archives, poetry, yoga

Rise of the Dark Goddess.



{Photo: Sianna Sherman, by Paulina Westerlind}

The Dark Goddess is on the rise. This is her time of the year as She devours the light until the rebirth at Winter Solstice.

It is the Dark Mother who re-emerges in the collective psyche to heal the separation of body and spirit.

She comes in many faces and forms: Persephone, Isis, Black Madonna, Kali, Durga, Tara, Hecate, Morrighan, Magdalene, Lilith, the black soils of the earth and the black night of the midnight sky.

She devours false perception and swallows separation to free us from our own belief that we are anything other than Love.

I grew up in a loving environment. I grew up in a family that loved God. Simultaneously I was afraid of God because I might not get it right, this thing about being human. As I grew into my sexuality, it was a whirlwind of self-hate and fear because I naturally desired sex but it was a sin.

I turned away from God as the all-governing masculine authority and threw myself into the arms of the Madonna, the nourishing and all-loving Mother. I loved her with all my being. I sang songs to Her, wrote poems for Her and danced for Her.

She kept me safe and wrapped Her cloak of protection around me. But then I encountered my next challenge on the path: She was always portrayed as the Immaculate Virgin and I still couldn’t get it right. I was losing ground inside myself and plunged into the underworld.

I numbed myself with alcohol and drugs, I blacked out hundreds of times from drinking in my teen years, I divorced my awareness from my sexuality and I was raped by a man that I fought with all my force until I relinquished into the inevitable.

I didn’t tell anyone. I hid my tears. I hid my pain. I hid my shame. I tried to wash it away but the imprint only entrenched itself deeper and deeper into my psyche and body. I was convinced that I was to blame for everything and my inner world was a living nightmare of self-loathing and self-sabotage.

I was in it — the pit of total despair.

Enter the Dark Goddess, Yoga and the path of the Priestess. My first trip to India took me to the Warrior Goddess Durga and the Dark One Kali who I couldn’t understand at all with my logical mind, and even felt sick and confused when I first encountered these most fearsome Shaktis.

Upon my return from India, which completely overhauled my life, I landed in a coven of priestesses.

All of a sudden, I was surrounded by women who were singing me back to life, tending my psychic and emotional wounds, painting my naked body with sacred symbols and helping me to remember my power and divine sexual nature.

It wasn’t easy. I had so many deep-rooted scars and I was a hostage inside my own body. I made a radical commitment to my healing. I shaved my head, moved to a cabin in the woods, grew my own food and slept outside every night in a circle of pine trees.

My priestess sisters kept singing to me, telling me stories of the many forms of the Goddess and they stayed by my side as I rebirthed myself through multiple ceremonies. The sisterhood breathed new life into me.

I was initiated as a priestess with the name Ravyn Morganna, a Celtic dark goddess of midnight magic and shape-shifting powers.

The Dark Goddess took me into the Mysteries and showed me that my sexuality was a gift to be revered and sex with love was my path to healing. I rediscovered the joy of my body and learned how to trust another human being in intimacy and sexual union.

It was the forms of the dark goddess who ushered me forth into the innermost caves of my psyche and revealed to me my hidden power, strength and courage. Through Her stories and practices, I discovered my inner well of joy and beauty.

With the increasing nights of darkness, it is a natural time to turn within and discover the inner mysteries. These are the months of dreaming, journaling, and breathing into the wounded places for healing.

Try to go outside and lie beneath the stars, bundle up and sleep in a grove of trees, put your hands to the earth, walk barefoot whenever you can, surrender into your lover’s embrace, sit by the hearth sharing in story-telling, and worship your body as a holy temple.

Each of us has a heart fire, and the dark months are the perfect time to kindle the heart fire from within. Ask the Dark Goddess to assist you in your healing and guide you through the inner passageways of your soul’s journey. Ask for the integration of healing in your psyche, body and sexuality.

Call in intimacy and respect for your body. Know that you are the Chalice of Spirit. You are Holy.







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