Episode 13

Sovereign Subscriptions for 2020

This episode explores the shift of the Sun into Scorpio, Vesta into Virgo, Black Moon Lilith into Taurus, and Venus entering Libra. As we penetrate the Samhain seasonal gateway, the power of the Taurus Full Blue Moon on All Hallow's Eve demonstrates how unique 2020 is. This is the time of the Ancestors and the season of the Witch. The technology of Kundalini Yoga is discussed in conjunction with the abuses of Yogi Bhajan, and Mina Bahadori and I discuss this topic at length. Finally an Ancestral Healing meditation will assist you in integrating this deep episode that mirrors the importance of these times.

Timestamps

Astrology 14:14

Kundalini Yoga and where I am with teaching 49:06

Interview with Mina 01:28:02

Guided meditation 02:45:18

Show Notes

Connect with Mina Bahadori

instagram @mysticalmina

website mysticalmina.com

Read the Olive Branch Report

Read Premka: White Bird in a Golden Cage

Consider joining Beyond the Cage: The 3HO/Yogi Bhajan/Kundalini Yoga Aftermath fb group

Philip Deslippe’s research includes the article: From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric: The Construction of Yogi Bhajan's Kundalini Yoga 

Here are some links if you are interested in helping to sustain the work:

Book Your Divination Session with Ra Ma.

Visit EarthSeed Temple Arts and Ra Ma's mystery school to learn more.

Love offerings are welcomed venmo @ramatribe

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patreon.com/ramatribe

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Transcript
Ra Ma:

Welcome to stars, stones and stories. I am your host Rama and together we are weaving Ancient Future wisdom as we birth the New Earth. If you are into astrology, cosmology, living mythology, earth based spirituality, Kundalini technology and ancestral healing, you are home. If you stumbled upon this podcast and are new to these topics, this is sovereign sanctuary to expand and deepen your wisdom. As a cosmic priestess, I witnessed many at the threshold of great transformation. I specialize in astrological divination, sacred site activations and priestess arts for the Aquarian Age. You may learn more about my work at Rama tribe.com Or follow Rama tribe on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and support the work at patreon.com/Rama tribe. This community is your opportunity to claim your story, your unique identity and power knowing that you are the hero of your own journey. You are a hologram for the collective and you matter. The world needs your gifts and creativity now more than ever/ Crystallize your medicine.

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Right Action supersedes all'. In this episode, we're going to dive into our current astrology as the sun has shifted into Scorpio, Vesta into Virgo, Black Moon Lilith into Taurus. Venus will soon be entering one of her home signs of Libra. We'll talk about that and this Taurus full blue moon that comes on October 31, Hallows Eve, the gateway of Samhain. We'll also connect with mercury going direct, and as a whole, just the seasonal gateway that we're entering in this Season of the Witch and the ancestors. I'm also going to share quite deeply with you about my journey with Kundalini Yoga, where I am with everything. Given that I've had time to deeply reflect since I found out at the end of February about these allegations against Yogi Bhajan. And in that I interview Mina Bahadori. She does these weekly interviews on her social media Instagram platform at mystical Mina, where she's been interviewing a broad spectrum of people within the Kundalini community and even some others and other spiritual lineages about toxicity and abuse and trauma. And I really recommend you take a moment and check her out on Instagram and stay tuned for our interview together. And even if you're not interested in the Kundalini community, I think you'll find value in hearing what I have to say and hearing about how Mina and I converse. Because this is a prism on the kaleidoscope of life, where people give their power away to teachers, to gurus and what can happen when we as a collective do that. Finally, we'll integrate everything with a ancestral healing meditation But before we go there, I just want to help you connect with this definition of sovereign. Sovereign relates to of the most exalted kind, having power of an unqualified nature. Having this ascendancy, being unlimited an extent, being one who can enjoy autonomy, and one who is like the supreme ruler. And for me when I connected with the concept of sovereignty, it is all about how each one of us has been asked to embody our own sense of personal power through instinctual intuition, through right action, and through deep, deep intelligence and creativity. So this is a very juicy episode. It's dense, it's long, there are timestamps. So please, you know, don't feel like you have to listen to the whole episode at once. Take your time with it. And I'd love to hear from you. And I'm just so grateful you're here as a part of this community.

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Ancestors, ancestors, ancestors we call to you, we call to you, we call to you. We're so grateful for your lives. And we know we cannot do this alone. We cannot do this without you. So we welcome you. We welcome your backing and your genius solutions to pour forth like sweet Ambrosial Nectar from the other world. Thank you, ancestors, thank you for your gifts, your trials. Thank you for providing the shoulders upon that which we stand upon. Thank you for your support, seen and unseen in these times. And we welcome in the powers and spirits of the east the element of air, the powers and spirits of the South, the element of fire, the powers and spirits of the West, the element of water, the powers and spirits of the North, the element of Earth. We welcome all of the directions and all of the keepers of the directions. We ground into Mother Earth, and from this anchored space, where we are connected and fully immersed in our sense of belonging. We gaze up into the cosmos and we welcome in all the planetary beings, the luminaries, all the Goddess and God asteroids, our starseed nations, and our guides and our guardians of the holiest in the highest calibers, so walk with us in the secret journey of life.

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Thank you to each one of you for being here. There are now over 1500 and growing original listeners who have circled up to journey through this podcast stars, stones and stories spread across over 42 countries including Turkey, Nepal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Tanzania, Costa Rica. Dominican Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Iceland, Iran, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Austria, Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Bangladesh, Italy, Myanmar, France, Japan, Ghana, Hungary, the Philippines, Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, the UAE, Thailand, Denmark, Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada, India and the United States. I am grateful to each one of you. And I would love to hear from you. In fact, I'm going to be offering a giveaway from this episode. And the giveaway is available between now when the show goes live on October 23, through Thursday, November 5. So that's two weeks, essentially, until I launch the next podcast, which will be on Friday, November 6. So you have potential to step into this portal, you must send me an email by Thursday, November 5, at noon, 12pm Eastern Time Zone, okay. And what I'll do is who I will pick one person at random, and what I would love to receive from you is some feedback about the show what you wish there was less of what you love, any constructive feedback, you have any show submission ideas or specific questions I may address and future episodes. And I'll choose one person to share one of my space clearing mist, I make really beautiful mist that have sacred Holy Water, and different essential oils and a lot of prayer and intention and beautiful ingredients in them. And these mists really transport you to different places. So please send me an email Satnaam to Ramakaur.com. And yes, it has to be an email, okay, no DM's about this. And let me know what you think. And I'll pick one person at random. And I'll send you a special little gift in the mail. And if you feel called to support this work, you can find me on patreon.com/Ramatribe, or you can book one of my services, I would really greatly love to increase the supporters of the show, I spend a lot of free time, my free time, the little free time I have to craft podcasts for you. And I definitely consider it my artistry and I love sharing in this way with you. And I also want it to be sustainable. And I want to continue to make it even better and better. And to eventually have more sophisticated equipment and perhaps even have someone do the editing for me and do some of the back and admin work that goes into crafting the podcast because like this episode, here tonight, when all is said and done, it will probably be at least 20 hours that I've devoted for this one episode. So mutual reciprocity makes the world go round. And I love your support. And however it feels doable for you at this time sharing on social media, picking a few friends and sending them the link to my podcasts and why they should listen, all of those are ways of helping and again, I'm just so grateful you're here because the show only moves forward with real authentic listeners. So thank you so much.

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The sun has just entered Scorpio and Vesta has just entered Virgo earlier in this week as I'm recording this episode on October 23. Friday Venus day. Also the asteroid goddess Black Moon Lilith has entered Taurus. So as the sun slipped into Scorpio our collective purpose dives into the depths for metamorphosis, Scorpio the archetype of the Scorpion that which is quite instinctual, primal, ready to attack To protect at any given moment, the archetype of the snake life, death and rebirth renewal over and over again as the snake literally sheds its skin to be reborn. Scorpio, the archetype of the eagle. The vantage point, one who rise rises above and is able to see this greater network. And, as the great transformer guides us into the most hidden and complex spaces, deep psychological spaces that we are in mercury is in the middle of Retrograde in Scorpio. And so soon the Sun and Mercury will come conjunct and Juno, the asteroid Goddess of sacred sexuality of what we want in divine partnership is in the sign of Scorpio. And so there's a real cosmic alignment to go into the depths here and now. Meanwhile, Mars is retrograde in Aries. And as we look to traditional ancient astrology, Mars rules both Aries and Scorpio. So this is a season that is very much ruled by our instinctual abilities, our intuition, our vitality, our lifeforce, and it's a beautiful time to really ask how do we use our sacred lifeforce? How do we defend rightful territory? How do we hone in on truth and acknowledge it and rise it above the surface? Vesta, our devotional commitment, the great goddess asteroid of the Vestal virgins, who served intended the sacred flames. Vesta has translated into practical and discriminating Virgo. And so Vestas devotion, goes towards refinement, to analyzing, to knowing, to seeing clearly everything that is naked and knowing exactly that which is working, and that which is not, and to have that willingness to make the shifts that are necessary. And then Black Moon Lilith, the dark goddess, the moon's elliptical vortex, the orbits, and Black Moon Lilith is eventually as we get deep into her space, all about power and control and how we use our resources, and how we learn to allow our shadow to become a teacher. As we integrate that shadow, we become even more whole and more full. And Black Moon Lilith and Taurus brings in this collective shadow, a fear of scarcity, a feeling of not having enough and seeking to fill the void. So this is a very sacred time on Earth to honor the abundance that is all around to honor the fact that Mother Earth and all of her beings give over and over again and give so freely.

