Dark feminine energy is a powerful, animating force that’s rising across the planet today. Often misunderstood, and confused with the feminine shadow, toxic femininity, and disempowered feminine traits, the dark feminine is actually the empowered, untamed, and regenerative energetic stream of the feminine principle.
Most women have come across aspects of dark feminine energy before.
It lives in the pulse of erotic energy rippling across your thighs. In the dark, mysterious void of a Moonless sky. In the rising power that emerges when you stand up for a sister in need…
This dark energy of the feminine exists all around us, yet it’s something that we often deny, or ignore, or worse, tell ourselves we are stupid or shameful for noticing.
So for the next few minutes, I invite you to put all of the preconceptions, the programming, and limiting beliefs aside, and get really present, as we explore dark feminine energy.
What are the characteristics of dark feminine energy?
Dark feminine energy is characterized by qualities such as intuition, emotional depth, sensuality, and power, and the ability to confront and transform one’s shadow aspects. It’s often associated with the darker aspects of nature and the psyche, such as death, destruction, and the unknown.
Often represented by goddesses and archetypes such as Kali Ma, Lilith, and the Black Madonna, the dark feminine is a powerful feminine force that serves to help individuals – women especially – to access their inner strength, face their fears, and embrace their authentic selves.
Yet this dark energy of the feminine can be hard to pin down and define. It’s a frequency – a sacred essence that encompasses creation and destruction. So dark feminine characteristics can be contradictory and ambiguous. They flow and melt into each other, separate, yet like the cycle of the Moon, all interconnected.
Dark feminine energy is
- The crone
- The void
- The liminal
- The unknown
- The unknowable
What is the difference between the light and dark feminine?
The light feminine is associated with qualities such as nurturing, compassion, and harmony, while the dark feminine is associated with qualities such as sensuality, passion, and power. The light feminine tends to emphasize the typical “nice girl” aspects of femininity, while the dark feminine embraces the naturally darker aspects of nature and the psyche.
Here’s a rundown of typical light feminine and dark feminine traits and qualities –
Light feminine energy and qualities
- Intuition and Seeing
- Inward focus and family
- Attraction and receptivity
Dark feminine traits and qualities
- Sensuality and pleasure
- Magic, mysticism, and esoterica
- Abiltiy to transformation
- Sexual liberation
- Ability to regenerate
- Embracing metaphorical death
Because of a lot of misguided and incorrect information out there, many people think that dark feminine energy opposes light feminine energy.
For centuries, the dark side of the feminine has been described as negative, harmful, and full of danger. While the light feminine is championed, celebrated, and rewarded.
The result of this, is that dark feminine traits have come to be perceived by many men and women, as decidedly unfeminine.
Yes, that’s right – patriarchy has convinced us that the deep, dark, sensual, raw, divine feminine energy of the Goddess is actually not feminine, but dangerous, dirty, and shameful. While the very narrow confines of light feminine energy are acceptable.
You likely already express dark feminine traits without knowing it.
And it’s equally likely you’re repressing some level of dark feminine power, as almost every woman has been conditioned to do this. (It’s not a problem with you – it’s a problem with our culture that this is normal).
Learn more about all the dark feminine traits
Read this post next – 20 Dark Feminine Traits and How to Awaken Them in Your Life
Why was the dark feminine suppressed?
The suppression of the dark feminine can be traced back to the very first patriarchal societies that sought to control and dominate women. The darker qualities of the Goddess were seen as threatening to the patriarchal order. So over many generations, the traits and qualities of the dark feminine have been systematically shunned, silenced, and suppressed by our Western culture.
Because dark feminine energy is a powerful tool. The woman who owns this energy is strong and has more awareness of the depth and magic of life. So she is ungovernable.
In the Middle Ages, women who embodied dark feminine qualities were labeled as witches, demonized, and punished. They were tortured and burned at the stake which drove fear into the hearts of women everywhere. This led to further suppression and distortion of the dark feminine, as she was pushed deep into the collective shadow.
