Why It Is Wise to Worship a Woman

Posted on Sunday 15 August 2010

Arjuna Ardagh

A few days ago, after a particularly exquisite evening with my wife Chameli, I put this post up on Facebook before going to bed:

“I have had many, many great teachers in my life. A super abundance. No one and nothing comes close to the woman who is now asleep in the bedroom. My marriage has become the guru, the salvation, the muse, the crack through which the divine shines through.”

When I woke up the next morning, there were the usual offerings of people who liked the post as well as comments. One man had the vulnerability and courage to post this on facebook:

“Thank you Arjuna for this sharing, I feel like [I’m] in front of a choice which is between feeling envious of what you have and I don’t, or instead to decide that ‘I want that too,’ and, as you show, it is possible…”

I was touched.

Over the next days, I got several more messages like this from men: vulnerable men, honest men, rare and courageous men. They came in as private messages on Facebook or through our website, and they all said basically the same thing: “I read your Facebook post. I want what you have. Show me how to get it.”

So, friends, here it is. The short guide on how to worship a woman, and why it’s the wisest thing that a man can do. First of all, lets pop a few very understandable doubts that you might have. I’m familiar with all of them.

1. “I’m wounded and damaged in my relationships to the feminine.” So am I, dear brother, so am I. My parents divorced in a messy way when I was four. I grew up alone with my mother. She did her very best to provide for me, but she was unhappy and insecure. By the time I started to have relationships with women myself in my early teens, I discovered that I had a mountain of resentments, fears, and separation in my relation to the feminine. The conscious practice of worship can become a part of healing the wounds.

2. “Arjuna, you’re lucky. You’ve got an incredible partner. I’m together with a woman who’s not like Chameli.” I really don’t have the ultimate answer to that doubt or question. It certainly could seem to be the case that I’ve been lucky in finding a great woman, but here’s how it happened for me. I’ve had a lot of less lucky connections in my life. I’ve experienced my share of the manipulative side of the feminine: the victim, the rageful, the vengeful. And I have seen the ugly side of the masculine psyche in myself. A few weeks prior to meeting Chameli, my wife, something deep and profound shifted in me, which I believe can shift for anyone in the same way.

3. “I don’t have a partner at all, and I sometimes doubt if I’ll ever meet anybody.” Being with a partner where worship is not flowing, or not being with a partner at all, are basically two aspects of the same situation: you’ve had an intuition or a glimpse of the possibilities of a deeper love, and you want more of it. The solutions are the same.

4. “I feel my heart is closed down. I live in my head a lot, and I wouldn’t even know what worship was if it broke into my house at 2 o’clock in the morning and held me at gunpoint.” That’s where the whole thing starts for all of us, when we realize that we don’t yet know how to love. And that’s that the big question that you have to consider: “Is that okay with me?” Never mind how much money you make, or how many friends you have on Facebook, no matter how nice a house you live in, or no matter how big a car you drive, no matter how impressive your partner’s bust size, or how much you meditate and become spiritual… have you loved for real, in a total and undefended way? If not, and here’s where you have to be honest with yourself, is that OK with you? Is it OK to die one day without the heart’s gift having been fully given?

Eight or nine years ago, I came to that question in myself, exactly that, and I discovered that the answer was, if I was was raw and vulnerable and uncomplicated, that it was actually not OK. If I died one day without having fully loved, it would not have truly been a life well lived.

Many many years ago, I went to Bali for a vacation, on my own. I met up with some other young travelers there and we hired a Jeep to take us on a tour of the island. We drove up right to the highest point of the island, where Tourists don’t usually go. Our guide took us to one of the most sacred temples. It was surrounded by a big brick wall with an ornate entrance. After removing our shoes and wrapping scarves around our heads, we stepped together through this entrance. Inside, there was a short courtyard and then another brick wall with another entrance. After more preparations of lighting incense and giving offerings, we stepped through the second entrance. We were allowed to go through the opening in one more wall, but that was it. All together there were ten walls around the deity in the middle. Hindus could go beyond the fourth wall. Devotees of that particular deity could go beyond the fifth wall, and so it went on. The only people allowed to approach the deity directly were those who had given their lives completely and totally to its worship. Everyone else could come a little closer, a little closer, to the innermost beauty, but not all the way to the center.

