PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Winter Solstice
The Rebirth Magic of the Dark Goddess: Four Teachings for the Winter Season

Winter is the season of the Dark Goddess and Her rebirth magic.

Beneath Nature’s outer state of dormancy and death, new life gestates in the dark belly of the Earth. On the Winter Solstice, the new light of the solar year is reborn from the darkest night.  So too we reclaim and rebirth our true beauty from the depths of our wounding. These are the Dark Goddess mysteries that call to us in the winter season.

The Dark Goddess’s wisdom teachings reach out to us from the ancient Sumerian myth of Inanna’s descent to the Underworld realm of Her sister, Ereshkigal. Together, these sister Goddesses gift us with the forgotten ways of the Dark Goddess’s rebirth magic.

Here are four Dark Goddess teachings to guide your personal rebirth magic in the winter season.

1. Turn your mind to your inner darkness to seek your personal rebirth magic.

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

Inanna turns Her mind to the Great Below. She chooses to leave the land above to descend into the Underworld realm of the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. She steps beyond Her known, secure world in search of the transformation that awaits Her in the vast unknown of the sacred dark.

The Dark Goddess is Mistress of the sacred dark that exists both in the greater world, and in the depths of your inner landscape. Here you can discover the very stuff of your rebirth magic: the lost stories of your beauty and wounding, as well as the hidden treasures of your dormant gifts and potential.  

Be brave. Turn your mind to your inner landscape. Follow in Inanna’s footsteps, and descend into the vast unknown of the sacred dark within. The healing and transformation you seek awaits you there.

2.  Commit to show up, empty and open, to the raw, unedited truth that is your life.

There’s no hiding, running away or distraction when you descend into your inner darkness in search of your rebirth magic. An empty, open state of being is an essential requirement in your rebirth pathwork with the Dark Goddess.

To enter Ereshkigal’s realm and descend to Her throne room in the depths of the Underworld, Inanna must give up Her royal accoutrements. This is the law of the Great Below. Inanna passes through seven gates; at each gate something is taken away, until naked and humbled, She stands before the mighty Ereshkigal.

The Dark Goddess doesn’t ask these things of Inanna, or of you, because She is cruel or domineering. She knows that you can’t learn, heal or grow when you’re burdened with a busy life, and stuff-filled mind. She strips you down so you can be present to the greater truths and possibilities within you.

Be still, empty, open. Know that when you work with the Dark Goddess, She will demand much of you. She will take away your masks, pretensions, judgements and anything else that stands between you and your work of soul. You’re the master of your own journey, working at the pace and level of depth that are right for you, and ensuring your self-care and self-responsibility in your spiritual pathwork. But, step by step, healing moment by healing moment, the Dark Goddess will return you to the raw, unedited truth that is your life, and the inner space of your deepest transformation.

3. Sometimes something has to die, to end, for something new to be reborn.

Decline, death, suffering, wounding – these are parts of our human experience, 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 mortal existence as our allies and guides in our rebirth pathwork of healing and transformation.

Ereshkigal takes Inanna’s life. Inanna makes this ultimate sacrifice in service of Her greater becoming. This too is the law of the Great Below.  

Both Goddesses understand that suffering and sacrifice are the price of admission to the Underworld, and to life itself, and that the old self must die for something new to be born in its place. These are the deepest roots of the Dark Goddess’s rebirth magic.

Be wise and let your unfolding life lead your soul work. Don’t expect your spiritual pathwork to be pretty or easy. There’s a sacred purpose in everything that comes your way, even those death-like endings, and wounding experiences. Rebirth magic will take you to the deepest roots of your soul work. It will ask you to die to your old self, over and over again. But trust that something new will always arise in its place.

4. Rebirth is the Dark Goddess’s gift and promise.

To travel the ways of the Dark Goddess isn’t for the fainthearted. It requires bravery, commitment, wisdom and resilience, as well as a high level of self-care and self-responsibility. The Dark Goddess is a demanding taskmistress, but She gives so much in return. 
 
Ereshkigal grants Inanna the ultimate gift for Her suffering and sacrifices — a new life. Inanna is reborn, transformed into Her full beauty and power: Goddess of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld. Inanna accepts Her death, trusting that rebirth will come, because this is the way of Ereshkigal. 

Inanna knows these things. She descends into the Great Below and abides by its laws by Her own freewill and choice. She stands before Ereshkigal humbled but undiminished, still a Goddess in Her own right.  She surrenders to death and is reborn into a more powerful, whole version of Her Self.  This is the Dark Goddess’s gift and promise to anyone who braves the Great Below and Her ways of rebirth.

