The Core Work of Woman Mysteries of the Ancient Future Sisterhood

by Vajra Ma

Priestess Arts Internship towards Teaching 
The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power
Back to  . . . about the TantricDance of Feminine Power

This article has evolved in response to women who have expressed their desire to teach the Tantric Dance of Feminine Power, the core work of our Priestess lineage and Mystery School Woman Mysteries of the Ancient Future Sisterhood. It has developed over a period of more than two decades and revealed itself as the vehicle for awakening a woman's power and refining her spiritual intelligence. It is distinct from other forms of moving meditation, even from what others may call "tantric dance." 

Because it is a spontaneous practice and often catalyzes rapid transformation, it is easy for a woman to think she knows the Dance before she really does. ‘Tantric dance’ today, also has become a generic term for widely divergent practices from widely divergent origins. To alleviate this confusion, I will convey a brief outline of the evolution of The Tantric Dance of Feminie Power over the past two decades. I will describe some of the effects and powers of the Dance as they have revealed themselves. Finally, I will try to describe some of the skills and qualifications a woman needs to pass on the Dance in its fullness.
Origins and Herstory of The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power

In 1985, I learned some of the fundamental elements of Tantra, namely receptivity, refinement, pleasure and “holding the energy”, from a from a middle-eastern dance teacher who, inspired by her spiritual guide, taught a spontaneous practice, called ‘tantric dance.’ 

Through my own explorations over a number of years the aspects of a cosmology, of devotional intention and vibrational frequency emerged and evolved to distinguish the The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power. Additionally, womb, heart, womb-heart connection, mudras (both hand and full-body), transmissions, healings, dancing for the benefit of all beings, the presence of the Dakinis became integral part of this practice. To further develop subtle body awareness I added a guided movement exploration in my classes; serving as a physical and energetic ‘warm-up’ before the witnessed tantric dances. Eventually, more phenomena manifested: soul retrieval, burning away karma, and in rare instances of grace the literal embodiment of Deity.

I discovered that dancing from the womb rather than focusing on the vagina, and connecting the womb and heart in a mutual exchange of energies brought through a different quality and register of frequencies. Likewise, I discovered that conscious devotional intention brought through an even higher and expanded register of frequencies. Devotional intention includes worship, humility, opening the heart in surrender and dancing for the benefit of all sentient beings. In turn, devotional intention generated transmissions--physical and emotional healings and awakenings of spiritual knowledge.

Eventually came the realization that this is an authentic yoga in the fullest sense of the word, that the highest teachings come through this practice and that The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power is a direct path to presence to Reality, enlightenment.

The way in which I teach the Tantric Dance has also been influenced and inspired by my study of Continuum (Emily Conrad D’oud and Susan Harper and their pioneering work in "internal movement"), and Ruth Gould-Goodman in her mastery of the subtle energies through movement and sound. 
My greatest teacher has been the Dance itself, as languaged through my own body and witnessed in the circle of women. 
The Dance in Its Fullness: Various Powers Manifest in the Dance

For every woman, the Dance continually opens ever so many layers, like the petals of a flower opening, an unending evolution of the Dance and one’s consciousness through practicing it. The Dance cannot be codified. It is a living, vital, life-long practice. 

Over the years, I have witnessed and experienced many powers and phenomena manifest through the Tantric Dance of Feminine Power. Personal, emotional,and sexual healing are only the beginning. The Dance is Tantric and Shamanic in the fullest sense. All the dynamics and effects of Tantra are operative -- opening of the heart, developing the subtle body with its chakras and nadis, integrating sexual energy with the heart, focussing of energies in the central channel and the condensation of inner nectar. We give and receive transmissions of spiritual knowledge and sexual and emotional healing. We perform magical workings, shamanic extractions, soul retrievals. We open ourselves deeper to the presence and vibrational knowledge of the Goddesses and Dakinis (Dakinis are the spiritual wisdom beings of the Tibetan pantheon.) Gradually, they make their presence and their wisdom teachings palpable through the Dance. We have experienced countless other unnamed and unnamable, yet distinct energy constellations.

Most importantly, in the Dance we embody deity. This is not a generalized feeling or state, but the direct experience of specific qualities and powers that shape the body in precise movements and postures creating a bio-circuitry in the body that transfuses the dancer with spiritual knowledge. Not to be confused with ego aggrandizement, this identification as deity is grounded in devotional intention and the humility of deep receptivity, not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of all sentient beings. In fact, if one does not dance with this devotional intention, one cannot embody the highest frequencies, for the highest frequencies emanate from divine love.
Requirements of a Guide (Teacher)

To pass on the Dance in its fullness and guide others through the rapid transformations it ignites, a woman must have achieved a certain level of skill both in the Dance itself and in languaging it. There is an accruing, a refinement, and a seasoning that comes only with entering into the Dance over and over and over again. But more than that, she must have evolved in her own consciousness and self empowerment. This evolution includes having unveiled and integrated much of her own shadow. It means having a keen awareness and feminist understanding of the underpinnings of patriarchal thought form in society, family, government, religion and economy, but most of all, in deep layers of internalized misogyny, held in the physical and emotional bodies. As patriarchy represses our natural state of pleasure and ecstasy, our divine essence, the Dance breaks patriarchal taboos against woman’s power and the sacred nature of pleasure. A woman who cringes at this full recognition, who cannot recognize and courageously acknowledge and creatively respond to misogyny, cannot pass on this Dance in its fullness.

The only genuine knowledge is direct knowledge. Everything else is a concept. The Dance is not a concept, it is a living practice taught primarily by vibratory transmission. Thus, the teacher is more than a teacher, she is a guide who knows how to hold an energetic space that is greater than the sum of the parts; she emanates a vibrational reality that permeates the atmosphere of the class. This vibrational presence affects the women and their dances at a level that is both subtle and profound. Most of the teaching happens at this level. It helps a woman navigate her sexual and emotional healing, the unraveling of patriarchal conditioning which is more insidious and pervasive than the woman probably first imagines. The guide knows the full spectrum of the aspects and layers of the work and is familiar with the potential pitfalls.
The Teacher/Guide has developed her own subtle body and has established a conscious womb-heart-third eye connection. She has developed discernment, the capacity to "read" a woman's energetic body and she can give lucid verbal feedback that will help the dancer move to her next level. The guide cannot rely on formulated steps or phases. Every woman and every class is unique and unpredictable. The Dance and the teaching of it cannot be codified. 
Above all, the guide must have unwavering devotion to the Goddess and to her own spiritual evolution. Only from this can she draw the strength to meet the challenges of teaching this practice and have the inspiration necessary to guide each woman in her unique process.
To Those Who Want to Teach

Learning The Dance and committing to the deep personal and spiritual development it will require is a long and arduous path. It cannot be measured by years or numbers of classes.
To teach the Tantric Dance of Feminine Power a woman apprentices by studying The Dance with a qualified teacher, she completes the Woman Mysteries Priestess training and is ordained as a Priestess. A qualified teacher and more information on the training can be found on our website www.GreatGoddess.org.

The terms Breath-Stretch, The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power, Womb-Sourced Yoga of Feminine Wisdom, Ancient Future Sisterhood, Woman Mysteries, Woman Mysteries of the Ancient Future Sisterhood and The Temple of the Great Goddess are marks of our identity with the public and are exclusive to this Priestess lineage.