Here is another thorny topic for some, the Dark Goddess. Many honor the Triple Goddess with no room for a fourth, others mix her in with the Crone Goddess. I think there are mysteries in life and that there is a fourth living in the shadows. Not really a 'evil' Goddess, just the dark to balance the light. Many of these notes are mixed since it is hard to find info solely on her. This is not meant to offend anyone. Use the notes as a starting place and follow up with your own research.
The Dark Goddess is the aspect of the Goddess most often deemed mysterious, dangerous, violent or ill tempered. Dark Goddesses or God appear in almost all religions featuring female/male deities and are widely the most misinterpreted and misunderstood of deities worshipped by modern day practitioners.
Many Dark Goddesses deal with the subject of destruction. The popular Hindu Goddess Kali, Supreme Dark Mother Goddess, is known as the Mother of Dissolution and Destruction. As the Goddess of destruction, without further study one might assume that she is ill tempered and violent, sadistic or insane in nature. Do your research. According to Hindu mythology, she destroys ignorance, destroys that which opens chaos or disrupts harmony, destroys the ego which interferes with the workings of God, and blesses those who strive to know God.
Such misunderstandings is widespread in the study of the Dark Goddesses. So, if Dark Goddesses are not evil, then why do we call them 'dark'? One line of thinking is inherited from European practices in which men who sought to justify the conquering and enslavement of darker skinned people all over the world linked darkness of skin with evil.
Lilith, the first wife found in Jewish-Gnostic scriptures, is portrayed as a dark angel or a winged demon, also known as the first Eve. She represents feminine evil, deeply suppressed in human unconscious. As a handmaid she would gather men in from the fields for the sacred rites, willing or not.
Far earlier than that, when light skinned Aryan tribes moved into the area of present day India and began to conquer the dark skinned Dravidian people, the Aryan people subjected the natives to the caste system, which relegated all of the most darkly colored people to the lowest caste, marking them as something less than human.
Darkness in Wicca is not a negative thing, it is rest, stillness or letting go. Wicca speaks of dark in its more original context: "hidden or unknown". The Dark Goddess is the counterpart to the life giving aspect of the Goddess we usually associate with. She brings death, for without death, we cannot fertilize the earth to bring new life. She is the destroyer, for without destroying that which we no longer need, we cannot grow. She is the keeper of magic and mystery, for without the hidden truths, our journey as a human seems without point and purpose. Darkness should be honored, it is necessary and valuable to the circle.
The Dark Goddesses represents the hidden and suppressed aspects of a women and men psyche that lives unseen in the shadows of the personality. In order to know oneself, one needs to intimately know and understand both your light and dark aspects.
When the shadow is not integrated into the personality self, the personality will overcompensate for this imbalance in its reactive self. Thus, as long as you suppress your dark feminine self, you will only express your light positive masculine self and the inner child will be subjected to an on-going cycle of pain and suffering. It will continuously be subjected to inner criticism, the need for perfection, the need for acceptance and the need to be validated at all times.
As you understand your life’s mission and purpose on a deeper level, you will see that the Dark Goddess holds the key to Divine Will for your life. It is to break the bonds of conditioning and to ask questions, it is often that which will bring you freedom.
The Dark Goddess symbols are the new moon m, cradle and grave, dog, winter, raven, midnight, fate and death, black, yew, dark in the light, balance, or the warrior and healer.
Hela h was the Goddess of Death and the Underworld in Norse mythology and for some myths she is the Dark Goddess. Hela (Hel) was frequently thought of as a Dark Mother Goddess, and she was known by other names including the Goddess of Death and the Afterlife, the Underground Earth Mother, or the Ruler of the Realm of the Dead. Her body was seen as half dead and half alive. Some say that part of her body was beautiful while the other was horrid like death. This symbolizes the light and dark aspects within all of us.
The Dark Goddess speaks to us,
I am the Darkness behind the shadows.
I am the absence of air that awaits every breath.
I am the ending before life begins again,
the decay that fertilizes the living.
I am the bottomless pit,
the never ending struggle to reclaim that which is denied.
I am the key that unlocks every door,
for I am that which is hidden and secluded.
So may it be.