“I know my Worth. I’ve paid dearly for every ounce of it.” – Alfa
Black soot-stained feathers brush across my cheekbones, dappling ink across my flesh.
Experience is worn, painted on, from the dusty remnants of burning the defunct remnants of a former life, a constant reminder when the sting of memory fades and the tears are all spent.
The Goddess Badb will always bring me back to myself, time and again, even when I find myself ashamed in the recalling.
Her crow-like shrill shatters rose-tinted mirrors and lets the vascular fluid pour from beneath the cracks, blushing petals mixed with void fluid; a horrendous, glorious and intricate mess of experiences and mistakes.
Goddess Badb promises little except the journey, and the outcome.
A journey back to self, where I reclaimed myself, bloody and raw, curled up on the bathroom floor screeching at my Goddess… angry at Her, angry at myself for allowing myself to be used and lied to … but a journey that would shape my independence in the end.
A journey that finished in real self-love.
Not the sweet gentle kind that lavishes with sweet kisses but the furious indignant self-love which banshee-screams that NEVER again shall I be treated like that. Never again will I permit it.
Much has been said on the topic of self-love, and the empowerment that unfolds from this process, but one area which many choose to ignore, even under the Dark Goddesses, is that fury, indignation, and even spite, have their place in the reclamation of self.
If the surviving Morrigan mythology tells us anything it is of the ferocity of warfare, a determination towards victory and the body-morphing ability of battle-frenzied blood thirst.
Such themes make many uncomfortable; but then if your aim was the sanctuary of your comfort zone you crowed at the wrong Goddess.
One of the ways this priestess has found these themes have transmuted is in the concept of bloody rebirth;
“I see all who are born
[In the] blood-zealous vigorous battle
raging [on the] raven-battlefield [with] blade-scabbards…”
– Kings arise to Battle, Second Battle of Mag Tuired
Many will talk of shadow self-love in terms of healing those parts of your being which suffer, but forget to emphasize that the only way to make peace with these elements of the self is to travel through them; honouring what emotional states occur as they do so, screaming in indignation at dishonourable treatment at the hands of others, using the catalyst of spite to get the personal cylinders of inner fire active, and burning down all the bridges that tether you to a stagnant life with the match lit from fury.
The moments of screaming are telling, they punctuate our lives with full-stops bitten into the fabric of our stories.
They call out to the Death Goddesses, a raw and holy sacrament echoing with vulnerability and the truth that tears our throats open; only in honest agony do we scream so.Such emotional states cannot be replicated nor fabricated, they sing with authenticity in their very bones, which crack open, often against our will, leaving us wrecked upon the shores on which we find ourselves adrift.
And Badb answers, without question, or hesitation.
There is a tendency to see such moments of unmaking as weakness, and to speak of them as the veneration of victimization.
Such is the choir of those who wish only sanitization and the shallow appearance of false equilibrium; it is not the chasm of the Dark Goddess who cracks open the ventricles of our hearts with her clawed talons, until we slide out from between the chambers.
We are the depth of our experiences, our hurts and our joys, none venerated more than the other, both completely necessary.
How can we claim to love ourselves, be on course with our Wild empowerment until we embrace the savagery of our hearts?
How can we claim to understand power until we have gazed headlong into the void of our own powerlessness and harboured the blame for our own undoing?
Until we have felt such hopelessness, we cannot fathom how to reject that we deserve to remain in such agony, we have not felt the surge of fury that ignites the smouldering embers of our tattered former selves.
We learn to liberate ourselves, demanding our autonomy, forging our freedom with our every heartbeat, drawing fire-branded lines in the sand and breathing out a tornado of death wails; No More, No More, No More…
“I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung
Some see the embracing of such states as a call to be stagnant within them; as if any condition of our existence was ever permanent.
To know pain, to understand it, to feel it with every whimper from the throat and crack of the body is far, far removed from the exaltation of pain.
It is a moment of burning, and then liberation; as though the witch has found herself again bound to the stake and after the moment of agony and death wakes and finds herself in a different time, able to continue their sacred mission, freer, and liberated, yet still with work to do.
Wilier too, for never again will they permit themselves to be lashed and beaten: the lesson has been well learnt.
And then we choose to live.
Not a spectral half life, although we might shift and shape and meet Badb in those shadows and speak to our ghosts.
Not a life governed by our past, though we might comb over our memories to glean better insight.
Not a life lived in mourning, though our hearts will wail from time to time, and our tears cleanse and honour what was once.
But in the shaping of our own victories, hard-fought for and bloody, and in the end… glorious.
Many Blessings, Starlet
Want to learn more about The Morrigan? Check out my videos:
The Death Goddess – Morrigan (Badb)
Goddess Morrigan and Animal Symbolism