I find that it’s difficult to describe what I mean when I say “Darkness” or “the Higher Dark.” I’ve spoken to people before who responded with, “Oooh! Yes, that!” but also others who were like, “Okay. Sounds interesting.” Put simply, Darkness is not a thing you know what it is in your brain. It’s a thing you feel. You feel it in your gut, in your spine, in your Core, but it can also expand its tendrils into your aura, and the world around you reflects it back at you in beautiful and scintillating ways.
Thusly, I brainstormed a meditation for getting a sense of the energy of Darkness for yourself.
I will probably post a recording of this on Soundcloud (eventually) for those who would like to use it as guided meditation. I also encourage you to make your own recording in your own voice or the voice of a close meditation partner you trust (most cell phones have a voice recorder app, but you can also use Audacity).
I would absolutely love to hear any thoughts you have and what comes up for you while working with this metaphor. Please comment with anything you feel comfortable sharing.
I also have another process I’ve used, not just for going into the Dark, but for getting out of the daily grind mindset and into a Dark-ish meditative, introspective state (or for going to sleep after a hectic day). It involves taking an elevator down under the earth into a deep system of caves and the denizens there. Let me know if you’d like me to write it out (I may do it anyway in the future).
For context: I’m using imagery here of walking into the woods.
This is not a cultivated forest.
Not a few hundred feet of trees between you and the road or other civilization on the other side.
This is The Woods.
This is wild land and has been wild land for as long as you can remember, maybe longer than you have lived, even perhaps longer than your family have lived.
Close your eyes
Picture yourself at a bonfire
It is outside at night
In a grassy field or large clearing
Surrounded by a forest
Around the fire are other people like you, those you are comfortable with, perhaps a big party all running around, joking and laughing, or perhaps there are just a few people all sitting together chatting quietly and drinking cocoa
Now turn from the fire
Put the light to your back, and walk towards the woods
As you move further from the light
Further from the warmth
Further from the other humans
How do you feel?
How do you feel looking at the trees? They are far from the fire, and barely lit by any orange glow
The only light is a small amount from the stars and the partial moon, enough that you make out the vague shapes of trees beyond the firelight
But the further you look into the woods, the trees are closer together, and the light is less
The shadows and the night are darker, yet not quite solid
You have a sense of space, of depth, as the deep woods go on for miles unbroken
You pass the line of the trees
You are now on the fringe of the woods, surrounded by trees, but not yet unaware of the fire behind you
Still, you do not turn, you do not look over your shoulder, you just know where it is, how far from them you are
You continue to look into the forest
You can hear the sound of the trees as the breeze or the wind brushes through their leaves, their branches creaking slightly
You hear the crunch of old leaves under your feet as you walk, as you move forward steadily but slowly, soaking up all around you, all senses, all sights, all sounds, all smells of earth and leaves, both green and dry, of bark and sap
You can reach out and touch any tree you like, but as you do, you get an awareness as if the tree was a person, that it is a living, growing being with its own desires and goals in its life
But this is not the only thing you are aware of
You are aware you are not alone in the woods
You may hear the sudden rustle of leaves as something runs through the woods, but you do not see it, you cannot identify it, whether large or small
Or you may feel you are being watched
Perhaps you get the sense that the presence is not a bodied creature but something ethereal or incorporeal
How do you feel
Clear, let go of, destroy, release, and return to sender any of these things that come up: doubt or fear; compulsions to go back or seek something normal; ideas of death or loss of life and living; telling yourself it’s not real; projections of what peace should be or reasons why you love forests; blame or shame for your feelings; regret for starting this path or not starting soon enough; guilt for how you’ve treated these beings in the past; separations or rejections between yourself and the woods; judgments, conclusions, computations, projections, expectations, justifications about the woods, the darkness, or yourself within them, as a part of them…
What if having “company” in these woods was not a threat to you? What if it was not a figment of your imagination but is real?
How do you feel after that?
Curious? Open? Expanded? More aware? More and more and more aware of everything and everyone around you?
What if you were aware that the entity or entities that you sense existing, living deeper in the woods
Are inviting you to come deeper?
What if these inhuman, animal or spiritual entities invited you to follow them?
That they had something to show you
Or would just like you to join them
Or to see them, acknowledge them, know how they live and exist
How do you feel about that?
And how far do you want to go into the woods?
Do you ever want to come out?