Reflections on the Dark Goddess Year
For the whole of 2022 we took an oath:
We would not share about our Dark Goddess process publicly--not on social media, in a personal blog or online. Even with our intimates we were circumspect for thirteen moons. In this way we created a safe container for our transformative magic.
With the culmination of the Dark Goddess Project--and the supremely potent reflection of writing a book in its conclusion--I want to share now a few insights and recommendations for this rite of passage work.
If you are wishing to engage in the Dark Goddess process--either through the online class (now self-study) at the Wild Soul School, through a future live experience with my community, or through your own process working in your personal circles with the Dark Goddess Book (subscribe to my Myth & Moon letter for book release updates)
From Samhain in 2021 until Imbolc in 2023 we traveled through this myth path both as an offline cohort of eleven individuals, and as an online community. This year was visioned as a way for me to integrate my own Dark Goddess death transition, while simultaneously crafting curriculum and sharing the path with others...this was a huge challenge. I thought I was simplifying my workload by only teaching one class this past year, but the intensity of the class, combined with the content generation was one of the most challenging experiences I've had thus far as an educator.
For the duration of the year my work included:
crafting nearly two books worth of curriculum, including practice suggestions, themes, myths and ceremonies in both typewritten and handmade work
reading and individually responding to over 100 letters from the cohort
facilitating eight live gatherings at the quarter and cross quarter days
generating quarterly folklore and seasonal ritual missives for patrons via the Year of Ceremony
sending out packages to the cohort with handmade garden goods and ritual tools quarterly
creating and participating in a rite of passage ceremony for the cohort
It was a lot! (When I told my friend that the next time I want to take on such an ambitious workload she can gently dissuade me, she said, "I thought you might need to learn that on your own...")
Meanwhile I had COVID twice in 2022, and a dental infection that required pretty invasive surgery, all with long recovery times--an integrative part of my Dark Goddess rite of passage.
Simultaneously, this year brought me so much joy--and a deep, vibrant hope in the potential for this rite of passage work. I saw every member of the cohort grow rooted and powerful in their intention. They made bold moves, addressed addictive patterns, stepped toward the things they were fearing, made space for rest and art, challenged ancestral patterns, crafted new stories, traveled, purchased homes, started businesses, redefined their intentions and recommitted to full, whole lives. It was beautiful to witness, powerful to weave with and share in community. And the deepest secret of this work is its simplicity: intentional crafting of daily practices that plant the seeds for our becoming, and keeping a record of that process is the actual core of transformation. When we honor those intentions and our challenges with ritual, we sing into our birthright.
This whole process has affirmed for me again our collective need to re-member rites of passage, to honor them and celebrate our transformations in community. We don't need to believe the same things or even operate in a spiritual matrix to do this work together: it is about getting offline, slowing down, making our processes deliberate and choosing to celebrate each other.
Emerging from the Dark Goddess year has been difficult for me. I was exhausted, and immediately moved into a (much beloved) book deadline. Not only this, but I am hearing from other participants the root of my own experience: the journey continues. Even as we complete one rite, another often can begin. Initiations do not "end" our transitions, we loop and spiral through mythic time, transforming again, again, again.
This is the third month past our concluding ceremony at Yule and just now I am beginning to feel the excitement of new possibilities. The work of the book has been integrative--and ongoing--but I feel the joyful wish to gather once again, the press of new classes, the call of old communities.
I took a break from this journal for the duration of the Dark Goddess year, but as I write this I am feeling a pleasure at returning. I have a Substack but don't like the idea of a newsletter going out every time I write something, so I'll be linking to my more informal writing on this blog. Writing is already a theme that has emerged from the Dark Goddess year--writing and myth, more on the latter later. As I craft a Wild Soul School class schedule for the year ahead the Spirit and Story Sacred Writing class is the one I am fully committed to. Dark Goddess participants greatly benefited from the regular ritual writing, and writing is my heart love--I miss teaching it. One of my writing teachers said that we write to understand what we are thinking, and it is, in this sense, a true weaving for me: words and work, ways and rhythms.
I also believe we create the world with our writing, that we craft through form something more than imagination. We can, with words, make something real.
If you would like to be a part of these future visions, consider becoming a part of the patronage that makes all of this possible, sign up for Myth & Moon or join the free Wild Soul School community.
With this weaving may we create new patterns of meaning and purpose to live by.
By this and every effort may the balance be regained.