Why, as a woman today, do you think it’s still so hard to speak up about what you love, care about and desire? The collective wounds run deep.
Over many centuries our cultural narrative has worked to conflate the concepts of dark and “negative”
We’ve been told that there is something wrong with the dark – that the darkness needs to be avoided. Our children are taught to fear the dark through fairy tales featuring wicked witches, and haggard old women who kidnap helpless infants in the middle of lonely forests.
Instead of the life-giving and regenerative power of the dark, men believe she’s evil, and women are told to reject her… We’ve been led to believe that the dark feminine represents all the things we don’t want around, all those things that for so, so long, humans have collectively tried to push away, hide, and suppress…
Unrestricted sexual energy, expression + fantasies
Lust, desire, and passion
Wildness, untamed, undomesticated freedom
And yes, there may be glimmers of a dark feminine expression in those things, but they aren’t who she is. Yet by stuffing her into these tiny negative boxes, her real essence and Spirit have been radically distorted in the collective mind.
Distorted into the shadow traits of the wounded feminine.
The difference between the dark feminine and the shadow feminine traits
Shadow feminine traits are the aspects of femininity that have been repressed or hidden due to social conditioning or personal experiences. These traits can include anger, jealousy, possessiveness, manipulation, and victimhood. Many of these traits arise due to the suppression of dark femininity. Yet they are not, in themselves, the dark feminine.
The dark feminine is often misunderstood by many, as actually being the shadow side of the feminine.
… So it’s really important not to fall into the same trap of thinking they are one and the same! Dark feminine traits are NOT shadow feminine traits!
The following qualities, characteristics, and behaviors are shadow traits and NOT expressions of dark femininity –
A lack of confidence
“Drama queen” tendencies.
Inability to create boundaries
Difficulty maintaining female relationships
Inability to speak your truth and/or stand up for yourself
Misunderstanding HOW the shadow side of the feminine fits into this work, is another reason we shun, suppress, and vilify dark feminine energy, without really knowing what it is.
We’re sold the story she is disempowered dark feminine energy. When all the while, she’s an expression of our true feminine nature.
But the tide is turning. Dark femininity is rising in our human consciousness… yet to awaken her, give her space, and taste her medicine, we need to look beyond the distortions. We need to look beyond the lies, deprogram our old belief systems around fark feminine energy, and welcome her home, untamed.
Why do we need dark feminine energy?
The dark feminine energy is essential for personal growth and transformation, as it allows individuals to access their inner strength, face their fears, and embrace their authentic selves. The dark side of the feminine also serves to counteract the disempowerment and subservient position that the feminine has been placed in, over the past few thousand years.
Yet if we can’t access dark feminine energy, women, in particular, will continue to struggle to heal, grow, and participate in life in the most authentic ways possible.
It’s our birthright to embrace the wholeness of all human experiences.
Yet without embracing (and truly celebrating) ALL aspects – the light and dark aspects of the Feminine – the growth and evolution of humanity will continue to distort, and even stagnate. Harsh words, yes. But don’t these times call for them?
13 Ways to embrace dark feminine energy
There are many ways to embrace dark feminine energy back into your world and cultivate a relationship with this power. This is why awakening your own dark feminine energy is a practice. It’s not something you do once and then forget about.
So just for starters here are 11 ways to embrace the qualities of the dark feminine in your life
Rest is a sacred act.
A mini-death, rest when the regenerative power of the dark Goddess comes into play.
If you’re all “go, go, go” all the time, the sacred pause in the cycle of the feminine won’t come. (Or rather, you’ll be forced to stop through overwhelm, burnout, or illness).
Making time for rest as a conscious act is a MUST if dark feminine energy is going to rise through you.
2. Learn to love your menstrual cycle
Life isn’t linear, it’s cyclical.
