Heartland pagans embrace the eclipse

The diamond ring shines through clouds as the totality of the solar eclipse ends in Liberty, Mo., on August, 21, 2017. RNS photo by Kit Doyle


BOONVILLE, Mo. (RNS) — As Americans across the country watched the moon eclipse the sun, pagans gathered here to appreciate the rare phenomenon with their own rituals. The Oak Spirit Sanctuary Solar Eclipse Celebration took place on Monday (Aug. 21) in this town in central Missouri. Low clouds covered the first 90 seconds of the totality but broke just before it ended, revealing a full view of the corona.

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KC McGinnis


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  • I’ve seen thunderstorms that were more impressive than this eclipse, though I viewed it a few miles outside the path of totality.

  • Was an amazing experience, thanks to your organization for providing such great coverage of this amazing event! Also special thanks to your photographer for taking such amazing pictures of our handfasting!

  • The awe comes from what happens behind the scenes. When I showed some people the Andromeda galaxy through my telescope they were disappointed with the view – a white elliptical blob. They were seeing an island universe of 200 billion stars millions of trillions of miles away with their own eyes but they couldn’t appreciate that with their limited imagination.

    I thoroughly enjoyed what is likely my last total eclipse.

  • Everyone I know seems to have been entranced by this event, including my wife and friends. Not so for me. It just wasn’t that spectacular. However, as you introduced the example of other astronomical phenomena, I heartily endorse such examples; Andromeda, Horsehead Nebula, etc.. These are truly awe inspiring physical manifestations of the wonder of the universe, and modern advances in our ability to view them bring them much “closer” to home. Where we obviously differ is that you view them as magnificent but random realities, whereas I view them as subjects on a vast canvas executed by a Master Artist.