Throughout history, the “lighter” deities have been more popular. After all, there are hundreds of temples dedicated to Zeus, but only a small handful are dedicated to Hades. The same goes for light goddesses versus dark goddesses.
Many practitioners choose the path of light because they believe that light is in some way better. This is a personal preference and I always encourage you to follow your gut feelings, but for me personally, both light and dark have a place in the world.
After all, there is no light without dark. When we shine a light on our darkest spots, we can work through those core issues that hold us back.
I never want to worship the light without also recognizing the dark because both are parts of who I am. Humans exist in a world of duality, and for me, it’s important that I work with an array of gods and goddesses, too.
Who Are The Dark Goddesses?
The dark goddesses are deities from various traditions who embrace the left handed path, or the darker path. They are often called upon by witches and practitioners for shadow work, necromancy, sex, or “dark” magical work.
Definition-wise, the term dark goddess is applied to goddess who have challenging aspects. However, this by itself is misleading.
Let’s look at the Greek gods, for example. Zeus and Poseidon are the “light” gods who live in and rule Olympus, while Hades is the dark god regulated to the Underworld. However, when you compile the myths about the brothers, Zeus and Poseidon hurt both mortals and gods and a far greater rate than Hades.
What is it about Hades that is dark, exactly? Is it the fact the he rules the dead? Unlike Satan in Christian tradition, Hades doesn’t have an evil personality. He’s simply strict and does his job.
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Goddesses get put into similar categories. It’s my own personal belief that the light goddesses are who we’re supposed to pray to, while the dark goddesses are supposed to be shunned. However, these are just societal conventions that were probably used for political means at the time.
The other reason I think these goddesses became “dark” is because they focus on transformation and shadow work. These things are necessary, but they’re also painful. As human beings, we avoid pain when possible, so it makes sense that over time, people avoided working with the dark goddesses.
Lastly, light tends to represent order while dark represents chaos. It makes sense to me that man in general wants to avoid chaos, because we have enough of it in the world as it is. We live in a world where the very physics state that chaos is the outcome of almost any situation.
So, of course, it makes sense that we look for order. The dark goddesses bring anything but order! However, order feels (to me, at least) collective while chaos is individualistic. In Christian lore, angels follow a strict hierarchy while demons are out for themselves and are all quite different.
While you won’t get a whole lot of structure when you work with the dark goddesses, you will get a lot of individual shadow work. They will aid you in your spiritual growth and transform your life in a truly incredible way!
In many ways, darkness is metaphor for the deeper, unconscious truth that lurks below the surface. The dark goddesses will help you uncover these truths in your life.
Like Pluto in astrology, the dark goddesses will tear down the structures in your life that no longer serve you. This is almost always painful, but it’s also for your own good. You will transform at an unprecedented rate when you work with the dark goddesses.
As you read this list, remember that it is by no means exhaustive. These are just the dark goddesses that I know the most about, but definitely do your own research if there is another dark goddess who calls to you!
Why Work With The Dark Goddesses?
There are many reasons to work with the dark goddesses. They can teach you magical skills, lessons about death and rebirth, and help you work on the shadow self.
However, you definitely shouldn’t reach out to a dark goddess expecting to immediately get something out of the relationship. Unlike the relationships that you may experience with your spirit guides or ancestors, deity worship can be one-sided, for a while. Expect to give a lot more than you get.
These dark goddesses have been around for centuries. They have massively powerful energies and don’t solely exist to help humans grow. Remember that, going into this, you won’t necessarily achieve what you want right away.
Try to be open to any experiences that happen. I personally think even being able to contact a dark goddess is super cool! Although you might have a specific goal in mind, this may change depending on the relationship and what the dark goddess wants to do with you.
In Greek mythology, Hecate is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the moon, the night, spirits, the sea, of crossroads, and of necromancy. She is associated with the Underworld and with childbirth.
Hecate is very popular with witches because she can be somewhat gentle and nourishing, yet she is still a dark goddess and represents everything that night encompasses.
As a figure, she can appear as a black dog, a polecat, or a serpent. Hecate is, depending on the myth, either a goddess of duality or a triple goddess. She references two (or three, depending on the myth) crossroads and shows us alternate paths to take.
