Witchcraft

Journey Of A WItch

Candle Magick

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I worked this candle spell for a friend, this evening.
He is going through a really hard time and is in need of some courage and strength to get through. 
I poured a lot of my love and concern for him into this candle.

When I took this photo to send to him,  I was amazed at the strong cone of power emanating from it.
I can often feel the energy of my spell candles,  but this is the first time I’ve captured that energy on camera. 
I’m very pleased to be sending such strong energies his way right now. 

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Reflections On Goddess – What Does Goddess Mean To Me?

The Goddess is the feminine energy of the earth and of the universe.

She is the energy that nurtures and brings forth life.

She is receptive, taking in male energy, slowly nurturing the seed to life.

She is the earth, giving forth her abundance.

 

She is the natural cycles of the seasons, the growth of summer, the dormancy of winter.

She is the bright, shining Lady of summer, green grass, grain and fruit.

She basks in the glow of the sun, taking in solar energy and giving back as sustenance.

The Goddess gives, providing for all that she has given life to.

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Goddess is the death of winter, the still and barren landscape.

She brings death, just as she brings life.

Goddess Winter bears her sickle and makes way for next summer’s growth.

 

Goddess gives and Goddess takes.

It is she that measures the thread of our lives, it is she that cuts that thread.

She weaves, measures and cuts.

Goddess is the rose and Goddess is the thorn.

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Goddess is provider, giving her creatures all they need to survive.

She is the crops of grain, sweet summer fruits and the sweet mountain river water.

She brings forth life and she provides for life.

Goddess is mother to us all.

 

Goddess is the silvery light of the moon.

She is the star-spangled night sky.

She is the comforting darkness of night.

She is the guiding light of the star, the mysterious light of the moon.

She holds her secrets of life and death, the mysteries we seek.

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Goddess is the cleansing ocean, the great womb from which we all emerged.

She is the water that sustains the land; rain, river and sea.

 

Goddess is all that nurtures, protects, brings forth and takes away.

She is life and death, nurture and protection.

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Personally, Goddess is my mother and my guide.

She provides the wisdom I need to grow.

She supports my understanding and learning.

She is the dark depths of the cauldron of wisdom, held deep within all women.

It is she who holds the mysteries, and plays them out all around us in the natural cycles of the earth. 

She is supportive and loving, but as mother, she can also give firm discipline.

As Dark Mother, she is ready with her sword, to cut away all that has outlived it’s purpose.

She wields the sword of justice and kindles the fires of transformation.

Mabon by Bastet

Mabon by Bastet

Goddess is mother.

She gave me life, she supports my life, and eventually, she will take my life.

But it is from her that I learn that all things are cyclic.

There are no endings without beginnings.

Life into death, death into life.

The infinite cycle of the universe.

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Journey To The Dark Goddess – Ascending Through The Seven Gates

This post is the sixth in a series. Click here to start at Preparing To Descend, the first post in this series. 

 

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.

 

Ascent

Reclaiming Life:

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.

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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.

 

Seventh Gate

Strength, Will, Courage

I take a step upwards and come before the Seventh Gate.

This time is different, I feel triumphant.

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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.

 

Sixth Gate

Marriage, Husband

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.

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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.

 

Fifth Gate

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.

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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.

 

Fourth Gate

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.

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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.

 

Third Gate

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.

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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.

 

Second Gate

Originality

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.

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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.

 

First Gate

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.

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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.

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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.

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Upper World

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 dance.

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.

 

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Journey To The Dark Goddess – Preparing To Ascend

This post is the fifth in a series. Click here to start at the beginning, Preparation For Descent.

 

I have spent a day short of three weeks in the gloomy confines of The Underworld.
It is time to leave the comforting realm of the Dark Mother and return to my life in the Upper World.
A lot has changed in the time I have been subterranean.
I have learnt a lot about myself.
I have come face to face with my shadow self.
I have sat with Ereshkigal, saw her face, heard her cries.
Sometimes my experience has been painful, sometimes comforting.
But throughout, I have felt, and acknowledged, the seismic changes being wrought within myself.

