Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. Nature buds and blossoms as the seasons of light and life return, and the Goddess offers up Her mysteries of spiritual evolution to guide your journey of soul.
With a Goddess-based conception of spiritual evolution, your whole life — everything you are and everything you’ve experienced — is part of a greater journey that drives your personal growth and spiritual evolution. Your intention on this journey is to become a more whole, mature, powerful version of your Self.
This season’s offering in the Path of She Guided Journey Series, Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution, is grounded in the Mother-Daughter tale of Persephone and Demeter that speaks to this Goddess-based conception of spiritual evolution.
In the Fall, Persephone begins Her journey as a maiden who leaves behind the sunlit realm of Her Mother Demeter. She descends into the Underworld, and spends the Winter months traveling its mysteries of darkness and death, and suffering its trials.
In Spring, Persephone returns to Her Mother Demeter’s realm of light and life as a Goddess reborn into a more mature, evolved version of Her Self. She is the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, with a wholeness and bigness of being that is wise, loving and powerful enough to bridge and balance the immense, opposing energies of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered sunlit realm. Where Persephone walks the Earth, She leaves a trail of spring flowers in Her wake.
Through this mythic Goddess tale, you can embrace a new understanding of your Self, your life story, and your journey of spiritual evolution. Here are four transformative teachings offered by these Mother-Daughter Goddesses, Demeter and Persephone, in the spring season.
1. New growth and beginnings arise from darkness, death, suffering and wounding.
In many spiritual traditions, spiritual evolution is associated with a rarefied, higher state of consciousness: one becomes enlightened, ascends to a higher frequency, and transcends the human, material condition.
The problem with this conception of spiritual evolution is that it’s elitist, granting spiritual superiority to the very few who can achieve this state of purity. It favors the path of the monk or ascetic who chooses to separate themselves from the complexities and messiness of everyday life. It negates the very substance of our human existence, that we are flesh and blood creatures, living in a material world. And, most importantly, it leaves out the vast majority of us traveling a sincere spiritual path of personal healing and growth in accordance with the dictates of our own soul and life story.
Nature and the Goddess illuminate a very different conception of spiritual evolution.
You don’t need to think of spiritual evolution as a rarefied state of enlightenment. Instead, you can understand and engage your spiritual evolution as a journey of new beginnings and growth that arise out of the darkness, trials, suffering and wounding of your life story. Rather than transcending these inescapable parts of your human experience, you can honor and embrace them as the very things that inform and nourish your journey of evolving into your full maturity and power.
2. Your life story is the vehicle of your spiritual evolution.
Persephone sets out on a journey of discovery and self-determination outside of the circle of Her Mother Demeter’s love and guiding presence. She has Her own, unique, personal experiences in the Underworld, separate from the ways of Her Mother and the sunlit realm She left behind.
This is Persephone’s story, not Her Mother’s, nor the story of any of the other Goddesses in the Greek pantheon. And it’s the full range of Her life story — with its beginning in the sunlit realm of Her maidenhood and innocence, travels into the depths of the mysteries and trials of the Underworld, and return to the sunlit realm, stepping into a new level of maturity, power and wholeness — that drives Persephone’s personal growth and spiritual evolution.
Like Persephone, you must consciously choose to set off on a journey of discovery and self-determination by stepping beyond the people and parts of your life that define and limit you, and descending into the mysteries and trials of your inner darkness. Here you’ll find everything you need — amongst the lost and repressed parts of your Self and life story that hold your beauty, wounding and dormant potential — to guide your new, spring-like beginnings of personal growth and transformation.
This isn’t the work of one season, but of a lifetime of descent into your inner darkness and personal trials, and return to the sunlit world of new beginnings and personal growth. The journey itself, drawing on the wellspring of your life story, is your spiritual evolution.
