Friday, November 21, 2008

The Dark Pagans

There are some who find comfort in the shadows,
Who strive to comprehend the mysteries,
Who find solace in the silence of a winter night,
Who sing softly to the crone.

We are the Dark Pagans, children of the Dark Mother.

So often darkness is associated with evil. Since the term evil has no place in a nature-based religion, we Pagans are forced to look beyond such stereotypes.

Evil is a human term. It begins and ends with us. A tornado is not evil, yet it is destructive. Fire can be used to benefit life or destroy it. Nature is neither good nor evil. It simply is. It follows no moral code. Only humans, with our complicated set of emotions and intellect, can justify such categorizations.

Death, destruction, chaos… these are essential driving forces within nature. Life feeds on life; destruction precedes creation. These are the only true laws, and they are not open to interpretation.

When Pagans anthropomorphisize nature into something good and loving, they deny its very all-encompassing nature. When the dark deities are shunned in fear of the unknown, we deny ourselves full understanding of all deities and what they have to offer.

It is our nature to fear the unknown. We cling to archetypal forms
representing the aspects of some great unknowable, encompassing force, which we cannot comprehend. We call them our deities. This is not wrong; It is in fact, necessary since we cannot grasp the "divine" or cosmic source otherwise.

Some religions choose to see this source as one omnipotent being. However, accepting the existence of an all-good and just being dictates that there must then exist a counterpart that encompasses evil.

Since nature-based religions view the concept of deity in a more polytheistic and pantheistic way, the separations of creative / destructiv e forces are not as well defined. The deities take on aspects of nature or human ideals. Instead of one omnipotent being, we have deities of love, war, beauty, the sun, the moon, the sea… Each deity inherently contains both the creative and destructive forces.

It is through the many aspects of the Goddess and God that we come to learn more about the universe and ourselves. To shun those aspects we fear inhibits our growth. It is the goal of Dark Pagans to encourage those who hide behind the positive aspects of our deities to embrace their fears and learn.

As a life-affirming spirituality, Paganism often focuses on the
positive, creative and nurturing forces in nature. It is easy to loose touch with the darker aspects. Life begets death and death begets life. Chaos is the fuel of creation. Something must always be destroyed for something to be created.

Those who shun the darker aspects of nature and ourselves tend to fall into what I have heard called "Lightside Paganism" - Pagans who think life is all happiness and joy and that once attuned to the rhythms of nature, life becomes such wonderful dreams. Many subscribers to the "New Age" movement have this shallow outlook. To them, nature is good and just and ordered.

This simply is not the case. Take these dull-eyed individuals and place them in the wilderness with nothing but their crystals and they will be some animal's dinner before the end of the week. Nature is harsh. It is unforgiving. The weak die or are killed by the strong. Life feeds on life. Even the strictest vegan is a plant killer. Humans, with their technological and medical breakthroughs have "improved the quality life" by distancing themselves from the harshness of nature.

However, despite this harsh side of nature, it is not evil. It also has its share of beauty. The point is, nature encompasses both the creative and destructive forces. Ignoring the negative aspects results in an incomplete view of nature.

It is the goal of dark Paganism to remind us that there is a darker side to all things and that this darker side is not necessarily harmful and negative. There is beauty in darkness for those who dare enter the shadows to embrace it.

Many aspects of the darkness are not as harsh as death and chaos. There is reflection, reverence, change, divination, introspection, trance, autumn, winter, maturity, wisdom, the distant cry of a crow in a forest, a single candle glowing in the night, the cool embrace of the autumn wind. These are all aspects; these are its gifts. Perhaps it is through the beauty of a sunset and sunrise and the colors of fall and spring that we are reminded of the cycles of birth-death- rebirth and of the importance - the necessity - of each phase.

It is important to remember that focusing only on the darker side is just as dangerous as focusing on the lighter side. Balance is important, and even though some may relate to one aspect more than the other, we must always remain open to the other aspects.

©1997 - 2001, John J. Coughlin

I came across this in my email. I think this is very true. And I live by much of this. If that makes me dark, or not who you want, then keep moving, I hope you find who and what you need.

Dark Dreaming and Bright Blessings to One and All

Friday, November 14, 2008

I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.

Then the knowing comes: I can open
to another life that's wide and timeless.

So I am sometimes like a tree
rustling over a gravesite
and making real the dream
of the one its living roots

a dream once lost
among sorrows and songs.

~ Ranier Maria Rilke ~

Keith Olbermann's Prop 8 Special Comment: It's "About The Human Heart" (VIDEO)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Funny Morning

I like the town I live in. I know its kind of a strange thing, but it made me smile.
Driving to work, I had to do a double take on the street just after the overpass on my way to work. There were three turkeys just standing on the lawn in front of a building. How many people can say they saw 3 turkeys just standing around on their way to work.

Silly, but it touches that part of me that loves animals, even wild ones.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prop 8

This is my opinion, and if you read this then you might care what it is. Maybe not. I am not sure why as a people we think it is OK to tell someone who to love. Its not. We do not have control over who we love. If we did many people would not be in abusive situations. Many people would live happier lives.

But besides that everyone is created equal per our Constitutional rights. Why do we want to take someones rights away. If Prop 8 goes thru, do you realize that for a gay couple you are taking away rights. IF one gets sick, the Dr. actually doesn't have to let them see their partner, because they are not a spouse or a family member....


The world we live in today is very lacking in Common Courtesy, and Love. Why must we as a society put a right or wrong on it.
Live, Love, and Laugh!!!