Tantra Blog

Monday, June 13, 2011

Scotland: Tantric witches and dancing merlins

Scotland, what a surprise you are. I am sitting in a gorgeous stone church in Glasgow, having Scottish salmon for dinner. Downstairs, men are enjoying a pint. A gold bicycle is tied to the railing of the church building. And the roof of this temple-restaurant is gold.

I am talking to a priest from the Church of Scotland who believes that Merlin was the heralder, the bard of the goddess in Scotland. He finds it his mission to introduce the wild wisdom of this ancient druid back into the spirit loins of Scotland - through movement and sound. A dancing priest with silver hair, participating fully and with glee in my workshop on Releasing Sexual Trauma. In my introduction to this workshop, I mention that often our cultural and religious conditioning contributes to the suppression and distortion of our sexual energy. Each participant introduces themselves, and the priest says: "I am a cleric from the church, and therefore one of those who cause sexual abuse in this country." What delightful frank - and slightly disconcerting - honesty.

I am surprised, honestly surprised, by the depth to which the group work in Scotland went. A few nights ago, Glasgow had its first taste of BlissDance. After two hours of dancing, I close the circle and put on a piece of funky Latin music just for fun. And finally, the group wakes up and begins to jive. A tall skinny farmer in black long-johns and with long black hair falling over his well-wrinkled face explains this to me: "This is Scotland, my dear. We are on the same latitude as the North Pole. We take long to thaw".

But boy oh boy, do the Scots thaw when you give them the opportunity.

Saturday's workshop is called Beloved. It's an exploration of the relationship between our inner masculine and feminine, as mirrored by our outer relationships. In the build-up to this event, Gillian, my gorgeous hostess, speculates that people feel some resistance to the topic. Who wants to believe that there is a beloved within if in stead we could hold on to the dream of finding the perfect beloved outside? And yet, as the day comes closer, more and more people submit to the call of truth. We have a lovely group in the thick carpeted cozy yoga room for the day.

By the end of the day, the group looks very wide-eyed. A young German man finds is still incredulous at how is outer relationship dynamics present a direct mirror of his inner tendencies. Three young women are elated and astounded about by the discoveries they have made about their relationship with the inner beloved. One lovely woman from South America is crying with joy; she has found her father, at last - inside herself. When I see her a couple of days later, she shares with me how this discovery has radically transformed her relationship with her partner, as she now no longer need to project father on to him.

Sunday, I facilitate Scotland's releasing sexual trauma workshop. The cultural dynamics here are similar to those in England, but perhaps just more heavy and directly connected to ancestral patterns. The country is strongly influenced by religion, and there is much shame about sexuality. Here too, various versions of incest seem to be common, and also neglect of children by parents who struggled to keep food on the table or for whom alcohol became a lifestyle.

What surprises me is the depth to which the groups take the work. There are some really committed seekers here, and some of them have been traveling the world in search of new perspectives on the truth. The other factor is that there is a strong sense of community here. Gillian is the organizer of Sacred Heart Tantra Meet-up in Glasgow (see wee.meetup.com/Sacred-Heart/Tantra. Also present is James who orchestrates Awaken Scotland, an innovative project involving a bi-monthly 'conscious nightclub for the senses that happens, can you believe it, in a church hall in Edinburgh. Check out www.awakeningscotland.com.

But apart from these specific initiatives that create a social context for me to step in to with my work, there is also a general sense of friendship and sharing. Gillian was an astounding hostess. I hardly had time to think about a need I may have - from fixing a piece of clothing to tea in bed when I wake up - and she was there to provide. The warmth and generosity with which she gave to me was telling of the Scottish way.

The flair for social networking has gone 21st century for Amy Palko, who prides herself on having 5000 twitter followers, and being greeted in awe by fellow twitterers and monthly twitterer gatherings in Edinburgh. Never before have I had as many facebook mentions by people who attended my events as in Scotland. Thank you for the support, you rock Scotland!

And then there are the witches and the Merlins. They are powerful women and men who have inherited the spirit power of their Celtic mystical ancestry. Many years ago, I had an intense journey with my own witch heritage, that led me to Scotland, where I felt the pain of the witch hunt most intensely, and also the power of those women who were so accused. So they are not difficult for me to recognize. Red-headed Gillian and goddesswoman Amy run Reclaiming Delphi, which includes priestess gatherings and women's ceremonies at the equinoxes and the solstices. Also check out Gillian's private practice. And there are other women too - they are young, but they recognize the truth with fiery eyes, and they will scream into the face of what opposes the essence of love. Their consciousness is piercing and their love is fierce. They remember death and loss and betrayal. And they remember what they stood up for lifetime after lifetime. They are the women - and men - who will transform the world, when they become fully embodied again. This work I share with them, I know, is part of what will help them find their way back into fully trusting their embodied spirituality - their sexuality, and the truth of their desire, again.

So Scotland. Slow to start, but an exhiliratingly powerful yes once that fire is lit. At Glasgow airport on my way out of Scotland I find a magical massage chair. Feed it a pound and it starts to vibrate your perineum. Fellow travelers can't help but smile as they walk past. I put in another pound and have another three minutes of celebrating heaven on earth. This fire is lit, for sure.

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