1. mass noun Existence.
1.1 Being alive; living.
2. in singular The nature or essence of a person.
1. mass noun Partial or complete darkness, a body coming between rays of light and a surface.
2. Something insubstantial or fleeting.
Welcome to the site that delves into the total solar eclipse experience: Being in the Shadow
You may have heard that a total solar eclipse is one of the most awesome and sublime nature events. But the real question is – what is it like to experience a total eclipse?
A Total Solar Eclipse 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. Everyone and everything within that path is plunged into an eerie darkness for a few minutes. Totality – those special minutes of darkness – is an awesome experience and should be on top of everyone’s bucket list.
You do not see a total eclipse – you experience it. There are changes above you, around you, and within you.
But here’s the thing – most people do not understand how incredible it is. It is a strange and unusual experience that affects us profoundly, and is very difficult to describe. Also, there are many who think they have seen a total eclipse, when in fact they have only seen a partial eclipse. They then think it is something that is boring, and of no interest.
The total solar eclipse is a very unique experience. Those who do experience totality for the first time are often overwhelmed and can’t wait to see it again.
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 on average. This is why a total eclipse is considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.
You do not have to be a scientist, an astronomer, or a bearded man with a telescope to enjoy the total eclipse experience. I am none of these. I am a Clinical Psychologist, used to delving into the human psyche in my clinical practice. But once I experienced totality for myself, I realised that the total eclipse experience is something very unique and special as a human experience.
COUNTDOWN TO TOTALITY
THE FOCUS OF THIS WEBSITE
Many websites focus on the scientific aspects – how eclipses occur, and detailed maps of the path of totality. The focus of my work and this website is more on the human experience. That is, the experience of totality, and how it can impact upon us. Feel free to explore this site in full. If you are looking for something specific, these quick links will take you to the most useful section or resource.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO EXPERIENCE A TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE?
See this overview page on the eclipse experience, and watch the videos and webcasts which delve a little deeper into the experience.
WHY IS THE FIRST TIME EXPERIENCE SO SPECIAL?
See the page on the first time experience. Also read my third book, Being in the Shadow: Stories of the First Time Total Eclipse Experience to understand more.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE AN ECLIPSE CHASER?
Read my first book, Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser. Also see the eclipse chaser page to gain more insight into our fascinating lives.
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR A COMMUNITY WITHIN THE PATH OF TOTALITY?
My second book Totality 2012 is a great overview of the eclipse from a community perspective, with fantastic images and personal stories.
HOW DOES A COMMUNITY WITHIN THE PATH OF TOTALITY PREPARE?
You should explore the planning for communities page. Also, make sure to download my very useful White Paper on Community Eclipse Planning.
RESEARCH INTO THE TOTAL ECLIPSE EXPERIENCE
I have surveyed and interviewed hundreds of people about their eclipse experience. Many eclipse projects are in the pipeline. Check out my projects here.
THE ‘GREAT AMERICAN’ ECLIPSE OF AUGUST 21, 2017
Details about the total eclipse visible from 14 states in the US, on August 21, 2017 can be found here. You will also find links to other sites for more detailed information.
WHERE WILL I BE LEADING UP TO THE NEXT TOTAL ECLIPSE?
See my Events page for more details, which will be updated regularly. Get in touch if you would like me to speak at your meeting or event leading up to August 21st.
HOW CAN I GET HOLD OF YOUR ECLIPSE EXPERIENCE BOOKS?
My books are available to order from this site, Amazon, and in good book stores. Please get in touch for signed or multiple copy requests.
I have a professional background in psychology, which draws upon extensive experience in facilitating change, communication, consulting, developing services, lecturing, delivering workshops, research, writing, and media. Having now developed an alternative ‘career’ with regards to my passion of eclipses, I have developed two areas of expertise. I undertake outreach on these topics – delivering presentations and workshops, and web-based consultations. Make sure to explore these sections of the website, and get in touch if I can help you with anything.
The totality experience makes us reflect upon our lives. We feel awe, insignificance and connection – and part of our incredibly vast Universe. Many find themselves thinking about their lives, recognising clearly that life is fleeting. Some find the totality experience as a turning point to make important life choices. Some also go on to become eclipse chasers.
I hope you find this website useful. If so, sign up to the newsletter and follow me on social media to ensure you are kept up to date. 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. You will be most welcomed.
I have some exciting news! My 2020 tour in collaboration with The Independent Traveller is now finalised. This will be my third eclipse tour with The Independent Traveller. After our incredible experience of totality in Wyoming in August 2017, we are again offering something special and unique in astronomy travel, suitable for both new and experienced […]
An eclipse-chasing psychologist is coming to the US to launch her book and share personal stories of what it is like to experience a total eclipse. And her message is clear – don’t miss this. Talk to any eclipse chaser, and they will tell you that the total eclipse is one of the world’s most […]