CALLING THE DARK GODDESS: The Rise of the Rebellious Woman

Laura Sheridan

 

Image: Laura Sheridan

“What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now. You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank. Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.” Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”

Jessica Valenti

I don’t know if I have been thinking a lot about the Dark Goddess because that is what our third book focuses on and so my creative mind is kind of already there; I don’t know if it’s because I honor the Dark Goddess in all Her forms and walk Her path; I don’t know if it’s because there really is a trend happening.

Maybe it’s all three, and more.

But, the Dark Goddess is EVERYWHERE.

Kali. Lilith. Hekate. Baba Yaga.

Just to name a few.

What is it about these Archetypes that is calling out to Women (and Men) of all walks of life?

Why are these deities resonating with us on a Soul level?

Because we are in great need of their lessons.

Let’s face it, the world is full of angry Women.

I know, I know, lots of people are angry but I am focusing on the Women because this part is important.

For centuries upon centuries Women have been oppressed, our place in recent history always dictated by Men.

Our worth, our body image, our sensuality, our sexuality, our intelligence, our independence and then some have all been stolen, watered down, demonized, stigmatized, and dictated by a Patriarchal structure that was put in place to serve Men; giving them power to decide what we can and cannot do with our own bodies, for example.

Funny how Erectile Dysfunction drugs are (usually) always covered under insurance plans but birth control, annual exams, abortion, and all issues related to the Vagina and Women’s overall health becomes a political debate.

Our issues often having to go through every branch of Government multiple times to deem what is constitutional and what is not. Our Sisters in countries with no Constitution have it much worse.

That speaks volumes.

The fact that this even happens is proof that Women are NOT treated as equals; we are in some cases not even treated as human beings.

This is NOT some woes me post.

This is NOT a man hating post, either.

If you are not one of the Men I refer to; the kind who oppress, abuse and inflict some ridiculous double standard on Women then none of my words should affect or offend you. If they do, maybe you should evaluate those parts of yourself.

Men face their own set of challenges. Just one example: ridiculous standards of what Masculinity is, and if they do not meet those standards and/or criteria they are called “gay”.

Which our society has somehow twisted it into being an insult.

Being a Woman, and/or a homosexual is an insult.

What have we become?

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way and we make sure there are no misunderstandings, let me carry on with the article.

What do these Goddesses teach us?

What do they all have in common?

Let’s go over that a bit.

Kali teaches us the power of justified rage, and wrath that knows no bounds. She teaches us to be unapologetic with our less than savory emotions and feelings. She teaches us the power of destruction, and the necessity of “killing off all that is old” in order to rise anew.

Lilith teaches us that sexuality, sensuality, lust, individuality and power are not to be feared in a Woman; they are to be honored. She teaches us not to be shamed, or ashamed of what we are and the Serpent and Fruit we carry with us.

Hekate teaches us that life is neither black nor white but it’s full of gray areas; just like Magick. She teaches us how to hunt; in this modern-day context that means she teaches us when to fight, and when to save our energy. She illuminates truth and calls for justice; she is a voice for the forgotten Woman, child and every underdog of society. She teaches us that death is not to be feared but respected. Our journeys into the Underworld of our Soul are essential to the ascension process.

Baba Yaga teaches us the power of our anger and nastiness; she teaches us that we do not need to conform to what society wants us to be, or thinks we should be. Baba teaches us the wisdom of the Crone, the liberation of being self-reliant and the strength that comes from being forced to survive “a night in the woods alone”. (Only a few will understand that last reference.)

These Goddesses would be considered Rebellious Women.

Women who are too opinionated, too wild and completely unable to be tamed. They would be shunned—labeled as outcasts, misfits.

As we face an uncertain future we need angry, loud, unafraid, non-conforming, NASTY WOMEN more than ever.

I know the future is never clear but with the current political firestorms erupting, times are even more uncertain.

These Goddesses are not coming to us, calling out to those who will listen for no reason, they know they are needed. More and more Women are starting to find their voice, and are willing to speak up and speak out about what they are willing, and not willing to put up with.

In laymen’s terms:

I will not be silenced; we will not be silenced.

This is my body and I will do with it what I see fit—it should not be a Government issue.

