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A Winter Solstice Tale: Ereshkigal & Our Beauty and Wounding

Posted on:  Dec 17, 2020 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Winter Solstice excerpt The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

On the longest night of the year, in the thick of the mysteries of the sacred dark, turn your mind to the Great Below and the fearsome voice of Ereshkigal:

“I am the still, held breath of the dark that precedes the dawn.
I am the hands of the Earth that cup the seeds of new life.
I am the dark powers that pulse within the fleshy matter of your body.
I am the death that promises rebirth, and the kiss that awakens you from your death slumber.
I am the keeper of the lost parts of your soul, and of secrets that can set you free.”

On the longest night of the year, in the thick of the mysteries of the sacred dark, turn your mind to the Great Below and the fearsome voice of Ereshkigal.

Inanna turned Her mind to the Great Below and Her Goddess sister Ereshkigal. She surrendered everything, even Her life, to the Underworld mysteries of death and rebirth. And through these mysteries, Inanna was transformed into Her full Goddess presence and power.

As terrifying as this journey may seem, know that its rewards are immeasurable. On this darkest of nights, the seeds of brilliant new beginnings, within and without, are stirring from their death sleep, ready to return from the darkness to the light.

Be brave, follow in Inanna’s footsteps. Make this conscious descent, stripping yourself bare of your worldly masks and illusions, and habits of belief, thought and action that stand between you and your truest, most beautiful potential. Do these things and Ereshkigal will grant you entry to Her realm and help you discover the seeds of your new beginning and the way forward to the soul-based life you long for.

Ereshkigal does not rise from Her throne as you enter Her inner sanctum. She is dressed in a red velvet sheath that molds itself to Her voluptuous, curvy form, with a silver circlet as a crown and silver snake bangles on Her ankles and wrists. A smoky heat and feral power rises from Her amber skin and strong, bare limbs, marking Her as a dangerous, commanding being that could easily reduce you to ashes. With an imperial scrutiny, She pierces through your outer veneer into the core of your being. There is no hiding in Ereshkigal’s realm.

Hold your own under Ereshkigal’s probing, black-eyed stare, and stay in your center and power. As formidable as She appears, Ereshkigal’s intention is to help you, not to harm you, though She will ask much of you in service of your greater becoming.

“I know why you are here,” Ereshkigal says, “You have dared to stand before my throne in the Great Below because you seek the miracle of my rebirth magic in your own life and journey of soul, where new beginnings emerge from death and darkness. But be warned, there is a price to be paid for so potent a magic. As the new dawn is born from the darkest night, so too the beautiful new beginnings you desire emerge from the depth of your wounding.

“Long has been the dark night of soul of your human species. Long have you done great harm to each other, and to the good green Earth. Long have you run from the pain and sorrow of this grievous wound. Whatever personal wounding you carry is a reflection of this greater harm.

“But all is not gloom. Nothing lasts forever. The dark night of soul for you and your human kin is ending. A new dawn beckons for those brave enough to dare the rebirth magic of my Underworld realm. As a reward for your bravery, I will show you what you seek.”

Ereshkigal leaves Her throne and circles around you. Her movements are sinuous and creature-like, and Her nostrils flare as She sniffs the air, seeming to take your measure from the scent-signature emanating from your form.

“However you have learned to deny and hide from your wounding will not serve you in your pathwork with me,” Ereshkigal whispers in your ear, “I strip you of these things so you can see the truth that is your life and your world, though you travel my ways by your own freewill, and I never ask more than what you are able to bear.”

She presses Her hands, firm and hot, into the front and the back of your mid-torso. Your mind and body become still, silent, empty. Whatever you think you know, think you are, think you want, vanish. There is only the pulsing, fleshy darkness of your inner landscape and the pulsing, potent darkness of Ereshkigal outside and inside of you.

“Where you find your wounding, you also find your beauty,” She says, “When you show up to your pain, you also remember your joy. In stepping into the fullness of your life story, you shed a smallness of being for a bigness of presence and power.”  

As Ereshkigal withdraws Her hands, something passes through your skin. She uncurls Her fingers and two shining seeds rest within Her open palms.

“These are the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are waking within you,” She says, “Within their compressed interior are the makings of a bright new beginning — a magic that can heal your soul, brewed from the illuminating meeting of your beauty and wounding. You cannot reclaim one without the other.”

