Today marks this month’s New Moon, located in Gemini.  It is also an Annular Solar Eclipse that is said to produce a ring of fire (is anyone else thinking of Johnny Cash, besides me?).

This ring of fire will only be visible in certain parts of the world.  If you are in an area where you won’t be able to see it, thanks to current technology, you can watch it streaming live over the internet.  One site covering the footage is Slooh.  They will be streaming it live, starting in Japan.  Check their site for “showtimes.”

You can also watch the eclipse live from Mt. Fuji thanks to Panasonic.  Or watch footage from the Hong Kong Observatory and Space Museum.  Or check in with amateur astronomer Scotty Degenhart broadcasting from Nevada’s Area 51.

Here in the west, we are supposed to get the best views of the eclipse, the “Black Moon” and the ring of fire.  “The western United States will enjoy bizarre solar effects that only occur every few decades. In the annularity path, which will be about 147 miles (237 km) wide when hitting our shores, the black moon will stand like a bull’s-eye in front of the sun, its motion through space in-your-face obvious,” said astronomer Bob Berman, who will be a commentator on the Slooh Space Camera webcast.  “In a wider zone that includes most western states, the sun becomes an eerie narrow crescent,” Berman added. “At maximum eclipse, the lighting on the ground will grow strange. Shadows of trees and bushes will contain thousands of tiny crescents, as spaces between leaves become pinhole cameras.”  So it should be quite the sight to see.

Now this is all according to astronomers, Astrologers, of course, have a different view of the Solar Eclipse.  According to Risa D’Angeles, Astrology columnist for the Santa Cruz Good Times, the new moon as a solar eclipse signifies that something essential in our lives has come to an end.

“Eclipses signify endings and beginnings.  Lunar eclipses (at full moons) are times when exterior realities disappear. Solar eclipses are times when an inner subjective reality has completed its cycle. It disappears. These endings (and beginnings) can be subtle or very apparent. Eclipses have a six-month influence—three months before and after the new or full moon. With Sun entering Gemini the entire world begins to see duality and polarity. This is the task of Gemini—to gather and disperse all aspects (sides) of information. When we see and experience duality, what emerges is discernment and discrimination so authentic choice can be made. We (humanity) are at a crossroads in our world and, as one Age (Pisces) withdraws and the new Aquarian Age is forthcoming, important choices must be made. Our choices determine our future world. For we are to create this new world coming. Presenting duality being Gemini’s task, we thus understand Gemini’s icon of the twins, two brothers, two lights—one waxing (growing in light, the new world), one waning (lessening in light, the old world). In Taurus, we were given the opportunity to become enlightened. In Gemini we are shown the dual realities. Which “light,” which “brother,” which side will we choose?”

Other astrologers look at the “Ring of Fire” as something destructive on a global scale.  For example, when we had the SuperMoon, the craziness was supposed to revolve around the individual and their inner circles.  Where as a Solar Eclipse bringing a “Ring of Fire,” has more of a global impact, such as severe floods.  It is somehow linked to Neptune and water (some of these astrology sites are very complex in their explanations).  So this eclipse has the potential to bring about deep cleansing of the soul (as represented by the Roman Goddess Egeria, goddess of the Healing Spring).  But because the New Moon is located in Gemini on the fixed star Alcyone in the Pleiades (“Seven Sisters” star cluster), there is also the potential for a flooding of tears, sorrow and broken hearts.

In all honesty, I don’t want to think about the possible negative repercussions of this celestial event.  Instead, all I can think about, as a photographer, is “how can I take pictures of this rare event?”