Awakening Women Temple Training: Sacred Initiations

As SimoneRita declared one morning,
“There is nothing casual about Temple. There just isn’t.”
And what a gift that is. The gift of sacredness, of sanctity, of structure, safety, reverence, devotion, the gift of the goddess in all her exquisite mystery. We live lives so casual, so digital, so fragmented – while all the while craving togetherness and connection from a place deep within our hearts and wombs. Temple is calling us home.
When I heard myself say Yes to the training, I knew that it was a deep and powerful call to evolve the work I was already doing with women – and it is only now that I have brought these practices back into my community that I can begin to see the full power of what has been handed over. I’ve understood for a long time that women’s circle work is the only way to heal and transform the painful wounds that we carry as a collective: those of competition, jealousy, separation and comparison; added to my own story of an all-female boarding school where toxic relating tactics left deep trauma, Temple is a balm and a medicine that has quite simply transformed my life, and the way I relate to my sisters in this often crazy and challenging earth walk we call life.
My experience on the training was one of deep initiation into new ways of serving and experiencing what embodied feminine spirituality can look like at its most nourishing. There is so much beauty when we gather! The creativity, grace, intelligence, fierceness and sheer power of sisters gathering in leadership to serve one another and the goddess is extraordinary: together we are so much greater than the sum of our parts and we feel it. We are loving intuition, incarnate. And we are so brave. We show up not only for our own growth and healing but as the torch bearers, lighting the way for a reality we know is possible and which we long for so very deeply. And as we receive the practices, it becomes one which we can co-create together. 
Embodiment has always been a difficult journey for me and the level of touch we were exchanging throughout the week enabled the deeper wounds and core mistrusts that are beyond words or stories, to be gently transmuted into a physical remembrance of trust, safety, and acceptance. No mind-based work has allowed me this healing, and even one-to-one work has its limits. The collective embrace and holding of women reminds us of so much: of Ma, Gaia, the womb, and the Maiden, Mother and Crone within each of us… tenderness seduces us back to our essence and truth. Here, now, together, whatever.
Stepping into leadership and serving the group was also a gift – to be seen in this role and supported unconditionally sets the foundations for true self-belief and empowerment as a Temple mama. I am also grateful for the more left-brained elements of the training which are so fundamental to creating a deep and solid container – timings, order, playlists, planning… not always the easiest tasks for watery, dreamy creatrixes! But vital if we are to step into this role in the best way possible.
The training and immersion into the ways of Awakening Women have given me a way of being in sisterhood that is safe, loving and incredibly profound. Once we have tasted this way and this togetherness, we cannot go back. It is my hope that by sharing this I also cement that truth: should I find myself straying into the unholy territories of separation, gossip, comparison and the rest, I can come back – as we all can – again, and again, and again. Re-programmed with the codes we now carry in our bodies and our wombs, held by the manifesto and Chameli’s wisdom, and attuning ourselves ever more subtly to the teachings of the goddess, we can walk the world and serve our communities from a place of deep remembrance. We are reclaiming the ways we used to know, and the circle is holding us tight – like a shining thread of love and light weaving her gold around the earth.  
Together is the only way.

Xochi Balfour 

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