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The Dark Mother

 

The Dark Mother is the most misunderstood of the triple aspects of the Goddess. Her color is Black and she absorbs everything, including light and life. The dark of the Moon is Her time, the Abyss and darkness of space Her home. Her number is nine, symbolizing wisdom and sacred magick. Nine is also the number of completion and the completion of beginnings is the Crone’s place in the cycle of birth-life-death.

The greatest fear in Western Society is the fear of death and so many have turned away from this face of our Mother. We see this in our fevered need for eternal “youth and beauty” (as defined by society) and in the medical community’s fight against aging and death. Who among us had not had a friend or family member kept “alive” on life support long after the soul has left the body to resume its journey?

We also see this turning away in the way this country treats its elderly. At a time of life in which a person should be venerated for wisdom and knowledge they could pass on to the young ones among us, the elderly are at best “taken care of” (read: loss of privacy, dignity and freedom) or at worst completely ignored. Advanced age should be a time to look forward to in our lives. We should be able to look back and remember all that has happened to us with wisdom and good humor. We should be given the chance to relax and rest and contemplate our lives in preparation of a joyful reunion with the Dark Mother, come to take us into Her starry womb once more. Instead because we don’t build a comfortable relationship with the Crone early in our lives, near the end all we feel is frustration and fear.

How do we build a relationship with the Crone, this Dark Mother who upholds the laws of life and death with a rigorous need for balance that may seem so many times harsh to us? First we must realize that Death is not the only domain of the Crone. Endings of all sorts fall under Her sway, and endings always lead to new beginnings.

You can get in touch with the Crone during many transitional periods in your life; during the ending of relationships or jobs, when you need to regroup your energies at the end of a project or problem, even when you are getting your garden ready for the winter. The Dark Mother also covers trance states, spirit communication, and prophecy. Menopause is also a time to learn about the Crone aspect of the Goddess.

Crone magick is not all that different from Her other three aspects, one must simply remember that the Crone is not a Goddess of birth, but of the harvesting and resting of all life. One may use meditation, candle burning and other general tools of magick to draw Her energies near. Her power may be called upon with dark candles such as black, dark blues or deep purples. Another of Her magickal domains is retribution, but you must be certain that you are justified in your need. Do not ask for revenge (remember the Law of Three!), do not be specific in anything that you want done. Simply lay the problem before Her and allow Her to decide whether or not there has been a true imbalance of justice.

At the Winter Solstice, you can burn white, red and black candles to be reminded that everything is born, lives and dies to be born again.

In the end, all must confront the Dark Mother, willingly, or unwillingly. How much better it would be to realize that She is not to be dreaded, a figure in black come to take us away from all we know and love, but a loving Goddess come to take us home so that we may rest and revive and begin our journey on the Wheel of Life once more.

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