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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!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Karuna Sessions

Until participating in Karuna sessions with a local temple, I had never been erotically involved with someone that I didn’t feel a strong attraction to and choose specifically to engage with intimately. I understand that not everyone can say that. For me, the potential for erotic touch in the Karuna sessions at a local pagan festival was a big milestone in going from the theoretical sacred sex work to the actual. I was curious to see how that would feel and what it might tell me about my future role with the local Qadishtu temple. With the Karuna sessions, I would be engaging with someone because they wanted the experience of the temple and not me personally. Whether you believe that the Goddess decided or chance decided who I ended up working with, it still left me in a fairly passive role. This would be new and different. It also felt like a big step toward the “prostitute” portion of the sacred prostitute role.

The Karuna sessions, as done by the temple I am a part of, had multiple components. Upon arriving, supplicants were anointed and blessed. Then the supplicant had his or her feet washed by a different priest or priestess. As that priest or priestess sat at the supplicant’s feet, the supplicant was asked about the boundaries they would like observed for the period of sacred touch they were about to enjoy. Did they want to be clothed or unclothed? What kind of touch did they like? Hard or soft? Sensual or erotic? What kind of touch did they not want? Then there was usually a short period of time for the supplicant to meditate and prepare for what was to come next.

When the inner chamber was ready, the person who bathed the supplicant’s feet led him or her into a small chamber where two more of the Temple staff waited. The foot-bather introduced the supplicant and shared what had been discussed about boundaries earlier. After confirming with the supplicant that he or she had reported the supplicant’s desires accurately, the supplicant took up a comfortable position with the three priests or priestesses surrounding him or her. Then for fifteen minutes, sacred touch was shared.

Finally, the supplicant was led out. He or she was aided by a Temple staff member to ground and prepare to return to the outside world.

The first sessions I was a part of were incredible. Even when I wasn’t actively engaged with someone, when I was keeping time or waiting to anoint someone, the energy had me high as kite, dancing and happily drinking it all in. I was the foot bather only once and was in the inner chamber for two people, but each was very moving. They were not erotic, but each woman had a wonderful experience of just the sensual touch and adoration.

At the next festival, I finally crossed the line between sensual and erotic. My first experience was with the other Temple staff members in our “practice session.” I remember being the one to initiate to erotic touch. It was with someone that I felt close to and believed would be comfortable with that kind of touch. I gave slight pressure to her perineum with my finger and blew a breath across her vulva. After that, the eroticism escalated. On reflection, I’m glad that my first time being erotic outside of a romantic relationship happened with Temple staff that I felt so comfortable with and close to. It allowed me to experiment with a certain safety net and have more confidence later on when I didn’t know people’s boundaries as well.

When I served in the inner chamber for the festival goers, my strategy was to start out doing for the recipients what I enjoyed having done to me, within the stated parameters. Sometimes, I would try to mirror another priest/ess so that the receiver could experience simultaneous touch on multiple planes of his or her body. I like the idea of them being enveloped in touch. As I let go of myself and gave into the continuous loop, enjoying touching someone and reveling in their enjoyment, I added my voice in soothing, loving tones and petted them with compliments and the gratitude I felt for their trust and vulnerability.

At this festival, we formalized the roles within the inner chamber a little further so that one priest/ess was at the person’s head. I remember holding a woman supporting her head on my breasts, enclosing her with my legs and stroking her head with my fingers. Feeling her melt into what was happening was so beautiful. As I gave myself over, I would often feel impulses to interact in different ways with the recipient. For some, I held myself erect and let my hands and words do most of the interacting. With others I used all of my body, face, breath, hair, and breasts. Sometimes, I would wriggle my body along theirs.

I loved seeing the other Temple staff as well. They are all so beautiful, graceful and transported by the experience. I almost cried at one point seeing multiple pairs of hands moving across a recipient's bare torso.

Our priestess and all the other students with the Temple that weekend joined together to work with a man and woman who were newlyweds. The couple started out lying back to receive the touch from the Temple staff. Eventually, we turned them towards each other, and they made love. I felt so honored to be a part of what happened. It seemed a fitting finale for the sessions we did that weekend.


David said...

I've read the recent posts on sacred touch events with great interest. Sharing energy with relative strangers is a core tantric concept, yet difficult to realize without a rare ~open~ love for others. One of our Temple goals is to facilitate something like this in Chicago soon and I really appreciate hearing how the experience has unfolded for other Qadishti and supplicants.

Honey Priestess said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, and like David, would like to bring this type of event to our Chicago Temple. I've experienced this with others in the past at different equinox and solstice festivals with friends and new acquaintances, and miss the powerful energy that is both given and received.