This Moscow morning started sunny warm and bright until I rummaged in the fridge and saw that I was out of milk as well as coffee. I quickly went outside and walked to the market to pick up the missing morning must-have from the local market.
Waiting in front of the market, as if she were expecting me was the local neighborhood ‘Znakhar”, or Seer, of whom I have written about before. Before I could even enter the shop, she grabbed me by the sleeve and asked whether I knew tonight is the evening of the most rare “Blood Moon Eclipse”. I said I did not, but I did know I was out of coffee and milk. I bought what I needed, and when I left the shop, she was still there…. waiting, no doubt for me.
Foreigner, she said, this blood moon is very rare and happens only once in this 21st century. I saw that I was in for it as she glanced down meaningfully at the two large full shopping bags at her feet. Getting the hint, I asked if I could carry one and lighten her load… of course, she agreed.
An earful is what I received on the way to her tram stop. I now know that this blood moon eclipse is due later today (July 27, 2018) and the moon will be obscured completely for an hour and 43 minutes (how did she know this?) and it is the longest total eclipse of the 21st century. To the watcher it will seem to bleed, glowing an eerie red. Apparently according to my Znakhar acquaintance back in 413 BC, such a blood moon eclipse led to disaster for the Athenian army then ravaging Sicily. That tidbit from the past struck me as odd, and somehow inapplicable, such is life.
Since that episode with the Athenian Army, seems not much good has occurred in the weeks immediately following such centennial lunar events. Folk tales and myths aside, it seems a stretch to me, but apparently, this Znakhar was expecting something significant to happen between the eclipse and the end of August.
Deciding to humor her, I asked what unexpected event exactly did she expect post-blood moon. I followed it up by telling her that the last prediction she told me did not quite pan out as she scheduled. She brushed that aside saying, “If a cat climbs into an oven to have kittens that does not make them biscuits”. That one did give me pause, but she continued…“two, maybe three things”. The first according to this woman is some sort of major geological event such as an earthquake or volcanic eruption – she was adamant about this. I said nothing, as who am I to argue with a blood moon and cat specialist?
The second item she expected was that something in the world of international politics would snap decisively. So nu (what)? I asked. She said that the countries of the western world have reached some sort of an inflection point as regards trust and faith in their own institutions and interactions. She went further to say this is a recipe for the most unexpectedly unpredictable events. Those long-standing alliances will fracture, and we should be seeing this ramping up during the latter half of August. That seemed logical given recent international events. Nobody needs a lunar eclipse to winkle that one as a possibility.
The third thing? I asked. She squinted at me and said that she hoped I have gotten rid of my dollars, and have only rubles or gold/silver in my piggy bank. She continued in her kitchen-wise way to insist that any country that spends well above its means would eventually fall under its own weight. Continuing, she said something interesting, that whatever the news says about the west getting their act together and stopping the printing of money, she added that at this time, in fact they cannot afford not to keep printing or the house of cards will collapse. Thinking to myself, I wondered what she could possibly know about sovereign debt and the massive debt-on-steroids spree the western world has been on especially since 2008.
After a pause, she added, if they print, or they do not print, the value of the money is already gone as there is little faith in it, or the politics that give such money energy. Therefore, according to her, QT will not last, and QE will renew and keep growing until collapse. This at a time of a hawkish Powell-led Fed endeavoring to make servicing such debt even more costly through higher rates. Well, who knows, maybe this Znakhar sees something the rest of the world apparently does not.
I shall certainly ask her come September!
It is unlikely that the July 27 eclipse will have any effect on history, after all it is like the earth, wind and tides – a natural regular event. We nonetheless are assured of a colorful show as the hues and ranges of color are expected to be spectacular. Still, there is that suspicious corner of my mind that wonders, even though I do not believe in omens or mystical predictions. What if?