Dark goddesses are associated with the afterlife, ghosts, witchcraft, death and rebirth; they are often seen as the crone aspect of the divine feminine.
These goddesses are often honoured and called upon during the waning and dark moon phase, Samhain and the waning part of the year when it’s time to recognize endings and transformation.
Working with goddesses of witchcraft, the underworld and death doesn’t have to be only limited to certain times of the year, but can become part of a continuous personal practice.
Here in this post, we’ll cover:
- Introduction to some goddesses of witchcraft, the underworld and death
- How to connect with a dark goddess
- Ways to work with dark goddesses
Let’s begin with a few goddesses that are associated with witchcraft, the underworld and/or death:
Working with Goddesses of Witchcraft, the Underworld and Death
Greek goddess of witchcraft, necromancy, spirits, the moon, the sea.
Italian goddess, Queen of the Witches, daughter of Diana and Lucifer.
Gaelic crone goddess, creatrix, weather and ancestor goddess, also known as the Queen of Winter.
Morana is a Slavic goddess connected to winter, witchcraft and death. Her name varies among Slavic lanuages: Mara, Morena, Marzanna and more. In old texts, she is compared to Hekate.
Norse goddess of the underworld where those who didn’t die in battle are sent.
Baltic goddess of witchcraft, death, rebirth, women’s blood mysteries and protector of seers. Her name means “witch” in Lithuanian and Latvian.
To learn more about Ragana, read Working with Ragana, the Baltic Goddess of Witchcraft and Death.
Slavic folk legend / crone goddess who is a witch that lives in a forest. The word “baba” in Ukrainian and Russian can mean “grandmother” or “old woman”.
To learn more about working with Baba Yaga, read Witchcraft & Healing with Baba Yaga.
Goddess / folk saint in Mexican and Mexican-American folk Catholicism associated with healing, protection and safe accompaniment after death.
Irish goddess of battle, war, victory, death and magic; sometimes depicted as trio goddesses known as Badb, Macha and Nemain, or Badb, Macha and Anand or as land goddesses Ériu, Banba and Fódla. The Morrigan is sometimes appeared in the form of a crow.
Connecting with the Goddesses of Witchcraft, the Underworld and Death
Working with dark goddesses that are connected to witchcraft, the underworld and death can vary depending on the goddess that you choose to work with.
More often than not, a specific goddess may make herself known to you that you can’t ignore.
This often happens during a turning point in one’s life or a valuable lesson or teaching to be received from the goddess.
Each goddess will have her own energy, vibration and characteristics.
Not every witch or practitioner will be comfortable or resonate with every dark goddess.
It can take weeks or months to develop a personal connection with a specific goddess, which it may be more challenging to do so with a dark goddess, but can be worthwhile.
Here are a few suggestions on how to start a relationship and connection with a dark goddess of your choosing:
Study / research about the goddess
Find everything you can about the particular goddess that you want to connect with.
Do research online and in texts. Find books at your local library, bookstore or find books online.
There will be a lot of discrepancies when it comes to mythology.
Some of this is due to differences in translations, some information is updated from a long time ago, while other times some information is missing altogether.
Try to find the common theme or bottom line of the mythology stories.
Look for modern and ancient interpretations to myths and stories of the goddess(es).
Know the stories inside and out and interpret them personally to learn what they may mean and try to convey.
After you’ve done some reading and research about the goddess of your choosing, do some meditation on the goddess.
Try to strike up a conversation.
This may take longer for some people with certain goddesses.
Most dark goddesses don’t prefer people just calling upon them thinking it’s “fashionable” or “trendy”.
If you’re serious about working with a dark goddess, it will take patience and dedication and showing devotion to the goddess and respect to the goddess over the course of weeks and even months.
Tarot or other forms of divination can help to get messages and clarity from the goddess if you have difficult deciphering her messages to you through meditation or psychic channels.
Try these dark goddess inspired tarot spreads:
Check out the Dark Goddess Tarot Spreads e-book.
Leave offerings or create an altar
Research about what is sacred to the goddess of your choice and leave daily offerings to the goddess.
Find out what drink, food or items are sacred or best preferred by the goddess.
You can also create a separate altar for the goddess.
For example, offerings and devotions to Santa Muerte should be done at an altar dedicated only to Santa Muerte.
Some goddesses don’t want to share their offering or sacred space with other deities or spirits.
Along with offerings, a ritual can be done to align and connect with a specific goddess.
Rituals can help to attune oneself to deity and find unity in sacred space.
It can be suggested that after a year and a day of devotions and offerings to a specific goddess, a ritual can be done to dedicate yourself as priest/priestess of a particular goddess if you choose to continue to study, honour and work with that goddess.
Writing can help to work out thoughts and feelings about working with a specific goddess.
You may also choose to do automatic writing and get messages from a goddess.
To know more about the process in general, check out How to Do Automatic Writing
Ways to Work with Goddesses of Witchcraft, the Underworld and Death
There are different reasons as to why we can work with these dark goddesses of witchcraft, the underworld and death.
Here are a few ways that a witch or practitioner can work with a chosen dark goddess:
Learn a specific skill in witchcraft
For example, if you’re learning about spirit conjuring or necromancy, you may choose to work with Hekate.
If you’re wanting to explore more about herbalism and wildcrafting, you may choose to work with Baba Yaga.
Learn about death and rebirth
If you want to learn about the dying process and the afterlife, you may decide to work with Persephone or Hel.
If you’re wanting to do an underworld journey to explore the depths of yourself (very Plutonian ideas), you may decide to call up Persephone again or even Hekate to guide you.
Coming to terms with dying or death
If you’re experienced a loss of a loved one or are going through a dying process with someone that you know, you can work with a dark goddess to help come to terms how to handle it and find acceptance.
Goddesses such as Ragana, Hekate and Persephone can assist in the process of learning to accept loss, the inevitable and find reassurance in the mysteries of birth, death and rebirth.
Your personal connection with a specific dark goddess may be for a variety of reasons and may differ from goddess to goddess for the purpose of working on a goal.
Patience is needed when working with a dark goddess to get the results that you would hope for, so time and dedication are needed and not to rush the process.
To know more about working with dark goddesses, be sure to check out Working with the Dark Moon and Dark Goddess.
To find out how to create an altar for working with a dark goddess, read How to Create a Dark Goddess Altar.
Of Blood and Bones: Working with Shadow Magick & the Dark Moon by Kate Freuler (Author), Mat Auryn (Foreword)
Images designed in Canva.
*Updated: August 2020