Saraswati goddess of Learning

I’m a week back from #Bali where while there this time I had numerous teachers and seers ask me about my dedication to #Saraswati. In many conversations I was encouraged to invoke her as learning is the root of all dharma. And so I bought a #mala where I’ve only meditated to her.

And what I ask myself is “what did I learn that I can apply right now.”

The literal meaning of the name Saraswati is the one who gives the essential knowledge (Sara) of our own Self (Sva). The goddess Saraswati is also considered the Goddess of #Learning, or of education, intelligence, and the arts. As she is the consort of Brahma, who is considered the source of all knowledge, Saraswati is knowledge itself. Thus, many students or even scholars may worship her for her blessings.
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She is often depicted sitting on a #lotus, which symbolizes that she is founded in the experience of the Absolute Truth. Thus, she not only has the knowledge but also the experience of the Highest Reality. She holds in her four hands a vina instrument, a mala (prayer beads) in the right hand, and a pustaka (book) in the left, which represents the knowledge of all sciences.
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Holding the book in one hand also indicates that this knowledge alone can bring us to the Truth. The vina shows the beauty of learning the fine arts. Playing her vina, she tunes the mind and intellect with her knowledge, and thus the seeker can be in harmony with the universe. The prayer beads represent all spiritual sciences, like meditation and japa (chanting holy names), and, being held in the right hand, that it is more important than the secular knowledge contained in the book in her left hand. Her four arms represent her unrestricted power in the four directions. She also represents creativity, or the combination of power and intelligence, the basis of creativity.
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Her name literally means the one who flows, which can be applied to thoughts, words, or the flow of a river.
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She is also occasionally shown with five faces and eight hands, representing her additional powers. Other objects that she may hold include the pasha (noose), ankusha (goad), chakra (disc), padma (lotus), trishula (trident), and shankha (conch). Sometimes she is also seen riding on a swan, the carrier of her spouse, Brahma. At other times she is seen riding on a peacock or sitting with one nearby. The peacock represents the worldly beauty, which can distract the spiritual aspirant. The swan signifies the acquisition of wisdom and knowledge because of its ability to separate milk from water when eating, and thus acquire only the milk.
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Saraswati is also the shakti or power and consort of Brahma, the secondary creator of the universe. Thus, she is also considered a #motheroftheuniverse. In this way, she is also connected with fertility.

Magical Sisterhood

“Whenever we fail to care for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction, and hearts are hardened …. Spirit, grant that all who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill – grant that we all be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”
– based on a plea from Pope Francis

I 108% love the women in this photo. These siSTARS are changing the world through their healing magic of love and peace. 

They love the earth.
They demonstrate this love in how they eat.

They love and care for other sisters in how protective they are towards all in sisterhood.

They love Spirit.
They honor the ways to walk in beauty and peace available in ordinary spiritual life.

Lens: #Bali graduates of #AlchemyofYoga YTT
Ambassadors of #teachpeace

stronger-together

What Turns You On?

In myth, Lakshmi, goddess of #abundance was born from the ocean of milk that the gods had churned for 1000 years. That “milk” is the sweetness of this world. From that ocean of being, all Fortune arises–hence Lakshmi arises.
 
Because people #desire and take pleasure in #fortune, she is also the Goddess of desire and pleasure, hence the #Tantrik goddess who is parallel to Lakshmi is called Kamakhya (a name whose root we know from Kama Sutra, a manual on the pursuit of desires).
 
We often find her depicted with four arms, which are symbolic of her fertility and power generally and specifically they are representative of the four aims of life: pleasure (kama), social responsibility (dharma), vocation (artha), and ultimate liberation (moksha). She holds #lotuses, symbols of the world’s #fertility.
 