This Ritual of Descent has been a time of coming to terms with my failed marriage and has helped me to reconnect with my deepest self and with what I truly want in life.
I can’t yet know the outcome of this extended working, but I will continue to document my progress and the changes in my life and in myself.

During my stay with Ereshkigal, I have grieved, I have cried, I have rejoiced.
I have alternated between fighting against the changes rising up within and embracing them wholeheartedly.
I found a safe place to feel the pain of separation, to allow myself to grieve for the loss.
I knew that coming here would have far-reaching consequences, and I know that this is why I put this working off for so long.
I knew the moment that I found this rite, that it was something that I needed to do, that my path had led me to this place.
But I was afraid.
Afraid of the changes I knew it would impose on my life.

The thing with change within the self, is that it also forces change on those around us.
For me this has been especially true, as my change involved the end of a marriage, a partnership of fifteen years.
Of course, this would affect everyone involved, maybe even force them into their own Underworld experience.

Everyone, at some time in their life, will come before the Dark Goddess, will slide into the pit that is The Underworld.
The difference is, most people will not go willingly.
Illness, injury, depression, endings.
These are all Underworld experiences.
This is the advantage that the Witch holds, in that we can harness these experiences, recognize them for what they are and go willingly.
To fight it, is only to make it harder.
You will still hit bottom, descend, come before the Dark Mother, but you will not understand the long-term benefits of such an experience at the time that it is happening.

I have been before the Dark Goddess many times in my life.
I suffered post natal depression.
I have lost people I loved.

I fell into the fiery hell that is chronic pain, an experience that tore me apart.
It was only in hindsight that I could see the many positives that came from that awful time in my life.
A time when I lost the will to live and could see no way out other than physical death.
I look back now and can see that this was an initiation, a way out of the dead-end path that my life had become back then.
Chronic pain was the Dark Goddess saving me from myself, transforming and strengthening my character, then putting me on a new path toward a better future.
Looking back, I could see it as a period of transformation.
I certainly changed for the better, coming out the other side so much stronger and with greater insight into myself and my life.
For to come before the Dark Goddess is an opportunity for great wisdom, to gain a deeper understanding of one’s own soul.

This time around, knowing my marriage had reached it’s end, I knew the experience for what it was.
I knew it would be hard, I knew it would hurt, but I also knew that the pain would end and I would emerge better for the experience.
Ritual Descent is recognizing a time of painful upheaval, but most of all, it is going toward it willingly, knowing that change is the only constant in life and something that cannot be stopped.

The hurt and process of separation is not yet over, it will go on for a time yet, but I have found acceptance with the fact that it is happening.
I also know that I have the courage to face it and to walk towards an unknown future.
I walk forward having confidence in myself, the universe and the ways of The Underworld.

It is time to Ascend.

 

Continue – Ascending Through The Seven Gates

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Journey To The Dark Goddess – Mirror Gazing

This post is the fourth in a series. Click Here To begin at the first post, Preparation For Descent.

 

I cast circle, sealing the Quarters with Elemental Pentagrams.

I ask Ereshkigal’s presence, as I do her work.

There is no need for fancy invocation, down here in The Underworld.

The presence of the Dark Goddess is with me constantly.

 

I set up a mirror on my altar.

Two candles burn, Ereshkigal’s black candle and a tea light in my cauldron, symbolic of the fires of transformation cleansing my soul.

I sit before the mirror and gaze into my own eyes, see my face.

I see sadness.

I smile slightly and watch my eyes subtly change shape and brighten.

I look deeper, seeing the ring of darker blue, that edges the blue of my irises.

I see twin sparks of reflected candlelight.

 

I see myself as I am, my face clean of makeup, clear of expression.

I gaze deeper, allow my eyes to lose focus.

