Above: Inanna, Sumerian Goddess of Love & Warfare, descending into the underworld.
Originally published at Carolyn Elliot presents: WITCH.
The way of the Priestess is intrinsically linked to the ancient feminine mysteries: we hear regularly about the cycles of the moon, the blood rites and the tantric principles of female/male polarities.
Yet within these sacred mysteries, the most overlooked practice, and the one that gets me going the most, is womb magic.
This magic is inherent in all women, and is most often a dormant power, an ancient wisdom, that waits like a coiled snake, for our consciousness to stir and rise. It is the deepest, most shamanic part of our capacity as women.
When the womb space is blocked we may feel that our power is significantly depleted. Conversely, the unlocked power of the womb is what truly allows us to cross the threshold of adulthood and to come out in our full glory. Mastery of the womb space is our direct ticket to an intimately fulfilling, orgasmic relationship to life.
I have spent the last 10 years on the womb path and it has taken me to fathomless depths of despair as well as unspeakable joy. Commitment to this path will lead you down the left-handed path, or the path of fire, as I like to call it. For the simple reason that you have to be willing to face your shadow, to travel into the underworld and look your demons in the eye.
The womb space is like the final frontier, in that it retains all your wounding, your hurt and your sense of betrayal. The flip side is that it is your crucible of creation and your center of gravity, joy and connection. So you can begin to see the intensity of what we’re dealing with here…
“Womb wisdom is one of the last great mysteries to be revealed in this age. It was present in ancient cultures such as the Mayan, Tibetan, Indian, Gnostic Christian and Egyptian. Its deep mystery is finally being revealed again.”
To me the fact that womb wisdom is coming back into people’s consciousness tells me that we are on the edge of a new feminine movement: this New Feminine is all about this path to wholeness.
When as women we have shared and healed our stories, we have had the courage to look at our shadow and integrate it in the alchemical containers of our bodies; we can then know the magnificence of who we truly are. As fully integrated beings, we offer our medicine to a world that is hungry for authenticity and ready to be soothed by the healing presence of a rounded woman.
HOW IT WORKS
Much like the Greek Goddess Hecate, who was present at all boundaries and the transitional moments in life, as women we are natural priestesses and shamanesses in that we too are a bridge between worlds.
We have continued to function as the main mediators between the divine and the human realms for thousands of years. We gestate, create and destroy. We hold the key to the upper and lower realms. We bring in life, and we are the natural custodians of the threshold of death.
The clearer our womb space, and the more deeply connected it is to our heart, the clearer boundaries and intuition we will have, and the more effortless our expression of power and magic in the world.
“The womb is the crucible of creation. It is your original voice. Your center of gravity, joy and connection. Within you is the key to unlocking your wild magic and your deepest dreams.”
HOW IS THE WOMB MAGICAL?
The womb symbolizes a quality of being that both men and women can tap into.
Womb space is where divine inspiration can be received, where it can gestate and be contained throughout the delicate process of maturation, until it is ready to manifest.
In a culture obsessed with goals and achievements, womb-space reminds us of the value of process. To wait, to patiently sit in the dark without knowing what the outcome will be, to protect and respect that which has as yet no clear form.
Womb-space is essential to any creative endeavor. The inspiration that will one day become a work of art, a baby, or a new phase of life, must be nurtured in patience and devotion until it is ready to emerge.
Above: Ixchel, the Mayan Goddess of Midwifery & Fertility
(Photo credit: http://goo.gl/3SDtNE)
The womb is our inner Oracle. It is how we tap into the world us around using all our natural superpowers of sensing and feeling. This requires an animalistic presence, an instinctive, visceral connection to our bodies. Here the process of tapping into our intuition happens through our bodies, rather than the third eye visionary space. It is reversed, so that we bring our awareness down into our womb and begin to ‘see’ from there. However opening the womb, will always lead you to the opening of your third eye.
So let’s get down to business, and identifying a few key signs that there may be some outside interference holding back your womb magic.
1) YOUR INTUITION IS SPOTTY
As I just mentioned, your womb is your inner Oracle. So if you’re feeling your intuition is below par, and you’ve tried all the usual meditations to stimulate your third eye…why not try and connect to your womb instead?
Your womb has a sensitivity all of its own. So if you haven’t spoken to her in a while, why not take 5mins a day to put a hand on your womb and ask her what she would like you to know. You may have to have patience, and coax her out a bit. After all, she may be feeling ignored.
In time your womb will open up and blossom the more exquisite attention she gets (just like us women really).
So start a practice of attention. Not just around your womb, but around your whole body. This will help you cultivate sensation at a visceral level so you can increase your witchy skills of pitch perfect resonance with the world inside and out.
2) YOU’RE HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR BOUNDARIES
Do you ever have that feeling that you have just said yes to something you were really a no to, only to find that you feel foggy and queasy? Well…you’ve probably just gone against your internal guidance system and feel thrown off.
Ever feel mounting frustration without knowing why or who the perpetrator is? It’s most probably a deeper frustration with you, for not listening to your authentic desire that’s buried under a mountain of numbness.
