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!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Life, death and love

A Terra Incognita member died recently of cancer. He was in his early 50's and well known in the extended Pagan community. I met Cy at Light of the Moon, a monthly Chicago Pagan gathering where David and I helped our local crone Cailleach co-host for many years. We found this event a great way to satisfy social obligations and invite people to meet us for the first time. Characteristically Cy wore a black Paladin-like cowboy hat and was accompanied by his red-headed magickal partner, Heather. Though my influence impacted more directly on her husband Woody, I believe my story is more about how this Qadishtu experience primarily affected Heather and both her loves.

Heather was her Magickal name. Apparently she chose that name because it reflected the person her psyche pictured as the little girl who stood on a knoll of her childhood farm. She and Woody had been married for years when her uncle left her a quarter of the ancestral farmland. The family decided to sell the property to developers so the farm as she remembers it no longer exists. The name Heather, she explains, gives that farm permanence in her life and thus gave her the stamina to let it go when she answered an advertisement and joined an active Pagan group in nearby
Evanston. Coincidentally, Cy, an experienced pagan living across the city in Hyde Park, read the same ad and drove 20 miles to attend the coven’s first initiatory meeting. They immediately became close partners in an earth-based spiritualism which finally gave her a language that responded to the land she so deeply cherished.

Heather and Cy became dedicated to the coven and began going everywhere together, whether it was weekend retreats in other states or attending local Pagan events. Their mutual affection grew while they remained married to other partners. Heather and Woody had no children, but Cy and his wife adopted two girls. Unfortunately, as her spiritualism took on the face of her land, the coven became the euphoric spiritual path she shared with Cy that balanced the weighty every-day familial responsibilities she had with Woody. Needless to say, Woody was not happy.

I entered Heather's poly family through sexual energy work with her and Cy. I soon discovered that her husband Woody basically felt abandoned and lost without the loving partner that he thought he had married. My sexual relationship with Heather and Cy faded, though, as I became more invested in a Qadishtu healing dynamic with Woody. He was not spiritually or magickally inclined at the time, but even that changed as I introduced him to the Chicago Tantric community when Terra Incognita hosted a workshop led by Janet and Sasha Lessin from Hawaii in 2005.

Woody's primary complaint was that he didn’t have access to a world that could understand nor accept people having relationships outside of their marriage. Through this workshop Woody became more aware of how he could enjoy polyamorous experiences as meaningful physical exchanges with like minded folks that didn’t include wife swapping or cheating. There were families, like his, that were “poly” and incorporated spiritual, meaningful exchanges in their familial multi-partnered relationships.

Woody took my sexual exchanges with him very seriously and it was through this heart connection that he began walking into unfamiliar situations, unbelieving at first and then progressively with more confidence. He is now open to date and develop relationships without being hampered by traditional ideas of monogamy and fidelity. Woody loves his wife very much and although Heather's relationship with Cy was difficult for him in the beginning, it was through this love for her and his desire to maintain their marriage that he found room to include Cy in his family.

As Qadishtu, I gave my body to all three ... twice to Heather and Cy, twice to Heather and Woody ... loving exchanges which facilitated bringing them all closer. Poly is hard to implement in a non-poly situation so it took me a few couseling sessions to work out the pain and animosity Woody initially felt toward Cy and Heather.

On the morning Cy died, he sat up in bed and clearly called for Woody twice. Heather got her husband on the phone while he was at work and Cy's faint voice brought him to tears. Cy didn’t ask for anyone else. A successful Qadishtu experience is not just about sex, though the connection sex offers is important. It's about the relating, bonding and support our efforts give and how it supports the love everyone feels in the end.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Freeing The Muse Within

A man I’ve known casually for a few years recently approached me at a social event. He began a conversation that quickly turned to a discussion surrounding sensuality and mutual pleasure, and it became apparent that he felt a lack of both in his life. He also revealed that he’d been in both the military and an unhappy marriage for over 30 years, and was sadly aware that these life choices had curtailed his freedom of expression on many levels. Sensing interest in creative and sensual activities, I described an ecstatic dance event that I attend weekly, and he began to ask questions. Giving him the time and location, I added that he might find it just the opening he needed to begin to bring more passionate expression to his life.