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And that we as humanity must work together to make this world feel more safe, to feel a natural bounty that the earth provides, to find ways to celebrate all that we receive on a daily basis. And from this arises the question how can you utilize that which is dissolving and the wounds the traumas of the past as a platform of power to hone in on your own service and devotion in these times? Earlier today, this Friday on October 23. On Venus day, the moon moved from Capricorn to Aquarius. It is a waxing moon that has entered into the first quarter phase. So the intentions from Libras New Moon, the roots of these intentions are now going down into the earth. As the stems and leaves are becoming more and more awakened. We are clearing obstacles, which at times may feel like another crisis point. So at this time you might feel many small crises in your life or many large crises in your life. And now is the time to stay focused and solution minded. If fear arises, remember that the Aquarian lunar energy is here to offer radical creative insights and reminds you to dance to the beat of your own unique drum. May that beat sync up with the beat of your heart. By Monday, this moon enters mystical and dreamy Pisces and begins to approach Neptune. This is a beautiful time to recommit yourself to your high ideals and take at least one action step forward towards these dreams. On Tuesday, October 27, Venus enters Libra, Venus, goddess of love, harmony and the beauty way, transits into one of her two home signs. Libra, the other one being Taurus. Libra is concerned with relationships and has a deep need to cooperate with others to initiate social elegance. However, Libra is quite intellectual, very much in the head it is an Air sign. So this frequency tends to act in a very mental way that wishes to control relationships, through rules and objective observation versus from the emotions. For the next month for the next month, Venus will offer an elevation to our friendships, our love our business partnerships, all through balanced negotiation, cooperative sharing, and easygoing exchanges. And as the week ahead continues, we find ourselves approaching the Taurus full blue moon. This is the second full moon of October, we open to the month with the Aries full moon and that full moon was quite powerful because the moon was in Aries, The sun was in Libra. And Chiron was very closely conjunct that Aries full moon and so there was a lot of wounding coming up to the surface to be healed. And all month long we've been really going deeper and deeper into some of these traumas. As Mars is retrograde in Aries. There is a real powerful potential right now to heal with the Divine Masculine frequency. And this Taurus bull blue Full Moon. Yes, it is a bull blue full moon because the archetype of Taurus is that of the bull. I like to think of this luscious bull lying in this beautiful field.

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Filled with grass, green, verdant grass and there's this dewy moisture, the full moon is out and there's a nice moisture in the air there's a warmth and at the same time the grass feels cool and you can smell all the sense of nature as it is almost dawn and there are so many flowers and so many sounds of the natural world and that natural pulse of the rhythm of Terra Gaia. This Taurus full Blue Moon happens when two full moons are in the same month at the same time the same month. We call it a Blue Moon and the Sabian symbol for nine degrees Taurus is a full decorated Christmas tree. This Sabian symbol points to our innate ability to create happiness in dark hours to have faith in the cycles of creation. And that renewal is always present and prevalent. And I love this frequency for this full moon. As we go deeper and deeper into Scorpio season, we traveled down into the swamp land into the inner swamp land of our own psyches. It is a powerful time in 2020, we have been through so much in this year. And yes, there is more to go there is more to journey. We need you here with us awake and present. And in solidarity to the process that is before each one of us. As you still stay committed to your devotional path, it creates a frequency that engages your brothers and sisters around you to stay committed as well. So this Full Moon is going to be very surprising. It will have strong Uranian elements to it. And with that, there is also a lot of shadow coming up to the surface. As Black Moon Lilith is in Taurus. So, Black Moon Lilith will be at just a little over one degree of Taurus, the moon at eight and a half degrees of Taurus, and Uranus, just less than, like five arc minutes away from the moon. So if you've been following me in this astrological journey and the teachings that I offer alongside of it, Uranus first dipped back into Taurus. In our recent time, it was in May of 2018 on that Taurus New Moon, May of 2018. So just take a moment if you're able to close your eyes and if not, don't close your eyes, keep them open. But take a moment and consider like 'Where were you in May of 2018?' It was close to the middle of the month.

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And Uranus came out of Aries and went into Taurus and hung out there for a number of months and then went retrograde back into Aries. And then in early of 2019 Uranus moved into Taurus for like the next six years. And we've been on this journey with Uranus and Taurus. Uranus is really we could say heralder of the Aquarian Age, Uranium Energy is very electric. It brings forth genius solutions. It is surprising, it is shocking. The thing you think it's going to do it will not do it we'll do another thing that you never even considered. You might think you can outsmart Uranium Energy however you cannot. However, please do not fear. Uranian energy brings forth sudden change and the change is always for our greatest good even though it may not seem like it in the present moment. And there are times where Uranium Energy comes in. And it's fantastically obvious how beneficial the change is. It's surprising and it's unique and very creative very outside the box very avant garde and in the sign of Taurus it is asking us to be here now on this earth. Yes, yes we all here listening are star seeds. We are connected to the great cosmic sea above us. However, we have incarnated to be in these bodies in these times on this earth for a reason. And this Taurus blue full moon is going to help bring you more present to your path. And remember a full decorated Christmas tree, that there's the ability to create this inner happiness in the darkest of hours. It is essential to have faith in the cycles of creation and that renewal is always there, right around the corner. And so with Black Moon Lilith, in Taurus, we are going into that shadow of where we feel like we do not have enough and so you might be feeling at this Full Moon which comes in on Halloween, All Hallows Eve, October 31st, Saturday at 10:49am you may be feeling where you do not think you have enough. And this lunar cycle as we have planted these Libra New Moon seeds in their ripening the sun is illuminating the shadow for us it is an opportunity to go back to your devotion to go back to your gratitude and to see that which is working before your very eyes. Now the Scorpio Sun is conjunct Juno in Scorpio. So, this Goddess of sacred sexuality is close to the sun where we are most conscious collectively. And again, this is about metamorphosis. This is about the awakening of Kundalini energy. It is about awakening our sacred lifeforce. The moon and Uranus both Trine Vesta. So bringing us back to our devotion. Come back to the devotional signature always, the devotion is the way forward and giving gratitude feeling good about that which is working in your life will create so much more flow and freedom. Now in this Taurus blue full moon, the asteroid goddess Eris, the goddess of discord, that force that brings the hidden or the spaces where we are trying to ignore to our complete awareness, squares Pluto, god of transformation, the contemporary ruler of Scorpio of Juno and the sun at this time. And so

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there will be most likely sensations of tension and we've just been living in tension. Tension has become the new normal. And I would just like to invite you to consider how tension creates a space of action. Tension creates creativity. And how in some of the tensest of times the greatest solutions come forth. So again, please stay devotional. And Venus is in Libra and Venus is the ruler of this moon, and Uranus and Black Moon Lilith at this time. So there will be a focus on the ways that you relate in all the ways whether through friendships, love business, relationships, just passing someone along the street or at the grocery store at the market. And so how you relate to others is so significant at this lunar illumination. And again, I'm just going to insert here please stay devotional in your high hearts. It is the way forward and so we come to the season of All Hallows Eve of Samhain. The calendar day of Samhain is October 31. And the day after is the Day of the Dead. Solar Samhain will come later on Friday, November 6, and lunar Samhain will come with the Scorpio New Moon. So we find ourselves right now coming to the end of fall equinox of the season of fall and the season of Mabon. The leafs have dropped or are still dropping their energy down and all of the energy of the plants is going back down into the ground, into the roots.

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This is the time of the lung element. The lungs in the body store unfulfilled emotions particularly grief. This is the time of year where grief is heavy as leaves and fruit are continuing to fall from the trees. And so we come to the time of year when ancestor season is fully alive. When the gates to the other world began to open and the veils then more and more. Samhain, hallows eve, all souls night, the Feast of the dead, the festival of remembrance. This is both the ending and the beginning of the Celtic year. This is the time of year when the grandmother, the Grail mother, becomes Crone. And as we go through the cycle of life maiden, mother, Crone - the wise woman within, the wise man within, the wild wise archetype within, is called upon. And so we may also ignite that archetype of the snake, the great serpent medicine as an underground aspect of the sun that is connected to this time of year. The dark Goddess, and the dark itself became demonized in the Middle Ages. The concept of hag of crone was once a holy woman, a wise woman, a healer, a shamanic traveler of time and of space, a shapeshifter. Here we are in the Season of the Witch in the times that we live in where so many of us are clearing, the memories, the soul memories of being burned at the stake of being drowned, of being killed for just being simple, wise healers, wise women wise men.

