Encounters with Darkness by Rhea Wolf
The Power of Metaphor in Pagan Discourse and Discussions about Race and Gender
Modern Pagan spiritual practices include positive ideations of darkness, which is a concept that has had many negative associations in Western dualistic philosophical and religious traditions. This thesis explores the history of the word darkness, and the ways in which language can be a determining factor in the act of perception and the formation of moral value systems, specifically addressing how metaphors of darkness can influence narratives of “the other.”
Using a discourse analysis of darkness in texts by Starhawk and other Pagan authors I interrogate the relationship between power structures and language. I also examine how the issue of racism within the Pagan community is currently being addressed, and how Pagan views of darkness could inspire more nuanced, positive values of darkness in the larger world.