My Total Solar Eclipse Experience, Part III

Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson  *This is part 3 of 3. Click  here  to read Part 1, and Part 2,  here .

Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson

*This is part 3 of 3. Click here to read Part 1, and Part 2, here.

The sun was shining in through the tent when my alarm went off at 7am. Chris and I wanted to leave early because a) we weren't sure what the traffic was going to be like, b) Mercury Retrograde means extra time should be factored in, and c) we weren't entirely sure where we were going. Before we left, I went to thank the honeysuckle plant, and I saw that it had dropped many of its flowers through the night. I heard a voice say, "Thank you for seeing me. These are for you." And I collected the flowers with joy and thanks and put them in the jar in my car with the two flowers I had collected in GR, and the wood betony that a client had given me.

It was about 20 minutes into the trip that we stopped at a gas station "" to use the bathroom, pick up some extra water, and use their wifi to figure out where else on the eclipse line was closer and not going to be packed with 150,000 people like Hopkinsville was projected to accommodate (somehow). So while Chris filled up I found "Madisonville", which was almost an hour closer and it didn't seem that anyone was talking about. It looked good to both of us, so we were on our way through a gorgeous highway over hills and around bends through cornfields and towns. 

And when we got to Madisonville, a quirky sign with George Washington wearing eclipse glasses greeted us with a message saying, "Eclipse Chasers This Way!" with an arrow pointing left, and smaller letters saying, "Viewing in Madisonville Park". "Do you think it's going to be touristy and stuffed to the brim with people?" I asked Chris. "I don't know," he said. "Do you want to check it out?"


When we pulled into the park, a man was directing traffic. There was ample parking, and when we got out of the car, Chris happened to overhear that the people next to us had come from their way to Hopkinsville. "Yea," the man said, "the traffic was so crazy they had the National Guard directing it. We decided to turn around. And just in time, too- it's about to start."

I looked at the clock. It was an hour and a half before the time I had seen online... and then it dawned on me- the website I had looked at had only listed the start time of totality, and I had that time so stuck in my head that I had confused it with the actual start time. I whispered a thank you to our Kentucky campsite friends for putting the idea of going elsewhere into our heads. Had we gone to Hopkinsville, we may have missed the eclipse, entirely! 

The park was spacious and beautiful with rolling hills, a good sized lake, tall trees, and a frisbee golf course, and a concrete space on the edge of the park on a hill where people were vending "I saw the Great American Solar Eclipse!" T-shirts, water, and other nick-nacks. At first I rolled my eyes in judgment at the people fetishising this event, and then I understood that this is what needed to happen for a lot of people to be able to justify why they were attracted to the magic of it, so I became grateful. 

We both agreed that we wanted to be by the water, so we walked around the lake until we found a beautiful space next to it where there was a complete circle of trees and no one else around. We set up our blanket and stones and such that we wanted touched by the eclipse, and then put our eclipse glasses on- the sun was full and bright with the tiniest black little edge of the moon creeping in through the right. Immediately looking at it I felt myself panting, my heart racing, and a longing running through my entire body to connect fully into this rising energy.

I ran to my jar of flowers, separated the betony and the honeysuckle into two jars, and felt out which crystals to put in the essence with them. The honeysuckle called for chrysocolla, opal, a piece of quartz that had sat next to the sacred fire all weekend at the Sweetgrass and Sage Burn festival, and a little pebble that I had fallen in love with and picked up from the campground beach the eve before. With the wood betony, I put in a clear quart crystal, a blue phantom quartz, and an amethyst. Both essences had an equal balance of masculine and feminine energy; sun and moon. 

I stood under the sun and poured water into the honeysuckle jar, first. The hairs on my legs stood up, and the grass underneath me seemed to stand taller, too. Perhaps it was my imagination, but it really felt as though everything was responding to everything, including the people. I blessed the essence and opened the energy and connected it to the eclipse and to the sun and the moon and the trees around us, and as I connected into all of it, too. I was in complete trance, moving the way my body and the earth and the flowers were guiding me to. Every now and again I would put my glasses back on to see the moon creeping further across the sun, the marriage and consummation of balance in its entirety.

