Embracing The Dark Night of The Soul

Embracing The Dark Night of The Soul

Sometime we feel we are being enfolded in a cloak of lethargy. This may manifest as depression, general apathy and tiredness toward life in general, a nervous breakdown, exhaustion, chronic fatigue or an episode of mental illness. In ancient women’s wisdom, this is seen as an initiation to get to know our inner wise woman, known to the ancient Greeks as Hecate – the Goddess of the Underworld through learning to navigate our own shadow.

Without access to ancient women’s wisdom, the mainstream way of responding to these soul sicknesses is often to medicate the symptoms in an attempt to return the ‘patient’ back to outward productivity as soon as possible.

But it is these very symptoms that are our soul’s way of asking us to sit down, journey inward and learn to access our inner guidance. For when we truly surrender to how we feel and express it, we then clear our ability to channel the insight needed to integrate our past experiences, giving us renewed energy to continue forth with our quest.

Symbolically this is shown in most heroic tales where the protagonist enters a dark place such as a cave, swamp, dungeon or poppy field and is temporarily impeded from further activity until they solve a riddle by coming to terms with the darker side of human nature. This is how spiritual wisdom is possessed, through the conscious seeking of higher truth or meaning. Often grief and loss of our ego’s desires mark the beginning of this stage of the journey – the death phase which precedes each psychological birth.

The test at this time for the hero / heroine is to find and maintain hope in the darkness, to literally learn to see in the dark. Just as the hero’s journey is motivated by a need to venture outward to find one’s life purpose, the feminine journey is by contrast, one of surrender. We must therefore allow time and space to spiral inwards to the depths of our own subconscious so we can discover our ultimate truth and regain a sense of reverence for the synchronicity and mystery of the Divine Plan (as well as a deeper appreciation of our own soul gifts).

It is important to add that the light cannot be reached without first venturing into the unknowable darkness. This process happens periodically throughout our lives, usually in accordance with the seasons, i.e. turning inward during Autumn and Winter. Although we may return to this place of despair on a regular basis, each successive return grants us with a deeper understanding of ourselves and of life in general. In other words, if you are feeling despondent, it’s important that you give yourself full permission to express your negative feelings through mediums such as drawing, dancing, chanting, crying or swearing like a trooper in the back yard.

To express your dark side in a creative and safe way keeps you from imploding or exploding when the pressure becomes too great to handle. Depression is therefore the result of suppressing those negative thoughts and feelings that we feel uncomfortable acknowledging and expressing for fear they will overwhelm us. The result usually means that we remain stuck in that dark polarity until we allow the energy to shift by venting it.

Traditionally women have met regularly to express their collective ‘madness’ through sound and movement, to free their body of negative energies under the light of the moon. I used to run a group in a church hall where we would do this to Gabrielle Roth’s Five Rhythms CD – trance music designed to take you through five different emotional states. No doubt to innocent passers-by we sounded like an insane asylum, but we would all leave feeling refreshed and liberated, ready to face the unacknowledged madness in the world with renewed vigour. After all, madness is merely the result when our wild, free and instinctual nature is given no voice. It is this part that acts as a release valve when our rational mind is overwhelmed with the irrationalities that life has shown us.

If you have experienced the darker side of human nature in any way, shape or form it is imperative that you set aside the time to revisit it in order to fully comprehend its impact and lesson in your life. ‘The dark night of the soul’ is a stage we must all undergo when we feel that life is meaningless and experience complete disillusionment with all that we know to be true. When we feel this way, all we can do is surrender to our grief.

It is interesting to note that the death and rebirth process a butterfly undergoes within its chrysalis involves a trinity of energies where the caterpillar is reduced to liquid before reforming as a winged creature. This dissolving of one’s original form into water is also the symbolism of baptism and re-birthing ceremonies, where a person is submerged in water signifying the surrender to one’s one grief which will in turn soften our rigidity and make moist and fertile the foundation for new growth. Just as in each Spring season we need the rainfall to fertilise new growth, so too we need to release our tears in order to lubricate the process of internal alchemy otherwise we remain detached from our heart and emotions, rationalising how we feel instead of moving through it.

To find out more empowering your inner wise woman & the other 6 psychological aspects that together comprise our feminine psyche check out these resources:

Inner Goddess online course 

Inner Goddess Makeover workbook 






Take These 7 Steps To See What Shape Your Inner Goddess Is In!

Step One. What shape is your inner WILD WOMAN (Base Chakra) in?

