It can be very difficult to think when the voices are yelling at you in the dark. I know that in the light of day I can clearly remember all of the people in my life that I count on and whom I love. I can consciously remember each connection I have to the Gods and the Fae and my allies. I can easily recount the many gifts for which I am grateful. I can even affirm the beauty that I possess. But in the Darkness, in the Shadows, remembering those things can be almost impossible.
In the past few years I have realized that if I can recount those things by heart, if I can recite them in my sleep; it becomes possible to do so in the Long Night.
A few years ago I began making this a part of my daily practice. It is tied to my breathing so that the “Recounting” and my breath control each other. If I can control my breath, I can fall into the Recounting. If I can begin the Recounting, I can control my breath.
In Anatomy and Physiology class in massage school we learned about entrainment. We learned that we can affect the nervous system by causing a change in the breathing pattern which affects the heart-beat which affects the autonomic response of the entire body. Outside stimuli can create a pattern that the body will respond to. We learned to control our breathing so that our client’s breathing will adjust to match ours. Music has the same affect.
The Recounting helps my body to find the calm, quiet place as well as my mind and soul and heart. Since making the Recounting a part of my daily practice I have also noticed that the “Long Nights’ aren’t quite as long and do not occur so very often.
I have also noticed that when the Night is over and the Dawn comes, I feel joyful and strong and clean. The past few days have been brighter and clearer and more hopeful than the ones before the Long Night.
Yes, they are a gift for which “I Give Thanks!”