Just like nature, all our life experiences move through seasons, from birth and growth, to death and rebirth. All women have the unique ability to physically connect to the mystery of this dark feminine side, through their menstrual cycle.
Every woman holds the template of the sacred cycle within her body. She gets to experience the magic and mystery of regeneration every month. (If you aren’t menstruating, each lunar month the dark Moon offers something similar – see point 11).
But many women have fallen victim to negative conditioning around their menstruation, believing – as patriarchy has told them – that their blood is dirty, shameful, and embarrassing. This is a prime example of the wounded feminine – to deny one of the most “feminine” aspects of being a truly feminine woman!
Getting to know – and fully embrace – your own cycle of menstruation is an intimate way to get to know how dark feminine energy flows through you.
It’s an act of resistance.
A reclamation of sacred femininity and the power we hold.
3. Explore blood mysteries
If you are a menstruating woman, what is your relationship with your blood?
How do you greet your flow?
What do you do with the red nectar your body produces each month?
Most women are taught that their monthly moon blood is a waste product, and something dirty to throw away. But your blood has incredible regenerative, healing, and protective qualities!
Many ancient cultures practiced blood rites. Many indigenous people still do. From simply saving moon blood and using it as a healing elixir on wounds (yes, this works), to spiritually charging it for magical purposes including ceremony.
You could give your blood back to the Earth, or even try re-imbibing it as an extremely potent medicine.
The divine feminine exists in the materiality of our bodies… and the mysterious power of our Moon-thly blood is dark feminine magic.
And if this feels totally taboo to you, then ask yourself why.
Ever done a menstrual blood ritual?
Read this post next: A Guide to Menstrual Rituals: 13 Best Ways to Honour Your Sacred Blood
4. Do your shadow work
Shadow work is dark feminine work.
Most women (and men) are suppressing vital aspects of their true selves without realizing it. And whatever we suppress within ourselves ends up in the shadow side of the unconscious.
What you find in the shadow may be distorted – an expression of a wounded part of you. When you begin to illuminate the dark side of the psyche with awareness, dark feminine energy comes into play.
Shadow work requires deep healing, full acceptance and self-love, and radical transformation.
Dark femininity is the animating force that transmutes shadow into gold.
You can start accessing your shadow self and doing shadow work by:
5. Touch the Earth (put your hands in the soil)
Dark Feminine energy lives deep in the rich black soil of our Earth.
She is the decay and dissolution of matter…
The fertile void of potential, teeming with sexual energy…
That mysterious space between death and rebirth where something miraculous happens.
In the alchemical mysteries, this unknowable, liminal place is the crucible for spiritual transformation. In nature, this is what our good Earth is doing all the time: through the endless cycle of life, death, and re-birth.
Something happens when you literally plunge your fingers into the Earth. Forget gardening gloves – when you let the soil touch your skin a connection to the divine feminine happens, that’s not only physical. She will awaken something deep within you, as you participate in the mystery…
6. Make peace with endings
All things die, and the dark feminine is the animating force in the cycle of life and death.
To embrace (and embody the dark feminine, it’s vital to embrace the necessary endings in your life.
This point in space and time – between endings and beginnings – is hard to bear. It’s steeped in uncertainty and can feel incredibly destabilizing. Yet the dark feminine can be your ally here. Your guide. Your queen.
The dark feminine dwells in exactly this place between the ending and the beginning. She holds this space where humanity now finds itself, and she holds you here too, in all your confusion, unknowing, and indecision.
Can you drop into complete submission, here, in the liminal? And trust you will be met in the darkness?
7. Befriend your rage
The angry woman is a great taboo within our society.
..As you’ll know if you’ve ever let your own anger and rage loose in public!
The angry woman isn’t a feminine woman. And she should be ashamed of herself, right? She’s ugly, out of control, and the polar opposite of ‘femininity’.
But the repressed emotions that often lead to outbursts of anger are different from the sacred rage that is one of the fuels of the dark feminine.
