The Dark Night of the Soul

Chrysalis Tarot Art by Holly Sierra

The Greek word for messenger is ángelos (angel) and the angel pictured on our Nine of Scrolls bears an important message for us. These troubled times are punctuated by free-floating anxiety that often morphs into devastating despair. Since our anxiety is likely to get worse – much worse – it may be somewhat cathartic to step back, meditate and focus on what is really happening – the proverbial “Big Picture.” Perhaps in doing so we will become less afraid of the unknown. In these times, fear is our greatest enemy.

I underscored cathartic above to highlight my intention of returning to the concept. Catharsis can be nuanced in many ways. In both psychology and spiritual formation the term implies releasing repressed fears, along with other unhealthy emotions, notably guilt, into the luminescence of conscious awareness where they can be properly examined.

In spirituality this process is called The Dark Night of the Soul. It is a controlled crisis, the painful death of an individual’s ego (symbolized by the tombstone pictured (above left) followed by a whole new understanding – a rebirth. The Dark Night teaches us how the Divine – not we ourselves – molds and shapes our lives – a completely new perception of reality. “It is He who has made us, not we ourselves.”

I described this process of self-emptying (kenosis) in the Chrysalis Tarot Companion Book: “The objective is to overcome the belligerence of ego by baring the heart to inspiration from the Otherworld. The unseen realm wills nothing for us; it simply wishes to be heard so it can guide us.” A hardened ego prevents us from hearing.

We must understand that everything – our thoughts, actions, memories, etc. – are pure energy. As Einstein put it, “Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

The mythic Hero’s Journey as explicated in Chrysalis Tarot is the spiritual journey to transformation called metanoia, a Greek word that implies dramatically changing one’s world view or Zeitgeist – the ‘Spirit of the Age.’ The ego is ill-equipped to deal with disorder of chaos and today’s dizzying change, much less the deception and manipulation that threatens our present age. The ego wittingly opens the mind to all sorts of nonsense and foolishness. The armor required to come to terms with today’s crazy world is to choose a spiritual discipline such as meditation, prayer, yoga, or tarot that will help you to evoke order from chaos and hear Divine guidance spoken to you from beyond this world.

A further note regarding energy. As Einstein noted, everything is energy, especially electromagnetic energy/radiation. The Earth’s magnetic field, for example, is weakening at what was previously thought to be 5% per century. In reality, it’s 5% per decade.

The magnetic North Pole is moving at an alarming rate of 25-miles per year. It’s wandering off toward Siberia. There are signs of a polar or geomagnetic reversal, a phenomena that has happened 183 times over the past 80-odd million years of Earth’s history.

There’s a reason I delve into electromagnetic energy in this blog about the Dark Night of the Soul. I’ve been developing a thesis I call The Gaian Hypothesis. We find ourselves, I believe, at a inflection or tipping point in human history, a concerning imbalance between positive and negative mindsets and unhealthy (electromagnetic) emotions such as fear, hate and anger.

Viewed as the monomythic struggle between Good and Evil, the evil is very close to overtaking the good on a global scale. This has far reaching implications for our species and planet. The Dark Night is the Atonement* encountered at the 11th Stage of the Hero’s Journey (see chart below). In order to return to our Normal or Ordinary World (12th Stage), we must become transformed into a better version of ourselves; into a greater awareness called higher consciousness.

Collectively humanity must endure a Dark Night of the Soul. Our guardian angel is Gaia.

More about The Gaian Hypothesis in our next blog.

  • Atonement means to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant; to reconcile our consciousness with a Higher Consciousness. (Don’t dwell on the religious connotation of the forgiveness of sin. Regard atonement as positive affirmation not negative indulgence.)

Wetiko – The Mind Virus

“Indeed, it is becoming ever more obvious that it is not famine, not earthquakes, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is man’s greatest danger to man, for the simple reason that there is no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes.” ~ Carl Jung, The Symbolic Life

The Native Americans called the evil spirit that invades the human psyche thereby causing negative psychic epidemics, Wetiko. We’ll return to this concept directly.

“Shatter the frozen sea inside us.” That’s how novelist Franz Kafka described what may be called a disabling belief system. The disabling beliefs that concern us here are those unconscious ones planted in our minds by bad actors who employ mind control techniques to manipulate individuals, groups and societies.

A significant portion of the adult population in America harbors disabling beliefs of which they are mostly unaware – beliefs that obscure truth. The common beliefs or thought forms among this minority impede their attaining higher consciousness and enlightenment for they no longer possess critical agency, having wholly succumbed to groupthink. It is self-evident that groupthink suppresses individuality and creativity. It obfuscates one’s sense of self and stunts spiritual growth.

“Man does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious,” wrote Carl Jung. In other words, we must summon these sinister and controlling programs from the darkness of the subconscious mind into the light of universal consciousness. Those experiencing at least some degree of cognitive dissonance and haven’t made up their mind on climate change, for example, should consider this in order to expose new ideas to reason, logic and critical thinking. (By the way, the carbon-driven “climate emergency” is the greatest scientific fraud in history.)

Many, perhaps even most victims of mind control, are simply unwilling to change. They are fearful of the inevitable pushback. They grew comfortable nursing their groupthink delusions and prefer not to be rattled. They have fully compromised their self-identity. Fair enough: examining one’s unconscious mind is at best disturbing and can even be painful. Chrysalis Tarot was crafted to engender introspection increase self-awareness.

Other people are different. They invoke the advice of Einstein: “Question everything.” Being told what to think is anathema to them, especially when things just “don’t add up.” They willingly risk being censored and gas lighted on social media and ostracized by friends and family. Only they can hope to attain true enlightenment, the “narrow path” that alludes to reality-based objective truth, e.g. only women have human babies, and not reality subjugated to false dogma demanding ‘correct’ beliefs.

“Gratitude and positive thoughts build on each other, creating a positive, upward spiral.” ~ Physicist Nassim Haramein

“Wetiko is at the very root of the collective madness and corresponding evil that we, as a human species, are collectively acting out on the world stage,” wrote artist Paul Levy. “Our sense of identity molds us, while we are at the same time the ones crafting our identity. What we don’t want is to let Wetiko forge our identity for us.”

How does one defend against Wetiko, against its lies, deceptions and disabling beliefs? By rejecting the false-self and asserting our own true nature, which is spiritual in essence. By remaining positive in a pernicious sea of negativity.

Levy advocates developing your innate creative gifts: “For once we connect with our calling, find our authentic voice and express our creative nature, Wetiko has no place to stand.”  

In addition to Paul Levy’s excellent piece on Wetiko, which is here, writer William Hubbard, from whom I borrowed this blog’s title, also penned an informative and interesting article on Wetiko that can be read here. I highly recommend both to you.

To “shatter the frozen sea inside you,” I also recommend meditating on this Chrysalis card, particularly this symbolism. Herne’s right hand, the one holding his sword, points to three stars. That’s part of the constellation Orion, an asterism known as “Orion’s Belt. These three stars point to a dimmer star called Sirius, which was hugely important to the Ancient Egyptians.

In addition to meditating on Herne the Hunter, I invite you to research Orion’s Belt and Sirius and see what you come up with. Please share your insights in the comments section and please consider subscribing to the Chrysalis Tarot blog by entering your email address below. WordPress will never spam you.

© Toney Brooks 2022, Chrysalis art by Holly Sierra.