December Solstice 
Total Lunar Eclipse
Milky Moon River of Stars
Walking the Galactic Razor's Edge 
December 21, 2010
our local neighborhood
 Solstice and Christmas
enjoy the quiet moon & the milky merry

Moon River, wider than a mile, / I'm crossing you in style some day. / Oh, dream maker, / you heart breaker, / wherever you're going I'm going your way. / Two drifters off to see the world. / There's such a lot of world to see. / We're after the same rainbow's end -- / waiting 'round the bend, / my huckleberry friend, / Moon River and me. - music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer


Listen :: Sung by Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'


Solstice Greetings everyone,The Winter (Deceimber) Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere) really is the softest time of year, a velvety time to go within and gestate the seeds of a new cycle. The seeds aren't *planted* now, but they are *conceived.* I.e. this is when you sit down with the seed catalogues and decide what you would like to plant (Spring Equinox) and harvest (Autumn Equinox) in the year to come. 


At this time of year we are deeply tuned-in to the Galactic Center of our Galaxy, The Milky Way. This frothy River of stars is our Cosmic Home; and at this year's December Solstice we are sailing on that River through an eclipse of the Moon.


inspirationThe Solstice time of deep inner reflection is strangely juxtaposed with holiday parties (not to mention shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning, cooking, visiting) and other festive celebrations. Humans naturally come together at this time of greatest darkness - longest night - to await the return of the light. The key is in balancing the two. Barbara Hand Clow has this to say about Solstice/Christmas: 
"Our Gregorian calendar abuses our sensibilities! The deepest and most reflective time of the year is confused by Christmas shopping and drinking. A sweet elixir of knowing comes the day of the Winter Solstice when the light begins to return. The days near the Winter Solstice, when the Sun moves into zero degrees Capricorn, are the most mystical of the year. I meditate for hours on those days. Commercial Christmas is inserted right then, just when people are amazingly psychic and attuned! We would suggest you cancel (commercial Christmas) this year and spend (some time) reflecting (instead)." - Barbara Hand Clow


I have provided below information on the Solstice (which I hope will help you to understand the energies of this sacred time) followed by information on the Eclipse.


I wish you a safe, warm, beautiful holyday - whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice or Yule.
Tidings of Comfort and Joy
christmas carol

Carol Ann Ciocco
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December Solstice 2010
December 21 @ 6:39pm EST 

winter solstice at newgrange
In November-December the Sun begins to align with the Great Attractor and the Galactic Core on its approach to the December Solstice. My feeling after years of observation is that the acceleration effect from Thanksgiving into New Year's Eve is the direct result of the Sun's alignment with these two massive points. It feels like you can live a week in an hour or a month in a day. Think of it: gravity bends space and time. At the core of the galaxy, we have a cluster of perhaps a hundred billion stars, concentrated in one place. The Sun and the Earth align exactly with this and get caught in the time warp. This is a time to practice that Zen-on-crank approach to life for which Sagittarius is so internationally famous. - Eric Francis

I live/All of myself and do not move/I, the pursued, who madly ran/ Stand still, stand still, and stop the Sun! - May Sarton

