Collectively we are in the domain of the Dark Goddess, a liminal space between one state and another; behind the scenes a mystery is unfolding…we are in the birthing canal. It is a precarious time as we have not yet fully let go of the dissolving world or yet grasped the meaning of the new one. Astrologically this state can be likened to the 12th house, the house of undoing before a new beginning emerges. In the lunar cycle it is the balsamic phase when everything is mulched down from the previous cycle providing fertile compost for the new to be born. It is the Phoenix rising from the ashes. States of transition however are not without danger. Folklorist Arnold Van Gennep describes the perils of transition within society thus,
A house with rooms and corridors in which passages from one to another is dangerous…. danger lies in transitional states, simply because transition is neither one state nor the next, it is undefinable…. the person who must pass from one to another is in danger and emanates danger to others…. the danger is precisely controlled by ritual which precisely separates [her] from [her] old status, segregates [her] for a time and then publicly declares [her] new entry to [her] new status”
Danger lies in the overwhelming and extraordinarily confusing glut of information, widening and fractious polarity, and above all perhaps in the social pressure to conform to an accepted reality that may be at odds with our inner truth. What if our voice sounds different even to loved ones and family? Our authentic voice may be rising up against not only societal injustice and pressure but also against the ways of being that have made us small, sick, victimised, or in any way diminished from who we truly are and what we are here to embody.
In these times we need containers, support, ritual, and positive affectation. Once the lid comes off, what is revealed is sometimes a life time of playing small, of being fearful, shamed, or shrouded in false self-identity and beliefs about ourselves. And yes, maybe our psyches and our bodies have been damaged in systems that have not always supported life and healthy growth… much has been revealed to this end. I believe we can heal and make the transition a positive, affirming one in which we retain or claim our sovereignty.
Ritual and initiation may offer a connecting thread between the worlds, the inner and outer, the old and new. For the ancient Gnostics, ‘initiation worked to make initiates aware of their unconscious selves as a source of their greatest anxiety and their greatest power’. What have been, or are, your greatest anxieties during the pandemic, and how might they serve you now as a means of transformation and reclamation?
This is the time of the Dark Goddess, suppressed and exiled for millennia, she stirs beneath the Earth inviting us to meet Her, to face Her and to learn from Her wisdom but first we must make the descent into our own unconscious to illuminate what programmes, beliefs, wounding and rejected parts lay waiting to be brought home. She is the rage we feel at the injustices of the world, the terror and fear that paralyses us, and the quivering eruptions that explode when we are tired, stressed, diluted, or fragmented. She stands beside us now, willing us to talk truth, to utter the words from our wombs and release the tension of living in systems and circumstances that tether our soul and feminine essence. We are not victims however, we hold the key to our own liberation, and the Dark Goddess is the ultimate Wayshower. She appears to us in dreams, in our creativity, our sexuality, our bodies, our sickness, our darkness, our “Enough!”; She exists in the spaces in between, in the irrational, the liminal, in our rages and passions and the moments of silence. She is the language of the Soul; She speaks in symbols and intuitions. She is the ultimate Liberator; She appears to us as Lilith, Inanna, Ishtar, Hecate, Persephone, Demeter, and the Black Madonna. She dances through the veils.
This course does not provide a platform for political discourse, nor is it able to hold therapeutic space for individual women beyond the possibilities of group sharing. It is a course for women who would like to work with other women in a safe and respectful group exploring what it means to reclaim themselves in a time of change. The course invites the symbolic and mythic worlds as an imaginal aid to help see the bigger picture both personally and collectively. It is for women who are largely unsatisfied with the current narrative and who are therefore seeking a new way forward even while that may necessitate major change in their lives.
Personal astrology and therapeutic sessions may be arranged in addition to the course.
We begin our journey with the Descent of Ishtar, exploring the rich symbolism contained within this myth.
This is a 7-week course, open to all women who would like to be supported through this time as we cross the threshold. The course may also be beneficial for women who are experiencing personal change such as menopause, pregnancy, career change, death of a loved one, or a major new life circumstance.
The cost of the 7 weeks is £105 (if paid before 1st August); Thereafter it’s £126.
The group will be limited to 13 participants to ensure a level of intimacy, safety & support.
I am a qualified counsellor/shamanic councillor, a professional astrologer and shamanic practitioner. I hold an MA in Myth, Cosmology & the Sacred.
Please contact me for ffi about payment and booking.