What exactly are the Forces of Darkness?
This is a question that goes very deep indeed. Every tradition has always taught about the “Adversary” – the force or forces that oppose goodness and light. In the Scriptures we have the Snake of the Creation (who opposes Creation itself and wants all to be darkness and nothingness) and the Dark Queen of the Mythos of God the Daughter, who sends her minions to torment the Daughter and finally slays Her.
Sai Vikhë is one of the Seven Primary Powers, because conflict is an inevitable part of manifest existence. Metaphysically, it is the constant tension between the four material elements that prevents them from resolving back into the primal element of Aethyr.
Each one of us has a true self and a false self. We all have bad tendencies that we must combat as well as a pure and perfect nature to which we can aspire (the little angel and devil on the shoulder is a humorous depiction of something that isn’t too far from the truth).
This is the overall cosmic perspective. But on a lower level – in certain places, like Telluria – there is also a conflict between the primal Feminine and the forces of an unrestrained Masculine (in other worlds the masculine does not exist and the conflict may take different forms). This certainly does not mean that “men are bad”. Men may be on the side of light. However, our particular mission is one that only maids can effect.
In Telluria the unbalanced rise of the masculine principle has taken the form of excessive materiality, violence, and human conflict. The masculine principle has to do with consolidation and matter, and also with conflict and combat. These are not necessarily bad things in themselves (we are in combat with the forces of darkness, and that is the true “Holy War” intended for maid). But when being able to manage material existence ends in a belief that matter is “all there is” and when combat is turned against humans rather than dark forces, it becomes unbalanced and dangerous.
Now all this is part of a greater cosmic conflict between light and darkness, and the Motherland’s role in Telluria does not directly concern Telluria itself, but a greater cosmic balance in which Telluria (but not only Telluria) is playing an unbalancing role.
That – in strategic terms – is why Operation Bridgehead was needed in Telluria and why Chelouranyans have been sent to work here. Our work takes place on a spiritual level. We are certainly not here to fight the Tellurians, but our work does bring us into direct conflict with some of the darker forces of Telluria.
It is important to recall that, despite the Tellurian doctrine that the material plane is the only one, actually the material plane is not only one of many but also one of the lowest. What happens on the material plane is always a reflection of what is happening on other planes.
The Tellurians themselves have no idea who we are or what we are doing, and even if we tell them they (fortunately) cannot understand. On the other hand the guiding “demons” of the patriarchal-materialist revolution do recognize us and want to stop us.
There are two conditions in which they typically appear:
1. When we are making good forward progress and they want to disrupt it.
2. When they see a weakness that they can exploit.
The first of these is the most frequent, and indeed we often see attacks by the Forces of Darkness as a sign that we are doing well! They often seem to “panic” when we are making good progress and launch all sorts of assaults on us.
That is one way of defending against them – realizing that their attacks are actually accolades. They show we are making headway. This is important because the intention is often to demoralize us, or knock us off course. So it is important to take strength from an attack, and to know it is usually a sign we are on the right course.
The second case is when we are weak or unwell, or when a particular person has bad qualities (jealousy, anger, resentment etc.) that can be exploited. The Forces of Darkness are opportunists and will jump in where they see an opening has been left for them. They love to use our less admirable qualities against us and against our friends.
The best defenses against them are:
1. Prayer and trust in Dea.
2. Friendship of sister believers. One thing they will often attempt to do is isolate us. Encourage us to “go into our shell” and not communicate with our sisters. If they can find ways of isolating us, we are much more vulnerable.
3. Laughter. They hate being laughed at. Darkness can never really overcome the light, although they can hurt us and inconvenience us. In the end their power is all a big bluff. Calling that bluff is what they fear most. In this case laughter is a far distant echo of the laughter of the Mother that created the world. It is a peal of joy about the power of Light and against the sheer absurdity (in the end) of the minions of evil.
Some important things to realize about the Forces of Darkness:
1. They are forcefully drawn to light, almost like moths. The fact that we turn to Dea and the fact that we make good progress are both elements that seem to attract them.
2. They feed on light, as they have none and wish to destroy it out of hate and jealousy.
3. They are very persistent. They will try over and over using different approaches to try and hurt a maid. If deflected in one area, they will try to find another weak spot. We can win by standing firm. They will win some rounds inevitably, but if we stay firm in our faith and resolution they will not win overall. Their whole purpose is to shake our resolution and turn us away from the light. That way they could win if we allow it.
4. They have many agents through which they do their work. Some poor souls may not even know they are being used. In the Pit culture there is a very considerable streak of embracing darkness which allows certain individuals to be used quite easily. People can sometimes be used without necessarily being full-time agents of darkness. Their weaknesses can be exploited on particular occasions for particular purposes. Tellurians have become especially vulnerable to this, because unlike more traditional people they are mostly unaware of spiritual forces, good or bad, and take no precautions.
5. Vigilance is needed in dealing with them. It is necessary to remain watchful of their influence and presence and take measures to counteract their attacks as soon as they become apparent . Being aware of our spiritual surroundings is important for protecting ourselves.
A suggestion from Miss Trent:
A thought on how to turn the personal attacks around. If your own bad qualities are triggered or hooked by some person or event, say envy or unpleasant thoughts about someone, one can think, Aha! my weakness is being exploited, but I will take it as a sign that I need to work on this, or be humble about that, as the case may be. Then the Fs of D are defeated because you have turned towards the Light.
A suggestion from Willow Dreamwalker:
I believe that Our Momma would like us to take good care of ourselves. Just like any mother would, and more! When we are sad, we should be gentle and generous with ourselves: go do some shopping, or pamper yourself with a nice hot bubble bath, or eat some chocolate – whichever strikes our particular fancy, we should do. I find that by keeping this in mind and keeping Dea’s own love within us, we can love ourselves just as she does, and be good to ourselves when things go awry. After a while, the Foddies are bound to give up out of sheer exasperation. If they can not take Dea and Her love out of every maid’s heart, even after they have exhausted all of their resources, what are they to do? Nothing, I say!
This is what we can do: not only to love Dea and to love others, but to love ourselves.
See also: Demonology in Feminine Religion