Join me to learn and more importantly feel more of what turns you on. Connect back with the heart of your desires no matter what challenges have brought you here today.
What are you giving birth to this year? A new book, home, job?
#YogaWorkshop Drinking the Lotus: Alchemy of Love
(Inspired by #Lakshmi) Hosted by Northwest Yoga Conference 🙂
 
*If you’d like me to bring this workshop to your local studio please pm me 206 886 5743 or email hello@alchemytours.com*
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Full Moon Releasement Ritual

Full Moon Releasement Ritual
The night of a full moon create a sacred and safe place were you can perform the Letting Go ceremony, preferably outdoors where you can receive the moonlight and feel protected by its energy.
For the ceremony you will need:
1. Sage smudge sticks or favorite incense.
2. A fire pit or a cooking pot or even the barbeque will work
3. Water to put out the fire afterward and as general safety precaution
4. Paper where you’ve written down what you want to surrender to the fire.
 
Recapitulation Preparation:
1. Call upon your guides to ask them to help you identify everything you need to release through this ceremony.
2. Meditate or pray before you begin.
3. Write down the names of those people you need to forgive for any reason.
4. Write down what you forgive yourself for. (eg Negative self-take or unhealthy habits)
5. Write down anger, fears or worries about any situations that are blocking you or keeping you from fully loving your life
 
When you finish, thank your guides for all their help. Then cut every name and every issue making separate slips of paper. You can do this the same day of a full moon or the day before. You will begin the process of releasing from the moment you start writing your list and setting the intention that you want to release.
 
Call upon your guides (eg your angels, Ganesha) for protection and guidance to help you remove any obstacles that could be blocking you in your path, ask for help from any other beings of light that could help you in the process of releasement.
 
Ritual:
1. Burn some Sage. Smudge yourself and the sacred space where you are going to perform the ceremony.
2. Say your intentions or prayer in letting go of negative emotions, addictions, or attitudes from your life.
3. Visualize yourself completely covered with a beautiful white light. Breathe the energy of the full moon.
4. When you feel ready start reading -out loud- one by one the words that you have written in each slip of paper. After you have read the first slip, set it on fire with a lighter and place it your fire pit, toss one by one after you read it. You can even say aloud “I surrender to the fire….or it’s gone.”
 
Look how the pieces of paper are burning, becoming ashes while the smoke goes into the sky. The same is happening to every thing you wrote on those slips they are vanishing from your life and your guides and the other beings of light are taking them to the light for its transmutation and transformation in pure positive energy: love, forgiveness, compassion, healing, trust and faith.
 
Say thank you to all the beings of light that were with you tonight assisting you in this ceremony. Put out the fire with water if necessary.
 
Rest easy. You are again born into this new moment to begin again.
 
See more, download Full Moon PDF from my website http://www.silviamordini.com
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Until Energy is Impregnated with Consciousness it is Blind

Invoking the balance of stability and flexibility, sleeping energy and action #shiva and #shakti #mudras and #crown and #root #chakras. In other words, unlimited abundance.

Lens #bali #chakravinyasa offered on my #yogaretreats and at #yogaconferences, festivals worldwide

SHIVA symbolises consciousness, the masculine principle.
SHAKTI symbolises the feminine principle, the activating power and energy.

Whenever a power becomes active, and wherever energy exists, Shakti is working. Other terms for these primal principles are PURUSHA and PRAKRITI; Purusha is consciousness and Prakriti is nature.

Shiva is generally portrayed holding a trident, which represents the trinity of Īshwara, Purusha and Prakriti.

Īshwara is the omnipresent, eternal, formless divine principle; Purusha is the Ātmā and Prakriti is the manifestation, nature. An electric light can be used to explain their relationship. The electric current, which is the source of the light, is Īshwara; the light is Purusha, and the object that is illuminated is Prakriti.

SHAKTI (or Prakriti) means energy, power, movement, change, nature. It is the maternal principle – the provider, abundance. In the human as well as in the animal kingdom the mother offers nourishment, warmth and security.

SHIVA (or Purusha), on the other hand, is pure consciousness – the unchanging, unlimited and unswayable observer. Purusha has no desires whatsoever; these are inherent only in Prakriti. Purusha is the empty, clear screen onto which Prakriti projects her colourful film.