My body should not be regulated because I was born with a Vagina.

My body was not created for the pleasure of a Man, or any other human being.

I was not created to be ruled over.

There is only so long you can beat down a group of people before they awaken to the truth, and begin to RISE in protest.

We have seen it coming for years with many marginalized groups—Feminists/Women, LGBTQ and People of Color leading the way.

We are reclaiming our power.

Caged birds don’t remain caged forever; they will always find freedom and their voice to sing.

The Dark Goddesses teach us just that.

Aspects of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone and What It Means to Not Belong

Boris Ovin

Image: Boris Ovini

“Where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share or not share her powers. A woman with a moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs and tiaras of Spanish moss, this woman is a consort of the spirits.”

Ntozake Shange

This blog was a request that I am finally getting the time to sit down and write, I am not sure if I am fully prepared for a piece such as this for a couple reasons. First, this topic is entirely about the Divine Feminine, an aspect I have only recently started to work with, and embrace. I always had Masculine energy around me, I was also always more comfortable with the Masculine side of myself and my Magick; not that I didn’t like being a Woman—I didn’t understand how to be a Woman, huge difference.

Then, I had my hysterectomy, and I really lost touch with my Feminine side; it was not until the Dark Goddesses, and my Beloved Crones came forth that I began to realize I am as much of a Woman and Witch as my Sistren who still have their Wombs, and Sacred Blood. I do, however, still hold onto some regret, or guilt almost for not cherishing my Blood when I had it, for not understanding that part of my life and for expressing myself sexually in all the wrong ways. It’s one of those “If I knew then what I know now” type situations while at the same time being an “everything happens for a reason” situation.

A bittersweet, catch 22. Aren’t they all, though?

The second reason that I am freaking out about this post is because it’s about a Pagan concept. For a long time, I have denounced the title Pagan even though I understand it is an umbrella term that I technically fall under, blah, blah, blah. For some reason I hate the term, that’s really all there is to it. I feel like it does not accurately describe me, and I also feel like it hinders me, it binds my power for some reason.

If I were to describe myself it would be, and has always been, a Luciferian Witch, though even that morphs and changes because I walk a line between Satanism and Luciferianism; as similar as they are, there are several differences. For me, Satanism is much darker, and when tapping into the collective adversarial energy that is Satan it entirely changes my Magick, and my mentality; when I tap into the Luciferian energy of illumination and knowledge, it changes my Magick and mentality in totally different ways. Same goes for Draconian Fire.

I like to tap into all forms of energy as I see fit. Why does one have to limit themselves with titles, words and colors on a spectrum that doesn’t even really exist?

Hell, if I am going to be honest I feel that even the title “Luciferian Witch” hinders my growth, so I have recently chosen to just say, I am.

At the end of the day, myself just like all you are everything and nothing existing together at the same time. What wonderful contradictions we are.

With all of that said, the request was to write about what it is like to be a Woman whose age is supposed to be in one phase, but she feels, and is in an entirely different phase. I am obviously referring to the Maiden, Mother, Crone idea. I have always found it interesting that Women of the Craft are divided, but our Brothers do not have anything similar. Part of me feels that it is because Women are inherently more spiritual than Men; I wholeheartedly believe this to be true. The Feminine and Masculine are different because they need to be in order to balance each other out, if we were both emotionally and entirely intuitively based, we would be a heaping pile of chaos, and tears. We need the Masculine’s logic, and stoic, solid foundation to anchor us when the tides of emotion become too much to bear alone. I am not referring to gender, either, I am referring to energy; Women can be Masculine, as Men can be Feminine.

There is this other part of me that feels this is yet another way the Patriarchy has had some effect, or conditioned us. And, before any of you start to freak out thinking I am some extreme, neo-Feminist for using the word Patriarchy, I am not, I just know this is a male dominated world.

Before I get into my opinion and experience being 31 and using Crone energy, I am going to define the terms. The Source I am using is a book from my personal collection called: ‘The Three Faces of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone’ by D.J Conway.

“The first aspect of the Goddess is the Maiden, sometimes called the Virgin or Huntress. She is spring, the fresh beginning of all things. The Maiden is the continuation of all life, the repeating of endless cycles of birth and rebirth, both of the body and of the spirit. She is the dawn, eternal youth and vigor, enchantment and seduction, the waxing Moon. Traditionally, Her color is white, denoting innocence and newness.”