When I felt complete with the honeysuckle, I put it on the ground in the first sliver of moon shadow and went back to get the water and the jar of wood betony. Chris was sitting on the blanket with a smile on his face. I could feel him buzzing. 

"Watching you was amazing, just now. I can't even explain it. Was that the honeysuckle you just did?" 

"Thank you! And yes, it was." 

"Aww, I was hoping to do that one with you."

I was a bit shocked by this. I was still getting used to the fact that Chris was interested in actually practising energy work with me. After having undergone psychic attack and abuse in Sedona many years before, he had been playing the role of watching from afar and holding space for me for the last four years since we met. It was only recently- in the last few months- that he had decided to forgive his past experiences, cut the chords, and move back to claiming his power and his gifts in love and gratitude.

"I'm so sorry," I said. "I didn't even think to ask... I'm so used to you not wanting to do these things with me."

"That's okay," he said. "You needed space held, anyway. I willed it so that people who would negatively effect the atmosphere would walk away, and it was really interesting to observe who came forward and who stepped back, even people just wandering around."

"Thank you so much for doing that," I smiled. "I really appreciate it. You're more than welcome to go do some work with the essence, if you want. Or you can start the betony one."

He paused and I felt him hesitate, as though sensing out the timing.

"Or you could wait and do it when it gets closer to totality."

"That sounds great," he replied.

I prepared the betony and walked into the eclipse line. The honeysuckle was sitting in the shadow of the moon, and the betony was opposite it in the light of the sun. While the honeysuckle had felt light and powerfully buzz-y, the betony felt heavy and grounding in a way that still donated the power to be able to rise up. It was really the perfect mix of yin and yang, sun and moon, masculine and feminine. Divinity and divinity. Love and love.

When I finished, I went back to the blanket. Chris and I pulled some runes in the sunshine, and funnily enough, many that we pulled were those that had been coming up for us, repeatedly, as was. This was enough to prepare him, it seemed.

"I think I'm ready to do stuff," he said.

"Okay. I'll hold space." And I watched in awe as he melded with the jars and the water and the flowers and the crystals and the sun and the moon and the sky and the earth, and as just the right people walked near, and the ones who weren't ready walked past. 

When he was finished he came back to the blanket.

"YOU were incredible to watch!" I said. 

"Why thank you," he said with a half smile. "You're pretty up, aren't you?"

"Uh, yes!"

I felt like I was flying, and for the first time in a while I felt that I was completely held in surrendering to fly. Since I had undergone my own psychic abuse and trauma in different iterations from 2008-2014, I usually felt vaguely uncomfortable letting myself completely go without grounding down or rooting down, somehow. But for certain ceremonies under the right protection, that complete surrender and uplift is necessary, and that's okay- I was handing myself over to that for this.

"I'm definitely not," Chris said, even though his eyes were big, and his pupils were dilated. Though buzz-y, he felt like the energy was pulling down towards the ground. "I feel like I can't even stand," he said. "And it's not that I'm drained, or anything, it's like... well, how you're feeling like you're being pulled up, I feel like there's a magnet that's just drawing me towards the earth and energising me that way."

So we were reflecting the flowers: I was honeysuckle, and he was betony. I was balanced up, and he was balanced down. 

"This is incredible," I said in utter excitement and awe. "We should do something in the circle with the essences together!"

So we waited until the totality drew closer and started circling, clockwise, raising the energy. I felt like I had done 8 lbs of mushrooms, and I hadn't touched a single substance (other than a little caffeine) in months. The world fell away, and it was just our magick- both individually and put together- the earth, the essences, and the munsoon (the word I thought of for the sun and the moon, together), well, and, of course, the rays of Sirius, what many call our spiritual sun, shining on us from directly behind our earth's sun. Really, it wasn't just a solar eclipse: The earth was in front of the moon, the moon was in front of the sun, and the sun was in front of Sirius. As they say, "The stars were aligned". 

