Dancing with the Dark

Navigating the Place Between Stories – A Winter Solstice online retreat with Sharon Blackie

In this one-day online winter solstice retreat with Sharon Blackie we will gather and embrace the uncertainty of the dark – of the seemingly fallow periods of our lives.

Winter Solstice: the time that T.S. Eliot called ‘the still point of the turning world’. A time to hold still, right there in the heart of the dark. A sacred pause, in the place between stories. Winter Solstice is a time of renewal.

Is this for you?

Winter Solstice is a time to immerse ourselves in the cycles of nature: of death and rebirth, of darkness and light. It’s a time to think about change and transformation, letting the long, cold dark strip us down to the bare bones. Let winter strip us bare like an old oak tree. Letting the final leaves that we’re clinging onto fall. Letting it all fall, and see what still holds us upright.

Darkness is not just a lack of light. It isn’t even the opposite of light. It is a wonderful, tangible thing with characteristics all of its own. Darkness is the place where life comes from. Darkness is the great melting pot, the great cauldron of creativity, the womb, the cocoon, the cave. Darkness is a great, wondrous thing of beauty. This is the season of the dark; whilst nevertheless hoping for the return of the light, we should celebrate the beauty of the dark.

Eliot also wrote: ‘At the still point, there the dance is.’ And in this one-day online retreat, a day before Winter Solstice, we’ll learn how to dance with the dark, and how to navigate the times in our lives which seem fallow: the place between stories. We’ll work with fairy tale, myth and poetry, and plunder the depths of our own imagination.

We’ll work with these questions, and more:

  • How do we hold still, and embrace the uncertainty of the dark – of the seemingly fallow periods of our lives?
  • When all of the narratives we cloak ourselves with are stripped away, what is the essence of us which remains?
  • Which are the myths and fairy tales which teach us to honour the gifts of the dark?
  • What techniques can we use to listen for the whispers in the Otherworldly shadows?
  • How do we let go – of our certainties, our displacement activities, our regrets – and allow this period of Descent to work its magic on us?
  • What is the holy sacrifice we must make before we can find our way back out into the light?
N.B. This day is specifically focused on the Winter Solstice and so, with apologies, isn’t suitable for those in the southern hemisphere

Key information:

20 December 2020, 10am – 5pm GMT

Online via Zoom – A recording will be available to participants afterwards, and those in different zones

FEE: £65

Facilitator details

Sharon Blackie

Dr. Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer and international teacher whose work sits at the interface of psychology, mythology and ecology. Her highly acclaimed books, courses, lectures and workshops are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of our native myths, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today. www.sharonblackie.net