Dark Night of the Soul · Mythology

The Handless Maiden part 1: Deal with the Devil

Once there was a miller who had fallen into poverty. His mill was broken so he had to go to the forest to chop wood. One day, when he was hacking at a tree stump, an old man appeared and said, “I’ll make you rich if you give me what stands behind your mill.” The… Continue reading The Handless Maiden part 1: Deal with the Devil

Dark Night of the Soul · Mythology

The Handless Maiden (complete story)

There are many versions of The Handless Maiden from around the world. It’s a fairy tale that was collected by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, but its roots are much older. This telling is my adaptation of the tale with gratitude to Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Read the introduction to this series here or follow the… Continue reading The Handless Maiden (complete story)

Dark Night of the Soul · Mythology

The Handless Maiden: Healing a Dark Night of the Soul

The Handless Maiden is a myth that speaks powerfully to our dark and confusing times. It’s a fairy tale that was collected by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, but its roots are much older. The story is about a maiden whose father sells her to the devil in exchange for wealth and convenience. Her hands… Continue reading The Handless Maiden: Healing a Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul

Resources for Surviving a Dark Night of the Soul

Welcome to the resources page for surviving the dark night of the soul and spiritual emergency. You’ll find links to advice, articles and inspiration to help you cope when spiritual crisis threatens to overwhelm you. Bookmark this page! Spiritual Emergency Resources Beyond Meds – alternatives to psychiatry, integral holistic well-being Biology of Kundalini – Comprehensive material on… Continue reading Resources for Surviving a Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul

Dying to Live: Dancing in the Flames

I recently watched a fascinating film about the life of Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, known for her work on feminine psychology and addiction. The film features interviews with Marion by the mystic Andrew Harvey, covering the mysteries of death and rebirth, and how the soul grows through surrender, as illustrated by Marion’s life and her… Continue reading Dying to Live: Dancing in the Flames

Dark Night of the Soul · Dharma Diary

Unreasonable Happiness: or How to Be a Dog

Last week I talked about how I stumbled into joy and how strange it was to be so happy for no reason. It shouldn’t be strange because joy is my true nature. But as anyone who has suffered with depression will know, that’s not an easy thing to remember. Especially on a bad day. Depression… Continue reading Unreasonable Happiness: or How to Be a Dog

Dark Night of the Soul · Dharma Diary

What I Learned About Joy on the Sofa

Life is mostly an exercise in escapology and humiliation. You want to be happy. You don’t want to suffer or experience pain, but life rarely cooperates. The harder you run from the inescapable, the faster it pursues you. The monster is always one step ahead, waiting around the next bend in the road. It knows… Continue reading What I Learned About Joy on the Sofa

Dark Night of the Soul · Dharma Diary

The Difference Between Pain and Suffering

Everyone knows that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. It’s not always easy to remember, but recently I had a surprising breakthrough just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse – which may be the point. Six years ago my health collapsed and I began collecting auto-immune disorders as a hobby. It’s basically… Continue reading The Difference Between Pain and Suffering

Dark Night of the Soul · Meditation

The Hidden Dangers of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is everywhere these days. With the number of books and apps and courses available you would think we had become a nation of bodhisattvas overnight. The positive effects of mindfulness are widely known and aggressively advertised, but the practice doesn’t work the same way for everyone, and it can actually make you feel worse.… Continue reading The Hidden Dangers of Mindfulness

Addled · Dark Night of the Soul

Addled Now Out in Paperback!

Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic is a novel about spiritual awakening in a crazy world, and how the crisis of spiritual emergency can become an awakening. The story follows reluctant mystic Zoe Popper on her quest for inner peace and self-knowledge. Addled explores the line between mysticism and madness using the philosophy of Zen… Continue reading Addled Now Out in Paperback!

Dark Night of the Soul · Dharma Diary

Shadow Attack: Instant Karma & a Wake-up Call

Awakening is a tricky business. Pre-satori, I believed that if I could see clearly, all my problems would be solved and I’d live happily ever after. My hang-ups and fears would magically dissolve and I would be free. Ha! It’s a little more complicated than that. To grow on the spiritual path you must become whole,… Continue reading Shadow Attack: Instant Karma & a Wake-up Call

Dark Night of the Soul · Psychology

Red Book Dialogues: Dark Night and Soul Retrieval

This brilliant dialogue between Jack Kornfield and Katherine Sanford explores some of the practical applications of Jung’s ideas, such as active imagination and sand play, and they talk about how we can come to terms with our suffering by going on an inner journey, or soul retrieval.

We’ve lost touch with our inner life and that’s why the world is so crazy and destructive. The world has become the dumping ground for what we refuse to face in ourselves – the ‘chaos of our own emptiness’, as Katherine Sandford describes it. We’re experiencing a global dark night of the soul caused by the collapse of the materialism that has driven society for too long. It’s an initiation that demands we live from the soul and become authentic. They also look at the rebirth that follows the dark night and provide a guided meditation to help you discover your hidden inner gifts.

Enjoy!

>More Red Book Dialogues