If life has been feeling pretty intense lately⁠—and more noticeably so, given that it’s been an intense two and a half years⁠—then it might be best to let the full moon lunar eclipse, happening tomorrow, July 16, at the sign of Capricorn, to serve as a neutralizing period.

There are a lot of things going on right now, celestially speaking. Mercury is in retrograde, along with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. With the sun transiting the sign of Cancer, all the reviewing and reflection that the retrogrades have been compelling us to do get emphasized with the Crab’s emotional nature and attachment to the past. In short, feelings. Tons of it.

The upcoming full moon lunar eclipse is happening in the opposite sign of Cancer, however. Capricorn is the steadfast Goat intent on getting to the top of the mountain and creating a legacy that will stand the test of time. It is just as tied to family and traditions as the Crab, but whereas the latter would like nothing more than to keep things the way they have always been, back when mother and father kept them safe from an uncaring world, Capricorn wants to build on top of what they have inherited from their folks. Under the current Pluto influence, however, the mountain could feel more like shaky ground beneath the Goat; a lot of the traditions and Old World beliefs it was brought up on no longer work. But Capricorn is nothing if not determined, and with the help of Saturn’s current transit through the sign, it can pick up the necessary lessons even when the going is getting tough and tougher.

When does the neutralizing period come in?

Full moons are illuminating and transformational points. As powerful as they are, they are also uncomfortable. If you have been putting your head down and doing the work that the major retrograde season has been demanding of you, then maybe it’s time to let yourself breathe while the full moon dredges up emotions that can feel like an additional burden to the process of self-growth.

Not everything needs to be fixed or cleaned up right away. A lot of times, we don’t let ourselves be present with how we really are, pushing instead to create stories based on what we’re feeling in an effort to feel better as soon as possible. And that isn’t healthy.

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Emotions start in the body. Then they end up in our heads. The meaning we give to these bodily sensations helps create the stories we tell about our lives and the world around us. So many of us are walking around on auto-pilot. We’re incorrectly interpreting and labeling emotions. Then we create stories that aren’t based on accurate information. Bodily sensations can be interpreted in a variety of ways. What feels like excitement to me, might feel like anxiety to you. Always ask yourself, “what does this mean?” And, “could it mean anything else?” Slow down the process. Don’t assume what your body is trying to tell you. Really focus on this interpretation phase. Be cautious with how you label. The second you label something, it becomes more ingrained in your mind. You will have to work harder to re-wire it. The more aware you become of this process, the better you will feel. You have the power to label your feelings and create stories that both validate and empower you.

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It’d be great if we are self-aware whenever we pin labels and stories to our emotions, especially the unpleasant and uncomfortable ones. Most times, though, we aren’t. And as psychotherapist Whitney Hawkins Goodman wrote in the above Instagram post, “the types of stories we tell can help us or harm us.” (Emphasis mine.)

So why not refrain from making up stories in the first place, at least during the full moon? Why not just float in what you’re feeling? Astrologer Jessica Lanyado advises, “All emotions are worth exploring, so explore them. Find a way to nurture yourself or your situation without looking for an answer or a fix.” It’s not a time of action, especially with so many planets in retrograde. In the face of overwhelming feelings, she also advises against abandoning one’s self, either by looking for distractions, i.e. using social media as a crutch, or obsessing over what someone else feels and thinks. (Lanyadoo talks more about surviving the full moon lunar eclipse in the latest episode of her podcast Ghost of a Podcast.)

In short, this week, be present for what you’re experiencing and let it teach you more about yourself. Don’t run or hide away from it, don’t try to clean it up, but don’t allow it get you started on a loop of obsessive thinking, either. Floating on water doesn’t require any force; it’s the same with your emotions during the full moon. They just need you to be. 

 

Header image by Ricardo Frantz on Unsplash. GIF via Giphy.