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The Darkness Within


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#201 Guest_justme_*

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:37 PM

I have been thinking a lot about this lately and I don't think there is any "perfect balance" For one thing everything is constantly changing. I am not even the same person I was last night - the earth has changed, nature has changed - constant chaos. So the trick, is to understand and be aware of the different energies both within and without to achieve what I need and desire. In my mind this is the meaning of cunning. It is the ability to see what I need or desire, what I already possess, and what is required to achieve the end result. What energies are involved? If I am absorbing too much of one energy I need to focus and use its opposite energy to balance out - not to achieve perfect balance but to achieve my goal at the moment.
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#202 Michele

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:31 PM

I have been thinking a lot about this lately and I don't think there is any "perfect balance" For one thing everything is constantly changing. I am not even the same person I was last night - the earth has changed, nature has changed - constant chaos. So the trick, is to understand and be aware of the different energies both within and without to achieve what I need and desire. In my mind this is the meaning of cunning. It is the ability to see what I need or desire, what I already possess, and what is required to achieve the end result. What energies are involved? If I am absorbing too much of one energy I need to focus and use its opposite energy to balance out - not to achieve perfect balance but to achieve my goal at the moment.


To me it isn't constant chaos, it only appears that way because not everything happens within human time-frames. From the monumental to the minute. But you are right in there is no perfect balance, just constant interactions of energy. And if one can recognize what specific energy is feeding any given situation, then one has the base from which to start their spell work - what energy to add, or which one to suck away, etc., depending on what energies are already at work, to put a situation back in balance. And to me, every spell is about balance. Fred is broke and hasn't worked in 3 months. Fred needs a job and an income to balance out that situation. Job/prosperity spell. (Okay, overly simplified, lol, but you get my drift.) For me, balance, and the ability to recognize which/what energies are upsetting that balance, is imperative.

M

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#203 Guest_justme_*

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

To me it isn't constant chaos, it only appears that way because not everything happens within human time-frames. From the monumental to the minute. But you are right in there is no perfect balance, just constant interactions of energy. And if one can recognize what specific energy is feeding any given situation, then one has the base from which to start their spell work - what energy to add, or which one to suck away, etc., depending on what energies are already at work, to put a situation back in balance. And to me, every spell is about balance. Fred is broke and hasn't worked in 3 months. Fred needs a job and an income to balance out that situation. Job/prosperity spell. (Okay, overly simplified, lol, but you get my drift.) For me, balance, and the ability to recognize which/what energies are upsetting that balance, is imperative.

M


But.......isn't balance subjective? What may be or feel like balance to someone, may not be the same to me. And in my opinion balance can happen anywhere along the energy field of any given polarity depending on the situation in which it is needed. It doesn't necessarily mean dead center. I personally feel that we use terms like balance to mean harmony, to mean we are in harmony (and good) rather than being honest that in reality we create what we need and want. It is kind of like saying do what you want as long as you don't harm. This is an impossibility. If you eat veggies, you have harmed that plant. Eat a burger, you have harmed the cow. Don't eat, you have harmed yourself.

I see the balancing of energy as a science. It just is. If you mix A with B you will get C. The path to me is learning and exploring the different energies within and without so that one can command them to control one's life and destiny.

I had the realization the other day that if I contained a virtue, I also must by the nature of energy contain that same vice and if I contain a vice, I also contain that virture. This makes a lot more sense to me that feeling guilty. If I don't like the given results of my behavior use the opposite energy. If I am stuck too much in one form of energy - focus on its opposite while knowing I can return to the other as need be. Its not black and white but huge gray scale which I can move along depending on my purpose.

Just my thoughts.

And yes, I would like to suggest there is constant chaos as well as constant order. I know that can be a sticky one to get one's mind around but to me it makes sense. Chaos is the random change around us and with in us that is in constant motion. But then there is synchronicity as well. I would venture to say as much synchronicity as chaos. They balance each other out but not in dead center at every given moment - more like the pendulum.

Edited by justme, 09 March 2013 - 01:58 PM.

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#204 RoseRed

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:47 PM

That was a very long read but well worth it.

 

The imagery of the lotus really touched something within me.  The beautiful flower in the light that cannot exist without the muck and darkness beneath.  It exists in both the darkness and the light and cannot without one or the other.  Yet it also requires that space between to bridge the gap between darkness and light.  I find I am happiest and most content in that between space.

 

One thing that stuck with me as I read the thread - and it may just be that I'm unfamiliar with the terminology - is the Hollow Dark.  If I'm misunderstanding the term please let me know.

