Sacred Feminine: 20 Great Books

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I have promised many of you to put together a reading list for books I recommend related to the Sacred Feminine and what it means to be an educated, conscious, loving and empowered woman in her female body today.

Now this list is quite wide reaching. It includes some easy reads for those touching the subject, and some more intense reads for those of you really committing to the Sacred Feminine path.

There are some Yogic, some Tantric and some Shamanic reads, reflecting mythology, energy and consciousness. There are some that reflect history and science, and some focusing on the physical body, hormones, menstrual cycle and menopause, sexuality and wellbeing.

They are in no specific order really and I’ll admit that I have not managed to read all of these books yet. There are many other books than influence and inspire me as a woman but I don’t categorise as Sacred Feminine. I also don’t have any books focused on sacred pregnancy or mothering in here (reflection of my own interests!)

This is a start. Based on your inputs I’ll be happy to add and improve the list.

So here goes:

  1. The Book of SHE
    Your Heroine’s Journey into the Heart of Feminine Power, by Sara Avant Stover
  2. The Path of the Priestess
    Discover your Divine Purpose, co-authored Rose Cole and others
  3. Woman Code
    Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge your Sex Drive and Become a Power Source, by Alisa Vitti
  4. Goddesses Never Age
    The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Wellbeing, by Dr. Christiane Northrup
  5. Pussy – A Reclamation
    by Regina Thomashauer
  6. Vagina – A New Biography
    A new biography, by Naomi Wolf
  7. Awakening Shakti
    The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga, by Sally Kempton
  8. Womb Wisdom
    Awakening the Creative and Forgotten Powers of the Feminine, by Padma and Anaiya Aon Prakasha
  9. The Power of Shakti
    18 Pathways to Ignite the Energy of the Divine Woman, by Padma Aon Prakasha
  10. Wild Power
    Discover the Magic of Your Menstrual Cycle and Awaken the Feminine Path to Power, by Alexandra Pope
  11. Women Who Run With the Wolves
    Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  12. Kissing the Hag
    The Dark Goddess and the Unacceptable Nature of Women, by Emma Restall Orr
  13. Wild Feminine
    Finding Power, Spirit and Joy in the Female Body, by Tami Lynn Kent
  14. Embodying the Feminine
    Life Lessons and Practices for Awakening Women, by Chameli Armagh
  15. Warrior Goddess Training
    Become the Woman You are Meant to Be, by Heatherash Amara
  16. The Multi-Orgasmic Woman
    How any woman can Experience Multiple Orgasms and Dramatically Enhance Her Sexual Relationship, by Mantak Chia and Rachel Carlton Abrams
  17. Tantric Orgasm for Women
    by Diana Richardson
  18. Dear Lover
    A Woman’s Guide to Men, Sex, and Love’s Deepest Bliss, by David Deida
  19. Dakini Power
    Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, by Michaela Haas
  20. Crossing to Avalon
    A Woman’s Midlife Pilgrimage, by Jean Shined Bolen

 

Agree? Disagree? What are your favourites?
What books have inspired you on the Sacred Feminine? and Why?

Let’s share and improve this List.

I’d love to hear about any french titles/translations too and I’ll put them together in a future post.

 

Happy reading and remember to:

Listen deeply
Live courageously
Love fiercely

With love,
Georgina xxx

Interview with Mira Dakini: Connecting to your feminine essence Shakti.

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In this fun conversation I chat with my beautiful Swedish Shakti sister, Mira Dakini, about what Shakti means to her and how she connects to her womb wisdom and her wild and free feminine essence. I started our conversation in a fit of giggles, so funny!!

Mira will be in Switzerland this weekend, 25-26 March 2017, joining me for the following offerings for women:

There are a few spaces left on Sunday. Sign up via this link.

In this 20-minute interview we chat about:

  • Mira’s personal path through more masculine approaches to the body and spirituality to becoming more embodied in her feminine essence by creating Shakti Temple Yoga.
  • Some of my journey coming from a Catholic convent schooling with a lot of shame around my female body and feminine sensuality, and the freedom that has come through opening up to a Tantric Shakti approach to trusting my body and how she wants to move.
  • What Shakti and Womb Wisdom mean and how they feel to us.
  • How they make a difference in our lives.
  • The power of coming together in sisterhood, in sacred space with other women.
  • Why you would want to join us this weekend.
  • And we even get our Shakti activated just talking about it all online!!!!

Enjoy and please do share your questions and comments and what moves in you while listening.

 

What is Shakti and how ‘she’ changed my life?

