An Actual Experience of the Power of Shakti 1 Workshop
Go To Your Womb!
Stella Fairbairn journeys to the Universe within with the Power of Shakti Intensive, Ireland.
" On entering the Gyreum in Sligo it feels like entering an eco-lodge type space ship. It is nestled in the undergrowth of the Irish Sligo countryside near Lough Arrow and is situated directly on the cross axis of two very powerful ley lines. One of the lines runs in from the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and the other from Macchu Piccu in Peru. With the Gyreum's very bohemian earthy look and slightly subterranean feel, I made my way across the massive circular womblike interior and met with Carol MaRa. MaRa, as she is known, was teaching this 3 day intensive and works closely with Padma Aon Prakasha from whom the teachings have originated. Padma is a powerfully loving presence, and to be in his company is to be awash with unconditional love, compassion and truth.
Not knowing much about what I was about to embark upon, some of the lines in the flyer had attracted me, such as: "Now we are ready to remember and activate the greatest secret women hold" and "A blend of alchemical breath, sacred sound, and divine light: the master elements of creation" and also "Meeting your Shadow. Understanding and embracing the shadow leads to your greatest empowerment. " These three rather powerful statements seemed to awaken something within me, calling upon me to explore further. So here I was ready to embark on my first 'Power of Shakti" intensive and I was very intrigued.
My only knowledge of Shakti before this was that she was the female Goddess counterpart of Lord God Shiva in the Hindu tradition, but as the weekend evolved it was clear that Shakti is alive and well and is hidden in all men and women, waiting to be unleashed in all her magnificent feminine power. Before hand I had always seen the "Divine Feminine" as something soft, tender, loving and quiet, yet Shakti is paradoxical in nature, she is not only soft, but tough as nails, she emanates tenderness, yet she wields the sword at injustice and untruths. And she loves with wild abandon with all her creational power yet destroys all in her path to create new growth. She is the epitome of She who cannot be tamed and of the personification of the cycle of death and rebirth.
As normal in retreats and intensives, we all met in the evening for dinner and an introduction. There was a rather lovely bunch of people collected around the large dining table and mostly they were from different parts of Ireland and the UK. MaRa welcomed us and she has a wonderful aura of kindness and empathic tenderness about her, so much so, that I don't think I have ever met anyone who exudes such positive and compassionate energy. Dinner was eaten and we sat in the fire pit in the middle of the large round hall. This was a subterranean circular seating area with a roaring fire day and night to keep up grounded and centered.
As MaRa began to read from excerpts of the book The Power of Shakti, I could feel something amazing happen. I was feeling between the lines of each spoken word, feeling waves of loving energy surround me as though something was being transmitted from the pages via MaRa's mouth surrounding me in a warm blanket and awakening my other senses. That was the strange new feeling, I was actually "feeling", I wasn't thinking, I was transported out of my head and I was able to receive the words all over my body and absorb the message as a whole. This was the key I had longed for in my life. Having spent almost 40 years in my logical head, this experience was very new. I went to bed very relaxed and had a wonderful nights sleep as though I had been wrapped in a warm loving blanket all night.
Next day was an early start and after a wonderful breakfast spread we were introduced to The Power of Shakti and it's 18 pathways as taught in the Isis mystery schools. The circuit (see diagram) begins at the back of the head in the chakra known as the alta major just at the top of the neck, it then runs down the spine into the kidneys into the base of the spine, anus and perineum. Then a series of 7 gates are described in the genital/reproductive area and then up through the stomach button, heart, chin, third eye and routed back through the head to the amygdala at the back of the brain and completing the circuit again at the alta major. This was quite an extraordinary journey through the body. As we practiced breathing into each part of the body I felt myself expand and a rush of energy surge into each point. Once the circuit was completed we were then able to sit with this energy which was tingling throughout our bodies. MaRa also explained about the womb in women and then hara in men. Yes men have a womb too! Now that's equality! This is an ancient circuit that is very, very powerful and one that has been secreted away and repressed for 1000's of years. Now we had 9 of us, 8 women and one man activating and pulsing this energy at will. It was truly remarkable. As the day went on more and more was revealed.