3. Equanimity is an essential skill on your journey of spiritual evolution.
Your spiritual evolution is driven by a special kind of transformative magic. Whenever diverse, opposing energies come together, and are held in a state of equanimity, something miraculous happens. Life is reborn in new, fresh ways that are only possible through the potent meeting and mixing of opposites.
Nature and the Goddess Persephone illustrate this transformative magic, and the essential role played by equanimity in the miracle of springtime rebirth.
In Spring, Nature reveals a living equanimity where the wild world is reborn through the balanced, harmonious interweaving of the primal, opposing forces of life and light, and darkness and death. When Persephone returns to Her Mother Demeter in Spring, She is reborn into a mature, evolved version of Her Self, whole and holy as the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth. Persephone demonstrates Her equanimity through a bigness of being that is wise, powerful and loving enough to bridge and balance the divergent worlds of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered sunlit realm.
This transformative magic equally applies to your spiritual pathwork. Whenever you consciously embrace and engage diverse, opposing parts of your Self and life story with equanimity, the miraculous happens. You heal, grow and evolve in powerful, new directions that can only arise out of the complexities and polarities of the wholeness that is your life.
4. Spiritual evolution is a journey toward wholeness.
In Her Underworld travels, Persephone reclaims the missing half of Her nature. Her maiden side lived in the realm of light and life, but She was incomplete without the part of Her that held the mysteries of the Underworld and Her experiences of death and suffering. Persephone isn’t one thing or another, but a wholeness that contains it all. In Spring, it’s Persephone’s wholeness, as the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, that reveal Her as a Goddess evolved into Her full maturity and powers.
Nature is this wholeness. It’s an ever-shifting balance and harmony of darkness and death with light and life. With the change of season, one state naturally steps into the foreground as the other recedes, but neither ever totally replaces the other, and both are absolutely essential and interdependent. It’s Nature’s wholeness that gives rise to springtime’s new, green growth.
This spiritual pathwork of seeking and reclaiming will naturally change and evolve you, deepening your spiritual maturity and power, and granting you a sense of peace and rightness as you live in accordance with the rich, complex wholeness that is your innate, true, beautiful nature.
Further explore these transformative teachings through the Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution. The Spring Journey guides you through seven, integrated lessons that take you into the depths of your springtime personal growth and spiritual evolution. Each lesson is complimented with an awareness practice and journaling task to help you experience the teaching for yourself, and apply it to your journey of soul and everyday life.
Your Spring Journey includes: two pdf ebooks: the Spring Journey Guidebook and Spring Journey Journal, and the Spring Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio). The cost of this integrated Spring Journey package is $16.99.
Spring Journey – Your Spiritual Evolution: Embracing Your Life Story
Seek Out New Beginnings ~ Embrace Your Wholeness
~ Evolve Into Your Deep, Beautiful Self
Your Spring Journey awaits you!
Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats
As the seasons of the Earth turn, so do the seasons of humanity. Many powers are converging, within and without, to wake humanity from its long winter of soul. Spring is in the air; Persephone walks the land above; and here you are, by my side, reaching for the ways of the Great Mother once more.
In this awakening and Great Turning, Persephone is your teacher. She sought out Her wholeness in the belly of the Underworld, willingly suffering its trials and lessons to test and come to know Herself in the fullness of Her being. By these travels, Her power and selfhood were honed, and She returned to me maiden no longer, but Goddess and Queen in Her own right.
So too humankind has lived the full range of its nature, both the shadow and light, and horror and beauty. As you individually and collectively emerge from your travels in the Underworld of humanity’s shadow-side, you can follow Persephone’s example. You can become powerful and wise enough to embrace the full breadth of your human nature, ancestral heritage and life experiences — the good with the bad, and the shadow with the light — and in doing so, you become a child no more, but a person honed and matured by your trials and lessons.
Whatever pain you feel or burden you carry from your personal and ancestral stories have brought you to this evolutionary cusp. You need not be trapped by a past that no longer serves you; instead you can use its trials and lessons to fuel your journey of soul, and help you step out of this old tale and your own old story, and into a fresh new beginning.