The Solstice & The Turning of the Ages: The December Solstice is the astronomical New Year and occurs between Dec 20-22 each year. At this point, Earth's North Pole is tilted furthest from the Sun - creating winter in the northern hemisphere. Nick Anthony Fiorenza writes: "For Earth, the Winter Solstice is like a new breath beginning, when the solar fire begins to move upward through the polar backbone of Earth and her magnetic field, igniting Earth's kundalini, marking the start of another orbital cycle around the Sun."
Solstice means "sun stands still." I.e from our perspective on Earth, the Sun seems to stand still - appearing in the same place in the sky - for 3 days. The path of the sun in the sky has reached its most southern position and now will reverse its path towards the north. Here are the days of shortest light and longest shadow. Here we receive an organic pause before the Light blessedly returns, rippling in the void and dancing at the edge of darkness. Now is the time, during this Winter's Night, to gestate the whispers of our most exquisite dreams. 
In our lifetime, the Solstice Sun crosses over the Galactic Equator each December. The Galactic Equator is the place where the plane of our Solar System and the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy intersect in the direction of the Galactic Center. This intersection creates a cross in the sky. Nick Anthony Fiorenza calls this The Holy Cross. 
Shamanic Astrology ( teaches that the Winter Solstice Sun hanging out in this powerful area of the sky is an indicator of 'The Turning of the Ages'. However, this is not to be confused with the approximately 2,200 year cycle which describes our movement from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius. The Winter Solstice/Galactic Equator cycle spans 26,000 years (sometimes referred to as a Platonic Year); it is the culmination of the entire cycle of ALL of the zodiac signs moving in and out of their 2,200-year cycles. It is a moment of returning to zero-point or beginning. Clearly this cycle is of much larger proportions, especially when we realize what this landmark has traditionally meant:
we are on the Orion arm"The largest cycle the human senses can perceive is the cycle of the Precession of the Equinoxes and the Solstices. It is a subtle movement. They move one degree every 72 years against the backdrop of the stars, completing one entire cycle of the zodiac in 25,820 years. The Winter Solstice point has been, and still is in some cultures, the beginning and the ending of a calendar. In May 1998 scientists pinpointed that the Winter Solstice point in the sky (for the only time in 25,820 years) formed an exact alignment with the place in the sky where the Milky Way intersects the solar system in the direction of Galactic Center. This exact alignment dramatically heralds the end and the beginning of a 26,000 year cycle." - Daniel Giamario and Cayelin Castell, The Shamanic Astrology Handbook
The Winter Solstice brings us a stream of light and information from the Galactic Center, the Core of our galaxy (The Milky Way). The Galactic Center just happens to be a Black Hole, and the message from this powerful vortex Core is always LOVE, even if it is ferocious at times in its relentless pursuit of filling us with that Love. A black hole is a massive monstrous hole in space that swallows up everything that reaches the event horizon - it's point of boundaries. When you reach that point, you can't turn back even if you want to. Real Love is a point of no return. In your ongoing spiritual journey, Love WILL swallow you up. It will break your heart open. It will eat you alive. It is inexorable and unavoidable. In that death-by-love you will dematerialize and re-form, somewhere over the milky (way) rainbow.
Gaze at the sun at dawn or dusk as it remains pasted in the sky in the same place for 3 days. It's almost like a tunnel you can walk into, like the image of the 'Stargate' in the movie of the same name. Use this sacred moment of stillness to consider your past and dream of your future.

We're thirty thousand light-years from Galactic Central Point,
We go 'round every two hundred million years;
And our galaxy itself is one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

- 'The Galaxy Song,' by Eric Idle


Click Here to hear the song:

Total Lunar Eclipse 
December 21 @ 3:13am EST


What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. ... then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair. - George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life


Push darkness away - shrouded in a southern sun - moon blinking at you. - @DarkHaikuMoon



A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon. In this alignment, the shadow of the Earth falls upon the Moon, dimming the Moon and giving it unusual coloring, ranging from muted gray to coppery orange. With the Total Lunar Eclipse we enjoy a celestial canvas of superb beauty.


peekabooThis our first Total Lunar Eclipse in 3 years. (The last one was in February of 2007 - do you remember that one? It was a frozen night and the moon glowed orange. Expect a similar show this week.)


Unlike the Total Solar Eclipse, it is completely safe to look at a Total Lunar Eclipse. And so, keep looking up:


The Eclipse will be perfectly visible (weather permitting of course) from 1:32am to 5:20am EST. The Moon will enter Earth's much darker umbral shadow of the Sun at 1:32am on Dec 21 in the Eastern time zone, US (10:22pm Dec 20 on the West Coast of US). 68 minutes later the Moon is entirely within the shadow and sails on within for 74 minutes (the longest possible duration is 107 minutes). The vaguer shading of the inner penumbra can continue to be readily detected for perhaps another 20 minutes after the end of the umbral eclipse. Thus, the whole experience ends at 5:20am EST (with the re-brightened Moon now dropping down in the northwest sky). - Astronomer Guy Ottewell


The zenith (when the eclipse is overhead) lies just off the coast of southern California and Baja Mexico. Astronomer Raymond Brooks notes: "This is a beauty of a chance to see a Total Lunar Eclipse from Machu Picchu around the time of the solstice. The Inca would have flipped over this one!" as it is nearly directly overhead.


Info from NASA on the Eclipse: 


Meditation and Prayer for the December Solstice



Pictorial of the Astronomy of this Eclipse by Cayelin Castell



This is an amazing opportunity to see a Total Solar Eclipse while soaking up the Solstice energies which are so important to our journey on earth. Enjoy!