Ereshkigal turns your hands palm upwards and places the warm, pulsing seeds within their cupped interior.

“These seeds come with challenge and choice,” She says, “You can take them inside of you and then change will come. Or you can cast them back into the dark. But to no avail, because change will still come. What is waking in you will not let you rest until you have taken the next step closer to the soul-based life you are meant to live, and the new dawn waiting to be born from your inner darkness into the sunlit world.”

The darkness around you begins to lighten as the longest night gives way to the new dawn. Ereshkigal and Her realm grow fainter and fainter until they disappear altogether. Yet the power of Her presence and words remain, beckoning to you from the shining seeds.

One more time, be brave. Raise your hands to your lips and swallow the magic of these seeds whole. Take them inside of you and feel the stirrings of a new dawn within your gestating interior. Though you cannot know where these seeds will lead you in the months to come, you have dared the Great Below and claimed its powerful rebirth magic as your own.  You have taken the next step into the soulful life that is yours to live and in the weaving of a new-made world.

Give yourself a gift of soul this Yule season.   The Path of She Book of Sabbats takes your deep into the Winter Solstice mysteries of death, rebirth and personal transformation.  Available in paperback and e-book at the Path Store.

Artwork by Julie Dillon

A Winter Solstice Meditation: Ereshkigal and the Great Below

Posted on:  Dec 16, 2020 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Guided Meditation excerpt from the Path of She  Book of Sabbats.

On the Winter Solstice eve, set up a cozy, private spot in your home where you can be warm and comfortable. Turn off the lights and have a candle close at hand, but do not light it. Close your eyes and begin to track the movements and sounds of your body with breath.

Descend to the Great Below. Brave the realm of the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. With respect and humility, seek out Her rebirth magic to guide your journey of soul.

On every in-breath, infuse yourself with the still, quiet darkness that surrounds you. On every out-breath, release any stress you may be carrying from the holiday season. Soften your facial muscles, loosen the stiff, tight places in your body, and empty your mind of thoughts and concerns. Be with yourself in the all-encompassing dark.

Open yourself to the natural world energies of this longest night of the year and the awakening tendrils of new light and new beginnings that will soon be birthed from this deep darkness. Imagine taking these energies into your body and sense them calling forth your inner darkness and emerging light. Let your soul longings bubble up to the surface, stirring up the seeds of new beginnings waiting for you in the belly of the dark.

Stay in your center and observe any emotional reactions that you may have. No matter what arises, be it fear, anticipation, pain or joy, just keep your breath slow and steady, and your body and awareness open and receptive. Winter Solstice work can be edgy, awakening painful, fragile places in your psyche. You travel these pathways by your free will, so set the intention to be guided by your highest good and only go as deep as is right for you at this moment.

Continue to breathe and ground, slow and steady; let go of your emotions and settle into the empty silence within you.

Like Inanna, turn your mind to the Great Below, seeking out its rebirth magic to guide your journey of soul. See a portal before you with a passageway that leads down, down, down to the realm of Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld. As you make your descent toward Ereshkigal’s throne room, sense yourself traversing a series of gates where invisible hands strip you of your worldly masks and pretenses, and anything else that stands between you and the new beginning awaiting you this Winter Solstice eve.

At each of these gates, notice what is being taken from you, and how it feels to be free from its influence. Know that the ways you have learned to deny and hide from the truth that is your life, both the beautiful and painful, will only block your pathwork with Ereshkigal. But you engage this pathwork at your own pace, and need only strip yourself as bare as feels comfortable.

When you reach this point, you will find yourself on the threshold of Ereshkigal’s throne room. Look deep, deep inside: is there one more thing that you are still clinging to that must be surrendered to the dark? Name this thing and gently let it fall away.

Step past the threshold and stand before Ereshkigal, empty and humble. Take in your surroundings: the look and feel of the Great Below, the fearsome and beautiful presence of Ereshkigal on Her throne, and your physical, emotional and energetic responses to this sacred, powerful place.

Bear Ereshkigal’s scrutiny in silence, waiting for Her to speak and direct your engagement. This is Her sovereign realm, and you are here by Her grace and consent. Yet also stand proud and sure of yourself; you have made this descent and brave this encounter of your own volition.

There is no hiding in Ereshkigal’s presence. She knows why you are here and what you seek in the deepest dark of this Winter Solstice eve. Speak words of respect, and humbly request that She help you activate Her rebirth magic and discover the seeds of your beauty and wounding waking within you.

