TOTALITY ~ My Eclipse Experience
Is Solar Eclipse Totality really an enlightening experience?
I was at Riverfront Park in Salem, Oregon on Monday August 21/17 awaiting the upcoming Eclipse with many others. The hour leading up to Totality was lovely, everyone relaxed, settled into their spots on the grass next to the river, facing towards the bright sun in a perfect clear blue sky. Most everyone had their Eclipse Filter glasses, and shared theirs with the few people who had none.
Lots of Home Telescopes and cameras on tripods. There were little tents set up along the riverside, by folks who had travelled to Salem with no specific place to stay overnight, and so they slept that evening before in the park.
Families with little kids running around playing, well behaved dogs, people in wheelchairs, homeless folk with all their shopping cart possessions set up next to where they settled in on the lawn. It was a really lovely morning, all of us marvelling about our Perfect Weather Luck.
Lots of eclectic hippie folks, dressed up in our beads and feathers and favourite clothing. I overheard one person say it felt like Burning Man mixed with a Sunday Family picnic at the park. SO cool.
THEN …. a few minutes before Totality began, a breeze started blowing ever stronger across the park. The air temperature dropped from the 80 degree summer morning to what felt like a chilly autumn evening. The bright sunlight began to fade into twilight. The crowd started to murmur, I could hear voices rising up in excitement, “It’s Happening! It’s going to happen!”.
We had all been watching the Moon overtake the Sun through our eclipse glasses and camera lenses. A smooth transition, bit by bit, as the Moon covered the Sun, slowly but surely as the hour had passed. But then …. suddenly ….. Totality occurred!
The edge of the burning Sun shrunk smaller, and smaller …. and then was completely extinguished. All the birds in the trees of the park had gone silent. The dogs who had taken up barking just before the Totality occurred were completely quiet. The only sound was the wind blowing past and the gasps and oohs and ahhs and sighs of the people gathered, mixed with cheers and Whoo Hoo’s.
For a moment everything went dark. I found myself weeping, actually crying, it just happened, no conscious choice on my part, my eyes welling up with tears. This was unexpected for me, as I seldom cry. The emotion was so pure, not happy, not sad, not fearful. Just … all encompassing and fully engaging. So full it could only escape through overflowing tears. Wow. All the anticipated aspects of a Totality Eclipse unfolded so perfectly. Those Bailey’s Beads shining like a Ruby Red necklace, The Diamond Ring flashing just before the Moon covered the Sun completely. Flashes of firey orange solar flares. Total Darkness, no stars, All Lights Out.
And then ….. The corona of the Sun burst from behind the Moon. It was incredible to see, the sky was so black. Our world was Black & White, just the perfect circle of the Black Moon and the radiating Corona of The Sun moving in waves from behind it.
The Corona illuminated the sky into a gorgeous deep blue twilight, the sky was still very dark but had a strange pearl like gleam, with shades of teal and purple and indigo. The stars came out bright as pinpoint diamonds of light, we could clearly see Venus, Jupiter and Mercury.
The depth in the sky above was different from when you see the stars spread across a tropical beach, or at a secluded camping area, or up in the Mountains far away from civilization, with no ambient light from earth to interfere. The Sky is deep and dark and full of The Depth of the Universe in places like that, of course. But during Totality everything felt …. closer. Like you could reach out and touch it. More than simply 3-D, Eclipse Totality feels and looks like you could dive into that celestial ocean and actually swim through it.
In a world with all kinds of clever CGI and the ability for humans to create ‘pretend’ experiences of Cosmic Stuff, the one thing I understood is just how fundamentally different REALLY BEING THERE, experiencing the reality of such a thing is. Watching videos and seeing photos of it is interesting and lovely, but can never really capture the experience itself.
Our physical bodies, our minds, our spirit/souls are more than just our eyes, our ears, our usual senses. There are levels within levels of All that We Are, that for most humans, lay sleeping until something like this Totality Experience awakens them.
As the Moon began to release the Sun towards the end of that two minutes of Totality, The Diamond Ring appeared once again. But this time something completely unexpected occurred. A sort of flowing spotlight of warm sunlight radiated as a wave from the edge of that Diamond Ring towards Earth. It was like a wave in the ocean coming towards shore. We could see and feel it coming closer and closer and then suddenly we were all blanketed in Light. The light around us grew brighter and brighter and then suddenly….
The sky was bright blue once again. The birds began singing their sunrise songs, the people in the park were radiating the wonder and glorious feeling of joyful happiness that simply being there under that Moon and Sun and Sky had triggered inside them. For someone like myself who can choose to see a visual representation of other peoples energy/mood (I suppose one term for that would be seeing another persons ‘Aura’, that radiating Energy Bubble that we all have) it was especially interesting, this aftermath of Totality.
Some folks settled down to their own personal ‘normal’ pretty quickly afterwards. Some soon began packing up their picnics and blankets, cameras and such to exit the Park and get on the road to wherever they came from. Others just lay on the lawn, staring up at the blue sky. Some folks began wandering around, randomly smiling at whoever they passed. A few folks were shining like beacons of Light in my eyes. One fellow in particular, a young man in a sunhat and Kilt, he was holding a lot of that Eclipse Totality energy and Wonder in every pore of his body. And I do know that I was, indeed, I still feel it now, days later.
So, on the Question of whether or not simply experiencing a Solar Eclipse Totality somehow ‘enlightens’ the person more than they were before? Does that experience somehow change or deepen or expand the Consciousness of the human being?
I believe that it absolutely does. How can it not?
However, many people hide aspects of themselves, from themselves. They tuck away anomalies in their lives, and they process such things in whatever manner is most comfortable for them. That said, I think that experiencing an Eclipse Totality like this leaves every single person with a lasting effect. It’s just that some folks notice it more deeply than others do. Some embrace it, and nurture it. Others marvel in the moment and then forget all but the surface experience. Still, I think, it plants a seed inside them.
I have fallen asleep each night after, replaying that two Minutes of Eclipse Totality behind my closed eyelids. What a great Gift to have such a thing to relive, over and over, just by pulling it fresh from my memory. I choose to keep it as fresh as I can, forever more.
If any of you, ever, can make yourselves an opportunity to experience a Solar Eclipse Totality in your lifetime….. Do so.
That’s the best way to decide for yourselves the Question of how it affects human beings here on Earth. Experience Totality, then Look Inside.