Permission to Descend: The Power of Embracing Your Darkness

Embracing the Dark Goddess

(Originally published in Rebelle Society at:

As a Goddess coach, healer and yoga teacher, I have the incredible blessing of supporting soulful women all over the world heal their most painful patterns and create the lives they dream of. I was called to this sacred work after transcending many personal traumas and struggles on my own journey.

Every day on this beautiful path, I feel endlessly grateful and humbled to empower fellow sisters in becoming healed and whole by reconnecting with their own strength and wisdom. And in honor of this very path, sometimes I need to fall apart.

Sometimes, I need nothing more than to hide away from all the things and ones I love and retreat into nothingness.

Sometimes, I need the utter emptiness and all-encompassing darkness of the Great Mother’s womb.

Sometimes, I need absolute solitude to let another layer of pain and rage erupt and explode into tears.

Sometimes, I need to fully come undone before I am ready to invite grace.

Thankfully, as a woman, this is both my divine nature and my birthright.

As women, we are cyclical beings. Like the moon and Mother Nature, we are constantly ebbing and flowing, rising and falling, creating and transforming.

Giving ourselves permission to descend—to face our most raw and intense emotions—is one of the most radical acts of self-love, acceptance and empowerment that we can gift ourselves.

In Goddess traditions, when we delve into this retreat, we are being embraced by the Dark Mother. She is the crone, wise woman, high priestess, healer and warrior within each of us.

As ferocious and untamable goddess Kali, she beckons us to let out our battle cry with all our might, that we may arise fierce and focused.

As Sige, goddess of silence and mother of Sophia (goddess of wisdom), she midwives our truth as we labor in darkness.

As Persephone, goddess of spring and queen of the underworld, she reminds us that through embracing what we find in the depths of our own unconscious, we emerge whole and empowered, ready to create anew.

As divine feminine aspects of our own nature, these goddesses remind us that it is both normal and essential for us to withdraw sometimes. For seeds germinate in the dark, fertile soil before they sprout into light. Babies are enveloped and nourished in the dark waters of their mother’s wombs before they are birthed. Caterpillars are cocooned in their dark chrysalis’ before they transform into beautiful butterflies.

We too need to give ourselves permission to be in darkness when it calls us. We too need to surrender to the healing wisdom of our own cycles, that we may continually release, replenish and renew.

Here are three simple ways to honor your own inner callings into darkness, beloved sister:

1. Create Space

In order to give yourself inner space, carve out a sacred outer space. This can be a nook or corner in your home, a place in nature, or even your bathroom. The key is this place be private and safe.

Keep this space tidy, and add any elements that give you a sense of sanctuary, such as plants and flowers, incense, candles, crystals, spiritual statues…anything that helps you connect with the divine in a physical way.

Enter your sanctuary whenever you need to. If you live with others, ideally, try to go here when you will be alone. Otherwise, clearly and lovingly communicate that your privacy and time be respected. Make an appointment with yourself, and keep it as you would with a therapist, for you are indeed being your own healer.

2. Hold Space

When in your descent, be gentle and patient with yourself, like a loving mother with her ailing child. Do whatever you need to do to fully feel and witness your uncensored emotions in the safety of your temple.

Get honest and be vulnerable. Cry. Scream. Write. Paint.

Get inner support by talking to your angels, guides or goddesses.

Get real and unapologetic about what’s working or not working for you.

The very discomfort this brings up will become the catalyst for whatever needs to be completed or elevated in your life. Only in giving yourself full permission to face the darkest, scariest parts of your self can you bring them into the light for healing and transforming. So hold the space for what needs to come through.

3. Embrace Grace

By nurturing and honoring yourself through this catharsis, you will have purged all that needs to be. And through this very emptying, you are filled. You gain clarity and resolve. You touch your power. You connect with your intuition. You know your truth and stand in it lovingly.

You are able to reface the world with firm, fierce grace. This is why it is also essential to resurface from your retreat, as over-indulging here won’t serve you. Allow the same divine force that pulled you downward to help you emerge back into your life.

Get more support from a trusted and loving friend, confidant or professional if you need to. But do heed the call to go within and unravel, beloved. Because when we allow ourselves to descend into our wombanly darkness, we also empower ourselves to ascend into ever greater light.

Going through a descent of your own? I’ would love to support you, beloved. Book a personal coaching session with me so we can help you rise up and embrace the transformational gifts of this sacred time. 

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