“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”
In my work with seekers (to ground us before the drum comes out and we head “away”) I call in the Seven Directions and all of the players that represent that team. As I speak or sing gratitudes to each of these elemental forces it is simple to express thanks for the beauties, the ease-full moments.
In the North, I thank the body of our mother for salt, sand, spices. In the South, I offer gratitude for the flame that brings love, art, and magic into form. However, if I am to play with Black Panther, my very dear friend-- my invocations and blessings would include one for isolation and impenetrable bounds in the North. In the South, that reverent flame would be the heat/hellscape of a devastating passion.
Sexuality, sensuality, rage, grief, fear are our raw material with Black Panther. When we struggle again our shadow-selves the pain is exponential. The judgement, shame, guilt linger and find easy projections onto our loved ones or that random lady on the subway/bus/plane! We become bound by taboo, choked by words unspoken, beholden to habitual response.
Black Panther slinks through the dark on paws that are sure and steady. Her footfall is silent. Her plush, jet coat stretches over ribs that are sharp and filled by growl/roar/screech. She will knock you down from behind, pull flesh from bone Just Like That.
You might roll over on your back, throw your hands up and beg her to do it again. (Not a bad idea.)
You might try and pull yourself to your feet and run. (I can’t recommend that strategy.)
As her eyes flash more brightly in the shadows and every single tiny bristle of fur (hers and yours) stands on end-- you might reach out to her in silence. Surrender? Maybe. Communion of souls? Yes, that.
Consciously call on Black Panther as ally and you have access to a level of healing and power that bridge time and space and annihilates every binary polarity that holds you hostage.