Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Mother of Darkness (Part One)

 by Raven Moonwood

It's night and you're dreaming when before you stands an open door. You step forward and fall into it. You land on a very small island in the midst of a restless sea.

The sky is black but full of stars which shine so brightly that everything appears sharp and clear. The sea around you is like ink with a sprinkling of foam on the churning waves.

There is only room for two people on the island and sharing it with you is a dark skinned woman wearing magnificent robes of pale blue with bits of pink and white. She is wearing scarves on Her head in an almost Islamic style, that cover Her hair. You realize that you are naked, and it's fine, but all that you can see of Her is Her face and hands and bare feet.

Who are you?” you ask Her.

Let me tell you a story,” She says. Her English is flawless but it might be a bit too perfect. You think that maybe She is from some African nation. “Slavery existed in many nations, many times around the world. It existed in Africa long before the Europeans came, but the Europeans took people from western Africa, brought them far from their homes, and sent them to work in the New World. Among other indignities, these folks who became enslaved were told that their old beliefs were primitive and savage and that they were to become Christians and worship a new God, who was the Son and the Father and the Spirit that was Holy. They were told that they could pray to the Mother who was named Mary. Mary was known not only as Virgin Mother, but as the Star of the Sea. In Her statues those who were enslaved saw Yemonja, Yemaya, Imanje, their ocean diety. So they began praying aloud to Mary, knowing that they were praying to the great Ocean Mother.”

Are you Yemaya?” you ask.

You don't see, do you?” She says. “Perhaps another tale.” She smiles and appears amused.

On the islands of Japan, many centuries ago, Catholic missionaries came to preach and converted many folk. The emperor of Japan was furious and forbade Christian worship on pain of death. But many converts took statues of Kannon, the Japanese name for the bodhisattva Kuan Yin, and put tiny crosses on the back to remind them that they were praying to Mary, though the statue was of Kuan Yin.”

So, are you Yemaya and Kuan Yin and Mary?” you ask.

And Tara and Gaia and Pachamama and Sophia and Shakti and Shekinah. I am the Mother of Darkness, the nurturing mother of all that is chaotic, creative, dark, rejected, messy, sinister, smelly, erotic, confused, and upsetting. The Black Madonna, if you will.” Her smile widens. If there was such a thing as compassionate mirth, that might well describe the warmth that radiated from Her. “Perhaps a better question you could ask is where you are.”

Perhaps I should,” you say. “Where am I?”

This is the Interstitium, the liminal threshold that lies between.”

Between what?” you ask.

Between the known and the numinous, between the potential and the improbable, between what is and what might be, between almost and not yet. The waters that surround us hold all that is possible, yet all that is possible is change. And you must change, for I am change.”

And you see that the Mother is a doorway, a portal to the possible, and you're not sure that you want to go there.

(To be continued tomorrow...)

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