April 2015: Dragon's red Moon

Written on 28/March/2015 by

red moon

In the same way last month we could see a solar eclipse in Europe, this April 2015 will bring us a lunar eclipse that will be visible in most of the American Continent, where the eclipse will be partial, and so the moon will turn red as in the picture on the left.

A curious thing is that this eclipse occurs just the day before the Dragon's month begins according to Chinese Astrology, and also occurs while the Moon is next to the constellations of the horn and neck of the dragon, which represent the head of a dragon... so with a bit of imagination it's as if the moon was swallowed by the dragon for a few hours!

Here we can see the moon eclipsed on April the 4th, and on his left these constellations:

The sky during the lunar eclipse of April 4, 2015

It is also the case that the constellation of the Horn is the first of the 28 Chinese constellations, and so it is considered a good omen to start new projects on these days, then the fact that it coincides with the beginning of the dragon's month also points in the same direction... but as there is a lunar eclipse at the same time it could be interpreted as a bad omen... as if something unexpected would occur at the beginning of projects around these days.

But my opinion is that those changes or unexpected events do not have to be necessarily bad, it could mean a need to improvise on the fly, but also some kind of pleasant surprise, something unexpected that help us... it is best to live the present and see things when they actually happen, being prepared for the worst but hoping for the best ;-)

And depending on where one lives it can be worth trying to see this eclipse, in Europe and Africa will not be visible at all, but in most of the Americas should be worth to wake up early on April 4 to try to see a stunning red moon hiding below the horizon, on this map you can see the areas where the eclipse will be visible:

Map of the lunar eclipse of April 4, 2015

Obviously this lunar eclipse coincides with the full moon ... as all eclipses of this type, roughly, there can only be a solar eclipse during the new moon, and a moon eclipse when the moon is full, it seems obvious but a lot of people don't know it!

And on April the 5th, the Dragon's month will begin, this combined with the trends of the year of the Wood Goat will result in a month where projects and situations may evolve with energy and determination, as taking off and ascending upwards, but not in a direct way as in a straight line, but rather by going up in circles little by little.

This is because the goat and the dragon doesn't understand each other very well at all, so it is likely that during this month contradictory and unexpected situations will occur, where the key to success will be simply to have patience and try to see everything in a calm and practical way, not very far from Nature Wisdom.

Dragon flying through the sky in April 2015

Also coinciding with the lunar eclipse and the beginning of the Dragon's month, a Chinese festival called Qingming takes place, which is comparable to the November the 1st festivity of Western culture when we remember loved ones who have died with various events and ceremonies, typically in cemeteries.

In this case the traditional day to do this in Chinese culture is exactly 104 days after the winter solstice, which this year falls on April 5, but other years may be the day 4th; it's a day where it is customary to visit the graves of loved ones, clean them, take some kind of offering which is then burned to send it to the other world.

But it is curious that even being such a solemn celebration there is also room for joy, and it is also a day where it is traditional to go out and enjoy the spring, being customary to eat a kind of green dumplings made with rice and barley grass:

Empanadillas verdes chinas

In other words, visiting the graves of ancestors is not incompatible with doing a picnic in the countryside soon after, I understand that idea as "enjoy life and family while we are alive and health without forgetting our ancestors".

In China this day is a national holiday just since 2008, although it is generally considered that the graves can be visited 10 days before and 10 days after April 5, this way everyone can have a chance to do it in time; and is also one of only three national holidays when highways are free in China, others being China's National Day (October 1) and the Spring Festival that marks the Chinese New Year.

Another curious fact is that this festival serves to classify teas, so that those which are collected before the Qingming are more expensive because they are considered to have a more subtle and exquisite aroma than those collected later.

Also at this time, April 6, Uranus, the Sun and Earth are aligned, and almost also the Moon and Mercury with them, this is best understood in this graph:

The solar system during the conjunction of Uranus in April 2015

In the sky it will look like this:

Heaven during the conjunction of Uranus in April 2015

The Chinese constellation where the conjunction occurs is called "Astride", depicting a person jumping a wall, one leg on each side of it, it could be a thief entering our property or a family member fleeing secretly for a dark reason... then it's basically a bad omen, in particular is considered to be a time where you should beware of physical security issues, not to let doors or windows open when it is not wise or necessary.

By the middle of the month, the 17th, it's the least distance from the Moon to Earth, called perigee, in this month almost coincides with the new moon (April 18), then on April 29 the moon will be at its farther point from Earth (apogee):

Schematic showing what the apogee and perigee

Coinciding with the third day of the third moon of Goat's year, on April 21, there was a custom of celebrating in China the festival known as double three (三月三), also called the Woman's Day, but it has nothing to do with the celebration of the International Woman's day every March 8.

In the case of this traditional Chinese festival, it was a day where women left the house for a little excursion through the countryside, usually going up some river or the like, it was like a kind of spring picnic, this picture tries to recreate it:

Recreation festival Chinese women, 21 April 2015

But it happens that behind this festivity was the fact that in ancient China most women had their movements and initiatives quite limited, so they had no choice but to be at home most of the time and when going out it was to work, working in the fields or the like, then this was a day where women had "holidays" once a year and could simply hike to enjoy life.

So, over the years it stopped being celebrated in most parts of China, I understand that due to woman's situation improving, and where it's celebrated today different things are done, such as planting orchids, doing cleaning rituals for good luck... formerly was said to be "the day birds and butterflies come back, so seeing a yellow butterfly means that you'll be lucky, but if it's white means mishaps occur, also seeing a snake this day is a very good omen".

Furthermore, in April begins to be possible to see Shooting Stars in the night sky quite often because on the 15th the meteor shower known as The Lyrids begins and on 19th The Eta-Aquarids; the maximum of the first is on April 22 and one must look to the star Vega to see them, which is the brightest star in the Lyra constellation, hence the name Lyrids, this is a meteor shower quite variable and unpredictable, and generally of low intensity, so if you get to see some of its shooting stars, that sure is a sign of very good luck;-)

Starfall in April 2015

As for the eta-Aquarids, although beginning in April, the highest is on May 5, heralding the beginning of the month of the snake, and to see them you have to look towards the constellation of Aquarius as its name suggests; what is called "shooting stars" in this case are remains of comet Halley which separated from it hundreds of years ago and now when the Earth collides with them, they disintegrate in the atmosphere looking as shooting stars.

Well, so this is what the dragon's month will bring us, at least from a practical point of view, from a more metaphysical level I think it will bring a lot of imagination and energy to things that are in harmony with their environment, so they will be able to thrive strong following the path of the dragon ^_^

Nacho, the webmaster

Nacho (the webmaster)

During many years an unhappy Unix sysadmin, in 2004 began making this website, mostly in spanish, and tried to live my life in a more sensible way.

I was born in Spain 45 years ago, in 1999 moved to Madrid and began my short sysadmin career, then in 2008 moved to a small sailing boat and have being going from one place to the next until 2018, when I settled down in the Azores islands.

You can see my whole profile here.


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