by Nan DeGrove
“For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part but then I shall know, even as I am also known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.”
(1 Corinthians 13: 12-13)
Watching the moon sail among the clouds, like a ship with a dark sail in the vast ocean of space, brought this oft-quoted passage from the Bible to my mind. In researching the text I learned that the glass mentioned is a “looking glass” — a mirror. St. Paul wrote this as part of a letter to the town of Corinth, which was famous for its mirror factory at a time when mirrors were made often of brass and would indeed give a dim reflection.
Much can be and has been said about eclipses in astrology — calamities, upheavals, downfalls of persons in power, endings, radical change — but as I reflected on Sunday night’s moon and the visual effect of the darkening and then unveiling of her face, It seemed to me that the eclipse, in a broad sense, is about seeing. Often it seems we see ourselves, others and the world in the dark glass. Yet there are moments of illumination, epiphanies, when we may glimpse the radiant true face behind the mask — a vision of eternal, incorruptible beauty. St. Paul was speaking in evangelical terms, but the passage resonates on other levels, especially the last line’s mention of “faith, hope, charity,” a reference to the three Graces of classical Greek mythology who morphed into the three Christian virtues.
This eclipse was the last of four total lunar eclipses occurring over the past 18 months. In my previous post, I wrote about September’s unusual cluster of astrological phenomena, and the eclipse is the finale of this sequence. Eclipses are portals we pass through, sometimes without knowing it, until we turn and look back, and see there is no turning back; a new path, however uncertain, opens. As the fourth in this eclipse sequence (April 2014, October 2014, April 2015) this one invites reflection on the past cycle, and perhaps a clearer vision of the present and future. Eclipses have influence several weeks before and after the exact event.