Goddess

Beauty as a Spiritual Practice: The 29 Day Taurus Challenge

What is the "Beauty Way?" How can the Taurus magic of beauty, embodiment and sensuality support our healthy personal practice?

The guiding principle of Taurus magic is, "Beauty as a Spiritual Practice, and Intimacy as an Art Form."

I first began my conscious initiation into the Taurus mystery school about 4 or 5 years ago. This exploration came around the time of my recovering from an abusive relationship and its associated wounds. Practicing the Beauty Way was enormously supportive of my healing path.

But my investigation went much farther than that: as I delved into the Taurus mysteries, I felt my way through a new way of being embodied in the world. For the first time, I allowed myself to fully receive in all ways, and experience visceral pleasure and enjoyment.

Taurus is the magic of the body, and how we experience the world through our senses. When Taurus magic is expressed and healthy, we allow ourselves to live fully in the body, experience true sensual pleasure (sensual=gratifying to the senses), and walk the Beauty Way. Taurus is the magic of receiving and devotion to the Self, simply for the sake of enjoyment.

As I explored the Taurus mysteries, I opened myself up to receive more and more beauty from the world around me. I savored delicious food, I dressed in soft fabrics, I enjoyed full belly laughter, I cultivated rich friendships and I explored Tantra and new practices of intimacy. I indulged in pleasure simply for pleasure's sake. I established my worthiness to receive compliments, affection, money, respect and affirmation.

Walking the Beauty Way has influenced all aspects of my life. Now, I look for beauty not only in the apparent (nature, poetry, love) but in the not-so-obvious: the art of running a business, the musicality of skillful conversation, the taste of learning new words and the texture of new ideas, the elegance of a well-organized home, the beauty of a still mind in total presence... you get the idea.

Artwork by Chani Nicholas

Artwork by Chani Nicholas

How can we witness more beauty in ourselves, in each other and in the world around us? How much can we open ourselves to receive?

Last year, I gave myself a personal challenge to practice the "Beauty Way" during the Taurus lunar cycle. Every day, I made it a practice to find, appreciate and share something beautiful. This led to so many rich discoveries and new layers of gratitude. I was delighted by taking pleasure in my life in a new way! The more I opened myself to receiving Beauty from the world, the more I found myself receiving in other ways, as well.

This year, as we approach next week's New Moon in Taurus, I am inviting you to join me in this challenge! What happens when we look for that which brings us pleasure? How much can we open ourselves to fully receive beauty? I challenge you to practice the Beauty Way with me!

Beauty as a Spiritual Practice: The 29 Day Taurus Challenge

Challenge guidelines:

  • The challenge starts at 4:59am on May 15 (Taurus New Moon) through 12:45pm on June 13 (Gemini New Moon).
  • Join the Facebook group here.
  • Post every day! Or as much as you like.
  • Share a photo or brief paragraph of something beautiful you witnessed or experienced, and what you received from it/how it contributed to your personal practice.
  • To be eligible for prizes, photos must be accompanied by a caption/takeaway. Paragraphs do not need to have a photo (but it is highly encouraged).
  • You can post multiple times per day if you like, but for contest purposes, I will only count 1 entry per day.

Prizes!

  • The person with the most eligible posts (most days walking the Beauty Way) will win one FREE 1-hour session of your choice with me! ($250 value)
  • The person with my favorite Beauty as a Spiritual Practice post will win one FREE 1-hour session of your choice with me! ($250 value)
  • The runner-up participants in each category will each receive one FREE 30-minute session with me!

I will offer examples leading up to the beginning of the challenge! Stay tuned for updates, ideas and start walking the Beauty Way!

Ready, set, GO!

I AM Here to Build an Empire of Love

I AM HERE TO BUILD AN EMPIRE OF LOVE.

I AM here to lay my passion, brick by brick, in the fertile soil. I AM here to trace mandalas with my feet in the shimmering sands and cultivate the foundation of Joy, upon which my Queendom will flourish.

I AM here to feel my heart race with the pleasure of becoming…

I AM here to sing the harmony of pack song as my wolf eyes gaze with fierce love upon my Empire. I AM here to feel the snakes flex and coil up my spine, arching my back in ecstasy.

I AM here to make love to Gaia by plunging my hands into her rich loam, embracing her towering trees and lapping up the sparkling nectar of her flowing streams. I AM here to receive dappled sunlight and playful breezes on my hungry skin.

I AM here to call my Tribe to me with the resonant beat of my heart drum. I AM here to coax the flickering tongues of whispering flame into a blaze that roars with Truth. I AM here to summon change with my howling incantations under the dark birth of a New Moon Rising. I AM here to shepherd willing souls through the Underworld.

I AM here to serve my thriving Queendom with steady purpose. I AM here to light the path for those who wish to see by the glow of my unfolding. I AM here to witness, in exquisite anticipation, my own journey of discovery.

