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Warrior in the Heart Foundation

The Blending of Our Light & Dark

Elsa Malpas—With further thoughts from Dr. John-Luke Edwards


In the beginning…

“In the beginning… darkness was upon the face of the deep… and God created Light”

The inference is that the Divine created the energy to work with and within the existing energy - the dark. Hildergard of Bingen a female Germanic and Christian Mystic, suggested that the dark was the womb of creation and therefore female and that God and light, was the male impregnation that gave birth to creation. Hence Light and Dark could be seen as lovers and the dance between them, the courtship and seduction; the blending - the intimacy of love.

Given the point that you are working towards this is a very valuable standpoint. I truly believe that at this point in time we have created a great barrier between our male and female, our light and dark and it is this fear that has caught us in SHADOW.

Recently I listened to Michael Meade, Storyteller and Mythologist, talking about the ‘Parade’

He said:

“There are those who are unaware there is a ‘Parade’ happening. There are those who are watching the ‘Parade’, and there are the ones who are in the ‘Parade’ “

For me the ’ Parade’ can be seen as a metaphore for the next step that we as human beings are taking in our evolution, I feel that this step is the blending of our Light with our Dark, an opening to our internal and universal intimacy.

What prompted me into this understanding were things that have happened and are continuing to happen in my own life. Some years ago I was sent an article that had information about the Dark coming in to this earthly life, many hundreds of thousand years ago, with the intention of blending itself with the Light.

However, Dark’s initial effort was a clumsy attempt and the Light became fearful, assuming that the Dark wanted to control it, so the Light outlawed the Dark in an effort to try to control this fearful force. Isn’t this the way of nervous lovers?

So the Light and Dark fought and struggled… the battle goes on…

The article went on to say that we now have another opportunity to blend these two powers in order to bring healing to ourselves and the planet. This idea had a profound impact on me and, as a Shamanic practitioner and teacher. I wanted to explore and work with how I could use this in my own life and work. I’ve always felt that the shadow side of our nature is the key to our own healing and evolution, so I was curious to understand how the relationship between Light and Dark and our shadow manifests. The idea of bringing the Light and Dark to sit in comfort and harmony together felt so right, I felt like a ‘wedding arranger’!

What is Light and what is Dark?

In the context of my considerations. I have come to realize that past definitions no longer worked for me.

What is Light?

When talking about ‘filling ourselves with Light’ and ‘Going to the Light’ when we die, my understanding is that we are talking about the pure Light of Spirit. The Light we carry within ourselves is our human light, which is part of our own duality, like male and female or yin and yang. It is coloured by the experiences of our earthly lives and holds a key to how we evolve. It may be as suggested by Roberto Assagioli, this part of us has become too powerful and power is always the result of fear. This creates one side of the shadow. It is this shadow we must come to know and accept in order to truly understand our light.

What is Dark?

I see our Dark as the deep introspective part of us, the sensitive nurturing oceanic part, which feels all the hurts. And this part of us is very forgiving and is yearning and longing for communion. This lonely part again creates the other side of the shadow, which again cries out to be seen and known, so that we can truly understand our Dark. In Dark night of the Soul St John says,

“…In Darkness and secure…” Alluding to how our soul knows and feels secure in the dark.

What is Shadow?

The shadow stands between these two forces, the Light and Dark, keeping them apart and preventing them from standing in harmony together!

“‘Shadow is the fear of intimacy and surrender, in accepting and letting go. Shadow is about mistrust and assumption. The assumption that, as Westlife put it, “what we truly believe is probably true” ’ (JL Edwards)

Discussing these thoughts with others brought me to understand that our shadow seems to be where our wisdom and compassion gets caught. So it is not helpful or healing to push it away as an ugly painful sore in our personal history. It is healed as we acknowledge and respect what has gone on in our past, things that we have denied and have buried in an effort to survive the experience.

The words “sorry” and “thank you” when truly felt from the heart are keys to seeing the blessing that comes from the ‘wounded place’

It is through this acceptance that our wisdom and compassion get released.

What is harmony?

This is the question I have been avidly seeking an answer to; what exactly is harmony? The more I look at our Light and our Dark I realize that they are not what I first assumed. The question “what is harmony”? Has become of paramount importance to me at this time.

As with many of my questions to Spirit, answers are presented through events that happen in my life. This enables me to ‘fathom’ it out for myself with the odd nudge here and there.

