Now that Midsummer is behind us, the sun having peaked and begun to descend, I have found my thoughts turning toward the dark days of winter.
As much as I enjoy the Sabbats of spring and summer, (Beltane is a particular favorite), it is the days of the Dark Goddess that call to me.
Now, just past Midsummer, I notice the first early signs of the Autumn soon to come.
Even though the light and heat of Summer is still with us, it is gradually beginning to fade.
The leaves on the trees have lost their luster, some even visibly beginning to yellow, lending the tree the appearance of late middle age.
I notice the changes happening around me and I redress my altar in Lughnasadh finery.
I begin to go within myself, whereas throughout the longer, brighter days of Summer, I am more outwardly focused.
Summer is my time to work on my goals and projects of the year, to spend time with friends and family, to enjoy and experience life.
During Autumn and Winter I prefer solitude, quiet and stillness.
While the heat of Summer, and the threat of bushfire, still looms high above us, I can feel the approach of cooler days to come.
As I write this, we are experiencing a spell of cold and wet weather.
Rain is so scarce here at this time of year, that this rain band is a joy to behold.
All that, days before, wilted and drooped under the relentless sun, seems to stretch and sigh, plants and trees soaking up the moisture.
Today, is a reminder of the joy and beauty of Autumn and Winter.
I don’t like the heat, and it gets so brutally hot here that I can’t stand it.
So I guess it is only natural that I long for the relief of Autumn.
It is not only respite from the heat of the sun that I crave though.
It is the solitary reverence of Samhain.
The quiet reflection of the year that has been, the good, the bad, those I have lost and loved, my achievements and mistakes.
It is sitting quietly in front of my black draped altar, a solitary black candle burning, lost in deep meditative thought.
It is returning to the arms of the Dark Goddess.
Since my first calling into the ways of Wicca, I have felt a deep pull towards the Goddesses of the darkness.
Hecate called to me, one dreary Samhain day, and she has been with me ever since.
Ceridwen, Ereshkigal, Lilith, Nyx and Dark Persephone have all called to me at different times, and they visit regularly.
The deep inner work these Goddesses bring with them can be very hard, but this is where the true goal of the Witch, Know Thyself, is learnt and practiced.
The dark Goddesses lead one into ones own soul, a place of self-knowledge and development.
Working with the Dark Goddesses has always been where my real growth and learning lies.
During the light half of the year, I work with the ‘light’ Goddesses; Aphrodite is wonderful to work with, as is the harvest Goddess, Demeter.
Brighid and Persephone the Maiden bring much joy and energy as well.
But my true calling lies on the dark path.
Sometimes, this shadow work can be frightening and confronting, facing your deepest self, your truest will and desire, fears and intentions.
But only through facing what frightens us, facing those parts of ourselves that we would prefer to keep hidden in the shadows, can we really learn about ourselves.
And only through learning about ourselves, both the light and dark halves of our personalities, can we grow and thrive, not just as Witches, but as people too.