From Darkness to Light: The Power of Personal Myth
A few weeks ago, I told you about the recent solar eclipse.
I mentioned that the eclipse will work to conceal and reveal old wounds that have been festering for a long time, and that the best use of the energies occurring right now is to bring anything that has been hidden in the shadows toward the light.
Whether this be personal traumas…
Or, historical traumas…
I’m not saying that the eclipse is responsible for the challenges we experience (as individuals and as a collective) at this time.
I am saying that it is a cosmic metaphor of the occlusion of the light.
“As above, so below.” ← Old alchemical saying. (Yep, people have been working with these metaphors for years.)
The ancients looked to the cosmos for answers. They used the movement of the heavens as metaphors for their myths.
The reason is because what happens around us, happens within us. When the heavens match our psyche, there is a resonance–a recognition, an understanding–of a deep truth. Even if that truth is a challenge to face. Perhaps, especially then.
When the skies go dark, when the mythic hero descends into the dark cave, that’s when things get real.
Many people become uncomfortable in darkness. Especially unplanned darkness.
People resist it. Ignore it. Heck, even the animals take cover.
Others use it.
They are the mystics. The change agents. The superheroes.
They are the ones that live large in our psyche, and inspire us to great transformation.
Look at any hero, real or imagined. Notice the “eclipse” in their story, their moment of darkness.
A true hero does not shy away from this darkness, but rather, uses it as a source of empowerment.
Dark times may initially scare us into turning away, burying our heads in the proverbial sand, and pretending like the light is still there.
But, with a big event…like an eclipse, or recent social events…the darkness cannot be ignored.
There are times in our lives where the darkness is so great, that the only response is to draw upon our inner resources, stand firm, and acknowledge it.
In the dark, we find our greatest gifts.
Think of the dragon who hoards the gold in the dark cave. We must all enter our own individual darkness and slay the dragon in order to retrieve the gold.
Yes, I’m talking about this on a macro level. Yes, I’m talking about this on a micro level.
For us, as mystics, it is all the same.
For us, as mystics, there is no “out there, out there.”
Our greatest work is the work of the individual. Only when we explore our own darkness and face our own dragon can we then teach or inspire others to do the same.
When we acknowledge our darkness, we have the power to transform it.
It is tempting to stay in the light. It is tempting to ignore the dark. It is tempting to say, “No, that’s not me, not mine!”
But, sometimes, it is unavoidable. Like the upcoming eclipse. Like recent events.
And, it is all ours.
As above, so below…remember?
Make the dark times matter. Make those moments the ones where you stand steadfast and muster your most heroic qualities:
Because a true hero fights for all. There is no selection of who is worthy and who is unworthy in the hero’s story. We as individuals are worthy. We as a collective are worthy.
Worthy of love, belonging, and respect.
You are worthy.
Own your worthiness. Step into it by way of acknowledging your darkness. Because whether life, circumstances, or your own self-inquiry have led you there… what you discover is the source of your greatest strength.
Your individual story is the story of the collective.
It is only when we own our story that we have the ability to write the ending.
When we fail to own it…it begins to own us. We become disempowered.
Disempowerment is an eclipse of the soul…but an eclipse without end. It is a constant lack of light.
The Sanskrit word for “lack of light” is avidya. Yogic texts describe avidya as one of the primary obstacles to unity, or yoga.
And, this obstacle is a darkness we must overcome: ignorance.
Stay conscious. Stay present. Stay vulnerable to the darkness.
And, say, “Yes!” to your story.
This week, let’s explore our story more deeply. As a mythologist, I understand the world through this lens, and feel the journey of the hero has highly insightful and relevant implications for us at this time.
This week, I’d like to talk to you more about it.
I’ve posted a paper from my grad school days that answers the question, “What is mythology?” It’s a good primer for those of you interested in the exploration of your own personal story:
Read the blog: What is Mythology
On this week’s FB Live broadcast, I took you through a brief lesson on heroes and their myths, why it’s important NOW, how our personal mythology makes or breaks us, and what we can do to be change agents within our own individual and collective stories:
I’m honored to have you in my tribe of #ModernMystics. Thank you for riding this eclipse wave with me, and for being one of the many (!) who are choosing to lean toward the light. ✨?✨
Resources and Links
If you want to learn more about power of myth by revealing the journey of the hero and how it informs our lives, join my free training Myths of the Asanas – Bring the Stories to Life is a great place to start!