Wise words from women…

“Decision making is a self correcting process…”

“You have to get through the bad stuff to get to enjoy the good stuff.”

“Our personal journey is more of a spiral than a linear path- don’t be surprised if you circle around the same themes a couple of times- you cant go backwards, only forwards. If only because you are different the next time round.”

 

A thank you note to me

I facilitated two group processes this weekend for an NGO, both of which were beautifully on point and moved with that unique soulful spirit flow we practitioners long for and delight in…

This is my thank you from the organisers:

“Dear Cathwrynn, Thank you for your wonderful gentle, grounded but eagle-like contribution to this workshop. I look forward to our work together.”

What generous inspiration in this thank you note!

Gratitude and joy from me…

Camissa Womens Temple Sweat Lodge

“GrandFather, GrandMother.Creation, Great Mystery. Aho, Spirit.”

This was our prayer and meditation as the core group of Camissa Temple came together to build and then enter a new Sweat Lodge for a women’s sweat,  in Scarborough, Cape Town. One of our temple members, Novukile, had a friend wanting a sweat built on her land, which she will use for sacred ceremony. We were willing labour and lucky enough to be the first to then use it too!

We agreed that physically building something so sacred would be a very fitting beginning process for our temple guardians as we ‘build’ a unique temple space in Camissa Temple for women, together. We are also aware of our own individual needs for healing, rebirthing and reclaiming our connection with Our Mother, Earth. We wanted to share this passage together. We have a deep commitment to authentic relating in this temple, and we felt sure that hard manual labour, a new experience of building together and then the challenge of sweating together would create the perfect pressure cooker experience for triggering and being triggered! Yes, we actually consciously chose that!

Devi, our lodge keeper, created a stellar constellation with all of us. We each had the privilege of holding the position and energy of a planet in its exact position in the lodge as in the night sky above. The moon graced us with her/his beautiful light and the wind laid low for just the perfect amount of time to build and sweat. I knew that it would be a special night, driving through a thick curtain of mist coming in to Scarborough earlier in the evening. I was right.

Personally I enjoyed a deeper, essential connection to Mother as she held me during the intensity of the heat. I battled a headache for most of the day, which was frustrating. Frustrating not to be able to know the mind body link in order to let it go. As a group I feel that we have centered our connection to sacred creation and the great mystery more explicitly within each of us, and as a collective core circle. We have a shared resonance which we can call to when relating gets tricky, or logistics get demanding. We can both source guidance more clearly and now create more meaningfully.

We are blessed and grateful to know and love each other. Makhosi!

2nd International Conference for the Empowerment of Women: a community with heart

I was fortunate to join my favourite spiritual community, The Inner Circle, for their 2nd Women’s Conference in Cape Town last weekend. As with all Inner Circle events, the heart is touched deeply, and the mind is encouraged to seek its own freedom in finding deep truth. So I am still processing a deep, powerful and challenging weekend.

My eyes were further opened to the reality of the patriarchy in all our lives. We examined the impact of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and I was startled at its lifelong impact in my own life. I wonder also how consciously the sacred sexuality community is addressing this on a social level. A beautiful effect of doing this work in a muslim queer community is how we begin to tease out the subtle and not so subtle threads of patriarchy, culture, religion and social conditioning. Because of the atmosphere of love and unconditional acceptance we are able to examine more closely our own wounds and limitations- there is never need for defensiveness or shame. Because we can look inward with compassion we are also better able to enquire into our community wounds and deficits.

I have many notes to go through and my mind is very full of new ideas, new priorities and possibilities. I will share the learnings and challenges that come from this extraordinary conference in a series of posts here. I look forward to sharing with you.

Sedona Temple closed as a brothel in the USA: friends and colleagues arrested

This “we work with sexological bodywork or sexuality but we are not sex workers” thing has come to a head in the USA. This challenge and opportunity that affects all those who work with sexuality. A noted South African sexologist has entombed her practice in academia in order to ensure her position on the farthest side of the sex worker scale. She still sells sex toys at great cost when you come for counselling, but this she has rationalised.

Friends, colleagues and teachers in the USA have been arrested on charges of prostitution and profiteering from prostitution. They have been arrested for doing sex work, when it may be that they have not resolved this issue for themselves. Better to embrace the fact that one is a sex worker, be very careful about your work, and align with organisations mobilising for change in the laws than to pretend to be separate entities entirely.

We hear such mixed views on this topic: “The temples of old housed temple prostitutes therefore sex work is a noble profession” versus “This is not sex work, I am but a spiritual guide.” And of course all shades of grey in between, all levels of proficiency in being able to hold the core of one’s work with integrity. Sounds as complex as it should be- since complexity is the beautiful expression of Life.

