The Shadow is those aspects of self that are kept hidden in the dark and out of awareness. Many of these aspects of self have great holds on your life and actually dictate your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions. A metaphor would be a hidden cave in which you keep those parts of yourself that, on an unconscious level, you prefer to avoid or ignore.
The Shadow includes your deepest fears, shames, regrets, judgments, core beliefs, unconscious contracts/vows, “truths” about life, about others and yourself, as well as your greatest power, your beauty, your sacred and divine self. In other words, the Shadow includes all these things about yourself that “you don’t know that you don’t know” or those things that sit in your subconscious.
Why is it important to get familiar with your Shadow?
With the understanding that your everyday life is a reflection of your inner state, i.e., that your actions and manifestations including relationships, career, money, etc. are a reflection of your inner state, the Shadow has a great impact on your life. The Shadow is a major part of your inner self that is hidden from your awareness. Getting to know your Shadow is like cracking the code and revealing the programming that dictates your thoughts, feelings and actions and eventually your manifestations and results.
In addition to healing those parts of you that hold you back from achieving your desired results, getting familiar with, healing and embracing your Shadow can assist you in unleashing trapped life energies, your deepest power, inspiration and authenticity. For example, many people know that they are extremely talented; however their bank account does not reflect this fact. Their Shadow may include an unconscious vow to never have more money than their family or to never shine as it might cause others to be jealous.
She is the one whose names are Kali, Lilith, Medusa, Ereshkigal, Hecate, Sekhmet, Hel, Kali, Morrigan – the ones hated and feared and reviled down through the ages because they embrace death and darkness unflinchingly as part of their nature. She comes to us from ancient times where the shadow was not shunned, where it was acknowledged that the feminine energy contained both the dark and the light and an awareness that one was not better or greater than the other, but each must co-exist in order to encompass the whole. She carries all our shadow traits, the most disowned, most refused, most hated aspects of ourselves. In fact the shadow goddess IS those energies. She is your own shadow mirroring back to you the darkest traits of your nature.
She is also the collective shadow – famine, war, disease, death pain and suffering. She holds the pain for the whole of humanity for She is the shadow side of GAIA or mother nature herself. How can you control an earth quake or a tsunami or a raging bushfires that blackens the earth and raise everything in its path. Behold the primal raw power of death and destruction. She plays no favourites and heeds no bequests.
The Dark Goddess is an intimate goddess. She deals with birth and death, with initiation, change, healing and pain. She is not about ascendancy, not about avoidance, She is not nice. She is about raw truth, about body and feeling and ancient knowledge and the power of blood and the dark, she is about choices and powerful confrontation. She is merciless, and yet also she is mercy itself; the mercy of death, of release, of change. She is the one in the midst of deep depression or profound mental/emotional/physical agony; through screaming and loss of sanity, who wraps you in a warm blanket at the end of a night of despair. That is her as well, that is the two faces of the Dark Goddess. And it is only through enduring the dark that she is able to show the other.
Meet the Goddesses
Hecate, Greek goddess of the three paths, guardian of the household, protector of everything newly born, and the goddess of witchcraft — once a widely revered and influential goddess, the reputation of Hecate has been tarnished over the centuries. In current times, she is usually depicted as a “hag” or old witch stirring the cauldron.
Hecate is skilled in the arts of divining and foretelling the future. She gives humans dreams and visions which, if interpreted wisely, can lead to greater clarity. Hecate reminds us of the importance of change, helping us to release the past, especially those things that are hindering our growth, and to accept change and transitions. She sometimes asks us to let go of what is familiar, safe, and secure and to travel to the scary places of the soul.
Kali, the Dark Mother is a deity with whom devotees have a very loving and intimate bond, in spite of her fearful appearance. She is a goddess of death but She brings the death of the ego as the illusory self-centered view of reality. Kali intends Her bloody deeds and destruction for the protection of the good. She may get carried away by Her gruesome acts but She is not evil. Kali’s destructive energies on the highest level are seen as a vehicle of salvation and ultimate transformation. She destroys only to recreate, and what She destroys is sin, ignorance and decay.
Kali’s destructive side clearly speaks to mothers whose roller coaster emotions and frustrations involved with child rearing, mean that in order to mold a child in their early years, some aspects of the child’s nature must be killed in the process. The mother who is afraid for her child’s safety will curtail her or his adventurous spirit. The mother who is worried about her own image and that of her family will try to mold her child into a person whose behaviour is acceptable. With our own bad memories of mothers whose behaviour we said we would never emulate, we often sadly find ourselves repeating just those same errors.
Ereshkigal is the Sumerian/Akkadian goddess of the underworld, sister of the sky goddess Inanna, Goddess of love, war, and fertility, and she is mostly known from the myth of Inanna’s descent to the her Underworld realm. Ereshkigal is dark and violent, befitting her role as goddess of the underworld. As ruler over the shades, She receives the mortuary offerings made to the dead.
As Goddess of the Dead, She is a powerful symbol of the underworld and the power that we all gain when we learn to willingly submit to our shadow, when we are prepared to die to release that which prevents us from growing and transforming. Ereshkigal is as much a part of living as she is of dying and a necessary aspect of the inexorable transformative cycle of birth, life and death. Welcome her when she calls you to acknowledge and release that which no longer serves you.
The Morrigan comes to us from Celtic mythology and is believed to be the Goddess of Death and Guardian of the Dead. Her function is to separate the dead souls from the corpses – in the sense that she was the angel of death. She brings death to end suffering – she is the final stroke between life and death for the dying. She is the triple source of power needed to regenerate cycles, to take one from life to death and from death to life.