 

I've never found the dark to be hollow nor empty.  There is much to be learned and seen in the dark, if ones allows their sight to adjust.  There's much to be learned in the dark that cannot be learned in any other place.  There are things that live in the dark that decay in the light just as there are things that will burn and die when given too much light.  That last sentence seems odd to me but I can't seem to put my finger on it.

 

As this crooked path rounds another bend I find that I am in a dark place right now.  But I like it.  I wrap the darkness around me like an old comfortable blanket.  Like too much sun would burn.  I know that this descent into my dark places has a purpose.  That once I realize what it is that I'm supposed to find here I know that it'll change me.  I know that there will be no turning back.  There can be no growth if one is too paralyzed to move foward.  That growth can be painful although it's necessary.

 

It feels as though I'm standing on the cusp of something awesome.  I've been drawn to my anscestors.  To listening to and recieving their wisdom and council (and smacks upside the head, too).  But first I must bridge that gap between us.  That bridge is to be found in the darker places.  The darker places where the roots reach deep beneath the surface.

 

Do I feel some trepidation?  Of course I do.  I don't know how this will change me - only that it will.


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#205 Michele

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:08 PM

The dark is one half of the light and vice versa. Your ancestors are deceased (I'm assuming) so their memories will be more active in the dark times - night, dreams, winter, etc.) - in the spirit world - whereas things of the living are more active during the day and the growing seasons. Your ancestors have returned to the earth. Where the roots of trees and other things grow deeply and feed (in the earth - in the dark). The dead are eaten by worms whose waste becomes fertilizer, as do the dead become fertilizer... for the roots, that feed the trunk that grows out of and intersects the darkness of the earth, that branches out into the light of day.... The dead, and the living, and the threshold between... the dark, the light, and the bridge/threshold... and you must have one to have the other... You can't die if you were never alive. 

 

I work tentatively with the dark under guidance and protection of my allies. I much prefer light (after all, I'm living, lol), and there are things in the dark that one should never want to mess with (IMHO)... horrors that unrecognized can haunt the mind and the psychie until prosiac rules and all possibilities of communication and witchyness are nicely drugged out of possibility. For me, it's know WHAT (and state that without question prior to contact) you're contacting and how to politely and respectfully approach it, know where to find light in a pinch/emergency, understand that light can kill as quickly as dark and beware of how much you call upon, only approach recognizable dead (Beloved/Ancestoral), know who are my allies and be able to recognize them, know how to call them, NEVER forget to appreciate my allies and tell them so, and have someone in the wings who knows a helluva lot more than I do and can offer sound advice (even when I get annoying), lol lol lol. 

 

M


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#206 RoseRed

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:26 PM

I definitely appreciate that.  Thank you.

 

There are definitely things in the dark that I don't want to go near let alone hang out with.  I'm really not into serving myself up for lunch.  I've seen some of these from a distance and that distance I prefer.  There's a darkness that goes much deeper than where the roots are.  There is still some light in this area where the dead interact with the living.  If there was no light at all there would be nothing for my eyes to adjust to.  Does that make sense?

 

My Grandmother has been reaching out to me and I'm reaching back. 

 

What you said, especially in the 2nd paragraph is such wonderfully practical advice.  I just love it!  Thank you.


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#207 RoseRed

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:44 PM

I just deleted my post.  I thought this was in the private section.


Edited by RoseRed, 18 March 2014 - 03:46 PM.

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#208 Solanaceae

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:39 PM

Darn , Sorry I missed that, I bet it was interesting! :witch2:


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Some are born to sweet delight,

Some are born to endless night.

 

(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence") William Blake


#209 Nikki

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:55 PM

Someone once said to me that the Darkness Within isn't what's bad/evil/... insert adjective of choice. The Darkness Within is what's hidden in us...it's what we've yet to realize about ourselves.  It's what lurks in the shadows of ourselves and prevents us from understanding not only our entire nature, but humanity as a whole and the world around us. 

 

Finding the Darkness within, to understand the darkness externally.

 

I sometimes wonder if the Darkness Within is very thing that makes a spell go wonky, completely baffles us in regard to others, or unabashedly humbles us before the mysterious Universe.

 

Recently, some 'hidden' aspects of my nature have come to light through introspection and meditation. If I had to give it a name, it would be 'awareness' ... 

 

As with most things trad related its a matter of working intraspectively.

 

 



How have you embraced the darkness? Yes, but slowly.  

 



How has it influenced you and your practice? I am less afraid to use it for my own purposes... a big change for me.

In a very strange way, I've become both more compassionate and selfish all at once. It's very hard to explain. 

 



When would you use this great viod in a working?

 When there's no longer a void in me. (when and if that comes to be)  I have so much still to learn.

