Usually, there is one new moon and one full moon per month (of the Gregorian calendar). However, on the fairly rare occasion when two new moons occur in one single calendar month (eg there was one last month on April 1 and a second one on April 30), the second moon is informally referred to as a "black moon." Alternatively, when two full moons fall within a calendar month, the second is referred to as a "blue moon."
The black moon on April 30 also coincided with a partial solar eclipse (the first eclipse of 2022), which occurs when the moon comes between the sun and the earth, but only a part of the sun is obscured.
Traditionally, and among lunar enthusiasts, in particular, the new moon is seen as a sign of new beginnings – a powerful symbolic or astrological time for setting intentions and planting "seeds" for new projects and directions.
The ancients noticed that eclipses brought about or occurred in tandem with profound, sudden change. So eclipses are often seen as signals of sweeping change and are considered so powerful that they supercharge the energetic effects of their respected moons – such as the new/black moon on April 30.
Given the above, one could wonder – did Gary Griffith know the celestial significance of that astrologically auspicious Saturday when he launched his new political party – the National Transformation Alliance – on April 30 on social media? Was it felt, on an esoteric level, that the mission being launched was in alignment with the supporting energy of those potent celestial phenomena?
And, when Watson Duke launched the Trinidad "leg" of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) at the Hyatt, Port of Spain last Sunday, the day after the black moon solar eclipse, did he too take into consideration the eclipse as a mystical indicator of sweeping change?
Perhaps not ... but he appears confident, stating (as reported in one news article) that "if Tobago was 15-nil, Trinidad could be 39-nil." It is easy for him to believe this, considering that PDP made a surprising all-but-one green sweep of Tobago's electoral districts resulting in a 14-one victory over the People's National Movement (PNM) in the THA's December 2021 elections.
The islandwide sweep of colour might also be the NTA's ambition, if we are to go by the "clue" given with a message circulating on WhatsApp inviting people to register as NTA supporters. The invitation is accompanied by a link to the video for 3canal's 2009 hit Blue – the NTA's party colour.
A few seconds into the video, as the singers chant "Blue, we go paint de town blue/Turn de whole world upside down," the jab molassies paint the entire Red House blue – leading one to surmise that the NTA hopes to do to the electoral map of Trinidad what PDP did to the map of Tobago.
"Trinidad needs some blue and some green – calming colours after all that heated red and yellow," one citizen stated when asked about the two new political entities on offer.
Two others, when asked what (to them) "sweeping change" means for Trinidad and how they feel it can come about, responded:
1. "Corruption is trickling down through everything. We can never progress while corruption is tolerated.
"And of course the crime, but they may be linked.
"I feel it is not possible to turn it around for those who are young adults. We have to work on the children and give them a sense of pride in their country and a sense of values. But so many children are already damaged – the widespread abuse...so we almost have to aim for the generation after them."
2. “Loads of things need changing – all government institutions, all economic policy, crime...
"But what will bring it about? That is a hard one. There is no simple answer. It's a huge question."
The deep and sweeping positive change needed for Trinidad is beyond colour and politics. The best possible answer always points to each of us – sweepers of change in our own right.
As Martin Luther King Jr said: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”