We have been taught to fear the dark. After all, our myths inform us that is where the monsters lurk.
Is this the truth, though? How can we be so sure something evil awaits us in darkened closets and
shadowy places under our beds? We aren’t sure, and therein lays the real root of our fear. Ours is a
culture obsessed with knowing, and the darkness reminds us of that which is inherently unknowable.
What is it that really waits for us in the formless dark?
Anything– like the Void preceding all of Creation, the darkness houses limitless possibilities.
It’s interesting to note that darkness was often attributed to a Goddess figure in many cultures.
Take, for example, the Goddess Kali. Most often, she is seen dancing on the bodies of those she had
slain, her neck decorated with a string of skulls and wearing a skirt of severed arms. As fearsome a
figure as she is, her destructive ways are not wanton. She is a bringer of justice. Through her
destruction comes transformation. The darkness in this context, then, is really a place of change.
Change, of course, is a frightening concept in and of itself. Even when faced with the worst of
situations, too many of us resist. Change is painful. Change is the death of the comfort of the familiar,
hurling us to an unknown fate.
Whether we bravely face change, or get dragged along kicking and screaming, we should be grateful
for the darkness that envelops us during this times. Imagine how much more painful the process of
transformation would be if it was done in the full light of day. As clichéd of an example as it is, the
caterpillar’s transformation to a butterfly illustrates this concept perfectly. Yes, we all know the
story—Caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly—but most of us don’t realize that the caterpillar’s body almost
completely breaks down while safely tucked away. The darkness is our cocoon, insulating and
protecting us during our most vulnerable moments.
Don’t fear the darkness. Take comfort in it.