Tag Archive: dark mother


Granted, we’ve moved out of the Dark Moon phase this month, but this was too beautiful not to share. Beautiful!

Invokation To The Crone At Samhain

No; not in the least as I found out last night…She doesn’t sugar-coat anything and is brutally honest, but I’ll get to that.  So, were to begin?  Well, I guess let’s start out with yesterday, shall we?  All day I had been feeling very much out of sorts – irritable, agitated, scatterbrained and anxious.  This actually really surprised me because I’d been rolling along all happy and feeling full of inspiration, riding the out the Imbolc high.  Yesterday started out weird, very much feeling Odin’s persistent tap on the shoulder just to let me know that he’s still here (yes, thanks for reminding me – as if I didn’t know that!)  Anywho, Odin seems to be making more and more frequent appearances as of late; showing up in a lot of books, articles and blogs I read, meeting people who have a strong connection with him and reading and listening to their experiences – some of which totally freaked me out, which probably led to a lot of my discontent yesterday.  I’m not going to lie – it scares me.  How the hell could I have attracted the attention of such a deity??  For some of you who know me personally, you know that I tend to be more on the Dianic side.  I’ve never felt a connection with any god…until Odin starting making an appearance here and there when I was living in Alaska several years ago.  I’m quite aware of the berserker and warrior side of him, but to be honest, I don’t know or see that side of him.  Coming across this from Wyrd Dottir kind of set my mind (and soul) at ease – THANK YOU!  To me, he appears very sagely – almost Gandalf-ish, very much “Odin, the Wanderer“.  He’s so wise; yet he’s curious, still thirsting for knowledge.  He craves wisdom, knowledge and inspires and drives me to seek out and do the same, soaking it up like a sponge and leaving me wanting more.  I feel like he’s hanging over my shoulder, even now as I write this to see what’s going on – to see what I’m doing or reading, seeing what wisdom and knowledge might lie there.  So, now what?  As much as I’ve been trying to ignore him hoping that he’ll leave me along and go away, he’s still there…Yet, a part of me instinctively knows, knows what?  Knows that he’s not going away and that I may need him as much as he needs me.

Big-Sunspot-Unleashes-Intense-Solar-Flare-At-Earth

So, working on this internal struggle during a solar eruption that happened yesterday – and a pretty intense one at that.  A little FYI about solar flares – according to Astrologyinaction.com, “In addition to affecting Earth, solar flares affect each of us both physiologically and astrologically. The Sun is the giver of all life. Astrologically, the Sun is our primary influence, determining our character, our behavior and our purpose. When the Sun experiences high solar flare activity, it’s normal for us to feel physiological disruptions or just simply feel off kilter. In fact, when either of our luminaries experience celestial events, we are affected in a rather personal way.”  Also, visit Carliniinstitute.com and read “The Effects of Recent Solar Flares“.  During such events, Heather Carlini advises to “be sure to drink extra water when we are having solar flares. The reason is that it takes extra water from the brain to process these energies. I also suggest vitamin B complex and a product from the health food store called Curamin as this helps. Omega 3 is also needed at this time. Cut back on caffeine as it revves up the nervous system even more during high solar activity. Also for upset stomach, tap on the cheekbones on both sides of the face just under the eyes as this helps release energy blockages in the stomach.”  Well now, I guess this explains a lot…

