Shadow Work: Walking the Witch’s Path
The Witch is back, thank Goddess.
It is beyond sweet to reclaim these deep Feminine mysteries and to reclaim one of the most repressed of all the Feminine aspects. But to do so, there is some serious shadow work to be done first.
It is glorious to be able to talk about rituals and divination and hands-on healing without being ostracized, chained up, or burned at the stake.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s be real about what we are doing here. About who we are dealing with.
Let’s remember the power of these archetypes, of this vein of Shakti. Let’s remember that we cannot invite in Hecate, Lilith, Persephone, without honoring their shadowy path. Let’s remember that we cannot fully access their gifts without journeying into their dark realms.
Into our dark realms.
Walk Her Path, Enter Her Realm
Feel into Hecate. Queen of witches. Keeper of the blood mysteries.
Once called The Lovely One, she was worshiped as widely as Zeus. But then her myth was distorted, just as those of so many goddesses. She was mutated and demonized, cast out as a gnarly, nasty, old crone. She was forced to go underground.
So down she went. Past the roots and the soil. Past awareness and intention. Down into the unseen realms, the place where our unconscious minds work, altering our lives without us realizing it.
She’s down there now, shifting and shuffling. Pushing things away, pulling things in. Sabotaging or assisting, depending on your point of view.
Welcome to her realm, the shadow realm. In this basement of our beings, a part of Self is always operating. But maybe not in the ways we’d hope.
This unconscious part of Self is working through the old patterns, the old karmas that keep us stuck. This part of Self is pulling in the necessary ingredients for another chance to learn the lesson. This part of Self will keep dating shitty people, will keep self-sabotaging, until the traps can’t trap you.
We all have it. There’s nothing wrong with it. There’s no way around it.
It’s shadow work. It’s part of what we’re here for. It’s how we come to “know thyself.” To become “conscious.”
Yep, that’s what all those gurus are talking about. That’s what those spiritual terms mean. They mean we bring a flashlight into the basement of our beings, and we look behind Door #1. Then we cry and shake, we process and accept, we eventually learn to love whatever was behind Door #1.
And then we repeat the process with Door #2. And #3. And #4.
And then we go down three floors into the dungeon, and we look for dragons to love down there.
That’s becoming conscious. That’s awakening. That’s enlightenment. We can’t skip the dragons in the basement.
And we don’t get to demonize them either. To hurl judgements at them, to act like they aren’t ours. Because the more we demonize and ostracize our shadow, the more power it has. The more we try to disassociate from our shadow, the more havoc it wreaks in our lives.
Luckily, Hecate mothered these dragons too. She, and all the Dark Goddesses, offer us access into the underworld so we can get to know them.
With this access, they gift us one of the most profound Feminine mysteries: to be conscious of the energies that are unconsciously shaping our lives. To see the unseen.
It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It.
To reclaim the witch, to access her full power, we have to walk this shadow path.
We can try to avoid it. We can try to jump to the fun part, the part where we can cast spells that come true, where we can see beyond our sight. But if we don’t first learn to face and love our dragons, we won’t have the juice, the Shakti, the soul in our rituals to create real magic.
Real magic. Undeniable manifestation. Power that is laying dormant within us all.
So why dance on the surface, why sprinkle unicorn pixie dust and call it magic, when we can worship at her altar of bones? When we can weave with the ancient vortex of ecstatic mystery?
If you walk the shadow path, it’s not just for you. It’s for us too.
The fullness of the Feminine is calling. She’s calling for us to birth a new world.
She’s calling for us to accept a part of ourselves we’ve never even met, to embrace the vast amount of untapped power that resides below the surface, that resides in the Feminine.
We don’t know what awaits us. But we know we can’t stay here. Individually, it’s going to be a wild ride. Collectively, it’s going to be a hell of a ride.
If you walk the shadow path, it’s not just for us. It’s for them too.
For the medicine women, for the dark goddesses, for our grandmothers who were burned at the stake.
They deserve our service. They deserve our reverence. They deserve our blood, sweat, and tears. Because they know how to use them. They know how to awaken the magic and divinity and soul within them.
So let’s venture into their realms, into their hidden homes, into the dark, secret spaces where they reside in our own bodies. Into our wombs.
It’s big work, it’s deep work, it’s womb work.
