“Dark goddesses are disturbing, fearsome, and beautiful. They can be shunned or overlooked, as they represent aspects of life that people find uncomfortable — sometimes only when those powers are in female hands. Powers of age and death, sex and sovereignty, ferocity and judgment. Of magic, mystery, and transformation. Of suffering and shadow.” Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, page 9 of “Dark Goddess Tarot Companion”.
Almost seven years ago I wrote about the Tarot of the Crone, created by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. Now she has created and drawn another stunning deck, the Dark Goddess Tarot. It is a 78-card tarot deck with a traditional structure, although several of the cards are renamed. A goddess or mythical female figure appears on each card, and her energy expands the meaning of the card itself. There is much rich information to be gleaned from each card; many of the people who have used the deck have commented that it lends itself better to small readings (1-3 cards), rather than larger readings.
What I find especially fascinating is the way these goddesses deal with the shadow. In psychology, the shadow is that which society or the individual sees as unacceptable, and is therefore buried in the subconscious. However, the shadow is still there, a part of who we are, and if we do not acknowledge it and somehow welcome its presence in our lives, we will find that it bursts forth when we least expect it. Remember, each attribute may be seen as negative or positive.
At the recent Reader’s Studio in New York, Carolyn Cushing, Nancy Antenucci, and Ellen collaborated on the opening and closing ceremonies. During the closing ceremony, they said that Persephone (Greek Goddess of Resurrection) had three seeds for each person there: 1) a seed ready to grow right now, 2) a seed to grow at the beginning of August, and 3) a seed to grow sometime before you die.
I used the Dark Goddess Tarot to learn about my seeds, and dealt the following cards:
The seed ready to grow right now: Nine of Water, Lady of the Lake. Ellen gives some background on each goddess, what it may mean when this card appears, and exercises to get more in touch with the goddess and her message (as in meditation and things to do). As you read what she has written, and how it applies to your life and your question, it becomes more clear what the advice is. In this case, the Lady of the Lake (British Goddess of the Quest) has to do with my growth into maturity, and what my calling is at this time. It’s about the edges of things, where growth and magic are more possible. I went to a local river and sat there for a while. I think right now I am called to work on environmental issues, especially against a proposed mining operation at the headwaters of the Smith River. As I focus on protecting the Earth we have been given, I will continue to grow.
The seed that will begin growing at the beginning of August: Seven of Air, Laverna. She is the Roman Goddess of Thieves. :-) “Cause people to question the assumptions they have about you. Redefine yourself. Strive for more freedom in your thoughts and behavior. Be prepared for a shake-up if you have been assuming too much or relying too heavily on the status quo.” (Pg 127 of the “Dark Goddess Tarot Companion) Am sure this will become more clear as the time comes, however it looks like at least some of the advice is not to be so concerned with being Ms. Nice. One of the things I love about getting older is the freedom to say what you think, and not worry so much about what other people think of you.
Finally, the seed that will be ready to grow sometime before I die: II Priestess, The Pythia. She is the Delphic Oracle of the Gods, and deals with truth and advice not always self-evident. For me, this ties in with my role in life as discussed in the Michael Teachings. It often means something as simple as a smile, or a gentle word at the right time. While I have a thirst to learn, I also want very much just to help people on an everyday basis.
I very much enjoy using the Dark Goddess Tarot, and the Companion book adds so much to it. The only thing that has kept me from using it more is that the cards are a bit big for my small hands. However, as I use the cards more they are becoming more flexible.
If you are interested in learning more about the Dark Goddess Tarot, I encourage you to visit Ellen’s website at http://darkgoddesstarot.com/