With just a few days left until the highly anticipated super blue blood moon on Jan. 31, 2018, many of you are probably wondering what exactly is the meaning of a blood moon. Fortunately, it doesn’t mean that blood will rain down on the moon, nor is it an evil omen signifying the end of all days. In fact, blood has nothing to do with it, other than the crimson red color that mysteriously takes hold of our favorite light in the sky.
A “blood moon” is essentially a poetic name for what’s technically called a “total lunar eclipse” that occurs during a supermoon. On an ordinary day, the moon gets its shine from direct sunlight reflecting on its surface, but during a lunar eclipse, the moon moves through the Earth’s umbra (the darkest and most central area of Earth’s shadow). During this time, the Earth, moon, and sun are almost perfectly aligned. You’d think this would make the moon go completely dark, but instead, the moon gets illuminated by indirect sunlight (which surprisingly makes things far more interesting).
This is where the color red comes in. The atmosphere acts as a filtration system for sunlight, causing a color shift known as Rayleigh scattering, according to TimeandDate.com. This is, coincidentally, the same phenomena that creates all the many vibrant colors in the sky during sunrises and sunsets. Since the moon is only absorbing a tiny amount of sunlight and the color red is least altered in the filtration process, you get — voila! — a blood moon.
Scientific explanations aside, there’s a weightier reason why all of humanity has observed blood moons with reverence since the beginning of time (and countless astrological articles analyzing its significance are published every day).
A supermoon is like every other full moon except infinitely more powerful. The closer the moon is to the Earth, the more intense are the pull on the tides, as well as all of your instincts, feelings, and overall complications in life. When a supermoon is combined with a total lunar eclipse, you get one strong cocktail of cosmic forces. An eclipse symbolizes beginnings, endings, culminations, and clean slates.
Whether you’re ready for it or not, an eclipse is the perfect time to finally make a decision you've been afraid to make, to add your final touches to a project that’s been driving you mad, to break off a relationship that lately has been feeling like dead weight, to gather up the courage to ask your crush out, to finally start writing that novel, to quit your dead-end job and follow your dreams. Eclipses are necessary times that book-end the period of life you've been living in. Basically, this story is over but a new one will begin tomorrow. No matter where you're at in life, the eclipse will push you out of our comfort zone. This might result in success as much as it could in failure but one thing's for sure: by the time it's over, you will have grown.
Basically, we’re actors in a play the universe has been writing and when the eclipse comes to town, it wants to see a climactic moment. I’m sure you’re beginning to feel the engines revving into action, the butterflies swarming your stomach, your heart beating a little faster than usual as you prepare for the final countdown.
As intense as this moment might feel, don’t worry too much. For as final as an eclipse can seem, it also gives us a second chance with a new beginning since a fresh lunar cycle will start the next day. All full moons bring your deepest desires and feelings to the surface but an eclipse yanks it out of you, then sets it free. This can give you a sense of completion or a sense of emptiness. No matter which direction the eclipse decides to take you in, it’ll force you to let go of all your worries by the time its over and start again.
On Jan. 31, the super blue blood moon will be in Leo, and Leo is not one to shy away from a challenge, to hide behind the curtains nervously awaiting their cue. Leo is the star of the show, baby, and they’re not going to let this play be a boring one. If you’re feeling the trepidations of things going awry, you might as well not think about it too much. This super blood moon in Leo is bringing in the fireworks, one way or another.