 Simply select the answer that best describes you…

   1. You’re at a dinner party and another guest says something that angers you, do you:

A. Take a sip of wine and respond under your breath?

B. Wait to say something in private to the host about their remark?

C. Question their viewpoint and speak your own truth at the table?

2. With regards to your menstruation, do you:

A. Avoid it by taking the contraceptive pill consistently?

B. Deal with it but feel it’s an inconvenience?

C. Use your sensitivity at that time to reflect and nurture yourself?

3. You are camping with friends and realise you’ve left your hairbrush at home, do you:

A. Drive two hours to the nearest town to buy one?

B. Wear a hat the whole time?

C. Let yourself go feral for a couple of days?

Now add up your score. A = 1, B = 2, C = 3. If you scored:

3 – 5 Your inner Wild Woman is in the closet with the door locked. The Wild Woman chapter may be confronting but will help liberate you in the long run.

6 – 8 You do let your inner Wild Woman out on a leash but don’t feel comfortable letting people know she’s with you. You’ll pick up a few helpful tips in the Wild Woman chapter.

9 Grrr! Your inner Wild Cat is in doin’ fine!

Step Two. What shape is your inner Beautiful Muse (sacral chakra) in?

Answer the following questions & select the answer that best describes you.

     1. You meet someone you feel attracted to at a friend’s place. Do you:

A. Feel self-conscious and freeze up, unable to communicate freely?

B. Start flirting with them and fantasizing about the future?

C. Engage with them and speak openly about yourself and your life?

2. You need to buy a dress for a formal occasion. Do you:

A. Rebel against the idea and wear dress pants and a top?

B. Try on dresses, feeling secretly horrified by what you see in the fitting room mirror?

C. Enjoy the opportunity to try on dresses with your best friend?

3. It’s time for the work Christmas party, do you:

A. Make an excuse and not turn up?

B. Get drunk and flirt with your boss?

C. Offer to host some party games or office awards?

Now add up your score. A = 1, B = 2, C = 3. If you scored:

3 – 5 Your inner Beautiful Muse is currently on ice. You need to read the Beautiful Muse chapter to melt her inaccessibility.

6 – 8 Your inner Beautiful Muse needs a little TLC to avoid potentially sticky situations. You’ll pick up a few helpful tips if you read the Beautiful Muse chapter in ‘The Inner Goddess Makeover’.

9 You have the grace and charm of Audrey Hepburn!

Step Three. What shape is your inner Golden Heroine (solar plexus chakra) in?

    Answer the following questions & select the answer that best describes you.

     1. Which of the following best describes your work situation:

A. I am unemployed or working a job that I don’t enjoy.

B. I am in a respectable line of work that I’m good at and enjoy the challenge.

C. I am either studying or making my income doing what makes my heart sing!

2. You receive your weekly pay cheque. Do you:

A. Blow it having the best weekend ever?

B. Spend it on bills, groceries and still not have enough to cover the rent or mortgage?

C. Invest ten% of your earnings via direct debit in a savings plan? 

3. In an average week, which of the following best describes you?

A. I work all week then try to forget about work on the weekend.

B. I find it hard to have a day that is totally work-free.

C. I love my work but have a rich home and social life.

Now add up your score. A = 1, B = 2, C = 3. If you scored:

3 – 5 Your inner Golden Heroine is in need of some courage to pursue her dreams. Reading the Golden Heroine chapter will help you to identify that you’re a diamond in the rough.

6 – 8 You tend to bolster your self-worth by attracting dragons to slay but are exhausted from fighting constant battles. You’ll pick up a few helpful tips in the Golden Heroine chapter.

9 Look out Xena Warrior Princess! You have learnt the true value of your inner gifts and share them with the world.

Step Four. What shape is your inner Earth Empress (heart chakra) in?       

Answer the following questions & select the answer that best describes you.

        1. A friend calls who is feeling down and wants to talk. You are in the middle of something that requires your full attention. Do you:

A. Feel uncomfortable that she’s rung you asking for help and suggest she call someone else?

B. Stop what you’re doing and listen to her whilst quietly feeling anxious about how long she’s talking?

C. Explain your circumstance briefly and commit to return her call when you’re finished?

 2. Most nights of the week your dinner would consist of:

A. Take out or frozen dinners.

B. Meat and vegetables from the supermarket, followed by after dinner treats.

C. Wholefoods such as brown rice, lentils, organic vegetables and free range meat.

3. Your home environment is best described as:

A. A place where you sleep and not much else.

B. A show home that feels ordered but not warm and inviting.

C. A sanctuary that feels warm, happy and nurturing.

Now add up your score. A = 1, B = 2, C = 3. If you scored:

3 – 5 Your inner Earth Empress is petrified of becoming a doormat should she ever put on an apron. The Earth Empress chapter will help you to see how you can nurture yourself and others without becoming subservient.

