August 21st ushers in the first (and only) total solar eclipse of 2017. Solar eclipses are considered powerful and “unusual phenomena” in all traditions, particularly in African ones. Though there are many myths surrounding humans and our connections to eclipses only one thing is certain - solar eclipses signify disruption from usual patterns. An ushering of a new normal - a force within all of us to possess untapped powers.
In parts of Togo and Benin, it is said that when a solar eclipse emerges it is a sign of the sun and moon fighting one another. In order for this fight to stop, humans must bring peace and healing on Earth. (Good luck with that, right..) The Fon tribe (of Benin) avoid viewing solar eclipses altogether as a form of respect to the universe.
Most notably, and perhaps culturally relevant to folks living in the US - is the role of the solar eclipse in the Nat Turner rebellion. On February 1831, Nat Turner (a slave from Virginia.. yes VIRGINIA) witnessed a solar eclipse that would change the course of his life. He saw this eclipse as a sign from God to begin planning a slave insurrection. For Nat, this eclipse was a symbol of “the black man’s hands covering the sun”.
On August 21st 1831, the Nat Turner rebellion began.
So what is the point of me bringing up Diasporic understandings of solar eclipses?
For one, solar eclipses contain energy that can be channelled for ANY purpose. For peace, for redemption and all things outside and inside of our cosmic understandings. Solar Eclipses are omens - depending on the person and context they can be good or bad ones.
With this solar eclipse falling on Mercury in Retrograde - the energies around this time are especially potent.
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**Given the current social climate, these spells are centered around Afro-Diasporic understandings of resistance**