I have pet peeves just like anyone else.
Some are like whatever, and some make me insane.
This one makes me insane.
This one cuts people off at the knees, breeds divisiveness, and vilifies something sacred.
It’s meant well, and I know the people who say it have their heart in the right place, but dude. It gets under my skin.
It’s this: “love and light”.
It’s a platitude, a well-wish that gets written on birthday cards, typed in the replies, and muttered in spaces with the intent of making them sacred.
The reason this is a pet peeve is not the love part. Wishing people love is where it’s at. Keep doing that.
But wishing people light? Why light? More to the point, why only light?
If you’re like “gah Katie it’s just semantics, you know what we mean” it’s true, you’re right. I do know what you mean.
But do you know what you are saying? Implying? Propagating with this worn out phrase?
It implies a fractured experience of nature. Light without dark.
It presumes a hierarchy. Light is superior to dark.
It favors one half of the psyche. Masculine without feminine, yang without yin.
It implies that an entire half of our year is in the shitter; evil, bad news, and super grinch-y.
We need the dark.
Even in our language.
We need something that communicates the genius of being inward, resting, quiet, holding, gestating; the genius of the divine feminine.
Because the dark is where we rest, tend, and dream.
Ever try to sleep with the lights all the way on? It’s not ideal. Not a great time for “light”.
“Light” is not always “the best”.
The feminine is dark by nature; yin, receptive, quiet. The archetypal Cave.
The female body holds sexuality in the light-less interiors of the body. Babies grow in the dark of the body. Milk springs from the dark of the body.
So the dark of the year holds similar magic.
It’s when we rest and go inward for necessary interior experiences.
It’s when we navigate with our mystical intelligence, we gestate dreams, we see with our mind’s eye. We walk with the magic of nocturnal creatures; mysterious, private, and quiet.
Walking in a world made only of light means this:
Constant production without rest.
Telling without listening.
Extending and giving without receiving.
Teaching without learning.
Sound without quiet.
Masculine without feminine.
Day without night.
“Love and light” is a slogan of the patriarchy. There, I said it.
And we all agree that words matter.
We’re working hard as a culture to ditch seemingly innocent, historically acceptable but ultimately dismissive phrasing all the time!
Naming “light” as superior and dismissing the dark is undermining, debasing.
THE. DIVINE. FEMININE.
Want a slogan? A well-wish? A phrase to whisper to welcome people into sacred space?
Use your creativity and your big brain to say what you really mean.
Or just say love.
“Love is all you need”
love & the first fire,