Ritual

Dark Goddess Key

Coming Home: The Dark Goddess & Witchcraft

In my experience and the experiences others have shared with me, the Dark Goddess comes in a way that grabs our attention. She grabs it with a face or name or animal, one that grabs our attention at the soul level. It is a knowing, something just sparks for us, and we know we have found a thread leading us home. Home in ourselves, to our tribe, to our purpose, and to her.

I know I was simultaneously scared shitless and curiously exhilarated.

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She arrives in the form that we need to connect with and many times during the beginning of our awakening. These may be moments that do not feel like new beginnings, but like death, destruction, and endings. Those dark nights of the soul, the ones that leave us breathless or screaming, she appears and guides us through our own trials by fire. It is this deep darkness that provides the most fertile soil for us to rise strongly rooted in ourselves, in our path. We are reawakened, remembering, reclaiming, and rewilding with her.

She also forces us to face the monsters we keep trapped in the basement of self or even the real ones in our lives.

She provides opportunities in the small decisions of everyday life. Think about all the small decisions that we have made, the connections and threads spiraling outward from a single choice. My first job at 15 years old led me to my first husband, 3 wild and beautiful children, and a divorce that led me to the Dark Goddess. This subsequently led me to you.

One decision.

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I also have learned to radically accept every decision I’ve made, and every part I’ve played (or not) to get here. In those places of the deepest dark, I know I don’t deserve the things that have hurt, betrayed, and invalidated me or cracked and shattered the very essence of my being, but I accept that they happened. Coming home to the Dark Goddess is the baseline, it is the beginning of the rest of a life on our own terms. These are the choices she empowers us with.

Witchcraft

Coming home to witchcraft feels like an act of rebellion or of defiance. In essence, it is the ultimate act of defiance in the face of a system that pits people against each other, thrives under structures of powerful or ‘powerless’, and where wisdom is only valued if it can be scientifically measured by those in the ‘powerful’ category. Witchcraft becomes a conduit through which we become our own Breaker of Bindings, Force of the Fierce, Reclaimer, and Completely Untamed.

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Let Me Explain

The very act of becoming requires that we remove the shackles or bindings of who we were told to be. We must do it ourselves. It is a battle cry of living from the soul truth, to unlearn the limits placed upon us, being soul or heart driven. Perhaps you have found yourself here, among an ever-rising Force of the Fierce tribe that is learning together.

We are creating a collective.

These are spaces of being that allow us to genuinely connect with everyone exactly as we are and reclaim our sovereign right to exist without the guilt, the shame, or the fear. In fact, we become able to experience a full range of emotions and connect to our magic in a way that promotes a wild curiosity to emerge. This is the place where we come face to face with the Dark Goddess, we find her staring back at us in the mirror.

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Breaker of Bindings Ritual Bath

This is a ritual with the purpose of calling forth and illuminating that which we must retrieve from within to break our own bindings. This could be those truths we were told to hide at a young age. It could be our soul sparks that have been diminished through periods of trauma, abuse, or invalidation. It could be retrieving our own voice after only hearing the voice of others for so long. The pieces of us that need retrieving are keys that allow us to break the bindings that have kept us playing small or living inauthentically. This ritual will call the pieces upward from the darkest depths where they have been hidden. Only you know these pieces and only you can do this work.

Ingredients:

  • Moonstone
  • Living Water (snow, spring water, rainwater)
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tbsp. Yarrow (dried herb)
  • 2 tbsp. Lavender (buds)
  • Bowl
  • Glass Jar and lid
  • Black Sacred Candle
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Moonstone

Moonstone is a beautiful stone that, as its name suggests, pulls in lunar energy. This stone can signify new beginnings, enhance our inner intuition and strength, while simultaneously reflecting the individual back to themselves.

“…it allows one to absorb that which is needed from the universal energies, not necessarily, however, furthering that which is wanted.” ~ A. Melody, Love is in The Earth

Moonstone is a useful tool to assist in our journey. We are going to create Moonstone-infused water for a Ritual Bath that will illuminate what we must retrieve for our own sovereign journey. While this stone can be put into water, I do not recommend it as there are other ways to infuse water with a stone’s energy.