Morrigan speaks to survivors of all types of abuse; sexual and child abuse, rape, incest and abusive marriages. She draws her black cape of protection around the individual and creates a safe place for healing. Under her safety, they can create clear boundaries from which to say ‘no’. Morrigan is also associated with blood magic and especially menstrual blood, which is very appropriate. Blood, especially menstrual blood, is a symbol of both life and death, fertility and war.
Sekhmet is the Egyptian Goddess of war and destruction. She was a fierce goddess of war, the destroyer of the enemies of Ra and Osiris. In the myth, Sekhmet’s anger became so uncontrollable, she poured out from herself a blazing fire which scorched and consumed her enemies. She destroyed men and drank their blood, night after night, her rage so great that she became drunk on human blood. She was unstoppable.
Sekhmet is also known for potent unleashing of powerful sexual passions and the rising of kundalini energy. Sekhmet can represent personal power and boundaries in our lives. Are we able to stand up for and protect that which needs our nurturing and love? When we are asked to over extend our time, our money, our emotions, do we have the clear ability to say NO.
Lilith is the dark goddess of the Hebrew faith, who we are told was the first wife of Adam. She was created equally by God, not from a rib of Adam, as was Eve. Seeing that they were both equal, she refused to lie beneath Adam during intercourse and became angry and fled the Garden of Eden. She was condemned by God to copulate with men in their sleep in “unbridled promiscuity”, a succubus thriving off their sexual energy, bearing over a hundred demon children a day.
Lilith speaks to women seeking to become more independent and not to be afraid of their freedom or their sexuality. She represents what the patriarchal religions sought to suppress in women: strong open emotions, lusty sexual desires, fearlessness in standing up for their rights. She shows that womens’ bodies are not dark places of temptation or dirtiness and disgust and cannot be owned by anyone. We call on Lilith to invoke healing around sexual abuse and incest and transmute the shadow of sexual victimhood.
A full lunar month online journey travelling with the dark goddesses
The new year is always a great time to journey with the shadow to uncover those issues that keep us limited and unconsciously run our lives. In this full month online journey, we will don our priestess personae, creating sacred space at altar and on the full moon, we will invoke the dark goddesses to support us with their stories and myths as we utilise the two weeks of the waning moon to descend into the underworld so that our shadow aspects can be revealed and released.
Come join me in this fully supported circle of sisters, who come together in ritual space to investigate their own shadow and how the dark goddesses teach that the shadow is just the opposite side of the light. This is powerful work and you must be committed and dedicated to the process of revealing the ugliness of the shadow that limits and can unconsciously run your life.
For more information and cost to participate, check out all the details on my webpage. This journey will commence on the Dark Moon of 28 January 2017 and you will spend the first two weeks researching the myths and symbols of the goddess you choose to journey with, creating an altar in their name. Then on the full moon of 11 February 2017 you will invoke your goddess. I will provide you with prayers of invocation and then with a waning moon, two weeks before the dark, you will call in her energy to work with you as you journey into the underworld.
Please note this is powerful work we do when we summon the goddess to work with us and it is not to be undertaken lightly. When we call her, She comes. Know that when we work with the shadow we uncover aspects of ourselves that like the hag herself, are hideous and which cause us our deepest pain. Make sure before you embark on this journey that you wish to go there, for when you summon any of these goddesses, be prepared for radical changes to be wrought in your life.
If you have any queries about this journey, then please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kerri is a woman of goddess, an international workshop facilitator, speaker, writer and author teaching and sharing on sacred sexuality, the goddess and the divine feminine. Her intention is to invoke the goddess back into the lives of men and women and to awaken their authentic sexual nature in order that they may know themselves as divine. She is a qualified kundalini and chakra dance facilitator, teaching through the medium of dance how to awaken and utilise kundalini and shakti energy. She is an initiated Priestess of the Goddess with the Order of the Pomegranate Grove and wrote her masters thesis on HIEROS GAMOS: Sacred Sexuality Ancient and Modern”. She is a Priestess of Inanna and Isis holding the archetype of the sacred prostitute within.
As a speaker she has been interviewed for American and Canadian radio and magazines and presented workshops for numerous organisations including Goddess Association in Australia, School of Shamanic Midwifery, Bayside Red Tent and Women’s Wellbeing. She is a Corporate member of Red Tent Australia, offering workshops and private sessions for its members. In 2012 she presented on sacred sexuality at the Goddess Spirit Rising Conference in Malibu, California. She has published numerous articles in national magazines and is currently completing her first book on the channelled memories of a past lifetime as a priestess, entitled “Mandipa, Priestess of Ishtar”.
Kerri has always held space for the flowering of divinity in every woman and the expression of their sacred sexuality. She works deeply and intimately to assist individuals to experience their greatest pleasure potential. By assisting women to release the blocks they feel around experiencing their sexual energy which can include body shame, fear of letting go, issues of past abuse, religious programming, low self esteem, clearing the womb portal and so much more, the opportunity exists to experience their sexuality in a totally healed space, opening to the beauty that is the divine feminine. She is currently available for one-on-one sessions out of the Salt Sanctuary in Cleveland, Brisbane. Call to make a booking with her.
As a priestess of the goddess, Kerri invites you to step into ritual space where the goddess is invoked into the work we do, to allow her energetic presence to elevate each aspect with the consciousness of the sacred. It is then in this high vibrational resonance, we are held as divine beings, allowed to safely open to our beauty and to surrender and clear the energies that no longer support us.