Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Darkest Days

I've been silent for too long. Not dormant, mind you.

I express gratitude every day for my health and my livelihood, even when I am unsure about them. I have recently done what I can, physically (and otherwise), to keep them. So far, so good.

Also, I have joined a coven. Perhaps two covens: my people are more about hearts than semantics, which is exactly as it should be. Things are good, but I won't talk about that here.

This post isn't so much about me as it is the rest of you: my friends, my family, my community, those of us who 'get' each other or at least want to.

A lot of you are having uncommonly hard times. You've lost loved ones, your income, your mojo. And this at a time of year when all around you is sparkling, jingling, caroling you damn near into silence. The tinsel brigade seems to be telling you that you have no right to feel that way.

I'm here to tell you: you do have the right.

It's the time of year when things get darker, remember? As Pagans and as those who observe and participate in nature, we recognize and honor this darkness. We are not obligated to celebrate a holiday, in or outside of our tradition, any more than we are obligated to pick up the phone when the TV says so.

And it's not just the festive noise of the cash registers broadcasting that unhealthy message. You might be repeating it to yourself, that message about the way you're 'supposed to' feel.

Look, no one ever got out of a serious funk by sheer effort. I've been there. It doesn't work.

The days grow shorter, the nights longer. We say to the universe, 'Really?'

Yet no matter what we say or do or how we feel about it, the tides continue, the world turns, the lights fade.

You're allowed to be pissed.

Whatever deities you believe in, I'm sure they won't strike you down with a thunderbolt for changing the station when a Christmas song comes on, or for crying when you're not 'supposed to' cry.

Honor the darkness. Sit with it quietly, or loudly, however makes the most sense to you and your beautiful howling heart.

It seems to last too long. The darkness is too dark. It's like that every time. I am so sorry. I am there too, perhaps not as deeply as you, but I feel it as well.

When you have had enough, let the Mother help you. For some that is the only thing that works. Walk among the trees. Soak in water. Stand on bare earth. Open your soul-windows to the night sky, cloudy or starry. Don't worry about learning anything or concentrating. Just be there, be there, and be there a little longer.

It is good.

It won't make everything nice and happy, but it bloody helps.

Of course there are professionals who help as well. And there are things you put into your body that help. You know what truly works for you.

But while it is still so dark, please know it's going to be dark a while longer.

And then, when you have already said twenty times that you can't take any more of this, a glimmer will appear. It will happen with or without your bidding, because it is time. It will be the return of the light, the new sun-baby, the one little candle that sheds just enough light for you to see. I'm not saying this to be trite or provide a quick and easy answer; there ain't no such animal. I'm just saying this because it's true.

The light returns. It does.

And you know what?

Even after it does, you're still allowed to be pissed.

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