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‘Shakti’ and ‘Kundalini’ are words from the ancient Sanskrit language, yet they’re being used more and more today in our Western culture. Perhaps you’ve heard me using these terms a lot in my classes, bodywork and women’s gatherings. So why’s this ? In this post I will share a little about what it means to me and, for the first time, tell the story about how this energy spontaneously awoke in me and changed my life.

Like all Sanskrit words, a simple word is packed with so much more meaning. This is a huge field of science and mysticism, so I will just be touching on the surface.

What is Shakti?

‘Shakti’ can be translated as “power”. It describes the dynamic and creative power, or intelligence, of life. We might refer to it also as  “life-force energy”.

Yep, it’s the subtle, non-visible stuff, that you and I are made of.

It’s the feeling you have when you are truly in pure ‘flow’. It’s the energy that moves you when you dance, sing, paint, and express yourself but it feels like something else, greater than you, is moving you.

Shakti can flow through your body in ecstatic orgasmic waves of bliss and it can shake you to the very core of your being. It is pure raw energy in motion (emotion).

Shakti is the intelligent web of life connecting all things, and the field by which everything is made manifest. It is an unstoppable, primal force, abundant, free, and spontaneous.

It is your big YES! to life.

I referred to Shakti as ‘she’ in the title. This is because in Tantra and Hinduism (Shaktism), Shakti is considered feminine, and referred to as ‘Goddess’, of which she has a many manifestations.

All ancient cultures and traditions revere one or more Mother or Earth ‘Goddess’ with their own names, such as Pachamama in South America, Isis in ancient Egypt, and Anu in Celtic Ireland.

That which is conscious or aware of Shakti is considered masculine energy (Shiva).

This is not the same as man and woman. We all have and need both energies within us to function and awaken fully. Shakti without Shiva is life force with no direction, i.e. chaos, and Shiva without Shakti is thoughts without ability to manifest, i.e. all heady.

Kundalini Shakti and sexual energy

‘Kundalini’ is Shakti energy, said to be coiled like a snake at the base of your spine, and lying dormant until it is awakened. This is not something you can or should force to happen, although you can support your body to release tension and open the channels for subtle energy to move.

As it uncoils inside you, Kundalini rises up from the pelvis, through a subtle nerve or channel in the spine, awakening and releasing energy at the main energy centres or chakras, until it reaches and opens the crown of the head.

Shakti is, by its nature, sexual energy since life itself is sexual.

It is procreative evolutionary energy rising up from the sexual centre of your body to awaken and transform your consciousness.

Without the sexual or life-force energy you easily feel depleted, burnt-out, depressed, and lacking interest in life.

From my personal experience, so, I believe understanding and awakening Shakti is critical to our health, vitality and happiness.

My first experience of Kundalini Shakti

I remember it so clearly. In June 2013, at the time of the summer solstice, I was sitting in a large circle at a shamanic gathering at Dunderry Park in Ireland. We were holding hands, preparing our intentions for a sacred fire-walking ceremony.

Suddenly my body started to jolt, as if I was holding an electric fence and getting electric currents shooting up my body. It was crazy! It wasn’t painful but it was a bit scary as it was completely out of my control and came on so suddenly. We weren’t doing any breathing or energy activation practice.

I put my hands on the ground to stay connected to the Earth and tried to breathe deeply as these jolts continued. The facilitator, Martin Duffy, came to support and reassure me with hands on my feet and head. Once I understood what was going on, I must admit, I thought it was kind of cool!!

The powerful experience lasted a few minutes but the energy kept on jolting me every so often for hours. In fact for the next few months these involuntary jolts kept coming. Sometimes at night in bed. Sometimes just little shock waves during the day.

How Shakti’s fire woke me up

A couple of months later I was sitting again in a Circle, or an amplified energy field, at my first Heart IQ Accelerated Awakening Retreat with Christian Pankhurst. Here ‘she’ activated with super strength. For no apparent reason, my body suddenly started jolting back and forward strongly. I started crying and gasping for breath, holding on to the earth for support. I had no story or thoughts related to my tears but something wanted to move in me.

With the support of Christian sitting behind me this time, arms tightly around my belly, and pressing into my belly, I finally let out the most powerful screams, cries and roars of my life. Sounds I had never heard before. Emotions and power I had never felt in my body before. Full power to the core of my being.

It was like I was connected to the primal raw force of life itself, to the grief of all of humanity. These were labour pains that were awakening me, rebirthing me, to what it means to be fully alive in a woman’s body, in a human body.

And then suddenly it stopped. There was a profound sense of stillness.

