The Art of Individuation IV

“One of the least discussed issues of individuation is that as one shines light into the dark of the psyche as strongly as one can, the shadows (where the light is not) grow even darker. So when we illuminate some part of the psyche, there is a resultant deeper dark to contend with. This dark cannot be left alone. The key, the questions, cannot be hidden or forgotten. They must be asked. They must be answered.

The deepest work is usually the darkest. A brave woman, a wisening woman, will develop the poorest psychic land if she builds only on the best land of her psyche, for she will have for a view the least of what she is. So do not be afraid to investigate the worst. It only guarantees increase of soul power through fresh insights and opportunities for revision in one’s life and self anew.

It is in this psychic kind of land development that Wild Woman shines. She is not afraid of the darkest dark, in fact she can see in the dark. She is not afraid of offal, refuse, decay, stink, blood, cold bones, dying girls, or murderous husbands. She can see it, she can take it, she can help. And this is what the youngest sister of the Bluebeard tale is learning.

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With The Wolves, p. 58

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