A few nights ago I looked up at the stars and Orion was hunting the moon.  I wondered what our ancestors would have made of such a sight.

orion over the cottage on the 18th

The image shows Orion, a well recognised figure in the night sky and a thing of much importance thousands of years ago in Ireland.  On the night of the 18th of  December he was hunting the moon with his bow held forth.

he has the moon in his sights (18th)

This morning the moon had still eluded him as I caught a moon rise in the hours before dawn.

this morning before dawn the moon is still bold and un-scratched (8 second exposure on camera)

Orion, (or Lugh, or Cúchlainn, or Setanta, or The High Man) still has his other arm with the club, or maybe spear, or fist.  Tomorrow morning the moon will be in range and The High Man will strike the moon and it will bleed red.  Then, as the moon is wounded, the sun will begin its deep cycling up of energy.  From tomorrow the sun will start slowly clawing back the darkness from the fallen moon.  We shall see warm days again in the far future.  The High Man has triumphed.

stellarium predicts the moon will be caught just before dawn tomorrow morning

Tomorrow morning is the solstice, and full moon, and lunar eclipse, and a horizontal eclipse.  At 7 to 7:30 am the full moon will turn blood red before it sets (in the north west) and falls and is replaced with the solstice sun from the exact opposite direction.  No one is really sure how red or it will turn, deep, or ruby, or pink, as the exact colour is weather dependent and unpredictable.  However, it will be worth getting up and seeing if the clouds are not in the way as it is an extremely rare event.