35 people were in the circle with me. No-one moved. We’d all felt it. Every sense in my body was heightened. I felt like I had super powers and that every cell in my body was expanding with life-force. I was wide open and solidly connected down into the earth and up to the sky.

My eyes were wide open. I never blinked. I took a long time to look at every person in the eyes, as if I needed to transmit something to them. I was seeing their Souls. In that moment I met my brothers and sisters from a whole different level.

I would never see people in the same way again.

So what changed?

Well, everything really. Experiencing Shakti changed my life as it changed my experience of myself and of others, and well, of life itself really. I had an insight to super powers!

I was given another perspective on humanity. I FELT it. I had never before felt so alive in my body, as if I was inhabiting it more fully, and more than my body at the same time.

I could see something different in people, something deeper, something far beyond their superficial personality or conditioning. I felt a profound connection. There was no more fear or ego or separation needed to protect myself.

I felt incredibly loving, wise and beyond all notion of time or space.

I now had a physical, embodied memory of a much greater potential. (Please read this sentence again!)

This is key. Your potential is limitless!

It is not knowing something in your head, reading it in a book or being told it by someone else, that your life transforms. It is a personal embodied experience that transforms you. I will add to that the importance of being witnessed by others there too, as key to anchoring and integrating.

I also now had an embodied experience of life-force energy.

The potential of life and life-force energy is limitless. In my process of recovering from burn-out and chronic fatigue, this was to prove crucial since I learned that we can tap into the life-force of the universe and flow in her natural waves.

To be continued

So, this little story was only the very beginning. I have continued ever since to educate myself, explore and in fact dedicate my life to this intelligence, and experience so much more in my body.

I have since then helped my body release tension and open up to allow this energy flow more freely and fluidly through me, so that it feels more blissful. I have learnt how to activate it and refine the gates.

It is a life-time project for me to truly dance with Shakti and master my energy body, and it is my absolute passion to share her wisdom with others. I would have loved to have known more and understood better what was happening for me at the time.

I believe that awakening Shakti is vital to healing and transforming the individual, the collective and our relationship to the Earth.

So, yes, I have so much more to say about this, but I’ll have to keep it for future posts……

I’d love to hear from you. Please do share your comments, questions and your own experiences.

 

 

Fall in Love with your Longing

Longing is what drives you forward. It gives you courage. It fuels your passion. It ensures your innovation and evolution.

Often, however, we confuse it with a story of not having and get lost in the pain and suffering of ‘lack’. We seek quick fixes and ways to numb it out. We project and blame others for not meeting the need of this longing. We rant and rage. We grasp and fall victim.

Yet deep down this exquisite throbbing is a divine blessing, where pain and pleasure and power combine to ignite your life-force energy.

Longing pulls you out of mundane, mediocre existence. It inspires possibility and fuels greatness.

Longing makes you curious. It drives you to seek.

This longing yearns to be felt; felt by you.

What is this longing? Go deeper. And deeper again. Keep asking and go as deep as you can go to feel the true longing in your heart, in your body, in your soul.

Feel the energy, feel the emptiness, without doing anything about it, to fulfil it or numb it out.

Completely surrender, and keep surrendering to the ache of this longing.

Ride the wave of its force and fall in love with its pulse.

Get to know your longing intimately.

Your longing, when it is fully embraced, will set you free!

 

the longing

“For Longing” a poem by John O’Donohue

blessed be the longing that brought you here
and quickens your soul with wonder.

may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

may you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

may the forms of your belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship –
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

may the one you long for long for you.
may your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

may a secret providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

may your mind inhabit your life with the sureness
with which your body inhabits the world.

may your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

may you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
may you know the urgency with which God longs for you.

Listen deeply, Live courageously, Love fiercely
Georgina x

My response to having my sacred space violated

 

Today as I arrived to set up for my Heart Circle I found our space had been broken into and burgled. Cupboards were open and everything had been searched and tossed around. I had that uncomfortable feeling of shock and fear rush through my body. Instead of carrying out a ritual to prepare the energy for our circle and open a healing space for raw and vulnerable heart sharing, I had to call the police.

I was shaken.

I was even more shaken when I discovered they had entered my temple space, where I hold all my sacred bodywork. They took from my altar my Buddha, mala beads, rattle and ceremonial feather. Really strange, yes! In fact they took nothing else but these, as they found no money.

It feels like it would have been easier though to let go of money, than to feel the violation of my sacred space.

Of course, at a superficial level it is nothing important. But there is something here that goes deeper, and to let it pass by as ‘nothing’ would be to let such violation be ok, and to dishonour something very sacred. This simple burglary is tiny but it represents something so much more common and almost accepted in our society.

