By Tiziana Stupia
Janie Rezner makes many excellent points in her interesting article ‘The Journey of the Soul into the Mother’. I’ve been researching the subject of renunciation for a while and would indeed agree that, in many cases, religious celibacy can be traced back to a fear of the feminine and the power of sexuality per se.
However, I feel that Janie has misinterpreted the Buddhist concept of ‘non-attachment’ somewhat. Non-attachment is not to be confused with ‘detachment’, the latter meaning avoiding emotional involvement altogether. In contrast, non-attachment does not equal non-involvement; rather, it is the understanding that everything on earth is impermanent and that it is therefore futile to cling to it. It consists of being calm and collected, even in stressful and painful situations; not attaching oneself to either pleasure or pain, as both will pass eventually.
Continue reading "Thoughts on Sacred Sexuality, Non-Attachment and Renunciation"
By Tiziana Stupia
I read Jill Smith’s article on the appropriateness of importing Celtic Goddesses into the Southern Hemisphere with great interest.
The relevance of invoking foreign deities in our land, as well as worshipping ours abroad, is a topic I have given much thought to recently. To answer this question is complicated, because, as Jill points out, first of all we need to establish what we believe God/desses actually are. Are they manifestations of the spirit of place, are they archetypes, energies, concepts, or actual beings with distinct traits and personalities? Or are all God/desses representations of one Divine Energy, one Truth, one Source?
I agree with Jill that certain deities can be manifestations of the spirits of place, and that these spirits often have specific relevance to a particular land. In some power places, for example Glastonbury, Avebury or on The Isle of Lewis, this energy is stronger than in others. When visiting such sacred sites, respect and consideration for the spirits and energies that inhabit them is very important, even if we do not know their names or what they represent. This became very clear to me when I recently spent five months in the Indian Himalayas. There, the Hindu deities are extremely powerful, especially in the mountains and rivers, because millions of people worship and honour them several times daily and believe in the sanctity of those places. With such a high concentration of devotion, the presence of the deities is tangible. During my time there, I developed a solid relationship with the Indian God/desses and learnt some of the Vedic rituals and devotional ceremonies. When I returned, I took the vibrations of these deities with me, and I still honour them daily in my practices, even though I am now in the UK.
Continue reading "A Meditation on the Import and Export of God/desses into foreign lands"
by Tiziana Stupia
In western Sicily, perched high on a steep mountain called Erice, once stood a magnificent and illustrious temple dedicated to the Goddess of Love, known successively as Astarte by the Phoenicians, Aphrodite by the Greeks, and Venus by the Romans. This temple stood for over a thousand years and a sacred fire always burnt from its enclosure, so brightly that sailors used it as a guiding beacon. It was here that the Priestesses of Venus served the Goddess with their bodies through the art of sacred prostitution, a spiritual practice that included the celebration of the sacred marriage rite. Today, sparse remains of this remarkable temple can be found in the Castello di Venere, a twelfth-century Norman castle incorporating some of the original foundations.
Continue reading "Salome re-awakens: Beltane at the Temple of Venus in Sicily"
A Meditation by Tiziana Stupia
Ground and centre, or prepare for meditation in your usual way.
You are walking along a rugged path atop a cliff, looking out over azure seas, sparkling faintly in the fading light. A large stone building comes into view and you aren't sure, in the deepening dusk, quite what it is, it seems to change from ancient to modern and back again as you squint and try to make it out.
As you approach, music can be heard, and a wonderful fragrance of jasmine drifts towards you. A little unsure, you approach the entrance, and hope no-one will mind if you follow the sweetly singing voice …….
Continue reading "Salome Speaks"