For many years, I’ve been doing ritual work in anticipation of a momentous turning point in our human society — the Great Turning that would decide the fate of our species and our planet home. Life as we know it has been coming apart at the seams, with the turbulence and growing unrest in our political, economic and social systems, and the looming threat of global warming, driving us toward a moment of irrevocable change.
That moment has now arrived. The Great Turning is here, and it’s looking pretty ugly. The world has never been in more of a mess, with the worst of our humanity on full display. At the exact time we need to be getting our act together, we seem to be heading backwards on the crucial social justice, human rights, economic disparity and environmental issues that threaten to take us all down, and Mother Earth with us.
What comes to me as I dig deep into my magic to find my grounding and place in these chaotic, terrifying Great Turning times is a memory of a dark Samhain night, and a small circle of powerful companions gathered around the wild, fierce flames of a ritual bonfire.
In turns, we let the Mysteries speak through us. It’s the Dark Mother who comes to me, and this is what She says:
“This isn’t a time of despair, but of rejoicing. I don’t call for endings, but for new beginnings. And you don’t need to look further than your own self for the change this world desperately needs.
Don’t believe that you are worthless and made of base elements not deserving of redemption. Don’t believe that the hurts you carry are because of some flaw and distortion in your nature. These are lies that have been fed to you, to make you small, to make you weak, to turn you away from the beauty and gifts that shine so bright within the depths of your being.
For you are woven, like all of Creation, from the light and the dust of the stars. In your core rests a unique fragment of the star-bright Universe that is yours and yours alone. You were made to shine your light, brave, bold and brilliant, into the darkness.
No my children, now is not a time of despair, but of courage.
Step out of the shadows into the light of your own profound beauty. Shed the stories that make you so much less than who you truly are. Trust the path that I lay before you to find your way home to yourself, to love, to my life-giving ways.
Know that in healing yourself, you heal the world.
Shine. That is all I ask of you. Shine, as the brilliant, star-made creature that you are. Shine with your beauty, your presence, your love. Shine and the way forward will be made clear to a brighter, more loving and life-affirming future, with me and other waking ones by your side.
This is the moment; you are ripe, you are ready.”
Outside my windows, a wild wind is blowing. The trees bend and swirl in its fierce, unrelenting force. Somewhere on my island home, trees will be falling over with root systems exposed to the bright light of day, power lines shutting down, and homes returning to a simpler, natural ethos of candlelight and going to bed in synch with the descending darkness.
A wild wind is blowing in our world, unleashing a power born of the intensifying weather patterns of climate change along with a growing discontent with unpalatable political choices, increasing social and economic imbalances, and the stresses of our personal lives.
I feel it in my bones, in my soul and everywhere around me — it comes to me in my dreams, waking me at 4 am with visions of what is and what can be — a fierce and unrelenting force, eroding the pillars of our social order and exposing its root systems to the scrutiny of the sunlit world.
There’s rot in the roots of our human society, born of greed, corruption, manipulation, lies, ignorance, apathy and fear. So much of what was hidden in our cultural fabric has come to our collective awareness. We have lost our naivety and trust in our social and political institutions. How we live our lives, individually and collectively, no longer works for most of us or for our planet home.
And there are mysteries afoot, strong, powerful, beautiful counter-forces that whisper in our ears: “the season of your humanity is shifting. The Goddess is awakening within and without. It’s time to live in accordance with the powers of life, and your best, most beautiful instincts. Do not despair. Turn your face back to Her living light and nurturing ways. It’s time; you are ready, you are ripe.”
When a tree falls down, the forest is opened up for the small seedlings to have their time in the sunlight. In death, there is a quickening where new life is called to the empty space left behind. Let us open to this wild wind of change. Let it strip away what no longer serves our lives and the life of our Earth home. Let us trust that a new season of the sacred feminine is upon us, and, though some pillars of our human-made world will fall, others, more caring and life-serving, will rise up in the empty space left behind.
Two dreams, thirty years apart — a modern Goddess tale for these times.
I’m in my mid-twenties, with a business degree and a promising career in a blue chip company. My desires are purely materialistic — I want power and success in a man’s world. I don’t know any better, and I’ve no idea how immensely unhappy I am.
I have a dream that I don’t remember until many years later, yet my life is changed forever.
It’s a Winter Solstice eve, in the darkest hours of the night. Outside my apartment window, the world nestles down under a crystalline blanket of fresh-fallen snow. I dream of a silver shining path, as if hewn of moonlight, that leads me down, down, down to Hecate’s realm — the Goddess who is the Mistress of the crossroads, and guardian of our human destiny.
Deep in the belly of the Earth, Hecate directs me to Her magic cauldron and shows me the raw, naked truth of my life story — the beauty and the wounding — all that I’ve forgotten and denied, the very things I’ve been running hard from, and undreamed of possibilities sleeping just below the veneer of my waking reality.
Hecate gifts me with this crossroads moment, with my life laid bare before me, and asks me to choose how I will live for the rest of my days. I make a vow: to wake up, to remember, and to find my way home to my Self, my womanhood, and Her sacred ways.
By my choice, my destiny is woven.
Now, thirty years later, I’m lost no more. I’ve found my way home to my Self and the Goddess. I live nestled in the forest on a magical island with my beloved family and community, writing and teaching the life-changing ways of the Goddess that are now as natural to me as breathing.
I have another dream, within days of co-priestessing a community Samhain ritual to honor the beloved dead and the blessed newborn.