The Holy Darkness

by Gwyndillion


(This article was written as a personal reflection on loss and how the myth of Chiron can help with healing.)

In ancient myth, we learn of how Chiron, the Centaur, became the heroic Healer of Ancient Greece, after being accidentally wounded by a poison arrow owned by Heracles and thus suffering excruciating pain for the rest of his days.  As one of the Gods he could not die, hence his pain had to be redirected to a better way. But his pain became so unbearable that he asked Zeus to exchange his immortality for the release of Prometheus who was bound to a rock for stealing from the gods. He gained an honoured place in the Heavens as the constellation, Sagittarius.

Carl Jung in his book, "Fundamental Questions of Psychotherapy" (1951) coined the term, The Wounded Healer, as an archetype of this myth and its meaning. In relation to our own pain, we become kith and kin alike to Chiron.

We are like Wounded Healers in that we use our wound and its inherent pain, that we may feel daily, to draw upon so that as we connect with others, our wound, our pain, becomes the catalyst for healing others.  And then these others use their wound, their pain, as a catalyst to help heal others.  And so it goes ad infinitum.  Is this not the Suffering that Frankl speaks of?

"[In Auschwitz] the question that beset me was, "Has all this suffering, all this dying around us, a meaning? For, if not, then ultimately there is no meaning to survival; for a life whose meaning depends on such a happenstance- as whether one escapes or not - ultimately would not be worth living at all." - Viktor E. Frankl, "Man’s Search for Meaning"

When I lost my partner, I lost my love for the world, for people, for my Blessed Lord and His Lady Love, BUT - as I sat in my grief, I felt a stirring deep within my heart; a stirring for my partner and our dog, which he went to join in another realm not of our world. And that showed me that, even in the deepest despair, somehow LOVE was still present. It was only hidden from me as darkness descended.  But in a way that DARKNESS kept me rigid so that I could retain the energy that was required to eventually reconnect back to LOVE -love of my partner, our dog, other people and so on back to my lost spiritual path; back to my Blessed Lord and Lady.

One of my favourite songs is by the Catholic musician, John Michael Talbot, who wrote a song called HOLY DARKNESS and the chorus goes –


Holy darkness, blessed night
Heaven's answer hidden from our sight
As we await you, O God of silence
We embrace your holy night.


Maybe that is what we learn from the HOLY DARKNESS. Of course, when in that darkness, we do not see what is before us; the dark beckons us to think thoughts that keep us in fear as we conjure up monsters who are waiting to pounce upon us, to devour us. And so we may stand rigid or take the smallest of baby steps, our hands gingerly groping towards a dark, impenetrable wall as we seek a way through. But as our eyes become accustomed to the dark, we start to make out shapes and, if we are observant, we see the ever so faint outline of a door that, upon reaching, we slowly open and we step out INTO THE NEW.

For me, that New is my ever slow reconnecting back to LOVE and what is LOVE but a Light that brings me closer to a Life that I have momentarily lost and to my beautiful partner now gone. And so the loss of my partner made me into a wounded person but such has now moved me to become one of the wounded healers as I gladly stand beside my Lord Chiron and respect his memory; as I feel his pain and yet learn from his healing ways.

These learning opportunities are not some spiritually-driven Divine event designed to teach us, but are learning opportunities whose lessons can only be gleamed retrospectively, at least to my way of thinking.


Come the Darkness - Come the Healing
Of which the Darkness seeks to teach us
Come my Blessed Lord Chiron;
May I be Guided by Your Wisdom,
and with the Love You showed for Others.
As the God, Zeus, graciously showed unto You,
When he released you from your pain.
So Mote It Be and Blessed Be
If such be the Desire of My Lord and His Lady.