The Dark Quest

Merry Meet! My friends, after a long period of warmth and tremendous upheaval from the fires here in Southern California, we are all, in the Northern Hemisphere, settling into a time of darkness. The sun rises and sets early, some of us complain about going to and coming from work in the dark. Some of us become depressed or suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD).

In Western pagan mythology, this was a period where the God has gone into the Underworld, behind the veil. He is absent, but we are promised his return when he will be born anew at Yule. The Goddess has gone to sleep and is in her Crone phase: the time of old age, wisdom, introspection and retreat.

These are useful metaphors for our modern age. We sometimes find that this period of time is the busiest of all: Thanksgiving, the holiday shopping season, Yule celebrations, decorations and feasts! But the inescapable darkness is a reminder to us all that we are on a quest for our own spiritual growth and that means turning inward to experience the true range of our being. We can use the darkness not only as a reminder to go within, but also, recognize that in so doing, we will not always face aspects of ourselves that we are willing to confront. We all have a dark side--not necessarily evil--but it can be unpleasant.

Facing that side of ourselves is the only way to ensure that it does not take over and emerge in ugly ways. But that takes courage. That takes a quest. That takes the willingness to turn inward during this busy season, look in the mirror and embrace your whole self.

As we approach the festival of Light -- Yule -- we are reminded that in retreating into the darkness, we will re-emerge into the light, with greater awareness of ourselves and an expanded capacity for love of the world.

It is for this reason that I feel tremendous kinship with our Christian brothers and sisters at this time of the year.
Bright Blessings,