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Walking into the Darkness

Holy Mother,

in you we live, and move, and have our being . .

from you all things proceed, to you all things return.

                                                                                        — Victor Anderson


When I pray these words, “Mother” becomes a verb, not a gendered noun.

They who give birth.

They who gave birth to all things .  . .

* * * * * *

But before They Mothered, They were the Darkness.

The Darkness looked out upon Hirself in the curved mirror of space and time and fell in love and in lust with the infinite possibilities contained within Hir body . .  . and from that love and lust Hir desire rose .  . .

* * * * * *

As a Feri priest, I inhabit a cosmos born from the desire stirred by the beauty of darkness beholding itself.    So while many celebrate the Winter Solstice as the return of the sun, I celebrate not Sol Invictus, but the darkness that precedes and surrounds and will out live the sun.

The darkness for me is like the element of water in Chinese medicine — the ocean of possibility from which all things arise which will also, in time, dissolve all form, giving rise to possibility.

Sol Invictus feels to me like a triumphant emperor.  The darkness is the reminder that every empire falls.

* * * * * *

Many fear the darkness because they cannot see what it holds.

Many fear the fall of empires for the same reason.  They look at the erosion of capitalism’s power in the world and fear that chaos will follow.  Forgetting that Chaos is the origin and fate of all things.   They fear violence will cause or result from capitalism’s fall.  Forgetting that capitalism was born of some of the greatest violence in history — the genocides of colonialism and slavery and the cultural genocide that was the eradication of the remnant indigenous cultures of western Europe through the forced privatization of the commons.   Forgetting the military violence and police violence and economic and structural violence that are considered business as usual in our late capitalist culture.

As Ursula Le Guin said, “We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable . . . ” so it seems impossible to imagine anything outside it.

But the fact that we can’t yet see what will follow capitalism is a deep comfort to me.   We have lived for 500 years in a culture that has insisted that there is one reality, one truth, one right way to sense and perceive that reality, one ever expanding political and economic system destined to control the world.   Most large scale attempts at building alternatives have involved the replacement of that totalizing system with another that carries the same DNA. (eg Soviet “communism” that amounted to a form of state capitalism.)

The lack of a single, clear vision of what world might follow tells me we may finally soon break free from the domination of jealous gods who insist on their unique right to exercise total authority over our lives. Though I am under no illusion that either militant monotheisms or the capitalist triumphalism that is their ostensibly secular heir will go down easily — indeed we are witnessing a world marked by the brutality of these ideologies last efforts to fight for survival.  But even here we see the unraveling, the loss of the ability of any one narrative to hold together.  And as narratives and worlds unravel, we witness the emergent quality of chaotic systems beginning to take fluid form.

* * * * * *

If we are to remake our world, let us remake it in the image of dark, curved mirror of time and space, which reflects back infinite possibilities to which love and desire can give life.

Let our revolution be one of multiplicity, they that come to know their infinite complexity and infinite possibility in the darkness of the longest night.

* * * * * *

Victor Anderson said “Witches were the first ones who walked out into the darkness beyond the fire.  ”

I am stepping into the darkness on this longest night of the year, to connect with the memory of what was and what will be, to invoke its power to dissolve empires and give birth to new worlds.

Take my hand and walk with me away from this world on fire and into the worlds to come.




  1. Every empire collapses through the tendency of its elite to divorce itself from reality. Let them pretend that the darkness doesn’t exist. It is the cocoon in which gathers the truth, delimited without baggage or dross.


  2. I laugh…. I imagine the look on the faces of billionaires, when they find out all those zeros, they hoard, are exactly that…. zeros. Can’t wait for the new dawning, the darkest hour is just before dawn.


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