Some of the Hecate’s most popular symbols are:
- Crossroads (2 or 3 crossroads, depending on the myth)
- Hekate’s wheel
- Black dogs
- The dark moon
In fact, Hecate is very symbolistic because she is the goddess of witchcraft.
To witches all around the world, Hecate is known as a goddess of love, compassion, and protection. She is very often called upon because she is strong yet soft. Hecate is very responsive to the calls of human witches and seems to enjoy helping humans work magic.
Hecate rules the crossroads between the physical and spiritual planes. If you’re working on crossroads magic, Hecate is definitely the dark goddess you will want to call on.
Ultimately, Hecate will help you illuminate your shadow self, your unconscious choices, and your personal pathways. What is it that you truly want? What are you depriving yourself of? Hecate will help you answer these questions.
Hecate can be rather quiet, gloomy, or serious, but she is also very knowledgable. She is kind to those she works with, but you will also have to earn her respect and prove that you’re serious. She doesn’t generally like frivolous folks.
However, you don’t want to anger Hecate. She is known to cast serious curses on anyone who makes her mad. I think you would have to do something really terrible to make her angry, but you definitely shouldn’t call upon her unless you’re serious about working on your magical abilities. If you want to enhance your practice, she is one of the best teachers out there!
Hecate is most accessible during the night of the dark moon, though she seems to like the night in general. She enjoys dark stones like obsidian, roses, mugwort, frankincense, plums, dates, round cakes, belladona and hemlock (proceed with caution!!), fish, and all things blood-colored.
Although Lilith is a very popular figure in books, movies, TV shows, and even songs, the myths of Lilith are old and convoluted. The most famous myth states that Lilith was the first wife of Adam, long before Eve, and she was made as his equal. She refused to conform and submit, so (with the help of Lucifer) she escaped to the caves of Hell.
Later, God created Eve out of Adam’s rib so that she would be subservient to him. Lilith lived on in obscurity, but she kept her own power. Some myths say that she married Lucifer and ruled with him, while others state that she mated with demons and became the mother of all demonkind.
Today, Lilith is known as the mother of demons, the mother of vampires, and the mother of cats. The many myths that mention Lilith are woven together through various cultures. For thousands of years, she has been feared, but in the modern day, many witches worship Lilith and even work closely with her.
Although Lilith is a demon, she isn’t “bad” in the way that we think of dark and light. She was demonized because she didn’t fit the mold and refused to conform to the pressures of her husband.
In the modern day context, demons create chaos while angels create order. Neither is better nor worse. Typically, angels follow a strict moral code while demons follow their own code, so you can work with a demon who does have a sense of morals, or you can encounter a demon who doesn’t care about anything.
I personally feel that Lilith is both strong and motherly. She gives you a good dose of tough love, but she wants to help you, too. However, you should absolutely be ready to work with her before you call on her. If you scare easily, then you may be frightened, but this is only because we have decided in our culture what “should” be frightening.
Ultimately, Lilith’s intent towards me has always been pure. She came to help me take back my personal power and find who I am.
Lilith is the goddess of the moon, so energy will be especially potent during the dark moon. She especially enjoys moon magic. She also likes sex magic, owls, and cats.
In Irish history, Brigid is one of the most important Celtic goddesses. She is the daughter of the King of the gods, a wife, and a mother, though she is sometimes shown as a warrior-maiden. Brigid can manifest as either a maiden, mother, or crone. She is the goddess of all things that come in threes.
Brigid is often depicted in triple form. She presides over the life, death, and rebirth cycle, but she also has three earthly passions which are poetry, smith-craft, and healing. You can find almost endless reasons why her number is three!
In Celtric tradition, deities are not a separate aspect from our world but should instead be integrated into everyday life. Brigid is so important because she is the goddess of many aspects of daily life (such as smith-craft and motherhood), and her fire is what was thought to get people through the dark days of winter.
She was the tender of the sacred flame and the goddess who helped to usher in spring. She is also the Celtic goddess of poetry, the arts, the hearth, fertility, motherhood, and of medicine and healing.
Throughout history, Irish folk prayed to Brigid in order to get through the winter. She was who kept the fire burning, who kept the animals alive, and who procured enough food for families to make it through the winter.
Witches from all walks of life work with Brigid. She regularly contacts people of all genders, cultures, religious beliefs, etc. She is a really accepting goddess! Brigid later became known as St. Brigid (a Christian saint), so she’s a powerful deity for both pagans and Catholics alike.
