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The Lunar Eclipse on July 4 - 5: Retracing Our Steps

The exact time of this lunar eclipse is 12:44 am on July 5th Eastern time and 9:44 pm on July 4th Pacific time.


I'm noticing that when I write about most topics, the words seem to flow effortlessly out of me and when I sit down to write about the energy of an eclipse, it's more difficult. There's much more complexity. This reminds me of the nature of an eclipse itself - something is blocking the light. Eclipses don't work like other astrological phenomena for this reason! Something is blocking the light - there is something hidden that is trying to make its way into consciousness. And this takes time. There is so much unstable energy around the time that eclipses happen because the energy of the eclipse activates what we don't see that is blocking our light, both individually and collectively. Eclipses don't actually manifest on the physical level until about 3 months later because it takes that long for the energy to work through the resistance to what is hidden, both personally and in the collective.


You've heard of the phrase, "Two steps forward, one step back." Or, "You have to go back in order to go forward." That is the energy of the upcoming eclipse on July 4-5. Both individually and collectively, we are on the verge of a great new beginning that will start in mid-December of this year. Before we can get there, we have to tend to unfinished business, and that is what the next six months will be focused on.


Simply put, there are things that each of us actually need in order to be secure and then there are things that we have mistakenly believed that we need in order to feel secure. The next six months are designed to show us the difference. Circumstances will arise that can lead to a healthy surrender of some of the lies that we've been telling ourselves regarding our own security. When we surrender what we think we need in order to be happy and secure, we make room for what will actually bring us real happiness and security.


This eclipse brings an extremely big release of energy. How to pair with it? Think of structures in your life that no longer serve you. Think about personal traditions that are in need of an update. Think of duties and responsibilities that you're carrying that really aren't yours. Have you been desperately trying to make something work that just won't budge? This is time to accept that there are some things in life that you can't fix, that you can't make better. This eclipse is also a great time for sifting out priorities. Which endeavors are genuinely worthy of your time and effort? Which are not?


Once you are clear on what you are ready to release, you can do a Full Moon Release Ceremony to assist in the outflow of energy. (You can release absolutely anything during a full moon ceremony. The release material doesn't need to fall within the parameters listed in the paragraph above.) The timing for this Lunar Eclipse release ceremony is anytime 24 hours BEFORE the exact time of the Lunar Eclipse, which is listed at the top of this post. You can do the release ceremony before ANY full moon, by the way. It's just exponentially stronger before a lunar eclipse. If you're not sure how to do a release ceremony, I've written a full moon release ceremony out on this page.


So, what is needed in the next six months as energies of the past two to three years come to a close and as we revisit joys and sorrows and discover hidden material that needs acknowledged? First, loving-kindness. Second, a way to deal with difficult emotions.


Cultivating Loving-Kindness

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind in the next six months. They are written by Pema Chodron, in her book Awakening Loving Kindness.


When people start to meditate or work on themselves, they often think that somehow they're going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. But loving-kindness - maitri - toward ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all of these years. The point is not to change ourselves. Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That's the ground, that's what we study, that's what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest. The idea isn't to get rid of the ego but actually to begin to take an interest in ourselves, to investigate and be inquisitive about ourselves.


Inquisitiveness or curiosity involves being gentle, precise, and open - actually being able to let go and open. Gentleness is a sense of goodheartedness toward ourselves. Precision is being able to see very clearly, not being afraid to see what's really there, just as a scientist is not afraid to look into a microscope. Openness is being able to let go and open.


Making friends with yourself is also making friends with everyone in your life as well, because when you came to have this kind of honesty, gentleness, and goodheartedness, combined with clarity about yourself, there's no obstacle to feeling loving-kindness for others as well.


As you walk through the next six months, the invitation of the eclipse is to cultivate that sense of aliveness, openness, and curiosity about what's happening. Maybe you will experience what is traditionally described as the fruition of maitri - playfulness. As you walk through the next next six months, the invitation is to get to know yourself better, to become friends with all parts of yourself that arise, and to become more playful, rather than more grim.


One Method for Allowing Difficult Emotions to Move Through You

Qigong, an ancient art of moving meditation, is one practice that you can use to acknowledge and allow difficult emotions to move through you, rather than getting stuck in them. In Suzanne Friedman's book Heal Yourself with Qigong, she has exercises to purge stress, anxiety, grief, sadness, and anger. She also has many other helpful exercises besides these. I cannot list them all in this post, so I chose the anger exercise to share.


In the next 6 months, it will be helpful for you to find and practice your own way of acknowledging difficult emotions. Qigong is one way of many. The thing to keep in mind is that by actually standing up and doing any sort of exercise to acknowledge difficult emotions, you are simultaneously encountering your willingness to transform them.


May all beings be at ease!