Many Folk-tales take place in dark woods. Some schools of Psychology and Shamanism have a perspective that says that the dark forest is a place where our demons hang out, a place where we are afraid to visit but where we may go and face them if we have courage. I'm not sure courage is required - but a leap of faith is necessary.
Faith is an amazing experience - I'm not talking about religious faith or a faith in anything in particular. More that faith is an arising of a sense of comfort that when faced with anything external feels absolutely unthreatened for no particular reason. An undeniable underlying feeling of peace.
And yet sometimes I quiver and feel overwhelmed with fear for these shadows.
One of my favourite teachers talks briefly about faith and belief here ...
I found myself sketching these demons for the next part of 'Troll Song'. A chapter of the book in which Unn, under the guidance of the Forester, has the chance to face her demons. A right of passage we must all pass through to some degree if we are to live or die peacefully. ( for those who are new to this blog you can find a little more of Troll Song here)
The demons themselves didn't come out anywhere near as scary as I had in intended but I think they are in keeping with the rest of the book in so far as it has grown, all be it very slowly.
The chapter is not written but it may go a little along the lines of this...
The Forester crouched low before Unn so that his eyes could meet hers. His gentle voice spoke weighty words.
"There will be forked tongues flickering in the darkness Unn, the sound of skin tasting the air. Their sole intent is to stir up deep fear from within you. But, do not misjudge them Unn, Demons are beyond the realm of providing satisfaction for human desires in the ordinary way. They mirror our fears and provide an opportunity to realise who we are without them."
"You will be afraid Unn, you will meet great fear but, it is also just possible that great courage and peace will arise within you for no reason whatsoever and then you will be grateful for the monsters in your life."
The Foresters hands pressed into the earth as he leveraged himself to standing. Stroking Unn's hair and saying nothing more he took two giant strides and was gone from the forest clearing, leaving Unn alone in the nearly-dark-light.
Shadows began to groan and the Demons moistened their tongues in readiness for a feast of fear.
Feast of Fear