After a ritual purification bath, I prepare my sacred space.
I perform my usual full, formal circle casting and calling of the Quarters.
I haven’t cast circle in this way since my Descent.
I feel the power of the full moon above me, calling to me.
I feel the might of The Underworld all around me.
Laid out before me, are the objects I surrendered as I descended.
Objects of power, that are symbolic of all the things I most cherished in life.
During my time in the Underworld, these things have not belonged to me.
Now it is time to reclaim them.
I sit in sacred space, Ereshkigal’s black candle alight before me, as are the candles of the Quarters.
Soon, I will extinguish them all and return to the darkness of where I finished my Descent.
I will return to that bleak place of utter helplessness and from there, I will arise.
I will perform the ritual of cakes and wine with my bread and water, blessed by the Kalgurra and the Galator; the two creatures, fashioned from clay, that return life to Inanna in the Underworld.
When I feel I am ready, I will then begin to ascend through the seven gates, back up into the light of the Upper World.
From my place in death, I arise.
I dress in my ritual robes, relishing the feel of soft fabric against skin.
I drink of the water, sustainer of life, the blood of the Dark Mother.
I drink and my heart begins to beat once more.
Congealed and decaying blood, liquefies, flows.
My veins and arteries become the rivers of life, my life, once again.
I eat of the bread, sustaining food, product of grain, of summer, light and growth.
I eat and my body becomes whole and alive.
No more do I rot, a putrefying corpse.
I reclaim my blood, rivers of life, the beat of my heart.
I reclaim my body, my flesh, my living skin.
I reclaim this, the vehicle of my soul.
I reclaim eating and drinking, sustaining this body of mine.
These products of the heavens and the earth, the seasons and weather.
I reclaim bread.
I reclaim water.
Body and blood.
I reclaim my life.
This body is mine.
It is the only one I have.
If my body stops living, my time on earth ends.
My heart beats, my blood flows, my lungs draw breath.
This body of mine keeps me tethered to the earth.
It is beautiful, my body.
It is beautiful in it’s perfection and in it’s flaws.
I promise to love my body.
I promise to care for it as best I can.
Eating and drinking well, getting enough sleep and enough exercise.
I will strive to be fit and healthy, to care for this wondrous flesh that I inhabit.
This flesh, bone and blood that is all mine.
I promise to care for my body and provide for its needs.
Strength, Will, Courage
I take a step upwards and come before the Seventh Gate.
This time is different, I feel triumphant.
I reclaim my courage, my inner strength and my will.
That quiet inner toughness that has seen me through the roughest of times.
The strength I found inside, to pull myself out of depression and chronic pain.
The strength that allows me to stand for what I believe in, to speak out against injustice.
I reclaim my will, the ability to achieve the goals I set my sights on.
I reclaim the steel inside myself, my inner strength.
I take up the Strength tarot card from my altar and I take up my strength from the gatekeepers.
I move through the gate and up.
I promise to be true to myself.
To stand by my beliefs.
I promise to use my inner strength in the darkest of times, to never give up or give in to adversity.
I promise to exercise my strength, to see through and achieve my desires.
I honor myself as woman and recognize the strength and fortitude that women possess.
I reclaim my marriage, my Husband.
I reclaim its problems and difficulties.
I reclaim the years we have spent together.
I reclaim my responsibilities and the vows I have made.
I reclaim our separation, our troubles communicating, the lies and untruths.
I reclaim my own faults in sharing my life with another.
I take back my rings from my altar, but it isn’t till the next day that I realize I am still not wearing them.
Instead of putting them back on my finger, I slip them into the pouch I have around my waist, for other items I do not wear.
I don’t realize the significance of this until later.
In the euphoria of the moment, I don’t realize that I never really reclaimed my marriage as it was.
I took back all that had been, and my responsibilities as a wife, but not the continuance of my marriage.
I pause now, on this upward sloping path.
I drink some water, I take stock.
I marvel at the miracle of being alive.
I take the black candle of Ereshkigal and, with it, I light the white candle of Inanna.
I sit them either side of my cauldron, burning in unity.
Intelligence, My Mind, My Words
I reclaim my intelligence, my active and curious mind.
I reclaim my words, my ability to write and express myself.
I reclaim the active mind that drives me to learn, to seek wisdom and knowledge.
I reclaim my studies and learning.
I take back my curiosity of all that catches my attention.
I reclaim my writing, my journals, books and blogging.
I take back the precious knowledge and wisdom I have gained throughout my life.
I pick up the journal and pen from my altar.
I take back my mind from the gatekeepers.
I pass on up through the fifth gate.
I promise to continue to exercise my mind.
To pursue my occult studies, to read and to continue to gather knowledge.
To apply myself in developing my talents and skills.
I promise to learn new things and continue to develop my writing skills.
I prize my mind.
I know how lucky I am to be intelligent.
I have wasted this precious gift in the past, I don’t want to ever make the same mistake in the future.