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And, as we know, this is also the space of the ancestors, this time of Samhain is our portal to the other worlds. In the other world, we have a gateway to the unseen, to the Fae to the little people, to the Kontomble, the elves, to the genie, to the city, and the little beings of all kinds, the salamanders, the Pixies, all the beings that tend the Earth, the nature spirits, that so many pretend do not exist. However, they exist in the spaces between the places. And as we speak of other world, mercury, as we know is Retrograde in Scorpio. Mercury as psychopomp has gone into the other world to receive messages from the gods and the goddesses, from my holy guides and guardians from our ancestors, messages to bring back to our realm to bring back to the front of our psyches, the front of our consciousness. And we have a unique opportunity right now to reflect upon the past. Taking you back to last October of 2019 When Mercury was also Retrograde in Scorpio. Major healing can occur now if you are willing to dive into the depths and follow the trail of alchemical gold. This is a time to trust your intuition to trust your instincts to witness that which is coming forth to receive the messages to receive the lessons. The messenger god Mercury, who symbolizes I think, the Swift god Hermes, who is also Thoth, Tahuti with this ability to travel between the realms to ignite how we speak how we learn how we reason with others, how one acquires knowledge and formulates concepts and communicates these concepts and Mercury in Scorpio wishes to dive into the depths to penetrate and probe beneath the surface to the heart of that which is real, erotic psychological and complex. Mercury went retrograde in the sign of Scorpio on Tuesday, October 13 at 9:05pm. And at the Sabian symbol of 12 degrees Scorpio, that translates into an official embassy ball. This is all about group consciousness as it flowers at the highest level in cultural interchanges between representatives of the elite of the ruling class. So this broadcast of mercury going retrograde is an official embassy ball. Mercury goes back into the sign of Libra on October 28 at 1:33pm and mercury will go direct on November 3, at 1751. That's eastern time all of these times are eastern time zone. And when Mercury goes direct mercury will be at 26 degrees Libra and the sun will be at 12 degrees Scorpio. So if you're following me, when Mercury goes direct, the sun will be at the same degree that mercury went retrograde at. That is phenomenal. This is an official embassy ball. Election Day vote.

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For all of us here in the United States, it is important to vote. However, know that each one of us around the world we vote in our life with how we utilize our sacred lifeforce, how we utilize our sacred energy, our vitality, where our thoughts go, and the currencies that we live within how we spend our hard earned money is a reflection of our votes every single day. And so the official embassy balls will continue to go on and on. However, each one of us as citizens Global Citizen citizens of Mother Earth of Terra Gaia, we vote every day in so many ways. And so allow that embassy ball to continue. But stay focused on your high hearted dreams and your visions. Sovereign subscriptions for 2020, how right action supersedes all. The way that I relate to astrology is that it is a tool of modality as a way to get right with self. It is an opportunity to take the higher road where the solutions lie. In these times we are being asked to rise from me too we and to look at that which benefits both. Here in the American West, we have fires burning, and the element of fire can access to the ancestral realm. In one way we could say that the ancestors are asking humanity to wake up. The other world is shaking us awake on so many levels in our lives. And this makes me think about indigenous people's day that in the United States has been termed Columbus Day and was re ignited as this way to celebrate indigenous wisdom. And just how backwards it is that there is only one day that we do this as a collective of Americans and how most of the collective of Americans doesn't. They still acknowledge Christopher Columbus as a hero, when we know that he was far from a hero. He was one who caused a lot of genocide and a lot of pain, colonial behavior that we are still living in the ramifications of in the here and now. And here in the United States and North America, many cities there are claims landmarks were consciously built upon the sacred burial grounds of the Native Americans, often by the hands of black and brown bodies. Within the US, we are living in the midst of our Pluto return as a nation. Before our very eyes, everything is dissolving. Eventually, all truth is known. The patriarchal oppressive paradigm has worked methodically to drum the collective into a belief that whiteness is normalcy. American supermarkets are lined with white refined sugars, white flowers, white corn meals, and an assortment of produce that has been whittled down to one variety. Many things are bleached, from napkins to paper towels, there's just this constant, subliminal messaging around the whiteness of everything and stripping all of the varieties and species down to one variety, one kind. And this has been spread like a virus from America, across the world. So that local native herbs, local indigenous wisdom of the plants and foods, the vegetables that grow in each unique habitat, have been disregarded for their inherent medicine.

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None of this is normal. None of this is healthy, it is systematic. And here we are, and 2020 arising from this deep slumber collectively in a way that we have yet to. And so we think of this time of grief. And we have this opportunity in astrology as a collective to really start to think about everything in such a newfound way with a depth and a social responsibility. May you start this healing journey in honor and remembrance of your ancestors and the lands they came from. May you find a way to give gratitude for the shoulders of the giants you stand upon. May You give gratitude for the true stewards of the land you live upon. And may we all do our part in the sacred web of life, for this time to take our power back.

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The last few months of 2020 are deep, holy and cathartic. We are culminating not only a year, but truly an entire paradigm. To live in these times is painful, uncomfortable, overwhelming, yet unbelievably sacred. As we are less than two lunar cycles away from the great conjunction, we are coming to our entry into an innovative unorthodox cultural renaissance, the forces of adversity with like nothing but to distract you with a masquerade ball, a circus act an embassy ball, the challenge if you are willing is to stay committed is to live in right action to raise and rise above the frequency to stay focused upon your greatest aspirations.

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So, I want to speak about Kundalini yoga. Now, and for a number of listeners, this topic may not be of interest, it may not apply to you. And so I invite you to find the timestamps and there it will be a beautiful, guided meditation towards the end of the podcast that will bring everything together. However, I know a number of you out there listening have known me for some time and you know that I've taught Kundalini yoga and meditation for many years. And so, I want to share with you some things that have been on my Heart and where I am with the practice. So as many of you know if you know about Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan, brought the technology of Kundalini Yoga, from the east to the west in 1969, first to Canada and then he arrived in the United States in the West in 1970. And from there, he offered this yoga that became so much more than a yoga system, it became a series of ashrams all over the world and teachers and a network of teacher training through Kundalini Research Institute, a community called 3 H O was created to represent the three H's for the lifestyle of healthy, happy and holy. There were schools, including a boarding school, Mary Perry Academy in India, where his devotees would send their children when they were young. Many people who followed him when he was alive, became Sikh. And there was a whole Sikh religious thread as well through the community. There was very well known community in New Mexico, Guru Ram Das Puri, and in Los Angeles, in the neighborhood that I lived in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood where I gave birth to my daughter many years ago. And that's just a tip of the iceberg of how deep the network goes. In fact, if you drink Yogi Tea, that was started by people in the community, if you've eaten Peace cereals, if you've heard of Akhal security, the branches the network, it goes on and on. And it's a lot to break down, and I'm not going to break it all down.

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However, there have been known accusations against Yogi Bhajan out on the internet for a number of years. And it came to my attention personally. It was around the year of 2016, or 2015, when I was traveling back and forth from Asheville, North Carolina to Los Angeles, I was in the middle of a couple of Level Two teacher trainings. And I was studying a lot in Los Angeles with a particular Sanghat, a spiritual community in LA. And at that time, my then husband was doing a lot of research on Yogi Bhajan. And brought to my attention, some of the scholarly research and a number of accusations about Yogi Bhajan. And they mostly came from one source, one man. And if you looked at his website, the credibility was definitely questionable. However, the academic paper by Philip Deslippe which I will talk about, later on. I did read it. And I thought it was interesting. However, we are really taught, or were taught in the lineage of Kundalini Yoga, that there were a lot of forces of adversity out there that would feel our frequency and that would attempt to distract us from the purity of the lineage, and to not really waste our time giving any of that our energy. And so when my then husband brought this to my attention, I took it in with a grain of salt, and really sat with my own seat of self and knew that I had more to learn and journey with this lineage. And so I trusted that. And I did respect Yogi Bhajan as the elder, as the one who brought this lineage from the east to the west.

