Why Is Everyone Freaking Out Over this Full Lunar Eclipse?

You'll be fine! Here's how to handle it. Plus: Live Moonwatch!

Jun 15, 2011 at 4:09pm | Leave a comment

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Certainly you’ve heard about the full lunar eclipse today. The astrologically inclined get a little ramped up on days like this, as a full moon is naturally a symbol of full fruition, signifying a cycle or pattern that is just reaching its close. A full moon is also a chance to heed our intuition, to open portals from the great above and what you might call the "great indoors"—doorways to connect to what is subconscious, hidden in ourselves. The moon activates that intuitive, sometimes spooky thing inside us that gives us direction in ways that might seem scary or odd yet feel RIGHT. Pay attention to that stuff now, as there’s a huge opportunity to surrender who we think we are, and why we think we’re here, and become a bigger version of ourselves.

Whatever you’ve been working on—or feels like has been working its way through you—is about to come to an end. And a full lunar eclipse—especially one so close to the Summer Solstice on June 21—is like a full moon on Muscle Milk, super psyched and extra ready to do its thing.

Endings are scary. Where we are with Saturn right now, probably this “ending” might get even freakier, though its interaction with Venus will ensure something more equitable will take its place. And we’re also aligned with the galactic center, where most matter is clustered in the universe, and this is exactly the direction in which the full eclipse is taking place (which is in Sagittarius, btw). This is all astro-code for "Serious Business Is Going Down." So whatever comes up today, try to view it as a conclusion, a way of cutting out the bullshit.

Also, this is the second of three eclipses in one month; there was a partial solar eclipse on June 1st, then we’ve got this biz today, and there’s another partial solar eclipse on July 1st. And this is an unusually long eclipse, lasting almost two hours, and this is the reason people are calling it the “darkest”—the last for one like this for a long time. It’s only seven minutes less than what is maximally allowed for a lunar eclipse, and don’t ask me how they figured that out, but know that the things happening today, even behind the scenes, are gonna get deep.

You can celebrate this, you know, by observing with a friend or loved one(s), which is what I did last full lunar eclipse visible from the U.S.: Last December, my sis, cousins, uncle, and I bundled up and watched the earth's shadow erase the moon from the sky. We were up in the mountains in Arizona, snuggled on deck chairs around my cousin's saline pool she'd filled with healing rock salts. Right as the sky went totally black—and oh man, it went BLACK—all the dogs at the surrounding farms and wolves in the mountains started baying. There was no more moon. Everything felt a bit... rubbery, or malleable, or something. It was odd, and once the moon was eclipsed I couldn't hang for too long because it felt a little scary. Plus, I'd accidentally said something rude to my cousin, and she went inside, pissed off, and I ruined things  a little bit. Dang you, full moon!

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We won't be able to see the eclipse from the U.S., but there's a live streaming of the eclipse here:

Anyway, I know this is vague. What, exactly, is this "thing,” and how will you know when you feel it? I’m going to defer to an expert here and quote long passages from a rad dude named Michael Erlewine, who’s an astrologer schooled in Tibetan Buddhism and also a rock poster magnate. I’ve dug this wisdom out of a series of posts on his Facebook Wall, which he geniusly uses as a blog.

“The Buddhists in particular have focused on eclipses as rare opportunities when our more subtle internal or spiritual energies naturally come into alignment or attunement, when things that otherwise we would seldom notice line up and can be more easily experienced by us, that is if we know when and how to look for them….

“Eclipses are, above all, times of vision or insight…times of intense experience when information perhaps vital to us is streamed and imprints itself deeply in our consciousness, more like a brand. Some traditions actually explain it as if a sacred scroll of some kind were placed deep within us (imprinted) and only over time will it unroll and reveal itself, literally speak or reveal itself to us. We read it out from deep within out mind over time….

“Observe our mindstream, our stream of consciousness carefully. Take time to do this as opposed to ignoring this opportunity with business-as-usual….

 "Although every eclipse (or New or Full Moon for that matter) has a vision or insight available to us, most of us have minds that are too noisy to receive that vision. We effectively manage to ignore them. Perhaps they are too subtle and we are not yet aware enough to grasp them....

“I believe that at the time of an eclipse certain individuals either are naturally sensitive to this information or are rubbed awake by life events enough to consciously experience these eclipse visions....

“The whole lunar cycle around an eclipse, in particular the week before and after an eclipse is when the so-called eclipse vision arises and imprints, so don’t get too specific about a day and a time. The vision of an eclipse fills the whole time around it....

“Be aware at these times of intense experiences that rivet you and involve you totally. They can sneak up on you. A 'vision' is not an idea that you will simply grasp or that comes to you, but a total experience that is beyond your understanding, that envelops and absorbs your complete attention, and will only reveal its meaning to you over time....

“A few final words on eclipses: If you are looking for something to happen just because it is an eclipse, you will not find it. It has already happened and is happening now. What you might want to adjust is your awareness. 

For example, I notice that it is kind of a ‘jangly’ day so far for me. I found myself trying to shake that jangly feeling off until I realized that what I did need to do is to be aware of the jangle and relax into it. The tendency is toward expectations and expectations always disappoint. 

JUST RELAX AS IT IS.”

Thanks, Michael Erlewine!

The always awesome Susan Miller can school you on eclipses here, and if you like really technical info about trines and squares and sextiles and planets and houses and stuff, this will make you feel good.

So, anything crazy going on for you today? How do you cope with full moons and eclipses?

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