Photo by Author

Moonstone Water Directions:

  1. Place the cleansed and blessed stone into a glass jar and seal with the lid.
  2. Take the bowl and place the living water in it.
  3. Take the glass jar and place it into the bowl so the water rises, surrounding the glass jar that safely holds the stone.
  4. Place outside or on a ledge during the full moon to capture the lunar energy.

The time spent capturing the lunar energies in both the stone and the water, will allow the Moonstone Water to reach a conflux of potential once we activate it.

Photo by Author

Moonstone Water Activation

After the full moon, we want to merge the energies together and activate for our ritual bath. Unseal the lid on the glass jar. Visualize the energy from the stone coming up out of the glass jar and flowing down the sides into the water. You may use both hands to help guide the energy from the top of the glass jar, down the sides, and into the water (think of how one can use their hands to guide sacred smoke).

Speak these words:

Lumino, Lumen, of the Liminal Realm

Confluence, a Mirror, Truth rises to the helm

The Moonstone Water is now activated. Remove the glass jar from the bowl and set to the side. Your Moonstone will need to be recharged before using again. You are left with the bowl of activated water.

The Complete Ritual with Audio Journey can be found here.

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Homecoming: Dark Goddesses Collective

We are honored that you have found us. We are a rising Force of the Fierce. A Circle of Sovereigns. Dark Goddesses Collective is a private, modern witchcraft-centered initiative striving to create a community of students and leaders driven by their own unique purpose, passion, and magic through the sovereign reclamation of the Dark Goddesses. The buildout of our private community is well underway. Wish to be notified once we open the gates? To be one of the first click here.

A candle and a key,

Kaycee & Ivy

Find out more about what is happening at Dark Goddesses Collective in November 2021

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Honoring the Beloved Dead

The Ancestors. The Beloved Dead. The Wise Crone. They are here, among us. Each of them passing along wisdom hard won. It is in our bones. In our very DNA. As the veil thins, we honor them. Those who have gone before us.

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Have you felt them?

Samhain isn’t just a single day. The Season of the Witch begins, for me, at sundown on the Autumn Equinox. It lasts up until Winter Solstice. So I have been feeling the energies for weeks now. You know the energy I mean, the kind that when you walk into a room there is a familiar scent that was worn by your Beloved Grandmother. Or when you sense someone standing behind you. Yet, visually, you’re alone. A Witch knows the signs, scents, and energy that means there is a presence with them.

It is wise to put some protections in place. After all, you don’t want just any spirit waltzing through like they own the place. Honoring the spirits of place, those that have dwelled on the land for longer than your lineage has existed, goes a long way to protecting you and yours.

Just as with any entity you wish to connect with, building a relationship with the spirits of the land is important. Find out what they like (most will accept sweets, alcohol, or grains) and make sure you make your offerings on a regular basis! To neglect them unless it’s this time of year, or it’s beneficial to you, is folly. They are truly your first line of defense. They exist even on the outside of any property wards you may have set.

What to do if something enters that isn’t welcome

It’s simple, if somehow there is something that enters your home through a weakened ward, light up some banishing incense and tell it to leave. It really is that simple. Checking your wards twice a month can eliminate this minor inconvenience.

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Who are our Beloved Dead?

As Witches, our Beloved Dead may not be the same as the dead of our Ancestral Blood. They may be the Witches that paved the way for us. Musicians and poets who are long gone but have touched our souls in some way. Remember, this is Witchery and the path we walk is our own.

One such Witch that I honor is Madam Helena Blavatsky. A Russian Spiritualist that was born on the same day as I, but 142 years before I was reborn to the world. If you haven’t read anything of her, you should! She is fascinating, IMHO. For you, it may be Doreen Valiente, or Mary Shelley, or any number of others.

Familial ties can be tricky for some of us. My grandmother was a saint of a woman and she always has a special place with me. Placing trinkets or pictures onto an altar reminds that some of our dearly departed went above and beyond. We remember. Veneration is a large part of our Samhain activities.

