Throughout its spiritual and religious history mankind has continuously evaluated its progress towards becoming civilised by its capacity to stretch onwards and upwards to the light; vanquishing perceived forces of darkness and evil that have traditionally been thought of as conspiring to thwart humanity’s emancipation along the way.
However, other alternative, non-documented forms of history, offer a completely opposing narrative – tales that reveal something of what is a growing, 21st century dynamic where all of our collective nightmares are emerging from some deep underground cavern.
With little we can do about it they are being carried by those apocalyptic Four Horsemen with their destructive phantoms of financial collapse, environmental catastrophe, widespread horror of war and their accumulated influence is bringing with them an explosion in humanity’s fascination with horror, violence and perverse sexual practices.
An Emerging Nightmare
In her book Embrace of the Daimon Sandra Lee Dennis Ph.D describes how she personally started to experience these collective horrors in a series of terrifying psychic breakthroughs that began some time around her fortieth birthday.
This dark, and previously suppressed material, started to emerge through phantom projections, spontaneous visionary experiences and even physical eternalizations leaving her to conclude that they were connected to a phenomenon that she refers to as
Imaginal Invasions of the Daimonic Realm.
In contradistinction to accepted beliefs on the subject Dennis evaluates these experiences not so much as evils unleashed into her personal world but as repressed forces residing within her edge realms of consciousness – powers which are directly related to her own personal Daimon or Dark Angel.
Rather than simply opposing, or destroying them, she perceives them as being powerful potentialities which, if properly integrated rather than simply displaced, can lead to a closer personal connection to the force of life and the powers of light and illumination.
The Nature of the Daimon
Dennis begins the main thrust of her research into her experiences by describing the Ancient Greek interpretation of the Daimon; one in which this dark figure was seen as a messenger of the gods – a carrier of archetypal powers that straddles the space between the higher and lower realms.
After several years of having to come to terms with the near psychotic experiences that she was having Dennis eventually determined that rather than them being personal to herself they were, as Carl Gustav Jung postulated, images of an even greater reality, one he referred to as ‘Archetypal’.
Dennis also associates this same rising of dark material from within the collective minds of society with the reemergence of the Dark Goddess archetype, or the ancient powers of the Dark Mother.
As the author puts it
Perhaps with the eruption of daimonic experiences we are facing more than a revolution in our individual psyche. In truth, we are facing a major revolution in our culture.
Individuation and The Dark Feminine
In her book Sandra Lee Dennis explores and integrates those Jungian-centric theories that pertain to the three important stages in the individuation process.
Of the three it is the second, namely that related to the reunion of the individuated spirit or soul with the body, that she considers to be of prime importance.
The raising of the daimon into conscious awareness is, according to Dennis, accompanied with those primary and instinctual energies that are closely associated with birth, death and sexuality.
They are symbolized mythologically as such deities as Kali, Lilith and Hekate -all of which are emblematic of that same dark goddess energy which our predominantly patriarchal society has outwardly suppressed for so long – perhaps for far too long!
Our Review of ‘Embrace of the Daimon’ by Sandra Lee Dennis
Embrace of the Daimon is a deeply fascinating publication – one which most impressively features some excellent commentary on C. G Jung’s psycho-spiritual interpretation of the medieval practice of alchemy.
In particular these relate to the alchemical concepts of ‘coniunctio’, the union experience and ‘nigredo’ or the dissolution process and how they relate to the emergence of the Daimon spirit.
Dennis believes that as the daimonic forces rises within us all so emerges the challenge of letting go of any old sense of ‘I’ that we have invariably based our personas on throughout our lifetime.
This might be a relatively simple process in its proposition but a deep challenge in practice.
Thankfully, and throughout her book, Dennis offers her own experiences gained from this inner transformative process.
As she so descriptively explains, the path is indeed dark and foreboding for the uninitiated. However as a reader I found the way that she generously shares her own dark and transformative experiences will be of great help to others who may wish to follow her lead in confronting, rather than simply suppressing, the dark material that occasionally rises within us.
This book is a remarkable achievement – one borne from the ashes of personal transformational experience. It will delight and educate those who feel that our current evaluation of the spiritual process fails to address so many important and key components that ordinarily reside undetected within the human psyche.
If all of society took the same approach in integrating our personal shadows rather than projecting them outwards we might not be facing the Four Horsemen scenario that we currently are.
Embrace of the Daimon is a dark, brooding and challenging read but one that magnetically draws into the light important issues related to the psycho-spiritual malaise that mankind has slipped in to. In her book Sandra Lee Dennis offers us all an opportunity to embrace our own daimonic powers and as a consequence release into the world a new sense of life as well as a vibrant creative vision of what it means to be human.