Tag Archive | darkness

Gratitude Womb of Dark Moon

GratitudeWombGoddessGratitude for the blessing of this life, the gifts uncountable in their number and numinous darkness, as the moon falls into her black mood of reflection unseen by human eyes though felt; I feel her endarkenment as a sweet nectar in which I float within safe space — womb. Here is the origin of my life and I am entranced whenever I am returned to the unlit peace and seclusion, listening to muffled voice, thrumming to a heartbeat of “out there,” a vital force unseen, floating in a brew of life-giving nutrients as I lay curled within human mother and more-than-human mother. I could be the spiral of galaxies as easily as spongy-flesh of unformed creature.

Gratitude for reflective love, as every year since the new millennium began its turning is icing on a cake of life that touched the stars and sank into despair; those emotional tandem bicycles spinning wheels of possibility. For then, after finding myself in Gaia, she brought a tangible masculine form for love into an opening, into a space that was left vacant by the acceptance of the Infinite in a guise I’d always known but was untitled, like a book with a missing cover that had fallen away through the ravages of time. Through love a new cover has been crafted from soul and smoke, from sifting sands and a magic cavern always in transformation.

Gratitude is the heart of being born into a tribe of kindred spirits rather than one of blood, for this dance is a masquerade ball among smiles and capes, hugs and warm fur settling into the curves of my body, releasing into the peace of transparent presence formerly hidden. Only this.

Gratitude as I wait for each word to emerge, as I trust it will, and this is another gratitude that flows on its own from Source and gains momentum and individuality pounding through the muscles and nerves from top to tip, from head to digits, and among the swirls of ink-become-mystery. I don’t know what I’m going to say until the words reveal themselves, a mystical process that lies within the space that is neither mind nor hand but apparently emerges on gossamer streams flowing in the subtle space near my heart.

Gratitude that my womb has never been empty, though it has never grown a child, rather within the space where a vacancy sign has been blinking off and on for decades lies a cauldron of creativity that flows unending and I manage to cup my hands occasionally, drinking the nectar that pools therein and shapes itself into forms of an imaginary world. If it is true that we dream the world into matter, then my dreams are part of a new beginning led and held by the ancients of bygone eras who whisper, their words spiraling in the cartilaginous labyrinth of inner ethereal ear, an oceanic conch shell so long out of its unity that silence and solitude are the filaments I need to form the framework in which to listen … and create.

Is this litany of gratitude a gift of time and age or one that has always been humming since the womb? Across these musing flickers of neurons is the wholeness that joins hands, jumping from one dark thread-trail to another, always present, only revealing themselves in the glowing tip of a temporary wand of incense, the seed within the womb of life.

A Light in the Window

scroll window candlesI felt a flicker this morning, a balancing of dark and light in me that was gently encouraging; a candle lit in the darkness, a “light in the window.”

My light cannot be seen during the brightness of day, but at night, as I sit at an ancient scarred table in a small cabin with wax paper for windows instead of glass … there, the imaginary candle burns with a dancing magic of illumination upon my efforts.

We each reveal a unique balance — mine just happens to lean more within quiet night and soft glow of tiny candle flames resembling fireflies leading me down an invisible path. I trust and follow. What else can I do? To resist or conform to the glare of daylight brings dis-ease and spreads an oil-slick of crimson toxic wounds.

Even in my despair, I can’t give up on all these stumbling foolish souls who mirror my own human faults and I theirs … I have to trust that we all do our best amidst our joys and grieving, our roles and mysterious symbols dreamt behind the lenses of eyes blue or green or brown that echo a smile or frown or the pain that leaks out.

I remember the soft light of walks in forests dim where canopies hold their arms over my head in blessings falling on head and shoulders. Accept one’s nature and thrive. I feel my mouth widen, a smiling secret into the fading light of day where twilight takes over and breathes a dusky scent of relief, the sigh of restful peace turning into imagination where worlds expand beyond horizon or barrier of present world events to glorious potential future.

