On Saturday December 7th from 6:30-9:30pm people gathered at the studio and temple space to honor and dive into the deep realms of the Dark Goddess. The space was adorned with 18 works of art, all paintings created over the last few years reflecting the most personal and spiritual of journey's taken. Each image portrayed its own inner story, provided an access point of portal for the viewer into a space within themselves, within their own journey. Attendees were held by the art, candle lite, music and silence to allow them to sink into full presence. Opening to parts of themselves that may lie just below the surface but can not be evoked unless the mind is silenced and the other senses are invited to lead.
The space was intentionally dark, with only candle lite illuminating the works of art. The music also, was a back drop for the senses to be opened. When it is dark, we most look more closely, opening a different set of eyes to see. The music also held this invitation, to listen to a deeper part of oneself. Here the viewer stepped through the doorway provided by the imagery into their own story that plays in the background but is rarely looked at up close.
From here we entered the Temple, a beautiful also candle lit space flanked with beautiful goddesses on all sides, with the Dakini herself at front and center. Ancient tools of the trade sat upon the altar, precious herbs from my pilgrimage to Bhutan burned on the fire, bones lay changed with prayers to the goddess to assist in the healing and release each person needed in this time. Here I began the ritual, adorned with not only the kata given to me in refuge with my Lama but also wearing a precious tibetan Dakini crown once worn by a Tibetan Lama in ceremony for evoking the energies of the Dakinis.
Some of you may be wondering what and who the Dakinis are? These are ancient female energies that assist in the cutting through of illusion for those seeking enlightenment in the Tibetan and Bon traditions. They are frequently seen adorned with skull necklaces, furs, a curved knife (known as the trigue, also shaped to include the hook of compassion. This knife is used to slice through the veils of illusion or mental obscuration that stand between us and our true nature). These dakinis are also frequently found dancing on top of a cowarding body. This body is that of the ego. They are dancing or stomping out the ego breaking down the control and suffering it causes us.
The ceremony proceeded, stories rolled out from my many years of healing and ego dismantling. These stories revealed tid-bits of illumination of what it has been like to release the very chains of identity that had taken me to a height of suffering and in turn also brought on tremendous illness. For it is our health that reflects our true spiritual state. When we have pain in our bodies, we frequently have pain in our hearts or emotional wounds that have been internalized. We are not just a body but energy.
After the stories, the group was guided through drumming, prayer, and rattling to go deep into their own hearts to find what was ready to be released. And when it came time to release, there was also a call to honor how this part of them or experience may have served them on the path. Each person then was given a candle to write their release on along side what they wished to call in. We built the ceremonial fire and danced. Moving through the release amidst the art, holding the edges. The fire carried our prayers into the ethers and we were then met by a warm circle of our comrades for commencement of our ceremony while we enjoyed tea and cake.
The journey was deep and would continue for another week for me. I kept this circle open intentionally til the following saturday, for it is not overnight that all things will leave. The time I spent over that week was like being in the womb of the mother. It was dark, I heard little chatter from my mind, There were few words that could describe the container I was in or the awareness of myself I had. Slowly, what needed to be released bubbled up through my body, mind, heart, and out through my energy body. Ancestral cords were also removed and returned. Great healing occurred. And as the full moon was also a piece of this journey, this day marked additional deep ceremony and self care, affirming the process of personal inquiry and ritual. Held by herbs, spirit, sacred bath, journeying, and rest....the messages came slowly through the depths of the watery like realm I embarked on upon the preparation of this space.
Finally, at the end of the week, the release came with the anniversary of the death of my father. Spirit was with me as my heart broke open, my grief poured out like crashing waves, and clarity came not in the form of words or language, but in the sense of safety, openness, great love and profound presence. Thank you Dark Goddess for holding my hand through the fire, through the darkness, making me feel safe, grateful and cared for the entire time.
This journey and space is crucial to our evolution. This is how we become whole, by coming home to our mother. Returning to her over and over again to remember.
If you are interested in connecting with untapped parts of yourself, reclaiming what is sacred and connecting with spiritual support to help guide you in your life, learn more about working with me one on one or attending one my events either virtually or live in our beautiful temple space in Hood River, OR or our sacred forest retreat in Mt. Hood.