Moving onto last night’s ritual.  I set up my altar downstairs after making sure the kids were asleep so I’d have no interruptions.  Well, I guess I should’ve made sure the husband was asleep as well…ugh, a whole other topic that I don’t need to get into here.  My ritual wasn’t dedicated to any Dark Mother or Crone in particular.  I lit my black candle and charcoal that didn’t seem to want to light or stay lit, burned sage and lavender to purify and consecrate the space (which apparently was the main cause of discontent with my husband), and followed a real loose ADF COoR inspired ritual.  I had my iPhone ready with what seemed like an appropriate guided meditation/self-hypnosis to the Underworld setup ready to go, pen, paper, runes and Wisdom of the Hidden Realms Oracle Cards (just because I wasn’t sure what method of divination I wanted to use and wanted to make sure I had some options depending on what felt right at the moment).  I made offerings of Dragon’s Blood resin and whiskey to the Dark Mother and decided to grab my bag of runes to take an omen – to see if my offerings had been accepted and that it was OK to proceed to Her.  This was the first time using runes as I’ve always been intimated for some reason by them.  I’d been reading about them for awhile now and felt confident enough to say “what the heck, let’s try it tonight.”  I’m actually pretty glad I did because they were easier for me to use and interpret than what I had previously thought.  Well, let’s just say that my first rune I picked wasn’t all that great – Tiwaz inverted.  This seemed to sum it pretty well (as well as here and here).  It was actually pretty disheartening, but deep down, I knew to be true.  I then drew another after asking my new main question, “How do I change this?”  I picked Sowilo – a very good rune that gave me hope and encouragement.  Then as I was putting them back, Isa dropped out followed by Dagaz.  My interpretation – Yes, I’ve got some shit to work out that has been holding me back, keeping my energy drained and not fulfilling my potential.  I do need to prove myself and can’t expect things to be handed to me.  However, Sowilo offers hope – it’s the sun, fire – perhaps a guide of sorts that will light my way and melt the stagnant and depression that Isa signifies.  However, Isa isn’t all that bad either, because sometimes you do need to rest, take a step back and be cautious before trekking forward.  Dagaz is my goal – learning balance, receiving enlightenment from Odin and learning to balance and appreciate the Male and Female aspects of the Divine.  I’ve also been reading Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswenn and Taking Up the Runes by Diana Paxson that seem to be very helpful in understanding and connecting their message together.  Needless to say, I pretty much ended the ritual there.

So now what?  It’s been an interesting time – with the sparks and lightning flashes at Imbolc, the New Moon in Aquarius, this recent solar flare and Mercury in “the Shadow” getting ready to go retrograde…Oy vey!  Well, for me, it maybe a time to heed Isa, it’s time to open up, sit back and think – it’s time to realize my goals.  It’s time to organize and plan.  It’s time to think about what is really important and what will aid me in achieving my goals.  It’s time to plant those seeds and really nurture them.  It’s a time to learn balance – to balance Isa with Sowlio’s warm nurturing sun energy to achieve Dagaz…all while keeping in mind however Mercury is getting ready to go retrograde here on February 23 (Mercury entered “the Shadow” on February 8.  According to Sue on Magnoliaswest.com pertaining to Mercury entering “the Shadow”: “This window is when you may become aware of what you will be dealing with in the coming retrograde cycle. Events and situations that arise for you during this time will continue to unfold during the retrograde itself.”)  So get ready my friends!

Dark Moon, New Moon…or Liminal Moon?

“New Moon Goddess” by Montserrat

“New Moon Goddess” by Montserrat

In light of (or lack there of) the New Moon upon us within the next few days, I though I’d touch on a topic that has always confused and frustrated me a bit, and maybe some of you too:  Is there a difference between the “New Moon” and the “Dark Moon”?  Now, I’ve heard the two names used interchangeably as if they were one in the same; then I’ve heard and read that they are indeed different.  From my understanding, and what seems to be common knowledge among Pagans, Wiccans, Witches and those who follow the lunar cycle, the Waning Moon gives way to the Dark Moon or New Moon that brings with it the closing or end of a cycle and new beginnings.  It is a time of releasing and banishing negativity.  It is a time of purification, cleansing and a time of rest.  It is a time of introspection, meditation and seeking knowledge and wisdom.  It is a time of death and rebirth.  This Moon can be intimidating for some or even thought of as dangerous by those who do not understand the power and potential that this phase of the Moon has to offer.

How now, my ever critical and nitpicking Virgo mind wonders, can one Moon symbolize both an end and a beginning?  Death and rebirth?  Rest and rejuvenation?  Doesn’t one have to come before the other?  But then, which comes first?  Mustn’t you be born in order to die?  Mustn’t you die in order to be reborn?  Round and round we go…Therefore, I can understand how with death and rebirth being so intricately entwined and connected, this phase of the Moon could perhaps be treated or looked upon as a type of threshold or a liminal phase of the Moon – the “in-between” Moon of transition, waiting, and not knowing.  In saying that, it is easy to see why there is so much confusion over this Moon, discomfort or even fear of working with and under this phase of the Moon; for it is Dark (and full of terrors…LoL!  Sorry, had to throw that in there – yes, I am a hopeless Game of Thrones addict).

