We rediscover our place in nature as a species with a wildness all of our own, undoing the idea that we are separate from or above the natural world. Wildness is not domesticated or cultivated, but passionate and untamed. It lives through pleasure and play and bubbles through the wilderness in our emotions, imagination, gender, sexuality and need for intimacy. Dancing with our wild self opens up fresh edges for connection with awareness and overflows into vast reservoirs of creativity and intelligence in the world.
Wildness lives through pleasure and play. No pleasure is bad in itself. But the things that make for pleasure in certain cases entail disturbances many times greater than the pleasures themselves. Therefore, we give ourselves permission to experiment with pleasure, a process of discovery, exploration and ever deeper learning. We also work with containment to deepen and broaden the pleasures of wildness. For example, a river bubbles spontaneously because it is embanked and a flower opens its petals to the sun because it is rooted.
The video discussion above between Adam Bee and Jay Craver is part of a series on the book Kali Rising: Foundational Principles of Tantra for a Transforming Planet by Rudolph Ballentine.
Practice ideas for experimenting with your wild self.
Practice: We create experiments with our wild selves, intentional time for pleasure, whether erotic, sensual, spiritual or intimate. The play date is about connecting to, awakening and embodying pleasure through sight, taste, smell, touch and sound.
The facilitator guides the group through the following steps:
- Take a piece of paper and pen and list your desires in this moment. As I read through these questions, listen to your desires fully. We’ll cycle through the five senses twice.
- What do you want to touch? (Two minutes)
- What do you want to smell? (Two minutes)
- What do you want to see? (Two minutes)
- What do you want to taste? (Two minutes)
- What do you want to hear? (Two minutes)
- What has filled your dreams or imagination recently? (Two minutes)
- Use your list of desires and create a date with your wild self. (Ten minutes)
- If you’re comfortable, share the play date you created with the circle.
- After you’ve planned and shared your date, actually go on the date! Be present with the energies that touch your body to fill you with pleasure, energies that flow into and within your ears (sounds), eyes (forms), nose (aromas), tongue (taste), body (touch, emotions, sexuality) and mind (thoughts).
- Take time to reflect on how the pleasure experiment worked for you and how you could have deepened the experience.
Examples of play dates:
- I want to cook my favorite Italian meal and enjoy dinner with jazz music and my favorite Merlot.
- I want to make love with my boyfriend in a candlelit shower alive with the fragrance of cedar essential oil.
- I want to enjoy smelling the Lilac bushes at the Botanic Gardens.
- I want to wear my pup gear and be submissive to whatever my handler wants.
- I want to play with all of my erogenous zones while burning sage and listening to dance music.
- I want to swim naked in a lake under the full moon.
Practice: We use the energy that flows into our senses to work with emotion. For example, after identifying a situation that brings us fear, we bring the fear in our bodies into compassionate contact with the sound of the meditation mantra below, the scent of Frankincense and the light of a candle. Frankincense (resin of the Boswellia tree) has psychoactive properties that helps alleviate anxiety.
This mantra helps us work with fear. It calls on the powerful archetypal feminine energy in the form of Maha Kali—known as the mother of creation and destruction, the mother beyond time and space. She is a force of awakening, eternally devouring what is false and moving us only towards true reality. She illuminates for us how all darkness can be transformed.
Prepare by placing a censer with a charcoal tablet and enough candles for all participants on an altar at the center of the circle. Light all of the candles.
The facilitator guides the group through these steps:
- Hold a flame to the edge of a charcoal tablet on a censer until the edge glows red.
- Close your eyes and identify a situation in your life that makes you fearful. (Three minutes)
- Stay present with the fear energy within your body. Simply hold it compassionately. (Three minutes)
- Start playing the meditation mantra above.
- Add two or three pieces of Frankincense resin on to the charcoal tablets.
- Stay present with the sound of the mantra entering your ears. If your thoughts take over, simply return to the sound of the mantra in your senses. (Three minutes)
- As you breath in, imagine the sound of the mantra traveling from the base of your spine through your abdomen to your heart, infusing and touching your fear energy (Three minutes)
- Stay present with the scent energy of Frankincense flowing into your nostrils. If your thoughts take over, simply return to the scent of Frankincense in your senses. (Three minutes)
- As you breath in, imagine the scent of Frankincense traveling from the base of your spine through your abdomen to your heart, infusing and touching your fear energy. (Three minutes)
- Ask participants to get a lit candle from the altar.
- Stare into the flame of the candle. Stay present with the warm light flowing into your eyes. If your thoughts take over, simply return to the light energy in your senses. (Three minutes)
- As you breath in, imagine the warm light of the candle traveling from the base of your spine through your abdomen to your heart, infusing and touching your fear energy. (Three minutes)
- Once the mantra is over, add a few drops of Cedar or Pine essential oil to the charcoal tablet on the censer.
This practice can be used with other emotions. The craft in this practice is to learn how to pair the right essential oil or incense with an emotion. There are resources in Thin Places.
Practice: We sit in a circle and work with the five basic building blocks of emotion: anger, sadness, joy, fear, and shame. Participants are given a blindfold to eliminate distractions around them.