Learning to cultivate a healthy relationship with your rage, and recognizing the emotional intelligence it really holds, is a potent way into this paradigm.
To find out more, I recommend the work of Mystic poet Maya Luna.
8. Explore dark feminine archetypes
Dark feminine archetypes are powerful symbols and energy types, that represent the darker aspects of feminine energy. These archetypes may refer to goddesses and mythical figures such as the Hindu goddess Kali, or the Black Madonna. They also refer to archetypal figures such as the witch, The Siren / Femme Fatale, and the Dark Mother.
Exploring these archetypes can be a great way to embody the dark feminine energy as they provide a framework for understanding and embracing the darker aspects of the female psyche.
Exploring dark feminine archetypes can be a transformative and empowering experience that can lead to greater self-awareness, self-acceptance, and personal growth.
Discover the dark feminine archetypes in more depth
Read this post next – 10 Dark Feminine Archetypes Craving Your Attention
9. Cultivate the energy of the crone
There’s another female archetype that’s often connected to the dark feminine.
Third, in the triptych of maiden, mother, and crone, the crone archetype corresponds with the waning crescent and dark Moon.
The archetype of the crone (or wise woman) embodies many darker qualities of the divine feminine – she is ancient, fearsome, untamed, and wise.
Many also associate dark feminine energy with the archetype of the wild woman.
10. Explore esoterica
From magical work to astrology, sigils to shapeshifting…
The dark feminine weaves her thread through many of the more esoteric practices that humans do.
The mainstream doesn’t tend to accept them (though astrology is being embraced more and more…) Most of the time, the intangible, non-logical, and more mysterious sides of life are shunned and ridiculed by those still deep in a left-brained operating system.
…And hidden by those who do practice.
It’s been this way for centuries, and for many people today, this pattern of non-acceptance is rooted in the European witch hunts of the Middle Ages. So the sense that practicing anything occult is dangerous is a very real and deep-seated fear. It’s a huge part of the witch wound, and it’s one of the ways feminine power is still stunted.
Yet exploring esoterica (and other things you may think are ‘witchy’ practices), are not only potent acts of self-realization, but they’re also the kinds of spiritual activity that were banned and suppressed along with the divine feminine.
We can (and must) each do the work to release our deep fear around the more esoteric practices, and magical side of life. It’s a fear that no longer serves humanity, and holds us back collectively and personally.
You will restore harmony by embracing (and expressing) your true self.
11. Meet the Dark Goddess
An incredible way to meet the divine feminine principle is through the Goddess and all her many manifestations.
From goddesses Kali, Innana, Sekhmet, and Circe, many women experience the light and dark aspects of the feminine by forming a relationship with one (or more) of the many goddesses.
Read all about the Dark Goddess HERE (and meet 13 of her most powerful incarnations)
12. Celebrate the Dark Moon
The dark Moon phase is two to three days before New Moon, when la Luna is invisible in the sky.
Ancient cultures revered the Moon as a manifestation of the Goddess, and this dark phase is, of course, when dark feminine energy rose.
It’s her time.
You can honor her at the Dark Moon, by getting in touch with your own dark side, and going inwards. It’s time for deep personal inquiry and healing work. Such as:
Discover how to work with the dark Moon phase through ritual
Read this post next – 5 Potent Dark Moon Rituals You Have to Try
13. Seek out expressions of the dark masculine
It can be really beneficial to seek out and connect with those who embody dark masculine energy.
This can provide a sense of strength, stability, and truth. Yet authentic expressions of dark masculinity can be really hard to find, so it’s important to navigate any partnerships very carefully and with caution.
For SO long, polarity dynamics between men and women have placed women in a subservient position and this is exactly what we’re trying to dismantle.
Connecting with men in their dark masculine energy can very easily push women BACK into their light feminine energy, without them even realizing what’s happening – these patterns are generational!
So be cautious.
Do you feel the dark feminine moving through your life?
Do you have your own practices to re-awaken her? Share with me in the comments what they are…