Ereshkigal descends from Her throne and directs your attention to a mirror of polished, black stone. This mirror has special powers; it can reveal the parts of your inner landscape and life story that are ready to return from the shadow places in your psyche to the light of your conscious awareness.

Focus your awareness on its reflective surface, and whisper to the mirror, “show me my beauty and wounding.”

Open yourself to the images and energies the mirror reveals: the hidden gifts, dormant potential and secret desires of your beauty, along with the repressed and forgotten pain, losses and suffering of your wounding. Do not deny or push anything away. But do practice self-care, and only delve as deep into your wounding as feels right for you.

Remember that your wounding is your ally, not your nemesis, and that the dark holds the lost jewels of your Deep Self and authentic humanity that have long waited to return to their rightful place and purpose in your waking life. You cannot move forward in reclaiming your beauty without also reclaiming your mirror wounding.

See the intertwining of your beauty and wounding, and the blessings and challenges offered by each. Spend as much time as you need to connect with these vital roots of your life story
and spiritual unfolding. Then reach for the parts of your beauty and wounding that are meant to guide your journey of soul at this time, and imagine them transforming into warm, fleshy seeds in your cupped palms. From these seeds, your pathwork of new beginnings will be born.

Hold the seeds outward for Ereshkigal’s perusal. Like Inanna, surrender yourself to Ereshkigal’s wisdom and ways. Heed Her words of guidance on the potent pathwork offered by these seeds, and let Her presence and rebirth magic settle into your flesh and bones. Though She can be a fierce and demanding taskmistress, Ereshkigal’s sacred intention is to help you transform into the fullness of your Deep Self.

If you are ready to do the pathwork revealed to you this Winter Solstice eve, bring these seeds of beauty and wounding to your lips and swallow them as a conscious act of receiving and ingesting their transformative energies. And in this powerful act, know that you have truly begun the work of mending and reclaiming your beauty and wounding, and of birthing a bright new beginning on your journey of soul.

Look one last time into Ereshkigal’s eyes as you bid Her farewell, seeing beyond Her ferocity to Her infinite love. Bow and offer Her your gratitude and reverence, for it is She who has guarded these lost parts of your life story and Deep Self, and the rebirth mysteries of the sacred dark, for the time when you would remember Her sacred presence and your own.

Use your breath to bring yourself back to waking consciousness and your physical body. Open your eyes and sit for a few minutes in the enveloping darkness. Then light a candle as a symbol of the new light and new beginning that will be born of this Winter Solstice magic with Ereshkigal. Take this light into your core, infusing the seeds in your belly with the hope and promise that from death comes new life, and from the darkest night of your wounding, the new dawn of your beauty is born.

Give yourself a gift of soul this Yule season.   The Path of She Book of Sabbats takes your deep into the Winter Solstice mysteries of death, rebirth and personal transformation.  Available in paperback and e-book at the Path Store.

Artwork by Christian Schloe

Your Rebirth Magic: Four Transformational Lessons for the Winter Season

Posted on:  Dec 12, 2020 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Featured, Sabbats

Winter can be an edgy time.  Nature strips itself bare in the face of harsh conditions of darkness, cold, death and scarcity.  These natural occurrences can trigger our primal fears of darkness, death, and the loss and suffering that come with our mortality. Our winter-season spiritual work can also be edgy as we turn inward to the dark, hidden places in our inner landscape, and come up against the painful, vulnerable parts of our life story.

It’s this very edginess that makes Winter one of the most powerful times of the year for transformational pathwork. Winter is the season of the Dark Goddess and Her rebirth magic. From darkness and death, new light and life are reborn. From the dark night of our personal wounding, we reclaim and rebirth our true, beautiful Self.

Here are four transformational lessons for your personal rebirth magic in the winter season.

1. Your personal rebirth magic arises from the depths of your inner darkness.   

Rebirth is a potent magic. It offers profound transformational change that can make your life anew. This magic doesn’t come from an outside source, nor from the things you already know and understand about yourself and your life. Rebirth is a special kind of transformative magic that emerges from the lost, forgotten and denied parts of your life story, secreted away in the dark folds of your inner landscape.