Recently I broke my leg; it was a complicated break, which necessitated a long surgical proceedure and many weeks in a wheelchair. It was only towards the end of my time of enforced immobility that I really began to totally understand the harmony that I was experiencing.

Harmony only happens when the tension reaches the point of utmost stress. I was shown a vision of an archer preparing to fire his arrow. He has to reach the ultimate tension before his arrow is ready to fly, and it is at this moment of firing that he has reached total harmony in his pursuit.

This has helped me to understand how the forces of Light and Dark can work together towards creating a tension, which when stretched to its utmost allows us, the arrow, to fly. This is one of those evolutionary moments of deep wisdom, knowledge and clarity. Realizing with the Light and Dark working in harmony without being hampered by a now recognised and acknowledged shadow, that communion between these two forces can move us very quickly into the next stage of our journey.

During this time of enforced immobility, I have also understood more of how these two energies work towards creating that utmost tension. I understand that in order to allow that tension to be created we must be open and available to all the feelings that abound in and around that which we are seeking to understand.

The following story is one small part of my journey, but it is a clue to how we can blend these two powerful forces together.

A Little Personal History

How my Dark aspect opened the way to my Spirit

When I was a child I had Polio and for three years was paralyzed in a wheelchair, unable to look after myself. It was the Dark, the mother, within me that moved me to find ways to encourage my atrophied muscles to react once more. I had become resentful, antagonistic and manipulative. I knew the power of a smile and used that to get what I thought would make make feel better. Of course nothing did; looking back,it must have been difficult to be around me. However, I was fully experiencing my feelings, which was what was needed at that time, if I was to reap the harvest of that experience. On refletion I would like to add, maybe if we can really understand this, we will be far more compassionate to our fellow beings as they are going through, the feelings that need to be felt.

I became more and more enraged, until my Dark opened me to allow the full power of my Spirit in, so that I was inspired how to gently start working those muscles using isometrics. Sometimes the effort was so great I would faint or vomit. Slowly, so slowly, I began to be able to move a tiny amount. What happened I was told, was impossible, but here I am many years on, still with some weakness in my muscles, but walking and living a normal life.

I was unable to see for many, many years how my Dark aspect had helped me, in fact I have to question whether it was my Light aspect, like a critical father, that made me feel ashamed and guilty about how I had behaved. It has been whilst going through the Blending process that I have been able to truly see what went on, and be grateful for what I was given. I have also been able to see how those around me at that time, while helping me to move into that place of total fury that opened the way for me, were also getting what they needed in order to move on in their own journey.

An Initiation

The Crossroads and the Signposts

When Howard my partner and co-practitioner, and I met, we were both at a crossroads in our lives and ready to move consciously into the world of the Shamanic way.

Shamanism has always been a part of my life, but until I met Howard in 1983, I had no idea that my practices and beliefs fell into this tradition. Shamanism has always felt completely natural to me, and the work I found myself doing with others juist naturally happened. We were introduced to many teachers over the next few years; there were many initiations and teachings and much for us to learn, remember and experience.

It was Easter Monday 2003 and we had just finished a residential training, which is part of one of our longer courses. I felt awful; aching, nauseous and only able to lie down. I remained in bed for the next seven days, feverish and rambling, not really aware of where I was or who I was, unable to eat or drink.During that first week many positive changes happened to my body, one of which was the total disappearance of psoriasis from my scalp and the nape of my neck, which had been severe and unremitting for the past eleven years.

After the first week the fevers came less often and I found I was able to eat very small amounts of two items of food, anything more I could not keep down. After four weeks I was slowly able to introduce increasingly larger amounts of food into my meals but it was many weeks before I was able to eat normally. For seven weeks I was very weak and at times could only walk with assistance.

At the time I was feeling too unwell to notice the significance of what I was eating, but I later realized that the only other time in my life when I have only been able to eat just two items of food was in 1982, just before a huge transition happened for me.It was at this time that I stepped out of being caught up in the conventional, of having a lovely home and all that went with a ‘good life’, and chose instead to step out onto a path that has magically taken me up, down and in and out of some very mysterious places and happenings.

I was aware that something powerful was going on, it was almost as though it was going on in me, around me and all the time regardless of me.

I was very depressed, and was aware that I was hovering between life and death. Although on one level I was occasionally able to live a normal life, I was also aware I was in some kind of limbo. It was a very confusing time.

After seven weeks a dramatic change happened. I began to really want to live and eat and enjoy life once more! Everything seemed different! At this time I was still unaware what this experience had all been about, but knew that at some point it would all be revealed.