If we look at and consider this Moon in a sense as the liminal phase, it’s easy to see why it could be unpleasant or scary for some.  It is a time of transition and change; phasing out of the “Old Moon” and in order to usher in the “New Moon”.  It requires us to leave our comfort zone and head into the unknown.  As mentioned earlier, it is a time of introspection and seeking the wisdom of the Dark Mother or the Crone.  In making the journey and coming into contact with Her, Her demands, tasks and challenges may truly challenge preconceived notions, assumptions and narrowed perspectives; to reject all that we thought we “knew” in order to discover the new truths and the knowledge and wisdom that She has to offer…that takes trust, and that my friends can be pretty damn scary, for how can we trust what we don’t see?  How can we trust when we have no idea how long we’ll be in the dark?

It can be a time to come face to face with issues that maybe hurting us or holding us back.  This can be tricky, unpleasant and downright devastating and horrifying at times; for it requires us, if one is brave enough, to cross the threshold into the Dark Mother’s dark, deep and vast abyss of the unknown.  Some call it the Underworld, some call it the subconscious, and it is there we learn the lessons that need to be learned.

“Ereshkigal” by ~Fenrizulf

“Ereshkigal” by ~Fenrizulf

Like Inanna, we must shed and set aside all barriers and come face to face with Ereshkigal, or our Shadow-selves – that side of us which we would prefer not to look at, deal with or choose to repress because it maybe too hurtful or frightening to face.  It is here that we find and face the root cause of our habits, patterns and destructive behaviors and it is here that we must experience death; the death of those old habits and destructive behaviors no matter how painful it may be in order to rise above and be re-born.  If we don’t face that death, then we get caught in a never-ending pattern or cycle and are doomed to descend again and again to face Ereshkigal (or whatever Underworld deity that your personal practice or pantheon includes) until there is a death.

(NOTE: For those of you interested in Jungian psychology and Shadow work, I HIGHLY suggest reading Descent to the Goddess by Sylvia Brinton Perera.  I also HIGHLY suggest visiting Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom and reading Dr. Jean Raffa’s “A Study In Shadows: Four Principles“;  “Three Steps to Discovering Your Shadow“; “Creative Interactions With the Shadow” and “The Light Shadow” – absolutely enlightening and fascinating and very appropriate I think for successful journeys during this phase of the Moon.)

 

Moving onto spellwork…Is there a difference between the “New Moon” and the “Dark Moon”?  Some will say yes, some will say no. First, I’d like to look at the astronomical definitions.  “Astronomically, [the Dark Moon] refers to the period when the Moon is not visible in the sky. This lasts between 1-3 days, depending upon your location. This is the period between the end of the Waning Moon up to and including the very start of the Waxing Moon, when the Moon is again illuminated by the Sun. Astrologically and magickally, this refers to the period when the Moon is not illuminated in any way, it is the period between the end of the Waning Moon and the start of the Waxing Moon.

Astronomically, [the New Moon] refers to the Midpoint of the Dark Moon, the time of which the Moon is exactly between phases, i.e. Waxing and Waning, as such, all times given for the New Moon on calendars, and even on the NASA website, are the Midpoint, the peak of, the Dark Moon. Astrologically and magickally, this refers to the very beginning of the Waxing Moon, when the Moon is again illuminated by the Sun; that very first Crescent of Moon in the Sky” (Lady Althaea).

Photo by Wade B. Clark Jr

Photo by Wade B. Clark Jr

To me, they are very different with their own distinctive qualities to aid spellworking and their own place in the cycle.  The Dark Moon is the closing of the cycle; the end of the “Old Moon” dead and gone.  It is a time for purification, a time for banishing, meditation, and rest.  The New Moon is the beginning of a new cycle; the rebirth of the “New Moon” referred to as Diana’s Bow (three days after the Dark Moon, when the moon is just a crescent in the sky).  It is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and the start of new projects.

In conclusion however, the differences in terminology, beliefs and practices boils down one’s own magical tradition and what feels right to them.

 

 

Sources:

Lady Althaea. Ladyalthaea.com, “Dark Moon vs New Moon – What’s the Difference“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cauldronliving.com, “Dark Moon vs. New Moon“.

Everythingunderthemoon.net, “Moon Phases and Spellwork“.

Hall, Molly. Astrology.about.com, “New Moon Magic“.

Hall, Molly. Astrology.about.com, “When is the Dark Moon?

