This is 7/8 guest posts by Sair Gryphon chronicling her reflections on experiencing The Dark Goddess Spiral transformational journey. 

Dark Goddess Spiral 7/8 - Participant JournalDARK GODDESS RISING

Session 7 we explored the sixth/3rd-eye chakra (mind, intuition, awareness) and the archetype/goddess #Hecate

SNIPPET VERSION
#Hecate is a supremely powerful three-formed goddess also known as ‘the Queen of the Witches’.

She stands at any ‘crossroads’ where we are trying to work out which path to take. She presides over #pathfinding, transformation, and metamorphosis. When you ‘feel something in your bones’ you’re feeling Hecate. She wisps her way through and into liminal states like dreams, altered state of consciousness etc. She can help you get in touch with your inner spark of knowing.

As the embodiment of magick she can travel between realms, dimensions and lifetimes. She has the power to give/withhold *any* boon from *anyone*. She’s beyond good and evil. A Greek goddess of uncertain origin, she’s survived throughout history across many Pantheons. Even today she remains popular.

“Intrinsically ambivalent and polymorphous, she straddles conventional boundaries and eludes definition.” (Wikipedia) The only thing you can solidly say about her is that she’s ‘beyond normal’ … and that she can help you go beyond your normal too.

WANT MORE? YOU GOT IT

CLEARING OLD SHIT
The ‘root clear’ process was around:
*#Possession – the wound
*Confusion – the shadow
*Discrimination – the challenge
*Compassion – the gift

In what ways are you possessed? We can be possessed in a co-dependent relating styles, allegiance to a family/cult/system, lack of sovereignty, and most of all – our own minds. Our minds are usually possessed by aspirations, dreams, ‘castles in the sky’, expectations, fears, our family and cultural conditioning, and the past. We’re out of touch with the present and reality – possessed by our wounds and shadow-selves.

The natural result of being possessed is to live in agonising confusion. We don’t know who we truly are. We don’t know what to do, how to be, where to go, what to choose. We’re plagued by indecision or else the flipside: addicted to deciding.

We give away our sovereign power to others and let them say who we should be. Or we dominate others and seek to control them, in an effort to flee from how out-of-control we feel inside.

Confusion and craziness reigns!

Cycles of the past, repeat, just pretending to be something different. Our energy is sucked out of us into maintaining our egoic delusions, and over time life becomes increasingly thick, heavy, and stale. We’re suffocating.

With Hecate’s gift of discrimination (as in the ability to see clearly and thus choose clearly) we can take a good hard look at our life situations and admit challenging truths to ourselves. This always starts by admitting hard truths that hit close to home … usually truths about ourselves that we’ve spent a lifetime fleeing from.

Out of a commitment to seeing the truth, no matter what it takes, we start to align with truth.

We are able to stand at life’s crossroads and with Hecate’s lantern of clear-seeing, choose a different path.

It’s new. It’s strange. It may feel terrifying … because it is unknown. It leads into the darkness yet it is more fresh, alive and magical than the well-trodden path leading into the false light.

It is because of Hecate’s great compassion that she comes to help us at our moments of choice, to face up to the truth of how we’ve been possessed and possessed others. She helps us face the swarming confusion of our own minds, and the egos we’ve been addicted to maintaining. She generously sends us mysterious clues – something that leads us toward the true light. All we need to do is pay attention with open hearts.

As we gain skill in our ability to discriminate in situations (see clearly and choose clearly), our life starts to change (inside and out). From the vantage point of clear-sight, we gain increasing compassion for ourselves, and others.

We see how people choose what they choose (most often the same old murkily painful thing) because they’re possessed. They’re not currently able to choose differently. We see how we ourselves chose suffering again and again, because of possession.

We’re filled with gratitude for the grace we’ve received to choose something new. Compassion frees us of the need to pass the buck and indulge in blame and judgment (of others or ourselves). Instead we put on our travelling shoes, throw out our baggage (we don’t need it anymore) and start down the unknown path into … magic! Also know as living-Life-alive! Dark Goddess Spiral 7/8 - Participant Journal

POSSESSION IN RELATIONSHIPS IS THE USUAL MODEL
This is because we’ve usually been possessed since day dot by our families of origin, culture, past partners etc. And we’ve done the same to others because it’s all we’ve ever known. So … what the heck is healthy fulfilling relating?