“The Mother aspect of the Goddess is summer, the ripening of all things. She is the re-creation of life, both plant and animal; She is also the creation of universal bodies. She is the high point in all cycles, whether of living or creating, for the Mother blessed and gives with open hands. She is the Great Teacher of the Mysteries. Symbolically, the Mother aspect is the boiling or churning cauldron, the re-creative pot, and the ripeness of womanhood (or adulthood in general). The day, lustiness, reproduction, creation in any form and of anything—these are all within Her realm. Traditionally, Her color is red, the color of blood and the life force.”

“The Crone aspect of the Great Goddess is the least understood and the most feared of the three aspects. She has been called the Terrible Mother, the Hag, the Dark Mother, the Wise One. Because She deals with death and the end of cycles, most people tend to avoid this face of the Goddess. Black is Her color, and sometimes dark blue and the deepest of purples. Black is the absorber of all light, the color of darkness where all life rests before rebirth. The Crone is winter, night, outer space, the abyss, menopause, advancement in age, wisdom, counsel, the gateway to death and reincarnation, and the Initiator into the deepest of Mysteries and prophecies. The waning Moon is Her monthly time of power.”

“The Crone’s number is nine and multiples of nine. This number symbolizes wisdom and Sacred Magick. Nine is also a Moon number, which means spiritual completion and wholeness. The Moon goes through its phases from New to waxing to Full and back again to New. In life, we go out from the Crone’s recycling cauldron into existence, then eventually return again to Her waiting vessel. Physical death is part of life’s cycle of wholeness.”

Personally, I believe that we have the ability to be all aspects of the Goddess at once, or when we choose; I do not think numeric age has anything to do with the power we tap into. I believe that we, as Women, are able to tap into all aspects of the Goddess because all those aspects already exist within us.

So why wouldn’t I conclude that we can tap into them?

When I went into menopause at 27 (equals 9) it was intense, to say the least. I noticed a dramatic change in my power, my way of thinking, how I viewed the world, and even my moral compass; I seemed to suddenly give zero fucks.

The first of the Crones to come to me was my Beloved Baba Yaga, followed by other Dark Goddesses such as Kali, Hekate, Lilith, and Demeter. There is a level of humility gained when working with such powerful aspects of the Great Goddess. The biggest lesson I have learned so far is I now understand life and death more than I ever have, all because I am held in the embrace of primordial Darkness. I sit on the edge of life and death, teetering back and forth.

It’s interesting, and intriguing to be drawn to an aspect that most people feel is earned only through years walked on this Earth. I find that fellow Witches are more interested in my energy now because I am so young but my energy is that of the Crone. Conversely, fellow Witches are equally confused as they are interested when they realize how Motherly I am. Chalk it up to my Cancerian Soul, or the fact that I am both Mother and Crone, I know my truth.

I walk among all aspects of the Goddess because I am She, and She is Me; I limit myself to nothing and no one, no spectrum or creed because I am everything and nothing and so are thee.

If you are interested in purchasing the book I sourced:

A Daughter of Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga

Image: Vania Zouravliov

“The Crone, the Reaper, She is the Dark Moon, what you don’t see coming at you, what you don’t get away with the wind that whips the spark across the fire line. Chance, you could say, or, what’s scarier still: the intersection of chance with choices and actions made before. The brush that is tinder dry from decades of drought, the warming of the earth’s climate that sends the storms away north, the hole in the ozone layer. Not punishment, not even justice, but consequence.”

Starhawk


An innocent moment, with what appeared to be an innocent vision, has completely shifted my path and my current way of thinking. It’s funny how the Universe works like that, one moment you feel stuck, stagnant, trapped, and the next you are given your freedom, you have received your answers. I am no stranger to occurrences like this but the timing is what has me reflecting back on the last two weeks, and realizing that everything really is all relative.

My life appeared to be random happening, after random happening and there was no rhyme or reason to my emotions, thought process, or decision making. I was flying by the seat of my pants, which for a controlling, OCD Cancer like myself, this is something that we just don’t do. I thought that I was suffocating because of my relationship/friendships, or maybe my living situation. I knew that something was off, that something was wrong, and no matter how much I cut out of my life, or how much meditating I did, the feeling always crept back in.

