Collective Consciousness is constantly evolving. In the past few years, I have seen a sudden surge of awareness and focused exploration of The Shadow, The Darkness and why it´s important to engage with one´s Negativity.
This is an encouraging change from mainstream spiritual rhetoric that has seen Darkness/The Shadow/Blackness as a codeword for something you must Transcend and/or Whitewash with Rainbow Light so it goes away and never bothers you again.
We see a parallel movement or sub-group emerging within the Goddess / Priestess Movement in particular who honor the archetype of the Dark Mother in her varied forms: Hecate, Lilith, Persephone, Dhumavati, Vajrayogini, The Morrighan, Kali-Ma and so on and so forth.
Whilst I am contexutalizing this within the Goddess/Priestess Movement through my commentary, the archetype of Sacred Darkness comes through various other channels as well. This is one of its strongest and most open channels at this time. It is an energetic signature without Form, Gender and Colour – Remember Blackness is not the absence, but the presence or merger of light-waves of all frequencies in a scientific sense. It is the sum of all, rather than its absence.
So yes, it´s time to really get deep – down – dark – dirty – sexy – messy and fundamentally – HUMAN. It´s always been the time to do so. But now we have more permission, freedom, resources, guides and information to show us how.
I would also encourage you to read my friend Sarah Taylor´s article on how more commercialized and less grounded approaches to Shadow-Working have – in their own way – tried to access the Shadow, sensationalize it and strip it of its substance: The Darkside of the Shadow Chasers: Addressing the Bullshit in Shadow-Work
Bearing that in mind …
So yes, it´s Time to turn to the individual and collective Shadow. It always has been.
My path focuses on this element, or aspect of Spirit. What I teach through my articles or facilitate in my individual sessions stems from the fundamental belief that to be Dark is to be Sacred. Just as Sacred as the Light can be.
But with my Dark-lenses on, I see the fissures, the fabrications, the self-aggrandizing or self-comforting illusions that I bring, that you bring, that we – the collective – brings as part of our unacknowledged Spiritual Baggage. It´s not a comfortable path for many as facing what you know deep down inside to be true which you have erected a complex array of ego-defences to avoid is not fun.
Cognitive dissonance and struggle ensues as you try to hold onto a vision of reality which can no longer be made to fit or align. This is why they say ignorance is bliss – but by that token, so too is escaping into a fantasy realm.
For me, Darkness is not sinful. Our negativity is not something that we should be ashamed of. Our connection with Divinity does not require us to be spotless, squeaky clean beings with no shadows, pasts or damage. We are required no longer let these define us, but they make up a part of who we are in this life (at the very least).
Darkness is all-accepting. It is all-embracing. It is the energy of Primordial Creation, Cosmic Void, of the space of Infinite Potential. I work directly with this energy and it is unlike anything else I have ever experienced as a facilitator. I hope to be able to offer this experience to whoever is ready for it when I´m ready to do so. Because it really, really opens your eyes to the Universe. Which, at least to human eyes .. is mostly Dark to begin with….
Now … at the day to day level … without going into some deep, dark journey into Void-Space and Spiritual Breakdown/Breakthrough … what does dealing with Darkness look like?
Where do you begin to do the work?
With everything that you Hate, Fear and Loathe. With everything that makes you intensely uncomfortable.
Everything that angers you, that annoys you, that irritates you, that makes you bleed and burn. That´s the soil you need to till. Because it is a part of the foundation that makes you who you are.
There are other roads to Darkness, but this tends to be the route most take.
Where I disagree strongly with mainstream spiritual rhetoric is the idea that we must be free of all of this to become dis-incarnate, Ascended Beings of Light and Love. That we must release our Darkness to become Sacred. That we must transcend or elevate our focus to something loftier.
Personally I don´t think that was the message the Ascended Beings meant to give us. Maybe that´s what we took from it over time.
(Easier re-interpretation for crowd control)
From my reading of Jesus, probably my favourite Ascended Being, he was Human – and that´s what made him Divine. It is the full and unconditional acceptance of his humanity, anger (remember the scene at the Temple) and suffering that allowed him to traverse into Darkness and emerge into the Light, read as the movement from Death to Rebirth. Not just in himself, but in those he met. When you read that with more thorough understandings of the Mary Magdalene that message gains multidimensional complexity. Of the power of total self-acceptance and the magic that it can achieve.
Look at the Magdalene´s journey through history. First a consort / partner / first disciple (depending on which narrative you take), then a ´fallen woman´, then a saint – and now one with a Vatican-recognized ´official´ feast day as of July 22nd 2016! No matter which person, or politico-religious institution cast stones of judgement at her over the centuries, The Magdalene remained who she was through it all. And the Church is beginning to recognize her energy as one that cannot be permanently distorted or suppressed. It now officially recognizes her as the first to see Jesus emerging from his Tomb. (There´s still a long way to go)
As far as Dark Goddess archetypes go, the Magdalene is probably my favourite <3 I like the way she deals with the BS – stones of judgement – human beings can come up with to suppress the powerful, the iconoclastic, the subversive energy that overthrows entrenched hierarchies. I am also a fan of Margaret Starbird´s hypothesis that Mary Magdalene was in fact an dark-skinned Ethiopian pagan priestess skilled in the arts of hieros gamos. You don´t have to see Her in that way , but … it feels legitimate to me. I hope to visit the land see what She says.
Getting back to topic …
Radical self-acceptance, rather than escape. That´s what both of these Teachers tell me.
So how – again – do we do this daily life?
How we take the muck, the grit, the dirt, the refuse and make fertilizer for something to grow instead?