It is no longer my own eyes looking back at me.

These eyes are darker, the sockets sunken.

This face is cloaked in shadow.

The more I gaze, the more skull-like this face appears.

 

I struggle for a moment to keep my gaze unfocused, to scry my reflection.

My focus slips away again and I am seeing the face of the Dark Mother gazing back at me.

She is very like the ‘sugar skull’ representation of the Mexican Death Goddess.

She is skull and bone and shadow.

Sketch taken from my journal

Sketch taken from my journal

I tell her I am afraid.

Afraid because my life has been so irrevocably changed.

I tell her I trust her, her ways, but I am afraid and uncertain.

I am uncertain about how to move on from here.

“Nothing stays the same, all things change”, she whispers.

This is all I have to hold on to at this moment in my life.

 

The ways of The Underworld are unfathomable.

It is my faith that brings me through.

Faith in the natural cycles of earth, universe and life.

Faith in the ways of The Underworld.

Faith in the Dark Mother.

 

This part may hurt, may be frightening and uncertain, but it is part of the process.

My life desperately needed change, a shake up, a thorough shake down.

I refused to face it for so long, but you can’t refuse the might of the Dark Goddess forever.

She will have her way, and her way is as it shall be.

 

“What is this?”

“Quiet Inanna.

The ways of The Underworld are perfect and may not be questioned.”

 

Continue – Preparing To Ascend

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In The Underworld – At The Feet Of Ereshkigal

This post is the third in a series. Click here to begin reading at the beginning. 

 

Today I pick up as I left off.

I am at my altar, stripped naked of everything I was, everything I held dear.

I cast circle, but differently, darkly.

It burns like indigo fire, this boundary, a boundary that is the earthen walls of The Underworld.

I wash this space with the salty, murky depths of the ocean, the tears of The Underworld.

I smudge with the transformative fire of the Dark Mother.

I ask Ereshkigal to be present, as I do Her work.

I don’t call the Quarters, I have lost the ability, I just seal with Elemental pentagrams.

My circle is strong, but it is Her circle.

This is Her place.

This is Her time.

 

Queen of the Underworld by Emily Balivet

Queen of the Underworld by Emily Balivet

 

Again, I feel that sense of looming dread.

Yet, it is not enough.

I must go deeper, return myself to the broken and stripped state of passing through the Seventh Gate.

That state, that when I reached it, was oh so familiar.

I have certainly been here before, at Her feet.

So many times have I been here.

 

Taken from my journal, an artistic interpretation capturing the devastation of passing through the Seventh Gate

Taken from my journal, an artistic interpretation capturing the devastation of passing through the Seventh Gate

 

Today my work begins.

The reason I am here, to get at the naked truth of my life, my current circumstances, my shadow self.

To delve deep into my soul, to understand who I am and what I want in life.

Anger, frustration, sadness.

Why are these feelings so dominant in my life right now?

Repressed anger, repressed feeling.

I am here to sweep away the debris and uncover the root of my problems.

This is the business of The Underworld, the Dark Goddess.

This is where understanding and wisdom of the self resides.

This is where I reconnect with myself, my soul.

This is where I face the cause of my problems, my unhappiness and dissatisfaction with my life.

My marriage has fallen apart, yet I don’t know how I feel.

I don’t know why I feel so angry, so lonely.

I don’t know what went wrong.

I am here to find understanding of my deepest self.

I am here to find my soul.

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In the gloomy confines of The Underworld, I feel comfort and safety.

This is a dark place, yet I feel safe, surrounded by these subterranean walls and the arms of the Dark Mother.

This is a safe place, to face all those parts of myself that I have long repressed.

Repressed hurts and resentments that are now affecting my life, my enjoyment and gratitude of life.

 

In The Underworld I write.

I put pen to paper and write whatever comes to hand.

I fill my journal with automatic writing, my deepest mind, heart and soul given free rein.

It is hard to read back through it now, I don’t read it all.

