text and photo © Jonathan Zap
We can easily perpetuate the eclipse by regret, and feeling bad about feeling bad. Consider for a moment how many other human beings must be in similar straits right now. Pray for compassion and healing for yourself and others who are similarly afflicted. Remember that real change usually comes out of the dark night of the soul. Alchemically, one needs the descent into chaos to create new forms.
As the Dylan lyric puts it, “He not busy being born is busy dying.” The eclipse comes when your soul feels like it is busy dying. Receiving this card means it is a propitious time to get busy being born.
Resources for dealing with inner eclipse follow, but it is also possible that the eclipse is more outer. This card could indicate a time where you are in an environment that is not receptive to what you have to offer. If so, consider this text related to I Ching Hexagram #36,” Eclipse”.
Darkness reigns in the external world now,
Disengage from negative feelings and
maintain your inner light.
This is a time when darkness and inferior energies surround you. ..The only light left is that inside your own heart, and you are counseled to return to it, maintain it, and quietly nourish yourself with it.
It is in dark moments that a correct attitude is most important. If we fight against the darkness, we are swallowed by it and suffer great misfortune. If we react to the lack of visible progress with despair and negativity, we extinguish our own inner light and block the aid of the Creative. If we try to persuade others that they must return to the light, we exhaust ourselves in vain now.
In a time such as this, it is wise to adopt a stance of outer disengagement and inner perseverance. Don not focus on or interact with the negative influences around you; this only strengthens their grip on you. Step aside, yield, let go, allow people and events to pass without attachment. Direct your attention inside, to your inner light, your devotion to what is right, your conversation with the Higher Power.
Progress may be slow, but there will indeed be progress. Remember that much of the work of the Higher Power is hidden from us, and that we enable and assist it by remaining detached, accepting, and reserved in the face of negative influences.
Again, the above was from Brian Brown Walker’s superb, concise I Ching.
If you are in a situation where your value is not being recognized consider the following:
Keep secret work secret. We live in a cult of confession society where people go on national television to spill out their personal lives. But consciousness work, esoteric work, is depotentiated, loses power, when you share it with those who haven’t earned access. As Aleister Crowley said, “If I tell a man something he isn’t ready to hear, it is the same as if I told him a lie.” Don’t spill your pearls before swine, save them for your spiritual allies, those that share a deep commitment to consciousness.
Often it is safer and in a variety of ways advantageous to be cloaked and to evade unnecessary attention. Deng Ming-Dao, a modern Taoist sage points out,
“Useful trees are cut down. Useless ones survive. The same is true of people. The strong are conscripted. The beautiful are exploited. Those who are too plain to be noticed are the ones who survive. They are left alone and safe.
But what if we ourselves are among such plain persons? Though others may neglect us, we should not think of ourselves as being without value. We must not accept the judgment of others as the measure of our own self-worth… Thus, to be considered useless is not a reason for despair, but an opportunity. It is the chance to live without interference and to express one’s own individuality.”
If your eclipse is inner (in addition to or instead of situational) the following card texts contain a whole toolbox full of field-tested techniques for emerging from inner eclipse. The first tells you how to deal with psychic entropy and the second is on how to awaken from depression.
Dealing with Psychic Entropy
Psychic or psychological entropy is a state of mind first written about by Carl Jung and later developed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in his concept of Flow. A state of psychic entropy is characterized by anxiety, sadness and boredom and typically includes looping negative thought tapes. Psychic entropy is a state that leaves us hampered in our ability to deal with complex external tasks or useful inner contemplation. We all know what this feels like — that all too familiar state of being frazzled, fragmented and unraveled, paralyzed by inertia and self-conflict, worried thoughts gnawing our mind like a chew toy. So what can we do about that?