A lot of my learning and evolving has involved those things that have happened to my physical body. I have had many life-threatening and debilitating illnesses which seemed to have suddenly become healed, often in spite of a conscious lack of attention to my own healing. Such healing changes have always been the heralds of new understandings within me, some of which are immediately obvious, whilst the meaning of others seem to make themselves apparent over time and at the right time.

Sheila's Story

One of Healing and Understanding more about Blending

Shortly after this we had a message left on our answering machine which was a reminder to me about the Dark wanting to blend with the Light.

The caller sounded desperate for help and was talking about being taken over by a Dark force.

When I spoke with this person, whom I shall call Sheila, she explained that she could not ” do anything she had been able to do before this ‘Dark’ arrived”. It seemed to control every aspect of her life. Previously she had been shown a past life in which she had contact with a Dark being. It seemed that this ’ being’ was now troubling her in her current life.In her previous life she had felt so threatened by this Dark ’ him ’ that using “various manipulations” she “stole his power” I saw the echoes of my own manipulative process.

Sheila was a therapist before this happened and had tried many different types of complementary healing, but all to no avail. She had also appealed to her local Spiritualist Church for help and was told by a medium there that this entity would never leave her.

It was a few days before we were due to meet with one of our training groups, that we were finally able to speak with Sheila. We know from past experience that when something or someone like this manifests just before a course weekend, we acknowledge that it is meant to be brought to and worked with the group.

We had several long conversations with Sheila before this, realizing that she was indeed ready for change and was deperate to “get her life back again”. This disruption to her life had been present for about a year. We understood that the medical profession considered her to have a severe mental health problem.

She touched our hearts with her desire to feel comfortable with herself once more, so with her agreement, we took ’ Sheila’ to our group. Supported by the energy of the group I was enabled in a profound journey, to ascertain what sort of absent healing she required. At that time this was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.

The Healing Begins

In my journey to the Shamanic Middle World of non-ordinary reality, I found Sheila sitting under a tree in a soft mossy glade, looking sad and depressed with her head bowed. I asked my power animal ally what Sheila needed us to do for her. I was told to first call in the guide who works with me in the Light and with rescue work. I assumed this was to be a straightforward de-possession.

I was wrong! There was nothing straightforward about this healing.

I was aware of the immense presence of the Dark force that hovered around and within Sheila; it was almost tangible. I called on the entity to be present and to communicate with me. I heard a gruff, course, male voice coming from Sheila’s mouth, “Don’t think you can get rid of me. She has stolen my power and I want it back”. I explained to the Dark force that although she had once stolen his energy because she felt threatened, she no longer had it. He was angry, swearing and cursing throughout the exchange.

I told him I knew about the Dark coming in to blend with the Light. He suddenly stopped his ranting and, in an almost normal voice, asked me how I knew this. The words just flowed from my mouth, telling him how I knew of the contract he and Sheila had made about coming together to blend the Light and the Dark in this life.

Here my guide of the Light made his presence felt. He stood emplazoned in all his glory asking the Dark energy if he would like to work with him to help others with their blending. At first the Dark was very scathing about this proposition, questioning why he would want to work with a prissy white light being when he was so much more powerful. My guide was not disturbed by this and told this dark force that it would be an honour if they could work together.

Now the Dark energy seemed to have made a decision and left Sheila’s body and stood there, surprisingly glorious, dressed from head to toe in black with a black visor across his face. I was awe-struck by the power of these two mighty beings and aware of being present at a very memorable moment.

The Dark and Light parried, like children and lovers. It was in this exchange that the Light opened the Dark to heal Sheila and be part of her own Blending process

I witnessed the most amazing use of energy, using a seemingly telepathic communication, with physical movements in a kind of dance that was both beautiful and an awesome experience. I was present in the healing.

The Blending is Complete

When I communicated the story to Sheila, she told me she had been in a similar place of nature and had, for the first time in over a year, felt at peace there. Not having heard the voice of this Dark force chiding and threatening her, she had stayed in this beautiful place of nature for an hour or so, then went home and slept peacefully all night, an uncommon experience for her.

While we were communicating with Sheila, who needed a lot of support after her healing, that I knew what my last illness( actually an initiation) had given me. I had been going through my own process of blending my Light and Dark energies. I deliberately use the word ’ blending’ rather than merging, because these two energies lose nothing of their individual specific qualities in this process. It is where the Light and Dark sit side by side with equal importance, respect and in total harmony. Sheila is fine now, and often helps others going through this process.