It is painful and sad and having been dealt with, I see no point in going through it all yet again.

Now, it feels like I am reading the writing of another, I don’t relate to it anymore.

It is not my pain.

It is a distant memory of another’s pain.

I wonder how I held it all inside myself for so very long.

I understand why I had become so very unhappy.

This is an understanding of the ways of the Dark Goddess.

She bares her sword and prunes us back of all this dead wood.

All those old wounds, wounds that we still carry around inside of us.

Hurt that we would prefer to hold to, because it is a known factor.

To let it go is to give into change.

Change is flinging oneself out into the void of uncertainty.

Her ways are painful, but in the long-term, Her ways are healing and rejuvenating.

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Some of the things that come up in my Underworld writings surprise me.

These are the things I was not aware I still carried with me.

Things I thought I had handled and dealt with, that had come back to bite me.

The more I write, the more I uncover, the more I understand the blanket of depression and resentment that has covered me.

I write of a thing that hurts me and spiral inwards toward something else, zero in on the root cause.

I find many layers of anger that need to be excavated and sifted through, to find the real problem within.

I work many different methods of shadow work down there, but for me, writing was definitely the most effective.

 

I write about my marriage, trying to uncover what has gone so wrong.

Within, I find the person I want to be, my ideal self.

A lot of my writing leads back to self.

I find why I am so unhappy in my marriage.

I find that I no longer love him, that he no longer loves me, that I no longer want to be in this marriage.

I find that I was in denial of these facts for a long time.

I was in denial because I was afraid to face the unknown.

I find that I want to be free to live my dreams, become the person I want to be.

My marriage has tied me down into a person I no longer am, someone I don’t want to be.

I realize rather early in this process, that my marriage is over.

I can’t fix it alone and I am the only one even trying.

I give up on my marriage, my Husband that does not know me.

I give up on it so that I can grow, become the person I want to be.

Athame

 

I have spent so much of my life tied to another, the idea of being alone is both a little frightening and exhilarating at the same time.

Can I live life as a single woman?

Do I have the strength to live without another to fall back on?

I discover that I do.

I uncover a deep well of strength within myself.

I uncover many things about myself that I didn’t know were there, things that were lost or forgotten.

I explore the woman I could be, the woman I want to be.

This woman is not tied down, by a marriage that has been over for a long time now.

I discover my marriage has been unrecoverable for years, I was just to frightened to face the consequences of that.

But now I discover I am ready to cut the cord and free fall into an uncertain future.

Having already done this ritually, I find that the prospect of doing the same on this plane, is no longer so daunting.

 

A valuable skill I learn in the Underworld relates to anger projection.

Projecting your own anger and feelings onto another.

With a bit of analysis, I have found I can learn something about myself and my hurts and disappointments.

I have learnt that you can’t change others, but you can change yourself.

Therefore, projecting your own feelings onto another is an exercise in futility.

It is far more productive to look at these feelings in relation to self.

Here, an opportunity to grow and change for the better is found.

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I have also learnt the wisdom of the Dark Goddess.

She is hard to face, especially for the first time.

It is human nature to avoid Her, to run from Her ways.

But in coming to meet Her, on Her own ground, I have found many treasures.

Diamonds hidden deep within the earth.

Her ways are painful, her sword of truth is tumultuous change, but with this she offers the gift of transformation.

Indeed, that is what I found down there, transformation and the will to change my life for the better, no matter how painful it might be to do so.

 

I had come face to face with Ereshkigal, that dark and fearsome Goddess.

I found her within the things that I had hidden, even from myself.

I found her in the ways I had contributed to my current situation and the old wounds I had carried around with me for so long.

I did a ritual with a mirror and I saw her face, twisted and distorted.

I stood before her, I learnt of her ways, I found her within myself.

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I ended up spending longer in the Underworld than I had originally planned to.

When the date of my planned ascent arrived, I knew I wasn’t ready.

