In my experience, not all Dark Goddesses are the same. They may have some overlap and similar domains, but Their particular work in that domain can be very different. Another interesting similarity to all of them is an association to fire and light in the sense of illuminating or uncovering. A little hint at the duality within.
I have worked with three particular Goddesses that are considered Dark Goddesses – The Morrigan, Hel, and Hecate. Each experience with Them was unique and the work was very specific. They all align though with my path as a Death/ Spirit Worker. So let’s dive a little into that…
Hecate was the one I have worked with the least. She came in for a short span of time to teach me lessons about the crossroads, dirt, and aspects of Dualities in magic. The light and dark – both being used together as a blending for better results. Even a curse could do with a little sweetness depending on the future actions of the receiver.
She taught me the crossroads were both a symbolism and a place of power. The symbolism showing the concept of seeing from all directions, all perspectives, to make the best choice possible. To be aware and use all your senses to recognize the dangers down each path. They are also magical places of power. The place where the different sides of duality blend together, being able to use both at once. Due to this, they are also places where worlds/ realms blend – a doorway or portal like structure you can access there. It goes deeper, but that is a decent overview.
Hecate, for me, was just a teacher. The bond was nothing like the ones I have with The Morrigan or Hel. She was kind in Her presentation but the focus was just on the work. You know the type of teacher – The one who smiles nicely but doesn’t bother with coddling or hand holding. She is serious about Her work, demanding like The Morrigan, and very focused on the task at hand.
Of course I think a lot of this had to do with the role She played in my journey. She was not one meant to stick around or become part of larger journey. She had a couple of specific things to teach and then She was out. The role Deity plays in our practice I think has a lot to do with how They present to us and how we experience Them. I know others who have a deep relationship to Hecate and their experiences with Her are very different from mine.
I have gone in depth into my relationship with The Morrigan before, so I will try not to repeat myself too much.
Since The Morrigan has been my Primary, and the one who deals in all my foundation work, my experience of Her is reflective of that. I have never found Her scary, blood thirsty, or wrathful as I have heard some others say. She is demanding – If you walk with Her and take up Her work, you better do it. She is not looking for perfection, She knows we will falter and fall along the way, but She does demands consistency and doing the work before us. She is not motherly in the warm and fuzzy sense, but she cares deeply about those who build bonds with Her and will fiercely protect them.
The Morrigan is blunt – which some people will take as mean or scary I suppose, but since I am the same, it was welcoming to me. When I am messing up, She has no problem letting me know it. This comes in various ways, but the one that gets my attention most is when She directly yells at me. I know She is just trying to help me, but it can be disturbing at times. In the same retrospect, She is also quick to let me know what I am doing right.
Perhaps it is just my relationship with The Morrigan, but She has a wickedly funny sense of humor. Some of Her stories She tells me just crack me up. There is one vision/ story She gave me that has a very common theme but Her words were hilarious:
A goat in a dying, dead looking field, and across the fence was a lush and green field he longed for. Eventually he gets over there and while that field started dying and turning icky, his previous field started growing lush and green. Her words – “It’s his own sh*t making his field icky, and no matter how often he moves, it won’t change till he realizes it.” I cracked up at that because She was so animated with it and it was such a good analogy.
The Morrigan’s darkness for me was embracing my shadow, my darkness – all aspects of transformation, but especially tearing down to bone – understanding cycles, to see and understand prophecy both from a cycle perspective but also where/ how to bend and reshape it – knowing and accessing the world of spirit, what that means and the sovereignty of all sides in that. In the end, I deal more with the self and inner self work with The Morrigan, so our relationship reflects that.
The Goddess Hel
My relationship with Hel is a complex one and in a current state of evolution again. Hel has been the crafter of many skills for me. Going deeper into the aspects of the soul, walking among the Dead, spirit communication, divination, The Well of Souls, The Web of Life, the art of Seidr, and other similar skills. It was like I got one level of experience from The Morrigan, and then Hel took me deeper.
Hel, like most Deity I have experienced is very misunderstood, at least from my perspective. She is the one who hates christianity most and I can understand why. They took death, twisting and distorting it, encasing it in fear to control their congregations, and at the same time making it the purpose of living. It’s weird to say the least, but it really distorted how people perceive the Goddess Hel in the process.
In my experience, Hel is the motherly type. Not my mother, as some might say, but She holds deep compassion, sympathy, and love. Her focus is on the soul, the energy that moves life and remains after our shell has fallen away. She deeply cares for the souls in Her care, as they move through The Well. Like The Morrigan though, She can also be fiercely protective when needed.
Many see Her as half flesh half dead, or half flesh half blue, split down the middle. Due to this, in my mind when first connecting to Her, that is how She appeared. Over time, the bones covered and Her skin tone all over was more bluish. Then, Her skin became more white, like the moments right after death but before the blue tint really takes hold – Her hair went from dark to a golden blonde – Her eyes from blue to gold like fire – Her physical touch being warm and even fiery at times, deceptive of the skin that makes you think it will be cold. Perhaps this transformation is due to the clearing out of other peoples perceptions and seeing Her for who She really is (I tend to lean this way more in the theory). It could also be due to the stage of our bond and the work we are doing. Either way, it is also a change I have experienced with many other Deities over time, so the concept interests me.
I will be going deeper into Hel over time, as She does play a significant role for my practice and as I said, it’s currently evolving. I am not quite sure where we are going or the work that lays ahead yet, but I have no doubt it will be interesting. Right now we are just strengthening the bond for the work ahead.
I do feel all Dark Goddesses are connected, but They are also very specific in the lessons and domains They work within. The cultures They come from can play a role in that. It could also be how people have connected to Them and worked with Them over long periods of time. I don’t think anyone can give a definitive answers as to why, but then again maybe we shouldn’t try.
You may also work with more than one Dark Goddess. If each one has Their own domains, lessons, and skills, it makes sense that you would connect to different ones for different reasons. This is especially true if you are a Death Worker in any form.
I built and worked on transformation, inner work, and foundations with The Morrigan. Thus our relationship and work reflect those aspects. I know others who are more connected to Her battle side, and their relationship with Her is much different than mine.
I have worked specifically with Hel as it pertains to The Well, The Web, Working and communicating with the Dead, and the art of Seidr. So my relationship is reflective of that work. Others work with Her in more of the domains The Morrigan is over for me, so it looks different.
No matter which ones you work with or build bonds with (yes there is a difference), that relationship is personal. Those lessons and skill building you do with Them will be tailored to your own path and growth. So I wouldn’t be so concerned if it looks like someone else’s – because in my opinion it shouldn’t. There may be similarities and places where it looks similar, but the work you are doing with Them is for you.
Things you can either share in the comments, or just answer for yourself.
Do you work with any Dark Goddesses?
What is Their role in your life and practice?
What skills have you developed with Them?
If you work with more than one – Do They have specific domains and focuses for you?
How do you feel about Dark Goddesses – Their representation in our worlds, how you perceive Them, what makes Them a Dark Goddess?