Eclipses have a bad reputation. This relates to the days when only kings and queens had their horoscopes prepared — and what might befall a ruler meant the entire village was going to suffer or succeed as well.
The fact that an eclipse involves an astronomical exactitude can, for individuals, translate into a sense of pressure that triggers our sense of increased or diminished awareness. In other words, a lunar eclipse illuminates what is sending you to sleep— distancing you from the awakened state.
Eclipses are anachronistic. Dimmed lunar light tweaks cellular memory — that reptilian/mammalian part of the brain which winds through our DNA like a spiraled tendril. Dreams unhinge, longings feel jammed-to-bursting. Again, it’s about the amplification of awareness — how it ascends or descends.
Kind of creepy. But the point here, if we move away from the moralistic tone, is that eclipses shift or tilt the balance between solar and lunar properties, and how we as humans align with those impressions.
Eclipses are easier to comprehend, in a practical way, if viewed through the lens of Gurdjieff‘s cosmology. Where the moon is associated with emotional habits that support somnambulism, a kind of devolution. And the sun is linked to awareness, presence, a quality of one-pointedness that is ‘now’-oriented; not retro-pulled towards womb memories.
If momentum in one’s life is towards the moon — a calcification of the psyche — the influence of the lunar eclipse will heighten awareness of this dilemma. A solar eclipse does the opposite — assists the ascending solar arc towards the awakened state.
But what of the sign in which the sun abides tonight? Libra is a peculiar symbol. Neither human or animal. Within a menagerie of critters Libra marks the virtues that transcend the passions personified by our animal nature.
Ignited by a full moon in Aries, the Libra sun leans towards warfare in the name of truth and beauty: Noetic forms that inspire a marriage of the human and divine. As this is a lunar eclipse the tendency is to avoid clarity for comfort’s sake. Too bad. We might miss the potential to make and attend our wedding. To actualize the steps that mark progress — from animal to the divine. A struggle is afoot. Bring your best weapons.
The good news? Lunar eclipses syphon into consciousness many of the alchemical forces associated with the final stages of the Work. That place where alpha and omega blend, igniting an inner illumination.
Here is the Alchemist’s Prayer. You might need it tonight:
“Oh, most singular and unspeakable Presence, first and last in the universe, heighten the fury of my fire and burn away the dross of my being. Cleanse my soiled soul; bathe me in your awesome light. Set me free from my history and cut me loose from my boundaries. Unite me with the One Thing hidden in my life, wherein is my only strength. Fill me with your Presence, allow me to see through your Eye, grant me entry to your Mind, let me resonate with your Will. Make me transparent to your flame, and fashion me into a lens for your light only. Transmute me into an incorruptible Stone in your eternal service, like the golden light that surrounds you.”
Illustration: Wilfried Podriech Satty
Two writers present two points of view on a single theme. David Shields writes:
“There isn’t any story. It’s not the story. It’s just this breathtaking world–that’s the point. The story’s not important; what’s important is the way the world looks. That’s what makes you feel stuff. That’s what puts you there.”
And seemingly just back home from a walk, Bernard Cooper answers:
“Why just yesterday I was lamenting all these things when I saw a stream of black birds soaring over the city. Endless they were, like winged pieces of letters, like a moving sign in Times Square, heraldic and quick and colossal. Except that a message never appeared. Their transmigration riddled the sky.”
Photograph by Masahisa Fukase from The Solitude of Ravens
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