I AM here, in time, to offer my human body in Death. I AM here to compost myself into fertile soil, upon which my children will lay the foundation of an Empire of Love.

Michelle Hawk, Shaman, Reiki Master in Portland, OR

Reclaiming the Dark Goddess

Originally published on Eagle Song March 14, 2016.

On Friday night I offered Priestess facilitation at a Goddess event in Portland. I created a space for people to compose prayers to the Goddess, spoke with attendees about their relationship with the Divine Feminine and helped them craft their intentions. The show featured DJs, live musicians and channeled ceremony. All the performers, live painters and facilitators were female.

In preparing for the event, I imagined that many people would interpret the Goddess in typical fashion: flowing, white fabrics, sparkles, flowers, and other symbols of the gentle feminine. My relationship with the Goddess (especially lately) has been much more influenced by the Dark Goddess, so I was determined to represent her in her powers of destruction and transformation. I wore a beautiful and slightly intimidating boar tusk necklace given to me by one of my deep medicine sisters, strung feathers through my wild hair and donned subtly shimmering black and purple clothes. (I’m not much of a “photo person,” so it wasn’t until after the event was over that it occurred to me that I should have taken a picture. Oh well.)

I was pleasantly surprised to have my expectations proven completely inaccurate! Most of the attendees looked dark and fierce in their interpretation of the Goddess, and as I spoke with people throughout the night about their relationship with the Divine Feminine, I found that many more than I expected were tuning into her aspect as Destroyer. Plenty of people are actively calling upon Kali to help bring about some serious change in their lives. I also welcomed the opportunity to discuss the Aztec Goddess Tlazolteotl and her Divine service through her role as the Filth Eater. Deep in conversation with someone about the Goddess as Transformer and hearing him passionately proclaim the need for societal revolution, I expressed my preconceived notion and how happy I was to see people reclaiming the Dark Goddess. He agreed completely. White, flowing fabric has its place, but now is a time for teeth and claws.

My favorite part of the show was the midnight ceremony facilitated by a woman called Lux Moderna. I met her backstage before she went on, and she told me that her entire dance performance is channeled in the moment as Spirit moves through her. During her time onstage, I felt like I was high. I could absolutely feel the energy she brought forth through the ceremony and the entire room was buzzing in response.

I had the opportunity yesterday morning to go to brunch with her, as she is staying with a friend of mine during her visit. Amidst our collective nerding out over the New Sacred movement and Goddess Spirituality, she brought up the Oracle at Delphi.

Brief history lesson: the Pythia (aka Delphic Oracle) was the name of the priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. This temple was originally built to honor Gaia, then was taken over by the Apollonians. The Pythia, who was always a woman, was held to certain standards of purity and dressed as a virgin to symbolize her readiness to form a union with Apollo. She was forced to inhale “sacred vapors” (fumes emitting from a volcanic vent beneath the temple), then priests would interpret whatever she said as a prophesy in exchange for money from whoever wanted to ask her a question. In other words, the house of the Goddess was taken over by the masculine and Priestesses were fetishized and forced into spiritual slavery. (For a very “Hollywood” interpretation of this, see the movie 300).

I’m not going to delve at all into whether the visions that she had came from a connection with Spirit or were drug-induced raving (but who’s to say that some of those ravings were not inspired by Spirit?). My point for the purposes of this article has to do with a potent example of the power of the Divine Feminine being seized, manipulated and sexualized by the out-of-balance masculine. For thousands of years, we (as collective humanity) have learned that “feminine” qualities include grace, beauty, virginity, gentleness, purity and nurturing. The Goddess was put in a pretty, little, white box.

So you can imagine my fierce pleasure the other night when I witnessed hundreds of women and men coming together to honor the Divine Feminine, and the predominant vibe was that of the Dark Goddess unleashed at last. Yes, the Goddess is all of those qualities listed above. But the Goddess is also destructive. The Goddess is ruthless. The Goddess is the embodiment of transformation: she receives the seed and transforms it into a tree, alchemizes solid rock into molten lava and composts decaying flesh into healthy soil.

The Goddess belongs to no one, yet lives in all of us. We are most able to honor and receive her when we embrace all aspects of her medicine–light and dark, creative and destructive, birth and death. Regardless of where we are on the gender spectrum, the Divine Feminine shows herself through us. How does the Goddess manifest in your life?

I am currently accepting clients for my three month long intensive transformation healing program, New Moon Rising. In our work together, you will receive energetic healing, coaching and practices to help you through your Spiritual Awakening or Deepening. Together, we will delve into your relationship with the Divine Feminine and Masculine and examine how you can balance them in your life in a healthy, constructive way. We all have an inner Masculine and an inner Feminine. It is time to honor all parts of ourselves so that we may be whole and healed, and honor all parts of the Goddess so that we may fully receive her medicine.

Contact me for a consultation to work one-on-one and commit to yourself and your journey.

Many blessings,

Michelle