Advent Day 21: The Great Conjunction

 

Photo by Mick Haupt on Pexels.com

Today has many significances. 

It is Solstice Day. It is the shortest day, the day of least light.

It is the 32nd Anniversary of Britain’s most deadly terrorist incident, the tragic on-board explosion which claimed the lives of all the passengers and crew of Pan Am Flight 103 and eleven people on the ground in Lockerbie, a total of 270 human beings.

It is also a time in ancient and more recent religions and philosophies when we say goodbye to darkness and think ahead to increasing light, hopefully increased enlightenment and optimism too. 

This year and this evening we are allowed to witness the planetary wonder of the Great Conjunction when the solar system’s two largest planets come so close in the night sky (from an earthly point of perspective) that they appear to be one large bright heavenly star.

Depending who you listen to, this last happened about four hundred or eight hundred years ago. From what I have heard it happens in a less dramatic way every twenty years. However, given the year we have all experienced, it does not seem appropriate to say anything to take the shine off this special astronomical occasion. If you are in a location where you can see it clearly, enjoy this phenomenon, perhaps view it as a beacon in the lead up to Christmas and a hopeful torch as we approach the unknown of a New Year.

With that thought in mind, I’ll leave you with a poem I wrote about a series of lunar events which manifested between December 2017 and January 2018. It appeared in an online magazine Until the Stars Burn Out in September 2018.

Supermoon Trilogy (3rd December 2017 to 31st January 2018)

is it ominously awesome, this repeated perigee?

uncommon perhaps but purely astronomical?

signifying foreboding or even miracle?

spanning the death of one year

of the next its birth though 

how often this on earth

occurs I do not know

or even pretend

to begin to 

know

so

is it history?

a supermoon once

then a supermoon twice

the moon appearing of extra size

during the bimester thrice seeming to grow

with fulsome lucence in winter skies spell-casting 

her fluence over Advent, Hanukkah, Solstice 

and Christmas, visiting the New Year 

a wolf supermoon rampant before 

and blue blood supermoon 

rising far beyond

Epiphany

so 

does it 

a mystery

disclose that 

when revisiting she 

with constant hypnotic 

glows upstages pyrotechnic 

show-off meteor shower shows?

instead of seeking portents in the sky

which some would label lunacy let us for now

declare in time of gloom enlightenment is truly rare

be it mind or heart or supermoon, welcome every steady beam

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