Mishkan ha-Echad

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Darkness Technique

A very simple exercise called the Darkness Technique is employed by many Golden Dawn groups nowadays as a preliminary visualisation and meditation process. In simple terms, it involves covering your eyes with your hands, allowing no light in, and looking into that darkness, employing a deep, calming breath (I usually employ the Four-fold Breath with this). However, let’s look at it on a deeper level.

Apparent Meaning (Exoteric):

This technique has multiple practical uses. For one, cutting out the visual foci allows the student to concentrate on a single thing: the darkness before them, as well as their breathing. Secondly it acts as a form of sense deprivation, akin to what might be experienced in the deep darkness of a cave. This aids visualisation as it can stimulate the visual faculties from the very absence of visual cues, thereby resulting in hallucination if overdone, or, when practiced correctly, a more developed skill of visualisation, essential to magickal practice.

Spiritual or Mystical Reference (Esoteric):

This is a meditation on Darkness, for it is Darkness that the Neophyte dwells in, and it is Darkness that they wear as their vesture. Only when we come to accept that we live in Darkness are we then free to make the choice to leave that Darkness (“Quit the Night”) and live in Light (“Seek the Day”). Meditating on the Darkness attunes the Neophyte to these energies, allowing them to understand the Darkness, that they might, thereby, understand the Light. The action of using the hands over the eyes also intimates that we are in full control of whether or not we see the Darkness or the Light; it affords us the understanding that it is ultimately by our Hands (the Yod, the Primal Fire of God), and by the hard work thereby, that we reach the peak of the Mountain of Abiegnus and the Light of Kether.

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