“I have been robbed of this opportunity,” one of the participants realised as she struggled to manage the sudden feelings. Having sought out a loving, healing space and prepared to show up vulnerably and authentically with others in Heart Circle, this unexpected violent intrusion came as such a blow to her tender heart. I get it.

It’s not ok.

I have experienced being burgled before. I have been robbed in my home twice, and from a tent once while I was sleeping. Another time I was lying on a beach dozing in the sun when I had a vision of being robbed. I opened my eyes to find a man sitting beside me taking everything out of my handbag. Freaky but I had my guardian angels helping me out!

I have never enjoyed the feeling. Interestingly, though, while I’ve always experienced the shock and adrenaline rush in my body, and then perhaps the sadness and vulnerability, I never felt anger. There is a part of me that actually finds it very easy to let it go and forgive the violator, knowing that material objects are not important. As long as people are safe, all is fine.

While this has always been my honest, authentic response in the moment, and it is helpful to act pragmatically in the situation, I realize that it could also partly be a conditioned, protective response to avoid feeling too much, especially anger (which tends to be conditioned out of us) and to stay ‘level-headed’. On the other hand, lashing out in anger or spouting out words of hate or blame is useless too and just projecting out inner violence.

However, as I have grown stronger and more conscious in myself, I realize that this conditioned response is ignoring my own sovereign and sacred being and that it is not ok to violate my boundaries and my space. I was being quite vague around honouring my own boundaries. Yes, I genuinely felt safe in myself and loving towards others, even the thieves, and at the same time, it was a reflection of lacking some access to my inner fire.

What would be a normal response?

If I have my personal sacred space violated, I consider that a normal response is to feel the pain, the anger, the disgust, and the vulnerability of such violation. A normal response is to react in fury to personal, sovereign boundaries being crossed. A normal response is fierce protection of the sacred, authentic, vulnerable and the loving heart space, and those I am inviting in or holding within this tender space. This is the same ferociousness of any mother protecting her children.

It is essential to give space to all parts to be felt and not to deny them. This way you start to access more of yourself, your inner fire and your aliveness.

Now I recognize when I might be denying something, and I give myself time and space to drop into feeling it. Now I realise that in feeling all that there is to be felt around this violation of sacred space, I am honouring the sacred feminine.

Act in fierce protection of your sacred boundaries.

Act in fierce protection of your sacred boundaries. (c) Georgina Peard

Taking time to feel and clear the energy

So, today, after spending time with the participants, dealing with the police, and observing my first response and reactions, I went to the forest and gave myself full permission to feel all that needed to be felt; to say all that needed to be said; and to hear all that needed to be heard.

At first, I sat in stillness and dropped in to access what was there in the different parts of me. As I allowed myself to feel more, I let out the roars of anger and the cries of disgust and pain. I acknowledged the fear, the hurt and the sadness. I proclaimed my sovereign power as my birthright and reinstated my boundaries. I forgave. I sat still and I listened again and again. I followed instinctively my body until I felt I was complete in my own joy and in my clarity. I felt I had owned all that was mine and let go all that was not mine. I felt grounded and like, this time, I had honoured myself fully.

Nothing of my heart or my true divine essence can be taken from me by anyone as I long as I don’t allow it, and as long as I consciously honour this goodness in me.  Nothing from what I know and do with honour and integrity can be tarnished by anyone else’s judgements or disrespect. My truth is my truth.

I also did this for all of us who come into and consciously create sacred heart space.

I then went and did the same in the physical space and in my temple. I lit a candle and created an altar. I drummed and chanted and removed all unwanted energy. I reinstated the sanctity of the place. I called in the guardians of the space to fortify the energy and the safety. With every massage and healing session, yoga, meditation or pilates class, and every gathering and heart intention, we continue to fortify this energy, together.

It’s not about building walls. It is about honouring boundaries so that we can open up even more, with greater safety, clarity and conviction.

While it was not ok what these people did to violate our and my space, I recognize that something in their lives is driving them to feel such need. I pray that the energy of the space and my sacred objects bring them some positive and transformational vibes!! I will not lose energy by holding any resentment there.  In fact, they would be welcome in my next Heart Circle so that we can meet eye to eye and heart to heart. 🙂

The gift of today’s experience

The gift of today’s experience is clear to me – to know and hold firmly to my sacred boundaries and my sovereign being, while at the same time keeping my heart wide open in honour of my truth, and that in doing so I am holding myself and the work I do with fierce love.