 

I don't think I'll be able to get this topic outta my head today.


Edited by Nikki, 19 March 2014 - 01:44 PM.

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The difference between Medicine and Poison is the Dose. :oil-bottle:
I Love you as certain Dark Things are to be Loved,
In Secret, Between the Shadow and the Soul.
- Pablo Neruda


#210 Raineylane

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 02:24 PM

A very wise woman   :wave:  just recently encouraged me to embrace a part of myself that I percieved as scary and dark.  I did so with trepidation, but what I found was that this "darkness" I was so afraid of was actually a wonderful gift.  I found that the darkness was just something misunderstood and unexplored.


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#211 Wexler

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 08:23 PM



How has it influenced you and your practice? I am less afraid to use it for my own purposes... a big change for me.

In a very strange way, I've become both more compassionate and selfish all at once. It's very hard to explain. 

 

Becoming more compassionate and selfish at the same time was also a notable change for me. I'm not entirely sure how that will work out for me but I think it's an improvement on what I had going on before.


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'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.'

'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.'

 

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#212 travsha

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 10:34 PM

I doubt there are any religious minded folks here, but I love this quote from the Bible - it might be my favorite Bible quote, and I think it points to how much religious fanatics will even ignore their own sacred texts to paint religion in the image they want to see....

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." ~ Isaiah 45:7

 

To me, this shows how we all have the potential for good and evil, as does everything in the universe around us.  The potential for both is born within us.  (not trying to share this quote in a religious way, but just pointing out that even the Bible claims all things have the potential for evil - including God - kinda funny!)

 

I also think that if you try to repress something, it will grow until it can no longer be repressed - and it is much more harmful this way!  If you repress your shadow, your shadow will find a way to control you, but if you acknowledge it and learn how to express it in a balanced manner, then you are in much better shape!  

 

I work a lot with plants, and even the plants have a dark side.  They will offer to teach you about healing, and also offer to teach you how to harm.  You are the one who has to decide how to direct that knowledge and power.  

 

Looking at nature.....  Wow, lots of pain and darkness there, but in BALANCE!  Ever watch predators eat another animal alive?  Or watch insects suck the brains out of another livning insect?  Or watch trees strangle each other trying to get the most sunlight?  Nature is viscous!   But also balanced by life, beauty, joy, love......  

 

I think you cant repress or ignore one side.  Either you repress and ignore both, or you acknowledge and work to balance both.  Most of us are probably in the middle somewhere (I know I am), and probably repress bits and pieces, but always, I am looking to my shadow to see more of myself and learn what drives me.  Some of the most potent healing work usually starts in the shadow - you have to go there to find the wounds, and relive that darkness with a new perspective to heal the damage it did.  Very powerful and uplifting when you are successful!  Hard work though.....


Edited by travsha, 22 March 2014 - 10:36 PM.

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#213 Raineylane

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 01:07 PM

I doubt there are any religious minded folks here, but I love this quote from the Bible - it might be my favorite Bible quote, and I think it points to how much religious fanatics will even ignore their own sacred texts to paint religion in the image they want to see....

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." ~ Isaiah 45:7

 

To me, this shows how we all have the potential for good and evil, as does everything in the universe around us.  The potential for both is born within us.  (not trying to share this quote in a religious way, but just pointing out that even the Bible claims all things have the potential for evil - including God - kinda funny!)

 

I also think that if you try to repress something, it will grow until it can no longer be repressed - and it is much more harmful this way!  If you repress your shadow, your shadow will find a way to control you, but if you acknowledge it and learn how to express it in a balanced manner, then you are in much better shape!  

 

I work a lot with plants, and even the plants have a dark side.  They will offer to teach you about healing, and also offer to teach you how to harm.  You are the one who has to decide how to direct that knowledge and power.  

 

Looking at nature.....  Wow, lots of pain and darkness there, but in BALANCE!  Ever watch predators eat another animal alive?  Or watch insects suck the brains out of another livning insect?  Or watch trees strangle each other trying to get the most sunlight?  Nature is viscous!   But also balanced by life, beauty, joy, love......  

 

I think you cant repress or ignore one side.  Either you repress and ignore both, or you acknowledge and work to balance both.  Most of us are probably in the middle somewhere (I know I am), and probably repress bits and pieces, but always, I am looking to my shadow to see more of myself and learn what drives me.  Some of the most potent healing work usually starts in the shadow - you have to go there to find the wounds, and relive that darkness with a new perspective to heal the damage it did.  Very powerful and uplifting when you are successful!  Hard work though.....

 

 

I agree.


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#214 witchinplainsight

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 05:26 PM

I was looking for some old threads on witchcraft ethics and found this one - wow! Loving it.

