I have been thinking about my relationship with darkness, my awareness of it and my feelings about it. My memories begin at about the age of five (with one small exception) and my awareness of the darkness and my relationship to it, are a part of those memories. I was never afraid of the dark. I can remember a fascination with it and feeling that I belonged there. I remember a desire to explore it and a longing for it. I also remember that my awareness of “others” existed then as well. (I wonder if there is a correlation between the two?)
Awareness of “God”, awareness of “magick”, awareness that there is more to the world than what I can see. Relationship with the Willow next to my house and with the stream through the woods down the road. Awareness of the small brown person beneath the may-apples who kept me company when I wandered seeking “the other side”. Awareness that I was different and a longing to be connected to the “others”.
My family of origin, whom I love dearly, is afraid of the dark. They are uncomfortable with it and do not understand it. My own longing for it has always made them uneasy. The next generation however, struggles with it and I understand now that one of the reasons I am a part of this family is to help guide those children now.
Magick is part of the nature of the darkness. It is the unseen and the unknown. It is the Mystery. And it is beautiful. As witches ,we celebrate the Sun and the Summer but, unlike many others, we celebrate the Moon and the Night and the Void. We are not afraid of the Darkness. We embrace it and seek balance.
I remember the first time I was afraid of the darkness within me. It may have been the only time, I do not know for a certainty. I was about 10 and had met Grandmother Spider. The Crone. She fascinated me, I was not afraid of her, however at that time I struggled with anger and my own lack of understanding of how to express it. I struck another person for the only time in my life. She was a friend and did nothing to provoke the violence. I was ashamed, truly. There were no consequences, no intervention by any adults, no one knew except the kids on the playground and I cannot recall anyone reacting at all. All I can remember is the rage I felt and the feeling of my hand striking her and an overwhelming feeling of shame and humiliation.
Grandmother Spider was not happy with me, I was not happy with me. I remember at that time I turned away from the darkness. I decided that I had done something that made me unsuitable, unacceptable. I still knew the beauty to be found in the dark and the magick and the “others” but I felt that I could not have relationship with them any longer. I was not worthy.
I struggled for years suppressing anger instead of learning how to express it constructively. I struggled with the depression that resulted. (Although depression had been a part of my life since I was at least five, it had never been so pervasive). I struggled with the feeling of being cut off from that beauty and from my own nature. I struggled with the lack of belonging and the grief of loss.
I am blessed. The exile was not forever. I found the connection again and realized that the beauty had never left me. My time in the wasteland ended and I became a grown woman, the witch I always was. The time in the wasteland was a time of seeking that taught me a great deal, and for that I give thanks.
I also give thanks for renewed connection, and the relationships, and the magick that is a part of my daily life. I am indeed Blessed.