As my teacher says, "Past the atmosphere is mostly dark." That is, most of what is and who we are we simply cannot see. The darkness represents and contains what Jung called the Shadow (the parts of ourselves we wish to hide and bury), but it is more than that. It is the void between particles where new matter is born. It provides the contrast out of which emerges all meaning. It is the Goddess who suffers having to be all those things we hate.

It took me along time to accept myself as a pantheist. If the Goddess is not everything, then how do I tell the that which is God from that which is not God. Trust other authority? How? If, on the other hand, the Goddess is everything, then how do I view as sacred all the things I abhor? It's saying the Goddess is pollution too, the Goddess is pain too, the Goddess is rape too. We are making Her be those awful things by allowing those things to happen. And yet I cannot even entirely stop myself from causing suffering. Ultimately, I must eat. I must kill to cause the energy of another's life to become the energy of my life.

Therefore, I turn from the light to face Darkness. I question the powers of pain and oppression and destruction and ask, "How are these powers sacred? What functions do they serve?" Darkness is a mirror. It shows these powers within me. It shows me that the pain I have suffered have helped me grow in ways I could not have understood ahead of time. It shows me that pain can be a messenger of patterns I should banish from myself. The mirror that is Darkness recognizes the kinship of my fear, and how unhealthy fear leads me to disregard the sanctity of others. Through the cleansing of the appropriate destruction of my blocks I have grown a tiny bit closer to being the divinity of my vision. All the powers of Darkness have their appropriate uses. Yes, they can and are misapplied in horrific ways. Nevertheless, they are sacred and vital to our being.

I celebrate the Darkness. She takes my hand in the quiet between my heartbeats and says, "Lover, you will return to me. I have touched your soul and made you beautiful. Through me the stars shine. In me you will find eternal renewal. Do not forget."

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