A solar eclipse is caused when a new moon moves between the sun and the earth, blocking out the sun’s rays and casting a shadow over parts of the Earth. It is a rare event and each one can only usually be seen from a limited area. The shadow of the moon isn’t actually big enough to cover the whole planet, so the shadow is always limited to a certain area. The area changes during the course of the eclipse as the Earth and the Moon are constantly moving.
Then you have a partial eclipse when the moon only partly covers the sun causing a half shadow (called a penumbra).
An annular solar eclipse is when the moon’s disc is not big enough to cover the entire sun and the outer edges of the sun remain visible and form a ring of fire in the sky (sounds like a song title…).
A total solar eclipse happens when the moon completely covers the sun.
A real rarity is a hybrid solar eclipse or an annular total eclipse, this occurs when the same eclipse changes from an annular to a total solar eclipse or vice versa, along the eclipse’s path.
You can only see a solar eclipse if you are on the planet Earth where the shadow of the moon falls, the closer you are to the centre of the path of the shadow the larger the eclipse looks. In most places a total, annular or hybrid eclipse will look like a partial eclipse because the darkest point of all solar eclipses is only visible from a small area.
A solar eclipse can only happen when the sun, the moon and the Earth are in a perfect or nearly perfect straight line. This alignment is called a syzygy. This alignment actually happens around the new moon every month. However, there isn’t a solar eclipse every month because the new moon has to be in a lunar node. This means at two points where the moon’s orbital path around the Earth meets the Earth’s orbital plane around the sun, the ecliptic meet. It’s all to do with the angle of the ecliptic. The sun needs to also be close to the lunar node, so it can form a near perfect or perfect line with the moon and the Earth.
I know this goes without saying but NEVER look at the sun eclipsed or not, without wearing proper protection over your eyes. The sun is a big fiery ball of hot stuff, it will burn your eyes and can cause huge amounts of damage. If you want to look at a solar eclipse use a pinhole projector (you will find instructions on how to create one on Google or You Tube).
As an eclipse happens on a new moon then it carries new moon magic, but as the sun and the moon are in the shenanigans together it brings a combined and super charged energy. It will amplify the characteristics of the sun sign that it happens in and also amp up all the magic of a new moon; new beginnings of all types, planning new ventures, taking the initiative, new jobs, change, positive energy, luck, growth and abundance.
To me it also brings about changes, a huge big oomph of transformative power to bring change in quickly. As the sun emerges from the darkness it also symbolises rebirth and stepping from the dark into the light, so it is a good time to really take hold of those demons you have been stashing away (not literally, in your basement) and release negative patterns and move forward. As the moon blocks the sun focus on any blockages you have and as the sun begins to emerge release them.
Basically during an eclipse we experience a mini year, the sun is whole, then partially or completely dark then we see it again in all its glory, it has cycled through a complete year – the energy of a full circle. There is a weird stillness when an eclipse happens, as if everything in the world just comes to a grinding halt, just for a few moments. Relish that quiet time, it is very special, it is a ‘between’ time.
You don’t have to be able to see the eclipse to work with the magic, it isn’t visible in all parts of the world, but the energy is there to tap in to. Take into account the sun sign you are in when the eclipse happens as it will amplify that energy. If the eclipse is near or even on a solstice or equinox then it will carry the characteristics of that but ramped up, make use of it! Sit in meditation outside if possible and see what insights you can gain when the eclipse happens. Light a candle and send up a wish or your intent. Use the eclipse to set your intentions and layout your goals. Set out some of your crystals or magical tools to charge them with eclipse energy.
It is a very special event and brings that little something extra with it so make sure you take advantage of this super beefed up energy.
Taken from: Pagan Portals Sun Magic by Rachel Patterson