The Dark Forest

mediatation on forest of darkness

walking through a forest rooted in mystery

When I wish to explore within my own Darkness, I often picture myself walking through a dark forest.

There are various methods to bring yourself into a meditative state. The point of all of them is to let go of daily thoughts, to release worry or questions about where you are now, what you should be doing, how to fix problems right now. Clear your mind, open your consciousness, listen within, and flow through the mediation, not stopping to overthink any particular point, simply take note and move on.

One method of imagery I’ve adopted is imagining yourself travelling downward in an elevator (although up would move as well if you like, but I tend to think of “within” as being “deeper” more than “higher”). Some people count backwards from a hundred, but that takes too much conscious thought for me: I simply count down from ten to zero, then ten to zero again, and again, letting myself be calmer and more relaxed with each count. After a few counts, I imagine the voice counting slowing down, the tone deeper, the numbers dragged out, like a recording slowed down, or more precisely like time slowed, stretched, and finally stilled. When I feel centered, the elevator has basically evaporated from my mind, and I find myself on the forest path, dressed in a soft, comfortable, heavy cloak, or similar spiritual costume.

Anything can happen in the dark forest, but there is nothing there to fear. Everything there is a part of yourself. Anyone or anything that might approach you with a threatening manner, feel no fear. This entity has something to teach you, something it wants you to see or know. That’s all you’re here for, to find things out consciously that you already know subconsciously. Sometimes you may be able to work out problems in your life through something symbolic in your forest. You may find you can soothe a fierce beast, or you may cross a great river, or you may find people there, parts of your self, past and future, that you can connect with and grow from.

Very often I simply go to the dark forest to soothe myself. It is a place of peace, where I can meet with people who understand me completely, grok me on a spiritual level so that there need be no conversation or action, just togetherness. It’s a place where I can feel that pleasant Darkness fill me, releasing all stress and things that are bothering me in my outside life. It’s a place that is mine and yet so much more than mine, beyond belonging to anyone. It’s open to all of existence, and free for any entity to take peace in. It is limitless: perhaps there are cities there? Deserts of stone or sand? Oceans for sure, whether you prefer beach or boat or even vast cliffs. Forest is what calls to me, to sit upon soft earth and put my back against dark wood, and look up to listen to breezes through translucent leaves.

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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