb in Black church in Birmingham, Alabama kills four young girls.
1973 — Victor Jara killed in massacre after overthrow of Salvador Allende.