According to Washington Post writers Martin Weil and Debbie Wilgoren:
There are not many days like Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. Take it from people who know: astronomers. There was maybe one day like this Tuesday in the past 2,000 years.This has only happened once before in 2000 years! Unfortunately, this assertion is made and then glossed over, as if "in 2000 years" wouldn't make a Christian stop and think about an event in salvation history. Christ's birth, about 2,000 years ago, caused a celestial disruption of some magnitude; and then 33 yrs. later, Scripture tells us of another event that blots out the sun on Good Friday. But, Weil and Wilgoren don't go to Christian historical documentation to provide a foundation for this story. No, they ignore God from the perspective of both science and faith, yet the time frame points directly to Him.
According to the article it has been almost 400yrs. since the last lunar eclipse coincided with the winter solstice. Weil and Wilgoren substantiate this with a statement from a reliable and credible sourse: "The year, [this last occurred] according to Geoff Chester, public affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was 1638." However, not everyone agrees with this information -- perhaps the abilities of the U.S. Naval Observatory should be considered inadequate to the task of documenting such astronomical events (tongue in cheek). The other "expert" (who wrote an essay) disputes the date held by leading scientists and historians:
(Starhawk, a prominent Wiccan, told The Washington Post in an essay that the two events have not coincided since 1544.)Not only do Weil and Wilgoren question the authority and integrity of experts in the field of astronomy, but they have the audacity to contradict science with superstition and validate witchcraft and its alternate history! (And still looming in the background is the reference to 2000 years ago without a mention of any connection to Christianity or a Creator God.)
For scientists, Chester added, the coinciding of the two celestial events does not appear to have any cosmic significance.
Indeed, they are confusing two extremely different disciplines: astronomy and astrology. Stars and planets are involved in both; however, astronomy is a science, and the other is superstition. Science looks at unknowns and tries to solve mysteries, superstition draws upon coincidence. Was it a coincidence that the Wise Men of 2000 years ago -- hmmm, there's that pesky looming time reference -- found the Christ Child? No, they used astronomy to find the King of the Universe, Who created the stars. They didn't incant their way to him or ask what sign he was born under -- they followed the star. A sign of wonder and majesty that only happened once, in all of time, about 2000 years ago. Perhaps with the birth of Christ the heavens were illumined with many events to celebrate His coming.
But for Wiccans, astrologists and others, Starhawk wrote, the coincidence offers an opportunity to "step out of time. We are free of the past, and we can consciously create the future, for ourselves, for our communities, for the earth."
In any event, to those who did stay up to marvel at the wonder of God's gift of a rare lunar eclipse on the winter solstice, God bless you. For those who went out to howl at the moon and escape from time to change your community -- good luck.