Shiva and Shakti are manifestations of the all-in-one divine consciousness. The left side is the Divine Mother, Pārvatī, the “feminine” energy, and the right side represents Shiva, the “masculine” consciousness.

Only when Shiva and Shakti combine can action, movement and creation arise. Until energy is impregnated with consciousness it is ignorant, disordered, aimless and “blind”. Energy alone can produce nothing; consciousness bestows upon it content, form and direction. Conversely, consciousness without energy is dormant power, sleeping energy, and on its own is unable to be the cause of anything. Just as Prakriti without Purusha is unable to act, and vice versa, Purusha without Prakriti is also incapable of creating anything.

Shiva resides in the Sahasrāra Chakra and Shakti in the Mūlādhāra Chakra. When Prakriti and Purusha unite in the Sahasrāra Chakra, knowledge, knower and the object of knowledge become one. Once we have experienced this no desires remain within us because we realise unequivocally that everything we have ever yearned for is carried within us. In this state of absolute consciousness there are no polarities and therefore no more sorrows; there is only everlasting joy, unconditional love, unlimited compassion and total understanding for all living beings.
For as long as consciousness is connected to the physical body it is unable to remain constantly in the Sahasrāra Chakra and so returns to the residence of the Ātmā in the Heart Centre (Anāhata Chakra). A realised person always thinks, feels and acts from the heart. Embedded in eternal love and eternal happiness, that person is always conscious of the immortal Ātmā, the ocean of bliss, and their consciousness is forever connected to the divine consciousness.

Mary Magdalene Uffizi

I am always learning and am inspired by the teachings of both the sacred masculine and sacred feminine.
Lens: ‪#‎MaryMagdalene‬ ‪#‎uffizi‬

Introduction to Secrets of Mary Magdalene
By Elaine H. Pagels

Who was she, that elusive–and fascinating– woman in the circle around Jesus of Nazareth? For nearly two thousand years, Mary Magdalene has lived in the imagination of Christians as a seductive prostitute; in our own time, contemporary fiction pictures her as Jesus’ lover and wife, mother of his children. Yet the earliest sources that tell of Mary Magdalene–both within the New Testament and outside of it—do not describe either of these sexualized roles, suggesting that the woman herself, and how we have come to see her, is more complex than most of us ever imagined. Was she, then, one of Jesus’ followers, whose wealth helped support him, as the earliest New Testament gospel, the Gospel of Mark, says? A madwoman who had been possessed by seven devils, as Luke says? Or Jesus’ closest disciple, the one he loved more than any other, as the Gospel of Mary Magdalene tells us? Or, in the words of the Dialogue of the Savior, “the woman who understood all things”?

When we investigate the earliest available records, we find all of these conflicting images, and more. What we discover, too, is that which answer we find depends on where we look. What is probably the earliest story comes from the New Testament Gospel of Mark, written about forty years after Jesus’ death. Mark tells us that while Roman soldiers were crucifying Jesus Mary Magdalene stood among a group of women watching the execution, grieving, although the male disciples had fled in fear for their lives. Standing with Salome and another woman named Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), Mary Magdalene continued her vigil until Jesus finally died; later, along with her companions, she saw his body carefully wrapped in strips of linen, entombed, and sealed into a cave cut out of rock.

Mark explains that Mary, Salome, and “the other Mary” were among those who “followed Jesus and provided for him”– probably meals and a place to stay, perhaps money for necessities—when he was in Galilee. The morning after Sabbath, the women came to offer their teacher the final service, bringing aromatic spices to complete his burial. But Mark’s account ends on a note of confusion and shock: finding the tomb open, the body gone, the women, hearing that Jesus “is not here; he has risen,” run away, shaking with terror, “for trembling and astonishment came upon them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were terrified.”

