It is true that sometimes in order to re-claim our soul, we must journey into the darker places, the mystery, the hunger, the deprivation that lingers.
We must uncover the earth where sorrow lies and dig into the rocks that have remained hidden and buried for an eternity. To enter into the ‘dark night of the soul,’ for that moment in time….to give to it that time.
Letting the light shine in once again, we sing the song that awakens us out of the morbid and fear ridden hollows. The soul emerges, grateful for this journey as it brings with it the ultimate healing of its purpose in life.
Over many centuries religion has taken a powerful place in our lives and that of our communities. The priests became our elders and had access to the upper-worlds. We would revere them and admire their more than holiness. We would see them as ‘enlightened’ beings and trust that their judgment was always the best. We would seek their advice and bow to them paying them with our money and offerings.
Those leaders knew that by encouraging us to look continually upward, they held the wealth and the power. The doom of hell was a journey into pain and disaster because it held a threat for them. If people descended in to those realms they would begin to feel pain, they would discover the dream-time and the poetry, they would allure others to be in the dark with them and then the people would begin to grow and to find the light within the darkened places.
When this growth happened, just as anything in nature, be it a new baby, a seedling sprouting from the ground, the beginnings of rivers; the people would mature and become ‘true adults’ they would recognise that it was not always necessary to look to the light, that
often true growth meant an exploration into the dark.
The spiritual leaders condemned the beliefs that poetry and the dance, the myths and the legends, were part of our craft to engage with soul, this place became ‘hell’ and if anyone went there they would be burned in an everlasting furnace. They created fear in people’s minds and in their communities, ‘Always look to the light’ they would say,
that is where the true God resides, keep looking upward and all will be well. Do not explore the dark, it cannot serve you. The money and the wealth and the positions of power would always be theirs. The people would not grow, but remain like children looking up at their
parents, lost to a world of depth and discovery.
When those who saw that light within the dark made any attempt to share the truth, they were burned, they were drowned and they were hung. Still we throw our crumbs to enlightened beings, taught that true life is above us, to steer away from the feminine, from sensuality and sexuality. Indigenous cultures would be undermined, land stolen, men tortured and the women raped.
I had been in the depths of my pain, I was in touch with the
wounding of women, ancestors from hundreds of years, many of
them burned, drowned, silenced by their ability to heal, to be at
one with nature. My voice was hurting, I felt silenced and in need
of calling out to know what I was really about. Nature being the
great place of discovery, here I could search deeper and deeper
into my psyche without fear of judgment or criticism.
Are we afraid of our deepest darkness, or can we ride the storms, sink into the ocean depths and brave the coming winds of change and reconciliation with who we are?
Our own indigenous culture can be reclaimed if we take those steps back in the wilderness, into our own wild-nature. There is hope and there is huge possibility for our world to survive and we with it. If we push our roots deep into the earth, it is then possible for us to
truly grow into mature adults and into wise elders again.
Reclaimed Innocence by Caroline Carey