To my surprise, he showed up the next morning at the event, but had a very difficult time entering into the flow with everyone. He was too used to structure and instructions, and needed assistance in allowing himself to let go into the music and energy. During my dance, I swirled around him at various times, inviting him into my flow, encouraging him to find his own.

Afterwards he came up to talk to me, and very awkwardly asked if we could spend some time together. Because he wasn’t clear in his intention, I suggested that we meet for coffee. His face took on a stricken expression, and he suddenly grabbed my hands and blurted out, “No! I want to feel you touch me! I want to make love to you, and have you see me deeply!” He continued on for a few moments before catching himself. It was obvious that his deep desires had burst out of him without warning, as tears gathered in his eyes. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said any of that.”

His outburst prompted me to answer him as a qadishtu practitioner, and I gently reassured him that what he had said was perfectly clear and acceptable, and I was greatly touched by his honestly and heartfelt emotion. We talked for a bit more, and by the time I’d reached home, I’d received an impassioned email from him filled with esoteric poetry references, and his declaration that he thought he’d found in me the muse that could unlock his inhibited passions and deepest desires. Through a series of emails and face-to-face conversations, as I explained my role as a qadishtu and offered my services from that sacred place, it became clear that this was someone who was absolutely unwilling to move out of his comfort zone in order to access his long-held dreams.

I found out that between his 30-plus years of military service, and his upcoming five-year doctoral program, he had given himself 3 months of ‘freedom’ in order to ‘awaken his muse,’ as he put it. Yet in reality, every option I offered him in order to do just that was rejected. What was interestingly clear to me was the way he viewed himself, and insisted that I view him as well; a learned and intelligent man with a vast knowledge of obscure romantic references, who would deign to shower his pent-up passion upon me if only I were immensely and properly grateful for his worshipful adoration. I would have laughed if it hadn’t been so apparent that he truly believed this of himself.

This, of course, was not my viewpoint of the situation, which I gently attempted to convey to him over time. What I saw was a very unhappy man, resentfully married to a woman whom he both respected and despised for her catholic virtues, full of repressed rage and self-loathing because of his fear to move beyond his own imposed boundaries. As he was moving from the area within a month, I offered to introduce him to two other well-known qadishtu in his new hometown, as well as a session or two with myself before he left. But he refused all of this on the grounds that what he sought and what I though he needed differed. His last words were that he hoped the muses would cross his path with another woman who exhibited my same wonderful karma, presence, and candor, with whom he could complete himself by worshiping her with abandon.

At that point it was clear that there was nothing else for me to say, and I wished him well in his new journeys. I reflected on the fact that while we as qadishti shine with a light of freedom that beckons seekers, not all of them are ready to receive the gifts we have to offer, and that this, too, is part of our path.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Celebrating the Feminine

As a student of Qadishtu, I was assigned to create a ritual to be repeated over several days. My basic thought was to be my own supplicant and create a ritual could be sexual healing for me and an experience for me to better understand both sides of the equation.

Since it would involve masturbation and the most female parts of my body, I wanted it to be a celebration of the feminine. Scent is important to me, so I chose lavender which is associated with prostitution and, also, a scent that I find pleasant. I bought lavender candles and lavender scented lotion. I did the ritual in the evening, because it seemed the best time of day to be able to consistently complete the rituals. It’s also traditionally a pleasant time for me at the end of my day and full of simple rituals anyway, far less hurried than morning rituals.

