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Facing the Darkness

Dear Witchful Thinking,

Its a big dark, scary world out their, i noticed once i opened up to it even more darkness came out, how do you suggest we arm ourselves against the supernatural?

Love,
Yikes!

Dear Yikes!

You aren’t the only one who has been overwhelmed by what’s out there. Let’s face it: there’s greed, hatred, wars, crime….it is a dark world out there. But you’re only half right.

Yes, there is darkness, but there is also light in equal measure. At certain times of the year, the balance is skewed one way or another, but in the long run, there is as much dark as there is light. According to the “As above, so below” principal, if it is out there in nature and our society, it is inside of us too. Part of being Wiccan is addressing that balance.

Our society–heck, our species!– is afraid of the dark. From the beginning of time, we have built fires to keep the darkness at  bay. I think one of the reasons we love the moon so much is that She shines light in dark nights. We are taught to be afraid. And we have right to fear the darkness. There are wolves out there, monsters in our subconscious. But what is true about monsters? They are defeated by heroes. And, my friend, you get to be that hero!

Heroes have something we don’t. Either they are stronger or braver than we, but they almost always have help from a trusted friend, or a gift from a magician or witch. Maybe regular people can’t always have that in real life, but we can borrow their courage, and because we are Witches, we can have that power!

When you face the darkness in the world and inside yourself, that is what the magic circle is for. It contains and amplifies your energy, but also keeps the bad stuff out. If you are feeling fearful when you are out in the world, cast a circle around you and keep it close to you. Make those defenses part of your aura. I’ll give you an example: I hate going to Walmart, or the mall, because the energy of the places makes me feel weak and cranky after about half an hour. I don’t know if it is all the people, or the blatant consumerism, or the sold lifestyles that bother me. When I put up a shield, I can stay a lot longer and be more productive while I’m there–which helps me get in and out, instead of wandering around wondering what I was supposed to be doing.

Even things that are good for us have a dark side. The Elements, which we call into our circle regularly, can get out of control, and their agendas aren’t always in our best interest. Vitimins, which are great for our bodies, can have very negative effects if we overdose. Too much iron will constipate you, for example, so don’t supplement too much!

Because we are not Christians, we aren’t limited to the dichotomy of black/white, good/evil thinking. We’re Pagan: we see in color. So if something is not “good”, that doesn’t automatically make it “evil”. Perhaps we can see it as “less desirable”, “good for something or someone else”, or even “just how it is” and be judgment free. As Wiccans and Witches, or anyone else who plays on the dark side of the playground, it is our responsibility to approach it with care. A witch is nothing if not attentive.

I think the best defense against the dark arts is to be your own light. If you can face your own darkness and bring light to your fears, then that which is outside of you will not seem so dark. If something scares you in the real world, ask yourself what it equates to in your inner world. Are you afraid of drowning? Then perhaps you are afraid of your deepest emotions. Scared of heights? Then perhaps you should look to keeping yourself grounded. Fearful of monsters? Maybe you are haunted by people who have hurt you in the past. The more we know about ourselves, the more we can face the world from a position of strength.

Yes, the supernatural is out there. But we also see what we want to see. If you look for darkness, you will find it. Try looking for light instead. And not every spell of bad luck is a curse from an angry rival. Maybe it’s your astrology, attitude, or just the way the universe swings right now. You have the right to defend yourself, so shields up! Ask that negativity be bounced harmlessly off you. Fight negativity with a positive attitude. Witches transform. So turn that darkness into something else…like a lesson. What can you learn from the things you are afraid of?

Try spending some time in the dark, to acclimate your vision. Consider balancing your full moon esbat worship with dark moon rituals to honor your dark sides. Cultivate a relationship with dark deities, such as Hekate, Anubis, or Baba Yaga. They will each have something to teach you. Of course, be aware of your limitations, and work to stretch them. And bring a light. It’s going to be a long night…

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  1. gremlin1384
    December 20, 2009 at 1:29 am

    Great post! Inspiring. But it doesn’t quite answer the question that was asked — could you talk more about the supernatural specifically in another post? Thanks!

  2. Lohengrin
    December 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    I understand your point. However, in your statement;

    “Because we are not Christians, we aren’t limited to the dichotomy of black/white, good/evil thinking. We’re Pagan: we see in color. So if something is not “good”, that doesn’t automatically make it “evil”. Perhaps we can see it as “less desirable”, “good for something or someone else”, or even “just how it is” and be judgment free. As Wiccans and Witches, or anyone else who plays on the dark side of the playground, it is our responsibility to approach it with care. A witch is nothing if not attentive.”

    You are presenting a couple of things One a judgmental limited view of Christians. Not all in their world is black or white either. Second, A Witch is nothing if not attentive. That said, We Pagans being attentive wouldn’t view or lump Christians into a judgmental category of only seeing in black or white now would We?

    • December 27, 2009 at 9:27 pm

      Great! I’m glad you understand my point!

      Then you’ll also recognize that I’m talking about Christian (read: Catholic) theology, and have not mentioned anything about practices or beliefs of the practitioners (which is not the same thing). Traditional Catholic theology IS dichotmoic and black and white. I learned about this in my liberal studies curriculum in college, and most recently in my MA in Divinity classes from an extremely conservative professor, who agrees entirely with what I wrote about Christian theology. I am speaking generally and comparing both theologies and their paradigms and consequences. If I spent all my time being apologetic and trying to please anybody, there wouldn’t be anything worth saying–so I try not to do that. I’m interested in making a point, not Christian bashing. Being tolerant means respecting everyone, but it also means respecting our differences. Christians and Pagans are different. So are individual Christians and individual Pagans, but I don’t have time to talk about them all individually. So there ya go. Thanks for the comment, though!

  3. January 8, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Damn, that sound’s so easy if you think about it.

  4. January 10, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Great idea, thanks for this tip!

  1. January 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm
  2. January 26, 2010 at 1:13 am
  3. July 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

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