Effects of a Lunar Eclipse
Let's Do the Emotional Time Warp Now

During a total lunar eclipse it is as if we fast-forward through a Moon cycle, from full light, to shadowed light, to full again. A door closes and a new one opens in a brief 3-hour time slot. In other words, Total Lunar Eclipses are an opportunity to witness all the phases of the Moon, from Full Moon to Full Moon, in about 3 hours. This is a rapid acceleration in our space-time experience collapsing what is normally about a 30 day cycle to just over 3 hours.  Cayelin Castell


In Buddhist tradition, eclipses are holy days reserved for prayer, reflection and meditation on behalf of all beings. Our thoughts are amplified exponentially through these portals created by the alignment of Sun, Earth and Moon. Meditation, ceremony and ritual are extremely potent throughout the eclipse window, especially in the hours leading up to the central alignment. - Allison Rae

Full Moons generally illuminate what's been held in the subconscious. A Full Moon Lunar Eclipse greatly amplifies this effect; so Lunar Eclipses have a high emotional quality to them. Results of past actions reach a point of culmination and fruition, and we have the opportunity for major breakthroughs, emotional release, and new perspectives. Already-building undercurrents are brought to the surface where we are forced to address them. It can reveal circumstances and relationship issues that we may have had a feeling about but have so far ignored, downplayed, avoided. Whatever stands in the way of embodying our true purpose is reflected back to us in high intensity.
third eyeIn addition, Eclipses in general are experienced as rips in the fabric of time. The biological rhythm of night and day is altered as the 'luminaries' interact with earth in odd ways - light becomes dark, dark becomes light. Dancing with these cycles, Eclipses reach backward and forward in time. Portals of possibilities open, revealing a glimpse of the future or creating an opportunity to temporarily revisit and make peace with the past.
Expect old emotions, old issues, things that you hoped you had left behind to pop up in the night, at the foot of your bed: The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Your dreams of the future may seem like they are being held hostage by the old ruts of your past. The internal struggle under a Total Lunar Eclipse is between your past, present and future selves.


Lunar Eclipses also bring to your attention those areas of your physical life - your life in the world of form and matter - that are causing you emotional pain and holding you back. 


April Elliot Kent writes: At a Lunar Eclipse our ability to transmit and receive light (the Moon) - to channel and midwife divine inspiration - is trumped by the impulses of pure worldliness (the Sun). Sometimes, it's the worldliness of physical disease or limitation that casts a long shadow; other times, the pain of Earthly need and loss. You may not have any solar light of inspiration to send out into the world, and only limited light might now be able to reach your barren, lunar surface. Perhaps all you can reach out for and rely upon is the real, the tangible... the worldly."


Spirit must bow to physical matter. We can use the ancient holiday rituals - which bring humans into grateful contact in the darkest nights of the year - to touch into the physical for grounding. Come together. And truth be told, Spirit would not make any impact whatsoever if it did not have the vehicle of physical matter to work through. We can't avoid the laws of the physical. Any areas of neglect will show up now, riding on the wave of emotion. Look to your relationships  --- changes, stagnations, fears, resentments, joys, blessings --- for clues.

The best way to ground and utilize the energies available now is through prayer, meditation and spiritual practice. Eclipses are Gateways to Spirit and when in the presence of the Divine, let's pay homage with awe, wonder and communion. 

milky way from earth

Incandescent Lady, Cloaked in velvet night. Sister in the starry sky, Sweet fount of silver light. Mirror in the Milky Way, Your wisdom I embrace. For I see my life reflected, In your ever-changing face.


 -Linda Ledbetter

The Silver Gate 
The Razor's Edge of Incarnation
If you don't read to learn, you will always be chained to what your teachers knew. - N. Wylie Jones


I have a mind to confuse things, unite them, make them new-born, mix them up, undress them, until all light in the world has the oneness of the ocean, a generous, vast wholeness, a crackling, living fragrance. - Pablo Neruda


They're all bold as love, just ask the axis. - Jimi Hendrix 



The axis of the Galactic Center and it's opposite point, the Galactic Edge, is the access of The Journey of Souls. The Moon which is being eclipsed on December 21 lies on the Galactice Edge - the Silver Gate where souls lean into the stream of incarnation.


oh babieThe ancient Greeks, who received much of their knowledge from Egypt, believed that souls reside in the Milky Way between incarnations, and that there are 2 "gates" on the Milky Way. These are the Silver Gate of Gemini, through which souls descend to earth, and the Golden Gate of Sagittarius, through which souls ascend. Other versions say the souls of humans can ascend by either gate, but that the Silver Gate leads to reincarnation and the ancestors, and the Golden Gate leads beyond reincarnation. The Golden Gate is also that through which the Gods descend.