Sex is blooming hard to regulate if you are a politician, policeman, lawmaker, religion. Darn, Life is so messy and so grey and indeterminate at times. Life is just so… defiantly prolific! Just as you make up one rule for a particular circumstance another arises…

My first loves (gosh I’m so ‘poly’), are the altered states of meditation that arise in the body and breath and subtle energy flow. Any kind of kink, or even plain old therapeutic massage, if done well can take one there- its about the individual capacity for dropping into experience. I like living in those states, and finding more of them. They are only useful if awareness and consciousness results, otherwise they are just playing. Nothing wrong with playing.

Arnold Mindell calls these altered states living the dreambody: and it can be accessed in many ways. The dreambody is the Soul speaking, shouting for attention. She speaks in many ways: through meditation, being ill or dying, having sex, becoming mentally ill or living through a catastrophic event etc. Guess which ways are more popular for those seeking the Soul?

The truth is that ‘sex’ (and my definition is ‘a state of being which involves sexual energy being raised and felt’- this can happen in a conversation),  need not come into it at all, unless this way has been specifically chosen by an individual’s Soul. That is up to God/Fate/Fortuna and a seeker’s courage. But it might.

Should hundreds of people across America wish to use the Way of Sex for personal growth and pay for teachers, facilitators and guides- or playmates- I think that they should be allowed to. I don’t care if you call it tantra or sex work or sensual massage or sexological bodywork.

Sexual expression and identity is our most fundamental freedom- this is a core issue and now the Soul of America is dreaming itself into being. Consider, even, the police and lawmakers as allies in this struggle. How will we support her?

Women’s Circle receives the WorldDrum in Cape Town

Thanks to the efforts of Cape Town dance, tantra and women’s spirituality practitioner Ginnette de Fleur, the WorldDrum arrived in Cape Town this week.

It has been travelling the world hand to hand for 4 years spreading its message of peace, shamanic healing and unity across the continents. It was made in Norway by local shamans and was due to leave Africa from Johannesburg and return to Europe. When Ginette heard that it would not be coming down to Cape Town, and that most people in the sacred dance and music community had not even heard of the drum’s journey, she arranged to have the drum flown down for a week. As it turns out this is an auspicious time: New Moon for Spring is on Tuesday this week.

for more info on the drum and it’s journey click here: http://www.theworlddrum.com/

A circle of wise women gathered at the Sufi temple in Claremont last night to receive the drum into Cape Town’s heart. Here is a picture of the exterior; the interior you have to feel, see and hear for yourself!!!

Within a few hours of the plan to bring the drum here being set in motion, women were already networking and mobilizing other wise women to join in a circle to receive this new messenger into our hearts. We soon found drummers, singers, sangomas, dancers, magick makers and soul sisters to weave a welcoming circle.

The outline for the evening was this : create sacred space and sanctify the circle members, listen to the drum, and journey with the drum. The how we left up to Spirit and Inspiration! We knew that with the right women in attendance and with the sacred drum to lead us we would flow as needed.

Delighful moments as the women gathered: embracings, exclamations of surprise and happiness as unexpectd arrivals made it all the more exciting.And as usual women come bearing gifts…

Melissa brought us fresh spring water from Newlands spring which we used for the altar and drank together. Dawn brought flower Bindis to symbolise seeing truly as we traveled, Maurita brought a friend. Our resident sangoma, Nomvukile, made medicine specially for the ceremony, Dana brought her dancing feet and Carey her Warrior Praise Singing Voice!

Ayela brought a gift of soul singing and I brought sacred objects for the altar and circle. Kitya brought the 13th woman and another who brought hope to our hearts. Ginette brought the drum to Cape Town- and into the circle for us to meet her!

She is truly beautiful and travels nestled in the most beautiful case- a soft white animal skin protects her on one side and another brown skin is embroidered and filled with the marks, drawings, names of all that she has met!!!

We oohed and aahed!!! And then we sang.

We sang our heart songs, we sang of the Deep Earth Woman and we sang our prayers.

One by one we entered the circle to be cleansed, we smudged each other in turn and

Oh! Then!

Well then we did what women have done for centuries when able to…

The evening ended with a sweet, sweet song for Camissa led by Ayela Katz from the SoulSound Harmonics project and we made our mark on the skin record cloth.

We blessed the drum on its forward journey across the world…

To all the sisters from the circle: gratitude for your presence and for drumming from the heart…

Orgasm

Orgasm is an auto ecstatic phenomenon:

  • through the interplay between polarities
  • the outer feminine triggers the inner masculine
  • given the right environment orgasm is possible
  • partners may trigger it but the ecstacy and the joy is personal

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