Night on the Dnieper River, 1882, by Archip Iwanowitsch Kuindshi. Public domain image courtesy of WikiMedia.
Night on the Dnieper River, 1882, by Archip Iwanowitsch Kuindshi. Public domain image courtesy of WikiMedia.

“In a dark time, the eye begins to see.” ~ Theodore Roethke

In the pitch-black nadir of my own journey through the Underworld — the dark night, the forest I knew not — 0ne of the many sparks of light that helped me find my way came in the form of a collection of poems — Risking Everything — given me by my elder neighbor, Mary (one of my anam cara who was very good at giving just the right light-spark at the right time!).

 Roger Housden, the author and guide who edited that collection of poems, wrote this in his recent email newsletter, and he’s given me the okay to share it more broadly because not only did it introduce David Whyte’s poem, The Well of Grief, but also spoke directly to the wisdom of the dark night journey:
Magdalene with the Smoking Mirror, Georges De La Tour, 1640
Magdalene with the Smoking Mirror, Georges De La Tour, 1640

“The path of inner knowledge and revelation requires us to go down as well as up; indeed going down is usually the prerequisite for any kind of transformation. St John of the Cross, the Christian mystic who lived in the 17th Century, gave us the phrase, “the dark night of the soul.””

“In our grief we may acknowledge our imperfections, our inability to change the past, the loss of a loved one or of missed opportunities. Grief softens us, loosens our habitual identity, and in so doing makes us more permeable to new ways of being and seeing.”

~ Roger Housden, 14 January 2015 email newsletter.

An illuminated Way ... [Image shared in an e-message from the University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism]
An illuminated Way … [Image shared in an e-message from the University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism]
If you’re seeking little sparks of light, insight, and inspiration, and wisdom drawn from direct-experiencing of the soul-excavating terrain of dark nights, deep forests, and Holy Wells, you’ll find a start here — let your intuition and belly-instincts guide you:

My Ivy Sea Online Awakening to Spirit Portal (via the Via Feminina and Dark Night)

The Ivy Sea Wake-Up Juice Edition, Transition, Transformation, and the Dark Night of the Soul.

And of course the many Via Feminina, Black Madonna, and Dark Night posts here at Sophia’s Children (which was born out of each of those dark, fertile grounds!).

You can subscribe to Roger Housden’s weekly email newsletter, and learn more about his writings and works, here. Find David Whyte’s poem, The Well of Grief, here. And find Theodore Roethke’s full poem, In a Dark Time, here.

Big Love and Many of Sparks of Light to Guide You on Your Way,

Jamie