Into the Night

Facing the Dark Side on the Path


When we are children we learn that Dark = Bad because we can't see what's out there
when the lights go out ... and we hear funny noises

As an adult we learn that things that go bump in the night, are most likely
the neighbors cat ... and pay it no heed

While we can face these Night fears easily enough what about the ones that make us shy away
from the "Darker" aspects of the Pagan Paths ..?

Yin and Yang sign
The symbol of Yin and Yang used in the Orient has been around for 1000's of years
It's philosophy is simple ... dark and light are defined by each other, and each has some of the other
They depend on each other.. as without the other, neither one could exist

Ok.. so what the heck does this have to do with you ?
And the Ways of the Path ?

Glad ya asked.. :)

There is a grand misconception going on out there
that there is a dark path or light path to Paganism


And that one is "better" than the other

No I'm not talking Satanism here.. We don't even believe
In ye old red man with the pointy tale and pitchfork :)

What I mean is ... that to some, those who follow certain Goddess's such as
Lilith, Kali, Tiamet, Hekate, Nemesis, Morgaine etc. are on the Dark Path. First off let me say
there's no such thing... as a :Dark: path other than as a semantic definition

It's called that, to define it from other paths, but it's name. It has Nothing to do with its value!
There's a good path or a bad one.. period

"Are you a good witch or a bad witch" mmm Dorothy ?

There are those who work with the mysteries of the Darker side of the Mother yes,
but this does Not mean they are Bad. It means they are balanced between light and dark,
as in the Grand design of all things

The only time this is a problem, is when the parties go all the way to the other side .. and
start thinking of everything in the Dark Mothers light

To cling to only the Dark side, is as bad as seeing
things only in terms of light, as both are unbalanced

Why are we afraid of the "Dark" side anyway ?

Paganism is, by and large, a nature based Religion

The Dark side .. of nature is the part that destroys .. Nature grows wonders ..
Part of how she does this.. is through decay and death
The cycle of life .. death and rebirth

The three fates were
The spinner who spun the threads of your life
The weaver who made the web that are all its parts
and the Lady with the scissors who cut the thread

Now by and large we have no problem with the spinner and the weaver .. it's the other Chick
with the sharp things going snip snip, that makes us go ... AHHHHHHH .. @@ ! ! ! !

Now why is that..? What is it that we Fear ?
Death ? Death is but a door through which we walk

But we still fear it ... even if just a little.. :)

And
Another reason if you mention, say for example Kail or Hecates name,
most people go scampering off is

(Off on a short history lesson here)

How about
1000's of years of blood rites and sacrifice ...mmm ?

For most people this is what get's em.. Death we can accept. ALL things that live.. die
The round of life to death, to new life is the way it is

But the history surrounding the worship of the Dark Mother ... of deliberate death
is enough to set anyone's teeth on edge.

So what's the cause of all the bloodletting done in the Mothers name ?

Think about that one for a second................

Got it in one didn't ya..?

MAN

And no, we are not man bashing here, so sit down fellas
MAN as in all of mankind :)

In nearly ALL of the old religions and this includes Christianity ... blood sacrifice was common place
Most Religions sacrificed animals ... but not all

This was done, for the most part, by otherwise Good Faithful people, who
believed that this was the right way to do things !

Does the fact that we no longer practice such things
make them Bad in retropect ? No.. It's how things where done
and it's not how we do them now.. end of story

The only acceptable
"sacrifice: to the Gods now.. is of youself.. your time
your dedication, your willingness to effect changes,
for the good of all, a few flowers, some nice attars
Which makes a lot more sense to me, than burnt offerings!

However the history above is why we Pagans are often
accused of such things.. As in the past this WAS how things were done..

We say we worship the old gods,
so people assume we do ALL as they did

It's also why we ... as Pagans tend to Avoid the Dark
side, as we don't Want that association

Is it that hard to convince people that while I call on Freya the Beautiful
in my rites, this does not mean I plan on killing a goat ... in my living room in her honor

Or Drink myself sick on Mead in Honor of Thor

Goddess alone knows why it is hard for people
to believe that I would not WANT to do this :)

Ok enough of history lesson

Now this is part of why we get the willys whenever
the Dark Ones are mentioned, along with a fear of Death

Other Things

We don't understand the Dark for one

What is it ? What do I mean when I say it ?

To me the Dark means .. all the things hidden,
all the parts of creation we don't know yet.
The mysteries of life, that defy explanation

These are the darkness... the places we have not gone
places where we are ignorant. And almost to a man
we are afraid, of what we don't understand

Or this one

The side of the Self ... that is able to know Fear..
Anger ... depression and loneliness.. but without these
things how would we understand ... Courage
Peace ... Happieness ... or the blessings of company ?

All things are defined by their opposites .. to know one
is to know the other.. always.. with no exceptions

This is the Darkness.. The side of life we deny

The Path to the Dark Mother is the path of challenge
To pass through your Fears and terrors and go to meet her ... despite them,
and thereby gain Courage

This is the time of the Crone
The time of slowing down to reflect 

The place to hide when ill times threaten
The hand that reaches out and metes out Justice

The Dark Womb from which we all are born
And the Dark womb of Earth to which we all return

The One to whom you offer all that is out dated
and no longer useful to you.. to the blade of time

The point of transformation ... of change ... of balance

Does any of this really sound like Bad things to you ?

Sometimes not comfortable.. maybe hard, but the process of Self change is never easy
A challenge perhaps ? The times when you know Fear ... or Sorrow... and the inevitable time of Death

All these things are a part of life.. to deny them is to deny life ... Embrace the Darkness as well
as the Light, so that you are part of it all. You are Whole ... complete, balanced

When the next dark night falls and things go bump
You can smile and say Hello Mother and Know
that she hears you and smiles back

Ode to the Dark Mother

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