The Dark-side.Posted: December 4, 2013
Satanism doesn’t actually seem as dark as I probably expected it to be. In truth I find it very enlightening. Or perhaps my heart and soul are so corrupted by the darkside by now that I don’t recognise it anymore? I’m sure a few Christians might think that… Not surprisingly, I don’t agree. But it is true that becoming a Satanist was part of a personal process based on a need I felt to explore and integrate the darker side of my psyche.
But what does that mean? What is the dark-side?
For the most part I equate the Dark-side with what Jungian psychologists refer to as the shadow side.
“Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore. The Shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic life. We meet our dark side, accept it for what it is, and we learn to use its powerful energies in productive ways. The Shadow knows why good people sometimes do “bad” things. Romancing the Shadow and learning to read the messages it encodes in daily life can deepen your consciousness, imagination, and soul.”
from “Romancing the Shadow,” by Connie Zwieg, PhD., and Steve Wolf, PhD.
Everyone carries a Shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.”
The Core of Shadow Work is this: To KNOW YOURSELF FULLY, from as many angles as are required, in order that you might dare to let yourself go free. Being neither judge, jury, prosecutor, nor defender—you give no explanations, nor do you require any. You are AT HOME in your place between the sun and the moon.
Taken from ‘About Shadow Work‘
Even as a child I loved the night-time. I remember as a small girl sometimes creeping out into the garden at night. All the familiar things of the daytime took on dark, shadowy forms. There were strange sounds and movements everywhere. Yes, it could be frightening, but it was also exciting and magical. Sometimes I saw hedgehogs scurrying about or heard owls hooting. Other times I glimpsed completely unfamiliar creatures and undefined shapes moving in the shadows and my imagination went into overdrive. There might have been fairies, pixies or goblins. There might have been monsters… It was thrilling to be slightly afraid and in truth I was never more than a scream away from getting help. But whatever real or imagined dangers may have been lurking in the garden, when I looked up the darkness held it’s biggest prize; the stars! I was always transfixed and awe-struck by the wonders of the night sky. First of all the stars were just beautiful to look at. Later, as I learned more and became interested in astronomy I grew ever more amazed and pleasantly bamboozled by the facts associated with those precious pin-pricks of light. Thus, if I hadn’t ventured into the darkness (like billions before me) there is so much magic and beauty that I would never have known.
I see darkness as a landscape where fears can be confronted, pleasures can be discovered, hidden beauty and magic can be glimpsed and where people can be themselves without shame or embarrassment. Moreover, without the darkness there are many lessons it would be difficult, if not impossible to learn. It is not in itself good or bad; but as night is to day, dark is to light a place with it’s own marvels and mysteries to explore.
I understand that not all people feel an impulse to explore the darker sides of themselves. That’s fine, we are all different. For me however it was an inevitable part of my path.
But what am I learning? How has it helped or changed me?
Well although I am quite open in my blogs there are some things that are not for the whole world to know. I have confronted and am still grappling with some things that are deeply personal and which I will not speak about here. Other things I am fairly comfortable to talk about though.
Satanism itself probably seems dark to some people. I don’t really see it that way, but without being prepared to defy convention and explore things others consider dark I would not have gained all I have from embracing Satanism. By doing that, I have extended myself as a witch, I have learnt many new things including how to be even more self reliant. I work with energies and entities which once would have seemed forbidding and forbidden. I have probably developed a harder self protecting edge in many things. I think I have become more honest. I work closely with the energies or entities that are known as Satan and Lucifer, which I always wanted to do but felt constrained by social and religious conventions. I have read books which sometimes challenged my own way of thinking and thus made me think harder. I have met people whom I value greatly.
By exploring my own dark side I have overcome fears that were holding me back or making my life less enjoyable. I have learned about some of the triggers which make me behave in ways I don’t want to and thus have taken greater control of who I am and how I am perceived, which has positive knock on effects in my work life and social life.
I am much more confident in my own sexuality and sex life which occasionally wonders into territories some may find dark. This has allowed me to experience things which are very pleasurable and enriching in ways that go beyond sex itself. It has also given me a much deeper insight and understanding of other people.
I am developing a new way of thinking about death. Perhaps this needs a post of it’s own. But in short, confronting our shadows brings the mysteries and fears associated with death closer. In modern society we consign death to the fringes of our conciousness where it festers and secretly controls us. By bringing it out into the open we see it in a new way and appreciate life itself more fully.
And there is much more. This is an ongoing journey. My own exploration of the dark-side will not be the same as anybody else’s. Those who are drawn to exploring their own shadows will find unique challenges and architecture along their path. We all have our own personal demons to confront and reach an accommodation with.
For myself I have no regrets. I would not be the person I am if I had not decided that I needed to take a good look at my own darker side and learn the lessons I needed to learn. I think I am a stronger more balanced person as a result. I don’t think it is possible to find a true balance and harmony within yourself unless you are prepared to shine a torch in the dark cobweb covered corners of your own mind. And balance and harmony are what I seek.
Satanism is for me the main vehicle through which to break with convention and start exploring. One of the big problems and stumbling blocks in self discovery for many people is that they find truths which Christian conventions reject. I don’t agree with Freud on very much but I think he was on the right lines in thinking that many people’s psychological problems stem from repressing things that “society” is uncomfortable with. That doesn’t mean that all our most perverse and nasty thoughts are okay. But we do need to be honest about having them sometimes. And the Christian thought-police don’t exactly help with that.