Have you heard about this lunar eclipse that's happening tonight? It's freaking some people out. But everyone just needs to calm down and pretend they have totally rational minds and we'll all get through this.

The somewhat unusual astronomical event, a tetrad, in which we will see four complete lunar eclipses over the next two years, occurring approximately every six months, has united both batshit Christians and respected astrologers in a collective panic. Also, it's going to be pretty, and we're lucky on the West Coast that tonight's will begin while most of us are still awake, with the moon starting to redden (from the sun's light refracting around the earth's atmosphere) around 10:30 p.m. PT, and the total eclipse happening right around 12:47 a.m. (But high clouds tonight are likely to ruin this for everyone in the Bay Area.)

Evangelical Texas preacher John Hagee, best known for telling New Orleans that Hurricane Katrina was revenge for the gay fest known as Southern Decadence, has leapt on the blood moon craze faster than Harold Camping could recant a prophecy, notes that previous tetrad years, 1948 and 1967, have meant huge events for the Holy Land -- statehood for Israel, and the Six-Day War, respectively. And he notes a passage from the Bible that talks about the moon turning red and the End of Days, and blah blah.

Astrologer to the stars Susan Miller, who runs the popular and free Astrology Zone site, has been talking up this April 15 eclipse for months, comparing it to moments like the American Revolution and saying that we all have to pay close attention to our money, and to financial relationships, because that's what this eclipse will all be about. She previously warned that if you have not filed your taxes, this is absolutely the wrong year to have waited til the last minute, and you'd better just file an extension.

Financial developments seem to reach culmination on the full moon lunar eclipse, April 15. I know - April 15 is tax day in the United States. The universe doesn't know about our special days, so it sends a total eclipse of the moon when it wants to do so. This eclipse brings Mars, Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter in a perfect cross pattern, and that is tense. It's unusual to see all these planets line up within a degree or two in each of the highly energetic cardinal signs, each precisely 90 degrees from the other, with four squares and two oppositions. This is as tense as it gets. Mars will oppose Mercury too, and that is very jarring as well.

The ever classy USA Today went with the headline "Is Tuesday's 'blood moon' eclipse the end of the world?", and unfortunately, Hagee has gotten a lot of traction for his apocalyptical ranting.

More science-minded people note that these events are pretty regular in the astronomical sense, and there are going to be 8 more tetrads this century. Maybe the only unusual part about this upcoming tetrad is that all four eclipses are going to be visible from the United States, so that's cool. The next four blood moons will be on October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015; and September 28, 2015. The next tetrad won't occur until 2032.

[SF Gate]
[USA Today]
[Refinery 29]