Presence is dangerous at times for the melancholy nature; the world becomes overwhelming. Did Snow White have the right idea when she naively succumbed to the wickedness and fell into dreamland until she was once more strong enough to awaken through a powerful love? We all need to sleep, to dream ourselves and the world into new possibilities. There is no shame in this, to die to the present moment so one can awaken renewed.

There is no shame when one lays claim to the shadows of familiarity, scribbling stories of possibility, by the dancing flames upon a sturdy tubular candle that a serpent winds around, spiraling up and down upon itself — I feel it inside, massaging joints, creating flow and encouraging movement of love, compassion, awareness, witnessing, imagination.

In the dark, by candlelight, there is a spark that lends the hand the will to write upon waiting parchment a story of what might be. What is be-coming.

There is a light in the window that can only be glimpsed at night.

Behind the Veil

small__2788224265A Charm invests a face

Imperfectly beheld — 

The Lady dare not lift her Veil

For fear it be dispelled — 

But peers beyond her mesh — 

And wishes — and denies —

Lest Interview — annul a want

That Image — satisfies — 

~ Emily Dickinson

 

Shame rises and flaps Her tattered wings; I am not brave enough today to venture into this portal … maybe tomorrow Shame will be in Her nest.

Good Night

Dear Longest Night, photo

I’m sad to see your darkness go for without it I don’t know how to find myself in the bright light of day that glares its way across my eyelids until, squinting, I see nothing but yellow pushing and shoving. Farewell dark healing womb that was stretching to hold me gently tightly securely in the womb of wisdom. Precious darkling, alas you will become less and less, fading sooner every morning into the hectic pace of speeding cars and intensive work that barely paused to recognize you while you were here by flooding homes and offices with false lights, by working long hours to ignore the decreasing daylight. Sad to see you go, my friend of endarkenment, before we’ve even had the abundance of hugging and holding hands and reflecting upon all that has happened, to create stories of transformation that embrace the light and dark in equal measure.

So many people bemoaned the day after summer solstice, fearful of the coming dark increasing shadows that crept longer and longer to peek around the edges of a well-lit life and say “ah ha, that’s where you’ve been hiding the really good stuff, the deep dark chocolate egg and the rebirth of soul into presence felt not seen.” I honor you, sweet darkness, for granting permission to go inside the cave and huddle close to unknown sensations and feelings burnt to ash, or lying as mirage upon the open desert floor, hot, shimmering. I give thanks, huddled under the blanket woven by nimble fingers of ancient grandmothers who sat easily in their rocking chairs by the banked hearth-fire allowing only a single coal to glow so as not to insult the wisdom whispers of womb and tomb. I’m sad to see you go without a proper acknowledgement, without the gratitude fully kissed upon your ebony cheeks by sweet recall into memories traced into labyrinthine passages snug and welcoming.

While others focus on the birth of greater light in a world already burning so bright it hurts my eyes and heart, I say grace to the depths of darkness that nurtures and sustains my very ground of being, that holds the streams of bloodline, that wraps taproots around my trembling soul infusing it with the sap of soma, the nectar of release and renewal. Farewell, deep well of knowing, as I let go my treasured friend to meet less frequently for a while, as I seek you eagerly upon the sleep of shortening nights blooming across the infinite sky.

SkotinoCave

Skotino Cave, Crete

Your sister Lumen grows bright upon your tired eyes and I love her, too, but she gets all the attention and praise while you are quickly set aside by lengthening days. Know, my dear friend of jet and coal and diamond in the rough, that I willingly abide within as often as I can meet you, I will, so that we continue our exploration and to heal without distractions seen all around. Upon your womb I will still rest and nourish at your breast within the cave at night and when I close my eyes, place hands cupped upon them, you are there again and I release my heart into the background of joy that you have always been and always will be, infinity, the black hole of all creation’s birth, the canal of rebirth through death.

Have we seen you enough? Have we honored you with heart and soul? Have we come to you with courage and gratitude? You are half the blessed cycle and yet … have we loved you equally?

