Cherishing the Shadow Side (And Why the Light/Dark Dichotomy is Hogwash)

The Sun reversed, Samurai Tarot
The Sun reversed, from Lo Scarabeo’s Samurai Tarot. We can be in the present moment without having to shed light on it. What can we sense about this moment without using our eyes?

Does the dichotomy of dark and light ever bother you? So often we use the term “light” to refer to goodness. “Come into the light!” And so often we use the idea of “darkness” as a metaphor for evil. “The dark side of the force.”

But this whole light/dark thing is fundamentally hogwash (to use my grandmother’s term). We have light and dark, yes, but one is not better — they don’t have to line up with good and evil. We can find beauty, abundance and life-affirming goodness in the shadows. We can also find things composting there that may be icky but will someday nourish us, and we also can find stuff that is definitely not good for us — mold and mildew that we might be allergic to, for example! And yes, there might be evil things lurking in the shadows too, but what I’m saying is, often the good guys also lurk. You know why? Sometimes it’s because they don’t want to get sunburned!!

Because the truth is that just as the dark contains goodness as well as evil, so does the light. The light can, in fact, burn us. Fire can destroy things and kill beings. Although light helps us to see things, it also gets in our eyes and blinds us at times. The Sun may represent happiness, but if you fell into the Sun, let me tell you, you wouldn’t be happy, you wouldn’t be doing a Sun Salutation, you’d be dead.

Ask yourself these questions:

The Goddess -- Samurai Tarot
The Goddess, from Lo Scarabeo’s Samurai Tarot. This card takes the place of the Waite High Priestess in this deck, and the LWB advises us: “Trust the goddess that hears and understands the sounds and secret voices of your heart.”
  • do compassion and lovingkindness live in the light, or do they live in the shadows?
  • is your public face, the face that you turn to the light, the real you, or is the real you the naked vulnerable part that you keep covered up, secret, in shadows?

The shadow side is not our worse half, it’s just our other half. And the shadow side is what today’s cards, from the Samurai Tarot, seem to be encouraging us to look at. Turn off the light for a little bit. Don’t feel that you have to be constantly in the sun. Close your eyes to meditate if that’s not what you usually do. And then, listen, and see what you find in the shadows. It might be just what you need.


    1. Thanks, I’m glad that you liked it! Not what I was expecting to write about today, but then when I drew those cards, that’s what came out…


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