The Magician that lives in the dark woods

posted by Eivind on September 25, 2014, at 9:33 pm

(this post is adapted from a post I made on Facebook)Haunted Forest

Modern minds go crazy in the woods at night. We do not know how insane we are until we stand under the shadowy silhouettes of huge trees, hearing the gentle breeze ruffle the branches and feeling the pregnant silence of a forest mostly asleep (and it is the "mostly" that gets us).

There the dark night lovingly seeks out the places in our subconscious that the distractions of civilization conveniently brush aside. We have been invaded: By marketing, movies, computer games and a culture gone grazy (it can mostly be summed up in the word "addictions"). In the woods at night, this is revealed. There, the dark of the night brings the dark of our minds to light.

The way our mind responds to a dark forest is a great barometer of the depth of our soul-connection. If the unknown of that dark place drives us mad, it is because we have not explored our depths; we have not come to know ourselves truly.

Mindfulness/meditation practice can help us stay in the moment and not run off into fantasy, but it is Soul practice that allows us to receive the communication of the night fully; reframing the whole language of darkness from a potential threat to our presence to an invitation to a deeper encounter with Self.

When we look out into the night from behind our window panes, do we see a threatening unknown? Or do we see a womb lined with the essence of love and the promise of inner alchemy?

I have noticed that the deeper I go with my soul work, the more the dark of night starts opening up. From being a place that brings out our fears and inner demons, it becomes a place which starts resonating with our yearnings, transmuting our fears and showering us with gratitude and wonder.

It's a challenging practice, but it's one worth taking on: Go alone into the wilderness in the dark of night ready with a question – or a sacrifice – and a willingness to listen. Last night, I made my way – as I did the night before – from my little meditation hut into the dark woods. I have been in this landscape at night before, and while I've braved it many times, I've always felt like something of an invader in an alien land with unknown threats lurking around every corner.

I notice this perpetual subtle anxiety of the dark woods is fading, and as I make my way to an opening, moving gently so as not to disturb the sleep of my surroundings (and perhaps more importantly not to stir up the demons that live in me), I find myself a clearing to lay down in.

Speaking out loud, I invite the benevolent forces of the woods to come feast on me, to eat my addictions and egoic patterns. In so doing, the warmth I had felt vanished and I felt fear. But I called on the resources and help I have, and was soon accompanied by benevolent beings of the otherworld (this is the kind of thing that may sound strange in front of a computer screen, but I've found it to be a foundational skill to navigating the wild at night).

No creatures of the night showed up in the flesh (this time), but as I made my way back through the woods to my hut, I felt joyful and elated. I went to bed feeling as if the night embraced me like a warm cozy blanket, rather than a threatening unknown.

This womb of the night is a place where the Magician archetype comes alive. The dark unknown – and the way in which it dialogues with us – calls on the Magician that lives in us to utilize his skills proper; To spontaneously set up ritual space/ritual circles, to call in help, to transmute emotions, to work with the subtle energies of the surroundings, to banish demons and seeing, as we do so, that they were but twisted apparitions of our most sacred inner gifts.

This is one of the things you will, in some form or another, experience if you come with me on the Reclaim your Inner Throne journey (and you’ll need to be quick because it’s almost full).

For me, this is just warming up. In a few days, I will make my way into the Wilderness proper without food – four days to spare – and a request to be consumed.

This, I'm afraid of. I know it will call upon all of my training. It's not the woods at night themselves that scare me most; it is the dialogue I'm inviting.

And if the woods answer – which I hope and fear they will – I will be overpowered completely; with no choice other than to surrender to the powers of the unknown.

See you on the other side and hopefully on the Reclaim your Inner Throne journey.

Warm regards,
Eivind

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