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The Dark Goddess and the Light Goddess

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There are as many Dark and Light Goddesses as there are traditions and religions. Many have multiple archetypes within each. The Morrigan told me once, “it does not matter the name you call the divine, it is the connection that matters” and I fully believe this. In my experience we get the guide we need – thus we get the face of the Goddess that we particularly need for our own journey of growth. There are reasons why we connect to specific ones. Perhaps it is the ancestry or faith you are following. Perhaps it is in the manner They give Their lessons, or perhaps it is the lessons themselves that they specifically hold.

I believe each Goddess is an individual, with Her own domains, lessons, and ways. I also believe They are all connected and part of the larger pattern of the Divine Feminine – Faces and aspects of Her. Whether you agree or disagree with this idea doesn’t really matter here. How you experience that Divine Feminine, the form, or forms, She takes for you, the connection you build to Her – that is the important thing. For those are the things you need for your own growth, for your own path you walk through this world.

In my experience, each form of Her that I have experienced has shown or taught me something that I probably would not have looked at without that particular Goddess. Something unique to that Goddess or the culture She came from. I have experienced many of Her faces, all for different reasons. The one constant between all of Them though, is that the lessons they walked me through were all about my own personal growth. Discovering the strengths and recognizing the weaknesses within myself. Guiding me through facing my shadows and healing myself. Giving me the right support for my personality and how I learn best. Challenging me so I could grow and become my authentic self in every way. To claim and own the power within myself.

Our concept of “Dark” and “Light” Goddesses seems to be more influenced by christianity and its impact on society than an actual Dark or Light. Generally Dark Goddesses are seen associated with the dead, the underworld, with war, with fury, and the harsher aspects of life. Strong Women demonized by a church that could not stand to see that kind of power in a woman. Although They do hold these aspects, my own experiences are Their lessons are more inward than outward. The battle is more inward – reconciling imbalances within myself, setting true foundations and rules for myself, and boundaries. It has been a journey of facing my own shadows within, my own pain, my own failures – being honest about them and taking responsibility for my own parts within them so I could heal them and move on from them. For me, the journey with my Dark Goddess was about the inward journey. Bringing myself to balance, understanding duality, seeing different perspectives and overcoming those things that have held me back. It was about recognizing, claiming, and embodying my own power without apology.

For me, The Morrigan is all about transformation – and in my case, the transformation of the self. She is the face I needed to do the work that was required. She is not evil. She is not this blood thirsty Goddess who craves war and destruction for the sake of war and destruction – Her war and destruction has purpose and meaning behind every step. Destruction is not evil but necessary in order for something completely new to emerge from the ashes. She is blunt and demanding, which I have seen many take as scary or harsh. I appreciate those qualities though, for they are also mine. I didn’t need someone to coddle me through the work, I needed a guide that would just lay it out as it is and refuse to let me ignore it, and that is exactly what I got. I got the Dark Goddess I needed for the work I had to do.

Recently there has been a shift within my practices and with my Goddess. I have spent years working with my Dark Goddess. Growing and transforming. It has been made obvious that, for now, that particular work is completed and it is time to move into the realm of the Light Goddess. A new face for a host of new lessons and growth. This does not mean that The Morrigan is going away or that I am leaving behind any of the lessons and growth I have achieved with Her. She will always be walking with me and be a part of me. The domains I enter now are just not Hers. As new things are learned and incorporated, The Morrigan and Her work will also be there because I built my foundations with Her and Transformation with Her. It just means that my coming lessons will reside in a realm that is not the work I have done with Her – thus a new face is emerging to walk me through them.

I have ideas and theories as to what walking with the Light Goddess, or Goddesses, will bring, but to be honest this journey is just beginning. I won’t know the lessons until they are presented and I work through them. I can speculate all day long, but I have learned that Their vision is much larger than mine and those speculations generally just graze the surface. I do however know the face of the Light Goddess that has come to work and it is Mary.

Yes, the christian Divine Feminine. It feels more Magdalene than the Mother, though I feel both, so perhaps over time they have become more connected, or perhaps it is both forms I will be working with. As I am not, and never will, follow the christian religion I have struggled with this being the form my Light Goddess takes. Perhaps it is this mindset of looking at all of christianity as one whole blob that can not be separated into parts – but that is a messed up view considering how I perceive Deity and practices. Deity are their own authority and their ties to a religion is a human thing. I have worked with many Deity but I do not ascribe to any of the “religions or traditions” that are associated with them. My practices, Faith, and Spirituality is my own, created by my experiences and work. The Morrigan is my Goddess but I do not follow a tradition/ practice like others do who work with Her. I have worked deeply with Hela, yet I would never consider myself Norse pagan.

I do consider myself a Folk Practitioner though, with animistic views, which is quite evident in my work and spiritual beliefs. Many aspects of christianity are deeply woven into folk practices due to the society our ancestors lived within and that we still live within today. Christianity wasn’t just a religion, it was a dominating force that dug itself deep into our societal structures for centuries, that laws and countries as we know them now, were built upon and transformed by. So many folk practices around the globe, including indigenous ones have incorporated certain tools and guides from christianity – Not embracing the religion itself, but the tools from the religion. Reshaping them and using the forms for their needs and purposes.

As my practice has shifted and I have been doing a lot of deep work with my Ancestors, I believe this may be a reason why it is Mary who is the Guide that will walk me through these lessons on the Light side. Upon deep reflections and conversations with my Ancestors I have come to realize, that for them, Mary was the face of the Divine Feminine – Their Goddess. It is how many pagan Goddesses survived through the age of christianity. It is to Mary whom my own mother prayed to and held a deep connection with, not the christian god. I suspect this was the case for many women, especially those of catholic background. In a male dominated religion that saw and used women as cattle, degrading them down to servants of men, Mary would have been who I would have connected to as well. The female Goddess.

So even though I have struggled with the face that has come, I am now embracing it. I am starting to understand. So I will do what I always do with my Guides – I will learn Their stories directly from Them. I will work with Them as Themselves and listen to the lessons They bring. Because it is not a practice, tradition, or religion I am connecting to – It is a Deity, a Guide. My whole initial reaction was my own bullshit about the church and its hierarchy, and not about Mary Herself.

It was also interesting, after doing some brief research on the Gospel of Mary, I am also realizing that the church as we know it today was probably never the “church” that was supposed to be. I do not know where this path will lead, but I believe we get the Goddess we need – so for whatever reason, Mary is that Goddess for me. It will be an interest path to say the least.

As I said before, my Dark Goddess doesn’t go away while I work with the Light. Both sides are the duality of the same pattern. Two sides of the Divine Feminine. Their lessons may be different, the way They go about things may be different, but both sides work for the same goal. So this is the beginning of my next journey. The next major phase of my growth. I do not know where we are going, but I am excited to walk the journey.