At the sounding of the fourth trumpet the element of fire withdraws. And we hear no longer of falling objects. The material smartness has become so dominant that the outlook on the super sensuous world, as expressed in Moon, Sun and stars, is shrinking. Now, everything depends on the I (Bock, p.130-148). Can it transform the astral body to higher consciousness, the Manas, or not?
When we look again at the effects of the trumpets, several things strike us. The effect moves from the earth, to the sea, to heaven, and finally to celestial bodies. Each time a third part is affected. A third part of the trees dies when it rains fire. A third part of what moves in and up the sea perishes when a mountain of fire falls down. When a burning comet falls on earth the life bringing water turns bitter and many people die. And when one third of Moon, Sun and stars are darkened, one third of the day and the night are totally obscured. The light in heaven falls on earth, resulting in death and darkness.
Van Egmond (lecture 10 January 1995, p.17 and further) looks for effects of the four trumpets, without detailing them. But one can think of effects on e.g. the higher elements of the human being. The sounding of the four trumpets results in that case in the death of respectively the remaining aspect of the physical body, followed by the etheric body, the astral body, and finally the I is being cut off. Then the deepest darkness is spreading. The reference to the third part emphasizes also that in the three-folded unity of body-soul-spirit the connection with the spirit is lost for those which do not chose for the upward development.
Schult (p.147) qualifies the darkening of Moon, Sun and stars as the darkening of the world of light of the mental sphere, reflected in the I, that rules thinking, feeling and willing.
The following three trumpets are described more extensively in the Apocalypse, as was also the case with the last three seals. With the last three trumpets, the falling movement is reversed and the Earth answers from its depth to the heavenly heights.