Imbolic is an especially powerful time to work with Brigid. Not only is the holiday sacred to her, but she singlehandly ushers in the spring.
Although Brigid is one of the dark goddesses because she is at her prime in the winter, she is also the goddess of fire. She will shine a light on every part of your life that feels obscure or hidden. Brigid doesn’t feel like a “dark” goddess exactly, she has an extremely powerful, fiery nature.
For witches, Brigid helps with the protection of children, fertility, fire magic, healing magic, purification, and childbirth. Because she rules the element of fire and water, she can assist with candle spells or mirror spells/scrying. She teaches you to let go of the past and make space for new beginnings. She is always moving forward and is not one of the dark goddesses to get stuck in revenge.
Brigid enjoys traditional prayers, candle offerings, small oil lamps, spoken or written poems, milk, grain, and St. Brigid’s cross. I definitely recommend that you do some research into the traditions behind the worship of Brigid. She’s very traditional in nature!
According to many practitioners, she also likes rituals dedicated in her honor, such as spring cleaning.
In Greek mythology, Persephone is the daughter of Demeter who is captured by Hades and brought to the Underworld. He eventually releases her, but because she has eaten the pomegranate seeds in the Underworld, she must live half the year with Hades.
Although there isn’t a lot of information out there about working with Persephone, she is considered one of the dark goddesses and has many different archetypes.
Persephone represents the gentler side of the feminine. She also represents the dead, especially during the winter months, while in the summer months she is optimistic and child-like as she lives above ground.
Many witches choose to work with Persephone as one of the dark goddesses in order to learn about communication with the dead. She is known to be quite strict (more strict than Hades, according to many practitioners) but she does have a soft motherly side once you have passed her tests. Ultimately, she is much stronger than many myths make her out to be.
Sometimes, witches are drawn to Persephone out of all of the dark goddesses because she has a wound relating to personal power. She is always trapped in between her mother and Hades. However, according to some people, she has managed to create her own life in this purgatory and works with the spirits of the dead in a personal way.
Persephone is the mediumistic mystic, the serene wife, the joyful daughter, and the ultimate symbol of spring’s rebirth. She is withdrawn with people she doesn’t know, but can be friendly and warm with those she is close to.
Persephone enjoys offerings of pomegranates, pomegranate juice, honey, floral tea, flowers, floral scented incense (especially lily or willow tree), dark chocolate, butterfly or bird figurines, flower crowns, obsidian, black onyx, and jewelry.
In Greek mythology, Circe is the dark goddess of sorcery, so she’s called on quite often by witches. She’s good at the actual techniques of witchcraft and is known to be ultra-powerful, if a little vengeful.
According to some of the myths, Circe is actually Hecate’s daughter. She certainly comes from a family of magic!
Circe taught herself how to be an expert in plant magic. She gets along quite well with animals and is thought to have tamed the wild beasts on the island she was stuck on, including lions and wolves. While on the island, she developed her powers immensely because of her isolation.
Witches call upon Circe for lessons in sorcery and witchcraft, but she also helps with issues of loneliness, isolation, cleansing, individuality, acceptance, loss and transformation. She knows what it’s like to have everything stripped from her and still survive.
When you’re stuck in the worst spot, Circe can be the best dark goddess to call upon. She was able to adapt to everything life (or the gods) threw at her, even when it felt impossible.
As a deity, Circe has a lot of feminine power. One of the reasons she is considered a dark goddess is because she’s incredibly strong and feminine but is also a skilled sorcerist.
Although Circe can aid practitioners in the actual skill of sorcery, she’s also skilled in necromancy, prophecy, illusion, and herbalism. Her favorite tools are the loom (she often “wove” her spells), the cup for potions, the blade, and the wand.
If you want to engage with plant spirits or do animal work then you might also consider calling upon Circe. Although she was alone on the island, she made quite a community for herself among plants and animals.
Lastly, Circe is called upon by practitioners who need to speak the truth. Be aware that she’s a strong goddess, but she can help you tear down the structures that no longer serve you and become the best version of your authentic self.
Offering ideas for Circe include mandrake, juniper, night shade, various medicinal plants, animal figurines, and wine in a pretty chalice.
