“Hello, darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again.” The Sound of Silence Simon & Garfunkel 1964-65

This is the darkest part of the year, and the holidays are just humankind’s feeble way of defying it, of laughing in the face of death.Everywhere on this planet during winter, whenever it may be (in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are switched around), for thousands of years, there has been some sort of acknowledgement and/or celebration of the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.  An article in Patheos Pagan inspired me to write this blog. When I first got into Wicca, I was so dark-minded that my teacher said it seemed like I wanted to start out with the Crone phase of the Goddess. But I was only 28 then, and it was not yet time. I had yet to go through the Mother phase, which I did at age 35. When you’re having a baby, you’ve got to let at least a little light in. I don’t know of any Goth babies, do you?  My daughter is all sunshine and rainbows to me. But at 36, she has acquired a dark side. I don’t know whether it’s from me, or whether she acquired it on her own, just from living in the world we live in.

As I matured, I learned to strike a balance between light and dark.  The article I read urged us to spend some time with our shadows. The only problem is that I think my shadow is a Christian.  Ugh! A “black Catholic”, as Quazizoid, a former friend, liked to call them. This, I believe, is the Catholicism of the Inquisition, and some of the other more fascistic totalitarian forms of Christianity.  Balance is not static; it is never static. You cannot just strike a balance point and let it be; it is dynamic, and answer every little tug in one direction with a tug in the other direction. It requires constant vigilance, like the film, The Constant Gardener.  When I was first getting published, our editor had us each write a holiday story.  Mine was very dark. It was titled Yule Yelps or The Fattigman Files.  It took place in a small town in rural Minnesota, where Heathenism had taken over, and one by one people were becoming werewolves, or wargs, which is what the Scandinavians called werewolves.  It also had the Wild Hunt in it, which is a parade of the dead.I wrote a dark story because to me the holidays are a very dark time of year. I usually lack the resources to get people the gifts they would like, and often disappointed by what people give me.  I’m never disappointed by what my daughter gives me though. She seems to have this gift for giving. It’s often a memento of some place she’s been during the year. Or it’s a gift card for Amazon.

So this year I’m going to embrace the darkness in my soul.  It won’t be a sign of depression, just going inward and exploring the depths of myself.  The sign over the door to the ancient Oracle at Delphi said “Know Thyself,” and that’s just what I’m going to do.

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Comment by Tegwedd ShadowDancer on December 17, 2018 at 4:37pm

True, Mystic.  We might as well embrace the darkness.  It's going to catch us up with anyway.  

Comment by Mystic Wolf on December 16, 2018 at 7:04pm

On dealing with the shadow self, if we do not counter the force of the shadow and better understand it, we will continue to diss-associate ourselves from whom “we” really are as a whole.

When we fail to admit to our vulnerabilities and recognize our darker side, we will sabotage ourselves when we are on the verge of some personal or professional breakthrough. Then the shadow steps in and wins. When we act out of disproportionate anger in speaking to our children, the shadow wins. When we deceive our loved ones, the shadow wins. When we refuse to accept our true nature, the shadow wins. If we do not bring the light of our highest self to the darkness of our human impulses, the shadow wins. Until we accept all of who we are, the shadow effect will have the power to impede our happiness.

We have grown up through our lives to fear the shadow side of life and the shadow side of ourselves.
When we catch ourselves thinking a dark thought or acting out in a behavior that we feel is unacceptable, we think in a different way so to escape these feelings. We have these insecurities that no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to escape from this part of ourselves. And although repressing our dark side is to be the ‘safe way’ of avoiding it, the sobering truth is that running from the shadow only intensifies its power.

Denying it only leads to more pain, suffering and regret. If we fail to take responsibility and better understand this ‘shadow self ’it will continue to disrupt our life and the shadow ends up having control over us, triggering this shadow effect.


Comment by Tegwedd ShadowDancer on December 8, 2018 at 3:52pm

If you enjoy the snow and don't mind the concomitant darkness, then good for you.  It's still an opportunity to explore the shadow, and delve deep within ourselves.  Yes, Carl Jung is a very apt name to bring up in this kind of work.  And work it is, because the shadow likes to stay deep within nd only come out when we are not looking. Right now, in the larger US community, given the current US political climate, under Trump, we are fully showing our  shadowed underbelly  for all the world to see.

Comment by Tegwedd ShadowDancer on December 7, 2018 at 10:44am

You don't experience the darkness of this time of year?  Maybe not all people do, but a lot do, an this blog was written for those who do.

Comment by Linda M. on December 6, 2018 at 6:37pm

Teggwedd, perhaps we 'get it' and just have differing experiences and opinions.

Comment by Tegwedd ShadowDancer on December 6, 2018 at 4:57pm

You got it, Don!  You got to the depths of what I was saying in my blog.  Not everyone did.  I thought I was pretty clear in it.

Comment by Mystic Wolf on December 5, 2018 at 9:29pm

I too have been delving within to understand the real "me" of who I am. It takes a lot of focus and meditation to go deper within yourself "psyche".  I understand you about working with your shadow seolf..focusing on one's true identity... my opinion.

Comment by Tegwedd ShadowDancer on December 2, 2018 at 6:51pm

No, I wish I had been born Pagan, to Pagan parents.  Next life, maybe.  No, I was brought up Lutheran, in Minnesota, which was why that small town I wrote about was in Minnesota.  Both my parents came from small towns, but came to Minneapolis to find work.

Comment by Elspeth on December 2, 2018 at 3:32pm

Love that music btw and this came up on FB today as well!

Comment by Elspeth on December 2, 2018 at 3:17pm

I enjoyed this..made me think and laugh too.

We always joke that our daughter is a Born Goth, just her looks basically. She gets them from me. Dark hair, pale pale skin. She got the clear skin tho.. I got the freckles (Irish colour sneaked in) Can a Goth have freckles? LMAO.

My dark side ~ always been there. I had a very turbulent childhood and some very dodgy moments, so I was a thinker, like my grandmother. You've got to have the balance to walk this world.

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