Even as the sunlight warms my skin, I’m sad to see you go. Even as the orange tree stretches limbs up high, as do I, I’m sad to see you go. Within my heart, I hold the darkness softly, gently, with honor, as and for a desperately needed counter-balance to a world that often values the light in excess, I say grace for the amaranthine threads that wind their way into the divine depths of Gaia’s womb, the core of life, of soul.

Thank you, Good Night.

Ancestors

IMG_2786Enmeshed within the roots of time, of ancestors so far in the distant past that we are only mists to one another, we are merely the memories we access through the rhythms of Mother Earth and the songs on the wind that sound like birds but are the voices of words strung together like berries on a bush that are eaten now as their cousins were then.

Within the palm of my hand, out of the shallow cup of darkness emerges the light of morning and illuminates the way forward so that I can hear the wisdom of She Who Is All. I stare at the star and know my own heart for within mine is Hers and theirs and ours. I don’t think there is any way to let go, to forget the ancestors because they dwell within bone and sinew; even if skin and hair pretend to be someone else, when I close my eyes, sink into the earth, I feel our relatedness and experience our inseparability.

Can you imagine if we open to conscious access of the origins of our species? And then go just a little further to swimming in Her womb among the kindred that swim in our present? Were the trees in the mountains once seaweed of ocean valleys? We are all related, our blood the same as sea — we remain salt and water, bleeding life into life and beyond death. The roots are snakes shedding their skin and the hawk flies once and leaves a feather upon the trail for me to find and put in my hair as I follow the crumbs of ancestors thinking I am on my own.

Am I going backwards through time? Am I the ancestral spirit who led me to this moment of acknowledgment to hold the soul of she who birthed me into a hole lined with flowers? How and why do we reject our spiritual ancestry in preference for physical genetics? We are energy beings and souls emerging into bodies of form. Could we have chosen to live a unique code each incarnation? I resonate with this beyond-form wisdom as Truth. Another lesson in the journey backward and forward through time? I have no child this lifetime but it doesn’t mean anything because I am all forms in many lives — I am gender free and role fulfilling and species unlimited as I move through being the ancestor and knowing the ancestor. How do we honor all life if we cling to physical as relation instead of knowing all Spirit as ancestor? We are each of us the child and the mother, the dove and the tortoise, the whale and the antelope, the shell and the stone, the scorpion and the hummingbird sipping its nectar from flower and energy that is the vital force invisible yet more real than the rock from the depths of the earth that holds the billions of years old fossil of a creature whose spiral reflects the Truth of all life infinite. I am the dirt, black and rich and thick with power holding the song of planet and stars that sparkle within me like the endless space beyond my perception. Is it possible to know ourselves as infinite? Beyond my ancestry from a continent I’ve never touched?

When I walked the African Art Village — an unexpected surprise at the Tucson Gem Show — my heart pounded to an unfamiliar pattern that welcome me, exciting and more vigorous than that of my every day life. I look into the black and I see me; I look into the light and there I am again. No difference. I am related to all of life past present and future in this single moment.

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I posted elsewhere — Deep Within — about the Tucson Gem Show. The lovely bronze figurine shown in the above photo was purchased at the African Art Village.

*** I call my little book-reading figurine Aja. She represents the West African Goddess of the forest and herbs, a goddess of healing and teaching this knowledge to others. The following description is from Auset’s The Goddess Guide: Exploring the Attributes and Correspondences of the Divine Feminine:

“Aja: West African goddess of forests. Aja is worshipped throughout Nigeria and in the New World Yoruban tradition as a wise woman and healer. She rules over forests, woodlands, and the medicinal herbs found within them. She teaches herb lore to her followers, ensuring their physical and spiritual health.”

The artist of the figurine is: Kofi Awudu Ouedraogo

Dark Moon

Mid-week, at the mere recurring thought of doing a dark moon release in preparation for my pilgrimage, the following began to flow:

Dark moon shadows, fair moon light,

Cast off fears and let go fight.