The most amazing "eureka" moment was when MaRa introduced us to the gates, which are the labia, g-spot, clitoris, cervix and womb and the gates beyond. In men it flows through the testes, base and tip of the penis and down the shaft into the hara which is the male womb. Once here in this womb space a whole new universe opens up, it is like journeying through deep space and has a life and a pulse all of it's own. It is the universe inside, it's like realising the outside illusion is just a projection from this space and everything comes from this space within the centerpoint of all creation. Talk about light bulbs going on around the room at that instant. It was the most profound moment I have ever experienced, outside of looking at my new born daughter in the eyes. Tears welled up inside and I knew I had found the oracle and every answer I had ever sought was right here inside me. That in itself would have done it for me, if the intensive had ended right there and then I would have been very happy with this new discovery, but there was more, so much more.
As the day went on we were introduced to a form of tibetan womb pulsing, another ancient practice lost in the underbelly of society. At first I found it a little odd as we were partnered up and one of the two lay on a mattress whilst the other one straddled on top and wombs and haras were connected. The one on top was giving life force energy via the womb and the one lying down receiving this life force via the womb. My partner Marion was blown away at the release of old childhood pain she received from a past life and when it was my turn to receive and lie down I was taken to a place of complete release where I coughed profusely from my lungs releasing deep grief caught in my cells as well as a huge scream followed by deep almost ancient repressed sobbing, a deep sadness had shifted and I felt lighter and freer than ever before. And to think that I only thought the womb was for growing a child! How wrong I was, the womb centre in any human being is the most powerful centre and the fertile void of all of creation.
Next we moved onto the womb mandala which is a practice whereby you get into a meditative state and explore three different levels of your womb/hara space and the energies occupying it. Without ruining this surprise for others who wish to practice this I won't say much more, except that the group let out huge sighs and gasps when they realised who was occupying their womb space and where they were occupying them. Even more release came from another tibetan practice of anus breathing. Using a spoken mantra, the apana hand mudra and visualisation I was able to get to new levels of excess emotional baggage I had been carrying around for years. In doing this practice there was one particular member of the group, who on completion of this exercise looked 10 years younger! Literally all the angst of the past was erased from her face and once she had composed herself a huge beaming authentic smile appeared and the group dynamics shifted to something very different and wonderful. We were then asked to look at all the ways we had betrayed ourselves and write our own personal stories.
Needless to say the sharing from the whole group during the weekend was very open and very deep. Next on the list was meeting our shadow. I guess a few of us were apprehensive as to what we might find, but mostly we found our darker repressed sides that seemed so happy to see us. I remember reading about the shadow a few years ago based on Jungian philosophy, and that to know our true selves we must venture into the shadow and conduct what is known as self excavation into this darkness in order to receive more light. This again took me to a new area of liberation and freedom that no words can describe other than pure fearlessness.
To finish we were introduced to the final practice which was an ancient egyptian mantra which was breathed into the womb and sung out from the voice. It was a very powerful experience whereby we lay on our backs with a moving sound track of singing bowls and deep resonant sounds. It had only seemed like we were doing this for minutes but in fact we had been doing this for about an hour. As I closed my eyes at the end I felt as though I was transported to a different dimension whereby I felt lighter again and I had shifted into a completely new way of living and being.
Looking around the group members at the end, everyone was smiling, so many had released old stored up pain and now they looked radiant, shining and so very happy. One member had managed to cry and release old hurt and pain for the first time in her life! It really was the most amazing experience and one that I would do again and again. As a wonderful finale we got up early on the Sunday morning and grabbed our rain gear and took a 40 minute hike to the top of Knocknarea Cairn where Queen Maeve is reputed to be buried standing up. We engaged in a ceremony on top of this huge cairn and connected with the powerful Shakti Goddess buried deep in the land of Ireland.
As we departed I saw faces that were once wrinkled and worn through time and pain turned into shining smiles beaming a new light of truth. Now I really know the true meaning of the phrase, "All the answers we need are right here inside of us." And in the last place one would ever thought of looking! I now venture into life navigating from the womb, the true essence of my being and hold deep gratitude in my heart for Padma and MaRa who have so lovingly and through sheer divine dedication devoted their lives to bringing these truths through for all humanity to experience."