We walked back over to the blanket. Chris collapsed on it to feel the earth, and I couldn't even bare the thought of sitting. "It's interesting..." Chris remarked. "You're feeling pulled up, I'm feeling pulled down, and you were feeling clockwise.. I almost felt like I wanted to circle in the opposite direction of you, like I would be closing things up and you would be opening the new things." We were complete opposites- male and female, sun and moon, fire (Aries) and water (Scorpio), betony and honeysuckle. Universe was using us as vessels to play out what was happening in the sky on the ground that we stood on.

"Well let's do that for the totality, then- go opposites. If it still feels right. And then we can close the circle together, after. Like, we opened it, together, then we raise energy in opposite directions and flows, and then we close it, together." 

"Awesome!" Chris said. "Yea, sounds great."

All of a sudden we looked up to see the moon closing in. "It's happening!" I couldn't even contain my excitement. "Chris! Chris, it's happening!" I felt a rush of energy flow through my entire body, almost like I was about to achieve orgasm from the mere energetic stimulation of Universe in that moment.

Chris got up and we ran over to the essences with our glasses on. Without even thinking, when everything went dark, we pulled our glasses off and looked straight at it. Everyone at the park- there may have been a little over 400 people- howled and whooped at the same time. Including us. No one thought about it before they did it. No one talked across the park about, "Hey let's all howl when the earth-light goes out". It was instinct. Primal reaction to Universal revolution of consciousness. And apparently, it happened the exact same way throughout the entire country.

Blue light poured over us. Over everything. The people on the other side of the lake looked blue. My hands looked blue. Chris looked blue.

"Chris!" I was almost to tears but I was buzzing too much for them to come. "It's Sirius! We're seeing Sirius!" To be honest, I was so in shock and awe and overstimulation that I don't remember what he responded.

We each stood over one of the flower essence jars and held hands over the top of them. We started raising the energy from the land and the jars, up, and from the sky and the eclipse, down. We dropped hands and started circling opposite each other. Sun and moon, moon and sun, moving between each others' atmospheres, reflecting the sky. We each ended over the opposite jar from where we started and held hands over the top, again. And before we knew it, the sun was shining on us, again.

"That was incredible" was a statement that kept escaping our lips on repeat... and then it hit me. I felt like I wanted to collapse. And Chris was amped.

I went over to the blanket and laid down.

"See?" he said. "It's not like you want to pass out, or anything, it's just like this super heavy energy like you need to be on the ground. And it's really intense."

"Yea," I said. "Now I totally get it. It's like I just want to lay here and meditate, and I feel so completely connected down here."

"Exactly. And I'm totally flying. So we're definitely mirroring each other, right now. It's frickin' sweet."


I covered my eyes and fell into deep meditation. The elementals in the surrounding trees came to me and gave me their gratitude for raising such healing energy around them, for respecting them, and for seeing them. They also told me to keep spreading that outward to the world.

When the moon was in the same position on the other side of the sun as it was when we had opened the circle, Chris and I went and closed it. 

I've been shaking the essences daily, which have been sitting in the sun by day and the moon by night on my back porch in Michigan. They will be strained, purified, and bottled under the full moon on the 6th, which will be in the water sign of Pisces to add balance to the Leo energy of the sun and the moon during the eclipse.

When I commune with them I feel everything I felt that day: The groundedness, the lightheadedness, the playfulness, the seriousness. I am reminded that I am sun as much as I am moon, and I am man as much as I am woman, as I have both the divine masculine and the divine feminine within me. At that, I am reminded that everyone is just that, if they choose to coalesce and utilise the balance.

All of us as humans are fluid and divine creatures. We have the ability to harness whatever energy we need for ourselves and for others. At the heart, we are alchemists, constantly shifting and changing and pulling upon what we know and what we need to know in order to reach pure ecstasy and bliss. 

So tell me: Who are you? As an individual? As part of One? As balancer? And truly, sincerely, what is your bliss?

Sending much solar eclipse love,

xx D2S <3


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