How can we access Hecate’s powers to help us transform into truly loving relators? As the popular rock ballad belts out: “I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS!”

HEALTHY BASELINE IN RELATIONSHIPS
This is what a healthy baseline looks like, in any kind of relationship (especially intimate ones where we tend to sacrifice ourselves the most in the desperate hope of ‘finally being loved’).

We are able to recognise what we do and don’t want, and have the capacity to communicate our true ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The other person respects this, even if they have challenging feelings arise. Our yes and no are received and honoured, and thus we can stay safely in connection.

Or safely leave if the relationship is no longer a good fit.

WHAT IS UNHEALTHY RELATING?
The opposite would be that there are negative repercussions for us saying our true ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The other person is aggressive on some level, and there is pushback, and an attempt to control us. They are (usually unconsciously) trying to modify our behaviour and teach us how to please them.

You could also say they’re possessive as in trying to possess us, as though we are an object rather than a sovereign person in our own right. We exist to ‘meet their needs’ or ‘fulfil their expectations’ or ‘inhabit their projections of what a partner should be’ rather than as a free being who is worthy of love intrinsically (just as they are worthy). If we do something in our freedom that causes them emotional pain, they seek to control us ‘to force us back into being the good object we ought to be’.

This kind of response commonly comes out of trauma (using the word in its broadest sense). The other person is having a fight/flight/freeze response and unconsciously acting that out (usually because their authenticity, their yes and no, was disrespected in their past).

There are subtler variations of fight/flight/freeze that show up in reactions like fawning, flopping, and fucking.

I’ll give a few examples but of course these manifest diversely, as diversely as there are people.

FIGHTING could be outright physical violence. It could also be yelling, threats, ultimatums, personal accusations, and door slams. It can look like getting defensive whenever the other person has feedback, and making counter-accusations to distract and divert.

It could look like constant intellectual debating – always in the head, and not willing or able to communicate from the heart. It could manifest in ‘angry sex’. It could take the subtler form of passive aggression: snide remarks, put-downs in front of friends, nagging, complaining, and gossiping.

FLIGHT could be shutting down and refusing to engage in conflict. It could be leaving whenever they hear something they don’t like or intimacy gets too intense. It could be ghosting, disappearing, withdrawing emotionally and/or sexually, and stonewalling.

It could be teaching the other person what not to share with you because you’re suddenly ‘not really there anymore’. It could be engaging in addictive numbing of your emotions via compulsive drinking, shopping, partying, Netflix-bingeing, and emotional eating.

FREEZING can be similar to flight, but more shutdown and perhaps even more unconscious. It can look like a total lack of communication, ignoring messages and any ‘bids for attention’, and pretending the other person and/or the situation doesn’t exist. This might lead to taking up with a new lover (as might fighting as a kind of ‘threat’ to them to ‘fall into line or else’).

It can look like memory lapses, saying you’ll do something and forgetting about it, a shutdown of sexual arousal, numbing in the body, going blank on what you were going to say, and going non-vocal. You might feel like you’re entering a ‘young child’ state and are ultra vulnerable, even helpless.

FAWNING could be a Stockholm Syndrome type response where you fawn over the aggressor, giving away your power to them, walking on eggshells around them, and adapting yourself like a chameleon in order to preserve the connection. Your find yourself much more interested in people who invoke such eggshelling in you than those who you feel calm and safe with. Basically you feel addictive chemistry with ‘aggressors’.

FLOPPING could be a kind of collapse into helpless emotional overwhelm. Your emotions seek to overwhelm the other person (and yourself), to control their behaviour. You might be an ‘expert weeper’ for instance, and hysterically weep when your partner starts to do something you don’t like. Or go into emotional hysterics that have them backing away … and doing what you want because your intense reaction is ‘just not worth it’.

