The Shadow Knows
It is the time of year when the shadows start to lengthen and darkness snakes in a little sooner each day. So too may an awareness of our own personal shadows start to lengthen and shroud our inner world in darkness.
This is as it should be, Autumn signals a time of darkening, of quieting, introspection and harvest from the heat & light of summer. This occurs in the natural world and within the nature of our souls. The infinite cycle of birth, life and death is highlighted as the leaves turn brilliant then fall to reveal bare branches.
The high and bright activities of summer begin to slow down as we anchor into routines and responsibilities. A season of darkness comes upon us physically and often mentally. Many of us in the upper Northern reaches of this country dread the impending darkness, the cold and ceaseless austerity of Winter coming.
It is challenging, but we can celebrate the dramatic ways in which we are given the seasons, and look at the darkness in a new light. I have learned to welcome this shift as a time of withdrawal. An inward journey of self-reflection and quiet. As the trees lay bare their branches so does this time of darkness reveal the shadows within our souls. The end of October brings a celebration of darkness, a time to don a mask and be a little bit scary. A festival of monsters and revelry which highlights the shadow side of human nature.
This happens just before we go deep within, just before the snow flies and the darkness wraps its frigid arms around us for the long haul.
Learn to welcome the darkness, rather than fear it. We can in this time come face to face with our own demons. Remove the mask and stop pretending. We have an opportunity to reveal aspects of our patterns, conditioning and behaviors which are not filled with Light. If we hope to change, to evolve, this is a good thing.
To be human is to hold within both the shadows and the light. Each time we are blessed to see aspects of ourselves which are less than lovely, which highlight our fears and prejudices, the reptilian and judging mind, we are shown Grace. When we fearlessly and without shame hold our inner darkness to the light of our awareness we grow.
Welcome the darkness, peer into the shadowy corners and allow Grace to enter in. The light will come, it is always there flickering its flame of hope and love. See this time as a time of hibernation and restoration. A time to dwell within and reveal what needs to be shed to the coming light.