The Descent
of the Goddess
from
The Spiral Damce

Starhawk (1979) p 159
THE GODESS IN THE KINGDOM OF DEATH:  In this world, the Goddess is seen in the moon, the light that shines in darkness, the rain bringer, mover
of the tides, Mistress of mysteries.  And as the moon waxes and wanes and walks three nights of its cycle in darkness, so, it is said, the Goddess once spent three nights in the Kingdom of Death.

For in love She ever seeks Her other Self, and once, in the winter of the year, when He had disappeared from the green earth, She followed Him and came at last to the gates beyond which the living do not go.

The Guardian of the Gate challenged Her, and She stripped Herself of Her clothing and jewels, for nothing may be brought into that land.  For love, She was bound as all who enter there must be and brought before Death Himself.

He loved Her, and knelt at Her feet, laying before Her His sword and crown, and gave Her the fivefold kiss, and said,

"Do not return to the living world, but stay here with Me, and have peace and rest and comfort."

But She answered, "Why do you cause all things I love and delight in to die and wither away?"

"Lady," He said, "It is the fate of all that lives to die." Everything passes; all fades away.  I bring comfort and consolation to those who pass the gates, that they may grow young again.  But You are My heart's desire -- return not, but stay here with Me."

And She remained with Him three days and three nights, and at the end of the third night She took up His crown, and it became a circlet that She placed around Her neck, saying:

"Here is the circle of rebirth. Through You all passes out of life, but through Me all may be born again.  Everything passes; everything changes. Even death is not eternal.  Mine is the mystery of the womb, that is the cauldron of rebirth.  Enter into Me and know Me, and You will be free of all fear.  For as life is but a journey into death, so death is but a passage back to life, and in Me the circle is ever turning."

In love, He entered into Her, and so was reborn into life.  Yet is He known as Lord of Shadows, the comforter and consoler, opener of the gates, King of the Land of Youth, the giver of peace and rest.  But She is the gracious mother of all life; from Her all things proceed and to Her they return again.  In Her are the mysteries of death and birth; in Her is the fulfillment of all love.
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