More info about this blog

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!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Where it all began

The Qadishtu Path began for Amanda and I with Martine over twelve years ago.

Amanda went to our nearby Lake Michigan beach every morning to watch the sun come up at dawn and journal before going to work. One day a lovely 20-year-old redhead was there, naked inside her loosely wrapped blue terrycloth bathrobe. They made small talk together that summer day and after many similar morning meetings became friends.

Martine confided that she was a virgin in a strange relationship with her live-in boyfriend J. He had an aversion to touch ... no kissing and no "normal" sex was possible. J only liked bondage, whether it be with him bound, or Martine immobilized. He was in therapy to deal with a variety of psychosexual problems and she had been OK with their situation because two teenage traumas had induced vaginismus (technically colpismus) ... the fear of being sexually penetrated.

They were completing their undergraduate degrees and lived a block away from us with several other university students in a large apartment. It was a typical college environment where everyone was exploring their sexuality and new adult freedoms. Martine and J had been a couple for two years and she desparately needed to release her pent up sexual feelings with someone experienced who would go slowly and not violate her boyfriend's trust.

Summer turned to autumn and their mornings at the beach ended. One weekend day Martine showed up at our door with a rose for Amanda and I finally met her. My wife had broached the possibility of me being the one to assist her sexual awakening and while Martine really liked the idea, I had strong doubts. She was the same age as our youngest daughter and I was 21 years older. My wife and I had not yet opened up our marriage to outside partners and this was a very radical proposal to me. Another big concern was J and his feelings.

So, we had them both over as a couple to dine with us and discuss how everyone felt. At the end of dinner J came up to me and said he would be eternally grateful if I'd help Martine. He was wracked with guilt about his inadequacy to perform and the pressure was making it worse. In fact, J had become addicted to alcohol trying to obliterate his shame and self-loathing. These two young people really loved each other, but had some serious problems to work out.

I finally agreed to assist Martine with her sexual fears. This was not difficult duty as she was bright, attractive and very fit. Even still, I had not had a partner other than Amanda for the previous 13 years and was slow to initiate our first session. So slow, that one day when Martine was over, she said it was time and then led me into our guest bedroom. Our tryst was very unplanned and spontaneous, which was key to relaxing her PC muscles.

We had talked about what eroticized her. Martine was very turned on by older, professorial men. She also had a spoken foreign language and strong reading fetish. So I read a German novel to her for a while and we began a slowly building eight hour session with lots of foreplay that was not stopped by vaginismus or fear. By the end of our loveplay Martine was no longer a virgin and my Path as a Qadesh had begun.

Postscript: This exchange in late 1996 was the unofficial beginning of Terra Incognita and our attempts to integrate expansive sexuality with spirituality. Martine was present when we began the Symposium discussion group on this topic and went on to be an important part of the Temple after she graduated and studied for a year in Rome. Once M's fear of sex was gone, her appetite was insatiable and I had many memorable explorations of my own sexual boundaries with her (fodder for future posts). Martine became our most financially successful Qadishtu Priestess in her late 20's and eventually left Temple work to get married and raise a family.

Unfortunately, we were unable help her boyfriend J. He sank deeper and deeper into alcoholism and extremely self-abusive BDSM practices. Martine loves him to this day, but after they graduated and toured Europe together his unwillingness to face life and grow as a person, led to their eventual breaking up. I really wish we could have done more to help J, but one reality of Qadishtu work is that not everyone is a good fit for the paradigm.

You win some and you lose some.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Karuna Blessing #1 - Connecting to the Inner Feminine

Anoint the third eye:
May you truly see
The Goddess’ divine beauty
Within yourself
And in everyone you meet

Anoint the left palm:
May you deeply feel
Her divine love

Anoint the right palm:
May you share that love
With others

Anoint the heart area:
May your heart be free
Of all negativity

Anoint the genital area:
May your genitals be honored
As Her divine instruments

© Inara de Luna, 2008


Last spring, the Temple of the Red Lotus offered Karuna Sessions at the festivals we attended. Karuna is a Sanskrit word that roughly translates as “compassion.” These sessions were an opportunity for individuals to receive Sacred Touch in a formal, highly ritualized way from trained, compassionate, Qadishtu priests and priestesses. Each person went through the process individually, and received the full attention of all the Temple staff. When they first approached the entrance to the Temple, they were blessed and anointed (see above). They were then led into the Altar room, where they sat before the Altar and had their feet bathed by one of the priests or priestesses. At that time, boundaries and needs were discussed quietly, and then the seeker was led into the Inner Sanctum, where they were introduced to the other two or three priests or priestesses present. The seeker was invited to lie down on the mattress and then they were surrounded. Urged to relax and receive, the Seeker then enjoyed the ministrations of the priests and priestesses, within their stated boundaries. The Goddess often led us to say certain things and move the energy in certain ways, depending on what each individual seeker needed from Her.

