Everything you need to know about the total lunar eclipse
Dark emotions and new beginnings? How, when, and why you need to see the rare ‘super blood moon’
image Bertie Warner
words Eve Walker
A total lunar eclipse is coming May 16, beginning at 2:32am and lasting until 7:50am. In astrology, eclipses represent dark emotions; they bring major endings, realisations as well as unexpected meetings and partings.
While lunar eclipses happen 2-5 times a year, total lunar eclipses, or super blood moons, happen just once every 2-3 years on average. Although, in 2022 we will see two total lunar eclipses, the next occurring on November 8. A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the Sun’s light and thus causing two shadows to fall across the lunar surface. All three planets have to align for an eclipse to happen.
How do I see it?
The full eclipse will be best seen from the UK between 4:29am and 5:06am. It will also be fully visible in South America, most of North America, parts of Europe, and Africa. For best views, escape light pollution where possible and go to a point as high up as possible. Don’t forget to protect your eyes!
What makes it a super blood moon?
During a lunar eclipse, when the moon passes through Earth’s umbra (a full, dark shadow), red light reflects off the lunar surface, which is why it sometimes appears red (hence the name “blood moon”). Depending on dust in the atmosphere, the Moon can appear a range of other colours – orange, brown and even virtually invisible. Earth’s atmosphere scatters and filters different wavelengths of light; shorter wavelengths like blue light scatter outwards, while long wavelengths like red light are bent into Earth’s umbra. During this period, the moon appears 7% larger and 15% brighter than a Full Moon because it is near to perigee; the closest point to Earth in its orbit.
Enough science, what does a blood moon mean in astrology?
Astrologically, a Super Blood Moon is said by mystics to be three times more energetically potent than a full moon due to its closer proximity to Earth. The Moon has spiritual significance in a multitude of cultures and time periods; the Muslim calendar is based on lunar months; in Pagan beliefs, the Moon is associated with divine feminine energy; in ancient mythology the Moon was regarded as the anti-sun, providing new possibilities and shining bright through the darkness.
May’s Full Moon – nicknamed the Flower Moon in Native American cultures – represents the spring transformation from seed to bloom. The idea is that, just like the nature around us, this is the time to shed our old skins and come into full blossom. According to astrology, this month's moon takes place in the sign of Scorpio, which also represents transformations. This eclipse ushers issues of power, control, and secrecy to the surface; so be prepared to make room for new beginnings and let go of everything holding you back to reach your full potential.
Some astrologers and mystics advise not to manifest or perform any rituals on a lunar eclipse. As the moon is blocked, it is said that its energy can’t be used as it usually would in a full moon. If you like to manifest or engage in rituals, try something like journaling or any exercises that promote self-reflection during this time instead.