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In February of this year, February of 2020, when I was traveling in Egypt on a sacred pilgrimage When I found out from a fellow priestess who was journeying with me that there was a lot going on, in the Kundalini community around accusations against Yogi Bhajan. And I was asked if I was following the accusations and at the time, I was not because I was stewarding in this pilgrimage and my focus and attention was there. However, as the pilgrimage came to an end, I found myself going to this Facebook group online, where I could read about this book Premka that had just been released. And the book Premka itself, I admit, I have not read yet - I am interested in reading- goes into great detail of one woman's journey in the three H O lifestyle in Yogi Bhajans inner circle. And she reveals quite a lot. And this book created a whole snowball effect where many, many people came out in this private Facebook group. And

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I sat there as a witness for probably about six weeks just taking it all in. And in the midst of that COVID came through and shut the whole planet down. And after a few weeks of being in quarantine, I removed myself from the Facebook group because I needed my own space to process. And so I wrote a blog post, it's on my website, it came out in my weekly Venusian Love Notes. I wrote this to the community who I connect with about where I was with the practice and what I was aware of, and really with a commitment to continue teaching and holding space, and also realizing that there was a lot coming to light and that the entire Kundalini community was getting rocked to the core. So with that, there has been another snowball effect of many different reactions within the Kundalini community.

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And as time has gone on, since March of this year, and here we are now towards the end of October, I've had the ability to process and go through my own journey of where I am with Kundalini yoga. I became introduced to Kundalini yoga at the age of 15. And I'm now 40 years old. So it has been a part of my life, for the majority of the time have been alive. I only went to one class of the age of 15. It was with my mother and it was very transformative. And she got into the practice and had some cassette tapes and manuals. And she gave them to me when I was about 19 And I would practice a little on my own. I was also in college at that point, and I would practice Kripalu Yoga regularly. And I found myself years later living in Boston and doing a lot of deep research. I go to the library and find different books on Kundalini Yoga, I was really drawn to the practice. Later on, I went to Kripalu and I got my Hatha certification I did a month long intensive. And the night before we graduated, we had the night off. And I found out there was a kundalini yoga Workshop led by Krishna Kaur, very acclaimed, well known teacher who was one of Yogi Bhajan secretaries and just really, truly an upstanding woman who has done phenomenal work around the planet. And I was so grateful to meet her I didn't really know much about her work at that point. She's done a lot of work with prison reform and has taught extensively in Africa, bringing Kundalini yoga to meet indigenous wisdom. And she's done so in what appears to be a very devotional beautiful way. Besides that one workshop even though I lived in LA years later, I never came to study with her directly at length, I only participated in some very low Large group classes with her. However, once I moved to Los Angeles in 2006, I had the ability to take as much unlimited yoga as I desired as I was working for a yoga clothing company that is now quite well known, but at that time, just had only I think, two stores, three stores in the United States. And I helped open their fourth in Beverly Hills many years ago. And through that opportunity, I took so many different yoga classes in Los Angeles, including lots of Kundalini yoga, and I became very intimate with the practice. so intimate that I went on for my prenatal yoga teacher training, eventually went on to get fully certified as a KRI level one teacher, and began doing the level two teacher training, which is a series of five modules, each module being 60 hours.

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And so I've invested in this lineage, not just in what I've explained to you, but for through countless workshops and hours, and other forms of classes, let alone the amount of workshops and classes I myself have led. It has been a immense part of my life, for a really long time. Since 2006, it has been an anchor of support for me. And with the allegations that have come out against Yogi Bhajan. It is clear that the technology is not what we thought it was. And it's not just about the fact that many people have stories of abuse that they have suffered at the hands of Yogi Bhajan, whether it is physically sexually, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, psychically. It's not just about the abuse, but it's also about the likelihood, the very strong likelihood, that a majority of the teachings were made up. And that's the piece that I keep circling back to these last couple of months when that part of it has been so strongly revealed to me in my psyche, the abuse parts, of course, I struggled with, and I didn't have any value for how he represented that, and I didn't want to uphold him. However, I felt like I could continue to teach, knowing that this practice had truly become mine over many, many years of devotional practice. However, finding out that this man was absolutely an abuser, and that he also most likely made up a majority of the teachings makes it hard to continue to do the practice. So here, I am really sorting through all of this. And I'm going to invite you to continue to journey with me in an interview that I did with a woman who now lives in Los Angeles, and we talk about things pretty extensively.

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But before I open up about her and my own journey, and where I am now, in a more deeper way, I just want to share some thoughts that another senior teacher Kartar Khalsa, who is a man that I have met and studied with, I've been in work like workshops, retreats. And I've been a part of a teacher training holding space for practicums, where he was one of the teacher trainers. And I really always felt like he had such a strong core of ethics. And at the beginning of October, he wrote this really beautiful post on Facebook. And I think it's important to touch on because it's been pretty outstanding to see how most of the Die Hard senior teachers in the Kundalini community have really, spiritually bypassed this entire topic in the year of 2020. In fact, it's been jaw dropping, the lack of conversation, and the ability to have safe spaces to just ask questions, and to make sense of all of this have been pretty much non existent. And it's super disappointing because there are a lot of people who built we could say an entire business and brand on these teachings. And the fact that there's so much radio silence has been disappointing to say the least in these times. And Kartar Khalsa came out with his response earlier in October and he said,

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he spoke to how, standing where he is today that he would absolutely say that the organization the whole system, of this community has the classical traits of a cult, and that as a community, they glorified a teacher, many people trusted the spiritual teacher over their own internal guidance, and consciously went along with even seen someone berated in a demeaning way by this teacher, by this guru by Yogi Bhajan. They went along with shunning people who chose to leave the path as weak. And that he himself Kartar Khalsa, learned to take on faith, many yogic things Yogi Bhajan said. And I was so relieved to read Kartar's words, and I'll share more of them with you in a moment. But I want to say, I personally never met Yogi Bhajan. He left his body in 2006, which was actually the year when I really stepped deeper into my practice. I think it was 2006. Maybe it was 2004. So forgive me if I have an error there. But once I moved to Los Angeles, which was one of his homes, he had already transitioned, he was dead. And so my connection to the teachings came through other teachers. And I've watched many videos of Yogi Bhajan. And I always saw that harshness that comes through. And we were always told he's a Saturnian teacher. And so he's been Saturnian. There were always reasons for all of it that were explained. And as someone who at one point was close to a particular well known world renowned senior teacher, I even asked this person point blank about certain scandals, and there was always a reason for all of it, there was always an excuse for all of it.

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And it's interesting to be in this space now, because I think so much to the archetype of Chiron and the trauma and the wounds and how we as humans, even when instinctually we know something is not right. We will still continually give our power away in lieu of being a part of sacred community of feeling accepted a feeling seen and witnessed. And I think this is a big piece out of all of this is about power and sovereignty and right action and how to be upstanding integral channels of pure divine light in this Aquarian Age, and in a way, I can also see the cosmic joke out of so much of this because we have learned inside and outside about the Aquarian, age and Kundalini Yoga and how we're leaving the Piscean age and the Piscean age is all about bowing down to a guru and the Aquarian Age, you're your own teacher. However, when you really got inside the lineage, you were told that the guru, whether it was Yogi Bhajan, or whether it's senior teacher who's alive and breathing today who people idolize as a guru, you were told to accept that person's opinion over your own instinctual, intuitive gut signals.

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So, Kartar Khalsa went on to talk about how Kundalini Yoga the certifying body of KRI, Kundalini Research Institute is presently controlled through the oversight of Siri Singh Sahib Corp, SSSC. The body is of about 15 people that is in charge of the all for profit and nonprofit entities which include Kundalini Research Institute KRI, 3HO, happy healthy holy, IKYTA, that is the International Kundalini yoga teacher Alliance, Sikh Dharma, Yogi Tea, A call security and the school in India, Mary Perry Academy. The SSSC is a clearly conservative religious body that has not even been willing to support Sikh gay marriage. KRI needs to get out from under the oversight of the SSSC and to have a clear separation between Kundalini yoga and any religion. He also goes on to talk about how the manuals for the teacher trainings should be redone, removing all of Yogi Bhajans names, his moral pronouncements, his DVD classes and direct quotes. Any assertion of yogic facts should be removed from the manuals unless it is also supported by yogic information and other sources. The manuals currently coordinate closely with concepts from the Sikh path and Kundalini Yoga belongs to all spiritual traditions and the manuals need to reflect that. He goes on to say that any position any person in a leadership position with KR I, or any other Kundalini yoga teaching or community organizations needs to make a full statement like this one, what they knew, when they knew it, what if anything they did about about it, where they are now, and why they should be trusted to undo the culture that brought them to positions of authority. The community must offer and pay for healing for any victims and cultivate a consciousness with a thorough understanding of trauma as a highest priority. Training and help with trauma should be widely offered to Kundalini yoga teachers not only for these victims, but hundreds of 1000s of others who have suffered trauma. at the hands of 10,000 years of earthly conditioning. The Kundalini Yoga organizations need to consciously articulate a new culture of teaching where everyone is learning from each other. A Piscean model of revealing a teacher more than any other person is regarded as something to learn from, not to repeat.

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And I so support his statement. I was like I had chills reading it. And it was so funny because I think he made his statement. I read it for like, right after I did this interview with Mina, which is coming up here soon in a moment, in a few moments. I know this, this episode is really long. It's deep. It's important. So thank you for bearing with me through all of this. I did this interview with Mina the very last night of September, September 31. And I was going to release it in my last Episode Episode 12. But energetically, it just didn't fit in. I wasn't able to edit it. It took me Well, I think like six hours to edit the episode and when I find things like that happen or not the episode but the interview. When I find things like that happen, I realize it's taking so long because the content is so dense, and this whole journey has been so dense for so many of us. And it's been really fascinating to be in quarantine through the journey. And so I've been, since March 15 I've been teaching online. I was for a number of years teaching multiple live classes in West Asheville, North Carolina. And I would do different events around the Asheville area in Appalachia. And as quarantine went on, I dropped two of my classes so that I was only teaching one a week because teaching live online yoga is really challenging. I love teaching about astrology, I love having other kinds of group gatherings online. I mean, of course, I always prefer in person, but I actually really enjoy online work as well. And I've been working with people online since 2017, regularly in my own personal work and my business, so I really enjoy it. However, it was getting harder and harder. And just this week, I really came to my truth about all of this. And so I've decided I'm going to take a sabbatical from teaching yoga at this time, I'm finding my new path forward with the knowledge that Yogi Bhajan, the man that we have uplifted for bringing the technology of Kundalini Yoga, was essentially a very sophisticated con artist.

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That being said, I need some time to find what my practice looks like. After I've stripped away all that is not true. Unfortunately, he was a fantastic liar. So the process is going to require hours of research to find what was real. And what was made up from, quote, this lineage. The funny thing is, is that I am like a rebel. And I've always been a freedom fighter, I've always been one who hates to be put into a box. And my former husband always knew that about me, it was something that it was like a energy that brought us together, we really fit in together in that way. And when I got really deep into Kundalini Yoga, I know he was kind of like what, like, what is going on here. It was through Kundalini Yoga, that I was able to really understand lineage, and to allow myself to follow certain rules out of respect for lineage. And honestly, I don't regret any of that. It's all in divine order. I see the humor in it, I see the beauty in it, the fact that the lineage that taught me that was actually a false lineage. I still give gratitude for the experience, because I've learned so much about my own devotion. And I'm grateful for all of these teachings. However, I know that, at this time, in my own integrity, I cannot continue to teach Kundalini Yoga, not even dropping Yogi Bhajan 's name, not even just teaching in the sense that I know we're safe, which is what I've been doing for all of 2020 I just need some time to think about what of the practice goes beyond Yogi Bhajan, to find that research to do it. And I also have, for a number of years, been missing parts of my former yogic practices. And so now I want to harness those and really create something that feels good to me, knowing that the age of the Guru is dead, and that we are all here to follow our hearts and our truth. And I wouldn't be a transparent facilitator if I did not take this sabbatical in this way. So I will not be teaching Kundalini yoga for some time and I imagine when I do resume teaching yogic arts, it will be in a completely different way. That being said, I absolutely will continue to work with the gong. I love the gong so much and I know it goes beyond the lineage. Sound healing has been a backbone of my work. Particularly my pilgrimage work and ceremonial work and it will continue to grow and expand. Ultimately, I know that I'm creating space to see what wishes to be birthed out of this deep and massive death.

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So, I wish to offer a bow to all of whom have been affected by this revelation. My heart is with the survivors who have suffered abuse directly from Yogi Bhajan and directly from other teachers in the lineage. I can only imagine the trauma so many have been through in the Kundalini yoga community, particularly just as I explore my own traumas, which I feel like have been very miniscule in comparison to the stories I've read of those who directly interacted with Yogi Bhajan. I also wish to apologize for any way I may have caused harm through this tradition. I wish to apologize for any air of superiority that I may have exuded at different times when I felt like the practice I had superseded all. I wish to apologize to anyone who has been offended at the times when I only wore white and I always covered my head. As a Jewish woman, I stand in integrity with the practice of wanting to cover my head, I wrapped my head and wore turbans before Kundalini Yoga came into my life in the way that it did. But I also acknowledge the fact that my skin can be classified as white, and that it is a privilege to be able to wear a turban. I also apologize for any way I may have caused harm through this tradition. Please forgive me for my ignorance. We are all on this great journey of conscious cosmic evolution together. I bow to each one of you in gratitude for the teachings you have offered me through your heart.

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I also just wish to speak briefly to my name, RaMa, which was given to me through the lineage of Kundalini yoga. And I really struggled using the name for a long time, I didn't resonate with it, because RaMa to me only connected with the Hindu god. And I couldn't even work with that frequency. However, after many years of my practice, I really went deep into the solar and lunar frequencies, especially as my astrological practice deepened, and my pilgrimage work deepened. And the name RaMa came to be something for me that was beyond Kundalini Yoga, that was very universal, that went beyond any tradition. And I always knew in my heart, there was a given name for me, something that was given beyond my birth name, my birth name being Danielle Marie. And I have really sat with how I feel about continuing to use RaMa as my name. And as a woman who has now been separated for two years and thinking about how I want to legally change my name to represent my own personal sovereignty. I have been really leaning in for the past year to legally change my name to RaMa Danielle Marie. And at this time, I continue to feel in integrity to use this name and will continue to use RaMa in my work, particularly after being led to the land of Kemet, and to be so connected to my soultribe. And when I say that, I'm speaking beyond humanity, I'm speaking into the cosmic, starry realms where sound and light are liquid gold. And so, yes, I will continue to use RaMa, it is something that feels frequently aligned with who I am at my core. And it also serves for me at this time, a reminder of the sanctity of lineage. And how to continue to preserve that, and how important it is that we really preserve that which we are aligned with as purity. And for each one of us, that's going to be something very different. And for me, being born very close to the summer solstice, and also being a very lunar being. RaMa really anchors me in that way. And so I felt inclined to share really deeply with you all. Because I want to be open about all of this, I want to be transparent of where I am in my process. And I want you to understand how deeply I've thought about all of this, and how deeply I will continue to think about all of this as well. And that I also recognize that this is a journey. This is a process and that it's all unfolding.

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So with that, that I now invite you to continue to journey with me in this interview with Mina Bahadori, she's a Reiki channel and teacher, a breathwork facilitator and meditation guide based in Los Angeles, California. She was formerly a kundalini yoga teacher from May 2016. Through May of 2020. The revelations of the abuses in the Kundalini yoga community led her to move into the role of an interviewer in an attempt to seek inner clarity, as well as educate the public about the problematic nature of its culture. Mina has transformed her relationship to mental health in her early 20s transmuting anxiety, depression and addiction into healing, consciousness and a deep awakening. As a teacher and healer, she is considered approachable, kind, honest and heart centered. She currently sees private clients, leads Reiki trainings, hosts weekly interviews on her Instagram page at mysticalmina and holds weekly breathwork and Reiki classes.

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(start conversation with Mina) I saw the energy you put into it and I feel the radiance and the purity of this workholding. And that was what really made me want to connect with you for this because so many ways to look at this whole unveiling. I'm actually like feeling kind of tender and emotional speaking it's you because yeah, you know, it's it's a lot to process, right? So I'm just grateful for the spaces you've been holding. And that was what really like made me feel resonant in reaching out to you.

Mina Bahadori:

Thank you so much. Honestly, it helped me a lot because I feel like I learn through communication through relationship. And so at a time that I was very confused. I think I started doing it consistently, like, from May on. So at a time that I was like, just had no idea what to do. I slowly with each talk, like feel like I know, more of how I feel about at all and how I want to move forward. So for right now, at least, like I just feel like I want to distance myself from Kundalini. I don't know if that will ever change. Like if certain aspects I pulled back in but right now it seems like I would only feel comfortable with like warm ups. And not like a whole lot. But yeah, right now I'm just teaching breathwork and Reiki which is a very big shift for me, feels like the rug has been pulled from under and, you know, I never like had quite the following with Kundalini to where it would be a harder decision to like try to figure out like how to kind of key parts of it. Um, so maybe that was sort of purposeful, like, I don't know But yeah, right now I'm like rebuilding it's all unknown, rebuilding, breathwork and Reiki for sure. But I do feel like something else is gonna come through. And I'm just not sure what yet. Yeah, but the talks have been very helpful. I get messages a lot, you know, with people who are struggling and that like gives me a fulfilled feeling that you know, like that it could help them along their process since it is so delicate and confusing and tender. And yeah, I honestly, yes, helped me so much. And it's also just been wonderful. And I'm, maybe you felt this with just podcasting. It's been so wonderful to connect with people. And, you know, talk to people you would never otherwise talk to about really serious stuff. So it's not like you're just skirting around or just having like a really shallow talk like you're going in and really learning personal things. In some cases, like survivors stories and things like that, honestly, does feel like a really big honor to just have the ability to hold that space.

Ra Ma:

Yeah. It's beautiful that you are holding that. I do feel like it is an honor. There's something you've been doing to receive that honor, you know, and to hold it in such a sacred way.

Mina Bahadori:

Thank you.

Ra Ma:

Do you want to speak to a little bit about your own journey? I know you live in Los Angeles currently, are you born and raised in the LA area, how you got led to Reiki and breathwork. And what's really alive for you besides holding these spaces?

Mina Bahadori:

Yeah, I grew up in LA and I was having high high high anxiety, panic attacks, addiction to Adderall when I was going to LMU. And eating disorder, sort of as a result of Adderall and just like crazy mood swings, irritability, cynicism, depression, all of that, like just a dark cloud really over my head. And I eventually just came to a breaking point. And I like, really couldn't even show up to a final that I had. And I just went into a deep, deep surrender. I was like, Okay, I'm willing to do anything. What I'm doing is not working. And I'm ready to listen. So basically, I had my older brother kind of just like, hold me in that moment and introduced me to meditation really just from YouTube in the beginning, slowly but surely was taking like Hatha and vinyasa regularly meditating on my own regularly. And after about maybe two years of dabbling into spirituality, I came across a co worker who offered me a Reiki session, and it was just like complete magic. I didn't want him to ever remove his palm from wherever he was holding. It felt so nurturing to me, something I had really never felt and most people haven't unless they've experienced like that energy medicine. And so he just led me to believe that it was possible for anyone which it is and that you don't have to have like a superpower or necessarily be like highly advanced like it is for everybody. So I was really excited to learn and eager I just really straight away, was ready to learn not necessarily had like a plan of becoming a healer. But more just wanted to figure out like what this was all about. And I was just so wide eyed about spirituality at this time, I think it was like 2015 When I started learning, Reiki, or maybe 2016. So Reiki came first, Kundalini around the same time, started teacher training. That was as a result of having gone to this festival called lightning in a bottle. Not in LA, but like five hours away or so.

Ra Ma:

I used to live in LA. I don't know if you knew that.

Mina Bahadori:

Oh, I didn't know that.

Mina Bahadori:

Oh my gosh, cool.

Ra Ma:

Yeah, my daughter was actually born in Los Angeles. Her father, who I'm separated from, he went to rabbinical school out in Los Angeles, and we lived there from like 2005 until 2011.

Ra Ma:

So I remember lightning in a bottle. I never went. But I remember the little postcards I'd see around for the festival.

Mina Bahadori:

So at that point, I lightning in a bottle, I was drinking a lot. I was taking psychedelics, I will say I was taking psychedelics more intentionally than like your average person. So it wasn't just like, Party Party Party, but party with mixing spirituality. And at that point, I had taken a psychedelic, hours before walking upon a tent where guru Singh was. And guru Singh is sort of like a wizard looking guy,

Ra Ma:

totally.

Mina Bahadori:

People in the Kundalini world, probably know. And he was talking about forgiveness, and like, specifically, and going back, and like envisioning forgiving, specific people that have heard us. And I just remember crying, thinking about my ex, thinking about my dad, and just like really letting myself go there and just let the tears fall. And there was something very magical about the way he was leading. And like, at certain points, everyone's arms were wrapped around each other. And we were like, swaying and singing. And then eventually are like hugging strangers, looking them in the eye, telling them, we love them. And we see them and I had never experienced any of that before. So yeah, I was just like, What is this and I want more of this, this is exactly what I'm looking for. So that led me to Yoga West in LA. And like very soon took the teacher training. So letting go bottle was May, I went to the training in October, having taken a bunch of Kundalini classes in between at Yoga West, and I was 21. So I was really young and open, and unsuspecting, just very trusting. And really, yeah, that's how it began.

Ra Ma:

Yeah, what was your process like to get you from that to teacher training to what you're doing? Now? I think it's important to understand that when people listen to this stuff that not everyone is going to be a Kundalini yogi. You know, like, a lot of the people I connect with, they don't come to me just for yoga. I mean, I do teach yoga. I'm an astrologer, I bring people on pilgrimage, and I hold healing spaces for people, I hold women's circles. And I've been doing this for many years,

Mina Bahadori:

How I got from teacher training to here. You know, I never really expected or planned to be any type of teacher or even like a healer. I didn't know what I was doing. Like I said, I was really young. And I was just enamored by it all. And I mostly really respected and idolized the healers that I had run into, and I was like, Well, I want to be like them. You know, not necessarily, like, maybe even the same professionalism, but like, I wanted to have that powerful effect, to where someone you know, they walk into a room and you suddenly feel really good and say, and really magical. Like I just, it was also new to me that I just wanted to be in that energy as much as possible. So at the time of starting teacher training, I was really in my head about how I was super inexperienced compared to everyone and I was really young compared to everyone. I felt so intimidated and sort of like an imposter. Like I can't teach I'm here for the information more but I'm like there was a part of me that wanted to get to a level where I was comfortable enough with myself and I definitely was not comfortable with myself for a while. And I do think that process of being in that container and you know really was like nine months meaning once a month and just breaking through the fear having no choice but to have to, you know, speak in front of people and just show up just continues Going up, whether it's comfortable or not, and I remember my voice shaking and my heart beating super fast. And after having done like a little snippet of a class, because it was sort of like, a practicum of sorts that we, we taught many classes to our little small group, where they all would say the most affirming things afterwards, like, go, you were born to do this, you're a natural. And I took that in, and I was it didn't match up with my self worth and like my inner thoughts, but I was like, there must be something here that I should try to open myself to. So slowly, but surely just kept facing the fear of facing the fear of facing the fear. By the end of training, I was more comfortable with my voice still, definitely had walls and me leading interviews is like just wild because I had really dramatically failed this public speaking class in college, I actually had like a complete meltdown. Because I did so poorly. I like really beat myself up for it afterwards. And so now to be doing interviews, and not necessarily like I'm great at it either. But the fact that I'm just doing that, and just getting over it. And if I make a mistake, just moving forward, moving on, not harping on it, and just continuing to show up anyway, has been very cathartic and healing for me. And I just know that those talks are helping people. So like, it doesn't matter what I think about myself, like, it's not about me, it's not about that it's much bigger than me. So I just need to like make myself, you know, care a little bit less about myself and get out of the way.

Ra Ma:

Yeah, well, that's usually the piece is getting out of our own way. Yeah. For pretty much everyone. Could you speak a little bit to your own experience of how things started to unravel for you with your connection to Kundalini yoga and how you got inspired to like, hold space for the first interview? Just what that process was like?

Mina Bahadori:

For sure. Well, when Premka the book came out, I was actually working at or I had just gotten hired at younger West. And then the Facebook groups. Well, one specifically that's now called Beyond the cage.

Ra Ma:

Yeah, I was in that one for a little while. Yeah, a few months. And then I went quarantine really locked in. I was like, I just need a break from this right now. Like, I just Yeah,

Mina Bahadori:

I understand. Yeah, so I read every single post that came out, you know, in February, and March, and really just like, sat with all that information, and was really sick about it all. And I didn't know what to do. I continued teaching on Instagram Live, like, especially when quarantine hit. I was doing daily classes on Instagram Live. And slowly but surely, I went from doing it very traditionally to then letting go of why... letting I never, ever really, I mean, I started not covering my hair a little bit before that, anyway, didn't really resonate with it. But I even started releasing mantra that were either made up by Yogi Bhajan or Sikh. And I was just teaching in a way that was like mostly warm ups and any other music like electronic music or Kirtan, or something else that just wasn't resembling traditional Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Because even now, and I don't know if this will shift, but I do feel a bit triggered by it myself, having spoken with survivors on the phone, having, you know, done some of the interviews, a lot of people have contacted me off the record to tell me very disturbing stories, not even just about Yogi Bhajan but about other people in power, who now have tons of followings, followers. And so to me, it was more of a systemic problem like Yogi Bhajan is super problematic, of course. And, you know, there's all every type of abuse, he did, you know, sexual fraud, spiritual, psychological, verbal, public shaming, you know, there's so much stuff. And there's homophobia, and there's just too much. There's enough like just alone, even with like the children. In the schools in India, the boarding schools, one story alone is enough to put you over the edge. But there's so many stories like hundreds of stories. And it doesn't end with him, which would be much easier if it did end with him. But unfortunately, a lot of people modeled his behavior. And he sort of created a system where people could bypass other people's behavior, you know, keeping those people enabled. And if they cause a problem over here, just move them over there. And just, like, create a distance. So like, specifically, I've heard, you know, he's harbored people who are pedophiles and not reported them to the authorities. So there's just a lot, and it's again, like, just not Him alone, but so many other figures in the community. And still, like, there are certain studios that follow that same modeling. And there's a lot of fear and shame and guilt, if you break away, or even alter things, or claim that you're not going to follow Yogi Bhajan, but still teach, there is a lot of propaganda now, that is scaring people from doing even that. So it's a very tricky time and seeing a lot of the leaders how they dealt with, it was very eye opening for me, I, you know, given what we're taught about integrity, and truth telling, and being one with your essence, I would have assumed that people would be very transparent, open up, take accountability for the part they played and complicity and not just say at once and move on completely. But let it be an open, ongoing conversation, I found that if leaders did take any accountability, they were like, Okay, it's done. We're not talking about this anymore, we're going to move on to my next teacher training.

Mina Bahadori:

Or if they, you know, took some accountability, they still justified how much they loved Yogi Bhajan, which is like just kind of a dagger to the heart of survivors. Um, it's a little bit I do understand a bit, you know, if people didn't see that side of him. But there's a part of me, that's also like, you had to see some, like, there had to be some evidence, at least, like with something as simple as like public shaming, like, that's not okay. And maybe we are as a society, becoming more and more aware of what is not okay. With just like, so many movements just starting with #metoo, which was not long ago. But...

Ra Ma:

Yeah, it was just two years ago, around this time, literally, like we're in the two year anniversary right now.

Mina Bahadori:

Okay, exactly. So I do think everyone is becoming more aware. And there's like a zero tolerance, especially with younger generations. Like it's just not even a question and I think with older generations, not everyone quite gets it. But, yeah, then there's the people who of course, deny everything. And it seems to me that they're just protecting their brand, because their whole brand, obviously, is integrity and honesty. And the, you know, this mantra does this and this Kriya does that. And having dug more deeply into Philip Deslippes research and seeing that not everything Yogi Bhajan claimed is actually true, really just led to many more questions about the legitimacy of the yoga, and how and how one can continue practicing it in a way that's holding integrity. And it's possible I'm yeah, I'm still, my head is still sort of in a knot about it all. And there's the whole other argument about cult dynamics and stripping people's identity and making them distanced from their family, even the families within the three H O community, especially like first generation parents with the second generation children, Yogi Bhajan, created a very strained relationship by telling the parents to not be too attached and to send them to India when they're around five years old. And when the children beg their parents to come home, Yogi Bhajan, assuring their parents like, No, this is good for them. And then a lot of the children and their parents then not having a good relationship. And some of these kids, once they turn 18, like are just out and basically don't have a relationship with their families. Some do, which is good. And I'm really glad that there are some examples of, of parents who stuck up for their kids and took them out. And things like that. I feel like I'm going all over the place. But yeah, I think the call dynamics is another thing to look into, as to like how your identity becomes so tied to something, but it can be hard to see it if you're too close to it. And sometimes you need a distance, even just taking a break to, to see like how deeply this has affected your self image and things like that I did have a friend who felt like very strongly connected to her identity, before getting wrapped up into Kundalini yoga, and then, in the end, actually felt really disempowered, which is interesting, because it's the opposite of what they're sort of advertising. And I don't think a lot of people talk about that. But there are a lot of people who walk out, more unhealthy, more unhappy, more disconnected. So I think a lot of the marketing and the branding could be misleading. And it's just something to be examined for each individual.

Ra Ma:

It's a such a complex topic, because we're speaking about a yogic technology that became a whole lifestyle, and it's a business and a brand, but also has the cult element and so many pieces and arms. And the one thing that we have to acknowledge no matter how we feel about it all is that Yogi Bhajan was super sophisticated in the system he created like, yeah, he was quite cunning, because when you look at the evidence that's come out, I mean, it's it's hard to not understand that. There is a lot of intention placed in, in the, the all of the moving parts. And so to try and unpack it, especially in this year of 2020, when not just this technology is collapsing, but literally like our governmental systems throughout the world are collapsing. It's a major psycho emotional mental process, which for me has been why I've been biting off bits and pieces as I can take in because it's so much. And I think my process with Kundalini yoga was much different than yours because my mom got introduced to the yoga when I was 15. And she was in the middle of divorcing my father and it was like one of a number of components. She had already done her Reiki training and she was a practicing hypnotherapist, and she was on a spiritual journey and had been consciously for already since around when I turned eight or so I really saw a major transformation when my uncle died at the ER. Well first he got diagnosed with AIDS but he died a couple years later and that really put her on this power whole spiritual journey which then put me on it too because as her daughter like I was along for the ride. And so she took me to my first class when I was 15. And it was super powerful. And then I didn't have an opportunity to go back again. But when I was in college, I went to college in Western Massachusetts, and I'm not sure if you're familiar with the School of yoga called Kripalu. It's like a big school on the East Coast. At my college, my teacher, my yoga teachers were trained at Kripalu. And so that was like the kind of Yoga I really got to know. Deeply and when I was 26 that was what I went to study was Kripalu Yoga, and at the very tail end because it was a month long intensive at the very tail end. Krishna Kaur was putting on a workshop, like a five day retreat or something at Kripalu. And because we were literally graduating from our teacher training, the next day, we had a night free, it was like my first night free in a month. And so I was like, Oh, I'll go take this woman's workshop, I was drawn to her. And the moment we tuned in, I just felt this electricity. And I was like, Oh my gosh, like, this is my yoga. And then soon after that I moved out to Los Angeles to be with my boyfriend at the time, who later became my husband, and is now my ex partner. And we co parent, living in LA it was just like a wellspring of all the kinds of yoga and I, I dove into every kind in LA. Because I ended up opening the Lululemon on Beverly Hills.

Mina Bahadori:

Oh, wow.

Ra Ma:

Way back in the day. And so we had free yoga, we could go to as many classes as we wanted. So I went to all of them. And I just soaked up all of the yoga and LA. For me, it was like, it was always a deep soul connection to Kundalini yoga. And it wasn't about the teachers. It wasn't about Yogi Bhajan it was about me connecting to my own essence. And I mean, I had so many interactions with different teachers. And I totally understand what you're saying about the ways certain yoga studios are behaving. And it's such a tricky...right now it feels like we're all walking in a razor edge. And it's it's disappointing that there's not a real platform, it feels like to have safe conversations. And from what I've witnessed, I feel like you're the only one who's who's really holding that space. I'm really grateful that you're doing that. For me Kundalini Yoga, past four years, just started to naturally drop off more and more because I, I was going back and forth to LA a lot once I got settled here in Asheville, North Carolina. And I witnessed things with my own eyes that I consciously walked away from. In 2016, I saw a lot of ethical misbehavior that was not in alignment with the values, what I consider my core values and what I thought were the values of Kundalini Yogi's. And I was really grateful that I lived out kind of in the middle of nowhere. And I could just be here and teach yoga, but then also hold women's circles and do pilgrimages and practice astrology and do all the things that I loved. Why I've stuck with it is because the people in my local community, some of them, it's been a lifeline for them. And it's been really tricky this year, when I got introduced to the Facebook group, what is the current name of it?

Mina Bahadori:

It starts with beyond the cage and...

Ra Ma:

beyond the cage. Okay, yeah, we'll just call it beyond the cage. Because if someone is listening, and they want to search it, they can probably find it through that. I was on pilgrimage in Egypt in February that I was holding the space for women. And this one woman asked me she was like, RaMa, like, what do you think about all the stuff that's happening with Kundalini Yoga right now? And I was like, What do you mean, because when I'm on pilgrimage, I don't go on to social media. I really try unless I have to, but I really try to just stay present. And so I had no idea what was going on. And she kind of told me a little bit and honestly, like, when I heard I was just like, I'm really not surprised. You know, there was like, I just hit my psyche in a way where I was like, this is devastating, but I'm not really shocked and I didn't really know what to think about it. But I also knew that I needed to be present to the moment I was in and I, I determined well, I'll dig a little bit deeper when the pilgrimage comes to an end and I started with Looking at the Facebook group, and that for me was what was quite astounding because I saw the videos that had been put out about the reaction around Pamela Dyson. And yeah, you could possibly argue that one person is creating a story. But when you go, when you started reading on that Facebook account, and you read a multitude of stories, if anyone is psychically tuned in, like you can feel when people are writing their truth, right, you know, and that was like, for me, this is astounding. And so to come home at the very end of February, and then in March, like the beginning of March to really begin to sit and read, and then quarantine happened. And I was like, Here I am, like reading all those. I mean, it was it. It was a lot. There's a lot to take in.

Mina Bahadori:

I mean, it definitely put me in a few different dark spaces, which was useful. And I came out on the other side, but made me question after that, like, well, like, Is there even integrity in any spiritual circle? Or is this just sort of smoke and mirrors? Are they saying one thing and always doing another? So I even now I'm still struggling to have a new relationship to spirituality in a way that's just between me and source. And nothing else. I think everything else is just too confusing for me right now. And I do love that you said that you like had that space and like being away from LA, like That sounds so, so refreshing to just like, yeah, be away from it all to process on your own. And not have to, like feel necessarily connected to specific teachers. And Yogi Bhajan, by the way, like, I didn't really have a strong connection to him. But I did have a connection to like, two specific teachers who really sung His praises all the time, and like really made the stories about him integral to their, their, their teachings, accuracy, specifically.

