Gods are Hard for Mortals to See: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky
The first new moon of the season happens Saturday, Oct. 14, when the moon is at apogee, as far away from us as it can get. This moon will also eclipse the sun, but not entirely. When the moon is at apogee, it doesn’t appear big enough from our perspective to block the sun all the way, so a dramatic ring of fire appears around it.
Sun and moon will be among the stars of Virgo at this weekend’s eclipse, a constellation often associated with the Ancient Greek goddess Demeter. Demeter was the mother of the gods, the uncreated light, and her tragic tale involved the abduction of her daughter Persephone.
In classical times, the tale of Demeter and Persephone was celebrated in the mystery rites of spring and fall, where neophytes learned self-knowledge and the workings of destiny in the lesser mysteries of the spring; and about life before birth and after death in the greater mysteries of the autumn.
In mythology Demeter left the Olympian gods and wandered the earth, disguised as a mortal, despondent over the loss of her daughter. She was taken into an elite family where a much longed-for son had been born, to be his nursemaid, but, she offered no traditional nursing. Instead, she placed him each night in sacred fire, grooming him through the flame for immortality.
I imagine this week’s annular eclipse is like this, where we, like the moon, are placed within the divine flame of the sun, there to be nourished in our immortal aspect, which can strengthen us for tasks ahead.
In the Homeric hymn to Demeter it is written that “gods are hard for morals to see,” so make ready, mark the moment, and seek the divine.