I’m not a big believer of the worship of statues, but there’s a beautiful symbolism to what I saw there, because a woman’s heart is just like that. At the essence of every woman’s heart is the divine feminine. It contains everything that has ever been beautiful, or lovely, or inspiring, in any woman, anywhere, at any time. The very essence of every woman’s heart is the peak of wisdom, the peak of inspiration, the peak of sexual desirability, the peak of soothing, healing love. The peak of everything. But it’s protected, for good reason, by a series of concentric walls. To move inwardly from one wall to the next requires that you intensify your capacity to devotion, and as you do so, you are rewarded with Grace. This is not something you can negotiate verbally with a woman. She doesn’t even know consciously how to open those gates herself. They are opened magically and invisibly by the keys of worship.

If you stand on the outside of the outermost wall, all you have available to you, like many other unfortunate men, is pornography. For $1.99 a minute, you can see her breasts, maybe her vagina, and you can stimulate yourself in a sad longing for deeper love.

Step through another gate, and she will show you her outer gift-wrapping. She’ll look at you with a certain twinkle in her eye. She’ll answer your questions coyly. She’ll give you just the faintest hint that there is more available.

Step through another gate with your commitment, with your attention, with the small seedlings of devotion, and she’ll open her heart to you more. She’ll share with you her insecurities, the way that she’s been hurt, her deepest longings. Some men will back away at this point. They realize that the price they must pay to go deeper is more than they are willing to give. They start to feel a responsibility. But for those few who step though another gate, they come to discover her loyalty, her willingness to stick with you no matter what, her willingness to raise your children, stick up for you in conversation, and, if you are lucky, even pick up your dirty socks now and then. And so it goes on. You’ve got the gist by now.

Somewhere around the second wall from the center, she casts the veils of her personality aside, and shows you that she is both a human being and also a portal into something much greater than that. She shows you a wrath that is not hers, but all women’s. She shows you a patience that is also universal. She shows you her wisdom. At this point you start to experience the archetypes of women, who have been portrayed as goddesses and mythological figures in every tradition.

Then, at the very center, in the innermost temple itself, all the layers of your devotion are flooded with reward all at once. You discover the very essence of the feminine, and in a strange way that is not exactly romantic, but profoundly sacred all the same, you realize that you could have got here with any woman if you had just been willing to pass through all the layers of initiation. Any woman is every woman, and every woman is any woman at the same time. When you love a woman completely, at the very essence of her being, this is the one divine feminine flame. It is what has made every woman in history beautiful. It’s the flame behind the Mona Lisa, and Dante’s Beatrice, and yes, also Penelope Cruz and Heidi Klum. You discover the magic ingredient which has lead every man to fall in love with a woman.

When you learn how to pay attention to the essence of the feminine in this way, you fall to the floor in full body prostration, tears soaking your cheeks and clothes, and you wonder how you could have ever taken Her, in all of Her forms, for granted even for a second.

So just a couple small questions remain. First, do you get what I’m talking about? Does it jive for you? Does it make sense? And second, if yes, how are you going to get from where you are now to being able to the full capacity of your heart to love for real? I’d be glad to share more about this if we get to know each other better, but here’s how you get started.
First, do what I did, and create an altar in your room dedicated to Divine Feminine. Put only symbols of the feminine on it. I have a painting called “Beatrix” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I have a statue of Quan Kin. Populate your altar with anything that reminds you of the feminine, and spend a few minutes of the day in worship. Yes, worship. Adoration. Devotion. Offer up rose petals. Offer poems. Offer everything, and beg Her to reveal Her innermost essence to you. This will work miracles whether you’re single and waiting to meet the right woman or whether you’re already in relationship and long to meet your woman in a deeper way.

The second way to get started: make a practice, a discipline, of telling your woman, or any woman, ten times a day something which you adore about her. “I love the smell of your shampoo.” “I love the way you laugh.” “The color of your eyes is so beautiful.” Of course, you need to keep it appropriate. You can go as far out on a limb as you like if you’re in relationship with a woman, but with anyone else remember the gates. Keep you communication appropriate to the gate number that you find yourself at. Appreciation the curve of a woman’s breast, for example, if she happens to be the cashier at the supermarket, would equate more to harassment than worship.
So here’s enough to get started. Of course, there’s a lot more we can say about this. Feel free to post your comments below, and I’ll use them as the foundation for future blogs.

Follow Arjuna Ardagh on Twitter: www.twitter.com/awakeningcoach

Anyaa McAndrew @ 10:43 am
Filed under: Of Interest to Couples andOf Interest to Men andOf Interest to Women andThe Divine Feminine

Diving Deeper Together: Couples Need Renewal!