 

Dark Moon Dreamin’

"New Moon Goddess" by Montserrat

During the Dark Moon is the time to commune and heal with the Dark Mother or the Crone.  It is a time to dive down deep into the dark abyss within ourselves and deal with that which has wounded us. It’s all part of the great cycle of birth, death and rebirth – it’s how we heal ourselves.  “As a culture and a society, we have been taught to fear the darkness, the unknown and death.  We have forgotten the purpose of the Dark Phase and have no idea how to navigate its terrain.  We are consumed with fear, panic and anxiety  when we think about physical death of the body, our planet, a relationship, a way of life, an addiction, an identity or even a belief system.  Because of our  lack of understanding of such times and lacking the proper guidance in order to deal with them as they arise, we end up more dependent on chemical addictions or engage in self abusive behaviors to deal with the feelings of grief, depression, anxiety, and anger” (George, Demetra, Mysteries of the Dark Moon, p. 266).

As the Goddess stirs and awakens from Her long slumber, we are finally being given the opportunity to reclaim all of Her, both light and dark aspects and everything in-between.  The Dark Goddess is not to be rejected, denied or feared.  She is to be acknowledged, respected and listened to – for its Her knowledge and wisdom that guided our ancestors through the dark times and it is Her wisdom and guidance that will guide us through ours to come, as individuals, societies and as a species.

Only within the last century as the Goddess has slowly stirred from Her Dark Phase have we had incredible breakthroughs in realizing the power of the mind.  As Demetra George has pointed out, it is thanks to people like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung (a personal favorite of mine) that we have been able to comprehend the workings of the unconscious and our Shadow Selves (p. 276).  Many therapeutic techniques have been “discovered” in Eastern philosophy and medicine as well as Aboriginal shamanic teachings.  Techniques, such as dream analysis, allows people to explore the depths of the unconscious and understand  the workings and wisdom of the Shadow Self and the Dark Mother, especially when dealing with nigthmares.

"Behold, The Night Mare" by Zephyri

“Nightmares represent our innermost fears.  They suggest that we have emotional fears and issues that need to be confronted.  The monsters and other terrifying and disturbing images that haunt these disturbing dreams are thought to come from a universally shared mythology recognized by all cultures.  The word ‘nightmare’ itself comes from Gaelic mythology – the night ‘mare’ is the horse Goddess Rhiannon, and connected with the Underworld, dreams and the moon.

Nightmares occur very frequently in childhood as children struggle more than adults to deal with powerful emotions, such as rage and other strong emotions.  During the night, children’s vivid imaginations recreate these feelings as forceful dream images.  Children have difficulty coping with nightmares because they have trouble differentiating between dreams and reality.  A child’s mind has limited reasoning capacity as it is still developing.  This affects their perception of the world and can cause inner conflict.  If left unresolved, these childhood fears can cause very muddled thoughts and feelings that linger into adulthood.  At any time, an incident could trigger this old memory, reeling the psyche of the adult into a nightmare scenario.

"Sleep-walking" by Leah Praytor

It is important to note that bad dreams can have physical causes as well as mental ones.  If your body comes under stress, due to high temperature for example, it can give rise to hallucinations as you sleep.  Nightmares can even induce sleepwalking by increasing the flow of adrenaline and producing the “fight or flight” response in the sleeper (I suffered chronic sleepwalking during Basic Training and through my early years while on Active Duty).  Hormonal fluctuations too can have an effect on our dreams.

Hormonal changes upset the balance of the body’s chemistry and in a dream, this upheaval is encoded through disturbing scenes.

Some psychologists believe that people who have nightmares have not fully integrated or understood physical sensations in relation to real-life situations.  Teenagers often have intense dreams reflective of the emerging sexual drives they have difficulty translating when awake.

Anyone at anytime could experience an inexplicable trauma which can resurface without warning.  These could be forgotten childhood traumas reawakened in adulthood.  They could be experiences of going to war. Recurring nightmares are caused by unresolved emotional issues that are deeply entrenched in the sleeper’s mind.  An entire dream can recur, which is identical each time or disguised using different dream symbols.  Its purpose is to get our attention…” (Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Soul, Interpreting Your Dreams).

Through journeying to the Underworld to the Dark Mother, we can uncover the meaning of such dreams.  There are methods you can use to confront and gain insight from your nightmares.  As Demetra George states, “You need to cross the logical threshold of the consciousness and travel across a terrain of your psyche that is normally hidden from your conscious awareness and one which we cannot comprehend with our conscious mind.  The dark sphere of the human psyche contains all that lies beneath the surface of consciousness” (p. 279).