By not avoiding it. By not pretending that it doesn´t exist. By not buying into the idea that you are a bad or spiritually unevolved person for feeling what you feel and experiencing what you do.
That you are a mess, at times. A human mess. And that is OK.
What I take issue with is when this aspect of the Shadow, the hidden side of the Self is exclusively projected on as something harmful, terrifying, painful and evil. As described above.
It´s unknown. It´ll take time to understand, to adapt to, to heal or illuminate where necessary. But it´s still You.
You can work with a facilitator who will help you pinpoint the more hidden or subliminal dynamics that underpin the states of mind/being that lead you into the Shadow – and why you may perceive it as a negative. Or you can self-facilitate if you feel grounded and knowledgeable enough to do so.
I would recommend the use of labradorite and black obsidian as stones that ground, dispel illusion and allow you to safely traverse these darker, denser spaces within and without. Rose essential oil, much like The Magdalene, encourages us to hold all of us in a loving space of embrace. Frankincense can help with clearing energetic pathways that are blocked (which is not the same as sitting in The Dark) to help us experience more of who and what we are in all our multidimensional expressions. It is also a greatly protective substance. If pregnant, allergic or simply extra-sensitive, please read about these oils and test them out before using them on a regular basis. Some oils will induce the menstrual cycle, which is not what you want if you´re trying to have a child.
Sitting in meditation, breathing deeply with these aromas / stones around you can put you in a more relaxed frame of mind to be willing to look at the tougher questions in your lives, rather than to evade them. If it´s just too much for you to handle, plug out and get someone competent to help. It´s not a journey you have to take alone, nor do you get spiritual brownie points for doing so.
Sometimes, you will encounter aspects of Darkness that aren´t particularly helpful, loving or even amenable to hugs, cuddles and Love. I call this the Bat-shit-Crazy aspect of Spirit. Which, to me, makes sense – as Spirit is everything. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Mad, The Sane, The Righteous – The Everything. The same applies to our conception of Gods and Goddesses. Polytheistic faiths have a more human rendition of Divinity, in the sense that they make mistakes that the more conscientious of them seek to resolve, or simply ignore. They´re not … models of perfection for us to aspire to become. At least they weren´t in the old days. I suspect much human projection has changed the meaning of their fables, myths and parables – and what they tells us as humans – over the aeons.
I find the image of Spirit as this picture-perfect fantasy of what humans imagine as perfection to be a picture-perfect product of human fantasy.
But when channelling such energies/entities – it is useful to bear in mind that the Descent into Darkness has its Limits. For those of you interested in this side of the journey, please read this article of mine: When Not All Darkness is Sacred: Things to Bear in Mind when Embodying or Channelling the Dark Goddess . In cases like that, you need either get .. even deeper, or work with Lighter channels and Deities as a counterbalance.
I´ve heard so so many women come forth with their stories and questions about how to achieve this balance, how to deal with the kind of Raging Feminine Darkness that feels so huge, angry and unstoppable. This article is a part of a much larger response to that question. Bear in mind though, that addresses its extreme manifestation. There´s a lot of joy and healing that the Dark Goddesses bring (typically) before you get to that threshold. And my God .. the Masculine plays a huge role in bringing that to a healthy space of balance (or it winds Her up even more ….).
I´m planning to do a follow up with the Dark God archetype – using the terms Dark and Sacred in ways that play upon the multiple meanings and responses they evoke. My recent pilgrimage to Cambodia was an eye-opener in working with these … very very intense forms expressions of the Shadow/Collective Darkness.
Well this piece turned out longer than I thought it would. I thank you for persisting 🙂 In conclusion, I leave you with a few more paragraphs for your perusal. These were written in response to a conversation I had with some friends and express the heart of my approach – and why focusing on the Shadow is work that not only transforms who we are, but the many worlds we inhabit:
I focus on the negatives as that is how I transmute energy into a new form. Be it in myself, or in the people I work with. That´s how the shift occurs.
Whilst there is a valid space for visualizing a better tomorrow, we still engage with the structures of today as 5D+ energy-beings in 4D bodies (Time being the 4th dimension).
The physical actions we take matter as much as the intentions that we set. Whether that is a vote, a statement, a choice to engage – or the absolute opposite.
What I find disturbing is the idea that you must run away from that which is painful or uncomfortable to lead a happy, balanced life. To me, that sounds like a recipe of denial waiting to ferment into disappointment. Much like building a castle in the air without a foundation on the ground.
We are often told that our attention creates the reality we inhabit. So let´s use it to change what doesn´t work – and to create what will.
It´s question of … do you want visualize being a lotus emerging through the muck – or do you want to roll in the mud that births it?
Get down, get dirty, smear it all over your hands and body … and … in the process … transform it? energize it? infuse it with the Sacred that is You.
Over time, the lotuses will bloom by themselves .. as the mud is churned and cleansed .. and becomes a the perfect seeding ground for beauty, balance and grace.
But you gotta sort out the mud first. Otherwise we wouldn´t be having this discussion.
But No More Illusions.
No More Avoidance.
No More False Binaries.
No more erasing diversity in the name of One-Ness (We may be One, but we´re still a Rainbow of muck, lotuses, colours and nothingness).
Paradox is the name of the game. And it will take all hands on deck to make sense of it all and create a world worth inhabiting, for generations to come.
The Age of Aquarius, the Kali Yugam – calls for nothing else than multilevel awareness and engagement in the effort to transform collective consciousness – and the physical forms that express it.
So let´s get the job done.
Vanakam, Namaste and Blessings to All!
Related Video on The Dark Goddess and channelling her energy in a Balanced form – this is going to be very very relevant during the upcoming Full Moon on October 15/16, 2016.
Post & Meme © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.