My amazing Dancing the Goddess course has been running for 7 weeks now. We've embraced Radha, Saraswati, Parvati, Kali, Durga and Sita thus far. And each evening has been an incredibly potent experience of Divine Feminine connection, awakening and transformation.
As we prepare the altar each week and dress in the colours of the Goddess in residence, we've enjoyed dipping into the pinks, reds, whites and yellows in our wardrobe and bringing fresh flowers and fruit as decoration.
But this week, it was the turn of Dhumavati - Crone Goddess of death, disappointment, failure and letting go. Her colour is black or smokey grey. She sits alone in a driverless cart. Her only companion a black crow. No flowers for her then.
So you'd be forgiven for thinking, that the prospect of dancing with this Goddess of death, old age and disappointment, might keep people away - right?
Last night 10 brave Shaktis gathered in sacred circle to receive the blessings of Dhumavati and explore what She had to say to them.
As is the case every week, some came feeling resistance or a sense of disconnect, others came specifically for this very theme: the ugliness, marginalisation and decay of life and/or the desire to let go.
What I so respect and feel gratitude for is that, even sensing the disconnect, these ladies come. And even when they are actively feeling the pain of disappointment or shame of ageing, they are willing to move towards that feeling and come explore it with me, rather than suppress it.
That their calling to grow and trust in the potency of this transformational space is stronger than their resistance is high praise indeed.
The Goddess, of course, will surprise those, who nonchalantly thought She had nothing to teach them. (LOL !)
And lovingly support those, who have found the courage to look her darkness in the eye.
There is no mucking about in these circles really.
She is already moving in me and the space before we gather. But the minute we sit in circle, to invoke Dhumavati - Dhum Dhum Dhumavati Swaha - in meditation, Her presence descends upon us all like a gloaming mist of wakeful authenticity that seeps into our core.
The smiles fall from our faces and along with them, every mask we may have worn.
And as each woman speaks, the theme of Dhumavati is heard and potently woven into the space.
We are of all ages, but here amongst us, the Crone Goddess speaks of:
- the recent death of a loved one - unrequited love - experiencing loss of health & homelessness - childhood abuse - troubles with a friend - struggles to find employment - feeling old and ugly due to the need to wear a denture
and, yes, there alongside this, there is also:
- an openness to experience whatever comes - a desire to live in the void - wanting to let go.
Before we have even begun to move, the tears flow, as each woman shares. Such courage. Such truth. Such pain. Such love. The beautiful tapestry of our emotions and experiences making my heart ache in awe of life, the trust being placed in me and the magic we are sharing.
I want to bow down to these women - each and every one of them.
And then we move... embodying the feelings and emotions... witnessing and being witnessed....journeying with Dhumavati through the valley of death, ugliness, witchiness.... through the portal of release (aided by my shaker and shamanic drum) and out into the space on the other side.
Before long, these women warriors are lying surrendered, deepening into let-go and, once again inspired, I move around the group gently placing a black-berry in each upturned palm. The fruit was placed on the altar by one of our dancers at the start of the night. Now each woman receives the sweetness of Dhumavati's blessing, as she pops the berry into her mouth.
I pick up the koshi chimes brought by my assistant, Ann, and to close the experience and elicit the etheric realms of which we are now a part, fill the air with their delicate resonance.
Our closing circle is still and sweet.
As one dancer summed it up "Nothing Here."
The gap-toothed lady, who'd voiced her fear of ugliness at the start of the evening, retrieves her denture from the altar (YES - she had removed it during our opening sharing and dared to dance her witchy-ness), the candle is blown out and for another night, the Goddess disperses into every corner of London, knowing Her work has been done.
I feel so much love. So much gratitude. And deep humility.
Dancing the Goddess is far more than a dance class: it is an opportunity for every woman, who feels the call to know herself as one with the Divine in the most embodied, intimate way. It is a portal for feminine awakening, empowerment, ecstasy and transformation. It is a safe space for healing. And a growing community of authentic, open-hearted women, who wish to benefit from the precious gifts of sisterhood.
And if this speaks to you, either as an awakening woman OR someone, who has faced disappointment or failure and needs a guide and process to walk you through to the transformational blessing it holds, then:
you may be interested in my upcoming Awakening Shakti group programme, launching in October, 2018: a whole 9 month journey of deepening into the Divine Feminine
you may wish to invest in one of my one-to-one coaching programmes, either Awakening Shakti which supports your embodiment of female energy, or The Gift, designed specifically for those who wish to find the soul's blessing in misfortune
Working with me is intensive and transformational and requires your emotional, spiritual and financial commitment. Click here to book a Discovery Call for one-to-one work, or message me to find out more about my international group programme.
My gratitude to Ann Uddin for these images.