I had not yet embraced Ereshkigal.

It was only when I took responsibility for my life, all the good, and most importantly, all the bad, that I felt I had finally united with her.

I had to stop blaming others and embrace my own choices and decisions.

The choices and decisions that had led me to where I was, that had shaped my life to date.

To acknowledge that I could be my own worst enemy.

Knowing that I carried the Dark Goddess within me, I found that I could work with her, rather than the polarity of light and dark tearing me apart, I could unite the two.

I could take all this negativity and put it to rest.

Only then could I use the power of the Dark Mother to improve my life and to achieve my dreams.

I could be my own worst enemy, but I could also be my own best friend.

With the unification of light and dark, Inanna and Ereshkigal, I found the person I most wanted to be and the power and strength to make it happen.

Only when I felt I had achieved this unification, did I feel I was really ready to make my ascent from The Underworld.

I also realized that I needed this extra time to allow myself time to grieve, to acknowledge the loss in my life.

Being in The Underworld during this time gave me a safe space to grieve, to feel my hurt and pain.

 

Continue – Mirror Gazing

Categories: Descent To The Dark Goddess | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pray For Paris

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I feel such a deep sadness for the people of France  and for humanity at large.
I dedicated my altar to the healing of France and the world as a whole.
May the healing light of my candles bring comfort to those who need it most.
May the Goddess hold you in the love of her embrace.
Pray for Paris.
Pray for humanity.
Love over hate.
Unity over division.

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Spiraling Down – Passing Through The Gates Of The Underworld

This post is the second in a series.
Click here to read the first post, Preparing For Descent.

My circle is cast, the Quarters have been called, Ereshkigal is here with me, her presence is strong.
A dedicated candle burns on the altar, representing the torch of Hekate, my guide, my friend.
The most precious parts of myself and my life are laid out before me, in carefully chosen symbolic objects.
For now they are still mine, but not for much longer.
I feel sad, in anticipation of the losses to come.
This ritual is powerful, the most meaningful I have yet experienced.
What I am feeling is hard to describe.
I struggle to find the words, as I commit this moment to my journal.

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This day had been special, beautiful and bountiful.
The sun was shining.
My daughter had written me a heartfelt letter.
I had received some random messages from friends.
Leo, my dog, was happy and full of life, his eyes shining with joy as we walked in the sun that morning.
Now it is time to turn away from the beauty and wonder of this life.
It is time to face the darkened entrance to The Underworld.

The First Gate
At the first gate, I am to give up my crown, the most visible part of who I am.
I stand before the gatekeepers, my role as mother and nurturer in my hands.
Mother is such a huge part of me.
I had given birth to my daughter at the age of seventeen, she has been by my side for almost half my life.
She is my daughter, but she is also my friend and confidant.
We have always been close.
Mother too, encompasses my beloved animals.
My dog, my horse.
The ones that bring purpose and companionship to my days.
I love them dearly.
To pass through this first gate, I must relinquish these things, the ones that I love most.
I take a step forward, in this dim and cavernous place, and this part of me is gone.
I place the photographs of my daughter and my dog, in the chalice upon the altar.

First Gate

I no longer have my daughter, my Leo, my Deal.
I am struggling to imagine my life without them.
Drew is seventeen now, almost grown.
Would she be ok now, without her mother to guide and provide for her?
She is not quite independent, on the threshold of adulthood.
She still needs a mother, still needs me.

My Leo, my little boy.
He cannot be without me, he is a constant by my side.
I know he would fret if I was to die, he would miss me so very much.

The loss of this, my crown, is a physical pain.
I feel it in my chest and stomach.
My life is barren and meaningless without them.
How do I go on now, having lost the central part of my life?
My heart aches.
My life lacks love and purpose.

The Second Gate
With a heavy heart, I move onwards and downwards toward the second gate.
I approach this gate with a precious piece of jewellery around my neck.
This is my originality, my quirkiness, the things that set me apart from the masses.
I remove my necklace and place it within the chalice.
I take a step and stand before the keepers of the gate.

