Original
Western Astrology

What Happens After the Eclipse

by Michael Erlewine June 18, 2011 05:06 AM EST

 WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE ECLIPSE?

 

First of all, although the Full Moon eclipse of June 15, 2011 is over, we have another eclipse in two weeks, although it is a Partial Eclipse. This time it is an eclipse of the Sun rather than the Moon. So what happens after the Full Moon? What follows is a very general idea and has to do not only with this Full Moon eclipse but with any Full Moon. In other words, it happens each lunar month all year long. Many of you will already know this stuff, so don’t shoot the messenger. I am just trying to make sure everyone understands and we are all on the same page.

 

The Full Moon point is the peak of the cycle in terms of outward experience and expression, the tip of the top, so to speak. And after that? Well, in a word, the party is over but there are distinct stages in how that takes place. And this comes about slowly.

 

If you have ever been to a happenin’ party, it too has stages. And there is one stage when we first get the notion or a glimpse that we were having more fun (or whatever we were having) an hour earlier than we are now. We are coming down and the peak of the party has past and we suddenly realize this and start to think for the first time about leaving and getting on home. Before that moment, leaving never occurred to us. The period after the Full Moon is a little like that.

 

Before and in the days leading up to the Full Moon we have been immersed in whatever experience the lunar cycle has brought, an experience that we have created for ourselves. In other words, we are deeply embedded in that experience and just living or feeling it. There comes a moment when the experience starts to pass and we begin to become aware of what we just went through. We start to get a handle on the experience, get our arms around it, and perhaps we can even almost put the experience into words. It is only when an experience is already passing and going that this usually happens. We suddenly can see the forest AND the trees and get the idea that something has happened, that we have been through something, and perhaps a glimpse or concept of just what that was. The meaning or content of the whole experience begins to dawn on us. 

 

Our Humpty-Dumpty self, which has been lost in the experience starts to put itself back together again as we come out of the throes of what we have been going through. It is over and we can now start to talk about it. Probably the first thing we do is tell others what we have been through. So what is my point?

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First, the Full Moon experience is over and we can relax. Some of us will even feel a little let-down after the build-up. Then, over the next few days, whatever experience we have been through may begin to come into view and be understood and grasped. As we come out of it we see what it was and probably can verbalize and start to share it with others. 

 

All of this may have its little bumps. One bump is letting go of the experience if we find that we are too attached to what we just went through. That naturally happens and we can’t go back, just like when a real-life party starts to be over, try as we might, we can’t get back into it. Or as poet Gertrude Stein once said “Before friendship faded, friendship faded.” That idea.

 

The struggle, if there is one, is between soldiering on (or wanting to) and letting go. In this case, as the Zen poets say, our “being is in leaving.” If we fight that, we are fighting the tide, so to speak. Or, as the famous economist Kenneth Boulding once told me “ Michael, we have to learn to fail successfully.” That is what this next lunar quarter is all about: letting go, and getting out of the experience whatever we can, hopefully ourselves. 

 

The above has to do with what happens (as I mentioned) each and every month and not with the special vision of the eclipse, which is similar but much deeper and harder to unroll and read. 

 

I hope this is helpful to some of you. Learning to understand and use the monthly cycle of the Moon is well worth the effort. This is all about getting into the rhythm of the natural cycles. At first we have to practice it.

 

 
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