It’s not for everyone. It’s not for every lifetime. And it’s okay.
Because womb work requires you to excavate all the energetics your womb has ever held onto. Ever. From your ancestral line, from past lives. Because that’s what our wombs do, they carry, they hold, they do not let go easily.
Lifetimes of lovers. Lifetimes of babies. Lifetimes of the miscarriages. Every idea, person, place, hope, dream, trauma you’ve ever clung on to, it’s still there.
So let’s honor what the medicine woman has been through, and what she’s capable of. Let’s honor what womb awakening actually means. Let’s honor what we have to go through, and what we’ve already been through, to have these mystical, magical, powerful, wombs.
Because the power we have stored between our hips, the power of our softest space when it’s in its fullness, is beyond our wildest dreams.
From Here to There
Yet our wombs, our miraculous, ancient, rooted wombs are mostly dormant.
There’s so much stuff on top of them, so much rubble, so much crap in the basement. It’s blocking her juice.
Her power is not that high mystical energy that comes pouring into your crown from above. It’s not golden, wonderful, mystical, amazing fluff; it’s definitely not that.
Her Shakti rises. Like a serpent, our womb magic, Hecate’s gifts, emerge from below.
So an open crown, an awakened third eye, an expansive heart? Generally helpful, but here they miss the mark.
We have to look at our base chakras, our root and our sacral centers. Where we’ve stored fears around safety and security. Where we’ve harbored trauma and shame. Where we hold generations of pain.
And we are afraid to look under these rocks and behind these locked doors. We are afraid to find the grief, the rage, the terror that most definitely resides there. We are afraid if we do, it might be bottomless. We are afraid it might swallow us whole.
And somehow, that isn’t all of it. Somehow our fear isn’t constrained to the just unseen realms. Somehow we are afraid of what could happen out here, in the light, as well.
We are scared of our power. We are scared of our witch gifts. We are scared to be oracles.
Because we are scared to know. To learn the truth. To see things that we can’t unsee.
We might see that our partners are having affairs. We might see that lives we’ve built aren’t meant for us. We might see hardship and inequality and injustice where we could ignore it before.
And somehow more.
We are scared of sight turned back on ourselves. We are scared to be seen. To be truly seen. Maybe we are most scared of this above all.
Not so long ago embracing the witch gifts meant banishment, imprisonment, death. In some places it still does. We are playing with fire.
If nothing else, the world is going to judge us. And we will be the lucky ones.
And yet, we’re going to do it. We’re going to walk into their judgement and scorn with open arms, howling at the moon and stars.
We are going to find the courage to allow this aspect of the Feminine to flow through us, to be authentic to Self, to come home.
Because of what it means for ourselves, for our grandmothers, for everyone, and for everything else. For the plants and creatures who can’t stand up for themselves.
Because of what will happen if we flow with Her, instead of trying to cage Her.
Because every time we walk into the basement and open a door, she rises.
Every time we decide to see the unseen, she rises.
Every time we dare to rise, she rises.
She rises. She rises. She rises.
The Trap Door
It’s no wonder our egos aren’t happily diving into shadow work. It’s no wonder they try to distract us with unicorn pixie dust.
Eventually they settle into it, eventually they learn to take a back seat and buckle up. But in the beginning, they kick up quite a storm.
So we take it easy on them. Instead of diving head first in the underworld, we ask its inhabitants to come to us. We invite in Hecate. We call on Lilith. We open to Persephone.
We ask to receive their gifts, to know their wisdom, to flow with their Shakti, knowing all along that they won’t just bring us these things. Knowing all along they will also take us where we need to go, where we are too scared to go alone.
The magic is one side of the coin: the seeing, the mystery. And the shadow work is on the flip side, just out of sight. We can’t have one without the other.
You only need to ask for one. And when it arises, do your best to welcome the other.
If you feel called to a practice, check out these:
A guided practice to introduce us to our shadow realms (starting at minute 23).
A guided practice working with sacred rage to move hidden blocks (starting at minute 31).
If you feel called to learn more, check out these:
A podcast about the complete Goddess, not just the surface-level propaganda.
A podcast about Lilith, the ferocious, independent, sensual expression of the dark goddess.
If you feel called to work through music, we have created playlists for the Medicine Woman and Dark Goddess.