Either way, boundaries are the foundation of a healthy womb-space. If you do not honor yourself, it creates a wonky energy within you. It forges a split in your womb space where unwanted energies can come in.
So ask yourself, who or what is sitting in your womb, energetically taking up space? It could be your ex, your mother, father, weird cousin, you name it.
It can get crowded in there…. so a good clean up is essential. You can go the route of shamanic healing, elaborate crystal salt baths or you can straight up ask whoever is in there to leave…these can all be an effective start.
My favorite is a meditation where I draw a womb mandala to connect with who’s in there. It’s a useful outer representation of the landscape of my womb. Then I perform a ritual to ask them to leave, firmly but with love. It is very empowering.
3) YOU’RE STILL NOT IN APPROVAL OF YOUR BADASS SELF
This is the part where you have to get on board with your shadow self. Because your womb space exists in the dark void before all things are created – it is quite a neutral space actually when left to its own devices. It landscape of your womb will depend on what you allow in there.
So if you are hiding a lot of self-flagellating thoughts or holding on tight to an identity that isn’t yours…these will be implanted in your womb and creating all sorts of havoc.
When you liberate your shadow, by being in approval of all your perceived nasty, dirty bits of who you are, then your womb has a better chance of alchemizing all that stuck energy, and lo and behold, there will be more room in there for the real you to inhabit the space.
Like magic, you will have abounding creative energy to manifest what you really want.
4) YOU DON’T REALLY TRUST YOUR IMAGINATION
You think you’re “sort of, kind of intuitive, but not really.” How many times have you said something like, “Well I felt my grandmother’s presence in the room, then I saw a flash of sparkly red light and the Goddess Isis appear before me offering me peacock feathers…but it must have been my imagination!”
Well I’m here to tell you that imagination is the foundation of shamanism. We must learn to trust our ‘inner eye’, our inner oracle if you will, and begin to believe that what we see and feel is real.
This unfortunately has historically thrown a few people off the deep end as we have seen many people with fervent ‘imaginations’ being labeled as mental illness.
However I think we’ve gone the other extreme in that we’re afraid of being called crazy if we believe in our imagination at all, consequently shutting our whole sensory system down.
5) YOU HAVEN’T OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF BIRTH
And by this I mean your capacity to gestate within you a dream, a seed, a vision, and see it to completion.
This can be terrifying, make no mistake. I have struggled with this deep-rooted fear for longer than I care to remember. It is at the heart of many feelings of unworthiness. So ask yourself, do you really believe you can CREATE?
You must believe in this god given right as sure as day follows night. Furthermore, you must be willing to wait, receptive and empty, day after week after month.
This waiting is a vibrant, pulsating presence to life. An alert awareness of what is needed in each moment rather than a dull, passive waiting.
6) YOUR MUM STILL DRIVES YOU MAD
If you still feel that, sigh, after ALL the work you’ve done, you still can’t stand to be in a room with your mother…this could have something to do with healing the mother wound.
As children, our mothers carry us in their bodies during the process of gestation. As women, we carry our mothers in our bodies. It can be a crunchy, suffocating, constrictive feeling.
We come into true adulthood when we are able to distinguish ourselves from our mothers. Many of us are un-mothered children; meaning that we are ourselves the offspring of mothers who have not had the chance to explore their sensuality and power. They have had to leave the goddess behind because of social constraints, generating a malaise that often has never been given a name.
We can nurture ourselves back to wholeness with a lot of love and compassion, both for our beloved mothers and ourselves.
Above all, allow the divine feminine back into your life and teach your own daughters to honor their natural cycles.
7) YOU STILL DON’T KNOW YOUR POWER AS A WOMAN IS INHERENT
Know that just in virtue of being a woman, you are a bridge between worlds. We are made to open up our systems to the mysteries of nature and birth.
We have so lost touch with our natural shamanic capabilities that we think of them as something ‘other’, something that we need to be taught or that we can’t possibly own for fear of seaming entitled or god forbid, too powerful.
You deserve all the space in your life you to be fully YOU. Your womb is asking this of you.
I will leave you with this thought.
Often the Goddess’s story is one of descent into the underworld. Her passage is through darkness, loss and death and her resurrection into a new level of empowerment.
Two things can profoundly change us during our journey and redirect us towards the ascent.
The first is our willingness to respond to our descent as an initiatory ritual, making it a source of strength. The second is to arrive at a place of deep abiding self-love to heal from pain and abuse.
You never know when these turning points will occur but if you can stay open and willing long enough, eventually they do, and transformation can occur.
Women’s myths tell us that we are of the Earth, and that our cycles of light and darkness reflect the rhythms and seasons of nature. Inanna and Persephone both returned from the bowls of the earth in Spring like young green shoots after a cold hard winter.
If you have the courage to go into the fire, you will come out more whole and powerful that you could ever have dreamed.
Ask someone to hold you through it. You will need a good ally to hold a container for you so you can go deeper in exploring these edges.
Enjoy the journey, and most of all honor the journey.