The Medicine of the Dark Night

At the summer solstice, people celebrate the light. At the winter solstice, people celebrate the light too. I adore the light, but when is the time for the deep bow of honouring towards the darkness that the light emerges from?

I recognize the discomfort that the long, dark night can bring as it reflects a depth that many, understandably, fear to tread due to unprocessed emotion and trauma. It can be really uncomfortable and agonizing at times to slow down and face ourselves with sobriety. This ties into our survival obligations, fear of death, the unknown, and the great mystery that houses us. We all know there is plenty to distract us from this turn inwards.

Our culture is unbalanced in its yang, outward, action & goal-oriented nature. We see the evidence of too much light creating droughts, fires, and depletion inside and out. We need the dark yin to cool, calm, hydrate, and bring us to deep rest so we can emotionally & mentally integrate our life experiences and physically rejuvenate for the coming spring’s inevitable rising.

The underbelly of this overcompensating behavior of endless productivity has its roots in extremely intelligent adaptations to patterns of life and our culture that started long before we were born. It ties into survival, relationships to money, worthiness, boundaries, and trauma. That’s a thick soup of the psyche!

The health impacts of this intergenerational conditioned patterning are also many. Fortunately, we inherit the strength of our ancestors, who had to give it everything they had and beyond to get us to where we are now.

There have been many times in my life, especially in my parenting journey, where I had to go beyond what I felt capable of. Sadly, for so many of us, enough rest feels like an unattainable privilege in a world of ongoing inflation of our basic survival needs.

Wishing you the nourishing, regenerative rest of hibernation when it’s available for you during these long nights.

About the author 


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