Developing the Blending Process

The resulting understanding around what had been happening to me and what had happened to Sheila felt accurate. However, it left me with an uncomfortable feeling.

This feeling was around the question ’ My Blending occurred and occurs through my own process of physical and spiritual experience; whereas Sheila’s required the intervention of another. I wondered if some people were able to process their Blending on their own whilst others required external intervention. Or was it that we all have the innate ability but for some reason have forgotten?

I journeyed to ‘non-ordinary’ reality to seek guidance on this question. The answer I received was that everyone did indeed self-process; self blend. The dark energy Sheila had been interacting with was her own Dark energy, and that they, Sheila and the Dark, had made a contract to meet in this current life in order to achieve this blending. They both ‘knew’ that in this process they would need the help of guides and teachers from other realities. And this is exactly what happened.

What I realize retrospectively is that Sheila’s Dark had been mis-gendered! The Dark is ‘female energy’ , how else could Sheila and her Dark be so knowing of each other, how else could Sheila ‘steal’ the Dark’s power. Earlier in this article I suggest that the ’ battle’ between Dark and Light still goes on. And so it shall until we understand that this is about love not war.

The message that Sheila had received at the Spiritualist Church, telling her that this energy would never leave her, was accurate. For me, this was a great learning curve about being judgmental; I had judged the Spiritualist messsage as negative and not coming from a place of love.

I know that there is a part of this process in which the Angelic beings help us.This help involves a physical change in us; I believe a subtle yet profound change to our DNA. This change enables us to finally integrate our Dark and Light selves which, we have so desperately tried to keep apart for so long.

A revelation for me was to see how quickly the course and abusive nature of the Dark changed when feeling heard, understood and respected during Sheila’s healing.

Such a simple understanding can help us accept our own Dark aspect, dissipating any fears that stand between us.

What's Next

Seeking more Information on the Whys and Wherefores

A great passion and desire to help others with this blending process grew within me. It seems we are not ready to complete the blending until we can accept all aspects of our Dark and our Light; until we have accepted and acknowledged all that sits in our shadow. Yet it is no easy task. This acceptance and acknowledgement is done on many levels of our being, so consciously we may not know exactly what is happening. Therefore it can be very confusing to us and for those around us. Roberto Assaglioli suggested that in order to be complete, we were called to ” Recognise, accept, integrate and then and only then Synthesize the truth of Self “

And still the way forward for me was frustrating and lacked clarity. It took a Past Life Healing to put me on the track to answer this quest.

During this healing I was shown a life in which I was totally at one with and a part of nature. I was a part of everything; a part of all the change and movement that is within nature. I was at one with the animal kingdom, we breathed one breath. It was a wonderful exciting and passionate life. I honoured and respected every change that heralded movement. I was present in my divine innocent self, enraptured by the amazement of life.

Suddenly everything changed. I was wrenched out of that life. It was as though someone or something had twisted and pulled me out of there from the back of my neck. It was very traumatic and I felt totally shocked nauseous and shaking. This feeling stayed and gnawed at me, not wanting me to forget.

Later, during time with an advanced training group of our students, we were working with an excercise to get in touch with our ’ Wound of Origin ‘; this is the first wound we receive as part of our evolutionary process from innocence to wisdom. I was shown that my wound happened as I was snatched out of that idyllic life, what I saw and felt was a raping by the Dark in an effort to blend.

It was a strange feeling to know that my Dark side had raped me. And yet intriguingly it puts a whole new perspective on the concept of blame. In all our knowing, we know so little of the universal energies, and the reality of how much of what we experience is made up of what we are giving ourselves, whether comfortable or uncomfortable.

The 'Blended' Experience

What are the Benefits?

I have talked a lot about some of the difficulties during this Blending process, but I have not said much about the actual process. I believe the process is very individual and may differ from person to person. For us all I think it takes place over a number of years. Having my own experience and seeing it happen to our students and friends, it seems there is always a ’ crisis ’ time when we have to make the choice to allow completion to take place in this life or when we pass into spirit, at the end of this earthly journey. We are left with Karmic non resolutions, that actually perpetuate a spiritual dysfunction in the relationship between Light and Dark. As I reflect I wonder if that unresolved dysfunction is passed from mother to child.