All resistance fades away

as Dark Moon eats the fears that play

among the telling sounds of voice …

“I have the power. I am the choice.”

“I am the power. I have the choice.”

Sounds of joy fill my heart,

wishing well those fears depart.

All the inner tensions hiding,

release a father’s stern voice chiding,

or worries that my nature is strange … 

“Open up, embrace the change!”

 Clearly, I am ready and needing to release. While in the midst of morning asanas, I was gently massaging my belly and thinking that I am birthing … before I was gestating but now I am in the throes of labor — birthing a reshaped body, a different elemental landscape-blend of self as I see into the land around me — stark yet full of vigorous life — and I have the opportunity to express myself as I truly am … a guide, a teacher, a healer, one who shares what I’ve learned. And what I’ve learned is valuable. I have survived. My cocoon process has been slower than some but it is my process — so it’s okay. Faith carries me … being present to each moment sustains … creativity and inspiration open visions of future … the past is gone, release it.

 Motion calls me, I’m not done,

not by far … I see the Sun

still shining strong within my depths

light the way to each new step.

A phrase or poem pops in when I pause in these reflections, as if mirroring a fairy flitting in and out of existence. That’ show my rhymes have always felt, filled with an innocence of child-like wonder that sees the invisible realms, the inner reality.

I know that the Divine Feminine Yoga Telesummit this past week has been a gift. To listen to other women ‘in circle’ (via webinar) has been wonderful. To feel the abundance of wisdom and experience, the outpouring of love and support — the encouragement to do and be what we truly are — to expand and explore how to express into the world my gifts. Beautiful. And yet, I witnessed some ego responses rise within me as well, and made note of them to understand why. For example, wanting to hear the speakers rather than Laura, and feeling irritation at her interruption of the flow (seeing in those moments also, though, that I was lacking respect for Laura on some level for which I felt shame since she was the facilitator and creator of the event). I also felt a sort of harshness arise in my response to some of the perspectives shared by speakers who emphasized what felt like an aggressive energy; this is not my way, but many who have followed other paths and are different in nature may need this intensity to break free. At the same time, I also felt welcoming and loving to these women, often wanting to reach out and hug and share “me, too!” and/or “deep thanks!” in receptivity and community. There are so many of us — women and innocents — striving within our own unique natures to reach out and help others while concurrently healing ourselves. And that’s so important to remember … our natures of diversity. And to simply glance outside at the plethora of Mother Nature’s diversity is a Divine reminder. We mirror the blends of elements that are infinite variety!

Dark moon shining far away,

and yet I see the Light at play —

not the glare that blinds my sight 

but channels of revealing night

vibrate up and down my spine,

quiver all my senses — “Shine!”

I feel affirmations arise in the moment of writing, in this moment of who I am in the present, who I’ve become …

I am strong and perfect just as I am.

I am courageous and wise.

I am woman of experience and child of wonder who revels in both Beauty and Ugliness for the Divine Light of Love’s expression.

I am a compassionate woman.

I care deeply for others yet also care for myself.

I practice self-care and authenticity to be more loving and wise in the world.

I am living in a beautiful, amazing body.

I provide care for this body-temple to carry me through the world doing what I am called to.

I am gifted and know my strengths, and grow my abilities.

I see my weaknesses and hug them with tenderness.

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And so, from the above free-flow writing, I created the following simple Dark Moon Ritual:

[Invocation to the Goddess]

I ask this night, with the waning moon in Leo (my own moon sign, according to my chart, though it has always felt very odd and slightly askew), to release into this special black stone my fears, my insecurities, and the criticisms I hear in my head from Dad, for whom I never felt I was ‘enough’ … to release into the stone whatever is holding me back from trying … to release into the stone whatever is preventing me from letting my own unique light shine.

[Repeat the free-flow poetry three times, followed by the affirmations as declaration of the Divine Feminine within]

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Afterword: But what is missing in the affirmations? The Mother is there, so is the Crone. Where is the Maiden with her fire and drive and passion and lilting play? See how this ritual became a catharsis in Survival.

