Tales of a White Knight

The White Knight's Handbook

Chapter 6
The Forces of Darkness

Many forces, big and small, rose from the darkness which some call the land of shadows. But for all their power they have no light that warms them, no light by which they can see, no light that like a star in the sky will guide them. They have no light that shines in their eyes, not even a twinkle.
They are the evil enemies of your innocent soul who wanders as a stranger through the land of shadows and carries deep within her the light of her spirit. Under the cover of darkness, these evil enemies, big and small, will come for your light. They will try to seduce you, bewilder you, overpower you; they will try to possess you.
The sage Silvanus said:

My son,
prepare yourself to escape from the world rulers of Darkness
and from this air that is impregnated with their forces
The Teachings of Silvanus, Nag Hammadi Library

Is Darkness just less light?

NO, Darkness is the absence of light.

The Seven Forces of Darkness

Born out of Blindness they are all androgynous.
These are the names of the male ones:
Jealousy >>, Fury >>, Tears, Sighing >>,
Suffering, Lamentation and Bitter Crying >>

And these are the names of the female ones:
Wrath >>, Pain, Lust, Yearning >>,
Curse >>, Bitterness and Quarrelsomeness >>
They mated with one another and each one begot seven demons, so that together they amount to forty-nine androgynous demons. i
Some of their names and effects can be found below.


Cacoethes is a busy fellow, frequently visiting men and women all around the world. Not every man and woman is able to resist and show him the door every time he calls.
Cacoethes is the urge to do something inadvisable. The term comes from Greek kakoethes which means ill-disposed, from kakos 'bad' + ethos 'disposition'.

The Foul Faery

He gets you into a foul mood. No matter how hard you try to resist him. You try to escape but every little hiccup transports you quickly back into his arms.
Resistance is futile. But a good night's sleep and getting up on the other side of the bed might help.

The Fear Fairy

Ubi Timor adest, Sapienta adesse nequit.
Where Fear is present, Wisdom cannot be.
Old Latin Phrase

For many a year
fear whispered in my ear
hear, hear ... hear, hear ...
and caused many a tear.

Even when I was near
the ones I hold most dear
would keep us apart.

Life is hard
when fear plays the principal part
instead of the old, own Heart.

Brigitte Franssen, 2006

When the fear fairy isn't kept at bay with a little courage she will take hold of the poor soul and bring her to a dark, grim and hostile land ruled by the absolute Queen of Darkness:

Queen Cowardice

Softly, in a warm and understanding voice the queen whispers into your ear: "Why disturb the peace? Why risk your home, your possessions, your way of life for some uncertain outcome? You actually could be worse of than before.
Isn't it far better to stay where you are and stick to what you know and are used to? Wouldn't it be foolish to make life-changing decisions that could actually endanger your life?"
So, the coward stays in his hiding place and remains indecisive. A lack of discoveries, adventure and heroic actions make him as colourless as his life.

In the words of Havamál, the High One:

"A coward thinks he may live forever
if he avoids the fight;
Though he be spared by spears
old age will not spare him."

Prince Parsimony

Born a long, long time ago out of Fear - the Fear of not having
enough or what's needed at a later point in time - he is the extreme unwillingness to spend money or use resources.

Marquis de Malcontent

Discontent: such a lousy and bad companion.
According to Greek mythology there is a Titan, a force of great strength and intellect, who has the ability to consider what will be necessary or may happen in the future. Quite appropriately he is called Prometheus meaning Forethought.
Prometheus steals 'fire' from the Gods and gives it to mankind. But what he stole is the fire that gives that powerful sense of determination and ambition. He stole what is nowadays called the fire in your belly.
Yet for the power and zeal that that fire gives a terrible price is to be paid that is well symbolised in the image of Prometheus stretched out in agony on that Caucasian rock having his liver eaten away every day by the insatiable eagle. It is the state of perpetual nagging discontent, which must follow from the determined drive to do or achieve something in someone who has the ability to think ahead, i.e. to imagine that things could be different from what they are now.

To end the daily torment Prometheus must meet two conditions. The first is that an immortal must volunteer to die for him and the second that a mortal must kill the eagle and unchain him. Eventually, it is Chiron the Centuar, a learned horse-expert and teacher, who agrees to die for him and Heracles who kills the eagle and unbinds him.

The symbolic meaning of these two conditions is a bit of a mystery. But what is clear is that any man in possession of Forethought as well as that Fire in his or her belly has quite a way to go before those feelings of perpetual nagging discontent will subside.

The ability to imagine that things might be different from what they are - that they could be more beautiful, more practical, more harmonious - comes at a price: the price of Discontent.

The Petty Jester of Spade

The petty jester of spade leaps seemingly from nowhere onto his victim, clutching his victim's back with stiff fingers.
The cold and tight embrace of the petty jester of spade constricts attitudes, producing a rigid narrow-mindedness that excludes all other possibilities.
A narrow-minded person
The poor soul does not see
as he should
his own mistakes.

The words of the High One, Hávamál
from the Old Norse Edda

More Tales of a White Knight

  1. All this information is taken from the Nag Hammadi Library,
    Codex II, On the Origin of the World.
  2. Elsa-Brita Titchenell, The Masks of Odin, Wisdom of the Ancient Norse, California, 1985, ISBN 1-55700-137-5.
  3. The Fates of the Princes of Dyfed, a book based on old Welsh legends by Kenneth Morris, 1914.

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© Brigitte Franssen 2016
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