This blog post goes along with Healing Thru Tarot Podcast Episode 48: Shadow Work with the Dark Feminine + Review of the Shadow and Light Oracle and Reclaim Your Dark Goddess Book
In this blog, we’ll explore the archetypes of a few dark goddesses including Hekate, Lilith, and Kali and take a look at how we can work in the shadow with these figures to reach the light. I’ll also review the Shadow and Light Oracle by Selena Moon from Rockpool Publishing to help us see how looking at both the light and dark sides of ourselves and situations we’re in can benefit our healing journey. And I’ll review the Reclaiming Your Dark Goddess book by Flavia Kate Peters. At the end of the blog, I’ll share with you a 9 card spread that I created to help us reclaim our power based on the lessons we learn in this blog from the dark feminine.
I’ve been working with the Wild Woman Oracle, The Deep, Dark and Dangerous Oracle, and the Divine Feminine Oracle recently. And what I love about my study with these decks is that even these so called dark goddesses can serve to light the way for us during our shadow work. There are valuable lessons to learn when we study these figures who may also mirror for us our fears, flaws, and weaknesses. So, I want to take some time in this episode to look at a few of these darker feminine archetypes to see which lessons we can learn from them on our healing journey. From our shadow work together, you’ve probably already come to the conclusion that our work in the dark can lead us to the light. Even our shadow provides us with illumination. And from my work so far with the Darker Feminine Archetypes I can see that they have a lot to offer us in terms of healing, embracing our own power, and learning to take up space in the world.
They’ve certainly gotten a bad rap over the ages. Some see them as dark and evil, but I’ve also found that there are many healers in the world right now using these feminine powerhouses to teach empowerment, healing trauma, and balancing chakras especially the throat, solar plexus, and sacral chakras. No matter how these figures are represented and what they may trigger for you, there are lessons here for us to learn about where we feel repressed, where we are giving our power away, and how to reclaim that power.
I want to start with Hekate, The Queen of the Crossroads. And the reason I want to start with her is that she represents the torch in the darkness. When Persephone was taken by Hades into the underworld, Hekate guided her home with her torches. Not only did she light the way for her to see her path, she became a guide for Persephone once back home. So, not only is she urging us all to stay on our life path and to make decisions about which direction we will travel, she also models how to support each other on our different paths. I’ve long said that women need to come together to support and encourage each other. We’re not here to compete with one another. We should cheer each other on, offer emotional support, and be there for each other when we stumble and fall to lift each other back up.
The Wild Woman Oracle guidebook points out that Hekate is sometimes represented as a three headed woman looking in three different directions at the crossroads. This depicts her ability to see the past, present, and future. She is often shown carrying a torch for illumination, a dagger that cuts through illusion, and a key that can unlock any door we truly wish to enter.
When I think of Hekate and the crossroads, I always think about the 2 of Swords in the Tarot (Light Seers Tarot version shown above). Here, we have a choice to make, but we aren’t sure which option to go with. How many times do we become paralyzed on our journey by fear or a lack of self confidence when faced with a crossroads? I know that’s one of my biggest struggles on my own journey, especially in times when great change is about to occur. I had the 2 of Swords stalk me for a year and a half when I couldn’t make the decision to switch paths back around 2019. The cards kept reminding me that I needed to decide if I was going to take a risk and leap into something new or stay in my comfort zone, hidden in the shadows where I knew it was safe.
Change is scary and indecision in those moments is a huge struggle that we all face. Even when we know change and transformation are unavoidable, it’s still so hard to fight that fear of backlash from others, of failure, and the unknown. Hekate is there to remind us that we have the power to choose to make a change, to start traveling down a new path, and to stretch ourselves in a new area to see what we’re made of. So she asks us – what are you afraid of, what decision are you putting off out of fear, and why don’t you trust yourself with making this choice? She urges us to look into areas where we may lack self-confidence or feel unworthy or unprepared. And she reminds us that a choice has to be made. It’s just up to us the path we will choose and how long we will put off that choice which could have consequences as well if we wait too long.
Next, let’s look at Lilith. Now she’s a very polarizing figure. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about her until recently when she kept popping up in my shadow work studies. Some view her as an evil demon and succubus but others revere her as the first feminist and view her as a more empowered, wise woman who refused to conform to beliefs that weren’t her own and also refused to give up her autonomy. From what I’ve read according to Jewish folklore, Lilith was Adam’s first wife and was created by God from the same earth as him. When he wished for her to be subservient to him, she refused because she saw them as equals – both made by God. Thus, demanding equality and respect. When he insisted on her submission, she uttered God’s divine name and fled the Garden of Eden. This is the moment she initiates the first divorce and becomes the first feminist. It is said that Adam sent angels after her to bring her back but that she refused to return.
