The wind has been rattling her bony fingers all day, scraping them against window panes, rustling them through dry branches, using them to boldly clang the metal chime outside my front door. These are not the green winds of early fall who are just beginning to remember. No, these winds are already crisp and wizened. Their arms are raw boned and slender, sweeping leaves in a funnel up to the sky, only to drop them in a terrible mess once more. These old crone winds are unafraid to disrupt and pierce the thinning veils of these short-sun days.
Liminal spaces surround us constantly: in the gloaming as the darkness gratefully overtakes light, in the hush of the early morning hours just as the sun trembles to emerge, even in the pause between your in and out breaths. But the fraying veils of this time, on the cusp of Samhain, Halloween, Day of the Dead, All Soul’s Day, urge us to not just slide along the edge of these borderlands. Cross over and enter the dark completely they say. Do not be afraid of connecting with the darkness of the natural world- this is your birthright.
According to the pagan Celtic calendar, the new year begins on Samhain. How does something new start in what feels like the dying season you might wonder? There is wisdom and life hovering in this black hush. Let us surrender, leaving behind the light to find out what patiently waits in the dark. Entering the great cave of the feminine world, let us walk slowly down into the womb of the earth.
Because down below the surface layers, down in the rich soil roiling with invisible skeins of microorganisms, down where only scientific listening devices can pick up the subtle vibrations of the oceans swishing and the humming of the globe turning, is where we find the essence of the dark feminine, the deep feminine, that buried feminine aspect of ourselves that cannot be controlled or pared back.
The wise feminine understands and accepts the irony in this truth: Life begins in the dark. Because seeds are nourished by the moist cocoon of blackness, first moving their roots down before slowing drawing their sprout upwards. A forming child is fed in the shadowy penumbra of the womb, its abundant black waters an imprint of boundless peace. It is in the dark that our dreamtime ears become open, allowing us to hear our well ancestors speaking.
Despite our conditioning to be scared of the dark and intimidated by the unknown depths within ourselves, allow a brave curiosity to lead you forward now. Use this germinal space to remember your feminine power- it is what ultimately always moves you towards life. The energies of this time are supporting you.
Ask: What in me might be nourished in the dark?
Burying yourself deep into the earth, feeling her weight embrace the space around you, letting her vibrations come up through your feet, what in you actually thrives in the dark? What in you yearns for the soul-restoration that comes as we move towards the dark within the dark, the yin within the yin? The wisdom of our elders reminds us that this time strengthens us, fortifies our bones, fills our inner wells in silence. So that when we are ready, when the light returns, we can re-enter our days more fully. We can re-engage with the soaring thrill of being alive, hopping on our wild mustangs to gallop over the golden, sunstruck hills of awe and wonder.
Photo by Daniel Burka