Everyone who experienced this left that tent transformed. One young man told his Guide during the foot bathing that he desired to connect with his feminine side. During his session, I encouraged him to breathe into his internal feminine parts, to truly feel his inner Yoni as well as his outer Lingam. I moved the energy through his sacral chakra, until I felt him begin to loosen up. His breathing deepened, his muscles relaxed, and his receptivity widened broadly. He started being able to accept our ministrations without attempting to reciprocate, as he had been in the beginning. The Goddess spoke through me, honoring both his masculine and his inner feminine. By the end of his 15 minutes in our loving, healing, accepting, compassionate circle, he was smiling. I knew then that something had shifted deep within him, but it wasn’t until I saw him the following evening that I truly understood. This man who had been having trouble accessing and connecting to his inner feminine came prancing up to me in a short skirt and halter top. He practically squealed when he saw me and twirled to show off his new purchase! He said that his session so profoundly awakened his connection to his inner feminine that he just had to play with how it felt to dress like a woman. He was so excited and pleased, and grateful to the Temple and those of us who had helped him reach a place of feeling comfortable experimenting with his gender.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Touched by Love

I had recently gotten out of a relationship, and was looking for some new playmates. I put an ad on Craigslist Casual Encounters. B. was one of the guys who answered my ad. We agreed to meet for dinner.

B. was in town for a few months to film a movie. He was a bit shy and awkward, a classic "nice guy." He had mentioned before that he was the sort of guy who women always wanted to have as friends, but never as a boyfriend. He came across much more confidently online than he did in person - he was a comedian, and a very funny writer. We spent a pleasant evening talking, though it took some effort to draw him out.

When we finished dinner and were standing outside by the car, I decided to tell him a little bit about my priestess work, and asked him if he'd let me practice on him (I was fairly new to the path and wanting to further hone my skills). He thought it sounded intriguing, and we went to my house.

We went in the bedroom and I lit some candles. I explained that I would channel the goddess for him, and asked him if there was a particular goddess who interested him. He immediately said Aphrodite, because she is the goddess of love. While she is not a goddess I normally work with, I agreed, and allowed her to come into my body. She was lighter, more playful than I expected, sweetly sensual and joyous. Through me, she began to make love to B.

The sex was short, but sweet, and afterward, we lay in each others' arms and chatted. He looked into my eyes and told me that they were beautiful. I said it wasn't me, but Her that he was seeing. I was having a hard time focusing; my eyeballs jittered as if I were drugged. We caressed each other, and kissed and talked some more. He had an early day the next day, so I drove him back to the place he was staying. He kissed me goodnight, and thanked me for a very interesting evening.

A couple of months later, I got an email from him (he had put me on a mailing list announcing his upcoming appearances). He told me he was getting married. It turned out that a couple of weeks after we had seen each other, he was in his hometown, and had met someone. He was clearly smitten with her, and she had moved out to Los Angeles and moved in with him.

It was quite a turnaround from his previous experiences with women as he had described him. I believe that Aphrodite had put Her mark on him, or at least given him confidence to open his eyes and his heart to what the world had to offer him. It wasn't the first time it has happened after I have embodied the goddess for a man, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mysticism and male virginity

Several years ago a young filipino man ("B") came to an impromptu Terra Incognita party after socializing with us at the monthly outdoor Pagan pot luck we co-hosted. As usual, things got a little wild and crazy upstairs in the house and this somewhat shy man took me aside so we could speak privately.

"B" was a nice looking, 24-year-old, who was concerned because he was still a virgin. He was thinking about "sacrificing" his virginity on my altar as an offering to the Temple. I asked him questions and learned that he had a job working with his mother while he went to school. She was a devout Catholic and despite his new interest in Paganism, had hopes he'd eventually join the seminary. "B" was questioning the post collegiate seminary plan and asked my opinion. There was more. Up to this point he'd avoided intimacy with girlfriends because he'd wanted to graduate without distractions. "B" also said as a child he could smell colors and even see spirits, but he stopped doing that long ago, because it was strongly discouraged by his family.

I told him I was not the person to give him advice about whether or not he should go the seminary. His virginity was a different matter. I felt he had three choices. I could physically take him through to orgasm on our altar which would consummate his union with the divine. "B" could find himself a girlfriend that he cared about who would enjoy sharing this moment with him. Or he could just find a random person to take his virginity. The third option is not as complicated as the other two and much preferred by the majority of people David and I come across.

He smiled and said "You should be a marriage counselor."

No, I'm practical and a Qadishtu Priestess.

The other part of "B's" concern had to do with tapping back into his "power." I led him to where he could stand over our Temple "vortex" -- the core of where our energy seems to be strongest. We stood facing each other and he closed his eyes. Mind you, David came in to change the party music and there was activity all around us in other rooms. We were surrounded by noise. I told him to put all the chaos into the "background" and see what happens. He closed his eyes and was GONE. He stood straight up for 25 minutes. I started getting scared. I saw he was experiencing rapid eye movements, he was peaceful, but I wanted him conscious. When he came to he said he felt someone holding him up by his armpits. One of his arms was rising during his trance and he said he felt someone lifting his arm.

Very cool.

Immediately after this mystical experience the young asian man decided to confide in me. The virginity issue had been impeded by fear. "B" showed me his penis which was bent at an extreme angle. He would need corrective surgery to function normally, but I showed him there were still things we could still do. We did them and he quickly felt much better about his sexual fears.

Next day he went on a local Pagan list and thanked me profusely for reconnecting him with his roots. I had very little to do with this. I only facilitated what he had actually decided to do for himself.