Into the Mystic: Shadow and Light
Bonnie Baranski for local2 sault ste. marie
September 22nd, 2011 at 11:54am
Many poets and philosophers refer to this return of the dark, as the Shadow time.
We all live differently during the winter months in the northern hemisphere. We spend more time indoors, in artificial light. We may be with others or pets, or live alone.
This time was once a time when our ancestors, after the bounty of the harvest, turned to the preserving of the food for the winter months, and the darning and knitting of clothing.
Many of the creative endeavors we source in our leisure time, canning, preserving, carving, whittling, knitting, sewing, were all necessary to our foremothers and forefathers for their survival in cycle of life.
The days were getting shorter, and the dark time was coming, so there was lots to do, and many families gathered and did the chores communally, and then afterwards had a visit and celebration. They knew that once the cold and snow arrived, there would be little traveling and visiting. It was imperative to be prepared for the dark time of winter.
Many believe human beings are also made of shadow and light, just like the earth and its seasons. We desperately try to hide our Shadow side, seeing it as bad or ugly, and we present the light side to the world.
This is what we think is happening, but in reality, the energy it takes to hide our shadow side often becomes a condition itself. And also, if you follow universal law, we draw more people to us who are trying to hide their shadow side.
If we think of ourselves like the moon, a circle, and the moon has phases, where the light is at its fullest, for us this would be when we feel safe to show people who we are, the other phases, half, crescent, and dark, would be when we feel that we cannot be truly ourselves.
Jungian philosophy equates the dark or shadow side of ourselves as unhealed, and we need to go into that void, and heal the conditions that lurk there, such as anger, jealousy, fear, insecurity, greed, gluttony, etc, in order that we do not pass these on, or languish in conditions we create. (addictions, sloth, for example)
That is a tall order, but getting back to the seasons, during the winter when the earth is covered in a blanket of snow, and it is dark and cold outside most of the day, there is always the certainty that spring will arrive again, and it will be warm and fruitful.
It is possible to apply this belief to or own shadow side, that the exploration of the Shadow can bring rebirth and a Spring, and that we can feel free from these conditions. Of course, like the earth, the cycle is ongoing, we are never completely healed or finished, the wheel turns once more, and we uncover something else about ourselves, but the joy of healing, that is there too.
You may wonder how this relates to the Tarot, and it relates completely, because the Tarot cards, the Major Arcana, are designed as an archetypical journey from the innocence of the Fool (the light), all the way through the shadow (the Devil, the Tower) to the light at the last card of the major arcana, the World.
As you study more and more of the Tarot, it has many layers, and you realize it is a depiction of the age old journey of finding oneself. It has many peaks and valleys, just like life, but it is a beautiful, artistic depiction of the Shadow and the Light.
Our card for this week is from the Robin Wood Deck,
and is number 13: Death.
We have had the Death card before. It is about transformation, something dies, and something is born. If you look at the card, the white rose symbolizes the rebirth, and the butterfly symbolizes transformation.
Look at the central figure, he looks like a shadow, no face, no hands, and he represents what is dying.
When this card shows up in a reading, people are understandably shocked, but it is only scary until you realize it is symbolic. It is symbolic of endings and beginnings. An ending can be, for example, letting go of the fear you will not succeed, which leads to a beginning of believing in yourself.
I find it fascinating that the cards I select are reflecting the idea I have written about.
Call today for an appointment!