Seeing In The DarkRead Now
Demeter, Goddess of the Earth and mother to Persephone, grows depressed. In her grief, she allows nothing to grow. The world burdens under a land bare and quiet.
This is the time of the Dark Goddess, the Queen of the Underworld.
These seeds are often self-sabotaging thoughts, beliefs, or behaviors that work against our own growth.
They undermine us when we keep repeating, “I am okay. I am okay. I am okay.” While not getting on the scale, not opening the credit card statement, not opening the text, not breaking up with someone toxic. It is the mantra of kidding ourselves because we are scared.
A dark seed loves ignorance. A dark seed convinces us to pretend that problems aren’t real until those very problems threaten to undermine us. Swathed in darkness we become ‘comfortably numb’ to the quality of being alive. We adjust to accepting a life that is mere fragments of what we know we are capable of. We allow childhood conditioning capsize our sense of worth and work.
During this Dark Time, from the 23rd of September until the winter solstice on December 21st use this time to identify, truly and bravely identify, your 6 dark seeds.
Seed Number One:
Identify one internalized belief from childhood that has undermined your sense of worth.
Example: “My Mom was a neat freak growing up and I just can’t measure up to her housekeeping. I feel like a lazy person who is unable to keep anything nice.”
Seed Number Two:
Identify one self-belief that actively discourages you from reaching towards your goals.
Example: “I will never be thin. I have been overweight my whole live and, well, I am just not one of ‘those’ people.”
Seed Number Three:
Identify any area where you are being willfully ignorant. This could be your health, your finances, a relationship, or something else.
Example: “I am desperately unhappy in my marriage. But I can’t ruin the kids’ lives and I don’t want to end up broke and alone in a crappy apartment.”
Seed Number Four:
Identify one belief that is negative and malicious. This could be a belief about yourself, someone else, or an aspect in the world. You usually can recognize these when you use “all” or “nothing” statements.
Example: “I am always the fuck up.” “Humans are horrible.” “Wall St. bankers should be hung.” “Carla must be sleeping with the boss.”
Seed Number Five:
Identify something (or someone) that you are jealous about.
Example: “My sister has more money than me and I just know she looks down on me.” “I am sure his success was by luck alone.” “How did they deserve a house like that?”
Seed Number Six:
Identify a bigoted belief regarding another class, race, political affiliation or action.
Example, “People who litter are ignorant, selfish people.”
Usually, if we examine our seeds closely, we can see that they are often tied to one another. The seeds run in currents and themes, often closely related to one another.
By identifying these dark seeds, we start to become aware of the nature of the Underworld Queen: that shadowy, greedy aspect of ourselves that we are not proud of. Often we shove her down as much as we can and other times she rises up to make us into aspects of ourselves that can shock us.
So let us peer into the dark together.
See the trauma in them.
See how a family culture and models influenced you before you could question them.
Peering at your seeds starts to dismantle them.
Looking at your dark seeds without judgement begins to break shame.
Being kind to yourself (and others) during this process helps you stay open. As your eyes adjust to the darkness, you will see how the seeds will grow into something revealing about your Underworld Queen (or King).
Journal The Descent
Right now, all I want you to do is to identify your seeds. Get curious about them. Watch how they show up in your life. Grab a journal and jot down when you catch a dark seed in action. This is a mindfulness activity. You aren’t going to go head to head with them just yet. During this dark time, until the Solstice, jot down when you notice them.
If you feel overwhelmed by that process, take one Dark Seed and work with watching it for 2 weeks. Then, choose another to observe.
“Just as Persephone, the Goddess of spring, now descends to meet her husband in the underworld. I, too, am heeding the call to peer into my own darkness. I ask that my eyes adjust to the dim.
I ask that my mind and heart be brave and open, curious and thorough by what I find there. I know that without winter, there is no spring, without darkness we cannot truly be bright. During this dark time I allow its lessons to open me, shake me, and nudge me into the life long process that is becoming human.”
If you are comfortable with it, keep the candle lit until it burns all the way down. If not, then light it every consecutive night until it is done.
I might follow up with an activity for you for Halloween (but I am not sure yet). Or I will definitely follow up with work on the winter solstice. Don’t worry, I am not going to leave you hanging. I want to give you plenty of time.
Don’t rush this.
This Is Tough Work
If you feel like you cannot do this alone, please reach out to me, or speak to a trusted advisor or therapist. If you feel this might be too intense for you right now, put it away for another time.
In the Dark, holding hands with you,
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M.S. in Organizational Psychology and Leadership