In 1638, amongst other things, religious dissident Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Mass Bay Colony, the first permanent white settlement in Delaware was established, the first earthquake in the U.S. was recorded and poor Anne, well, as the year came to a close, she was banished from Massachusetts, which wasn’t even a state then cause, you know, there were no states then. Hell, the grandparents of those that would eventually sign a declaration of independence from a foreign country in order to establish a new country were not even a gleam in their great-grandfather’s eye.
It was also the last time the Earth’s shadow eclipsed the full moon on the Winter Solstice.
372 years ago.
I kept thinking about that as I set alarms on anything I could set alarms on. There was no way I was going to miss this. I’m a pagan, more or less, and the Solstice is one of the most important dates of the year. Add to that the Full Moon, yet another important symbol, coming into full eclipse, I mean …
As it turned out, I didn’t need the alarms. Hell, I couldn’t sleep. I kept slipping outside to look at Sister Moon, watching as her light was swallowed by the shadow of the planet she watches over. At 3 AM, I leashed up the Dudes, tucked Dudes+1 under my coat and out we went into the cold night.
At first I couldn’t see her. I’m used to her being this bright light in the sky when her face is turned fully toward us but it was much darker than usual during a full moon. I could hardly see the road I was walking on, my only sense of direction being the Dudes that were tugging at their leash. Then, halfway up the block, looking up, there she was.
I have seen a number of photos of this event but these two best sum up what I saw. Thank you to the folks at Wired.com and to photographers Rasy Ran of Dallas-Ft. Worth and Ken Sutton of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for these images. As an author who is vehemently opposed to piracy, if there is any reason you want me to remove these photos from this post, please let me know and I will do so without delay.