I wanted to write a separate post for the Dark Goddess talk at the Gathering. This talk was far more involved than some I went to, it was also a longer session that the rest of the talks there. The talk was held at Witchfest in 2012 but she felt that a longer session would have benefited, and I have to say I’d agree.
By means of introduction, the Dark Goddess talk was held by Jane Meredith. She is Australian and apparently her talk was first heard at the Goddess Conference in Glastonbury where, thereafter, it became one of her most requested talks. To me the purpose of the Dark Goddess talks is to show that it’s alright for life not to go ok, that life isn’t all love and light and sunshine and roses and snowdrops on kittens or whatever else and that the Dark Goddess can have a profound effect on our lives but also that we can move on from the dark periods and come into light.
What I intend to write here is breakdown of the whole talk, some bits will be omitted which I will explain why when I get to them but it is largely a matter of confidentiality.
Jane welcomed us and went through a little bit about the Dark Goddess and her own experiences with working with her. She went into a bit about Inanna and a little bit about the other Dark Goddesses but thought that we’d spend most of the time in ritual.
I haven’t done loads of ritual, so I was jumping at the chance of anything, particularly new stuff and this was very new. So we started by invoking the Dark Goddess. We did this through lots of changing and invoking her by 4 names, Persephone, Kali, The Morrigan and Ereshkigal, the latter I had never heard of before today and need to look into. Once invoked we spoke a bit more, then we split into groups where we discussed the aspects of our lives where we felt that the Dark Goddess had been present. This is where I won’t go into detail in the name of confidentiality, but I will share my own.
What I shared with the group was that after I got married, happily so, I felt like I didn’t have much to look forward to. Ignoring the far future, the near future beyond my husband was looking bleak. I was stuck in a job I wasn’t happy in, I had no career prospects, and I got pretty depressed. I didn’t want to be where I was. I’m not going to lie, I don’t think those feelings have entirely gone, not by a long shot, but I’m working on them.
Then we looked at how we felt that we had overcome the dark aspects. I was honest, I said I didn’t think I had gone through it yet, but I was getting there and spirituality was one of the ways I felt was helping me cope.
After this we approached the Dark Goddess. We did this through another part of ritual where we walked symbolically into the underworld chanting:
“I am beneath the earth, I am inside of you,
You are in my heart, I am in yours too.”
We walked in a circle, clock wise, with a chair in the middle where the Goddess was to sit. During the walk we were, if we wanted to, to approach the chair in the middle and ask the Goddess a question we wanted help with. Then we were to sit in the chair as the Dark Goddess and view ourselves and listen to what she had to say, if anything. I’m not going to go into too much detail here again, on my part this time. But I did connect with her, and I got an answer, whether it was the one I was particularly looking for I don’t know, but it was an answer, I received it and it kinda went with everything else over the weekend in a roundabout way, but more on that later.
Once we had met the Dark Goddess, or made the decision not to, we were to walk in the opposite direction to mark us coming back up from the underworld.
Afterwords we bid farewell to the Dark Goddess very similarly the way we began.
It’s not very often that I feel opened up in a ritual; I think I still hold a degree of scepticism with regards to certain aspects of the occult. This weekend held a lot of interesting moments for me where I could feel the energy or the presence of something more, and this talk and ritual was one of them. I have no doubt that the Goddess was there listening to us and that the answer that came from within was from her. It’s made me interested in her dark side and to look into it more. I did buy Jane’s book on the same subject matter and I really look forward to reading it. I think I can connect with the Dark Goddess more than I thought.
Later in the evening, after my arrow breaking and firewalk, I thought bought to the Dark Goddess workshop. I thought of what I had offered up to the Goddess and noted how they were the same things I gave up to the fire in the ritual before the firewalk. A change has been spurred inside of me, and I know I am not the only one to feel the same. We all experienced a change, it’s a common theme in comments surrounding the event from both attendees and even those given the talks, the initiated, we all sensed something different.
I want to know where the future is going, I can tell that I am not going to be where I am this time next year, in what terms I can’t quite tell. But for now I’m comfortable being me, and wherever this fire magic takes me, I’m quite willing to go.