6 – 8 Your inner Earth Empress is putting other’s needs before your own. You’ll pick up a few helpful tips in the Earth Empress chapter.

9 Yo Mama! Your inner Earth Empress is in fine form!

Step Five. What shape is your inner Medicine Woman (throat chakra) in?

    Answer the following questions & select the answer that best describes you.

     1. You break up with your partner, do you:

A. Beg them to take you back for fear you can not live without him / her

B. Bad mouth him / her to anyone who will listen

C. Look forward to spending quality time with yourself

2. You are driving alone when you get a flat tyre. Do you:

A. Apply fresh lipstick and wait beside the car for a man to stop

B. Call your auto club and stay inside the car until their arrival

C. Get out and fix it yourself

3. A friend suggests you join her in attending a women’s weekend retreat. Do you:

A. Make a joke about the sort of women who will attend

B. Refuse. You don’t do things with groups of women

C. Accept and feel excited by the prospect

Now add up your score. A = 1, B = 2, C = 3. If you scored:

3 – 5 Your inner Medicine Woman currently has an arrow through her head but won’t look into a mirror to notice. The Medicine Woman chapter may hit a raw nerve but will help liberate you in the long run.

6 – 8 Your inner Medicine Woman is shy but wants to feel the power of flexing her own muscles. You will pick up a few helpful tips in the Medicine Woman chapter.

9 Bull’s Eye! Your Inner Medicine Woman has her eye on the target and can’t miss!

Step Six. What shape is your inner Wise Woman (Third Eye chakra) in?

 Answer the following questions & select the answer that best describes you.

         1. You see yourself in a photograph and look older than you expected, do you:

A. Call a plastic surgeon

B. Complain to a girlfriend

C. Meditate on what that means to you

2. You find yourself feeling depressed mid-Winter, do you:

A. Make an appointment to request antidepressants

B. Seek out the counsel of a Wise Woman for insight or a reading

C. Write and draw in your journal to process what shadow emotions are surfacing

3. You are asked to share your life’s wisdom in a magazine article. Do you:

A. Laugh and say that they’ve asked the wrong person?

B. Research other people’s wise thoughts and perspective

C. Enjoy the process of writing whatever comes from the wellspring of your heart

Now add up your score. A = 1, B = 2, C = 3. If you scored:

3 – 5 Your inner Wise Woman is veiled both to yourself and the world. The Wise Woman chapter will enable you to see and own your pearls of wisdom, regardless of how you see yourself now.

6 – 8 Your inner Wise Woman thrives on the wisdom she receives from others. The Wise Woman chapter will help you to develop your own intuitive insight.

9 You are a big Kahuna! Your embodiment of the Wise Woman will be a shining light for others to follow.

 Step Seven. What shape is your inner High Priestess (crown chakra) in? 

Answer the following questions & select the answer that best describes you.

     1. A friend invites you to attend a Tantric Love Goddess workshop, do you:

A. Laugh at her and tell her absolutely not

B. Ask her to tell you all about it afterward

C. Feel excited by the prospect and agree to go with her

2. You’re at a party with great people, music and food, do you:

A.Stick by the side of the person you came with

B.Eat, drink or smoke more than you wish you had the next day

C.Dance like there’s no tomorrow

3. Do you consider the most important relationship in your life to be:

A. With your partner

B. With yourself

C. With Spirit

Now add up your score. A = 1, B = 2, C = 3. If you scored:

3 – 5 Your inner High Priestess has a chastity belt on that is keeping your sacred flame the size of a tea light. The High Priestess chapter will enable you to find the key to liberate your ecstasy.

6 – 8 Your inner High Priestess is feeling drawn to the flame of Divine ecstasy but is holding a fire blanket and hose just in case things get out of hand. The High Priestess chapter will help you better understand your fears so you can overcome them and shine in your full radiance.

9 You refract the light of Spirit in all colours of the rainbow. The High Priestess chapter will gift you with further tips on how to merge more deeply with the Divine Source and experience even greater levels of ecstatic rapture.

 Want More?

Join Tanishka and women of all ages from around the world to empower each of your chakras Goddesses at her Inner Goddess retreat in Bali.