You’ve probably encountered Lilith in your shadow work due to her representation of our unrealized desires, sensuality, and sexuality. Some see her as a representation of freedom from restraints, restrictions, and being muzzled because she refused to be dominated or defined by anyone other than herself. So some healers use her as a powerful force to heal repressed rage, grief over injustices, and trauma from abuse.
To learn how different healers work with the Lilith archetype, I pulled out the Lilith cards from my feminine decks to share with you. Let’s see what we can learn from her.
In the Divine Feminine Oracle (shown above), they have her listed as “The First Woman” and the intention on her card says, “I am the voice of my body and soul. I choose the life that I desire to live.” The guidebook says, “Lilith embodies our sovereignty to declare our desires and do what must be done in order to live them out.”
And we’re asked the following questions in relation to Lilith’s story: What would happen if you left everything behind? What’s preventing you from getting to experience all that you desire? Is it you? Is it an idea of someone you have to be? Or is it society’s definition of what it means to be a woman? What does the life you truly desire look like? Are you sexually fulfilled?
She reminds us that we are the rulers of our own body and soul. She refused to settle, so when we look at her we should ask ourselves where we might be settling in our lives and if we are satisfied with our life and our role in it. In many ways, Lilith represents the sacral chakra which is our sensuality and creative centers. She helps us clear those blockages so our passion can flow effortlessly.
There’s also a Lilith card in one of my newest decks the Wild Woman Oracle. Here she is called “The First Feminist” with the keyword “autonomy.” She asks, “In what ways have I been sacrificing my autonomy, or personal freedom, for the acceptance or approval of another lately?” Here, her message is to never let another ask or demand that you sacrifice your freedom for them. And honestly, if someone truly loved you they would never ask that of you. Healthy relationships are built on mutual respect, trust, and equality. And she urges you to free yourself from situations where you are forced to give up your freedom even if that means being demonized for it.
With Lilith, I think of the Devil card in the tarot because this card represents bondage and restrictions. (Dark Mansion Tarot shown above). The figures in the card are chained and held captive. They aren’t free to make their own choices or follow their path. They have no will. But she urges us to break free from the chains that bind us. Honestly, this restrictive energy related to the Devil card and Lilith feels like it’s coming up more and more as the rights of women and minorities are being slashed here recently. That rage against the machine energy feels like it’s building and building. And it can be useful energy if harnessed and used to fight something unjust like restrictions of personal freedoms.
With this in mind, I think about the Hierophant reversed in the tarot because Lilith gives us a warning not to conform no matter how much pressure is applied. In the next episode I’ll be talking about healing the witch wound and that applies here too. Due to the patriarchy, women have been demonized and persecuted for not sharing traditional views on marriage, sexuality, child rearing and their role in the workplace. This has gone on for ages. And it has never gone well for those that have tried to keep women barefoot and pregnant – essentially chained and restricted from living out their own life goals and choices. So, Lilith energy is definitely present when women’s rights are being cut off.
In the Wild Woman Oracle guidebook the creator points out that Lilith "is the Wild Woman within every woman who demands to be respected and who lives in alignment with her inner truth. She is the woman who would rather live autonomously than with another whose ideals she was born to break."
Did you know there’s a Lilith placement in everyone’s birth chart? It’s call Black Moon Lilith and it’s associated with raw, primal energy and feminine power. The placement of Lilith in your chart will reveal the area where you have untapped potential and where you need to reclaim your autonomy. You can find it by locating the symbol that looks like a crescent moon and a cross. Once you know the zodiac sign and house it lands in, google the meaning and find out where you need to assert your independence.
The last dark feminine I’d like to discuss is Kali, sometimes called the Mother of the Universe. She’s considered to be the goddess of ultimate power, time, and destruction. In the Divine Feminine Oracle they portray her as the ultimate wake up call that will help get us aligned with our soul purpose. This makes me think of the Judgement card in the tarot. I’ve always read it as a wake-up call to your soul’s calling, your higher path.
Kali is a Hindu goddess who is known for her ferocious, protective energy. She is considered that which brings all things to life or to an end. She appears wrathful, but is fiercely loving to those that mean well. She’s like a mama bear. If you mess with her children, back up. The phrase, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,’ fits her perfectly. But the good thing about Kali is that she will strip away what no longer serves us, which is for our highest good, but can also feel very unnerving. I think of the Tower card in the tarot here. The Tower removes what we no longer need and provides us an opportunity to start fresh and rebuild, often with a better plan and a stronger foundation, but few ever welcome a tower moment. It’s gutting when it comes. So Kali, who is the great purifier, asks us what is falling away from our lives that no longer serves us and how can we help that process by letting it fall away?
