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The Rebirth Magic of the Dark Goddess: Four Teachings for the Winter Season

Winter is the season of the Dark Goddess and Her rebirth magic.

Beneath Nature’s outer state of dormancy and death, new life gestates in the dark belly of the Earth. On the Winter Solstice, the new light of the solar year is reborn from the darkest night.  So too we reclaim and rebirth our true beauty from the depths of our wounding. These are the Dark Goddess mysteries that call to us in the winter season.

The Dark Goddess’s wisdom teachings reach out to us from the ancient Sumerian myth of Inanna’s descent to the Underworld realm of Her sister, Ereshkigal. Together, these sister Goddesses gift us with the forgotten ways of the Dark Goddess’s rebirth magic.

Here are four Dark Goddess teachings to guide your personal rebirth magic in the winter season.

1. Turn your mind to your inner darkness to seek your personal rebirth magic.

Rebirth is a special kind of transformational magic that can heal your soul and make your life anew. It doesn’t come from an outside source, nor from the things you already know and understand about yourself and your world. Instead it emerges from the lost, forgotten and denied parts of your Self and your life story, secreted away in the dark folds of your inner landscape.

Inanna turns Her mind to the Great Below. She chooses to leave the land above to descend into the Underworld realm of the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. She steps beyond Her known, secure world in search of the transformation that awaits Her in the vast unknown of the sacred dark.

The Dark Goddess is Mistress of the sacred dark that exists both in the greater world, and in the depths of your inner landscape. Here you can discover the very stuff of your rebirth magic: the lost stories of your beauty and wounding, as well as the hidden treasures of your dormant gifts and potential.  

Be brave. Turn your mind to your inner landscape. Follow in Inanna’s footsteps, and descend into the vast unknown of the sacred dark within. The healing and transformation you seek awaits you there.

2.  Commit to show up, empty and open, to the raw, unedited truth that is your life.

There’s no hiding, running away or distraction when you descend into your inner darkness in search of your rebirth magic. An empty, open state of being is an essential requirement in your rebirth pathwork with the Dark Goddess.

To enter Ereshkigal’s realm and descend to Her throne room in the depths of the Underworld, Inanna must give up Her royal accoutrements. This is the law of the Great Below. Inanna passes through seven gates; at each gate something is taken away, until naked and humbled, She stands before the mighty Ereshkigal.

The Dark Goddess doesn’t ask these things of Inanna, or of you, because She is cruel or domineering. She knows that you can’t learn, heal or grow when you’re burdened with a busy life, and stuff-filled mind. She strips you down so you can be present to the greater truths and possibilities within you.

Be still, empty, open. Know that when you work with the Dark Goddess, She will demand much of you. She will take away your masks, pretensions, judgements and anything else that stands between you and your work of soul. You’re the master of your own journey, working at the pace and level of depth that are right for you, and ensuring your self-care and self-responsibility in your spiritual pathwork. But, step by step, healing moment by healing moment, the Dark Goddess will return you to the raw, unedited truth that is your life, and the inner space of your deepest transformation.

3. Sometimes something has to die, to end, for something new to be reborn.

Decline, death, suffering, wounding – these are parts of our human experience, and the reality that governs all things of the living Earth. Try as we might, we can’t escape them. Instead, we need to embrace these aspects of our mortal existence as our allies and guides in our rebirth pathwork of healing and transformation.

Ereshkigal takes Inanna’s life. Inanna makes this ultimate sacrifice in service of Her greater becoming. This too is the law of the Great Below.  

Both Goddesses understand that suffering and sacrifice are the price of admission to the Underworld, and to life itself, and that the old self must die for something new to be born in its place. These are the deepest roots of the Dark Goddess’s rebirth magic.

Be wise and let your unfolding life lead your soul work. Don’t expect your spiritual pathwork to be pretty or easy. There’s a sacred purpose in everything that comes your way, even those death-like endings, and wounding experiences. Rebirth magic will take you to the deepest roots of your soul work. It will ask you to die to your old self, over and over again. But trust that something new will always arise in its place.

