When it comes to talking about deity, in truth there really is no such thing as a specifically “dark” or even a “light” goddess or otherwise. What we refer to as “dark” or “light” are aspects to their nature that we are either comfortable with or not. The Dark Goddesses that I have written about in Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms and indeed my upcoming workshop of the same name, are aspects of deity who are more commonly associated with destruction, change, and are rather chthonic (Underworldly) in nature. They are emotionally wild and untamed, residing outside of conformity, and when they appear in our lives, we can find them forcing us to face aspects found deep within ourselves that we would prefer to ignore. As such, when talking about the Dark Goddess, Jungian concept of the “shadow” is never too far away.
According to Jungian psychology the “shadow” as aspects of our consciousness that we dislike, reject, ignore and basically push into the far reaches of our subconscious. However these aspects never go away – instead they have a tendency to fester and if left undealt with, can actually manifest into underlying issues in other aspects of our lives. In order to reclaim our “true” or “authentic” self, we need to deal with and accept these ‘shadow” aspects.
The Dark Goddess represents the unknown, change and even death. She challenges our reality, what we consider to be “normal”, and forces us to move beyond compliancy. It is no wonder the Dark Goddess is shunned, ignored or even perceived through rose tinted glasses by our modern culture. While she can be found in the shadowy underworld, she is also the creatrix of the cosmos and earth itself. She is enticingly wild and untamed, yet like a siren warned about in the tales of ancient mariners, she can lure us out into the ocean of uncertainty only to find ourselves beyond our comfortable depths.
Working with the Dark Goddess calls for truth. She projects images of us that we often do not wish to acknowledge, let alone accept. She challenges us to break free of conformity, of our past, and to step beyond our comfort zone. She was with us at the beginning of time – even before time itself for she is its creator. It is she who greets us at the end of our days when we return to her.
When we summon the courage to open ourselves up to the teachings of the Dark Goddess, we realise that in order for us to appreciate the light, we must come from a place of darkness. This darkness is not in the sense of “evil” or foreboding, but in the sense of emptiness, the void, yet which is a containment of all. The Dark Goddess is like the night’s sky and her Mysteries are the limitless volume of stars that shine despite the increasing amount of “light pollution” of our modern world.
In order to truly accept and embrace our own self as perfect, we need to come face to face with the Dark Goddess. We need to find the courage to lift the veil and see what actually lies within because through all her guises, she reflects all aspects within our own selves.
Since 2006 I have been running workshops on working with the Dark Goddess as a way to identity and work with the shadow self. These workshops have also formed the foundation of my forthcoming book, Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms, due for release in April 2021. On Saturday, 12 September 2020 I will be offering a full day retreat at the beautiful Riverdell Spiritual Centre at Hillier (north of Adelaide). During the day you will be taken on a journey to meet and embrace your Shadow, and remove the unwanted in order to reclaim what has been missing. Through the exploration of sacred myths I will guide you into the Underworld, the sacred realm of the Dark Goddess. Here, the Dark Goddess is waiting for you to reclaim your authentic soul and will begin your journey towards healing and positive change on the deepest soul level.
I also will be offering a month long online sadhana (spiritual journey) from Sunday, 4 October 2020 where you will also be guided into the shadowy realms to connect with a chosen aspect of the Dark Goddess who will assist you in reclaiming your authentic self. Details of the sadhana can be found on through the Temple of the Dark Moon.