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These stories are real, though some details may be fictionalized, to protect confidentiality and identities, but these are actual accounts of Qadishtu moments. Stories can be told from either the point of view of the priest or priestess or from the perspective of the client/seeker/supplicant. The point is - what do we actually DO? This blog seeks to help answer that through example. What we do is incredibly varied, depending on our individual experience, training, gifts, and inclinations, and that's why this is a group endeavor. We all have gems to contribute to the larger understanding of what it means to be Qadishtu and the significant need for this role in our society today.

Please be sure to see our Calendar of Sacred Sexuality & Qadishtu Events at the very bottom of this page!

Monday, September 29, 2008

An experience at an alternative lifestyle event

I am very pleased by the responses we've had from both the people who participated in as both receivers and givers in the sacred touch ceremony at an event in Columbus, OH. Here is a post by one of those givers that points out the personal benefit of this work.

"Two weekends ago I took part in a very special event that those of you who are local to Ohio may hear referred to as "The Tent." To the best of my ability to determine it, I think that everyone who was involved was effected deeply.

First of all, what was "The Tent?" The formal name was actually "The Scarlet Sanctuary." It was a part of the COPE event that weekend in Columbus. It was orchestrated and created by a group known as the Path Of The Qadishti. The purpose was to create a sacred space where people of any gender or sexual orientation could come to receive "sacred touch." They were kind enough to allow my wife and I to join them.

What does it mean to receive "sacred touch?" It is dropping your defenses, only to the extent that you are comfortable, and allowing another person, or two or three to touch your body intimately. Some people choose to be fully clothed, others fully naked, the rest choose to keep some clothing on. Some choose to allow touching where there is clothing, others do not. The touching is not directly sexual, but it is very intimate. Western culture focuses so much on the breasts and the genitalia, but nothing is more intimate than allowing another person to caress your face, your lips, your eyelids.

Why do we need to be touched? In our modern world we are more connected than at any time in history. We can stay in touch with those we care about 24/7/365. The paradox is that we are in many ways also the most isolated that people have been in history. We depend so much on electronic communication that we often avoid actually talking. I once knew a couple who spent all evening, every evening, in adjacent rooms, on their computers; surfing, chatting, and emailing. If they needed to communicate with each other it was done by IM. It is not surprising to learn that their relationship lost its intimacy. This story is not unique. It is repeated in millions of ways in every city, every day. As a culture, we have lost our sense of, but not our need for, intimacy.

Afterward, those who came into the tent to receive sacred touch spoke of a sense of calmness and healing energy. Tears were often shed. Grief was released. Emotional scars healed. We touched over 40 people during the evening, and had to turn some away, as our time expired.

What about the "givers." What was in it for them? What would possess nine people to sacrifice an entire evening, the climax of an event that they paid to attend, to working in something like the tent? Some of them have posted (around). They spoke of receiving more than they gave, of growing through giving, of the pleasure of service, of ministering to the needs of others.

What was it about this event that has changed my life? Where to begin?

First there is the grief. I have had several major events recently that brought grief and grieving into my life. In some cases the grief was mine, in other cases the grief belonged to members of my family or my tribe. It got to the point where I was no longer able to process it all. The only way I was able to deal with it was to shut down. In a very real sense, I stopped feeling altogether. I went through the day, often expressing emotions, but I wasn't feeling them. Inside was just a cold, dark place. I am so thankful for my loving wife . She loved me through the dark time as best she could. I am blessed to have her.

In the tent, two of the first three people that I touched were dealing with grief; one with the recent loss of her spouse, the other with the yet ongoing effects of child abuse. After touching them, I needed to spend some time by the altar. I took in their grief, held it, cherished it, and then released it to the universe to be healed into positive energy that could be used for good. What I didn't realize at first was the side effect that I also released my grip on my own grief, and allowed myself to feel it, to process it, and begin to heal.

The other thing that I took from the tent was the great pleasure that I derive from coming together with a group of like-minded people for a common, sacred purpose. I used to be a preacher. I miss that, but I am no longer a christian. I have trained as a pagan priest, but I have not found a group of pagans that I find satisfying. For the most part I find pagans to be telling nearly the same stories as I told from the Bible, changed a bit. Their worship is often disturbingly similar to a christian service, but you must substitute "goddess" for "Jesus."

It is now becoming a priority to either find a place where we can gather with folks whose sense of Spirit and the Divine is a good match to ours. If we can't find one, we may need to start one. Perhaps the Scarlet Sanctuary, or something like it, will come to Akron"

Reposted with permission from an original post by Lucar, of Akron, Ohio

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