Today’s experience also rooted in me even deeper the importance of this work and the need for Heart Circles. We need spaces to feel all there is to be felt, to speak out our truth, to hear and feel it ourselves, as well as to be witnessed in our authenticity. We need each other to get through the challenges we meet in life and to create new, safe and loving human experiences that counteract some of the outer violence of this world. We need each other to remember and dare to stay open in our hearts no matter what life is throwing our way.

It’s not ok for anyone to violate another person’s space, whether that is their home, their temple, their physical body or their energetic body. It’s not ok for anyone to violate sacred space, and this includes that which may be invisible but is created by heart intention.

At the same time, nothing can take away the sacredness of our hearts, our bodies, or our intentions, as long as we choose to acknowledge and honour our own divine goodness.

Let’s keep honouring our boundaries and choosing to stay open in love – fierce love.

Roar!!!!

 

Listen deeply, live courageously, love fiercely.
Georgina

 

Get your sexy goddess on and…… clean your house!

Last week I bought a dress that I will probably never wear out in public. It’s so figure-hugging that no underwear is possible and nothing is left to the imagination. Mmmmmm! It’s pretty much transparent, depending on the light. It flatters my body shape and all my feminine curves. It’s super light, with big slits up both legs and lets me move with total freedom. It’s deliciously soft and sexy, and it feels soooooooo goooood!! That’s why I bought it.

I bought it for me. I bought it to feel fabulous. I bought it so that I can dance around my house feeling totally gorgeous. And doing that gives me so much uplifting energy. I love it.

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Get your sexy goddess on to clean the house

So last weekend, after a long delicious Sunday morning lie-in, eating smooth dark-chocolate for breakfast and indulging in a spa-like sensorial shower, I slipped on that dress. Oh yes! Then I found an awesome dance playlist on Spotify, and ooooh……..I danced like crazy, it felt so good, so alive in my body, so sexy. Total freedom!!!

Then (now you might think this is totally mad)…… I got out the vacuum cleaner and I seriously sexily cleaned my house!!! Woohoo!! I had the most enjoyable house cleaning spree ever. Ahahaha!

This is my spiritual practice. This is my way of worshipping the goddess – both in terms of feeling absolutely amazing in my body and cleaning up my house, both the physical place and the energetic space and emotional space within and around me.

Spiritual practice does not need to be boring and serious and disciplined. It doesn’t have to happen on a mat in front of an altar. It can be ecstatic, exhilarating and ridiculously fun. It is about HOW you go about your daily life. In fact, when you dare to truly honour the goddess or shakti within (and this can be for the men too!!), then you have no choice but to follow some of her outrageously wild energies. She’ll take you for the ride of your life!!

So people, get your goddess on, get your sexy on, especially when you’ve got to clean the house or do the dishes or the laundry. Put on your sexiest outfit, or, even better, take it all off and just wear your birthday suit with some high heels!!! Yeehaa!

Have fun with it and, if you dare, do share how it feels (and how it looks)!!

Loving you.

 

In honour of the Sacred Feminine

There is a place, not far from here
Sign-posted from all directions
Visited by many, enjoyed by many

But I wonder, do they really see
Do they really feel
Do they allow themselves to be touched deeply

This place is sacred
This is where SHE resides
This is where SHE expresses all her creative power and love

But I wonder, do they really see HER
Do they really feel HER
Do they allow themselves to be touched deeply by HER

For in truth, one must ask permission
And one must wait to receive the invitation
To enter this Sacred Temple of the divine Goddess

Though many may enter, few truly enter
Since to go beyond the surface requires humility, sensitivity, surrender
SHE must be acknowledged, honoured, worshipped

For those willing, respectful and truly humble
Be ready to get completely lost in HER magnificence
Be willing to die to HER vast limitless love

Know that you will be ravaged by HER power
You will be overwhelmed by HER abundance
You  will have no choice but to be opened and transformed

You will fall in love, SHE will open you to love
But do not try to own HER, Do not try to tame HER
Do not claim you understand HER

Be aware of what SHE awakens in you
For SHE has many sacred faces, SHE has many voices
SHE is calling you into greater presence to experience HER all

For SHE is loving you, all of you, deeply
SHE is guiding you every step, through whispers and cries
SHE is in you. SHE is you.

May we remember, acknowledge and honour
HER abundant love, creative force and transforming power

May we listen carefully, may we feel deeply, may we act consciously
For SHE is awakening, SHE is calling

The Sacred Feminine in all her forms

In benevolent gratitude,
Georgina

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Photo: Georgina Peard