Death and Separation


In one of our book clubs we are reading about death and separation.

This is a deeply moving mortificatio song. Mortificatio, meaning killing and death, is the stage in alchemy before the whitening.

In native american culture buffalo was dismembered (separated) and bones were used for marrow, skins for tipis and moccasins and water bags, hooves for cups, fat as soap, tongue as a hairbrush, tail as a flyswat and even dried buffalo dung was used for fires. Buffalo symbolises abundance, it gives life.

It is important to stay with the theme of death and darkness before running towards the light. Be patient as you dismember yourself. Sow your seeds deep into the dark, wet, soil and the abundant harvest will come. The more we go into our darkness, and into our own shadow, the more we will be able to access our light. It is important to not bypass the depth of this stage, we always have a shadow side that we can go further into so we must stay with it when it calls.

I find reading about Inanna’s descent into the underworld very soothing when I am moving through mortificatio. I take my time feeling my way through what seven parts of myself I want to leave behind as Inanna passes through the seven gates and removes her seven layers. If I am bleeding during this stage I collect my blood in a moon cup and pour it on the soil as a ritual to honour the shadow side of fertility and to receive blessings from the earth mother.

‘Black is a promise that you will soon know something you did not know before.’ – Clarissa Pinkola Estes