Our Journey Begins: The Total Solar Eclipse and Searching for Personal Sunshine


Will your eyes be on the sky for the total solar eclipse?




“Yes, tomorrow may rain, so

I’ll follow the sun . . .”

- The Beatles

Although the popular Beatles’ song “I’ll Follow the Sun” was focused on recovering from a broken relationship, it might equally apply to theupcoming total solar eclipse. Being in the path of totality also comes with the risk of clouds and rain that will obscure this rare opportunity.

We begin our solar eclipse journey in Texas today and are doing so even though we saw the one in 2017 in Carbondale, Illinois. This time we are going on a Smithsonian tour that will supplement the process with education and related events. However, the current weather prediction in Texas, where there has not been a total solar eclipse in 146 years, is for clouds.

Although many individuals are traveling long distances to come to the path of totality, others will care less, due to other priorities, travel limitations, or other reasons. Some mass weddings are being planned in the path of totality, while conspiracy theories are increasing on the internet. Whatever the eclipse turns out to look like, if it is unusual, it may serve as some sort of Rorschach test of meaning, ready for psychiatric interpretations. Experts in cults might want to stay on the alert to address cultish beliefs, such as this headline from Info wars on CNN Reliable Sources yesterday: “CONVERGENCE: The Solar Eclipse, CERN, Lucifer, the Vatican, and Reptilian Venom Peptides.”1 If thunder is heard around eclipse time, it could be interpreted as a divine call to arms.

In a way, this process of seeing the solar eclipse is like the journey for personal happiness and mental health. Sometimes, like the sun, we take our mental health and happiness for granted. Nevertheless, the journey can be as important as the destination, whether in chasing an eclipse or finding the most meaning in our lives. The results may not be what we expect in psychiatric treatment as we try to recover from darkness, but still worth the attempt. But, if everything lines up correctly, seeing the return of the sun from temporary darkness is awe-inspiring, just as the right psychiatric treatment at the right time can also elicit awe. If not, there can still be much to savor in the search.

Sometimes, too, as you may have heard me say in terms of my wife, there are people who naturally supply psychological sunshine to others. As the saying goes, search for the helpers when there is trouble. Similarly, search to the warmers when you are emotionally cold. And when there are dangerous conspiracy cultish theories, call on the freedom of mind interpreters. At our best, we in psychiatry can provide help, warmth, and expert knowledge to our patients.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry and is now in retirement and retirement as a private pro bono community psychiatrist. A prolific writer and speaker, he has done a weekday column titled “Psychiatric Views on the Daily News” and a weekly video, “Psychiatry & Society,” since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. He was chosen to receive the 2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry. Previously, he received the Administrative Award in 2016 from the American Psychiatric Association, the one-time designation of being a Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Speaker of the Assembly of the APA in 2002, and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1991. He is an advocate and activist for mental health issues related to climate instability, physician burnout, and xenophobia. He is now editing the final book in a 4-volume series on religions and psychiatry for Springer: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianity, and now The Eastern Religions, and Spirituality. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times.


1. Miller S. CONVERGENCE: The Solar Eclipse, CERN, Lucifer, the Vatican, and Reptilian Venom Peptides. InfoWars. April 4, 2024. Accessed April 5, 2024. https://www.infowars.com/posts/convergence-the-solar-eclipse-cern-lucifer-the-vatican-and-reptilian-venom-peptides/

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