Negative connotations often surround the idea of darkness. The ideas of moving into or towards the darkness often hold evil or “bad” associations. The dark is often thought of as a place to be feared. There is, however, a very different lens to look at the dark through.
Right now, the days continue to shorten and the nights lengthen as we head towards the Winter Solstice. In this time of growing darkness sits the holiday season, a time of year that holds days that are celebrated and blessed in many cultures, religions, and traditions. The darkness, too, can be something that is celebrated and sacred.
In the darkness resides the unknown. The unknown often elicits fear. And if that is what waits in the darkness, it is easier to keep turning towards the light and the places that are unobscured. Even if those places impede our growth, change, and transformation, they are at least known. The dark and what it holds, however, is not. It is in the dark, though, that infinite possibility awaits. It is like the womb, or the dark fertile soil, that holds the possibility for all creativity to move through and become.
To turn and dive into our own darkness, the unknown terrain within ourselves, can give rise to anxiety, fear, and discomfort. More than likely, we will stumble upon and uncover things we’ve been wanting to keep in the dark and the shadows. We will, more than likely, too, discover and rediscover gifts and treasures that had been buried deep. And the things we wanted to keep buried, once unearthed and held to the light, can begin to change and transform, helping us to grow and expand. Matthew Fox, in his essay The Return of the Black Madonna, says that “…to avoid the dark is to live superficially, cut off from one’s ground, one’s depth.” When we begin to see the dark as necessity as much as the light, and we start to gather both the light and the dark aspects together, we come more into wholeness.
Meister Eckhart said that “the ground of the soul is dark” (Meditations with Meister Eckhart, Matthew Fox). My teacher, Sianna Sherman, describes the spirit aspect of ourselves as an upward moving, transcendent energy, and the soul as the grounding energy. The soul is of this embodiment and all the possibility it holds. It takes courage to dive deep, to navigate through the dark, to be uncomfortable, to bump up against our edges. This journey, though, is a sacred journey into the great mystery of infinite possibility, a holy journey to wholeness.