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This loss is easier to bear than the first, but it is a huge loss to who I am.
My originality. My daring to follow my heart and be different.
I am now plain, I fit the norm.
I no longer dare to do things that will make me stand out in any way.
My dreadlocks are gone. My alternative style of dress is no more.
My interests in the quirky and offbeat are gone.
My life is plain, bland, boring, without these things that make up who I am.
This aspect of myself makes up more of me than I had previously thought.
I don’t wear these things for fashion, shock value or to look ‘cool’.
I wear these things because they speak of the person I am.
I feel halved, less. I feel incomplete and somehow lighter.
I no longer pursue the things I enjoy.
I consume the mass-produced dross like everyone else.
There is nothing that makes me stand out.
I am no longer true to myself, or have any interest in doing so.

The Third Gate
Feeling incomplete and adrift, I come upon the third gate.
I now relinquish my home, my sanctuary, the little patch of earth that I have made my own.
I hold out my key and it is taken from me.

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Relinquishing my home hurts almost as much as losing my family at the first gate.
This house is no longer mine.
I strip the rooms I have put so much of myself into, until they are bare.
No trace of myself, my family, or of our life here is left.
All of the things I have collected over the years are gone.

I stand at the gate for the last time and shed tears for my loss.
The trees we planted. The years we spent making this house our home.
No longer mine.
Other people live here now, I am no longer welcome.
The home I wanted to keep in the family, now belongs to another.

I have nothing that physically belongs to me any more.
I have no roof for shelter, no four walls that keep me warm.
This house is no longer my home.
I turn away and I descend.

The Fourth Gate
I come upon the fourth gate holding my pentagram.
This is my craft, my faith, my beliefs, my power.
Hekate, who has provided me a guiding light and divine comfort thus far, is now gone.
I am alone in the darkened bowels of the earth.

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I give my craft and I no longer believe in magick, in deities or gods and goddesses.
I no longer mark the turning of the seasons, or experience the joy and magick of Beltane and Samhain.
Gone are the candles, sweet-smelling incense and fragrant herbs and oils.
Gone are the tarot cards, crystals and stones.
I no longer keep journals or create books of magick.
There is no belief in the purpose of hard times. I am bitter and angry at my loss and pain.
I find no magick in nature, the sun and moon are no longer divine.
My learning, studies and hard-won wisdom, all gone.
I have no interest in assembling and maintaining beautiful altars.
Magick is silly and childish, I have no business with it.
My power and spellwork no longer give me hope.

I give my faith, my power, my magick and with it, I give my hope.
I feel nothing, I am bare and hollow.
What is left to fill my life now?
I feel barren.

I blow out Hekate’s glowing flame from upon the altar, my guide and my friend is no longer with me.
I no longer believe in her or her many wonders.
Out go the candles I had lit for the guardians of my circle, my belief is no longer there.
The magick and energy leaves my circle. My sacred space is surrounded only by a dark anti-matter.
I am barren, without magick, without power, without hope and joy.
The only one left now is the Dark Goddess and there is no turning back.

The Fifth Gate
I approach the fifth gate with resignation. I feel as though I have nothing left to give.
But Ereshkigal is not done yet, there is always more that she can strip from me.
Already I feel naked and raw, though I still wear my robes.
As I come upon the gatekeepers, I hand over my journal.

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Here, at the fifth gate, I give my intellect, my mind and curiosity.
I give up my words, my seeking of knowledge.
I give up my beloved books and my writing.
I give up study, the occult, tarot, astronomy and astrology.
None of these are left to study, I no longer have interest or belief in magick, nor the wonders of the universe.
I give up my blog, words that no longer interest me, nor give me pleasure.

I feel numb, bare.
I feel physically cold at this point.
I feel as though I have nothing left of me, the woman who approached the first gate in her finery, no longer exists.
I am a shell, a husk, yet there are still two gates before me.