"Nightmare 1" by eliXile

The following is summary, found in Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Soul – “Interpreting Your Dreams”.  These are questions to ask yourself to assist you in decoding your dreams.  First, look at the imagery of the dream.  The imagery of dreams can be interpreted in two different ways: Literal – information found in your dreams is seen to have a direct parallel to your everyday life; and Symbolic – information in dreams is “coded” in an unusual way. What was the theme and time?  The time you had the dream indicates how relevant  it is to the everyday world.  The nearer to the waking hour, the more accurately the events reflect problems in your waking life.

Was it light and spacious or dark and claustrophobic?  Where did the dream take place?  On land? At sea? Water represents emotions, land represents money and self-worth.  Air relates to the intellect.  To find yourself underground suggests a search for lost treasure.

What happened?  Where did it happen?  Is it a place you know from the past or is it unknown?  This can give you clues about personal insecurity or issues about your childhood or present circumstances.  Were you a participant in the dream or were you viewing form afar?  This will tell you how intimately you are involved in the situation in the real world.

What was the form you took in this dream?  Were you someone who exhibited unwanted or underdeveloped traits?  This would be your Shadow Personality manifesting.  What stage of life where you at in your dream?  Were you male or female?  Dreaming of being the opposite sex may indicate an imbalance of the opposite sex’s qualities. Did you take the form of an animal?  Perhaps you you’re struggling with your so-called “animal instincts” or baser instincts.

Who was in your dream?  Were they people you recognized or were they strangers? Family, friends and acquaintances may highlight a particular deficiency within your own character, mirroring back and making you aware of an unfavorable trait.  Were there any animals?  Did they remind you of anyone you know?  Often animals stand in as representatives for a situation or a person.  In this way, our subconscious can explore our true feelings about a person or event without interference form everyday prejudices.

"Is This a Nightmare?" by XxshadowxphobiaxX

What were the colors of certain objects in your dream?  What was the mood of the dream?  Dream situations in which you feel scared, tense or fearful are often reflections of a dangerous or overwhelming situation that is brewing around you.  Such sinister moods can be revealing of great anxieties you are experiencing in real life.  Threatening moods in your dream can be illustrated in the dreamscape as nighttime scenes or overcast skies.  Alternatively, there may be just be an underlying feeling of impending doom.  Blurred or hidden details in a dream suggest that you have confused feelings which, if unheeded, could lead to many troubles and worries in business.  If the truth is hidden in your dream, this may be indicated by a cloudy atmosphere in your mind.

Look at the symbols in your dreams and try to examine what, if any, are linked with a childhood situation or just a sense of helplessness.  Your dream could also be caused by a sense of guilt or disgust of being in a situation in which you did not want to participate.  Ask yourself, were you physically, mentally or emotionally terrorized?

If you’re not already keeping a dream diary, start one NOW! A dream diary is like any other collection of information that is gathered and put into order.  It builds up into a reference of information about your personal responses to your own life experiences.  Keeping a dream diary helps you understand yourself, enabling you to make informed decisions about how to fulfill life’s journey.  By keeping a dream diary, you are putting snippets of the jigsaw puzzle that represents your life into a book so that you can piece them together in order to help you heal.

Note the date, time of awaking, main theme, characters and objects, action, atmosphere, special comments, previous history and real-life connections.  Note connections between the main characters in the dream; the significance of characters and previous history with the characters; dream atmosphere and the message if one was given. (Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Soul, Interpreting Your Dreams)

"Ereshkigal" by kundrys-inner-world

As Demetra George makes it quite clear, “the home of the soul, the Dark Phase  is the place where we hold the residual memories of the sum or our past, in this and previous lifetimes. Here, we find the wounds of the soul that are crying out to be healed.  It is here where we hold our repressed traumatic memories and rejected aspects of our selves.” (p. 279).  Nightmares have a constructive purpose and may point the way towards resolving a difficult situation from our past. Our passage through the Dark Phase offers us the opportunity to heal these wounds, and in the process we can discover the hidden wealth of the unconscious.  It is only going into the Dark Phase of inner space and coming to peace with our memories and resolving our issues that a way opens towards healing and the nightmares stop. During this essential healing process, we can discover who we truly are and come to know the Dark Mother and the lessons She has to teach us.

Sources:

Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Spirit, “Interpreting Your Dreams”. International Masters Publishers

George, Demetra. Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess.  HarperSanFrancisco, 1992.

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