Re-empowering the Dark Feminine
Dark Bad – Light Good
What is the darkness about? Typically, growing up in western culture, we have fallen into associating darkness with something negative. However, in the cultures that still have traces of Celtism in their traditions: Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Darkness can be a gift. They speak of a radiant black, the darkness of the womb, a darkness that is fecund, generative, full of life. Living still far more in the arms of the earth they realise the value of that darkness, which we need for life to germinate, darkness of loamy soil, darkness of ink that writes the words of wisdoms on the pages of creation. We close our eyes to concentrate, to sleep, to dream, the darkness rests our eyes and bodies, helps them regenerate lost energy.
It is a darkness that is purity in the Ottoman culture, in the indo European root language the word black means gleaming, so there is that light in this darkness, soft radiant black. I would like you to become aware of how many associations with darkness or black are negative in our culture?
I challenge you to start uncoupling those associations because it is a kind of interiorized racism that also includes the dark deities that every major cultural stream has developed. The goddess Tara has a dark incarnation, Kali the Destroyer is well known to most of us here, here is the Dark Madonna, whose veneration has grown exponentially over the last 20 years. There is the dark feminine that we as women long for. It is a longing for a wholeness because as a civilisation we have become obsessed with the light, as if there is no darkness, no night in which we rest and dream, because that is something to be afraid of. We banish the night by artificially extending our days with electric light, computer screens, TVs that get bigger and bigger, are on constantly, and of course our smart phone screens that also get larger with every new generation. These screens emit a blue light that has now been linked with the increasing complaints of sleeplessness. The brain is deceived into believing that it is daylight and refuses to rest. The best thing you can do for yourself is not to have any type of screen in your bedroom, but I won’t even ask how many of us have a TV there.
Longing for darkness
When I talk about the longing for darkness, I am really talking about a longing for transformation. In mediaeval alchemy, which the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung studied a great deal, the first stage of the alchemical process is the negredo, the darkening, the blackening. It is a stage of transformation, and one many of us are longing for. A good fruitful darkness. In our western tradition, since the 80s, the image of the Black Madonna, her archetype, has increasingly been rediscovered and been transferred back into our collective consciousness. In mainstream Catholicism she has been venerated, and millions of people have visited the sites where statues of her have been placed centuries ago. Yes, many people talk of this depiction of the Madonna being based on Isis but that is actually a fallacy. Isis, as not many people may know, has a dark sister, Nephtys. It is Her image I believe this black Madonna has been based on. Interestingly, although I have always loved reading about Egyptian deities, it is only recently that Nephtys has come into my awareness. In last year’s goddess conference I spoke about four dark goddesses that I have worked with in my life, to a much larger audience than anyone expected, especially me. Since then it is almost as if these dark goddesses have put the spotlight on me as a channel for their circle, as new Dark Ones contact me on a regular basis, most recently Nephtys. I feel sometimes like I have a dark bright beacon above my head “dark goddesses” land here.
Whether you look at the dark Madonna in Poland, or Italy, or Monserrat in the Catalan region, or Black Sara of the Iberian gypsies of which my abuelo was a devote, or the coal black Madonna in Switzerland. The black Madonnas are not about ethnicity, although that is part of their identity, it is more than that, it is the principle of light and dark in the universe, back to this idea what we need for wholeness, balance.