Good Nightmare

Jack Skellington, Nightmare Before Christmas

hold your True Self in your hand

Like I said before, it’s hard to pin down a definition of the Higher Dark. A phrase I picked up from the movie “High Noon,” of all places, is “If you don’t know, I can’t explain it.” Some of you reading this blog might already be nodding and saying “Oh, thank God, Goddess and anyone else who’s listening, I’m not the only one!” (or something similar).

But for those still unsure about looking deeper in that scrying mirror, let me examine one of my favorite examples of the Higher Dark making its presence known in our media:

Nightmare Before Christmas!

Well, and other Tim Burton films, but Nightmare seems to be the most popular and certainly one I’ve watched over and over enough to speak on it knowledgebly.

Why is it that we love Jack and his folly? It’s a simple enough storyline: man bored with his work discovers someone else’s wonderful world, tries to copy it and finds that it’s not for him, but that break from normality revitalizes him and others in his world. But there’s something about those Halloween Town critters, isn’t there? I propose that we love them because they are innocent monsters. They like being scary! They’re happy living at night and wearing black, keeping pet insects and ghosts, trimming the flower buds from their prize thorn bushes, etcetera. They know who they are and love their work, and they don’t have to be our culture’s idea of “normal” to achieve that happiness. Quite the opposite, the stranger they get to be, the happier they are.

Ah, but Jack is the creative one, and also under a good bit of pressure. So he seeks something new and powerful, a break from the routine. For many of us out there, the Seeker is the archetype we relate to the most. But what he finds is not always his to take, so he makes mistakes. But he then manages to fix them, and he finds the things he truly needs, such as the love of his life, and his new inspiration that he sought all along.

But most important, he finds Himself. Freaky and dead as he is, he knows who he is.

And I believe that part of your Self resides in the Dark.

I am a writer/illustrator of various types of speculative fiction but mostly modern fantasy. I have loved magic, and the people and creatures who live with it and use it, all my life, and writing and drawing these people in modern environments makes it all the more real to me. I also like to add an element of Darkness and horror, as well as science fiction, for “flavor”. I am fascinated with everything from unicorns and dragons to vampires and demons.

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