Often, she will help us with this process by stripping away any illusions or delusions we’ve been under so we can see the truth of the matter and willingly choose to walk away and start anew in a complete rebirth moment like in the Death card in the tarot. So, what Kali gives us is fierce tough love, a shocking wake up call, a nudge to be authentic, and a warning to not believe the illusions around us but to open our eyes to the harsh truth even if it hurts.
Each of the dark or divine feminine figures (however you view them) are rebels in their own right and were born to break norms. They can help us see where we are restrained, where we are deluding ourselves, and how we are keeping ourselves stuck in patterns that don’t serve us. Each offer us opportunities to heal in the darkness and emerge into the light. These are 3 powerful figures. If you want to work with their energies, I suggest doing some research first, so you’re prepared. What I’ve proposed today is an academic look at their characteristics and the lessons we can learn from them from a safe distance. I’ve seen mixed reactions from people who have called their energies in to embody so I just want to caution you to wade into those waters gently. But I hope through our analysis today that you feel like you’ve gained some insight into how even the dark goddesses have a place in our healing journey. And if you want to work with the Dark and Divine Feminine energies, I highly recommend the Wild Woman Oracle, The Deep, Dark and Dangerous Oracle, and The Divine Feminine Oracle. I’ve reviewed each of these in previous episodes if you want to hear more about them. Links to all these decks are at the bottom of the blog.
Rockpool Publishing sent over the Shadow and Light Oracle: Reflection Cards to Unlock Your Unconscious Mind by Selena Moon. This 36 card oracle deck for personal growth, self-improvement, and self-worth was designed to offer a mirror to the reader for self-reflection during hard times of struggle and transformation. With 36 cards this deck actually offers 72 perspectives since each card explores opposite constructs such as light and shadow, growth and pain, true self – pseudo self, and obliviousness – awareness just to name a few.
This deck is a tool to provide new perspectives to consider on your journey of self-awareness and self-discovery. It’s a great deck to use while journaling so you can explore your thoughts on the 2 perspectives presented with each card. This deck provides insights that could be beneficial on a journey of healing, especially a shadow work journey since the dark and the light are explored fully in this oracle. If you’re looking for a deck to push you and challenge you on your healing journey, this could be the deck for you. It’s deep and offers the opportunity for intensive self-reflection and growth through the exploration of multiple perspectives that maybe you haven’t considered yet.
The creator shares her discoveries and insights from her study of psychology and her own self-exploration from the past several years in hopes to inspire, comfort, and support card readers who are exploring their own depths of their soul with the goal of improving the self. Each card gives an affirmation, message, and practical exercise to explore the opposing constructs on the card further.
For example, for the card with overthinking vs. self-reflection – she talks about the difference in examining our thoughts and reflecting vs. overanalyzing and catastrophizing. She asks you to start looking at your thoughts objectively and to assess the truth or proof behind the statements you tell yourself. The affirmation with this card is “I have power over my thoughts.” The exercise she suggests is writing down these 3 questions and placing them somewhere you can see them daily – Do I have proof? What might be an alternative truth? And What soothing thing can I tell myself?
When you start to fret look at these questions and explore the answers to help control your anxiety and calm your mind. In therapy, we use this technique and it’s called reality testing. Here, you can test your thoughts to determine if you’re obsessing over things that may never come to pass or are highly unlikely to occur. Fixating on thoughts that are not based in reality can increase your anxiety, stress, and anger, and deplete your confidence in your ability to overcome obstacles. This technique helps to ground us in reality and helps to break the hold these fearful thoughts have over us.
These cards are great for considering different options and choices such as choosing a direction for your new path. In the guidebook, she includes a reflection spread for examining things from a different perspective or exploring options open to you now and a spread to gain personal insights into your current situation and fears as well as a way to overcome those fears and insecurities. If you’re drawn to psychological decks, this is a great choice.
Rockpool Publishing also sent over the book, Reclaim your Dark Goddess: The Alchemy of Transformation by Flavia Kate Peters. This book introduces us to the term Dark Goddess and offers several indepth examples of figures throughout history and folklore who can help us usher in big changes, a total rebirth, harsh necessary life lessons all while imparting profound wisdom as well. Rockpool publishing says – “If you've been experiencing somber times and wish to return to the light, you can harness the wisdom of the Dark Goddess with this practical self-help survival manual, which will reshape your dark night of the soul.”
