Kenaz – Torch – It doesn’t take a weather man to point out the weather. Likewise, it’s no newsflash that the general climate is dark, right now. Usually a bright spark in an otherwise dark passage, Kenaz portends a breakthrough. Reversed, it encourages us to forget about breakthroughs and enlightenment, and just step into that darkness. Note that Kenaz is brightstave in the image.
Yes, a breakthrough will come. Certainly it will bring enlightenment. There will be an AHA! moment. For now, to focus on those things is like ordering our food before we know what restaurant we’re going to. It’s nice to think about the possibilities. It’s fun to have something bright to look forward to. However, before we can really dig into the nourishment we need most now, we have to live a little more concretely.
We don’t deal well with shadow in western culture. In fact, we don’t really deal with it at all. Recognition of it generally stays under the radar unless it’s disrupting our lives. Something I often tell my students and clients is, we can either generate change for ourselves, or Nature will do it for us. And we all know what that rumbling, unsettling precursor feels like–stress, anxiety, resistance, general un-ease in all or most life areas. These things are symptoms of shadow. And for this week, Kenaz is heading the progression of these symptoms off at the pass.
Shadow is what we don’t know about ourselves. Period. The end. That’s all it is, yet we treat it like some big spooky truth to be avoided like the plague. To each our own, though my take on life is we aren’t here to learn lessons. We’re not here to spiral up to some greater manifestation of ourselves.
We are that already.
We are fine, as we are.
We are better than fine, we are enough. So what’s left? What’s shadow about that?
We need to know that we are enough. That we don’t know this truth is shadow.
We are here to create ourselves as we truly want to be.
Where Hagalaz is unexpected external change, Kenaz is the internal inspiring flame. Thus, a direction toward change is made evident from within the shadows. Not near the shadows. Not at a reasonably safe distance from the shadows. In the shadows.
This week Kenaz is a tap on the shoulder to say, “You can do this now. The forces of All Things are with you to greet shadow on your terms, now.”
This doesn’t mean run screaming toward the abyss of yourself and throw yourself over for the glory of enlightenment. This stave brings the reprieve to generate change in life from an informed place, not a reckless one. Plan it out. Gather your resources. Engage community. Do the self-supportive things that keep you uplifted, compassionate (for yourself as much as others), and sustained. Go to all the meetings, therapy sessions, healing circles, and barefoot-in-the-grass walks you need.
And when you’re in the heart of it and the anxiety starts to swell, remember this is who you are, and whatever you find in the darkness of yourself can be lit.
When I was actively involved in The Saferoom Project–a non-profit providing support to adult survivors of child sexual assault–we often spoke of preparing Emergency Kits in the better days, so that it would be there to aid us in the darker ones. Turn on the music that makes you feel great to be you. Read the books that leave you hungry for more life. Make notes about what you want from life, and how you can get it. Pack marshmallows and a flashlight, so that in the pit of it all, you can make funny –>shadows–< from beneath the blankets.
Because it doesn’t have to be heavy and oppressive.
Because all of you is enough.
Because once you see them, once you really become aware of what your shadows need, they aren’t shadows anymore.
Tread safely. Dream well.