I made my bed and laid a red full-size towel and smaller towel on the bed. I set the candles at the points of a triangle around my bed. I also heated a bowl of water and set a wash cloth soaking in the steaming water. Then I undressed and turned off the lights.
Instead of calling quarters or invoking a particular god/goddess, I designated each point as Maiden, Mother and Crone. At each point, I thought about stage of life and what is was like, the shapes, the emotions, the advantages, the disadvantages, how it shapes and individual’s role in the community, in the family, etc. Some aspects came up every night as I lit the candle and meditated on youth, maturity, and old age. But, each night my insight on what the different stages meant was different. Some nights, it was more universal, what it means for anyone to be a child. Other nights, my thoughts became more personal. This was true at every station.
The maid is a creature of straight lines and awkwardness. She is moving from physical weakness toward strength, also uncertainty to increasing competence in a number of ways. Every experience is new, with the positives and negatives associated with newness.
The mother has curves. Her body is like ripe fruit. She has moved beyond the newness of sexuality and into appreciation of the joy, the humor, the responsibility. No longer a child in need of protection, she is the protector and nurturer, even to the point of doing so inside her own body. I said that I didn’t invoke a goddess, but, by coincidence, a statue I have of Athena was near the mother candle and often caught my eye as I moved toward that point.
The crone re-visits the need for physical help. Her skin becomes thin and delicate. Her body often thinner and easily broken, but her experience is her strength. She no longer bears children, but she continues to enjoy life and her sexuality.
After lighting each candle and spending some time meditating at each, I moved to the bowl of water and within reach of the small candle and lotion. Thinking as I did of what I was washing away, I bathed myself by candlelight, slowly and carefully. In addition to dirt, sweat, oil and dead skin, I washed away the negative thoughts about my body. I imagined I was uncovering not just clean skin, but inner beauty. Because it was chilly some of the nights, I cleaned then dried one part of my body at a time. Then I rubbed lotion into what I could reach and thought about the beauty of my body as I did. I like my eyes, my lashes, the straightness of my nose, the symmetry of my face. I like necks, women’s in particular, the image of a ballerina from behind, head tilted, naked nape under a bun of hair. I thought of these kinds of images as I rubbed scent into my face, neck, breasts, stomach, and so on down to my toes, thinking of the beauty and utility of each part. Then, warm, feeling and smelling good, I laid down. I gave myself pleasure, focusing on my vulva. I didn’t think about anything in particular, concentrating on the sensation. I floated and enjoyed. Sometimes, I had small orgasms, sometimes I didn’t. After a time, I’d come back into my self. I used the water and towel to clean as needed. I’d visit the candles in reverse holding a similar meditation before blowing each out.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gift for the Goddess

It has been said that I have never met a stranger. This day was no different. I was flying to visit some friends. I have always loved to fly because you never knew who you would meet while flying the friendly skies. While waiting on all of the passengers to board the plane, there was an Indian couple who took their seat about three rows in back of me. The husband got up to check each over head compartment but they were all full until he noticed no one was sitting across from me. He opens the compartment and struggled to put his bag in the overhead compartment. I helped him and caught a glimpse of a good looking man sitting right in front of wife of the little Indian man. I smiled at him and then sat down as the little old man went back to his seat. He said something in Hindi or Punjabi to his wife that I didn’t understand. I decided to go ahead and buckle up while watching the other passengers come aboard. When I looked up, the gentleman moved to the open seat across the aisle. I didn’t think anything of it at the time but what I know now is that he saw me and was clearly interested in some way. We talked during the airplane ride and we talked during our layover however it was cut short because he was due at another terminal. I thought our conversation was very tame but I had a feeling that there would be more to this interaction. He and I exchanged numbers so that we could keep in touch. During our next phone call conversations, I told him about my path and my passion. He became very inquisitive and yet I knew that he lived in another state so there may not be an opportunity for any physical contact but over the phone we discussed many aspects of his life and his needs. Let’s call him Q. Q began calling just about every day. During the conversations, I learned a lot about Q. I learned about his situation at home, his idea of who he was as a father, a husband, and a business man. We discussed the absence of intimacy with his Wife. I discussed with him ways that he could open the door to being intimate with her. Over a period of time, I found out that they were an open couple and poly however he did not have someone in his life. Q expressed that he missed being intimate felt as if his needs would never be met by his wife or any other women because he didn’t have time to cultivate a relationship or connection with someone due to his traveling and his hectic job.