One answer is to use such times to do easy mechanical tasks like laundry and dishes that can be done even if your attention is a bit fragmented. Entertaining, not too dense audio books and podcasts on headphones can be a way to fill the chaotic inner space with better quality content. Psychic entropy is more likely to occur in solitude so if there is a positive social interaction available you can try that. Focus on external considering — on others’ needs rather than your own — as psychic entropy is based on internal considering. Alternatively, you could go all the way in the other direction and sit down in solitude, perhaps with a journal open, and carefully observe, or even record, all the fragmenting thoughts as they loop through your mind and see what subpersonalities they come from and what their issues are. If the state of psychic entropy comes from a general deficit of meaning in your life then see what you can do to increase meaningfulness.
Consider Csikszentmihalyi’s “5 C’s” of a Complex Personality as summarized by Maryam:
“The Complex Personality knows how to integrate a variety of experiences into its overall experience, making the dullest moments interesting. Being in Flow leads to Complexity for when you experience Flow, you want to experience more of it and construct your world to pull you irresistibly towards experiences within the Flow. Focus on these to craft your world:
1) Clarity – Know what you want to do in your life every day. Have clarity of goals, listen to feedback and adjust yourself to the feedback you receive from the world.
2) Center – You are in Balance. Your goal is to focus, to know how to avoid distractions, to become at one with what you’re doing, with all of your attention under your control.
3) Choice – Knowing there are a variety of possibilities around you, that you’re not determined by outside events but have choice and can move within it. Whatever you do, you do “at Choice”.
4) Commitment- Care for what you’re doing at all times. Remain conscious of what you care about. Commit to it.
5) Challenge – Keep upping your challenges as you master a certain level. Always make life more challenging.”
See the section on “Dealing with Afflictive Thoughts and Feelings” in A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler for a more thorough discussion.
Awakening from Depression
Subclinical depression is almost the norm in our society. Many people go through their days burdened, their gaze lowered, suffering under a generalized feeling of oppression. Although it is easy to attribute much of this to fractured, alienated lives, environmental toxins and poor diet, research indicates that the primary causes are negative thought forms, often occurring just beneath conscious awareness, which frame perception negatively so that one lives in a darkened reality tunnel. For example, “Life sucks, and then you die…I never get my fair share…I can’t do anything right…” etc. The negative thought forms trigger negative emotions which in turn trigger physiological changes, and the process feeds on itself as a vicious circle. This card indicates that this is a propitious time for you or someone close to you to awaken from depression. There are many ways to go about the awakening, but the will has to be there for recovery to occur. Depression is a yin condition, associated with lowered energy and a murky wateriness. Take deep breaths, stand up straight with good posture and get going, get active, raise fire, the yang principle, by doing stuff! Don’t feel like it? Excellent, that is the sure sign of how well getting active will work. Pick tasks that give definite results by putting in the effort — like cleaning up your home. Shift to a high vitality diet with more live and raw food. Do a fearless moral inventory and ask yourself what you will remember well on your deathbed and prioritize doing that.
Depression is often suffering that is neglected and not confronted. For this reason I prefer anguish and the dark night of the soul because these are more dynamic states capable of transformation. Confront what haunts you.
Could you be addicted to pain? See: Rebelling from the Pain Body Matrix
Are you unhappy about being in your body? This is the core of much neurotic torment and takes the form of dissatisfaction with looks/weight/aging/health.
Read: The Glorified Body
Having trouble finding a path of meaning and creativity in your life? Much depression is caused by a deficit of meaningfulness. Read:
The Path of the Numinous
For more on discovering the core meaning of your life and facing some of the tough existential realities of human incarnation read:
The Capsule of Intentionality… and read all parts of A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler If your depression is related to a devastating loss or shock, the last part of the guide, “Dealing with Shock,” will address that directly.
Worries have you down? Read: An Antidote to Worry
Feel like there’s something wrong with this entire plane of existence? Read: A Splinter in your Mind
Too much focus on the social matrix compromising everything else? See:
Confessions of a Self Aware Starship
Finally, if you’ve looked into all these other possibilities and feel that an outside force is depressing you, read the documents in the mind parasite category of the writing section or order a copy of the Mind Parasite Matrix.