In Greek mythology, Nyx is the goddess of night. She is considered a minor goddess, yet she is one of the main dark goddesses because night is simply so important. It still blows my mind that she was considered minor to the Olympians and sent to the Underworld!
Nyx is said to have spawned a variety of “dark” spirits including the Fates, Death, Pain, Sleep, and more. She is a very ancient deity and is usually envisioned as a dark sheen of mist rather than an individual.
Sometimes, she also appears as a chariot-driver or a winged goddess. Witches who work closely with Nyx report that her form changes often; she is as illusive as the darkness of night.
Nyx will teach her follows how to prophecize the future. In fact, when you’re working with Nyx, you will find that the prophecy and the answers you seek are hidden in the night, if you just know where to look. This can alternatively mean that the answers are already within your unconscious mind.
If you want to connect to the deepest part of yourself, then consider calling upon the dark goddess Nyx. The scariest thing about her will be what she reveals about you.
Generally, Nyx is a gentle goddess who reveals that the balance of light and dark is necessary. She shows us that not all dark things are bad. As far as the dark goddesses go, Nyx is one of the sofest, but don’t call upon her unless you’re truly ready to deconstruct the shadow self.
Nyx can also help you master the prophetic arts. She is known to aid practitioners with Tarot readings, pendulum practice, crystal ball work, mirror scrying, and meditation. Nyx is also a wonderful teacher of astrology and the moon.
If you want to connect to your own intuition and to all things that exist below the surface, Nyx may be the dark goddess for you to work with.
Keep in mind that, even though she can be gentle, she still resides in the Underworld. Just like when you work with the other dark goddesses, you might see or experience some things that feel scary when you start to work with her. However, she is typically gentle with beginners, although her lessons may be difficult.
If you want to connect with the dark goddess Nyx, I recommend that you begin during the night. She especially loves the dark of the moon, but a very dark night is a must to work with her.
You can start by giving her an offering and doing a bit of divination work. Some offering ideas for this dark goddess include night-blooming flowers, incense, dark wine or spirits, black fabric, a veil, dark chocolate, dark berries, black animal votives, and symbols of her children (scissors, skulls, etc.).
In Hindu tradition, Kali is the goddess of death and destructive. She is fierce and even a bit scary. Typically, Kali is shown as a blue women with between four and ten arms. She carries severed heads in each hand, but keep in mind that this image was mainly to scare off evil. Her job is to cleanse the world of all things bad.
Kali is one of the most well-known dark goddesses, yet she has so many positive aspects of her. In fact, Kali really represents empowerment, fortitude, and courage. She is a really dynamic feminine role model.
In Hindu myth, Kali is the goddess who slays demons, but she is also a creator-goddess. The idea is that the creator could be both good and loving as well as fearsome.
Kali is the ultimate protection from evil. Many witches call upon her to aid with protection spells specifically. She is a bit dark and powerful but is also a loving deity with a warm, mothering energy.
Otherwise, practitioners call upon Kali for self-empowerment and transformation. Like the other dark goddesses, she will burn your life to the ground if she needs to, but she keeps your highest good in mind. She dissolves all forms that don’t serve you and rebuilds your life and your sense of self from the ground up.
Kali will destroy your lifelong beliefs that you are not worthy or valuable and will force you to be your authentic self. She helps you find a deeper, more meaningful love for yourself while learning to live in reality.
Like many of the other dark goddesses, Kali has both the light and the dark in her. However, you tend to see her light side more often! She loves daytime and all creatures of the earth. After all, she is the creator.
Kali shows us that not all light is good and not all darkness is bad. One cannot exist without the other, so they both have a place in the world. However, she is very against evil forces, however you may define those.
You can contact the dark goddess Kali through meditation, by doing the goddess yoga squat (Asana), by performing Tantric rites, or by offering red hibiscus flowers, sweets, or rice and lentils.
The Morrigan is the Irish Celtic goddess of war, destruction, death, and transformation. She is known as the Phantom Queen and is often depicted on a battlefield, surrounded by crows.
Although The Morrigan is a fierce fighter, she also has the ability to shift into the shape of different animals, including the bull, the crow, and the wolf. This is ultimately how she wins the majority of battles.
