“Hang my head
Drown my fear
‘Til you all just disappear
Black hole sun
Black hole sun
Won’t you come?
– Chris Cornell
Taking a cue/clue from the Soundgarden lyrics, the soul terrain under the dominant of the Black Sun heralds in an existential forsakenness. Indeed, when we look into the etymology of the word “eclipse,” we uncover the core of this difficult terrain: abandonment. And if we are at all attuned to the woundings of these places, and can somewhat endure the particular chaos and disorientation of the soulscape beneath the Black Sun, we step along side the legions of other marginalized, condemned, subjugated and forsaken individuals, and join the ranks of the shame carriers.
If nothing else, this brief sketch can alert you to the fine book on the subject by Marlan Stanton, The Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness.
In alchemical literature, the nigredo, or experience of blackness, is often considered the beginning of the work. A helpful development of this notion is found in the writings of Nathan Schwartz-Salant who points out that in his experience the nigredo always follows a coniunctio experience, an experience of union.
Allowing for the cyclical rhythms of union/disunion, harmony/disharmony, order/chaos, helps guard against a somewhat ‘evangelical’ attitude that might naively want claim that the difficult aspects of process are to be traversed only once and for all time. In our collective attitudes which lean heavily toward towards both positivism and progress we can note both societal and individual defenses erected to inhibit the flow of the nigredo energies, energies which like an approaching thunderstorm, can be avoided, but not stopped.
The question: what harm this denial of chaos and our inability to endure and integrate its transformative meal?
(…and following from that: can we ever expect to address the problem of violence and war if we cannot face the chaos within?)
As above, so below…
As without, within.
The need to recognize the current constellation of energy is a wonderful guiding image for a therapist receiving a client into a session.
And often, just as the night sky, or the pattern of blooming flowers on a given day will reveal a fresh arrangement, the client that walks into session can often bring constellations of their energy (the inner complexes), in a manner that has yet to be experienced, even when the analytic process has extended over many years.
Seeing clearly the “just so” presentation with the surprising interests of each session can move the therapist out of any limiting preconceived notions, and into the “bath” of relational attentiveness, to participate in the sealed cosmos generated in the field of the therapeutic dyad. As Jung noted, both are changed by the encounter.
Timing: it’s an art that defies logic, depending more on a blend of feeling, intuition and sensation, than any preconceived notion or plan.
The gift of timing functions like an internal bell that rings out “now!” But not without the prerequisite patience which also requires an attentive dancing with unfolding scenarios, a posture sorely lacking from our cultural bias.
As with the blueberries in the image above, we can learn to anticipate the approaching harvest. But if we fail to pay attention, the creative fruits can rot and wither before we notice. Seeds scatter, the weather changes, and the spirit blows where it will.
We’ve invested our energy over the last few months into shaping new gardens surrounding our fire pit area. Our goal now emerging in the wild look of the gardens as the summer growth is filling in. Minimal weeding, and if needed, always placing a sprig of ground cover where something is pulled, goes a long way in shaping the process of the developing gardens.