Welcome to Being in the Shadow – the site that focuses on what it is like to experience one of the most awesome and sublime nature events – the total solar eclipse.
A Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) occurs when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, completely covering the disc of the Sun. When this occurs, the shadow of the Moon is cast onto the Earth along what is called the path of totality, and the region is cast into darkness. The eclipsed Sun can be viewed with the naked eye, and it is the only time where the Sun’s corona is visible. It truly is an awesome experience.
A total eclipse occurs once on average every 18 months somewhere around the world. However, for it to occur in a single location is extremely rare – only once in every 375 years. This is why a total eclipse is considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.
I saw my first total solar eclipse in 1999, and it was such an unexpected, emotional, intense, gob-smacking, awesome experience. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I had NO IDEA that it would be so immersive, and that I would have no words to describe it, and that it would literally transform my life.
I immediately became an eclipse chaser – even though I had no idea that there was such a thing. I was determined that I would re-experience that moment as often as I could. I now travel to the ends of the earth to experience a total solar eclipse. And I am not alone – there are many people from around the world who have had the exact same experience as me. We are eclipse chasers.
I am an eclipse chaser with a difference – I am a Clinical Psychologist, and an expert in phenomenological research methods. As I was used to delving into the human psyche in both my research and clinical practice, it was only natural that I started to explore this very unique experience we have during those special few moments of totality – when the Moon completely blocks the Sun, and we are standing in the full shadow of the Moon.
I have two key areas of expertise related to the total solar eclipse, and you can explore each of these areas in full by clicking on the relevant link:
If you are looking for an in-depth understanding of the eclipse experience and want to understand what it is all about, and why people chase eclipses, then you should explore the section on EXPERIENCE. You will find my first book Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser invaluable. I have surveyed and interviewed hundreds of people about their eclipse experience, and you can check out my research projects under RESEARCH.
If you want to know more about what it is like for a community to experience being in the path of the shadow of the Moon, with lots of stories and stunning images, then my second book Totality 2012 is the one for you.
Or perhaps you live within the path of totality for the next total eclipse, and need some information on how to prepare your community for this once-in-a-lifetime event. In this case, you should explore the PLANNING section of this website. You will find my White Paper on Community Eclipse Planning very useful.
I am very approachable and happy to help with any queries. Click on the Facebook link to follow my FB page where I post regular updates about my activities. Subscribe to my newsletter if you would like to keep informed about future research projects. Join me on one of my eclipse chasing tours with the Independent Traveller. See my How Can I Help page for more details. Get in touch if you just want to say hi – I really do value every contact and answer every query.
Whatever you do, make sure you see a total solar eclipse at least once in your life. And when you do, I guarantee that you will want to re-experience it again and again. Then you will have joined a tribe of people from around the world who love nothing more than to stand in the shadow of the Moon – the community of eclipse chasers.