Because of these shapeshifting abilities, the Morrigan is also the goddess of prophecy and witchcraft. Just as she is fierce in person, she also represents all things hidden and illusions.
Like Brigid, The Morrigan is a triple goddess. She is associated with three animals (the cow, crow, and wolf) but also has three separate aspects of her personality.
The Morrigan teaches us that light comes out of dark. She is the crow who eats the skin off of dead warriors after a battle, but in this manner she also represents in circle of life.
If you work with The Morrigan, she will probably destroy your life in many ways, but our of this chaos comes new life, and you will be revealed in your true form.
The Morrigan is also the perfect goddess to work with if you’re interested in shapeshifting, glamour, illusion, crow magic, sacred sex magic, and shadow work.
Ultimately, The Morrigan will give you a lot of tough love, but she will also be your protector. She is a fierce warrior and fights for those who need her protection, which often includes women, children, and animals.
Offering ideas for The Morrigan include storm water, crow feathers, a knife, milk, grain, honey, relics of war, crow, cow, or wolf figurines, and red wine.
How To Connect With The Dark Goddesses:
Working with the dark goddesses isn’t for everyone. They are often connected to witchcraft, the Underworld, death, rebirth, and transformation.
Although the specifics vary based on the dark goddess you connect with, you should be prepared for them to tear down structures in your life that don’t serve you, even if this is painful.
If a specific dark goddess wants to work with you, she will make herself known in a way that you can’t ignore. This usually happens during a turning point in your life when you are absolutely ready to transform.
However, you might not realize what’s happening right away. When Lilith first made herself known to me, it took me months to figure out that she was behind many of the happenings.
For example, I became obsessed with Lilith astrology (I literally wrote a 12k word blog post her), researched every myth I could find that referenced her, and generally thought about her quite often. For some reason, it never occurred to me that she was actually reaching out until I got a small deity reading on Etsy and was told that I should work with Lilith!
This actually did come at a point in my life when I was going through a major emotional transition. She wanted to help me take back my power and live a more authentic life.
Once I figured out that Lilith wanted to work with me, it wasn’t an instant connection. Working with the dark goddesses takes work and effort. You have to leave offerings, pray to them, talk to them, and think only of your relationship instead of what you can get out of it.
If a dark goddess is reaching out to you, then you may notice signs in your dreams, in divination readings, or in everyday conversation. You may also think about this dark goddess an excessive amount.
At first, look to who you’re naturally interested in. This is often because the dark goddess is hanging around and emitting energy.
Keep in mind that not every witch or practitioner will resonate with every dark goddess, and this is totally normal! Ultimately, the relationship should be a two way street: the dark goddess is interested in working with you, and you’re interested in working with her. If it feels one-sided on either end, keep looking.
Each dark goddess will have her own unique energy and characteristics. You will get to know your specific dark goddess the more you work with her, which is why it’s best to start with just one deity.
It can take many weeks or months to truly develop a relationship with any of the dark goddesses. In fact, it can be harder to really get in touch with the dark goddesses versus some of the lighter, happier goddesses, but in the end you can have a really meaningful bond that transforms your life.
So, once you know who you want to connect with, what now?
First of all, do lots of research. Look into the various myths that surround your dark goddess and try to get a flavor for her personality. Learn about her symbols and the various struggles she faced.
Once you feel like you’re well-versed in the historical/mythological aspect of reserach, it’s time to act. I typically leave an offering first. Make sure that this offering is something special; don’t just grab an old bracelet that you don’t want out of your drawer.
However, offerings don’t have to be expensive, either. They simply have to be personalized. A flower that is specific to your dark goddess will be much more impactful than a really expensive stone that’s generic or has no meaning.
You can also try to connect with your dark goddess through meditation, astral travel, or divination (such as the pendulum or Tarot).
I talk to my deities most often through the pendulum. It swings incredibly fast and strong when they’re around. I have literally never felt such a powerful energy before, so I’m sure that I’m talking to them.
When you first start working with a dark goddess, watch your dreams for any symbolism or encounters. You can also sleep with the sigil of the goddess under your pillow, but make sure you’re ready to have some pretty freaky dreams. After all, some of these goddesses live in places like the Underworld!
Lastly, you can do a ritual dedicated to your dark goddess of choice. Later, when you establish a clear relationship, you’ll know how your goddess wants to work with you.