Friday, May 24, 2013

The Dark Goddess: Ereshkigal

(Excerpts from DESCENT TO THE GODDESS:  A WAY OF INITIATION FOR WOMEN by Sylvia Brinton Perera)

"Ereshkigal, queen of the Netherworld, means 'Lady of the Great Place Below'."

"To matriarachal consciousness, she represents the continuum in which different states are simply experienced as transformations of one energy."

"From the perspective of the patriarchy, the rape of the goddess establishes masculine rule over conscious cultural life and relegates feminine the underworld."

"But from the perspective of magic-matriarchal consciousness, the goddess is not a prize to be carried out of life; nor is death a rape and a destruction of life, but rather a transformation to which...the goddess willingly surrenders and over which process she rules."

"She is the energy banishing itself into the underworld, too awesome to behold--like primal childhood experiences and the darkness of the moon, places of oblivion that are the perilous ground on which daylight consciousness treads, the primal matrix.  And she holds the widom of that isolation and bitterness....She rules the Land of No Return, the realm of all that goes below the horizon of consciousness."

"Chaotic defensive furies, such as rage, greed, and even the unleashing of the animus, are inevitable aspects of the archetypal underworld.  They are the ways the unconscious reacts to unwelcome visitation."

"We can see that the forces which Ereshkigal symbolizes are those connected not only to active destruction but also to transformation, via those processes, like decay and gestation....with an implacable pitilessness."

"The realm of Erishkigal has its own lawfulness...preceding the superego judgments of the patriarchy and often of what we would wish."

"Unreverenced, Ereshkigal's forces are felt as depression and an abysmal agony of helplessness and futility....only an act of conscious, willing surrender can turn that poisonous side of the dark goddess into life."

"When we are reduced to the depths of numb pain and depression, to timelessness, preverbal chaos and emotionality--...we can know that the goddess we must serve and revere is Ereshkigal.  Contact with her grounds a woman.  It coagulates feminine potency to confront the patriarchy and the masculine as an equal."

"Ereshkigal rages when she is not met with respeact.  She is proud, but she does not mount an offensive, nor does she transgress her own boundaries.  She simply demands recognition as an equal power, one as valid and important as the Great Above."

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