Finding the Divine in the Dark of the Year

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Did Lao Tzu’s words of ancient wisdom startle you? Or perhaps even perturb you? They certainly run counter to today’s typical “wisdom” about Darkness.

 

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, you may have heard a lot about these times being “dark”—and not at all the way Lao Tzu means. It’s become commonplace for spiritual people to throw out the word “dark” as a catch-all for everything negative. If it’s painful, unpleasant, scary, perverse, ugly, chaotic, turbulent, violent, or just plain evil—it gets labeled “dark.”

 

But Nature, our first spiritual teacher, offers a very different and even more ancient wisdom. The natural forces of Light and Dark are balancing, morally neutral energies–specific manifestations of the broader, deeper balancing forces we call Yang and Yin.

 

Like Yang and Yin, Light and Dark are not enemies, simply opposites! Both are essential for life to flourish here, and they complement rather than conflict with each other in the natural rhythms of life on the Earth plane.

 

Ever since my spiritual awakening, I’ve had downloads about the Dark as a benevolent spiritual force–the hidden face of Divine Love and the crucial balance to our current cultural overdrive and overwhelm (the results of chronic overstimulation by unbalanced Yang/Light energy).

 

This time of Yule and the Solstice is a meaningful time to reveal and be healed by the Divine in the Dark of the season.

 

It is important to acknowledge, though, that the long Solstice night–and this whole season of More-Night-Than-Day—is a time that we almost viscerally fear and resist. To eclipse the dark, we festoon our homes inside and out with yards of blinking, busy artificial lights that wash out the velvety blackness around us. We create rituals and ceremonies that focus on the “triumph” of light over darkness, reinforcing a conflict that exists only in our imaginations. And we staunchly resist any hints from the early, long nights to shut down early ourselves and get some much-needed rest and quiet, as we scurry off to yet more (well-lit) holiday activities.

 

Why are we so set against this time of the Dark?

 

First, we depend biologically on eyes that work best in daylight. Consequently, we feel vulnerable when we “can’t see.” But our overdependence on sight has meant that we’ve neglected other, equally crucial senses–some of which actually function better in the dark, without visual distractions. Hearing and smell pick up when we close our eyes and tune in to their vital messages. And we have yet other senses, beyond the five physical ones: the psychic senses which can keep us safe and empowered in any situation, completely independent of the physical conditions of light or darkness.

 

Second and more insidiously, the relentless push of patriarchal religions to identify light with Good and dark with Evil has added a (false) moral/spiritual layer to our fears and prejudices against the Dark.

 

Light and Dark are connected to the greater forces of Yang and Yin. Period. There is no other valid connection or spiritual interpretation of Light and Dark.

 

Good and Evil are not color-coded! The distinguishing factor is INTENTION.  The intent to help, serve, love, benefit another being–that’s the basis of Good. The intent to harm, and especially to gain pleasure from the harm to, another being–that is the true root of all Evil.

 

But due to 6,000 years of negative and false conditioning, we’ve effectively been “blinded by the light” to the benevolent qualities of the dark.

 

And the result is that we have created an enormous culture of Dark-Avoidance. We’ve even created “light pollution” that blocks the natural beauty of starlit winter nights and disrupts our vital sleep cycles!

 

True, the candles and holiday lights twinkling inside and outside our homes are often genuinely beautiful–gentle, soft lights that coexist in harmony with the darkness. My daughter and I walked the Solstice Stroll at Kruckeberg Gardens last year, and the light sculptures woven through the trees and shrubs were lovely, even ethereal, gently uplifting to our souls.

 

 

But we were both deeply aware that what made those lights so very lovely was the “blackdrop” of the night that surrounded them. And we allowed ourselves to be enfolded by the benevolence of that night: the stillness, the serenity, the deeply Divine embrace of that velvety Darkness as a beauty of Its own, a gift in and of Itself. Afterwards, we both felt  more grounded and more serene.

 

 

What if, this year, as a restorative contrast to the post-election turmoil and holiday busy-ness, you could open yourself for a few moments here and there to simply, trustingly, surrender to the loving, soothing, enfolding of Divine Darkness?

 

What if you could allow yourself to pause and fully feel the restorative power within the “peace and quiet” of the long nights of this season?

 

In fact, what if this whole season is an invitation from the Divine to experience deeply renewing messages from this tender, nurturing Stillness—messages that can only be received when you turn off the busy brightness of manufactured light and turn on your inner vision?

 

And what if, in the embrace of this healing Dark, you receive the Grace to replenish your own inner Divinity?

 

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The Divine Darkness is, in a very profound sense, a womb of rebirth for us all, and just as many people celebrate one wondrous Birth at this time of year, you can also experience the power of your own soul’s rebirth now–IF you allow yourself to fully relax into the darkness, both physically and spiritually, and receive the renewal that awaits you there.

 

As you surrender, and open the gifts of the Divine Darkness, I would love to hear what you receive from this other side of Divinity.

 

I look forward to how we’ll enrich each other in our journey through this season of Divine Darkness….

Deep Dark Divine Blessings,

Susan

 

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