To join the retreat, click here 

Want it to be online? Check out our Inner Goddess Online Course here

© Tanishka, author of ‘The Inner Goddess Makeover’ published 2007



Get To Know Your Inner Aphrodite: The Goddess of Self Love

Get To Know Your Inner Aphrodite: The Goddess of Self Love

Aphrodite is a force of nature, her energy urging us toward relationships. She is both the bringer of joy and the feared harbinger of passion. She is the Goddess of Love and the essence of feminine beauty and grace. She is also easily spotted for her social charm, being well versed in the art of conversation. She is considered unconventional and often has artistic or bohemian friends who mirror her flamboyance and aesthetic flair. In fact, so impressive is she in social situations that her social network can become almost unmanageable. (So many invitations, so little time!) She is also considered a ‘man magnet’, not necessarily for her bombshell looks but for her genuine interest in and love of men. Being feminine and watery (emotional) by nature she is an enigma who intrigues all she meets, but none more so than her polar opposite, a fiery man.

The Goddess Aphrodite showed that the human experience could be blissful. She demonstrated this by being completely unself-conscious in the celebration of her own beauty and the beauty of others. As a result of her ability to see the beauty in all, she enjoyed lovers of both genders, illustrated by her passionately kissing cowry shells, a pseudonym for female genitalia. It is interesting to note that Aphrodite was born a fully-grown woman, indicating that there is a certain maturity needed to be completely uninhibited and self-fulfilling. If, however, our inner Aphrodite is immature her immediate concern is to find ‘the perfect lover’, an aim that can override her commonsense, resulting in other areas of her life being neglected as she pursues her latest fancy. Stopping at nothing in her quest for love, she will use all her enchanting powers in order to possess her chosen love object, with glamour being her tell-tale preferred weapon of choice.

The archetype of Aphrodite is by no means virginal; often dismissing contraception in the heat of passion, despite the personal risk. This impetuousness is also exacerbated by her deep psychological need to know and merge with another which can lead to co-dependent relationships as her personal boundaries tend to be as watery as her emotions.

This Beautiful Muse aspect within us also has a great capacity to be empathetic towards others who are in emotional pain. If this aspect is dominant, we tend to be sensitive and compassionate as a result of our own experiences. However, if our empathetic tendency goes unchecked, we can be easily drawn into other people’s dramas rather than stay detached and able to be of true benefit, both to ourselves and to others.

Aphrodite, like the sirens whose enigmatic singing drew boats off course in the myth of Odysseus, can be seen today on pop music charts wailing out tortured lyrics while dressed to kill (or privately in lounge rooms belting out emotionally unbalanced lyrics like I Can’t Live, If Living Is Without You demonstrated beautifully by Renee Zellweger in the film, Bridget Jones’ Diary). A scenario which illustrates how our inner drama queen if indulged completely can reduce us to a state of complete hopelessness. (Pre- Goddess makeover I often warbled along with melancholic songbird, Sade, while imbibing red wine. Post-Goddess makeover I warble along with Aretha, singing uplifting Gospel tracks while washing the dishes!)

Aphrodite was also renowned for her poetic and persuasive speech and her ability to emotionally move us, which is why drama schools are a beacon for Aphrodites in search of a stage on which to shine and emote.

Venus, the ruling planet of Aphrodite and the astrological sign of Taurus, gifts us with the quality of appreciation. There is no one who will make you feel more appreciated than a woman in full Aphrodite mode. Just observe a recipient basking in her unwavering gaze, that is until she turns her attention elsewhere to pursue the next passing interest. This ability of hers to live thoroughly in each moment can be both a boon and a drawback, depending on how deliberate her intentions are. It may lead her to be impulsive financially, purchasing exquisite pampering items that appeal to her sensual nature or fashion accessories that thrill her vanity but max her credit card.

Above all, Aphrodite represents the transformative power of love. For it is when we are ‘in love’ that we see the world through Aphrodite’s rose-coloured glasses and everyone and everything in it appears ideal. Unfortunately, if this state of love is not achieved through spiritual awareness and reconnection, this temporary ecstatic bliss can leave us hankering for more, whatever the cost, leading to an emotional rollercoaster created by the false belief that it is only this one person who can evoke such feelings within us. So the challenge that Aphrodite ultimately presents us with is to experience this state of transcendent love without needing ‘the other’ to act as a catalyst. Otherwise, we feel anxious and blue whenever they are not around. It is for this reason that many Aphrodite women become addicted to ‘being in love’ and fall in love often, breaking more than the heel on their designer shoes every time they fall.

If Aphrodite is a dominant archetype within you, you may find it hard to maintain a balance between work and play. With a large network of friends and acquaintances, you are easily distracted from completing the task at hand. It is important that your work stimulates your creativity so you will find the commitment needed to complete each project.

In our culture many Aphrodites struggle with the outward signs of ageing, particularly if they have depended on their looks rather than fully develop their inner character and talents, (a trend illustrated by the growing cosmetic surgery industry). Fortunately, there are some Aphrodites who age gracefully, retaining their youthful vitality through their creative and spiritual passions and as a result, attract friends of all ages and from all walks of life.