4. Rebirth is the Dark Goddess’s gift and promise.

To travel the ways of the Dark Goddess isn’t for the fainthearted. It requires bravery, commitment, wisdom and resilience, as well as a high level of self-care and self-responsibility. The Dark Goddess is a demanding taskmistress, but She gives so much in return. 
 
Ereshkigal grants Inanna the ultimate gift for Her suffering and sacrifices — a new life. Inanna is reborn, transformed into Her full beauty and power: Goddess of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld. Inanna accepts Her death, trusting that rebirth will come, because this is the way of Ereshkigal. 

Inanna knows these things. She descends into the Great Below and abides by its laws by Her own freewill and choice. She stands before Ereshkigal humbled but undiminished, still a Goddess in Her own right.  She surrenders to death and is reborn into a more powerful, whole version of Her Self.  This is the Dark Goddess’s gift and promise to anyone who braves the Great Below and Her ways of rebirth.

In the winter season, with the powers of death and darkness reaching their peak on the Winter Solstice, the Dark Goddess calls you to Her rebirth magic. Like Inanna, you get to choose whether to say yes to the ways of the Dark Goddess, and let Her guide you into the depths of your inner darkness where your rebirth magic awaits you. Though the work may seem hard and daunting, remember that the gifts are immeasurable, because what is reborn is nothing less than your true, beautiful, powerful Self.  

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The Path of She: A Journey of Transformation with the Goddess

My journey on the Path of She began thirty years ago.

At this time, I was in my mid-twenties, totally lost in the mainstream culture, with a business degree and a promising career in a blue chip company, living a material, achievement-driven life that neither fed my soul nor gave me joy.

Then one fateful night, on a Winter Solstice eve, the Goddess came to me in a dream. Though I wouldn’t remember this dream until many years later, my life was set on a new course.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Fear and the Wisdom of the Ancestors

 

The role of the Priestess is to not only walk between the worlds, but to merge them together, to take the 'as above so below' truths and bring them into one, solid, grounded focus.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Alchemy

As I lay face down and naked on the massage table, whatever it was, came unattached, and began to pour out with each exhale, some moments it felt like liquid, others like a chain link slithering out, others almost like a rubber band unmoored from points stretched throughout me and snapping out. It seems to have been attached to every nerve strand in my entire body.  Then it felt as if a crust was cracking all over my skin and falling away in pieces and chunks.  After the crust was gone more seemed to break to the surface in tiny openings everywhere - I had a sense that the Earth was absorbing all of it, taking it and repurposing it.   Finally I felt a swirling galaxy expanding from my solar plexus through my whole physical and etheric body, swishing through and making sure there was none left hiding inside my cellular, and even subatomic structure.

 

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New Year, New You: An Experiment in Magical Radical Transformation

I’m reposting this because it’s getting to be that time of the year for starting to plan how awesome you’re going to be in the new year.  You can definitely do this course in a self-guided manner and all the prompts are now posted here.  

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  • Ashley Nicole Hunter
    Ashley Nicole Hunter says #
    I'm so glad you shared this! I'll definitely be giving this a try!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I Used To Be Transphobic

Recently I have listened and read and watched the Pagan community face transphobia. Again. Denora wrote a summary here and offered the challenge “How will you enact change?”

I wasn't around in previous years. I long to see our Pagan community become a healthy and welcoming place free from transphobia. I have no easy answers but I’ve been encouraged to tell the story of my personal struggle with transphobia. I used to a fundamentalist Christian and that meant also being misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, a creationist, and then some. So I offer here a glimpse of my own struggle and transformation.

I briefly lived in San Francisco, or “sin city” as we called it, with a Christian Outreach group over a decade ago. Someone in said group once warned me not to go to the “wrong side of the Safeway”, beyond which lay the Castro, the place where “the gays” lived their sinful lives. I once crossed over to eat at a Thai restaurant and felt frightened and guilt ridden the entire time.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Love this!!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Priestessing through the Darkness

There is a Divine Discord that exists within each one of us. I know this to be true because I see it all around me, consumerism is the easiest place to spot the divine discontent. 

 

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  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    A world of YES. Blessings of Samhain and winter to you. x
  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Blessings to you too, dear sister xx

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