Since my post, “Prayers in the Dark”, I’ve had a few questions regarding what this means and how one ‘goes dark’, so I’ve decided to follow up by diving a little deeper (no pun intended!). Though it sounds simple, I find this idea of “going dark” a complex theme that has a lot of layers and I think that until you begin to explore this arena more fully you don’t even know those layers are within you. I remember once many years ago, I was with a woman healer and she said to me, “You don’t know or understand the Dark Queen do you?” She left it at that, and it drove me mad for literally decades, as I searched and searched for answers.
I now believe that she meant that within each woman is a place of power, her womb wisdom and the Divine Feminine – our “Queen” – AND that we can access that place when we ‘go dark’ or enter the silence and honor stillness. The Divine Feminine waits for us there. But she can be still, quiet and allusive. In Hilary Hart’s book, “The Unknown She”, she has a conversation with Angela Fischer, a German woman who combines her own feminine wisdom with the wisdom of the Naqshbandi Sufi path. Angela describes feminine wisdom as something that “often lives in secret and expresses itself in mysterious and unexpected ways, sometimes revealing itself openly and sometimes seeming to work from a place of darkness.”
She goes on to say, “Every soul has her own way to God. It can be difficult to generalize about spirituality. Yet for some women, there is a need to recognize that who we are as women, plays an important role in our journey home. And there are hints and traces pointing to how ancient feminine traditions recognized this”, “that spiritual transformation can happen in accordance with our nature as women, which is different from men’s nature. What is natural for women, what we know so deeply, can be the basis of how we grow”.
Her phrase, “what we know so deeply” is what’s lying in wait for us in the dark. What we intuitively know and feel, yet lack words or explanation, we can access in the dark. She goes on to say, “This consciousness gives women a unique role to play within creation. It allows us natural access to the creative darkness from which all life emerges. We can access this darkness, and work within its silence to guide life from emptiness. We live in two worlds, helping light enter existence, wherever it is needed, and we are attentive – with great care – to all that is born.”
Our culture demands that we ‘do’ – that we must be constantly productive. If we aren’t doing, society has little to no use for us. In the days when women gathered during their moon times, it was a natural time to go within, listen to the rhythms of your body in relationship to your surroundings, spend time with sisters and share, contemplate and meditate. It was pointed out to me that if you were living in an indigenous situation where women spent each moon time in a gathering with other women in a situation like this, they would have participated in over 300 ‘mini’ vision quests by the time they reached menopause. Thus bringing a deep wisdom and knowing to the menopausal phase of life we lack in our culture today. These women undoubtedly knew the wisdom and value of “going dark”.
In our go, go world, I realize that it is often difficult to make the time to literally stop, unplug and be still. Yet understanding our moon cycles and their subtle impact on us can lead us to an inner awareness our culture insists isn’t important. I like what Alexandra Pope says in her book, Wild Power: Discover the Magic of Your Menstrual Cycle and Awaken the Feminine Path to Power. “As you begin to practise awareness of your menstrual cycle, you fire up the revolution naturally. Menstrual Cycle Awareness (MCA) awakens your female initiatory journey to power, and in following it you also serve the world. It’s really important to remember that this path, your spiritual way, is an inside job. By that we mean you’re initiated from within – it’s happening to you rather than being something you do.
In other words, it happens when we make time to “Go Dark”.