Learning is a lifelong pursuit and something that I will continue to apply myself to.
I am happy to have my writing returned.
Writing is how I process the things I learn and experience.
I also enjoy sharing these things through my blog.
I like seeing my writing skills develop.
I feel very happy and far more complete, as I regain my intelligence.
My Faith, My Craft, My Belief
I reclaim my identity and power as a Witch.
My observances and joys of the turning of the seasons.
My connection to the earth, her energies and cycles.
I reclaim the beauty of the moon, the stars and the night sky.
I reclaim my wisdom, knowledge and magical ability.
I reclaim my power and ritual ability.
I reclaim my Mother Goddess, I reclaim Hekate.
Her guidance and love.
My Mother, my guide.
I reclaim the joy and purpose witchcraft has brought to my life.
I take up my pentagram from my altar and fasten it around my neck.
Here, I relight all the candles on my altar, those of the Quarters and those I use just for light and ambience.
My space is lifted and brightened by the light.
Here I begin to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
I feel so much more myself.
Through the fourth gate, my power and wisdom returned to me, I continue upward.
This brings me great joy.
Losing my Craft was a hard blow, it brings such purpose to my life.
I reclaim my ever-growing wisdom and power with great joy.
At the fourth gate, I gain back a very large part of who I am.
Witchcraft gives me so very much.
It keeps my mind active, has aided me in getting my body fit and active.
It gives me confidence, enables me to walk tall and proud.
I promise to continue to grow my magical abilities, to practise as well as to learn.
To set and discover my own traditions.
To follow my path, my heart, my guides, to become the best witch I can be.
My Home, Security, Sanctuary
I pick up my key and I reclaim my home, my sanctuary.
The walls and roof that shelter me from the elements and the wider world.
This place that is my home.
My security, my sense of having a place where I belong, somewhere I can call home.
I reclaim my land, the trees and plants that grow in it’s soil.
I reclaim my beautiful rooms, this place that brings me peace.
This place that gives me shelter and safety.
My home, my sanctuary.
I love this place.
It is not brick and mortar that makes a house a home, it is the love contained within it’s walls.
I am not bound to this house, I choose to live here, choose to make it my home.
My family, my cherished possessions, make this house my home.
But my possessions do not define me.
The value of any material thing, is only the value I place upon it.
I am happy to reclaim my home and all the lovely things I own.
The beautiful things that make my house my home.
Things that bring me joy to look at and to use.
I love this little home that I have made so beautiful, this little sanctuary that is mine.
Home is sanctuary and stability, and it is the place that houses my family and I.
I promise to love it and care for it, to keep it looking loved.
I promise to fill my home with many more good memories, love and joy.
I promise to plant a tree each year, that even if I may not live to sit under it’s mature branches, my descendents will have the pleasure of doing so.
I reclaim my originality.
The outer things that reflect my inner self.
The desire to be who I am, to have the courage to be different.
I reclaim my dreads, my tattoos, my black clothes and Doc Marten boots.
I reclaim the symbols and jewellery that signify my beliefs.
I reclaim my alternative soul and the will to be myself, not following after the fashions and ideas of the majority.
I am different from the average, I always have been.
This is not always an easy path, it takes courage to be true to oneself and I am proud of that.
I love that my originality is a part of me, it is just who I am.
I love that I am different from the masses.
Being different is also being apart, and it can be lonely at times.
It is near impossible to find people who get me, who I can relate to, especially in a country town.
But I admire myself for not giving in to that and trying to be someone who I am not.
I am proud of who I am and I am proud that I have the courage to show that, to just be myself, even if that is not very popular.
Motherhood, My Daughter, My Animals
I pass through the first and last gate and retrieve the photos of the ones I love.
The light returns to my life.
I reclaim my daughter, Drew, my baby and friend.
I reclaim my animals, Leo and Deal, and the joy they bring to my life.
I reclaim the companionship of those I love.
I reclaim my little family.
I reclaim a new phase in motherhood, as I begin the process of letting go of my daughter.
She is almost a woman, on the brink of setting forward into her own life.
I can be there to support her and love her, but I also need to let her make her own mistakes, to learn through experience both good and bad.
Though my actual time of mothering a child is coming to an end, she will always need my love, support and friendship.
One phase is ending, another is beginning.
I reclaim my animals.
Deal, her equine beauty, her way of being free even while domesticated.
Leo, my little boy.
He needs my love, I need his.
I welcome the light and carefree joy he brings, back into my life.
I return to the surface, to life, to joy.
This room is brightly lit, candles alight, fairy lights aglow.
From total darkness, naked and stripped of everything I loved, to light, abundance and wild joy.
I need to express this happiness.
I am impatient with writing now, I feel a great desire to celebrate my return.
I feel so happy to be here, to have my life and everything in it, as mine once again.
I feel great joy with life itself, my body, movement, everything.
You cannot know light without darkness, this is something I now know from direct experience.