 

Sandy, your post on the first page really spoke to me. I'm learning about shamanic journeying (preparing for formal training) and have been making my first healing journeys on behalf of others. My first few journeys ever brought me into contact with something that terrified me because I didn't know what it was - until I realised it was my shadow.

 

It blew my mind and I was very afraid at first because I had been quite 'love and light'. It took me a few more journeys to understand that this shadow was part of me and make peace with it (it was actually really beautiful making peace with this aspect of me). Now I understand why because when I went to work on a cancer intrusion on a journey there was a point where I called on this shadow me (it has an animal form) because I needed more power to work with. It gave me strength.

 

So, it has totally changed my understanding of 'the darkness' or 'the shadow'. It's made me see that - at least so far - I can use the darkness in a positive way, to help with healings etc.

 

Forgive me if this is boringly obvious to many of you but it's still very new to me and the first few posts on this touched a chord with me.


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#215 witchinplainsight

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 05:28 PM

And Travsha just saw your post. I think I love every post I've ever read of yours! :lol:


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#216 Tricycle

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:09 AM

I have been enjoying reading this topic, but because so many ideas have come out of the discussion, I'm just going to start with the original questions. I have been dying to add my two cents, but didn't know where to begin :)

 

What is your opinion of it? Where it came from and is going to?

 

I think it just comes naturally from life, from how this planet works. We have darkness and light, and they compliment each other. I don't see it as dark and light, I see it as a spectrum.

How have you embraced the darkness?

 

I've embraced the idea of the darkness. I've embraced most dark aspects of myself, but there are some skeletons I have that I've been putting off dealing with out of fear. I know I will face them, but I want to be strong enough when that time comes, and I currently don't feel that way.

 

I think, generally in life, and I'm not even talking about witches at all, people run from any feeling that is even slightly negative, and everyday I see people suffer as a result of trying to drown any of their darkness with positivity. I'm all for  positivity, it has its place, but if we deny our dark places, how do we solve our problems if we refuse to acknowledge it exists? How do we embrace our dark places that are useful, if we've been conditioned by society that it's not 'nice'?

 

Our darkness never goes away. I believe we can deal with it, or it can control us, even if we think we're too positive to let it touch us. I think we need to master it first, then there's room for positivity.

How has it influenced you and your practice?

 

If I, or my family has been wronged, the anger I feel about it can have a very strong energy to power my intention in spells. But I can't and don't let it be an uncontrolled anger. That's where facing darkness is important. If I'm angry, I think about it in depth for a long time first, before acting. Using anger in my spells, if justified and driven by me (as opposed to me being driven by my anger), can also be an excellent release of that anger. This sort of darkness can make spells extremely direct and in no way unclear, I've learned.

 

My darkness also is a sign for me to slow down and think. I evaluate everyone's part they've played first. I stop to think about the outcomes, and take time before acting. I think, when  working with dark parts of yourself, you need to be sure, because there is so much power in it. I think this is a useful form of self-discipline that spills over into the other  parts of life. It's not a bad lesson to hold your horses and get some control and rationality into a situation before flying off the handle.

 

Facing up to my dark parts of myself, also has forced me to confront my fear of consequences of my spells. I found I was avoiding doing any spells for a while there, that came from a 'negative' place, and by facing these fears, I was able to understand that there can be something very positive about dealing with your problems with magic, if lots of consideration is put in first.

When would you use this great viod in a working?

 

I don't think it's a void. I think it's a very full place, but we have to look, and interact with it to know that. But I covered that above, so  I won't go on about it.

 

I use it if I have tried mundane ways of dealing with a problem, but it didn't work. When I feel a need to protect myself or my family. Or when someone's been a cockhead and gotten away with it, and I'm still not happy about the situation. I'm sure there will be other times in the future that I haven't thought of yet, as well.


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#217 FrozenThunderbolt

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 09:49 PM

A lot of good thoughts here, my 2c:

 

I resonate with the conceptions of darkness as described by the (fictional) dwarves of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld.

 

To them, the darkness is not one thing of one mind and purpose, but rather a thing of many flavours, or a mind with many different tracks.

There is the breathing dark, waiting dark, long dark, calling dark etc. Each of which has it's own connotations (as well as mundane meaning in 'mine sign')

 

The darkness can serve many purpose, some nice, some not, but all important.

 

As a satisfying side note: the dwarves of Sir Terry are truly chthonic - the most knowledgeable - their priests are 'endarkened' rather than 'enlightened', which despite it's fantasy origin, is a concept worth meditation.

 

Hopefully not too off topic . . . ^_^


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"Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one." You may call me Jed.