It is time for we ancient ones to find our rest. Humanity’s long winter of soul is ending. The ancestors’ stories are done. They have served their purpose of bringing you to this evolutionary, awakening moment of choosing the Great Mother’s life-centered ethos once more, from a place of power and wisdom. We pass this blessed world on to you. What comes next will be of your choosing and making.
Let your suffering be the compost that feeds your new growth, and let your joy draw your hungry limbs upward to embrace life. Trust yourself. Trust each other. Begin again.
Celebrate Spring Equinox
with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Artwork by Natalie Shau
Excerpt from: The Path of She Book of Sabbats
At Imbolc, profound change is stirring on your journey of soul. As the seasons turn from Winter into Spring, the returning powers of light and life activate your longing for new beginnings, and coax you to leave behind the stasis of what you know to seek out new possibilities.
The Earth is waking at Imbolc, casting off Her winter cloak of cold and darkness, and prodding the natural realm to stir from its long rest at the first signs of Spring. Nothing seems certain at this time of year. Nature can be in the throes of snow and frigid temperatures, or it can offer up warm, sunny days that entice brave snowdrops to rise from the still-frozen soil. No matter how hard Winter tries to hang on, the days get steadily longer and warmer, and Nature opens itself once more to the life-giving powers of the strengthening sun.
Groundhog Day is the secular custom that coincides with Imbolc. The groundhog is a weather diviner; according to tradition, if the groundhog emerges from its hole and see its shadow then Winter will be digging in for another six weeks. If it doesn’t see its shadow, Spring is near at hand. Regardless of the groundhog’s predictions, Imbolc is a time when we turn our mind and intentions toward the seeds we would like to plant in the Spring, both in our gardens and in our life.
At Imbolc, you turn your mind to the seeds that hold the next pieces of your pathwork, sourced from the beauty and wounding of your Deep Self and life story. As you draw these seeds into the light of your conscious awareness and engagement, you will also encounter the shadow-side of the wounded, denied parts of your life and our world.
To journey on the Path of She is to accept and work with your whole/holy nature and life story, both the light and shadow, and beauty and wounding. You cannot truly change yourself or your outer world without showing up to the naked, raw truth of who you are and what you’ve experienced.
You need not be alone in this momentous task. Brigid is a mighty Goddess, with powers of healing and inspiration, who comes to us through Celtic mythology. Some tales of Brigid tell how She came to the Earth when all was blackness and chaos, and placed Her mantle around the planet, transforming it into a place of beauty. Brigid has endured through the turning times of humanity, both as Goddess and as Saint, and Imbolc is Her festival day.
These wondrous things Brigid will grant us, but we must seek Her out in Her realm between the worlds, and consciously choose to embrace Her healing ways. And we must make a vow, a soul commitment, to tend the seeds of our beauty and wounding, and to follow where they lead us on our journey of soul. She can offer us healing, wisdom and support, but only we can do the hard work of transforming our life and mending our world.
with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Photo Credit: Aleksandar Kyng on Unsplash
At Imbolc, Winter is waning and the season turns toward Spring. The groundhog is said to be a predictor of the arrival of Spring. If the groundhog sees its shadow, off it goes back into its hole, informing us that Winter won’t be letting go soon. If it doesn’t see its shadow, Spring is on its way.
This shadow dance is familiar to us humans. As the shifting light and warming days coax the groundhog from its den in search of the quickening signs of Spring, so does our hunger for the spring of new beginnings coax us to leave behind the refuge of what we know and sniff the air for signs of shifting possibilities. What we seek draws us into the light of greater consciousness, and where there is light there is shadow.
Shadow in our human psyche is the depository of the repressed, denied and vilified parts of our personal lives and human society: our pain, dysfunction and unpalatable, uncontrollable instincts and emotions. When we encounter our personal or collective shadow, our first impulse, like the groundhog, is to retreat into the blinders and comforts of our old ways and their winter-like grip of stagnation and stasis.