FUCKING could be becoming hypersexual in order to gain control in a situation by being the seductively desirable person who others respond to in a certain way. There might be an excessive focus on appearance or status or ‘having good game’ (ie players). It can be an addiction to sex and/or hedonistic experience along the mood of the Peaches’ song, ‘Fuck the pain away’. It can be a kind of self-medicating plus taking-back-power because once you were powerless, and the pain inside feels devastating.

All of this kind of acting-out is aggressive because it’s seeking to control and manipulate the other, and shutdown their authenticity. True connection from one authentic self to another (which makes room for change and transformation) is no longer safe.

In a ‘healthy baseline relationship’ even if we or our partner slip into attempts to control there is recognition of what’s happened (possession and confusion) and a full taking of responsibility (via the exercise of discrimination leading to mutual compassion).

They say sorry and act to heal/repair the connection. AND they engage in healing work around the trauma/reactivity that came up, so that it can be healed, and they can come out of habitual possession (otherwise it will just keep happening). They demonstrate compassion for themselves and for you, their beloved (without such compassion they won’t be able to engage in the challenge of healing … we need self-love to support us through it).

So we don’t have to be perfect (thank goodness, because I sure ain’t). But we do need to be willing and able to admit our imperfections, and choose Love as our guiding ‘North Star’. This healthy baseline can help us know what Love is, especially when we have a traumatic background of unlove-masquerading-as-love.

PS. SOVEREIGNTY IS ON THE PHONE … CALLING *YOU*
In order for us to be capable of a mutual connection between sovereign people who can know and call their yes and no … we need to be in touch with our sovereignty. We need to learn what we do and don’t want, and how to share this in a ‘clean’ well-communicated way. For many of us this is very challenging, because our backgrounds taught us to shutdown any sense of self that displeased a powerful caregiver.

When I started exploring my sovereignty I used to have big fear come up. It felt SO hard to communicate assertively … almost impossible. I would be shaking, trying to force myself to gather up enough crumbs of courage to ask my landlord’s son to turn down the tv (the loungeroom was over my bedroom). I read books on how to be assertive, plastered my walls in inspiring courage photos and affirmations, and rehearsed what I was going to say over and over.

The reason it was so challenging for me was because terror lived in my body, remembering that when I attempted to be upfront with my Mum I would be emotionally and physically punished.

My landlord’s son wasn’t going to pushback. My experience was that he willingly turned down the tv!

But it was HARD to see past the possession of my past to the reality of the present, and harder still to rewire my nervous system.

These days assertive communication is most often second nature for me. There is no fear in my body. On top of that, I can usually communicate in a much gentler and more nuanced way (when that’s called for) than I could in the beginning. When I was rehearsing what I would say twenty times before forcing myself to say it, my communication was understandably much more stilted. I was a baby in communication, still learning to talk!

When it’s called for, I can now be very strong in my communication too, firm like a stone. In the past my conditioned-mind would beat me black and blue for daring to go there, accusing me of being ‘harsh and cruel’. But sometimes that’s called for … and it’s not harsh. It’s appropriate.

I have communication flexibility.

I used to say sorry every second sentence. I would constantly make disclaimers and use verbal softeners (I still fall into this sometimes, but nothing like before). I took five minutes to deliver a thirty second message, and I’m pretty sure the other person wasn’t listening by then.

I did this because of fear. I was basically ‘waiting to be hit, cringing away’ from the other person, inside myself. This wasn’t my fault – it was a natural response to my childhood. It was a great strategy for keeping my Mum relatively on-side, or at least more on-side than she would have been if I didn’t engage in passive-apologetic-communication gymnastics.

So wherever we start from whether it’s ‘ultra soft appeasing’ communication or ‘ultra hard aggressive’ communication, we do it because we’ve learned to, and we’re basically possessed by our conditioning. It’s often a trauma response.

And we can unlearn it – we don’t have to repeat the trauma that was done to us onto others and ourselves. We don’t need to stay caged in miserable cycles of all we’ve ever known.

Thank Hecate for that!

