Today begins the annual reflective writing challenge August Moon hosted this time around by Alana of Wolf and Word. The theme this year is illumination and today’s prompt is:
We begin our journey in the darkness. I am feeling…
I like the dark. I think culturally we’re taught to fear the dark, to run from the shadows, but for me dark and light are all part of the wholeness. And having spent so much of my life honoring the rhythm of the lunar and natural earth cycles, I understand and appreciate that darkness is an integral part of the rhythmic unfolding of everything.
Darkness is the time of the crone; the time of inward turning; winter; the time of the dormant seed.
I associate darkness with the underworld as well, and it’s no surprise I have such an affinity for Hermes as psychopomp – one who guides newly deceased souls to the afterlife, and who travels as messenger between the worlds. That’s a bit what I feel like, and an energy I carry through my work, as a messenger between the worlds. In Jungian terms, a psychopomp is often thought of as a mediator between the unconscious and conscious realms, and think that describes what I do in my work as well.
Darkness is a time of dreaming; of gathering; the yin time; of energy turned inward; mystery. These are all things I love.
Darkness can be disorienting and there is a gift in that as well. I’m always a little bit thrilled and somewhat surprised when I find myself in a familiar space but I can’t make anything out because it’s so dark. That’s a space filled with possibility that simply didn’t exist before – that moment before we move back into being oriented to the familiar.
As is my usual practice I draw a tarot or oracle card at the new moon and yesterday I drew from the Dark Goddess Tarot deck by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. Coincidence? Probably not. I drew The Hanged One, Tiamat the Babylonian Goddess of the Deep. In addition to the more traditional understanding of this tarot card, Ellen offers this message: “What has been lost, lives in hidden places.”
That’s another beautiful definition of darkness isn’t it?
When I think of darkness I think of Victor Hugo’s words:
“What makes night within us may leave stars.”
And that always leads me to think about beautiful Zeus, the blind owl whose eyes are like starry universes.
Life is indeed magical in the dark.