For many years now, I've used, in difficult years, a magical technique I call "walking the dark," by which I mean, basically, that at the beginning of the turn into the dark of the year -- round about the fall equinox does nicely -- I throw myself into it. Sort of like Inanna storming the gates of hell, except I generally keep my clothes on.
This way, I figure, I can experience the dark as fully as possible, and learn everything I can from it, and then, round about the winter solstice, I can let the turn of the wheel start to pull me out. This is useful in hard times not cause it makes them easier -- no, no, no, no -- or because it makes them shorter -- alas, not that either -- but because it makes it much more likely that I don't have to go through the lessons again. I generally get it, believe me.
Well, it's intense, but as you can see it hasn't actually killed me yet.
This might be the year, though; I'll let you know later if I make it past Wednesday night.
To be honest, it's been longer than one year I've been walking the dark, this time -- I started the process three autumns ago, and then last year at the winter solstice worked some magic that was so intense that it's taken a year to stop materializing (note to self: try, in future, not to lose body parts in the astral realm), and may take several more years to work through.
I think, though, really I do, no kidding, that two years of intense work is coming to an end -- or, at least, the end of one loop of a spiral.
It's odd, though; I've been hearing from friends across the country that this is an intense dark this year; and this week, as we head into the solstice, there's sorrow, and grief all round; I'm not the only one having a hard time. (Also computers are messing up, which is annoying, though most of us, given the choice, would choose that over sorrow and grief.)
Well. I'm coming back into community, after 10 years as a solitary; that's one of the many outcomes of the work I've been doing for a couple of years.
And wouldn't it be lovely, if that turns out to be a piece of riding the light, rather than walking the dark.
Here's to the dark, a beautiful, deep thing, full of mystery and power and excitement and passion -- all those boxes full of lost things. And here's to community, and new beginnings. And here's to the sun, which comes back, always. Never forgets.