Because it is on the edge of our known world, the Galactic Edge is a portal to the incoming Light and Information from beyond the galaxy. It has the potential to bring us new inspiration, new illumination, new brain-wiring, light-infused DNA, and the juice needed to fuel a new paradigm on earth. If you meditate on this area of the sky, you will come to remember that THIS IS WHERE YOU CAME FROM. Open up to the initiatory stargate of the Journey of Souls.


So, this place in the sky was recognized by many ancient cultures as the Silver Gate, the Eastern gate of entrance to this dimension - where Souls enter the Earth realm. And we can get a clue as to what the Earth realm has in store for us when we realize that in order to get here we must pass through the Gemini Pillars of Duality. Earth is where we come to learn to balance the opposites and create the alchemy of the midpoint between them. Humanity is reaching a crisis point in its evolution of learning to achieve a perfect balance of masculine/feminine, black/white, ying/yang, dark/light.

Not much is written for the layperson about what it really means - what it really feels like - to find the midpoint of the opposites. Maybe you live there now. Maybe under this galactic-axis-powered Eclipse you can start writing the book on that.

Effects of This Eclipse
The 4 Questions 

With the Lunar Eclipse on the Galactic Center on December 21, 2010, our maturing neurological systems are bombarded with potent gamma rays right before the Solstice. Then, inspired by this potency, our species will be imprinted by the first sacred winter light; we will be jelling in all nine dimensions this winter. - Barbara Hand Clow


Yes, I am a child of the Milky Way. The night is my mother. I am made of the dust of stars. Every atom in my body was forged in a star. When the universe exploded into being, already the bird longed for the wood and the fish for the pool. When the first galaxies fell into luminous clumps, already I was struggling toward consciousness. The star clouds in Sagittarius are a burning bush. If there is a voice in Sagittarius, I'd be a fool not to listen... I'll sit back on a dark hillside and wait and watch. A hint here, a trait there. Listening and watching. Waiting, always waiting, for the tingle in the spine. - Chet Raymo, The Soul of the Night



More than meets the eye is going on this week. This Solstice Eclipse is a portal out of earth, or a portal more deeply into earth. It's a wave that you can ride if you so choose. The duration of this eclipse is 74 minutes (total possible being 107). Numerologically, 74 is an 11 (7 + 4 = 11).


reflectEleven is the quintessential Master Number. It is one of those number sequences that people see over and over as they are 'waking up' spiritually. It is a *message* that says: you are a Child of God who works with the Light, integrating it into the Darkness. 11:11 is also a portal of manifestation because when you look at the four 1's (1111) it looks like a dooray. We always say: when you see the 11:11, make a wish and send it through the doorway.


For some clues on the themes of this Eclipse in your life, think back 9 years (2001) and 19 years (1991-1992). What was going on then? Things ratchet up a notch now and you can change patterns that date back that far. And - even more important - you can strike a new note for the next 19 years. The choices you make now under this Solstice Eclipse will echo to 2029.


As mentioned above, the potential for downloads of previously incomprehensible information is mind-boggling. Much depends on what you are able to hear and understand. I suggest we all turn off the tv, put down the eggnog, get away from the mall, go outside and open our third eyes to the incoming.


The flow of information is ramped up. With backward-looking retrograde Mercury right next to the Sun at the Galactic Center - and the Moon at the Galactic Edge being absorbed by the consciousness of the Sun - information comes from both the future and 'galaxies far far away' (Silver Gate), as well as the wise elders and the past (Golden Gate).


This is a time of deep connection with our evolutionary journey. Where did you come from? Where are you going? What inside of you is blocking your blissful journey?


The Four Questions: (1) If you only had 6 months left to live, what would you do? (2) If money was no object, what would you do? (3) When was the last time you felt complete and utter Joy in what you were doing? (4) What is stopping you from doing these things and feeling that Joy right now?


black hole at galactic center
Phillip Sedgwick, in 'The Astrology of Deep Space,' makes the point that, due to the precession of the equinoxes, no horoscope (nativity) is reproducible in less than a Great Platonic Year of 26,000 earth years. But the earth, traveling in the wake of the Sun, also encircles the Galactic Center, at the rate of 500,000 miles per hour. When Galactic Points and their relation to the celestials of our system are considered, this time frame of unique individuality is increased to 250 million earth years. No two horoscopes will be exactly alike within that (literally) astronomical time frame. If we see the Galactic Center as the ground of our being, the source of our individuality and personhood, we can more fully appreciate the uniqueness which is our birthright, born of a cosmic evolutionary cycle of a quarter billion years. By this frame of reference, life on earth has seen the same skies only 12 times in its 3 billion year history; each day is truly a unique experience. 
- Alex Miller-Mignogne, author of "The Black Hole Book"