We forget, in our fear and projections, that the shadow realm also holds the raw materials of our deeper potential. And that the things we repress, deny and vilify just might be exactly what we need — secret truths, hidden gifts and latent powers — to heal, grow and flourish.
In our forgetting, we act out from our repressed and denied places, and doom ourselves and our world to be ruled by that which we refuse to face and claim as a part of our human experience.
In our forgetting, we become half-human, shut off from essential parts of our nature and selfhood, and truncated in our self-knowing, expression and evolution.
Imbolc is a between time, of Winter thawing into Spring, and of the dark giving way to the light. We are not separate from these natural energies and their life-seeking drives. Nor can we leave our shadow behind as we reach out to the springtime call of new possibilities, personal growth and societal change. Rather than giving into our instinct to retreat from our shadow, transformative change comes when we have the courage and compassion to reach out our hand and heart to our shadow, and to step together into the returning powers of light and life.
Photo Credit: Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash
Winter is like a long, slow in-breath, with the living world drawing deeper and deeper inward to death and dormancy as the days get darker and colder. The Winter Solstice is the still, held breath of the longest night, a moment when it can feel as if the cold, dark of Winter will last forever, and then the balance shifts back to the returning dawn light of a new solar year.
Nature gifts us with a profound stillness and silence. The outward signs of life are stripped down to bare bones. Plants and creatures surrender to death and dormancy, retreating into the dark belly of the Earth. There’s no despair in Nature, nor any resisting, hiding or running from the inevitable and inescapable. Life comes to an end. Everything must return to its origins.
Yet this death-state of Winter is an illusion, a time of rest, rejuvenation and gestation that gives forth the light of a new dawn on the Winter Solstice, and the returning life of Spring. Death and darkness aren’t absolute endings, but more beginnings where something fresh and beautiful is reborn into the world.
To turn your mind to your inner darkness can be a scary proposition. If you’re like most everyone else, your shadow-side that holds your personal wounding resides within the hidden folds of your inner darkness. When you turn your awareness to the deep, dark places of your innermost landscape, you’re going to meet your wounded self, and the lost parts of your life story that hold your losses, pain and sorrows.
Rather than running from these parts of yourself, remember Nature’s Winter rebirth magic: new life emerges from the dark, death-like places in the belly of the Earth. What you find in the belly of your inner darkness are the makings of powerful rebirth magic.
You don’t need to make this journey alone. The Dark Goddess is your teacher in these life-transforming mysteries of darkness, death and rebirth. The Winter is Her season and Her mysteries are most potent on Winter Solstice eve. The ancient Sumerian myth of the Goddess Inanna’s descent to the Underworld realm of Her sister, the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal, can guide your journey of soul as you descend into your inner darkness in search of the rebirth magic that is emerging for you at this time.
Though She is a perilous taskmaster, the Dark Goddess’s promise is to help you travel Her Underworld realm of the sacred dark, both inside you and in the greater mysteries of this world, and to help you grow into your full power and potential. Like Nature, She shows you that the ways of death, darkness and descent are inevitable, inescapable, and essential for the rebirth magic that can grant you new life and new beginnings.
Your Winter Journey, through integrated writings, activities and a guided meditation, helps you explore and embrace these powerful teachings, and make them your own as you embark on your own rebirth magic from the darkness into the light of a new you.
Out of darkness and death, light and life are reborn. So too the light of your beauty is reborn from the depths of your wounding. Let these life-changing truths inspire and guide your Winter Journey.
Winter Journey – Your Rebirth Magic: Braving Your Inner Darkness
Turn Inwards ~ Discover Your Rebirth Magic ~ Make Your Life Anew
Let the Dark Goddess and Nature guide you in this season of darkness, death and rebirth magic.
Your Winter Journey includes: two pdf ebooks the Winter Journey Guidebook and Winter Journey Journal, and the Winter Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio).