Does the dark scare you?

As we enter this week, the time of Samhain — ancient Pagan tradition of honoring the dead, the time when the veil between light and shadow is thin or disappears altogether, the end of the harvest and the start of the longest nights — it seems that darkness is upon us.

What in the world is going on? A deadly shooter, pumped by the hateful vitriol of our own President, enters a Synagogue and takes 11 souls. The media goes wild. Vigils are held across the nation. At the same time, a black couple is brutally murdered in plain site. The media is silent. Blatant hatred collides with the deepest seat of the unconscious. Violence circles our heads as we are asked to confront what is hidden in our hearts.

While I look to thinkers and pundits to try to understand, meaning comes slowly if it comes at all. A voice emerges softly from the dark and says, “there are things we may never fully understand.” And just like that, I am thrown head first into the mystery of it all.

If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from, we will have failed. ~ Carl Sagan

And so I fail, time and again as I stumble my way back to this ineffable truth.

I wonder if the pulsations, manifestations and mysteries of the world are so different from my own. Is what I see playing out on the world stage so different to that which plays out within? As history repeats itself, am I not also given the opportunity to circle back again and again to see anew parts of myself I thought I had fully figured out?

The moon has a side we will never see with the naked eye. Yet, she entices us to look deeply into the dark of night as she moves through her phases — beguiles us as she emerges from darkness to come fully to light only to be pulled back to darkness and start again.

If we are to heal, we must reveal says Leslie, one of my teachers.

Carl Jung reminds me that an inner situation left unconscious, will repeat itself over and over again as fate.

I am a Scorpio sister. Born the year Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. Born during mounting civil unrest as our brothers and sisters came home in body bags from Vietnam and students took to the streets to protest all across the world.

Doesn’t this all sound so familiar?

While Scorpio as an astrological sign can get a bad rap, my teacher Linda says it has its job to do.

Scorpio, she says acts as inner guide to mystery, depth, death and what we’re meant to transform from the unconscious.

We are in the time of Scorpio.

Students tear up during yoga class as I speak these truths. Tissues litter the room.

Thank you, they say, as they exit. That was a great class. I wonder as I watch them leave one by one. Did they just need permission to enter fully into the dark?

Imagine a sky where the moon were always full. It would drive us mad. While we may be living in a time that asks us to dive more deeply into the mystery, the dark, to find and restore ourselves there, doesn’t our world seem to be asking the contrary? Doesn’t western culture drive us hard to live constantly in the glare of distorted light?

As I move through my own phases, and allow myself to enter the darkness more fully, I give myself the space I need to restore, to heal, to not know and to grow. Why not take a bath in the immensity of the unconscious? Find the luminosity hidden in the darkness, the place from which everything emerges. From the darkness, comes the light. Just as hope careens full speed toward lost, the moon blesses us with her tiny crescent silver. Light returns.

Either Darkness alters-

Or something in the sight

Adjusts itself to Midnight-

And Life steps almost straight.

 Emily Dickinson