Chapter 14
Dark Night of the Soul

Night Enfolds Her Cloak of Holes

- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Wilderness | pg. 2 - Prince Rupert Awakes | pg. 3 - The Sufis
pg. 4 - And there a Swan is Born | pg. 5 - Reels of Dream Unrolled | pg. 6 - The Peacock's Tale
pg. 7 - The Tibetan Book of the Dead | pg. 8 - Dawn Song | pg. 9 - Night Enfolds Her Cloak of Holes
pg. 10 - The Battle of Glass Tears | pg. 11 - Prince Rupert's Lament

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The Devil | Moon

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"Nothing could prepare one adequately for the sheer intensity and unrelenting mix of trials and hardships that gradually unfold.

Because of the intensification of unconscious activity one quickly descends into an underworld of deep darkness where one is beset by an incredible array of spiritual trials which are impossible to adequately communicate. There is a unique personal quality about these trials which sets them apart from any other stage. Paradoxically, though seeming in great danger, one also feels the strong support of an intimate invisible presence."

- Transforming Voyage
- A Contemporary Account of Mystical Personality Development
chapter 9, Black Hole
by Peter Collins

"Night enfolds her cloak of holes
Around the river meadow."

The "intimate invisible presence" is "Night" personified again in the feminine.

"Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?"

- - The Song of Songs (6:10)

"I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem."

- The Song of Songs (1:5)

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

- Psalm 23:4

The Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones by Gustave Dore

At the beginning of the album the Goddess, "Night", set the stage by providing the narrator with the props ("a horse, sunrise and graveyard") necessary to play out the drama about to unfold. It was also "Night", at the beginning of the album, who bid him to "face the east", to look inward toward Intuition. In Hinduism the Goddess, depending on her aspect, has many names - among these are Durga, Shakti, Kundalini, and Kali.

Kali by Virginia Copeland
Tavern of Ruin

"In Hindu mythology, this destruction of the "ego," whether as joy or terror, is represented by
the image of Kali, the goddess-mother who "prepares us for the oneness. Kali is she who
swallows the universe. She consumes smallness, your pain, your guilt, and finally your
ego...Kali is the Black Mother, the dark mother of the night. It is she who kills the ego dead.
(Bhagavati, 1998, p. 18). Kali, seen through the veil of maya, is a terrifying presence. She is
depicted as surrounded by cremation grounds, dripping blood, wearing a garland of skulls, a
belt of severed hands, holding a skull cup and a sword. 'She devours pain, devours truth,
devours falseness, devours all that is and leaves just the purity of the heart' (Bhagavati, 1998,
p. 18)."

- Madness and Liberation


"This is one of the most widely used symbols. "Night" with its connotations of darkness is used to denote the unconscious, and of course this stage is a period of intense unconscious development, which is experienced in great darkness. The night can also give a time sequence to the transcendent journey through the unconscious. The earlier period of dusk symbolises the start of circular level and differentiation of unconscious structures. The later period of dawn symbolises the ending of this period of differentiation. We are now in this stage approaching the darkest most intensive point (i.e. midnight).

The night can also be a symbol of fear, with all kinds of danger lurking. Likewise, in this stage, without warning one's peace can suddenly be disturbed and turn to a deep sense of unease. This really reflects the tenuous dividing line between nature and spirit which is especially thin during this stage. There is never room for complacency. Exposure to pure spiritual communication is quickly followed by complementary exposure to human imperfection."

- Transforming Voyage
- A Contemporary Account of Mystical Personality Development
chapter 9, Black Hole
by Peter Collins

"Old moon-light stalks by broken ploughs"

At the beginning of the album Rupert has a horse to transport him about. Here at the end we have images of "broken ploughs" and "spokeless wheels", both of which are non-functional and useless. The message here seems to be that Rupert cannot turn back. He has no choice but to stand and face the inevitable. The ego has nowhere left to run.

"What is this darkness? What is it called? What is its name?" "It's name means nothing other than an aptitude for sensitivity that is not all lacking in or devoid of being. It is rather a rich sensitivity in which you will be made whole. For this reason, there is positively no turning back."

- Meister Eckhart

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"Hides spokeless wheels in shadow."

Now Night Her Course Began - from Gustave Dore's illustrations for Milton's Paradise Lost
"What is the shadow? While Jung finally defined the shadow as "The
thing one has no wish to be," we continue to know it by many names:
the alter-ego, the lower self, the other, the double, the dark twin, the
disowned self, the repressed self, the id, etc. We speak of "meeting our
demons," "wrestling with the devil," ("the devil made me do it"), a
"descent to the underworld," a "dark night of the soul," a "midlife
crisis." The shadow abounds in the classic human stories: it is a Grendl
to his Beowulf, Shakespeare's Macbeth to his more noble Hamlet,
Mephistopheles in dialogue with Faust, Darth Vader (the "dark father")
in battle with his ego-heroic son, Luke Skywalker.

Here we begin to see the mythic proportions of the shadow concept, the
archetypal Shadow, the reality of evil. Just as we each contain a
potential murderer or suicide as an inherent mode of human behavior,
so the denied shame and rage of an entire generation can be
released——through participation mystique——and engulf us all. We
recognize the archetypal shadow in the great stories of humanity: now
as the devil, here as Shiva, there as Loki, Beelzelbub, and in the
alchemists' sol niger (black sun). Freud called it Thanatos, the death
instinct. Both Freud and Jung recognized this archetypal force as
something which is simply there and cannot be rationalized away."

- The Shadow in America

The Devil Tarot Card

"The Devil represents the Shadow, and this trump heralds a confrontation with the Shadow.