The Sixth Gate
I come before the sixth gate with my wedding rings upon my finger.
I take them off and I hand them over.
They no longer hold any meaning, they are not cherished.

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At the sixth gate, I give my marriage, my husband.
This one isn’t so hard. It should be harder.
But really, I have already lost it, well before I came to this place.
This is just recognition, an admittance that my marriage has failed.
I no longer have anybody in my life, I am truly alone.

The emptiness inside me grows.
I am surrounded by darkness and it is so very cold.
It feels like this is the end of my life, it is the end of my life.
I am old and I am totally alone.
There is nobody to care for, nobody to care for me.
All I have left is my strength and courage, to face this, to see this through, yet I know I have no choice now.
There is no going back.
I can only descend.
It feels like the end.

The Seventh Gate
I come upon the seventh gate, shattered, fragmented.
I am dying. I am cold. I am alone.
There is only darkness here, within and without.
Impossibly difficult.
I give my strength, my courage, my will.

photostudio_1446083574432 Here, I give my body, my life.
My existence is all I have left to give, and she will take it.
She will take it all.
I strip myself naked of my robes.
I lay on the floor before the altar in total darkness.
I am broken.
I can’t get up.
It is too much to care.
There is no point in caring, no point in feeling, no point to anything.
My life is over, the spark of my existence is snuffed out.
Everything is gone.
Everything is hopeless.
I give myself to Her.

My life.

My body.

My soul.

There is only Her.
There is only Ereshkigal.

It is done.

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Continue – In The Underworld, At The Feet Of Ereshkigal

Categories: Descent To The Dark Goddess | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Journey To The Dark Goddess – Preparation For Descent

Spring has come as a burst of light and fresh air for me this year.
As alongside the rise of the waxing sun, have I too made my ascent.

In the months leading up to Samhain, my life had taken a downturn.
My marriage was crumbling, my self-worth alongside of it.
The strong flow of creative and physical energy that I had embraced throughout the year had come to a halt.
A gradual slowing down is natural, coming into autumn, but this felt like I was being dragged down to hard and fast.
After a long period of good fortune, everything seemed to be going wrong.

I had read a book a while back about ritual descent.
Descending to The Underworld.
This is heavy work, the Dark Goddess is no joke.
She strips us of all we are, all the things that make you you.
She strips, she flays, she sands us back to our essential selves, to our very soul.

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I read this book and instantly felt a deep connection.
I have always been drawn to the Dark Goddess, it was she who called me, on that long ago Samhain Eve.
Now, I felt as if I had been given a map, I had found my path.
My work was that of the Dark Mother, Hekate, Ereshkigal, Dark Persephone.

At the time, I read the book, but I didn’t act upon it.
Truth be told, the whole concept was a little scary.
To willingly go down there, to that dark and mysterious place, a place that people will usually do anything to avoid.
This is the place of death, despair, anguish, fear and the depths of depression.
To come before Her, to bow naked and helpless before her, totally at her mercy, knowing she shows no mercy.
At the time, I didn’t have the courage.

I knew my marriage had gone wrong, I knew I would have to face this.
I knew also, that I would not return as the person I was.
This is not a bad thing, change is a huge part of life, but it is also the part that scares us most.
It is terrifying to let go, to give oneself over to another.
To let go of all those we love, all the things we own, to let go of who we are.

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But come Samhain, I began to hear her insistent call.
Like Inanna, who went before me, I could hear Her call, rising up from below.
It was time, I could no longer put this off.
It was time to descend.

I bought a large book, a journal in which I would document the process in its entirety.
This was to be the longest, most involved ritual that I had performed to date, and I wanted a record of everything I was to experience.
I knew this ritual would be cataclysmic, change me irrevocably.
I admit that it frightened me.
But I also knew that fear was a part of it, this was something that had to be faced.
I knew that did I not go willingly, I would be dragged down there by force.

