Hey, here is the story
Forget about the troubles in life
Don’t you know, it’s not easy
When you gotta walk upon that line” – “What You Need” by INXS


Today is December 20th and the fourth of five days where the daytime will be the shortest, with the actual shortest day of all will be on December 21st, a mere five days before the Christian celebration of Christmas. The Sun, if available at all, rises after we have showered and sipped our coffee, or maybe even while we are commuting to work. For me, I am already ready to start first period a mere three minutes after the Sun officially rises, as teachers at my school where I work need to be in their classrooms at 7 am for a 7:20 am start of instruction.

All over the neighborhood, all around the World, people are stringing lights indoors and out, setting candelabras and centerpieces with little wax lanterns to light when the fest begins. Everywhere the twinkling of lights warms our hearts while we drive home from the shops and take the little ones around in the car to see the decorations on the houses and wonder about the magic of Christmas.

Early Pagans and other indigenous tribes who gathered closer together during the cold months did not always rush to light the long nights. There was meaning to the dark – a time where the Elders taught that to go deep into one’s soul during these few nights is cathartic and essential to growth – both spiritual and communal.

So how can we bring back the natural conditions that we can embrace the dark? Here are a few ways:

Seek rest that the dark will usher in.

Our bodies are naturally attracted to movement when exposed to Light. It is rare that a person can sleep throughout a bright, sunny day, as melatonin levels rise in us naturally and cause us to awaken. Now is the time to use the dark for deep sleep – and the time and ability to dream. The darker a bedroom is, the more cozy it feels, as if cocooned away against the elements outside. This darkness allows you to sleep deeper and to dream, which is very important to our internal workings of the mind.

Embrace the safety that the dark brings.

Literature and Hollywood have taught us that we should be afraid of the dark because it holds things we cannot see and things we do not understand. For nocturnal animals, the dark provides safety and safe passage without discovery – in fact – for these animals to be exposed to Light might bring their demise, as other predatory animals would see and then consume them. Moving about in the dark may be challenging but then if you compare it to be challenged by larger, stronger predators, then hiding in the dark is exactly what you want to do. So what about humans? We too, have human “predators” – those who want to ‘take us down’ as we stir something in them that cause them to rise up against us. It may be that we have received an award, promotion or raise. We may have been blessed with more competence, beauty, or financial blessings than others, which might cause them to “hunt you down” and eliminate your perceived threat you pose to them. In this case, quietly slink into the shadows and hunker down, using your protective magic and reversing skills to quietly nudge the “predators” to another side of the office building – or even out the door to a new job!

Accept the nurturing that the dark will envelop around you.

Surround yourself in darkness – draw the shades, dim the lights, and seek the shapes the shadows play across the walls. Allow the darkness to calm and soothe you and any past hurts, disappointment, and torment you have experienced. Use this time to think, recall, reflect, and then – release – these sad and disappointing events. Stay in the dark and let it nurture you until you have finished this detox and it is the time to re-enter the Light. Embrace the healing nature of the dark.

Use darkness to work your protective magic and create damage that offsets your loss.

Humans have the ability to allow their eyesight to change in fading-to-dim light, and their night vision is sharpened, but to attain this there must be a tradeoff. As we are able to see items in low light, we lose the some finite ability to capture details, color gradations and changing shape forms. We can literally hide in plain sight as well as detect those hiding there as well. This is a form of mastery in the training of Ninja warriors. It is not that you should be fearful of the dark, but be aware of the fear that you can raise within your being. This ability allows you to discern certain rituals that you can use that may cause you to question your morals yet you will use them in the event you are threatened. It is a grounding that you sense as you walk silently in the shadows knowing that you have magic in you. You have been practicing and now you have the strength to face the storm. It is arriving and you turn confidently into the wind. Cloak yourself in the danger of the dark.

Finally, examine yourself and understand if you are a practitioner of various levels of Light. If you can consider as someone who is attracted by the Light, then with love embrace the Light. But if you have various shades of grey, then understand that it is alright to embrace the Dark. Be the Dark.


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