The facilitator reads emotions and action urges:
- Do you have anger visiting? Sometimes with anger, you want to attack? (30 seconds)
- Do you have sadness visiting? Sadness can cause you to want to withdraw or isolate? (30 seconds)
- Do you have joy visiting? (30 seconds)
- Do you have fear visiting? Fear can cause you to run away or avoid? (30 seconds)
- Do you have shame visiting? Sometimes with shame, you want to hide or avoid? (30 seconds)
Read the emotions and action urges through at least three times. This is a great springboard for a Heart Circle and the discipline of leading with, “I feel…”
Imagination is the ability to conjure up within our minds sights and scenes to delight the senses and open up the world in fresh ways. We encourage one another to nurture imagination, treasure fantasies and indulge in flights of fancy.
Practice: We use active imagination to explore our unconscious minds. This technique was pioneered by Carl Jung.
The facilitator guides the group through these steps:
- Think of a situation in your life where you need answers or pick an emotion you are experiencing. (Five minutes)
- Close your eyes and imagine descending in an elevator from the 16th floor. (The facilitator counts backward through each floor: 16, 15, 14…2, 1.)
- As you exit the elevator, imagine the scene in front of you. What are the sights, sounds, aromas, tastes and tactile sensations? Walk around in the scene for a while. (Five minutes)
- In the midst of the scene, allow your imagination to conjure up a character to speak with you about the situation or emotion you are experiencing. Ask the character, “What do you want?” and “What do you need?” Have a conversation with the character in your imagination. (Five minutes)
- When you are ready, return to the elevator and go up to the 16th floor. (The facilitator counts forward: 1, 2, 3…15, 16.)
- You may return in the elevator any time to conjure up the scene and character in your imagination and continue the conversation.
Practice: We use cuddle groups to increase the amount of touch and intimacy in our lives. Cuddling puts us in a naturally healing environment that results in calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits. Cuddling not only has amazing therapeutic benefits, but creates a unique place to experience the diversity of gay, bi, trans and queer identified faeries who are HIV positive and negative; and diverse in race, class, age, body and views.
Guidelines for cuddle groups:
Before You Arrive
- Come with an open heart
- Our events are drug and alcohol free (Oxytocin allowed)
- Arrive as clean as a daisy, you’ll be close to others
- Bring pajamas or sweats/tee shirt, you can change at the event (Street clothes are fine, but not as comfy)
- Bring some snacks and drinks to share
After You Get There
- Keep your jammies on mister
- Physical attraction is not relevant (say no to a suggested cuddle position, not to a whole person)
- It is OK to laugh, cry, nap, talk
- If something makes you uncomfortable, take a break and/or talk to the facilitators
- Mostly, just sink in and enjoy!
Practice: We bring supplies to share including lipstick, eyeliner, dresses, wigs, nail polish, panties, blouses, glitter, hats, etc. In pairs of two, we work to help a partner create a more androgynous look. Each person introduces their partner and discusses the creative process.
We end the evening chanting Praise to Androgyne by James Broughton, an American poet and poetic filmmaker, member of the San Francisco Renaissance and a precursor to the Beat poets. Broughton was an early bard of the Radical Faeries, as well as a member of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, serving the community as Sister Sermonetta.
PRAISE TO ANDROGYNE James Broughton Praise to Androgyne the All in One Praise to his unbelievable truth He loves us as we origionally were He loves us as we always are He is beyond the explicit He it the total union He is the transcendent single He is the doubles champion He is woman man He is goddess god He is the seeder and the seeded He is the Both He is the And He is the source and the sorcerer He is the her in the he He is the him in the she He is the two in the one He is the one beyond two Praise to Androgyne the Irreducible All Praise to his unbelievable truth He loves us as we origionally were He loves us as we always are
I Follow Rivers by Len Dreams
Filmed at Allo das Fadas, the Radical Faerie sanctuary in Portugal.
Practice: We organize an ecstatic dance party to empower faeries of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds to freely express themselves; a liberating atmosphere to create a melting pot of acceptance and the fearlessness. The facilitator can put together the dance music on a Spotify play list and even take suggestions in advance.
The facilitator opens the dancing:
- When you step on the dance floor, include your whole self, even the frightened parts.
- Allow yourself to dance through your pain and sorrow.
- Dance with joy until your hard edges and masks fall away.
- Meet other dancers and weave unbreakable threads of connection.
- As our dance weaves together community, understand that you are not alone.
Resources for exploring wildness.
- Alliance for Wild Ethics.
- “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality,” Gayle S. Rubin.
- The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love, Janet W. Hardy.
- Kali Rising: Foundational Principles of Tantra for a Transforming Planet, Rudolph Ballentine MD (Swami Ravi Rudra Bharati).
- The Sacred Erotic Podcast, Adam Bee
- Tantra Principle 7: The Healing Power of Pleasure
- Emotional Intimacy: A Comprehensive Guide for Connecting with the Power of Your Emotions, Robert Masters.
- Science for Sexual Happiness: A Guide to Reclaiming Erotic Pleasure, Caffyn Jesse.
- Himeros.TV, transform your relationship with sex and pleasure, produced by Davey Wavey in collaboration with sex and intimacy coaches for queer men Finn Deerhart, Brad Amberheart, Jason Tantra and Will Tantra.
- Giddi, sex toys (Three Souls gets 10% of your purchase).
- Adam Male, sex toys.