Shamanic Drumming Blog

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Darkening of the Light

Total Solar Eclipse
In order to gain some insight into the dire situation of our planet, I consulted the I Ching. The I Ching is an ancient Chinese text and divination system which counsels appropriate action in the moment for a given set of circumstances. Each moment has a pattern to it and everything that happens in that moment is interconnected. Based on the synchronicity of the universe and the laws of probability, the I Ching responds to an inquiry in the form of a hexagram. By evaluating the hexagram that describes your current pattern of relationship, you can divine the outcome and act accordingly.

When I consulted the I Ching regarding our current situation on the planet, I received Hexagram 36: Darkening of the Light. This hexagram symbolizes the sun sinking into the earth and is often associated with the "dark night of the soul." It denotes a time of darkness when oppressive forces obscure the beauty and clarity of light. As stated in the I Ching, "Here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man." It is a time of maximum darkness and ignorance; a time when the dark forces of the unconscious are at their peak. It isn't hard to see that even though we live on a planet that surrounds us with beauty, that there is a lot of darkness manifesting within humanity.

According to the I Ching, when the darkness of stupidity reigns in human affairs, it is best that you keep your brilliance "hidden under a bushel basket." The oracle counsels us to show our intelligence by concealing it. Lao Tse, the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, gives us the best paraphrase of the idea in his famous proverb: "He who knows does not speak; He who speaks does not know." In dealing with the masses, true leaders act unobtrusively while in fact being illuminated. What sages learn is to become daily more illuminated unbeknownst to others.

For the time being, it is in our best interests to accept the situation. Like the time of winter, the situation requires that we turn within to stoke our inner fire with spiritual practice. A spiritual practice is something you do every single day that grounds you in your own truth by connecting you with your essential self. So we must tend to our inner light and maintain a low profile. So long as we conceal our inner glow, it cannot be extinguished. Until conditions are more favorable, remain yielding and compliant externally, while maintaining your inner vision, convictions, and principles. Such an attitude will sustain your inner light in even the darkest of times. Try not to become too depressed or anxious; this period will pass. The darkness that is now showing itself everywhere will eventually consume itself and perish, for it has no inner light to sustain it. The sun will rise again.


  1. I think we misunderstand the Darkening of Light most times. We think of it as absence of light, when in fact it's actually more like pressurized light. A solar eclipse is a union of the Sun and Moon. In a way, it's kinda like they're making love. Let's not forget that every solar eclipse is a New Moon.

    1. Thank you for sharing.The hexagram actually symbolizes light hidden within the earth. The image is of fresh darkness, the period just after sunset or a fire has gone out.