I have noticed, however, that there is often a physical dis-ease present and for some depression. People will often behave in differing ways. Some begin to see more clearly the ways they do and have manipulaed situations and others in order to feel good about themselves. When in fact they become more and more aware that all they want is to love and be loved; we don’t want to be separate anymore (Bowlby****)

For me the result of thgis experience is likened to having a 48” screen to observe everything, instead of a 12” screen. Everything of the Light is more obviously seen, felt and accepted. Likewise everything of the Dark is also more obviously seen, felt and accepted. As Maryanne Clare puts it in her book the Splintered Soul…”…different and separate is an illusion, healing will only come through union.”

Apart from this wider vision, there is also an enhanced ability to see things, in any situation, not only from a personal perspective, but also from others who have been involved with the experience; I can more clearly see what is going on for them too. For example, I have found that in seeking guidance from a past life experience, I can clearly see who I was and what I was doing and why. Along with that I am able to also interact with those around me in order to better understand their part in the event, even when that which was happening to me felt cruel and unloving. I am shown how those around me have given me wonderful opportunities to grow and heal; and this understanding really helps me to put blame aside.

I now have a place inside which is always at peace, and full of wonder.

I have found my Joy. I can be sitting in a cauldron of chaos, but inside me there is this place of deep understanding, a place of gentle laughter. The paralyzing fear that has been a part of my life since a small child, who although I had learned to live with and to manage, was always there hovering. It has now transformed into something else. I now perceive it as a survival tool, not a disabling fearsome menace, but a part of me that cares for and nurtures me.

Another piece in the Puzzle

On one occasion when I was sitting in a busy small town square, I was surprised and at first puzzled by what I was seeing. It was as though I could see above and beyond the apparent physical before me.I saw the young people as carrying huge bundles; some carried them on their heads, others on their backs and others in their arms. In contrast the older people were relatively unburdened, only carrying small packages or bundles. Only occasionally did I see an older person carrying a huge bundle, but this was a rarity.

I was again reminded of something Michael Meade talks passionately about.

He talks about the older generation as “not taking their fair share of the weight and leaving far too much for the younger generation to hold, which actually strips them, of their youth, not allowing them to just be and enjoy the abundance and growing energy of youth.”

We as older people may not be allowing the youth to grow into their responsibilites, thrusting it upon them at too early an age when they have neither the knowledge nor the wisdom to deal with such responsibilities. Here we stand stagnating and festering hindering the growth of our youth and our future.

We as ‘olders’ need to become ’ elders ’ and take our fair share of the weight of responsibility. So that our youth can be the future we will be proud of.

I firmly believe that as we achieve our own ’ Blending ’ we yearn to help others with their own personal ’ Blending ‘. It seems that in this way, then we begin to take our share of the load, then we start to allow our youth their time to grow and evolve in the way of their destiny.


The Never Ending Story!

In conclusion, the whole story raises much bigger questions than it answers about aspects of the blending process.There is so much more to explore. For now the journey continues, ever delighting me with the wonder of how everything, absolutely everything has its place in our evolving universe.

I am enjoying the ’ Parade ’ and being a part of the ’ Parade ’ becoming more and more joyful.

I see the lovers finally dance!

The journey goes on and on….

Each force is an enemy if you do not love it.

You cannot love it if you do not know it.

If you become one with it.

There is no more enemy .


Hildegard of Bingen - Canticles of Ecstasy - 1969 OSB Salzburg

What we may be - Techniques of Roberto Assalioli Piero Ferrucci - 1982 Thorsons

Dr John-Luke Edwards - Dr John-Luke Edwards - 2006 Wolfindark Article

John Bowlby - The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds - 1980 Routledge

Michael Meade - The Lizard in the Fire - 1990 Yellow Moon Press

MaryanneClare - The Splintered Soul - 1997 HR Publishing Co

St John of the Cross - Dark Night of the Soul - 1935 E A Peers Burnes & Oates

Some information about Dr John-Luke Edwards B.Ed.MA PhD

Apart from being a highly qualified Transpersonal Psychotherapist and Psychologist with over 28 years experience of teaching and clinical practice. Setting up many projects to help those who are victims of abuse and those who are the perpetrators of abuse. John-Luke has an insight and a passion for understanding the depths of our spiritual and soul beings.

First and foremost though John-Luke is a very dear friend, although he now lives and works in Canada it is as though he still lives just down the road.

To see more of his work go to

Howard and Elsa Malpas are experienced Shamanic practitioners with over thirty years of experience in Shamanism and teaching the sacred art.

To contact Howard and Elsa, please use the contact page.


Get the Heart right and everything else follows