Eclipses—Ancient and Modern

Solar Eclipse - labeled for noncommercial reuse with modifications in Google Images
As many Americans have probably heard by now, there is going to be a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 and the path of totality will be sweeping (at about 2300 miles per hour) across the continental United States, starting in the Northwest and ending off the coast of the Southeast. New Jersey will only be able to see a partial eclipse, but if the sky is clear (fingers crossed), it is still an exciting thing to watch. I have seen several solar eclipses in my life and a number of lunar eclipses, which often appear as a coppery red rather than total darkness. The Bible refers to this type of eclipse as “the Moon turning to blood.” The Ewing Branch of the Mercer County Library will be having an eclipse viewing event for both children and adults called The Great American Eclipse Viewing. Information about the event will be in our August programs/events calendars.

There are many websites on the upcoming solar eclipse, but here is one that I liked from

How Long Will the 2017 Solar Eclipse Last? Depends Where You Are


The NASA website on eclipses explains all the different types of eclipses as well as a list of occurrences going back about 5,000 years.
Mask of the Sun

The Mercer County Library System has plenty of materials on eclipses for adults and children. Here is a link to the latest additions.

The eeriness of eclipses has inspired awe and fear throughout the ages. Here are two links to some of the folklore that has arisen surrounding eclipses:

Solar Eclipse Myths and Superstitions.

And for lunar eclipses see:

Lunar Eclipse Myths from Around the World.

Modern science is based on materialism, but there are billions of people world-wide who believe in a transcendent/spiritual dimension to the Universe and that all things are interconnected. This includes the belief that movements in the heavens reflect what is happening on Earth (Astrology). As above, so below.

In brief, eclipses (the paths where total eclipses are visible) have been associated with upheavals, wars and major changes in governments and their directions. The most dramatic one in recent times, pointed out by astrologers, is the so called World War I eclipse which swept across Europe on August 21, 1914. Yes, that date is the same as the one coming up. Ancient and modern astrologers allege the effects of an eclipse are often not felt/seen for several years after the event. The length of the eclipse and where in the heavens it is positioned determines the likely time of manifestation. According to the ‘rules,’ the eclipse in August 2017 will not really manifest until 2019, but inklings of what it may portend may show up around the time of the eclipse.

For those who may have interest in exploring the astrology of eclipses, here is a website which may be of interest:

Eclipses in Astrology—What Do They Mean?

Happy eclipse watching and be sure to wear eye protection before ever looking at a solar eclipse!

—Gary at Ewing Branch


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