In Winter, Nature reveals the powerful workings of the Dark Goddess’s rebirth magic.  Beneath the outer dormancy and death of the natural realm, the seeds of Spring’s new growth gestate in the dark belly of the Earth. On the Winter Solstice, the darkest night births forth the light of the new solar year. Life and light are reborn from death and darkness.

So too the seeds of your personal rebirth magic gestate in the depths of your inner darkness.  Here you can discover the lost parts of your life story that hold the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are stirring at this time, waiting for the awakening touch of your conscious awareness and love.

Together these seeds can illuminate and guide your healing and personal growth in the months to come. When you find and reclaim your wounding, you awaken and reclaim your beauty. Just as life and light are reborn from death and darkness, so too your true beauty is reborn from your deep wounding — this is the personal rebirth magic that can make your life anew.

2. Your wounded self is your ally, not your enemy, on your journey of soul.

When you turn to your inner darkness in search of the deep roots of your healing and personal growth, you’re going to encounter your wounded self.  This is the part of you that carries your experiences and stories of loss, pain and sorrow, as well as your personal dysfunctions and tangled emotions related to your wounding experiences.

Our culture teaches us to fear and repress our wounding, and to run as fast as we can in the other direction. Yet none of this works, and will only block and delay your healing and personal growth.

Your wounded self isn’t your enemy. It’s the part of you that is the guardian and protector of your beauty, and the tender, vulnerable places inside of you. It learned how to cope, and sometimes even thrive, in the face of adversity. It remembers the truth of what happened to you, and the lost stories that can heal and set you free.

To embrace your rebirth magic is to make an ally of your wounded self. This part of you has suffered on your behalf, and deserves your love and tender attention. As your cherished partner on your journey of soul, your wounded self can guide your way through a painful, limiting past and into a new, more positive and empowering future.

3. To transform your life, you need to cultivate inner emptiness: a silent, fertile space of what else is true and possible.

If you truly want to transform your life, you need to learn to cultivate inner silence and emptiness. Profound change, the kind the can make your life anew, happens when you step past the stuff-filled space of what you know, and your busy, noisy mind, into the open, empty space of greater truth and possibilities.

The rebirth magic of the Dark Goddess requires you to show up to the raw, naked truth of your life story, beyond illusion, mind, ego and judgments. Nature in Winter is a living example of this inward-focused state of deep silence and stillness, with its outer manifestations stripped bare and dormant.

When you achieve this inner emptiness, you also become your own sacred witness — a silent, loving presence that watches whatever shows up in your inner emptiness, with curiosity, compassion, respect and gratitude. The silent witness doesn’t judge, take action or seek resolution.

Though these skills aren’t easy to master, they’re invaluable to your spiritual pathwork, and the ongoing challenges of your everyday life. What happens in this convergence of inner emptiness and sacred witness is transformational magic: whatever you need to focus on in your life, right now, shows up to guide your healing and personal evolution.

4. Whatever shows up is your work of soul at this time.

You are master of your own journey of soul, working at the level of depth and pace that are right for you. Self-care and self-responsibility are essential to your spiritual pathwork. And you always have a choice whether or not to do the soul work that shows up in your inner emptiness and explorations of your inner darkness. But you don’t control what shows up.

Spiritual pathwork isn’t always pretty or easy. Death, endings, loss, wounding, shadow — these are part of our human experiences, and the reality that governs all things of the living Earth. Try as we might, we can’t escape them. Instead, we need to embrace these aspects of our soul work as our teachers and guides in the hard, wondrous pathwork of healing and transformation.

Life is meant to be a tricky, bumpy business. Great beauty, wisdom, complexity and resilience can emerge from the depths of our struggles. And sometimes things have to end, to die, for something new to be born. This is just how things are, inevitable, inescapable and essential for our healing and personal growth.

In your rebirth pathwork, honor that whatever shows up is your soul work at this time. Let your wounding and your beauty inform and guide your spiritual journey in the months to come. Expect things to be messy, challenging and confusing, as well as inspiring, breathtaking and life changing. Your life story, everything you’ve experienced, the beautiful and the wounding, matter; it’s the very stuff of your rebirth magic that can mend your soul and make your life anew.

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).

 

 

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A Winter Solstice Mystery: Beauty In the Belly of the Dark

Posted on:  Dec 13, 2019 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

As the wheel of the year turns to the Winter Solstice, Nature settles ever deeper into Her cloak of darkness and repose. At the opposite end of the scale, our Western culture marks the holiday season in a flurry of shopping, social obligations and overconsumption — a busy end to a busy year in an outward-focused, ever-doing, hungry-for-more world.