In the winter season, with the powers of death and darkness reaching their peak on the Winter Solstice, the Dark Goddess calls you to Her rebirth magic. Like Inanna, you get to choose whether to say yes to the ways of the Dark Goddess, and let Her guide you into the depths of your inner darkness where your rebirth magic awaits you. Though the work may seem hard and daunting, remember that the gifts are immeasurable, because what is reborn is nothing less than your true, beautiful, powerful Self.  

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I find a rock with sun on it b2ap3_thumbnail_December-2016-017.JPG
and a stream where the water runs gentle

and the trees which one by one give me company
so I must stay for a long time.
Until I have grown from the rock
and the stream is running through me
and I cannot tell myself from one tall tree…

–Nancy Wood, in Sisters of the Earth

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Jerusalem Angels and Winter Solstice

Jerusalem, Israel was beginning to feel like home by mid December, and I looked forward to celebrating the Winter Solstice in what felt to me like one of the most significant and powerful portals on planet Earth. Leaning to the east, my three, in the front of my condo Aleppo pines, were swaying in a warm breeze and it was another day with temperatures around 15 Celsius and filled with sunshine. I had been listening to Radio Jordan as I usually did every morning at 9 a.m. while decorating our huge indoor palm tree with twinkling lights and copper angels for our Winter Solstice celebration. With a delightful gusto the radio personality would tell us what the king was doing every morning. King Hussein, who was married to an American architect, Queen Noir, was the Jordanian king then. The announcer told us that this day the king was flying to England on vacation with his family. He would be the chief pilot for this flite and I thought I sensed the flying king was excited to be flying, and heading to a home that he had recently purchased in the English countryside just outside of London.

It was on a Friday late morning, the 18th of December that I received a phone call that initially threw me for a loop. The caller had heard that I was a Reiki Master and that I was in touch with the metaphysical. She had urgently to meet up with me and talk to me about something she had seen, and would I meet her at the King David Hotel on King David Street in the center of Jerusalem? I always loved going to downtown Jerusalem, a metropolitan city where one could see the Old City and Mount Zion from the King David. Perhaps I would stop in at UNTSO headquarters and have a chat with my husband who worked there for the UN.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

We are a circle b2ap3_thumbnail_December-2016-001.JPG
within a circle
with no beginning
and never ending
...

(We are a Circle)

The second advent candle is lit. The theme is Peace. The element is Fire. Passion. Warmth. Nourishment. Light. Creativity. May we stoke our passions mindfully and keep the fires of our spirits burning. 

...
Last modified on
The Path of She: A Journey of Transformation with the Goddess

My journey on the Path of She began thirty years ago.

At this time, I was in my mid-twenties, totally lost in the mainstream culture, with a business degree and a promising career in a blue chip company, living a material, achievement-driven life that neither fed my soul nor gave me joy.

Then one fateful night, on a Winter Solstice eve, the Goddess came to me in a dream. Though I wouldn’t remember this dream until many years later, my life was set on a new course.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
On the Bridge

For more than 30 years now, we've gathered on this bridge on the morning of the winter solstice to watch the newborn Sun rise out of the Mississippi Valley.

They say that every bridge takes a life in the building. This bridge took the life of a poet. Surely a bridge dyed with the blood of a poet will stand for long and long.

People have been watching the Midwinter Sun rise here for long and long as well. As we turn our faces to the southeast on Yule morning, we will face the site of one of the oldest and largest Winter Villages on the Upper Mississippi. Here families that dispersed during the summer to gather, hunt, and farm, would come together to overwinter. At one time, as many as 20,000 people may have lived here: as many, in fact, as live here now.

On the east bank, the living. Here Big Village was located. On the west bank, the dead. Here a row of eleven mounds once stood, where, since perhaps 700 CE, bone bundles were ceremoniously deposited.

Life and death, and the bridge between. Summer and winter, east and west. Here we stand, between, as we have always stood.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Tonight's New Moon is in Sagittarius. Archer energy is always fun -- Sagittarius, while the philosopher's sign, is also always up for anything. As a Sag myself, I often say my philosophy of life is, "What? I'm too busy dancing!" When the New Moon is in Sagittarius, we're invited to look at our Shadow side and discover what spark of light we can generate or find to illuminate the darkness. Coming as it does in the darkening days before Winter Solstice, the Sagittarius New Moon also reminds us that there is always dawning after the night, and also that night will inevitably follow day. We need to ride the tides of this cycle, trusting that all darkness will eventually be dispelled by light -- even if it means that darkness must come again eventually.

The focus this new moon is on relationships -- with each other, with the world, with our communities, and with ourselves. Awakenings happening to us and around us as well -- some of these are painful, some are jarring, but all are necessary. There is a sense that the world is waking up from a long sleep, or shaking itself out of complacency. 

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you, always love your insights. My intention is to share my crone experience with my beloveds (especially those in despair

Additional information