“Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.” — William Shakespeare
It occurs to me that we, as human beings, are all some combination of light and darkness. The task is to balance the two, without letting either one have the greater power. Too much darkness will engulf us into the depths of fear and depression. Too much light will make us blind.
The light is active, warm, affirming and life-giving, but excessive sun will give us sunstroke. The night is silent, contemplative and restorative, but too much darkness will cause inertia.
At no time of year are these truths more evident than at Equinox, when light and darkness occupy an equal number of hours in one day.
The light and darkness can also be compared to personalities. Somewhere along the line, darkness got a bad rap. This of course, is vastly unfair. It is true that no one likes “morbid Morticia”. She is rude, harsh, abrupt, maybe revealing a bit too much of the cold, hard truth.
However, the sugar coated “positive Pollyanna” can grate on our nerves as well. She is too happy. We are jealous. Who lives in a 24 hour sunshine? We want revenge! Can she be for real?
Think whatever you want about morbid Morticia, but she has some wicked, hidden secrets to reveal. Are you interested? Of course you are! She is the night, the wisdom, the no-holds-barred exposure of the soul. Positive Pollyanna can keep these harsh truths in perspective. She is the illumination, the goodness and the gentleness, forever reminding us of our light within. We need both of them.
“To light a candle is to cast a shadow.” — Ursula Le Guin
There is an ancient Taoist belief that all of nature is a reflection of humanity, and vice-versa. We humans are more like the elements of nature than we might suspect. Our life cycles stand parallel to those of plants and flowers, going through the same phases of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Therefore, if we seek to heal anything within ourselves, we need only look to nature for the solution.
In the northern hemisphere, we now greet Autumn. We gather our harvest, embrace the last glimpse of summer and prepare for the darkness to come. In the southern hemisphere, we greet Spring. We begin planting, kiss the night goodbye and prepare for the long, fair days to come.
Both are important for our well being. Both are important for the well being of our planet.
At this Equinox, take some time to reflect on and embrace both the darkness and the light within yourself. Blessed be!