Image by Cotton Bro

The tools we use

Anything can become an instrument of ritual. It is all in the intent! A big one this time of year is Graveyard Dirt. Knowing how to properly collect it is important. If you have ancestors buried nearby, that’s where I would start. Bring 2 coins and leave them at the entrance. That’s to pay the Ferryman. Having an offering for the dead is also important. If there was a particular…spirit they enjoyed, that would be acceptable. Or a pinch of pipe tobacco. Confections may have been more their thing. So talk to family about them.

If you’re collecting from an unknown grave, vodka or whiskey seems to be the most asked for.

Don’t just walk to the grave, collect the dirt, and turn around and leave. Remember what I said about our land spirits? Build a relationship. It will serve you much better in your final outcomes.

On Samhain, sit in quiet contemplation for a while

Your Witchery will be stronger for it. Listen to the messages of the dead. Take a bit of time to speak with them. Even if they don’t speak back, they’re listening. They’re working out what your intent may be in contacting them. Eventually, they will speak back. As long as you’re working from your heart and not your ego. The Dead will speak.

Darkest Blessings on this Samhain Eve,
Ivy (and Kaycee)

Kaycee wrote a lovely ritual for us – The Dead Speak. Be sure to check it out!

You can find DGC on Facebook and Instagram and you can find Revelations of a Witch on Facebook and Instagram as well as on the web

Hel’s Anthology

Hel: Anthology and Correspondences

Hel is the Norse Goddess of the Underworld (her name means ‘hidden’), psychopomp and ruler, with celebrations at Samhain and Yule. Her zodiac ruler is Scorpio and thus ruled by Pluto (also by Mars, it is said that Pluto is the higher octave of Mars). It is in the darkness, such as the final closing of one’s eyes in bodily form, is where we find her ready to guide us.

Other Correspondences

Number: 9
Plants/Trees: Cedar, Elder, Elm, Juniper (berries too), Myrrh
Animals: Raven, Dog, Serpent, Wolf
Stones: Jet, Obsidian, Black Agate, Onyx
Direction: North
Rune: Haglaz
Lineage: Father – Loki, Mother – Angrboða
Siblings:  Jörmungandr and Fenrir


My favorite print of Hel, you can pick one up from BlackForestForge

There are many in the Norse community who do not believe Hel to be a goddess, but a place for the dead who had not met their fates in battle. Others, due to her parental lineage, believe that she cannot be a true goddess. Semantics aside, we can turn to 9th and early 10th century texts, sagas, and poems from the likes of Þjóðólfr and Bragi Boddason to find references to Hel as a Goddess of death and the underworld prior to the Christian conversion era (Abram, 2003). While most of what we have comes from The Eddas, Abram (2003) outlines how some of these stories were impacted by the incoming Christian doctrine and led to the likes of Snorri making changes to the myths if only to make them more palatable.


Photo by Vlad D. via Unsplash

Reclaiming Herstory

Hel was brought to Odin, along with her siblings once the Gods found out of their existence. It had been foretold that the offspring of Loki would bring about destruction. Odin shackled Jörmungandr and Fenrir, while casting Hel away to Niflheim as the ruler of the place of her name (Hel). Or so the stories have claimed.

Passed down through the lens and voices of men, of those who won wars and could write history as they saw fit, they neglected to mention she took her throne in The Great Hall at her time of choosing.

She then gave Odin his Ravens, Huginn and Munnin, giving Odin the ability to see deeply between the worlds of thought and memory (Billinghurst, 2021). She became the Queen of the Castle, of the Great Hall, and a warm hostess for those who died of illness and old age. She is a Goddess in and of herself, she is ruler and psychopomp, hostess and judge, warmth in the coldest place, both living and dying at the same time. As we all are.

Her magic is in transformation, of letting go to allow space for what inevitably is required of us to evolve. Something must die for something to live, it is the great pattern of nature. She is the guide who can walk us through the darkness of release and bring the warmth that allows something else to thrive in its place.

Ivy’s experience with Hel

When Hel made her desire to be the first monthly focus Goddess apparent, I don’t think Kaycee or I had any idea what was in store. When I was calling her in on the 1st, I felt a distinct energy shift. One unlike anything I’d ever experienced.

