The Bird Goddess is one of the most ancient goddesses, both a life-giving creator and a goddess of death and regeneration. The Valkyrie, a northern European goddess, is a representation of this goddess ad death wielder. The bird guise of the Valkyrie is that of the raven, long associated with death and magic. The name Valkyrie means "chooser of the slain"; the face and form of the Valkyries are psychopomps who lead the soul to the afterworld. For ancient people, death was a part of a cyclical process leading again to rebirth; black was a positive color, a symbol of fertility and abundance. The Valkyrie represents that part of us that is unafraid of the dark places; she can lead us into and through them. She reminds us that seeds germinate in the darkness, that sometimes we need darkness in order to grow.