Walking into Darkness

by Amy Martin (c)

It is the twilight of the seasons, when we slip betwixt the worlds of light and dark, day and night, warmth and cold. The Sun rises and set slower in the sky, the days grow shorter and the shadows long. Winter looms. We are at the cusp of darkness and soon there we must walk. It is a passage we hope to come through renewed, a passage not without risk.

“Hold on, hold on, through the darkness, until the dawn.”
~ Starhawk

We shape this seasonal pause into celebration, the public Halloween and the pagan Samhain, Mexico’s Day of the Dead and the Hindu Divali, all festivals of lights and ancestors, all observances of the eternal soul, the radiance within. The holidays occur on or around the New Moon at the end of the harvest season, halfway between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, in the deep and mysterious sign of Scorpio.

“Though my soul may set in darkness it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night.”
~ Sarah Williams

More than the waning light and chilling temperatures that bring us cozily together, Divali celebrates the divine light that emanates from within you, that shines from your eyes, radiates from your heart. Here on Earth we make manifest the light, to subjectively perceive our true nature as an expression of the immanent and transcendent reality, the universal Atman, the oneness that makes us whole.

“It’s the blood of the ancients, that flows through our veins,
And the forms pass, but the circle remains the same.”
~ Ellen Klaver

Loss runs like a river through our lives, the shadow companion of our earthly journey. Many are the influences that touch our path – family, friends and fleeting encounters; teachers, leaders and distant heroes. Those that have physically passed on live within us and we pass that influence on to others in an unending chain. In this season of the crone, we especially remember those who lived long lives, seeking their strength and wisdom. Step into the darkening night, speak their names and hear their reply.

“Om, ga-te, ga-te, para ga-te, para sum ga-te, bodhi svaha.”
“Go, go, go beyond, go thoroughly beyond, and establish yourself in enlightenment.”
~ Heart Sutra translated by the Dalai Lama

In these unmoored moments of seasonal twilight, the illusion of time loosens and we slip past the veil to know not only our ancestors, but the oneness of all life. Feel yourself a part of the eternal web of soul spirits. Look to the night sky, the season is right. Reach into the dark, weave your ties tonight.

October 17, 2009