Temple image renewed
The word “Temple” usually reminds me of a stone building with giant white pillars flanking the doors and guards with weapons as the gatekeepers. Only allowing the “worthy” (aka wealthy) to enter.
Temples remind me of a structure that houses a person sitting on a throne with a view of power-over-others and with judgment. This is a Temple I want nothing to do with.
My experience with the Priestess Presence Temple has shattered that inner image.
For thirteen moons (twelve months) I soaked up lessons about holding temples and sacred business from Elayne Kalila Sophia Doughty. I joined to learn more about how I can effectively hold ceremonies and energetic containers in the on-line space. I joined to learn about feminine led leadership as well.
We met virtually with the hope to finish at an in-person Temple Retreat. We were lucky to hit a low point in the Covid-19 transmission numbers and off we all flew and drove to meet together.
I flew for the first time in 10 years. Left my family for the first time in at least four years.
I navigated four flights, 10 hours of flying, red eye flights, car rental, shuttles, driving on dark winding roads in the wee hours of the morning . . . to finally arrive at an AirBnB. I tiptoed to my room . . . hoping I was in the right house as my roommates slept.
I felt the fabric of time and space stretch and strain as the plane flew to California.
“What am I doing? I’ve spent a year of my life learning Priestess Ways and holding Virtual Temples, in a society that rarely values these ways. I’ve just left my family, spent thousands of dollars, and I’m about to drive for an hour on roads I don’t know, in the dark, in a vehicle that is not mine, about to sleep in a home with people I’ve never met in person.”
My anxiety was high and my doubt was alert and wandering about.
“What am I doing?”
Didn’t you feel the push, pull, strain? The monumental re-shifting of generations taking place? You are part of the New Weaving. You are feeling the tearing apart of an old energetic weave being ripped asunder.
“So this is normal. That’s a relief.”
Finally, I was able to physically meet the other participants. It was like meeting celebrities! We’d only seen each other on screens all these months. In the morning, we gathered at Elayne’s home, circled in a yurt on the ancestral lands of the Nisenan peoples.
Temples are about setting a frequency so all participants can cohere to its resonance. This is done through sound, scent, colors, movement, imagery, visualization, mudras, yantras, chanting, sacred theater, and much more.
The first temple was the frequency of the Great Mother. I sobbed before I made it to the gatekeeper; wept sitting in the circle. I hate crying in front of people. I didn’t care about that here. I learned to cry here.
Sitting in a Temple with womxn feels like home . . . like connections . . . like connected . . . like finding the roots of a medicine you needed for so long. It felt familiar.
I marinated in the frequency of the Great Mother Temple, the Primal Goddess, the Dreamer-Weaver, and others.
I saw the transformations of trauma that sinks back hundreds and thousands of years.
I saw people rip away the masks they made for themselves.
I witnessed people boldly stand in front of their reflection,
to banish that which does not serve.
I watched people dance their inner child back home.
The rawness was palpable.
The vulnerability dripped like sweat.
The tenderness bathed in the salve of the collective embrace.
I journeyed . . . to a nexus . . of plant and human intrinsic connection.
I stared into the eyes of the Sister across from me in the Empty Presence for hours or minutes . . . I could not tell you.