After a while, he and I began the meet-up conversation. Luckily or mysteriously, he had to come to my hometown for 7 days on business. He asked if I would be available. I moved around some appointments and then we set up our plan to meet. He wanted to take me out on a date and the rest was up to me. After chatting for several weeks, I asked many questions to help understand what he liked and began my own plan. Q and I met at my friend’s place of business so that we could take one car. He drove me to one of my favorite restaurants. When I walked in, he gasped as I smiled slowly at his adoration. I had on a crème colored wrap dress with stockings and black shoes high heeled shoes. During the dinner, we ate slowly and talked a lot. I put my hand on the table and looked into his eyes and looked at my hand. He caught the signal for him to touch my hand. I held his as he continued to tell me about what he needed to do business wise in my hometown. He seemed a bit nervous but as I caressed his fingers, he began to loosen up. Dessert was served. He order three kinds and he fed me a bite from each one. It was an exquisite moment as we decided to end the evening. In the car, we parked in the lot and began to talk about the dinner and I held his hand and I pulled him in close to give him a kiss. He was very hungry with his kiss. I touched Q’s heart and it was beating really fast. He slowly outlined my body with his hands and admitted that he was pleased with what I was wearing. He and I continued to hold hands and kiss. We discussed our next date which would be the night in my temple. I asked that he remember to bring and offering to the Goddess for the time shared.

Two days later, I invited Q to my home which was ritually prepared prior to his arrival. I was dressed in a lovely dress that didn’t show my body with the exception of my neck, hands, and feet which only showed when I walked towards him. He walked in and I moved to remove his shoes from his feet. I placed them next to the door. I lifted my hand and he helped me stand up to meet his kiss and hug. I brought him into my great room and asked him if he would like something to drink. I fixed the beverage while he gazed at the table that was my living room altar filled with my statues, candles and receiving bowl and flowers. I introduced him to my altar and each item on it. I explained my ritual for him and what would be significant to him as well as what he could expect. I asked that he trust me from this point on as I blindfolded him. I asked him to stand as I took off each article of clothing. I then walked him though my hallway around to my master bedroom so that we could go to the master bathroom. I had already prepared the water to be about half full of my large bathtub. I closed the door and took off the blind fold. I asked him to get into the tub. I rolled up the sleeves on my dress to reveal my arm jewelry. I then ran some hotter water in the tub and I showed him the soap and towels that he would use. As he laid there waiting for my instructions, I couldn’t resist touching his chest then his stomach and as my hand hit the water I felt his pubic hair and his phallus already pulsing. I kissed him full on the mouth as I stroked him a few times. I stood up to see his eyes closed and I whispered that he should clean himself off while I watched. He began to bathe himself with lathered soap. I then rinsed him off after he finished. He stood outside of the tub as I dried every inch of him. I placed the blindfold back on and led him to my temple room. There was another altar there with many lovely delights that awaited Q. There were cushions on top of a futon mattress on the floor covered with red silk cloths. He went down to his knees when he saw me take off my dress. I wore a large Lapis necklace, snakes coiled around my arms, and a chain around my belly. I asked him to come close to me and we laid on the futon and we held each other. I asked him to recite my earlier instructions as to how to call upon the Goddess as I called upon her to enter the space, Her Vessel. And then my hands explored his body as his explored mine. He laid me down and opens my legs while exploring my eyes in acceptance. He began to taste every each of my body with worship I received every inch of him into this vessel. After Q left, I began to snuff out candles and once in the living room I noticed what he left as an offering. It was a lovely conk shell for the Goddess, a gold penis charm, and an envelope labeled "A Gift for the Goddess Gryn". Sigh, what a life.