The lead up to the actual ritual of descent was intense work.
I documented my past hurts, the things I had carried around with me all these years.
I performed smaller rituals of listening, laying in a darkened circle, my ear to the ground, hearing Her call.
I performed rituals of devotion to the Dark Mother and my Matron Goddess, Hekate.
I listed the things I most loved, the people and possessions I treasured.
These things I would need as I descended.
For to pass into The Underworld, one must pass through the seven gates, giving up a part of the self at each one.

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I wrote to myself, a letter to remind me of the reasons I had to return to the surface, for a danger of The Underworld is of becoming stuck down there, mired and bound by the pain and darkness of the soul.
I wrote letters to my loved ones.
My daughter wrote to me as well.
I made a mandala, a representation of my life so far, my earlier ‘descents’ through difficult times were very clear.
I found patterns of the Dark Goddess in my life.
I drew, I wrote, I did a lot of appraisal of my life up to this point.
I gathered together all the hurt I had carried along with me, and accepted it.
Accepted that this pain had made me me.
I listed, too, the most joyous times in my life.
I charted, I accepted, I discovered the events and people who had shaped me.
During the period of the waxing and waning moon, I prepared for my descent.

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The night of the dark moon loomed.
I was afraid, but I was ready.
My dreams were filled with dark doorways, caves of pure blackness leading down.
My journal at this time is also filled with this imagery, dark and imposing entrances, entrances that lead to the very bowels of the earth.
In meditation and journey work, I walked pitch black caves and caverns, I crawled along on my belly through tiny spaces, I found treasures in the dark.
My descent had begun, I was becoming one with the dark depths of the earth.
At this point, I knew there was no going back.
I stood at the mouth of the entrance to The Underworld, and I was ready to descend.
I was ready to kneel before the Dark Goddess.

Continue: Spiraling Down – Passing Through The Gates Of The Underworld

Categories: Descent To The Dark Goddess | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Honoring Imbolc

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I held my Imbolc ritual during last night’s full moon.
It was a beautiful ritual, made even more special by this being a watery blue moon.
Imbolc is such a lovely observance, lit brightly by many candles to welcome back the reborn sun.
In the depth of winter, such a brightly lit circle and an altar adorned in white, is an uplifting affair.
It is a much needed reminder that winter will not be upon us for much longer.

I love Samhain, spiraling down into the darkness.
But after Yule, I start to become impatient with the cold weather and short days.
I begin to long for the light and warmth of summer.
So while Imbolc is held in the depths of winter, it is a return to the mindset of spring.
When I’m out and about I am watchful for the signs of the earth awakening, and seeing the early flowering trees and spectacular yellow of wattle blossoms, really lifts my spirits.

After last night’s ritual, it was a blessing to awaken to a glorious day, a day so very like spring.
The sun is shining, the trees are in bloom, winter is on its way out.
Though, it is still winter, and there will no doubt be more winter weather ahead, after Imbolc it just doesn’t seem so gloomy, knowing the low temperatures and bad weather are in the last throws of a dying season.

There is something especially magical about honoring the turning of the wheel.
Performing rituals that mark the Sabbats attunes me with the seasonal cycles.
Every year that passes, every Sabbat that is honored, brings me a finer understanding of the eternal dance between sun and earth.
Not only understanding, but unity.
I feel a part of the earth, a part of the seasons and her cycles of birth, growth, fertility and death.
This is something that is hard to write about, because it is not tangible, it doesn’t transfer into words.
This is the mysteries, the knowing of the soul, that can only be gained through direct experience.
It cannot be taught, it can only be learned.

At the end of each natural year, a year I have marked by the seasonal changes around me, my experience grows.
And each time the year comes to a close, I reflect on all I have learnt.
As the wheel turns, beginning again, I look forward to being part of another years cycle, and can’t help but feel a flicker of excitement for the spiritual growth and unity I will have achieved in another years time.

Categories: Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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