Matthew, who wrote his version with Mark’s account before him, repeats the same story but changes the troubling ending. Mary and her companions did leave the tomb quickly, he says, but did so “with fear and great joy.” And instead of intending to say nothing, they immediately run “to tell his disciples Then, while they were on the way, the risen Jesus himself appeared before them, and spoke to them.
Luke, like Matthew, has Mark’s story before him, but has something different in mind when he revises Mark. To make clear to the reader that women—any woman, much less Mary—could not be among Jesus’ disciples, Luke initially leaves out Mark’s comment that Mary, Salome, and the other Mary “followed Jesus” (since saying this could be understood to place them among the disciples). Then Luke deliberately contrasts “the twelve”– the men whom he says Jesus named as disciples–with those he calls “the women,” whom he classifies among the needy, sick, and crazed members of the crowds that pressed themselves upon Jesus and his disciples. Thus, Luke, unlike Mark, says that Mary came to Jesus driven by demonic spirits, and as only one among “some women who had been healed from evil spirits and from illnesses,” Luke identifies these women as “Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna…and Susanna, and many others,” who, he concedes, “provided for (Jesus and his disciples) from their resources.”

When Luke tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and death, he changes three passages in which Mark had named Mary Magdalene, leaving her nameless in each of these three stories, standing among an anonymous group he calls “the women.”

Only after the anonymous women testify about what they saw to “the eleven” (the inner circle that Luke had called “the twelve” until Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, had left them) does Luke name three women. For at this point, apparently, their witness matters to validate their testimony and he now names the three that he sees as the most prominent: Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, and Joanna. Although Luke, like John, sometimes speaks positively about “the women,” we may wonder why, at other times, he denigrates Mary and downplays her role.

Now, thanks to the recent discovery of other ancient gospels—gospels not included in the New Testament, which remained virtually unknown for nearly two thousand years until their recent discovery—we may be able to understand what Luke had in mind. For these other gospels, found translated into Coptic in Egypt, originally had been written earlier, in Greek, like the New Testament gospels. Scholars debate when they were written, but generally agree that most of them come from the first two centuries of the Christian movement. What we find in these discoveries is surprising: every one of the recently discovered sources that mention Mary Magdalene– sources that include the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Wisdom of Faith, and the Dialogue of the Savior–unanimously picture Mary as one of Jesus’ most trusted disciples. Some even revere her as his foremost disciple, Jesus’ closest confidant, since he found her capable of understanding his deepest secrets. We can see that Luke apparently did not want to acknowledge that some of those he had simply called “the women” previously were actually regarded as disciples themselves. Although in this introduction we cannot discuss these remarkable texts in detail, let us briefly look at each of these gospels in turn.

mary magdalenFirst, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene pictures Mary taking a leading role among the disciples. Finding the male disciples terrified to preach the gospel after Jesus’ death since they feared that they, too, would be arrested and killed, Mary stands up to speak and encourages them, “turning their hearts to the good.” When Peter, acknowledging that “the Lord loved you more than other women,” asks Mary to “tell us what he told you” secretly, Mary agrees. When she finishes, Peter, furious, asks, “Did he really speak privately with a woman, and not openly to us? Are we supposed to turn around and all listen to her? Did he love her more than us?” Distressed at his rage, Mary replies, “My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I thought this up myself in my heart, or that I am lying about the Savior?” Levi breaks in at this point to mediate the dispute: “Peter, you have always been hot-tempered. Now I see you contending against the women like (our) enemies. But if the Savior made her worthy, who are you to reject her? Surely the Lord knew her very well; that is why he loved her more than us.” The Gospel of Mary ends as the others agree to accept Mary’s teaching, and the disciples, including Mary, go forth to proclaim the gospel.
Like the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Thomas pictures Mary as one of Jesus’ disciples. Strikingly, it names only six disciples, not twelve, and two of these are women–Mary Magdalene and Salome,. Yet like the dispute between Peter and Mary in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, several passages in the Gospel of Thomas indicate that at the time it was written, probably around 90-100 C. E., the question of whether women could be disciples already had triggered explosive controversy. In saying 61, for example, Salome asks Jesus to tell her who he is: ”Who are you, man, that you have come up on my couch, and eaten from my table?” Jesus answers, “I come from what is undivided;” that is, from the divine, which transcends gender. He thereby rejects what her question implies—that his identity involves primarily his being male, as hers does being female. Salome instantly understanding what he means, recognizes that the same is true for her. Thus she immediately answers, “I am your disciple.”