There is tendency in the Western tradition to consider the Shadow to be the source of all evil, but it "also displays a number of good qualities, such as normal instincts, appropriate reaction, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc." (Jung, CW 9 ii, par. 423). Thus, the challenge of 14.Diabolos is not to defeat the Devil within, but to confront it and to integrate its powers and strengths into the Self - to bring the Devil into our service. Such a confrontation is necessary if we are to become truly human, for if we do not acknowledge the Shadow, then we project it onto external reality, especially upon other people. That is, we make someone or something a scapegoat (which leads us to Pan). To be complete, all parts of the psyche must be accepted."

- The Pythagorean Tarot by John Opsopaus

Archetypes and the Individuation Process

"According to Jung, one must get in touch with the Shadow and Anima/Animus before one can truly get in touch with the Self. The order is sequential, and as tempting as it may be to try and skip the Shadow or deal only superficially with it, it is here that we begin.

Jung referred to this initial step as "the First Act of Courage". And the first thing that is necessary in coming to terms with one's own shadow is simply to acknowledge that it exists. It sounds obvious, but there are those for whom the thought of actually having a darker side to their nature is extremely uncomfortable. Yet this is one of the primary reasons for undertaking the 'Shadow work' in the first place, since that which we have yet to disavow in ourselves will be projected outwards."

- Process of Individuation

"Sentries lean on thorn wood spears
Blow on their hands, stare eastwards.

"Thorn wood spears" suggest a crucifixion (crown of thorns, wooden cross, spear in the side). Significantly, the forces of the ego "stare eastwards" towards Intuition, the enemy camp.

"Burnt with dream and taut with fear
Dawn's misty shawl upon them.
Three hills apart great armies stir"

The "three hills apart" are the three psychological functions, Thinking, Feeling and Sensation differentiated from the whole.

"Spit oath and curse as day breaks.
Forming lines of horse and steel
By even yards march forward."

"The tendencies and habits of lifetimes do not easily melt away under
the heat of religious fervour. As the pilgrim-soul approaches the gateway
to the arduous spiritual path, all which must perish in the divine fire
precipitates the conflict between the aspirant's will to merge in the
universal light and all temporal traits."

- The Hero in Man

"In order to attain the spiritual heights, every initiate must go down into the depths and
go through a period known as 'the dark night of the Soul', which may last months and
months. This is a time of anguish, a period of barrenness in which he is torn apart and
feels certain that God has forsaken him, that he is unworthy, that he has made a mistake,
or that he has committed a sin, and God has therefore cast him into outer darkness. The
reason for this desolation is not that God has thrown him off: it is only that a greater,
deeper light is coming, and there must be an emptying-out process before that greater
light can come."

"There wil be an overturning in our consciousness, and it will appear to us as a warfare
between the flesh and the Spirit, a warfare between disease and health, between lack and
abundance, and finally between the two I's: the I that we are as a person and the I that
is God. (...) the warfare goes on until finally that human being is shaken so thoroughly
that he awakens to the fact that of himself he is nothing, but that the I which is God is

- A Parenthesis in Eternity. Living the Mystical Life

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"In 17.Moon we make our final descent to the Underworld, and have our final confrontation with the monsters of the collective unconscious.

"Old moon-light stalks by broken ploughs
Hides spokeless wheels in shadow."

"In this trump the scene is flooded by lunar illumination, which is the reflected light of the unconscious. This illumination is feminine, indeed, virginal, for the moon always keeps one face hidden. It reveals things in a different way than the harsh, masculine, solar illumination encountered in 18.Sun, for moonshine blends and hides distinctions; it exhibits interconnection.

After passing this "dark night of the soul" to the satisfaction of Mistress Moon, the Queen of the Night, we shall be reborn from the watery womb, and will be given the opportunity to cross this uncanny desert, and if we escape its dangers we will come to the fiery garden of the Sun (see 18.Sun). (Nichols 313-4; O'Neill 389; Sharman-Burke 110) Thus, in the Rosarium (1593) the Sun says: "in my sister the moon the degree of your wisdom increases, and not with another of my servants, even if ye know my secret" (Jung, MC 138).

Immersion in the briny Ocean brings about the alchemical dissolution, the "trial by bitter waters
," and in their murky depths we experience the "dark night of the spirit." There, like every shaman initiate, we suffer complete dismemberment; we are served as a feast for the gods. It is terrifying, but the ultimate adventure. (Crowley 113; Gad 276; O'Neill 389)"

- The Pythagorean Tarot by John Opsopaus

"The 'mystic death' or Dark Night is therefore an aspect or incident of
the transition from multiplicity to Unity, of that mergence and union of
the soul with the Absolute which is the whole object of the mystical
evolution of man. It is the last painful break with the life of illusion, the
tearing away of the self from that World of Becoming in which all its
natural affections and desires are rooted, to which its intellect and
senses correspond; and the thrusting of it into that World of Being
where at first, weak and blinded, it can but find a wilderness, a "dark."
No transmutation without fire, say the alchemists: No cross, no crown,
says the Christian.
...Here as elsewhere--but nowhere else in so drastic a sense--
the self must "lose to find and die to live."

- Mysticism - The Dark Night of the Soul"

"There is one other reason why the soul should pass through the trials of the Dark Night. Its ultimate destiny is union with God. Now the soul is finite, and God is infinite. The disproportion between the two is so enormous (being, in fact, infinite in itself) that the mere comparison must have a crushing effect upon the finite being. ... When the finite comes into contact with the infinite it realises its utter nothingness; it is humbled to the ground. The contrast causes it the most intense pain."

- Dark Night of the Soul
introduction by Rev. Benedict Zimmerman

In the eight petals are eight  Bhairavas coupling together. Bhairava means terrifying, and these couples are particularised aspects of Dakshina Kalika, conforming to the eight tantrik directions
Kali Yantra

Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness ~ Dawn Song

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Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness ~ The Battle of Glass Tears

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
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