The book also provides incarnations for each dark goddess to help us embrace our shadow and bring in illumination. Some of the dark goddesses she details include Hel, Baba Yaga, Fortuna, Maeve, and the Morrigan. She also offers empowering rituals, goddess magick, invocations, and healing spells to help us through our awakening or dark night of the soul. For each goddess, she provides archetypal shadow traits, related symbolism and themes, lessons she represents or teaches and crystals, herbs, oils, moon phases, and seasons to use or tap into when working with her.
I love how she describes the process of working with the dark goddesses. “In our dark night of the soul, it is the crone of winter, the divine hag of the north who calls you to her side when you accept an invitation to witness the loss of everything you once knew in return for transformation. It is she who presides over the long, bleak winter months, and it is she who calls through the harshness of disappointment, sorrow, envy, anger and other lower emotions.” This is a perfect reading choice if you’re deep into your shadow work or dark night of the soul.
Flavia even adds insightful interpretations to stories we all know. Consider what she says about the Cinderella story we all know and love. “Both the stepmother and the fairy godmother are representations of the magical powerful feminine who bring the gift of darkness, which is needed to appreciate the gift of light. The wicked stepmother’s cruelty was the struggle Cinderella had to endure to find her true self and go from naïve child to adult. But even the seemingly benevolent fairy godmother didn’t just give Cinderella her prince but made her go through a trial and potential loss in order to appreciate the final triumph.” Wow! Talk about a whole new way of viewing this story, the characters in it and their roles they had to play to bring about Cinderella's stunning transformation both internally and externally.
If you’re ready to fully reclaim your power, check out Reclaim your Dark Goddess now. Thanks to Rockpool Publishing for sending over this book and the Shadow and Light Oracle for me to review and share in this blog. Links are at the end of the blog.
For this spread, I was inspired by each of the 3 dark goddesses we discussed today and their messages related to healing and empowerment.
I’d love to see the photo of your spreads. Please tag me on Instagram @healingthrutarot and please use #HTTReclaimingMyPowerSpread
And if you're looking for a good witchy book for autumn, check out my new book series, The Divining Sisters, which is a fictional divination book series and is perfect for this time of year. Book 3: The Threads of Fate just released. If you haven't started the series yet, now is a good time as Book 4 is coming by Summer 2024.
Start the series with Book 1, The Call of the Cards - Find out more details on my novels on my author website author.heatherhardison.com - that’s where I post updates on book releases, video book trailers, quotes, photos of the book covers, and fun things like my Spotify playlists for each book. I carefully curate those to express the energy of each book so please check those out. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see updates on the book releases there. I have 2 instagram accounts I’m healingthrutarot for all my podcast and tarot posts and I have an author account called heatherhardisonauthor
You can find the paperbacks on Amazon and the ebooks on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, Scribd, Smash words, and more. You can even put in a request for the eBook thru your library. The Ebook is $4.99 and the paperback is $14.99
The Call of the Cards - The Divining Sisters Book 1
We Divine Three - The Divining Sisters Book 2
The Threads of Fate - The Divining Sisters Book 3
And it’s that time of year when we need to order another tarot journal. I always order a new Writual Tarot Planner around this time. If you want one before the new year, remember you can use my Writual discount code at checkout. Use my Writual ambassador link here along with my discount code HEALING (all caps), which gets you 15% off your Writual purchases when you use that affiliate link and code.
Writual has tarot stamps and stickers, dated and undated tarot journals and planners, including one for kids, tarot decks and tarot-themed mugs, candles, and jewelry so check them out using my link!
A Spread for All Seasons - 17 custom spreads
Healing and Mental Health Spreads Vol. 1 - 15 custom spreads
Healing and Mental Health Spreads Vol. 2- 15 9-card spreads
Shadow Work Spreads and Workbook - 20 spreads
Healing Thru Tarot’s Life Path and Life Purpose spread ebook includes 15 custom spreads I’ve created to help you identify and align with your life path and sail to success. Spreads like the life path alignment spread, lightwork path guidance spread, conquering obstacles on my path spread, advice from my future self-spread and karmic healing path spread will help you position yourself to step into your full power and achieve the purpose you incarnated to fulfill. Plus many more spreads offering guidance and advice to get on path and stay on track. $12
Books and Decks shown in this blog or recommended: Deep, Dark, and Dangerous Oracle, The Divine Feminine Oracle, The Wild Woman Oracle, Reclaim Your Dark Goddess Book, Shadow and Light Oracle, The Light Seers Tarot, The Dark Mansion Tarot
Link to Podcast Episode 48 click here
FTC Disclosure: In accordance with Title 16 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 255, “Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I received Magic Mind elixir from Magic Mind, The Shadow and Light Oracle and Reclaim Your Dark Goddess Book from Rockpool Publishing for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of these products.
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