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  • Writer's pictureTheeda

Full Moon Solar Eclipse in Leo: Survival of the Fittest

It appears as if Tahlequa (or J35, her scientific name) is over her grief. For the past seventeen days (or since the last eclipse), she has been grieving her baby. Her grief has been dramatic and public. I'm talking about an orca mother, who for seventeen months (the orca gestation period) carried the hopes of dreams of her slowly dying pod, only to see them cruelly extinguished when the baby died within a few minutes of being born. But I could be talking about Vickie Hambrick or Sheila Lee. They are also mothers whose grief has been just as dramatic and public. And seemingly just as misunderstood.

As I have lived the energy of this eclipse season, I have been aware of Tahlequa in the background. In the midst of the whirlwind of the past couple of weeks. her story of a mother's love seems to encapsulate the energy of this past two eclipses. Even though, she is not human and lives in an ocean thousands of miles away, it seems as if there's a lesson in the ongoing tragedy of her dying family and community.

The Voyeurs (scientists who study the orca) watched with fascination as Tahlequa gathered with six of her sisters the evening after the baby died. They conducted their mourning ritual over the course of the night, under the light of the bright Full Moon which was carrying the energy of the upcoming eclipse. The Voyeurs report that they stayed in the moonlight the entire night, following the moonbeams as they moved. The next day, Tahlequa started her thousand mile, seventeen day journey.

Perhaps Tahlequa and her family are fully aware that they are highly surveilled and their movements are constantly being monitored. In this respect, they aren't very different from the residents of Cayce and John Henry Hale. They also have Voyeurs (law enforcement, social service agencies, etc.) who watch them and notate everything they do. They speculate about why they do this and why they do that. The Voyeurs admit that much of the motivation driving the curious behaviors of the populations they study is adaptation to the poisonous environment surrounding them. An environment The Voyeurs created. However, they do nothing to change what they are doing. At best, they lament the fact that the populations are suffering and dying. At worst, they insist the subjects of their gaze are not worthy of life and they deserve to die, a necessary sacrifice on the altar of progress.

The energy of the last eclipse involved coming to terms with the fact that our options are severely limited and that it has become clear that our only way forward is the most hazardous and the riskiest. Perhaps that was what Tahlequa and her sisters were realizing as they conducted the funeral for the latest dead child. It's been three years since a baby has lived in their pod. One of their few infants is so ill, The Voyeurs regularly come to feed her to keep her alive. Their numbers have severely diminished over the past ten years.

Their Granny (J2) died in 2016. Granny was at least 80 years old, maybe older. Some say Granny was over 100. She had survived when the Kidnappers (hunters capturing orcas for a marine water park in 1967) came. They let her go because she was too old to have children. Granny had seen everything. But even Granny had not seen anything like this. When she died, her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren knew that a new era had begun.

The Voyeurs found it hard to believe that Tahlequa would have any sense of this as she began her journey. Perhaps Tahlequa and her family are aware of much more than we give them credit for. They know their home is changing. They see where the trash is coming from. They feel the heat from our vessels and hear the noise they make. The racket interferes with their ability to find food. They see us coming and catching all of their food with our nets and what we don't catch, the trash and heat kills. It is possible that they are very much aware that we are the cause of all of that.

If one believes that Tahlequa knows she is constantly being surveilled and that The Voyeurs who are watching her are also responsible for putting the future of her family and her species in danger, then perhaps it's possible that Tahlequa's journey was a protest. A strong and emotional statement of defiance aimed squarely at the murderers. She could have been letting us know that we are responsible for her baby's death and she knows it. She could have been letting us know that she wasn't going to let The Voyeurs take her baby's body, as she had seen them do so many times before, and do who knows what with it (the scientists have been studying the orca babies trying to determine why they are dying). She carried her baby's body until it had decomposed enough where it would fall into the ocean and The Voyeurs wouldn't be able to find it and desecrate it.

Could she possibly be grieving her child? I have observed an unsettled parallel in the attitudes of many of my neighbors in Nashville who can't seem to understand why Vickie Hambrick would be devastated over the loss of her child. As if having a felony record strips a person of any right to be considered human. Her grief is just as puzzling to them as Tahlequa's. When Ms. Vickie talks about how her only son was her eyes because she is legally blind and how she won't ever have grandchildren, they seem as mystified as The Voyeurs studying Tahlequa. When Ms. Vickie's community, many of whom witnessed this senseless act of violence, gathers around her in shock, anger, and disbelief and take to the streets in protest, they ask why. Why are they acting like that? Why are they running around blocking traffic and yelling? What is their problem?

The Voyeurs report that on August 11th, the date of the last eclipse, it appears that Tahlequa had let her baby go. They reported yesterday that she appears to have rejoined her pod. They report that she looks to them to be "surprisingly lively" as she joins her family hunting for food. But I think, that as this eclipse season winds down, Tahlequa and her family have come to terms with their limited and unpalatable options.

The energy of this New Moon is that of settling into the new reality that is before us. Yeah, it sucks. We don't know how we're going to hold on to the little that we have worked so hard for. The hope for an easy answer is long gone. But, like Tahlequa, we know we aren't alone. We have each other. We're still here and we have always survived. They ain't killed us off yet. When we come together, nothing can stop us. We have the history of success to prove it. We are surprisingly lively for people who have lived on the edge of disaster for generations.

Like Tahlequa, we look forward to our future with hope. We have come so far. We have so much more living to do.

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