It started two weeks ago on a Sunday night, and I did not write about this experience because I don’t know much, if anything about the deity, and it is my belief that I need to be somewhat educated on a topic before I decide to write about it. I say now that I do not know much about this most beautiful darkness that came to me, I just know that She is here, and She is making Her presence known in every way possible. I am filled with the utmost humility that this Crone has chosen me as one of Her daughters, and I readily and willingly accept Her, and the wisdom she wishes bestow upon me.

This Sunday evening was like every other night, but I was under a lot of emotional stress and at the peak of my madness, I had not been this dark in years. All I seemed to be doing was eating, really rich foods, and craving solitude. I immediately thought I was going through depression, but that soon proved to not be the case. I was still taking care of myself; showering daily, keeping up with household chores, meditating, and all the usual activities I partake in.

I was just really, really dark.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I felt like something, everything and nothing were wrong with my life. I was in a chaotic downward spiral, and I couldn’t see where it was coming from. There were no attachments, no attacks, no breaks in my shield, this “attack” was being allowed, and I was the one allowing it.

As I drifted off to sleep I quickly was pulled onto Astral, I remember taking note of the lack of visuals for a brief moment, there was nothing, no color, no smell, no feeling, no texture, it was a place of absolute stillness, absolute nothingness; no guides, no spirit animals, there was no one with me, just my naked body, with a dagger strapped to my left thigh, charms on my neck, and a satchel around my waist. I had the tattoos that I do now, along with some other symbols, they looked Slavic in nature. They were randomly placed on my body, and there was a thick black, dense, energy that was illuminating from them. It was like this blackness had a mind of its own, or maybe even a Master.

I landed in a thick wooded dark forest, and I quickly noticed that the ground was solid, and freezing cold, which would signify winter, but the forest itself was thick, and lush with greenery. I took a deep breath of the clean, crisp, fresh air, as I inhaled I realized there were no animals making noise; I heard nothing.

As quickly as I had this thought I heard branches breaking all around me, first loud, then soft, then loud, then soft again; it was as if I were being taunted, but also a message that this power is strong but not there to harm me.

I felt something at my feet and I looked down to see a snake that was red, black and white. She had coiled herself between my feet and slowly started making her way up my leg, tightening her grip as she got higher. I did not feel threatened by this beautiful serpent, but I knew that this was not a Daemon that I was familiar with, this was not Lucy, Mo, or any other energy that I am somewhat used to. As the snake got closer to my vagina, she entered inside me, and at that exact moment a freezing cold wind gust wrapped itself around me. I lost my balance and fell to the ground, as I picked my face up off the dirt, I noticed the bottom of a robe in front of me, and a cane; as my eyes made their way up the crooked cane, I saw wrinkled hands adorned with many rings gripping the wood.

I quickly asked, “Who are you?” and the response was, “I am the moon you were born under. I am the shadow. I am the Crone. I am the reason you are here.”

I demanded a name, and I was thrown to the ground and roots started to wrap around my body, pinning me to the ground. The cold wind picked back up, and as if the wind itself was speaking I heard the name, “Baba Yaga! I am Baba Yaga, She is Baba Yaga, We are Baba Yaga, child, child, child, child…”

I can still hear the chilling chant and echo in my head.

I woke up from this encounter sore from the roots, but each night since that one I am brought back to those same dark woods, and I sit speaking with this Divinely Dark Crone. It is in these travels that I have realized my sudden love for gardening, Earth, Woods, tinctures, herbs, spices, resin’s, and really Earthly oils, not to mention the rich foods; carbs, cheeses, fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, have all been because Baba Yaga has decided to come into my life. She is making her presence known to me, and the suffocating feeling I was experiencing was her trying to get my attention, and me blatantly ignoring the signs.

I have often struggled with the insecurity if I am “Witchy” enough, and the presence of this powerhouse in my life is telling me that I am Magick, I am Nature, and I am the definition of the Divine Feminine in one of her many depictions.

I am forever and always a Wild Woman, and Witch.

Who is Baba Yaga:

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Baba_Yaga