What does a solitary witch, a Catholic nun and a New Mexican truck driver have in common?
They are just three of thousands of American women who have participated in a “Goddess Playshop” developed by Australian author, Anita Ryan.
“All sorts of people have participated in my Playshops,” says Anita, author of www.goddess.com.au and The Goddess Guide to Chakra Vitality.
"Religion, race, age or even gender do not enter the equation – people from all backgrounds are working to make sense of their world by becoming more self-empowered from within."
And self-empowerment, according to Anita, is achieved by connecting with the ultimate source of power – the inner goddess.
"The search for the inner goddess isn't an ego-centric thing like wanting to be worshipped," she says. "It's more a way to understand your own femininity, strength and wisdom and to give yourself permission to assert these gifts to empower your life."
From personal experience Anita says one of the easiest ways to keep the inner goddess glowing is to keep balanced chakras – the energy centres in the body that perform important physiological and psychological functions.
“I use a range of tools in the Playshops that inspire the seven key elements of a balanced life: foundation, passion, vitality, connection, expression, trust and wisdom. These are all attributes of the major chakras and are a key to achieving a state of bliss.”
Insights into how to achieve balance in these areas are contained in the activities Anita presents in her Goddess Playshops.
The Chakra Oracle cards, for example, contain goddess “tips” for energising particular chakras, and the Goddessence essential oil blends are named after goddesses who reflect the ideals of an inspired life.
Below are the seven key aspects of life and suggested goddess energy to use to achieve balance.
Your base chakra forms your foundation – it is related to survival instincts, your sense of grounding and connection of your body and the earth.
“If your life is in turmoil, or your self-confidence is under threat, ask your inner-Kali to energise your willpower,” recommends Anita.
“Kali is the ancient Hindu goddess of destruction but represents strength, intention and insight. She helps you purge elements of destruction in your life and reclaim your independent spirit by directing your life onto a new path – your true path where you can discover health, prosperity, security and a dynamic presence.”
As the base chakra resonates to the colour red and is located at the base of the spine, wear red underwear, paint your toe-nails red, or stomp your feet in the earth to the beat of a primal rhythm. Use an affirmation such as “I am grounded and secure” to achieve a solid foundation for your life.
Passion for what you’re doing inspires creativity and a sense of self-worth.
Passion is about living with intention and being able to prioritise what really matters.
“It’s also about looking in the mirror and loving the person you see,” says Anita. “The feminine divine is housed in the sacral chakra, so learning to accept that you’re a wondrous woman no matter what your size or shape is an area a lot of women like to work on.”
The Babylonian goddess Ishtar is one goddess that inspires lovers everywhere to connect with the feminine divine. Her energy encompasses all that is ‘woman’ – nurturing mother, loyal companion, playful partner, dear friend, wise advisor, insightful leader and wild woman.
“In the Playshops I remind people that it’s OK to let their wild woman get air-time every now and then,” she laughs. “They love it – hips start rolling and gyrating and the laughing gets louder and more spontaneous, which of course are both great ways to energise the sacral chakra.”
Personal power is housed in the solar plexus chakra – the place where anxiety manifests as ‘butterflies’.
If you’re feeling manipulated or ignored, this threatens your self-definition resulting in reduced vitality. But when the solar plexus chakra is charged, it is easy to feel invincible as the life of the party.
“I liken this to goddess Pele’s energy,” says Anita, referring to the goddess whose spirit dwells inside the largest active volcano in Hawaii.
“Subdued one minute, fiery the next.”
Pele lies dormant until her energy is harnessed and unleashed – just like a woman who has asked herself the question, “is this situation really deserving of my fear?” Once a situation that has been crippling vitality is resolved, inspired energy is the result.
“If you look in the mirror and only see faults,” says Anita, “then that’s what others will see too. You won’t exude that aura of self-acceptance that promotes connection with others.”
And that, according to Anita, is one of the main reasons hearts get broken.
“How can you expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself first?” she says. “Get your heart chakra pumping with the Butterfly Goddess from the Pacific Islands, Hina.”
Hina represents meaningful communication and the sharing of truth between women and men. Her message is to forgive past transgressions and give up negative attitudes that prevent you from growing as a person.
“She helps you make the choice to be more heartfelt with others and fly free from the cacoon that binds you.”
There is a Celtic goddess called Rhiannon that caught the attention of her future husband while riding her mare one day. According to the myth, he rode for days to catch up with her, but it was only when he yelled out for her to stop that she did. When he complained, she simply said, ‘it would have been better for your horse had you asked long before this.’
“Her lesson is to ask for what you want, don’t expect it to land in your lap,” says Anita. “Rhiannon scorns those who do not, or will not, ask for what they want.”
One tool to help you find your voice and speak your truth is to wear lapis lazuli or topaz pendants. Express what is bugging you, or what it is you need – swallowing your words and keeping your voice locked inside doesn't help anyone, let alone your cause.
How many times a day do you find yourself churning over a decision you’ve made?
“Any self-doubt is a guaranteed way to block the third-eye chakra,” says Anita. “A healthy third-eye chakra lets you see the big picture and understand your place in the world, but first you must accept that your intuition, your inherent wisdom, has led you to make the right decisions.”
For this, Anita introduces Playshop participants to the Egyptian High Priestess, Isis.
“Isis helps you trust in your own intuition and wisdom and gives you the courage to act on your instincts.”
Access Isis’ energy by using a divination tool to confirm what you already know.
“This way you can prove to yourself that you are making the right decisions,” says Anita. “Then the next time a decision is called for you can make it with confidence and without that teeth-gnashing angst.”
There are many forms of knowledge – cognitive, emotional, intuitive, for example. But ‘wisdom’ is a whole new level of understanding that transcends the physical plane.
“It’s about understanding yourself and others, having a connection to the Universe, and finding a sense of oneness with all,” says Anita.
By entering the greater world beyond, that timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing, be warned: you may experience a sense of profound bliss.
“Nuit’s a great goddess to use for this purpose,” she says. “In one of the Playshop’s activities, I describe Nuit as a bridge between heaven and earth.
I ask participants to visualise reaching for the stars and falling into her loving embrace. It never fails – they always come out of the Playshops walking on air and in love with themselves again.”
** Ends **
Anita Ryan is the author of www.goddess.com.au and several hundred articles helping women feel beautiful, sassy and inspired. She is also the creatrix of various goddess-related products including the beautiful Goddess
PlayshopTM which she conducts throughout Australia, the USA and many countries around the world. She lives in Western Australia.
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