Here, too, however, as in the Gospel of Mary, Peter challenges and opposes the presence of women among the disciples. According to saying 114 in The Gospel of Thomas, Peter says to Jesus, “Tell Mary to leave us, for women are not worthy of (spiritual) life.” But instead of dismissing Mary, as Peter insists, Jesus rebukes Peter, and declares, “I will make Mary a living spirit,” so that she—or any woman–may become as capable of spiritual life as any man would have been in first century Jewish tradition .
We find yet another account of an argument in which Peter challenges Mary’s right to speak among the disciples in the dialogue called Wisdom of Faith. Here, after Mary asks Jesus several questions, Peter breaks in, complaining to Jesus that Mary is talking too much and so displacing the rightful priority of Peter and his brother disciples. Yet, here too, just as in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Thomas, Peter’s attempt to silence Mary earns him a quick rebuke, this time from Jesus himself. Later, however, Mary admits to Jesus that she hardly dares to speak with him freely, because, she says, “Peter makes me hesitate; I am afraid of him, because he hates the female race.” Jesus replies that whoever the Spirit inspires is divinely ordained to speak, whether man or woman.

This theme of conflict between Mary and Peter that we find in so many sources—conflict involving Peter’s refusal to acknowledge Mary as a disciple, much less as a leader among the disciples–may well reflect what people knew and told about actual conflict between the two. We know, too, that since women often identified with Mary Magdalene, certain people in the movement told such stories about her—or against her—as a way of arguing about whether—or how—women could participate in their circles.

Note, for example, that the very writers who picture Peter as the disciple whom Jesus acknowledges as being their primary leader—namely, the authors of the gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke—are the same ones who picture Mary as no disciple at all, but simply as one of “the women,” or, worse, in the case of Luke, someone who had been demon-possessed. What makes their accounts important historically, of course, is that these are three of the gospels that came to be included in the canon of the New Testament—often invoked, even now, to “prove” that women cannot hold positions of authority within Christian churches.”

Receiving Support from Mama Gaia

I am not afraid of ‪#‎Ganesha‬ X 2. My challenge is having to remind myself to keep receiving support from our great Ma, Mama Gaia. She holds me up in this beautiful balance day in and day out. I call upon her to keep me light.

“One of your greatest allies by far, as a human being and specifically as a woman, is the earth Herself.”

“Called Great Mother, Gaia, Changing Mother……..for all human time the earth has been understood to be an embodiment of great feminine essence. Energies and experiences that are too DENSE for us, that are burdens for us, things that are just too heavy for us to carry (but that we often unconsciously carry anyway), are FOOD for her. She was made to transform or even compost densities that we simply cannot handle. So remember – you are under no obligation to carry density, to carry burdens. Make the choice to give it to Mother Earth and it will transform from your burden to Her nourishment.” – Jumana Sophia

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‪#‎KingDancer‬ ‪#‎CosmicDance‬ ‪#‎SacredFeminine‬

Let Mom Carry That

I am not afraid of ‪#‎Ganesha‬ X 2. My challenge is having to remind myself to keep receiving support from our great Ma, Mama Gaia. She holds me up in this beautiful balance day in and day out. I call upon her to keep me light.

“One of your greatest allies by far, as a human being and specifically as a woman, is the earth Herself. Called Great Mother, Gaia, Changing Mother……..for all human time the earth has been understood to be an embodiment of great feminine essence. Energies and experiences that are too DENSE for us, that are burdens for us, things that are just too heavy for us to carry (but that we often unconsciously carry anyway), are FOOD for her. She was made to transform or even compost densities that we simply cannot handle. So remember – you are under no obligation to carry density, to carry burdens. Make the choice to give it to Mother Earth and it will transform from your burden to Her nourishment.” – Jumana Sophia

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#‎KingDancer‬ ‪#‎CosmicDance‬ ‪#‎SacredFeminine‬

Lens: Thailand