Darkness

The presence of the Goddess is echoed above and below and within. She does not hide Her face for all facets are beauty. Even in the dark moments where She is storming against the toxins within her system or the changes we are trying to make to conform her to what we think She should be or look like, She does not deny the chaos from out of which new life grows and transforms.

I hear Her voice echoed above and lift my eyes, my gaze, to see Her there, whether dark clouds or sunny skies. I like to imagine that I am complete when I embrace my dark moments, too.

For we all experience them and either acknowledge them or live in denial that we ever have dark thoughts/moments. Well, maybe some people who are finally far enough along their path no longer experience the darkness in themselves but still they must live amidst those of us who still do. And if we are embarrassed or ashamed of our darkness, where does that leave us in communing with the rest of the world? Do we fear and hate and try to hide the darkness of the manifest world or do we bring it into the light to be healed? When we hide our dark moments from our loved ones out of fear or shame, or perhaps not wanting them to feel our pain, are we not burying a part of them as well and telling them they should hide their dark moments from us? Is not our ‘hiding’ of that part of self a fester that will continue to spread beneath our outer persona like a fungus, touching all our cells and reverberating out into the world like a compression wave of disgrace? Where its tone is echoed above and below and shocks through the people around us like sonar? It seems that for every part of ourselves that is denied or hidden, there is one more stain upon the outer culture skin, spreading like a virus or multiplying like spores that are breathed in and out until we are all infected and re-infected.

We exist in form in duality–this is an illusion of who we really are in Spirit, but it IS the existence of us here and now in the world. Is it not wiser to feel the darkness and then embrace it? Transform it through loving acceptance? Just as we are transformed when we open to the Divine Feminine in all Her glory as she rains and storms, becomes tornado or quake or wildfire?

She is not angry, she is simply doing what is necessary to transform Herself into wholeness. Now, one could think that she is no different than the armies who kill all those who are ‘different’ because of the ‘cleansing’ but it is far and away not the same, not even close, for she feels no hatred or arrogance or disgust–those are human feelings and emotions from the aberrance of separative illusion–and she is simply cleaning house, compassionate toward the losses perhaps but knowing the wisdom of loving the whole first. There is great distance between the destruction of humans and the transformation of Gaia.

And is that where we still have so much to learn? That the whole is more vital than the one? To know that when I am in darkness, the light will always come but it is not ‘better’ than the dark, only different but necessary. There is a certain detachment from these dualities when we find peace in them, perhaps. The dark is not bad, it simply is … no shame in the feeling of it … and when we accept this then the contentment with past and present are echoed above and below and everywhere. To experience the darkness without attaching to it, without denying it or hiding it, allows it to exist in peace and move on just as night turns to day and then back to night. “This too shall pass.”

The concept of detachment does not mean lack of love or compassion, and it does not mean inaction, it means that we can experience a solid or flowing background of peace as we see dark and light come and go as the energies that they are, knowing our power and our limitations as well. In fact, peace–Sattva–is neither light or dark, it is an energy beyond duality that allows us to evolve here and now, not out there, or when we die or when everyone is finally “perfect.”

I feel that the dark moments might in some ways be the most precious from a holistic embrace of my whole self for it is during those times, in hindsight, that grace dances in and partners with the shadows for incredible transformation.

Why so much shame around our darkest moments? Like they aren’t part of us? Like the darkness is not the ‘real’ us? My journals reveal all aspects of myself … from creative to soul-searching to daily angst or joy, to contemplative to pure imagination. Funny, I used to keep the writing separate with a book for this and one for that and now they just all flow together as the complicated messy me that I love — I am the finger painting of a child and the dark storm on the horizon and the Monet and Gaia’s precious gift to Herself.

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This piece was the result of several energies pouring into me … one was the ClarityWorks Online daily writing prompt of “echoed above” holding hands with recent comments about our ‘dark moments’ not being our ‘real’ selves and all swirling in the body-soul of where I was in that particular moment.