‘There are no references to the Sun turning red during the middle of the day,’ said folklorist Twm Elias this morning on Radio 4’s Today Programme. He was referring to the strangeness of what happened to our Sun yesterday. Chris French, professor of psychology at Goldsmiths and fellow guest, was in full agreement that this was an extremely rare, if not unique phenomenon.
Of course, there is a perfectly rational scientific explanation: the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia had dragged in tropical air and dust from the Sahara, and picked up ash and debris from forest fires in Portugal and Spain so thick it had masked the rays of the Sun.
Even so, everyone I spoke to was deeply disturbed by the eerie light this cast. ‘It’s like the end of the world is coming,’ said one friend. ‘I don’t like this at all. It’s very scary,’ said someone else. We weren’t alone. Social media went crazy with people believing that this was an apocalyptic sign.
And, maybe it is.
I don’t think many people now deny that our world is undergoing seismic upheaval. Even those who remain sceptical towards climate change are beginning to realise that in order for humanity to thrive, we need to change how we live our lives on a global scale.
However, the impact of unprecedented hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, and sand storms this year are forcing millions of people around the world to wake up to the fact that if we continue as we are, we won’t just destroy ourselves, we will also finish off the very building blocks that sustain life on earth: our natural world.
I believe this mass wake up call will be humanity’s salvation. But first, as with any change that happens, there is a time of chaos and turmoil. This is what we are experiencing at this present time. Worn out systems, establishments, and structures are being torn down for new ones to rise up. But we are not at the stage of rebuilding yet. We have only begun the phase of demolition.
Although it is extremely distressing and frightening to realise that the world as we know it is coming to an end, numerous mystics, seers, indigenous tribes, and even the Bible have foretold this time of cataclysmic change.
None of us are going to escape what is happening, and will continue to happen for quite some time yet. This means that we all are going to experience what it feels like to be truly out of control. Many of us, such as those on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, are already facing extreme fear and unimaginable loss caused by a series of devastating hurricanes.
Sadly it seems that this has to happen to force humanity to come together to create a more sustainable way of life. We have to remember how to rebuild communities that are truly supportive and nurturing. We have to rethink how we educate our children. Most importantly, we have to relearn how to attune to our innate inner wisdom, and our relationship with the Universal Force. It is only then that awe and humility can reenter our lives and we can reconnect with the Divine preciousness of life.
So perhaps our Sun turning red in the middle of the day was a one-off event. But maybe on a deeper level it speaks of a warning: If we don’t pay attention to what we are doing to ourselves and our planet, there won’t be anything left. What an appalling though.