A Deep Winter Encounter with Dark Mother

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-9-15-50-am Our Lady of the Dark Night invited me to take a walk with her. Well, to be honest, there was no invitation involved. It was more like an abduction! What really happened, is that she came at me like a Ninja from out of nowhere and grabbed hold of me in broad daylight when I least expected it. She picked me up, slammed me down hard and then unceremoniously threw me across the threshold between worlds, right into a whirlwind. She is not a subtle mother, that one. And, yeah, this is exactly the way she operates.

Dark Mother, known also as Mother of Dream, Mother of Sleep, was right by my side as we spun round and round in the dizzying vortex. Faces began emerging from the misty edges, rising up, one after the other. The faces came before my eyes, lingered for a second and then morphed into another. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of faces, of all colors, expressions, ethnicities and times. Some male, some female, some barely human at all. Dark Mother whispered that these are all the people you have been through many, many lifetimes. See them. Realize your soul is ageless and that you contain within you the wisdom and the resources of countless lifetimes on this earth.

Soon my mother and two favorite aunts appeared, standing calmly to the side, watching me. It was so good to see the three of them! But a crashing wave of fear washed over me just then and before I could even voice my dread, they smiled tenderly and I understood that they hadn’t come to take me away, but to give me comfort. The One Who is Black as Night laughed (a bit loudly and harshly, I thought) and wrapped her arms around my shoulders to let me know I was held in her embrace. The spinning seemed to slow, the slightest fraction of a millisecond at that realization. Still, it kept churning and up and down, round and round, we continued to fly at a dizzying pace.

The Dark Mother does not fool around, she does not waste time, she does not mince words – she gets right down to business. She carries a sword, slashes at things in her way and is wildly unpredictable.screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-9-15-18-amHer main goal is to destroy what is unnecessary. Her power is profound and unfathomable. She is entirely fierce and unrelenting. She is persistent, she knows what she is doing and remains in complete control. She is not a gentle mother. She grabs you by the hair, shoves you around, drags you deep, deep down into the most abysmal places and makes you face truths you may not have wanted to see. This Dark Mother unravels mysteries right before your eyes. She is a radical truth-bringer, life-spinner, a soul-grower, a gate-keeper and her ultimate gift is enlightenment and clarity of purpose. When the Black One has you in her grip you cannot get free until she decides it is time to let you go. And then, poof! The journey is over and you return to your former life, forever changed.

As the whirlwind continued to spin madly, holding me in its powerful grip, my body was continuously pricked and prodded and attached by wires to machines with flashing numbers, beeps, bells and and graphs. Sweet angelic beings wearing nursing scrubs hovered, prayer words from many sources floated in and out from the mists and the ever-watchful, always loving daughters stayed close. I could hear the hushed tones of their voices in the shadows beyond the whirling edges. One of them stayed in a chair by my side through the entire ordeal img_1166

The Mysterious Dark One now sweetly hinted there were some things we needed to take a look at together. Then, without any further warning, she thrust her arm deep into my chest. As my heart flipped and flopped like a fish that has just been brought ashore, she reached in as far as she could and began pulling out long globby strands of goop.

She Who is Fearless and Black as Night let me know that this is unacknowledged grief, unprocessed sorrow and heartache being stored here. It serves no purpose, causes unnecessary suffering and we have to get rid of it. I watched, incredulous, as she continued to pull. And as she pulled, I examined every strand and remembered…shed tears and tried to keep breathing. After what seemed a long time, it could have been several days or weeks, the landscape shifted unexpectedly and now I was surrounded by green fields and gardens, blue skies and beautiful trees, mountains and undulating waters. The air was fresh and clean, there were the sounds of children laughing and playing, birds singing and I could feel the sweet breeze on my skin.

An incredible feeling of love came over me now – it was more love than I had ever been aware of existing before. Love was everywhere and it permeated everything. Everything was an expression of love. And now this Mother of the Deep Down Wintry Depths began to parade before me all the incredible treasures and blessings of my life. My life was filled with so many countless blessings! I was surrounded and protected by love, and she showed me that even the hard struggles had been blessings and precious teachings presented for the continued growth of my soul. As the Dark Lady showed me all the many treasures I have been given, I noticed that, though many were easily identified, some of them I had barely glanced at before, or had never considered to be treasures at all. As she revealed them, though, I saw that indeed, they were priceless gifts, treasures of long standing, many inherited from my ancestors.

It is difficult to put into words the profound feeling of gratitude that washed over me now in this wild maelstrom that still had hold of me. It is even harder to describe the many teachings and revelations that either oozed out of that pounding windstorm or were flung out at me during this dizzying, fast-paced, spiraling dance with Dark Mother.

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The spinning eventually slowed, and then finally stopped, and she released me from her grip, thoroughly exhausted. She let me go just as quickly and unexpectedly as she had grabbed hold of me in the first place. Such is the mysterious wisdom, power and grace of this Mother of the Dark Night.

I can say with certainty that my brief, but intense encounter with her has significantly altered my priorities and I am contemplating big changes in my life to accommodate my new perspective. This, I think, was the ultimate gift as well as the directive of The Fierce Black Mother. In this moment I am feeling most blessed to be alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About gailfaithedwards

Gail Faith Edwards is an internationally recognized Community Herbalist with over thirty years experience. She is the author of three books about herbs and herbal medicines; Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs, Traversing the Wild Terrain of Menopause and Through the Wild Heart of Mary; Teachings of the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary and the Herbs and Foods Associated with Them. Gail has taught Herbal Medicine in India and Italy, at the Yale School of Nursing, the University of Maine and College of the Atlantic among others. She is the founder of Blessed Maine Herb Farm and Director of the Blessed Maine Herb Farm School of Herbal Medicine. She is the mother of four grown children and the grandmother of two.
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9 Responses to A Deep Winter Encounter with Dark Mother

  1. I am so grateful for this most valuable and beautiful post. You bring so much to our lives.

  2. Barbara Kocen says:

    Dearest Gail,
    I read about this incredible journey you described with tears in my eyes. It had so many lessons for me, in my journey that I am on at where I am in my own life’s journey. I feel that it is my destiny to be grabbed eventually by “The Dark Mother” so that I will finally be “pushed” to face decisions that I am side-stepping around because these life-changing choices are unsettling and scary.

    I love reading everything you share, but this truly is special to me personally.

    • Barbara, I am grateful that my words are resonating with you and others…It is, indeed, the destiny of all of us to meet up with Dark Mother…at a time of her choosing! Don’t be in a rush for it…you are probably, right now, being given the tools to engage deeply and successfully with her. Be true to the work. Much love to you. And, thank you!

  3. adèle says:

    Beautifull, Thank you!

  4. Joss Thomas says:

    transformation ain’t easy… I saw a quote today from Yoko Ono of all people, and reading this I think I’ll share it with you. ” A heart will not remain broken no matter how much you want it to.”

  5. lsaboe says:

    You touch my soul, Gail. Heal well.

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