Growing Whole in the Darkness



“All beauty contains darkness.” ~ Daniel Odier

Learning to see, and then act, outside of the current patriarchal structure has been a journey of ever widening circles, much like a spiral. It is the journey of living the feminine, a way of life that is very different than that which I was taught to know. It means trusting what is revealed in each moment of present awareness, and feeling for what is ripe with the promise of birth. I go in and out of living this way, but as the circles of understanding grow, I find myself opening to the darkness of the feminine to receive Her guidance.

When this guidance is revealed, the only thing that lies ahead is darkness, the darkness of the unknown. The only thing known is that one choice, the one thing that is the most obvious choice. My mind struggles with the darkness, wanting desperately to know what lies ahead, and yet I also know in my heart that this darkness, this unknown, is the mystery of life waiting to be revealed. The divine mystery is the new, is this darkness from which all emerges.

What I am learning to trust in is the strong pull of this knowing. You might call this intuition, but for me, as I live deeper into the cells of my own body, it is knowing.

I found, what I guess you could call the ‘best’ book of 2009, this way. I saw it on a friend’s desk and knew I must read it. The pull was unavoidable. A friend had given him the book, for reasons he couldn’t understand. He had no intention of reading it, but for some reason had not yet given it away.

I would call this book a gift. A gift given and gratefully, and voraciously, received. Not all of the book kept my rapt attention, but the parts that did carried me deeper into the darkness, deeper into the parts of myself that were thirsting for light. I was yearning for gnosis. Through a marriage of the wisdom of this book and my own willingness to allow a new kind of knowing to emerge from within, I began to deepen my trust in this darkness.

The book that has so many dog ears, cracks in the spine, lines underlined, recommendations to others, is Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness. The authors are Marion Woodman and Elinor Dickson. In my knowing, this book can be a guide book for the journey into darkness that we all, and most especially women, must take. As Woodman states, “The evolutionary imperative within the collective unconscious is pushing us toward a new level of consciousness.” We must learn to stand alone, in our own wholeness, if we are going to survive. And, learning to stand alone means diving into the darkness, to come to know ourselves again in a whole new way.

As Odier shares, there is beauty in darkness. It is the rich soil from where all of life emerges.

Today’s post is Day 4 (best book) of Gwen Bells’ Best of 2009 Blog Challenge.

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6 Replies to “Growing Whole in the Darkness”

  1. Ohhh, Julie, I added this title to my list. A necessity for me as I step into 2010. So much of my past couple years has involved the transformative nature of what people label “dark”… the thing people run screaming out of, perplexed, unsure, unwilling to go.

    I am guessing reading this book will be like sitting alongside someone who knows me, intimately, before we met. Mmmm. Warm just thinking about it. It is on my list. Thank you, Thank you! Thank you.

  2. somehow i’ve read all around dancing in the flames without feasting on it. well, now, thanks to you and the folks who pack and ship, i won’t. have to wait much longer. and that knowing you write of is what i call embodied knowing. ever read candace pert?

  3. I am having an ‘add to cart’ moment… this is a favorite topic of mine, and synchronicity is happening because another post I just read mentions the work of the first author. Interestingly, the book I reviewed, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, could be seen as short stories all about the dark journey…

  4. Julie, You are welcome. When I sat down to write this post, it was as if the words literally flew out of the dark soil. It was a quite a beautiful writing experience. I trust whomever was meant to read it will, and whomever is drawn to it will be. I’m loving this posting every day. It’s getting me out of my overly active mind and into the practice itself. Love being back here again!

    Jeanne, Glad the post nudged you to come to the table to feast. I’ve only heard Candace Pert in the movie, “What the bleep…”. I’ll check her out.

    Kate, I love that…”An add to cart” moment. Thank you for sharing your best book of 2009. I’ll check out your post and the book!

    Thank you all for stopping by and sharing your wise comments with me and the other readers. It is so much fun to see the circle complete, by hearing how what I write is experienced by others. I look forward to knowing more about each of you…even you, Julie, who I already know quite a bit about!

  5. “We must learn to stand alone, in our own wholeness, if we are going to survive. And, learning to stand alone means diving into the darkness, to come to know ourselves again in a whole new way.”

    These are your words, Julie…not those from the book. I’m definitely getting the book, but am astounded by the beauty of what YOU speak, what YOU hear, what YOU experience, invite, and offer. SO lovely. Thank you.

    What’s more, your words resonate with me, deeply. Diving into the darkness has seemed far more threatening in the past than it does these days. I know I can do it…that I don’t have to hold my breath…that I can breathe and stretch and move even in strange and unknown spaces. And that I’m not alone.

    I’m grateful.

  6. Ronna,
    It’s funny. When I read the quote of what I wrote here, I thought to myself, “Wow. Those are some powerful words.”, thinking you had written them. I know, when I write from the mystery, from the darkness, the words just come…through me… onto the page, and they are universal words of wisdom.
    Thank you for your oh so generous words here. And, I am happy to hear that the idea of diving in is less threatening now and that you know, not only that you can do it, but that “that I can breathe and stretch and move even in strange and unknown spaces. And that I’m not alone.” Now, THOSE words astound me!

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