Embracing Feminine Darkness
Last month I mentioned my feeling of being plunged back into darkness after the first of the eclipses this year. At the time I felt disappointed because it seemed like an energy from 2018 we were leaving behind. But now I understand it differently. I’m finding myself and my work to being increasingly about consciously being in the dark, feeling into its depth and learning to value it better. Like the balance of feminine and masculine energies that we are needing to harmonize, the light and dark is a similar integration.
The dark that is associated with the feminine is fertile and part of the necessary conditions for creation, like the womb. New things birth from dark places, just like the dark of the moon initiates a new cycle. The fertile dark of the earth, internal or the mother’s womb is a swirling, active place working to fit all of its pieces together. It may not be easily visible or accessible, and in the case of our personal shadows, you may actively be hiding it from yourself and others. They can be wounds that are carried around, mistaken beliefs, or negative attitudes that we just can’t shake. They are things that block the flow of light through us and cast shadows on our soul.
I recently picked up my favorite handbook for the Aleister Crowley’s Tarot (Gerd Ziegler’s Tarot: Mirror of the Soul) and flipped to the “Moon” card, as this is a famous symbol of the dark. The description was so appropriate to the feeling I was trying to describe and also to the energies of this year. With Neptune and Saturn playing big parts, testing our ability to discern as well as expand righteously as individuals and also collectively. Key words of the Moon card according to the Gerd Ziegler’s handbook are: “Pisces [Neptune]; final testing; wrong turns, illusion; burning off karma [Saturn]; interaction or struggle with the subconsciousness; threshold to new levels of consciousness.” Uh, so right on..
Sometimes when you hear the associations with something like this, you can shake your head and go.. “what?!” “What does the moon have to do with burning off karma?!” But that is the beauty of the tarot and the archetypal stories that also appear in astrology. It is a story or a scene with characters that describe an event. The themes of the story then help to describe the combination of energies that can be applied to other situations. In this card there appear two sentries guarding a gateway or threshold. The sentries have imposing towers behind them as well as jackals at their feet that enforce their power. The moon is above the threshold and casting an eerie light onto the scene. It is mysterious, shadowy, doubtful and bewitching. You aren’t quite sure what you are seeing because that is the nature of the dark. Beneath the feet of the sentries is the sun between the pincers of a beetle. The beetle is carrying the light of consciousness and shining it onto the path that the sentries are guarding. So what is this threshold? It is like the the birth canal in life, and only by passing through this gateway will new life and/or understanding arise. But it doesn’t come without risk. The sentries, towers and jackals are there to destroy anyone whose heart is not true. You will know immediately if you’ve taken the wrong step. The shadowy aspect of the moon creates illusions that are changeable and seductive, but it is only through the light of consciousness and direct experience that you can recognize these temptations as illusions. It represents a path of discovery and initiation that puts you in touch with your shadows and the things that are blocking the light.
So a powerful card and a potent time we are in now. I am trying to dive deeper into this dark region and feel it for what it is, recognize it and value it. Although this card seems to represent a passage of initiation more symbolic of the dark shadows of our psyche, I think it is also possible to find great richness through this path. To embrace the fertile nature of the dark, like the underground earth or the interior space of our minds. There may be illusion or uncertainty but there are also great treasures to be found as well as an expansive future once you’ve passed through the gates.