Posted on Thursday 20 August 2009

By Anyaa McAndrew & Gary Stamper

We had time together a few nights ago to just relax and review the last several months. It has taken a toll on both of us to build and get into our new home, and my mother died in the meantime, and I said good-bye to my beloved girl-dog. I am in menopause and Gary is still finding his new identity in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina , far, far away from the familiar Northwest. We are finally at a place were we can let go a bit, and it’s now time for us to actually have some down-time together. We talked about our inner thoughts and feelings about life in these times and our immense appreciation of what we have created together. We have booked a short vacation in the fall, and another week in January.

We wonder what life would be like if we did not take those small and larger spaces of time together? In our couples work in the world, we sometimes see couples who really do not know each other very well. Perhaps they don’t make the time to talk deeply, or perhaps they’ve drifted apart. Some couples simply give up trying to communicate and make a lot of assumptions about what the other feels, thinks, wants and desires. Life gets way too predictable, and there seem to be no surprises left. But a boring relationship is often simply a lack of renewal-time. Just as we feel the call to do a cleanse or take a retreat, couples need time to go deeper together, clearing out the old misconceptions and renewing their connection.

We live in an intentional community with other couples, and we so appreciate the company of other two-somes, and it’s fun to talk about our relationships in an open and honest way with each other without violating boundaries.

We trust each other, and many of us have known each other for a long time, and perhaps even in previous lives. We plan things together such as meals and hikes and sometimes vacations, or projects where we teach together. Sometimes we do each other’s work, and learn from each other. I have come to really honor all of us as conscious couples and what we stand for. We have had so few authentically happy, close and couples to look to for how to make relationship work really well.

The couples that show up for our workshops are doing their work not only for themselves but for their children, grandchildren, parents and ancestors. We feel that relationship is a spiritual path; that it is where we wake up to our real selves, and get the chance to be our best self. If the climate in our relationship is emotionally safe, which takes daily work, we have a place to be who we really are, in our shadow and our light, good days and bad, dark nights and celebratory times. If the climate is not safe, we regress, repress and suppress our real selves, and our growth as individuals and as a couple gets blocked. Many people go to workshops and processes by themselves, to fill the need for a safe space to grow spiritually, and eventually the changes that happen will challenge the relationship. We see many couples who come apart because one of them refuses to do the work to keep current with their partner’s growth.

Anyaa facilitates women’s spiritual work, and Gary facilitates work with men. We feel these two paths are extremely important and necessary. Women need to individuate from the Patriarchal Society that has overrun our authentic feminine power and our inner spiritual authority. Men need to grow past the hard and soft patriarchies that have also numbed their souls, and reclaim their masculinity as Noble or Spiritual Warriors.

Couples need to learn to hold space for those separate paths, while also doing the profound work of relationship, diving deeper together as soul-partners towards what is called Sacred Union. The Planet is demanding that we all find a way to stand in our power and get along together, to resolve our differences and move to a place of dissolving meaningless ego-conflict for the highest good of all. Conscious Coupleship is the model for this. As more couples come together at a higher octave of forgiveness, understanding, safety, love and trust, we have more of a chance for peace. When couples come together in groups of couples, we learn from each other, and support each other’s relationships. Chances are, despite any problems experienced in relationship, you’re already with the right person – Now it’s just a matter of learning how use your relationship as a launching pad for your next realization. We feel it’s time to see couples as powerful spiritual beings unto themselves that can change the world, one couple at a time!

© August, 2009

Anyaa McAndrew @ 9:55 am
Filed under: Of Interest to Couples

Women’s Sexual Healing: From Feminism to the Divine Feminist by Anyaa McAndrew and Candy Hadsall

Posted on Tuesday 28 March 2006

We are priestesses. We are also feminists. In the 1970s and ’80s spirituality and feminism took separate paths. Subsequent changes have influenced us to want more than just power in the world. We want sexual power, freedom and pleasure. It is our birthright and the domain of the Sacred Feminine, the Goddess, the Universal Energy that is re-emerging.

We both come from political perspectives that know women are now standing on the shoulders of a worn-out patriarchal system that has repressed, denied and demonized women’s sexuality. Male dominated cultures down through the ages have defiled the Divine nature of the archetypes of the sacred sexual priestess and healer and made them into servants of pornography and prostitution. As priestesses we see the need for women to stand in their own spiritual authority, re-claim from the religious elite the right to stand between heaven and earth, and do ritual and ceremony with powerful intention for healing ourselves, our planet and all beings. We know this cannot work if we carry shame, abuse and blockage in our sexual centers because our sexuality is the source of our spiritual power.

(Continue reading…)