Pagans celebrate solar eclipse as a 'New Beggining'
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Pagans celebrate solar eclipse as a 'New Beggining'

Wooldridge, Missouri, US – For the Pagan people of the Oak Spirit Sanctuary, Monday's total solar eclipse was a spiritual experience as well as a spectacle.

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Pagans celebrate solar eclipse as a 'New Beggining'

Wooldridge, Missouri, US – For the Pagan people of the Oak Spirit Sanctuary, Monday's total solar eclipse was a spiritual experience as well as a spectacle.

25 August 2017 Friday 17:43
Pagans celebrate solar eclipse as a 'New Beggining'

Located in the Bible Belt of the United States, the Oak Spirit Sanctuary is one of the largest spaces for Pagan practice in mid-Missouri. Those who practice Pagan worship are a small minority and are often fearful of judgements and repercussions due to misconceptions over their rituals and beliefs.

Pagan beliefs focus on human relationships with the earth. Nature and the seasons have significance.

In Pagan worship, a solar eclipse is seen as the union of the sun and the moon. Pagans call on those who witness the solar eclipse to look into the dark parts of themselves.

The sanctuary drew hundreds of campers due to the unique nature of their events, as well as their location - Wooldridge is on the path of totality and, as a rural area, is far from light pollution.

Pagans believe eclipses are times for communing with their gods and goddesses due to heightened energy during such a rare cosmic event.

A solar eclipse represents a time for personal transformation, as well as transformation for the world at large.

To Pagans, the solar eclipse is seen as a new beginning and a sign of growth.

Pagans camp at Oak Spirit Sanctuary the night before the total solar eclipse.

Pagans gather in a circle around a fire before a Thelemic ritual to Nuit - the goddess of the sky.

Standing in the ritual circle, Pagans look to the sky before the start of the total solar eclipse.

PJ Kemper points to a drawing in honour of the eclipse. Each element represents the eclipse or an element of spirituality.

PJ Kemper is an artist and self-identifies as a "burner". Burners follow a lifestyle relating to Burning Man, travelling and creating art and music wherever they go.

Frater Dominion meditates in preparation for the total solar eclipse.

Rachel Hermes, Hollie Hermes and Johnny Carcaz lay in the meadow to view the eclipse. The group came from Kansas state.

Don Breuer and Patrick Bollinger drum as the solar eclipse gets closer to reaching totality.

Phoennix Norton raises her arms to the sky and sings as the sun reaches closer to the point of totality.

Priestess Kerry Lynn sings and dances in celebration and praise before the eclipse reaches totality.

Kerry Lynn embraces Nicole Blank moments before the eclipse reaches totality.

Nicole Blank as the sun completely disappears behind the moon. Blank describes herself as an "eclectic witch", as she does not subscribe to a specific doctrine.

From left, River Higginbotham, Lisa Bruce, Kendal Gravitt and Bryant Biek stare in awe at the sun after witnessing totality. They have been involved with the sanctuary since 1991.

The moon is perfectly aligned with the sun as totality of the eclipse is reached. "If that wasn't magic, I don't know what is," said Pagan Samantha Walker of Hannibal, Missouri.

Aljazeera

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