This lovely print is one I own. You can get yours at Elemental Otherworld

Many will lead you to believe that healing trauma “isn’t that difficult, or that painful”. That is merely surface healing. Deep healing, to become truly sovereign, to heal ancestral lines, is something wholly different. There are thing I have spent the whole month with. Now, I speak them.

Deep, truthful, long-lasting healing isn’t wine, roses and sweet song birds.

As I traversed the path to reach the entrance to the underworld and her hall, I was not alone. The landscape was beautiful, but desolate. The journey was filled with shifting shadows. Birds were high up in the barren trees and I caught glimpses of the wolves that watched my every step.

The road to healing, the truth, redemption whatever you wish to call it is littered, not with wine and roses, but blood, tears, bones, the lies we’re told, and the parts of ourselves we have cast into the aether. The violence inflicted upon women can leave us locked in a validation seeking prison of the mind.

You are enough. You always have been.

Photo by Marko via Unsplash

Seeking out like-minded people isn’t weakness. We live in a socially driven society. If someone is trying to discourage you from seeking connection, which can move our collective consciousness forward, they aren’t thinking about what is best for you. Only their own ego and the acceptance they seek.

Hel has taught me, over the last month, just how strong these connections can be. While she does take the dead who don’t die in battle, it is not only the elderly and infirm. Nor is it “the lazy”. I want you to ask yourself one simple question. What actually defines a battle? It isn’t just taking up arms, running onto a battlefield, and shedding blood. We all fight battles every day. From our mental health to the struggles of just existing in a patriarchal society.

Hel is a protectoress of women and children.

As you know, we called her in on the 1st, then spent weeks building that relationship. Everything at our disposal was utilized in that quest. The incense, oil, meditation, sigils, devotional altars, sacred black candles, were all part of that process. Each time I walked the path to Yggdrasil and down into her realm, my heart felt more at ease.

Two weeks ago, tragedy struck. I won’t go into the details, those that know me know what they are. From one careless act, a boy was left without his mother, a mother without her daughter, a woman without her sister, and a partner without his love. The ripple effect was as breathtaking as it was horrifying. This, too, is a battle.

Kaycee and I worked together that night to cast of web of protection. I then made my oh-so-familiar journey. My heart was so, so heavy. I was coming to her to ask for her to protect this child. As soon as I entered Hel’s hall, she motioned me to her. She knew my worries, she knew why I had come.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian from Pexels

When her hand stretched toward me, I gave her this small, glowing ember that I didn’t even realize was in my palm. It was the protection spell I had cast earlier. Once it was free from my grasp, a weight lifted, but the worries remained.

My own mortality was staring me in the face. I am a mother, a Mimi, a wife, a daughter, an aunt, the thought of leaving my family so tragically was enough to give anyone pause. Those thoughts sat with me for days before I could finally let it go. They now sit in the deep darkness.

That family that is forever changed? Hel keeps silent watch. Their grief is a battle. One that will take a lifetime to heal. She has my gratitude for the wisdom she has taught me. I am a warrior, but I am one of her warriors.

References

Abram, C. (2003). Representations of the pagan afterlife in medieval Scandinavian literature. Doctoral thesis. University of Cambridge.
Billinghurst, F. (2021). Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms. Moon Books – John Hunt Publishing.
Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences

To read more of our posts about Hel and the work we did this month, you can find a bit of a compendium here.

You can find us on Facebook and Instagram and you can find Revelations of a Witch on Facebook and Instagram as well as on the web

Welcoming Hel to DGC

Last night, as darkness fell, I called upon Hel to join us here at DGC. A simple poppet, filled with all I am releasing was given to her in tribute. Burned in the cleansing fire as her presence filled me with fierce determination.

Hel card from Annabelle Lewis’ Oracle of Legend – Photo by Author

Ritual to Welcome Hel

Please be mindful that this is the first time one of my rituals has been recorded. My undying gratitude to my Beloved for recording.

Thank you so much for going with us on this journey. For more you can find us over on Facebook or at Instagram.

In Darkest Gratitude,
Ivy