Nature remembers what we have forgotten: every new cycle begins in the dark; from death comes new life, and from the darkest night, the new dawn is born.

Nature remembers what we humans have forgotten:
every cycle must return to stillness, silence, the dark;
every out-breath requires an in-breath;
every outer endeavor turns back inward to its origins, its center, and begins again;
from death comes new life, and from the darkest night, the new dawn is born.

Beauty sleeps in the belly of the dark, be it the seeds of the green growth of Spring, the powers and mysteries of the unknown, and our own dormant gifts and potential. Yet the dark has a gatekeeper; our pain, losses and the denied, repressed parts of our life story and humanity also await us in the belly of the dark. We cannot reclaim our beauty without also embracing and healing our wounding; both dwell within the shadowed folds of our inner world, side by side, a mirror of the other, each with gifts and blessings to share.

The part of you that holds your wounding is not your nemesis; it is the truth keeper of how you were hurt, what was taken from you and the choices you made in order to survive and even thrive in the face of adversity. It has stood guard and shielded your tender, beautiful, true Self, waiting for the ripe moment of your healing and blossoming.

If you are one of the fortunate ones, with few bumps and bruises in your life story, still the darkness has gifts lying in wait for you. Because the sacred dark is the truth keeper of the profound potential and mysteries of our authentic, whole/holy humanity that have been denied and repressed in our collective culture.

Open to the ways of Nature at this turning into the Winter Solstice. Heed the call arising from the belly of the dark that invites you to stillness, silence, and opens portals to your inner darkness. Let go of the frenetic activity of the season; follow your breath inward and return to your center in search of the fragments of your life story and true Self ready to return to the light.

So without, so within; as the new dawn is born of the darkest nights, so too can your beauty blossom from the depth of your wounding, and your whole/holy humanity shine forth into the returning light of a newborn day.

Celebrate Winter Solstice

with the Path of She Book of Sabbats. 

Buy now at the Path Store.

Photo Credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Winter Journey: Your Rebirth Magic Braving Your Inner Darkness

Posted on:  Dec 10, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Consider giving your Self a gift of soul this Yule season with the latest offering in the Path of She Guided Series Winter Journey: Your Rebirth Magic.

This has been a very challenging year, with the turmoil on the world stage amplifying our personal struggles and shaking up our sense of stability and wellbeing. Collectively we’ve entered a time of profound, turbulent change: a death–rebirth moment of the world as we know it. Fasten your seatbelt; things are going to get bumpy.

Winter is the time of the Dark Goddess, and Her mysteries of darkness, death and rebirth. She is our perfect companion in these turbulent, life-changing times. She teaches us that death, endings and struggle are inevitable, inescapable and essential for rebirth into new, life-affirming possibilities.

The Dark Goddess is an exacting task-mistress. She requires that we turn our focus inward, and reclaim the lost parts of our life story, both the beautiful and the wounding, that are the deep roots of our personal healing and transformation.
Though this is hard, demanding soul work, the benefits are immeasurable. Not only can we learn to navigate life’s challenges with power, presence and love, but we also heal and reclaim what is best and beautiful in our Self.  When we change ourselves, we change the world.

The Winter Journey: Your Rebirth Magic guides you through seven lessons with integrated teachings, exercises, guided meditation and journaling tasks, with the Dark Goddess and Nature as your teachers and companions.

On your Winter Journey, you will:

Delve into the winter season mysteries of darkness, death and rebirth.

Brave your own inner darkness in search of the lost parts of your life story, and the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are the makings of your personal rebirth magic at this time.

Learn the essential skills of rebirth magic: traveling the ways of the Dark Goddess; reclaiming your wounded self; and cultivating inner emptiness and loving awareness.

Discover the soul work that’s emerging for you at this time that can guide your healing and personal growth in the months to come.

The Winter Journey: Your Rebirth Magic includes: two pdf ebooks: the Winter Journey Guidebook and Winter Journey Journal, and the Winter Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio).

All of this is available to you for the affordable price of $16.99.  Buy now on the Path Store.

Winter Journey – Your Rebirth Magic: Braving Your Inner Darkness

Turn Inwards ~ Discover Your Rebirth Magic ~ Make Your Life Anew

Your Winter Journey awaits you.
.