Returning From Eleusis

I’m home. And yet I feel like I am in a strange place.

Eleusis, spring mysteries, spring mysteries festival, journey to Eleusis

It’s always difficult returning from extended magical space – whether it is a festival or a course or just time with loved ones – and moving back into the mundane day to day life. Returning from Eleusis is no different.

I was in a world outside of time and space, a world apart from the concerns of daily life. It wasn’t that time didn’t exist – there was definitely a sense of treasuring and honoring the moments that I had with the family that was not of my blood, serving my community in such a unique and special way.

I’ve been home nearly a week. I’m back at work, and done (most of) the laundry. Not everything is put away yet – there are still a few bits to get put back in their homes. I’ve even had an opportunity to rest. I was forced to rest, really. My body decided it was going to get sick and make me take a day to do nothing.

The most challenging part of coming back is reflecting on the lessons and integrating what I’ve learned. Once out of the magical space, it starts to fade, like waking from a dream.

One thing that doesn’t fade is the connection that I worked so hard to establish with the Goddesses I worked with in the months leading up to Spring Mysteries – Hekate and Ereshkigal.

These two work very well together. I even learned that in the Greek Magical Papyri, they were event conflated as Hekate-Ereshkigal. Many people are afraid of the Dark Mother and the Underworld. And I’ll admit, if you are not ready to meet Her, or your own Shadow, She can be frightening. She is not soft and gentle, though She is beautiful. Terrifyingly beautiful.

Hekate, and Ereshkigal, will hold you accountable. She will kick your butt to keep you going. She pushes you to grow. And I love Her for that. She pushed me a lot. She is STILL pushing me to be more, be better, keep growing, and keep serving.

If you’d like to meet these Dark Mothers, you can go for A Walk with Hekate, or A Walk with Inanna (to see Ereshkigal). Are you ready for the lessons She has for you?

Blessings,

Mary

Back to Baba Yaga

Its been several weeks since I last wrote about Baba Yaga. A lot has happened since then in my personal life, as well as in my research.

baba_yaga_by_ravenari-d249zoe

Baba Yaga by Ravenari

Baba Yaga is not easy to track down. She is remarkably hard to find, even in my meditation time. There are some folktales and stories about her. It seems, though, that few have delved into her mysteries, and shared what they have learned. Perhaps they were shown to be unworthy and were eaten up?

But she was not always easy to find in the folktales either. She lived deep in the dark forest, in a kingdom far beyond this one. The young hero or heroine had to travel long and far to find her hut that turned on its chicken legs.

One must have courage to go looking for Baba Yaga. For she is the “Dark Mother”, the “Devouring Mother” (as opposed to the “Good Mother” or “Abundant Mother”). The Good Mother feeds us and clothes us and wraps us in her arms to protect us from the things that lurk in the night. She speaks soothing, loving words to us. The Dark Mother eats us instead of feeding us, makes us work to earn the right to continue living instead of nurturing, and speaks harsh words, if she speaks to us at all.

And yet, she prepares us for the next round of life. Like a plant that must wither and die, only to sprout fresh in the spring, we must die to who we were to be reborn to who we are becoming. There is no life without death, and no death without life.

Baba Yaga knows the power of fire – its heat, light, and animating force for life, as well as its destructive nature. She is also the guardian of the waters of life and death. These waters, like fire, have the power to harm or to heal.

To seek Baba Yaga is to seek death to some part of yourself, knowing that this death will create space for something new to flourish.  To destroy that which no longer serves you to allow that which does to enter in. To kill ignorance and denial in search of wisdom and understanding.

Perhaps I have had a hard time finding Baba Yaga because I am not yet ready to let go of the old. Or WAS not ready. I am ready now. And so I pick up my journey once more where I left of before. Time to embrace endings and new beginnings!

Blessings,

Mary