Lose Your Way In the Darkness

In a perfect world there would be no pain.

And darkness would just be what you need to sleep comfortably at night.

Unfortunately, that’s not the reality of the world, and superstition, folk magic, folklore, and mythology are all too familiar with the functionality of darkness and confusion in both war and protection.

Chaos is an almost primal state. Out of chaos comes order, and into chaos the universe slides. While I won’t go into particulars into casting your enemies into chasing their own tails (or tales, as the case may be) one of things to remember is that chaos, and the dark-shambles that tend to follow it, have almost always been seen as a pivotal aspect of human experience.

In many pantheons, they’ve tried to make it prettier in the last few years (and in the case of a few blockbuster movies, made sure that it’s pretty) by casting the chaos as the trickster, or the mischief.

Loki as master of mischief, Coyote as the trickster, that’s all well and good, but there is a deeper chaos that predates it. Loki’s chaos is the chaos that blinds us and just, well, messes with our heads for the sake of it. But when a deity like Erebus enters the fray? The father of death, night, and sleep? That’s where things get really fun-because the Greeks seemed to be aware that order is about 30 seconds away from falling apart at all times.

Why would you work with chaos at all? Because for one, it’s a great weapon. Cast your enemies into the darkness and let them find their own way out. Blind them and they can’t find you. Stuff their ears and they can’t hear you. Confuse their feet and let them not find their way home.

And as always, Father of Chaos, if this needs to stand, let it. Better not to call someone up on the phone that you don’t actually want to talk to…

But the other side of the coin, because the thing that folk magic, especially Hoodoo and other forms of American Folk Magic, is really good at reminding us of is that there’s always two sides of the coin, is that the entire universe came into being out of chaos. Before there was nothing but chaos and confusion and then the gods smiled. Chaos is that place that ideas are born, strength is honed, and we find new paths we never would have traveled down because we’re happy and comfortable right where we are.

Sometimes we have to get ourselves lost so we can find where we’re supposed to be going.

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