I share all this because I’m hopeful it might be encouraging to any who come from similar backgrounds, that change is possible, and that it won’t always feel so hard. What today feels impossible, in the future can become your new normal. Learning new skills is always a process.

PPS. WHAT ABOUT WHEN THE OTHER WON’T TAKE RESPONSIBILITY?
I want to mention this because I’ve had a bad habit of giving people 222 chances to change, before moving on to healthier relationships. If you’re a Rescuer on Psychology’s drama triangle you might relate. Or if you too had a dominant/controlling/aggressive parent, you may relate (or you may have become the person who winds up with someone who gives you 222 chances and is your favourite doormat Dark Goddess Spiral 7/8 - Participant Journal ).

The healthy baseline guideline can help us go beyond our conditioning. If the other person reliably doesn’t take responsibility for disrespecting our authenticity, and continually seeks to exert control over our yes/no than that’s the reality.

Yes, it’s a cold and hard reality. We might not want to face it. It might remind us of our parents treating us the same way, and all our buried emotions of rage and terror and grief that they didn’t lovingly respect us.

We can call on Hecate in this maze of possession and confusion. She will shine a light of clarity, and provide a mysterious clue, giving us our next baby step forward out of the maze.

I realise now that when I ‘keep giving chances’ it amounts to me disrespecting the other person’s autonomy / truth / and no-signals. Even if they’re saying pretty words, if their behaviour is saying no to me and/or the relationship, no to taking responsibility, and no to needed transformation, I need to face up to that truth.

Otherwise history will repeat, and pain-cycles will cycle on.

It’s not my job to change another person. If I invest my life in trying to ‘help somebody change’, ‘help somebody heal their trauma’, ‘help somebody decide they love me after all’ … it’s another name for manipulation. It’s not love; it’s my own trauma conditioning playing out.

Hecate’s power of discrimination helps me admit the truth. I’ve been aggressive too by attempting to force change down other people’s throats. They are sovereign beings, and their choices belong to them. When they don’t choose responsible relating they have a right to their choice.

If I choose to stay in a dynamic where the relating is not truly mutual, I am not choosing me. I am not choosing to see the truth. And I’m ignoring their truth too (even if they don’t see it like that, which they probably won’t … they’re possessed afterall, and consequently confused).

The only person I can save at the end of the day is me.

And I choose me.

How about you?

BEYOND THE BASELINE: WHAT RELATING CAN BE
The relating is alive and healthy because both people are sharing their authentic selves and truths (which may change as they explore life … Life is movement). Together they navigate where these truths authentically lead. Thus they support their authentic selves, and the becomings of each other.

Transformation is embraced. It’s supported by their relating rather than a threat to it. Conflict (and any trauma that emerges) is worked through successfully: Ruptures are able to be repaired, leading to deeper understanding, compassion and intimacy (with self and other).

Ruptures happen in all deep intimacy, that’s the nature of relating with a different sovereign being. That’s not a problem in itself. The skill and capacity to use the ruptures for the sake of deepening in love is the challenge. The path that often leads to this development is intimate relating – learning on the job. Nothing motivates and supports us to go to our darkest corners like love.

When the partners don’t know how to do something because it is as yet unknown, they figure it out together. They trust that Life (perhaps via Hecate!) will lead the way, and has their good at heart. They’re able to relax into trusting each other because they trust themselves, and have demonstrated that they are trust-worthy to themselves (which includes their choice of partner, and acting on the truth of each relationship as it emerges). They trust each other because they both demonstrate reliability in ‘showing up for Love and transformation’, over time.

Their relating supports them both in living Life alive! It is fresh, alive, with a scent of wonder and a taste of newness in every breath. It is Love, in its humans-relating manifestation.

Maybe this is far away from where you are right now, but if it inspires you and resonates with your heart’s longing, then journey toward it knowing it’ll lead you somewhere VERY good. Perhaps reach out to Hecate and watch for her mysterious clue.

All we ever need to do is take our next baby step, one step at a time. Dark Goddess Spiral 7/8 - Participant Journal

Until session 8.

[Image sourced at https://www.deviantart.com/hrefngast/art/Hecate-209240765]