Saturday, May 11, 2024


The crowd did not dream when they laid down their money that they would see the total eclipse of the Sonny!

Muhammed Ali 

(Muhammed Ali vs Sonny Liston, February 25, 1964)                                                                                                                                     

In ancient cultures around the globe, bones often played a role in divination.  
In China during the late Shang dynasty c.1250 BCE - 1046 BCE,  animal bones and flat underside of turtle shells were carved or drawn on using the earliest known examples of Chinese writing.  Many of the characters are close enough to modern versions that they can be read.  The bone or shell would ask a question.  It was then pressed with a hot poker causing cracks that would be interpreted by a diviner.  Now these oracle bones act as windows into the ancient cultural history of China.  They remain as records of weather, crops, military engagements, sales made, the royal families - and on rare occasions records of a lunar or solar eclipse.

The oracle bones were usually made from the bones of an ox but a few skulls of deer have also been found.

This year there was a gathering to view the solar eclipse at my brother's house in Ohio - in the path of totality.  The forecast was for cloudy skies but the day turned out to be perfect, clear and warm.  We watched the sun being nibbled away, and when the moment of total darkness happened loud cheers went up in the neighborhood all around us.

It is impossible to explain why it was so thrilling.  Despite everything having been predicted and explained, it remained mysterious and strangely beautiful.

Since I had an undecorated deer skull sitting around in my Cabinet I had the opportunity to do my own oracle bone to record the total eclipse of 2024.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that skull came out amazing. Looking forward to more oracle bones!