We could also call this stage
. This is a stage in between two series. It is the end of one series, therefore it is called stage 18, but it is also the stage of rest, a pause before the start of a new cycle.
They need rest, they just want to stay in one place and do nothing
They have a great desire to withdraw to a quiet place and be by themselves.
They don’t want to have much contact with other people, they don’t feel the urge to do anything at all. They go in retreat, in a monastery or a sacred place. This is a safe haven after all the troubles and dangers they have been through. They go into hibernation and when the world starts to look attractive again they might come out again.
The word ‘autism’ portrays this attitude very well, particularly in the state of Helium. They like to be on their own, they don’t need others, they prefer to concentrate on themselves, in their own private space.
It is the stage of the caterpillar who changes into a pupa. In this stage it looks as if nothing is happening. But a great inner transformation is taking place, for the caterpillar is changing into a butterfly.
It is similar to a state of coma, sleep, autism, catatonia, death, meditation or holiday.
It is also possible that they feel very locked up in their isolated condition. Then their cocoon might be felt as a hindrance or a prison. They are locked up inside their house, like an autistic child. They stay within themselves and don’t need others.
Helium is locked up inside himself: autism.
Neon is blocked off from his relations: mentally handicapped.
Argon is blocked off from his work: unemployed.
Krypton is blocked off from ideas: monastery.
Xenon is blocked off from his country: asylum.
They are in a phase of inactivity. They don’t move at all. It is as if they are denying where they came from, what they have done in the past and who they were connected with. They don’t know what is was like anymore, and they don’t want to know either. It is all over. But in a way they also deny their future,:before they start anything they must first have some peace and quiet.
They are all wrapped up in a protective covering. In this safe place they are able to find themselves again, to think what they will do next. They live this way so that they will not be disturbed by anything from the outside world, that is how transformation can take place. The experiences of the previous cycle are internalised and integrated. Through meditation they can transcend the old cycle and be ready for the next one.
Free Without ties
They feel free and without any ties. They have freed themselves from all their old obligations and now they don’t have any more responsibilities. They are as free as a bird in the sky. They have absorbed everything there was to learn from the previous cycle, and now they are ready to rise above it. But floating like a bird in the skies can be an excuse to escape from reality. The tortures of everyday life may be so unbearable that they leave their bodies and ‘split’.
They may suffer from a slight feeling of confusion, as if they are floating. This is because they have no ties to bind them to their old existence, so they are slightly disorientated. The tendency to dissociate can increase this feeling of confusion. They knew there was something, but they don’t know what it was anymore.
The prefix ‘non’ or ‘in’ often describes this stage. There is a certain denial, a non-existence, an in-activity.
Catatonia, autism, coma.
Dizzy, lightheaded, floating.
The rare gases all remain gaseous until far below freezing point. They are the least compact. The elements immediately next to the rare gases, Stage 1 and 17, are extremely reactive, but they let go as soon as they are in solution.
It is tempting to speculate about the relationship between the elements belonging to this stage and the different animals that form cocoons. We could imagine the caterpillar with his enormous appetite as belonging to stage 17, the cocoon as stage 18 and the butterfly, fluttering around innocently and free of cares, as stage 1.
DD: Stage 17 has the feeling he must let go, but finds it very difficult, he isn’t really free yet. Stage 18 has really let go of everything, there are no more ties, there is total freedom.
DD: Opium, Cannabis indica.