Related Resources:

Empower your inner Aphrodite & ALL your feminine archetypes with Tanishka in her Inner Goddess online course! To find out more click here

Or find out why women of all ages LOVE her book, The Inner Goddess Makeover here

Creating Sacred Union Within

Creating Sacred Union Within

Most people want a soul fulfilling relationship. Someone they can share all of themselves with – not just part of themselves. Someone who is capable of seeing and honouring their different facets.

To do this we must get to know the aspects of both our inner feminine & masculine halves, which combined make up the blueprint of our multi-faceted soul self. 

The more discordant our parent’s relationship, which modelled a blueprint of these inner gender roles, the greater the challenge to harmonise these opposing forces within. Kind of like Lily Tomlin & Steve Martin enacting the discord of two people sharing the same body in the classic comedy film, ‘All of Me.’

We do this by getting acquainted with each of our feminine and masculine archetypes – the facets of our opposite polarities that must be balanced internally before we can enjoy equal & balanced partnerships. This awareness helps us individuate from the conditioning we received in childhood, so we can reclaim our unique & authentic personal self-expression.

Each of these masculine & feminine archetypal energies govern one of our seven major energy centres, commonly referred to as chakras, meaning wheel of light.  When we master the expression of these aspects we unblock our life force (known as kundalini in ancient Sanskrit) from the base to our crown. This raises the level of both our consciousness & personal power & was once what set one apart as being royal in stature in the ancient world, rather than the later custom of bloodlines – regardless of their level of awareness or maturity.

In Mysticism this energetic process of inner alchemy was described as awakening the twin serpents…referring to the masculine & feminine energy meridians that when raised around the nervous cord in our spine create the caduceus, the symbol for healing which was later adopted by the fraternity of modern medicine. It portrays the two serpents spiralling up a central pillar, (the nervous system) with wings outstretched.

By marrying the seven expressions of your inner yin (feminine) & yang (masculine), we are freed of the unconscious external search for our ‘other half,’ which is a recipe for dysfunctional co-dependency, a dynamic which was prevalent in the traditional form of marriage & is now being collectively transcended.

Tanishka is a Tantric author & teacher whose passion is to assist both men & women to empower themselves & their patterns of relating. Join her LIVE for 8 days to create the Sacred Marriage within in Bali. To find out more click here




The word ‘Goddess‘ seems to have recently become a buzzword. In the 1950’s only those immortalised on the silver screen such as Marlena Dietrich & Marilyn Monroe were referred to as ‘Screen Goddesses‘ but now Goddesses seem to be popping out at us from every small screen & magazine to sell us shavers, gym equipment, yoga pants & aromatherapy kits.

So what do these mortal women have that qualifies their status as modern day Goddesses and what can the rest of us do to become one?

In a nutshell, a modern day Goddess as a woman who sees & honours all aspects of her self as natural & therefore perfect & sacred.

(Author’s Note: that does include spontaneous burping & farting!)

Yes, any woman can shine with liberated self-acceptance & vitality when she chooses to value herself as a unique expression of divine life force, instead of trying to become the perfect woman she thinks everyone else wants her to be. Yes! Thankfully, the days of taking a painkiller & lying down in overwhelm are over!


To make the transition into a fully-fledged Goddess we must each realise there is no such thing as the perfect woman. I would also like to point out that your idea of the perfect woman is not necessarily the same as mine. For instance, depending on which feminine archetype is ruling you, you may aspire to be a tall leggy blonde, a perfect Mother or a career superwoman…but none of these ideals will bring happiness if they are not balanced by your other feminine aspects that together comprise your psyche.

By understanding and empowering all of our feminine archetypes, we make more informed choices and less drama which are the key ingredients to manifesting a more fulfilling, sustainable & balanced life.


Each Goddess aspect within our psyche governs a chakra (these are the 7 main energy centres located within our bodies). As we become aware of how to express the positive traits of each feminine aspect we start to shine with confidence in all areas of our life.

This is the process that literally amplifies our wattage, that being the light of our uninhibited soul which attracts people to us like moths to a flame! This is why Aphrodite’s beauty secret was said to be her golden glow.

7 Things You Can Do To Release Your Goddess Mojo!

1. Speak up when something doesn’t feel comfortable.
2. Pamper yourself once a week to top up your cup of self love.
3. Use your skills to make the world a better place.
4. Spend regular time in nature to reconnect.
5. Attend a sisterhood gathering once a month.
6. Meditate at least once a week – this will help you to have less self critical thoughts.
7. Dance like no one is watching!


Join Tanishka for her Inner Goddess online course.  To find out more click here