Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Dark Goddess and my Descent

It has been a number of months since my last posting here at The Goddess House and this has largely been because of various change in circumstances, the most recent coming for a forefront about four weeks ago.  However, from a place of  contemplation and reflection, this current change has actually began its progress some 10 years ago.
It was in about 2006 that I first commenced workshops on what was then a rather neglected and misunderstood aspect of the Divine Feminine, that of the "dark" goddess.  Contrary to public opinion at the time (and still even today in some circles) that this Underworldly aspect of the Feminine Divine was restricted to that of the Crone and the dark moon, through my own exploration of mythology and folklore, I felt that there was indeed more to her than this. 

These first explorations largely still pigeoned her into the triple aspect of the Goddess that we are largely familiar with - Maiden, Mother and Crone - although I was taking notes from Shekinah Mountainwater in her book Ariadne's Thread where she mentioned a polar aspect to Maiden - that of a "light" and "dark maiden". The more I worked with this concept, the more I realised that this darker aspect of the Goddess appeared beyond even Mountainwater's concept of the "Dark Maiden" in that she shapeshifted and slipped in-between and around all three familiar aspects of the Goddess, including the beloved Mother.  In fact it is the concept of the "dark" Mother who terrifies us the most, the "Vagina dentate", the all devouring one.
It was during the first Goddess conference that I attended where the "Dark" Maiden presented herself to me.  Up until that time my workshops largely took participants through an exploration of the associated myths as, in all honesty, I had not personally experienced any great personal loss, tragedy or depression etc that is usually associated with the realms of this deity.  In fact until this conference, my life was relatively comfortable as I had developed an innate ability of being able to ride with the waves.  Maybe I had become a tad too self-assured in this fact as on the last day of the conference after attending a workshop on identifying an aspect of the shadow, I found myself on the banks of the river wallowing in self-pity for what seemed to be ages.  As I choked on the tears that streamed down my face a vision appeared before me that reminded me The Warrior (pictured right) from The Sacred Circle tarot deck by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason.

Clad in leather and banishing her sword, this image of the Goddess viewed my self indulged tears with distaste and demanded to know what I thought I was doing succumbing to such self-pity.  After all, as she reminded me, I had been given a precious gift that up until then I had been reluctant to own and wear due to comparing myself to others which only resulted in feelings of not being worthy.  If I was however seen in such a manner, the Goddess would not have bestowed such a precious gift upon me in the first place.  In other words, I was told in no uncertain terms to get my act together and start acting in a manner that Deity expected of me.

Some nine years later I still continue my workshops that focus around the darker aspects of the Goddess with the main change that I no longer force her into one of the triple aspects.  Over the years as my journeys and relationships with these various aspects of deity have deepened, naturally a few have become favourites, one in particular is the ancient Sumerian Goddess of the Great Below, Ereshkigal.

More commonly referred to as the "older" sister of Inanna in the Sumerian hymn detailing Inanna's descent into the Underworld (later adapted by the Babylonian people of their own Goddess Ishtar), Ereshkigal is commonly recorded of "entrapping" the beautiful Queen of Heaven in her barren land after Inanna had been stripped of her regal possessions at each of the seven gates, struck down by her sister's "stare of death" and left hanging on a hook for three days and three nights before being rescued by two asexual creatures, which enabled Inanna to be "reborn" or initiated into the next stage of her life.

Four weeks ago I found myself before the first gate of Irkalla, Ereshkigal's Great Below whereby as the rules and rites of the Underworld are perfect, they are not to be questioned.  As my journey through each of the seven gates progresses, like Inanna, various aspects of what had made up the person I have become at this point are being considered and revalued.

I know I will be standing naked and bowed low in Ereshkigal's throne room where the Annuna (judges of the Underworld) will pass their judgment before the Great Queen fastens her eyes of death upon me and utters the word of wrath.  Then, just as Inanna had done before me, I will be turned into a corpse, a piece of rotting meat, and hung from a hook on the wall for a period of three days and three nights.  After that time, I too will then ascend back through the seven gates ready to embrace the next phase of my journey.

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"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again

"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again
The second edition of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats" is now available through or direct from the author (Australian customers only) for an autographed copy.

Great Goddess Isis

Great Goddess Isis

Exhortation of Isis

You are She in the dust of whose feet is the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the Universe,
Who turns the Earth in its orb,
Who gives light to the Sun,
Who rules the World.

You tread death underfoot.
To Thee, the stars are responsive,
To Thee the seasons turn and the Gods rejoice
And the elements are in subjugation.

You are She that is the natural Mother of all things,
Mistress and governor of all elements,
The initial progeny of worlds,
Chief of Divine powers,
Queen of Heaven,
Principle of all the Gods celestial and the light of Goddesses.

At Your will are disposed the planets of the air,
The wholesome winds of the seas
And the silences of the unseen world.