One of the things that has always appealed to me about both Quakerism and Witchcraft is an emphasis on moving away from either/or, black/white, dualistic thinking; an understanding of the importance of both/and thinking; and an understanding of how both/and actually reflects the reality of the world more accurately. As part of my own healing from violence, and in order to grow spiritually, I had to learn to move away from either/or, black/white thinking into the realm of both/and.
I revel in my experience of the Divine Dark. Melody's article brought to mind three pieces from A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual: Judith Laura's "Hear Our Great Mother," Julie Middleton's "What Is This Night?," and John Schrag and Sabina Becker's Kore Evohe (click "Play MP3" to listen).
Hear our Great Mother, robed in midnight,
around whose head shines
all the suns and moons of the universe,
As She speaks to us, saying:
Blessed is the darkness
for in the darkness we conceive.
Blessed is the light
for in the light we give birth.
As conception is to birth,
So darkness is to light.
Know that both the darkness and the light,
The sound and the silence,
Are sacred unto me
Who is all creation.
(c) 1989, 1999 Judith Laura; reprinted with permission
What is this night?
It is the night of the Midwinter Solstice.
What is the meaning of this night?
It is a peak of power.
What is the element that rules this night?
Tonight darkness reaches the limit of its power over light.
What do we do in the dark?
We go deep within ourselves in the dark.
We look at our lives in the dark.
We look at our paths in the dark.
We look at our hopes and fears in the dark.
What happens in the dark?
Seeds grow in the dark.
Babies grow in the dark.
We rest in the dark.
We get ready.
Do we fear the darkness?
No! We glory in the darkness.
We dream in the darkness.
We are made whole in the darkness.
Half of day is dark. Half of night is light.
Julie Middleton, used with permission.