Here on Earth there is one moon that orbits the planet. Together the earth and the moon orbit the sun and occasionally, all three line up to create spectacular occurrences called eclipses. Solar eclipses happen only at new moon and when the moon is between the earth and the sun and the three celestial bodies form a straight line: earth - moon - sun. Lunar eclipses happen only at full moon and when the earth is between the moon and sun and the three celestial bodies form a straight line: moon - earth - sun.
Why the astronomy lesson? You may have heard that in 2014-15 a rather rare astronomical phenomenon is going to occur. It is called the Blood Moon Tetrad and it has got some people pretty excited.
A blood moon, also known as the Hunter’s Moon, occurs during a lunar eclipse. The light from the sun passes through the earth’s atmosphere and deflects onto the moon. Some call it a blood moon because the light of the sun passing through a great amount of the earth’s atmosphere turns the sun’s light red, like the low sun of a sunset. Recently, the term blood moon has been used in religious circles to apply to the full moons of the upcoming tetrad – four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons) – in 2014 and 2015.
Total lunar eclipse: April 15
Total lunar eclipse: October 8
Total lunar eclipse: April 4
Total lunar eclipse: September 28
How common is a tetrad of total lunar eclipses? Depending upon the century in which you live, a lunar tetrad may happen fairly frequently – or not at all. In the 21st century (2001-2100), there will be a total of eight tetrads, but in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, there were none at all! From the 1st century (AD 1-100) through the 21st century, there are a total of 62 tetrads. The last tetrad occurred in 2003-04, and the next one after the 2014-15 tetrad will happen in 2032-33.
Not only is this phenomenon going to be remarkable for us as we get to witness it, but some people are also excited because the dates of the blood moons line up with the Hebrew calendar, which follows the lunar cycles. They regard the upcoming tetrad as especially significant because it coincides with two important Jewish holidays: Passover and Tabernacles. The April 2014 and April 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Passover, and the October 2014 and September 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Tabernacles.
Passover is the Jewish feast that commemorates the Israelites' deliverance from their bondage in Egypt. The word “Seder” means “order” and it is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover. Reverend Claire Ogle, the executive director of Hosanna House, a local women’s shelter that offers refuge and healing to those in need, hosts an annual Seder dinner right here On the Coast. This year’s Emerald Coast Regional Seder will be held on the eve of Passover, April 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm at the Emerald Coast Convention Center in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. “Passover is a remembrance of the deliverance of an enslaved people,” explains Rev. Ogle. “It is the most celebrated holiday in history, dating back 3500+ years. It is a true spiritual celebration for all.” This very special Seder dinner will be led by minister Paul Wilbur, an award-winning Integrity Music recording artist and a well-respected and anointed Jewish scholar, teacher and minister. Paul has traveled throughout the world blessing millions with his music and anointing.
Blood moons, Hebrew calendars, astrological phenomena… what does it all mean? Whether it is science, spiritual, or both, everyone of all beliefs is invited to partake in the delicious Emerald Coast Regional Seder for an enjoyable evening of fellowship, food and knowledge.
To learn more about lunar and solar eclipses, visit the NASA and USNO.Navy.mil websites. To learn more about blood moons, visit http://earthsky.org/space/what-is-a-blood-moon-lunar-eclipses-2014-2015
. To learn more about worship leader Paul Wilbur, visit WilburMinistries.com. To learn more about Rev. Claire Ogle, her ministry and teachings, Hosanna House, or to purchase tickets and/or become a sponsoring partner with the Emerald Coast Regional Seder, please visit ecregionalseder.com and harvesthosannadestin.org.