Ra Ma:

I mean, I used to go to I lived right near Pico-Robertson and I would walk to Yoga West, I actually subbed classes there. I used to teach prenatal Kundalini yoga, and I would sub classes for that. And yeah, I mean, I went to a number of Guru Singhs classes, and he totally admired Yogi Bhajan. And I mean, many, so ma ny of the teachers did.

Mina Bahadori:

Exactly. So I just believe them. So for me, it just sort of felt like a betrayal. And not to, it's still so hard for me to like talk down on teachers, because that's not where my energy should stay. Like, I need to focus on rebuilding and move on from this eventually, but I will just say like, it did feel like a betrayal. Because some things just in retrospect, seemed to be more performative than authentic. And I like yeah, I just kind of started questioning whether these were just stories to sort of like hook people and make them think this was sort of better than it really is. I do relate to what you were saying before too, though, I was having mystical experiences and like, connecting to my divine essence. And I do feel more mature, more aware, more conscious. So I did get some of the things that I was looking for. But I think now it's just about tuning into my own intuition. There's a lot of rules in kundalini yoga, you know, that restricts intuition a lot. Like not being able to change anything in a set and not being able to even wear what you want. And always having to just like do things very specific ways. And I feel like that it really limits a teacher, especially when you're teaching them how to become more intuitive. I think that they learn, you know, based on the group, that they are in front of like what that group needs and maybe that pose is gonna really harm people or something like that. As a teacher, if I am a teacher, I'm still figuring out like where this puts me but I just am going to focus on people making decisions for themselves and just always really, the person back to themselves like, um, if they're going to ask me what type of meditation they should do and when they should meditate and all, like all these questions, I'm just going to point them to themselves and also really work on saying the mantra, I don't know, because I think that we and in kundalini yoga are taught to have an answer for everything. And maybe that's other spiritual circles, too. I think it is because there's so much conviction. And this is the way and there's no other way type of rhetoric. Yeah, but the space holding has just been really interesting to have so many different voices, and I am trying to be careful about who I have on because I know survivors are watching. And I know, you know, people who are super sensitive are watching, including Punjabi Sikh people who are very offended by the cultural appropriation. And it's a little bit of a tough responsibility to, like, have a lot of voices on but also voices that aren't going to cause more harm. Yeah, that's been the tricky part.

Ra Ma:

Yeah, that's what I mean, like walking the razor edge. For me, I felt I felt so angry on certain levels, because I'm such a rebel, and it was Kundalini Yoga that I finally gave in on some things, and I'm like, Okay, I'll do what they say. Because I have to respect the lineage, you know, and I was like, so wanting to honor the lineage. And like, what you're saying about your intuition and and utilizing it. And there were certain things where I would have this inner push pull, and I might intuition be telling me one thing, but then I'd be like, Well, I have to honor the technology. And then to find how all of it could have been made up, I was just kind of, like, Fuck all of this, like, I worked so hard for so many years to like otter this thing. And, like, the ache is on my face for doing it, you know. So, and I'm sure a lot of people went through that, say, 2006 to 2016. Because in 2016, was when I had a definite shatter moment with a particular part of the lineage that I just walked away from. And leading up to that I was like, hardcore with my sadhana. I mean, I would like wake up at 3am and do all the stuff and I was exhausted, you know, I'm a mom. And, like, I was like, barely getting any sleep. But I was told this was the one thing that was going to heal my thyroid and my adrenals. And I'm like, this makes no sense. Because I'm reading and studying and working with all these naturopaths and whatnot. And they're telling me sleep is important. But you're telling me, I just need to meditate more. And so I got to a point where I was, I'm going to listen to my own voice, but I'm still going to honor the technology to certain in certain ways, and then slowly, I just peeled things away layer by layer. Yeah. So it's super, it's super complicated, because they're, each one of us has their own unique story. And they're, they all matter. And they all exist, and they're all important. My story began when I was 15. And it was my mother initiating me like that. That's the sacredness there. And then, for someone who was like, born into this community, and raised and went to boarding school, I mean, they have a whole other. And then yeah, and then like a Punjabi Sikh who's like, What the fuck are all these people doing? Like, this is crazy, you know? Like, there's so many elements, and they're all true, like, they're all valid. And so there's not one way to process or to move out of this, which is why, like, I knew a lot of people who are like, tearing up their manuals, burning all their books. And even if it is all made up, do I want to go to that length right now? Like, if I go to that length, I want to be very conscious about it, because it has been a practice that has helped me. I've never thought it was perfect. Yeah, no, I never thought it was the end all be all. I've always known. There are multitude of many paths. What is that seen many paths, one destination. But I think that there's also something that you said that I think is important to touch on. And that's

Ra Ma:

the dangers of spiritual communities. When I say this, I don't I mean, I see it as someone who holds spiritual community for people. So I don't think that people have to run away from all of them. But I think we have to be very, very careful in these times. And a lot of people just give their power over, because they're in a spiritual community and they think it's safe. And I live in a small city that is built upon so many different spiritual communities where I live, you say like how refreshing it would be to like, not be in LA. But there are some there are like certain things I miss about LA because it can be really hard living in this kind of community, too. It's not easy. I've witnessed a lot of mismanagement of energy and power and control dynamics, not just in kundalini technology communities, but in all sorts of spiritual communities. It's devastating, it's really devastating. Because when I think about the powers that be in these systems of oppression that we're that like, we're here to, like, watch, disintegrate, and to be a part of that movement. So we can build something that is much more sustainable, people are going to seek refuge in these spiritual communities. And there's some of the worst.

Mina Bahadori:

Yeah. And I was talking about this with someone the other day, and I think the reason for that is because a lot of these spiritual communities run exactly as every other realm, meaning, they are patriarchal, they are capitalist. They are colonial. So all these things, I think, when even main point is like the patriarchy, it really is just the same thing. And I've had people interviewed who are not Kundalini Yogi's talk about abuse in their spiritual communities and food to zoom out, because it's, it's so not one thing and spiritual communities are not exempt from this patterning. That's really in Hollywood that's really in politics, it's really in every single realm. And, you know, I think that there has to be a shift in both the students and in the teachers, students with being very wary. And really not just trusting people off the bat, but letting them show you who they are, like really looking. I hate to say it, but like just being a little bit more skeptical in the sense of like, okay, like, let me not just assume the best let me let them show me. Yeah, like, all the parts of them and not just blindly follow.

Ra Ma:

Trust needs to be earned, for sure.

Mina Bahadori:

Exactly. I think when you don't have that filter of like, I just fully trust you, like, there's just less room for messiness. And as the teacher, like, if you feel your students are putting you on a pedestal or giving their power away to you, like checking yourself and taking yourself off the pedestal and giving them their power back by by reminding them, you know, that they have the power within them, and that you're not special, just because you know more in whatever field it is that you're teaching them. And just like equaling it out, I've definitely felt the difference between a teacher putting themselves up on the pedestal or just letting themselves be put there, versus one who's just like, very much like shoulder to shoulder with you, reminding you of their humanity of how they make mistakes of just like how flawed they are to and that they're still learning and aren't and are on the journey and are not done healing. So, and taking accountability, I think is a big one. Yeah. Yeah.

Ra Ma:

Those are big pieces, for sure. And it's think it's just about like staying really humble, because there's so much to know and understand in this multiverse that we live in. I don't think I mean, if any of us had mastered it, we wouldn't be in our bodies right now. So any human being that you're looking at is, is there in body like they're still learning because you have like sat with so many different people through this process? I'm curious, like, if you could maybe sum up like three or four big takeaways you've received in these conversations because I mean, you've done how many of them have you done at this point?

Mina Bahadori:

I think, I think around like 15 or so..

Ra Ma:

Okay. That's a good amount because like, aren't they about an hour? Something?

Mina Bahadori:

Yeah. And then of course I check it like I call people before and like we do it. They're like, check in. So there's definitely many hours going into it. Yeah, and then there's still two every week ongoing for who knows when I feel it feels like everyone knows everything they need to know. And we are good. But yeah, I would say some of the biggest takeaways for me have been talking one with Sundeep Morrison who is a Punjabi Sikh woman who just really laid it down. So plainly, but also with compassion, because I think it is a little bit hard for many people who thought that they were bringing sacredness and treating the practice reverently, but like, didn't have the knowledge and didn't seek out the knowledge of how some of these things could offend Sikh people like specifically purchasing a name, wearing a turban. I've heard from multiple Sikh people that they've had parents or grandparents be, you know, harassed, even killed for their turban because of brown person wearing a turban not received, well, a white woman wearing a turban, everyone just like, Oh, how cute. You know, it's just received very differently. So you know, even Sikh people who are practicing the faith don't either feel comfortable wearing a turban, or even having their own name, they have to change their name, they have to change their appearance in order to function in this white supremacist society. So that's one big takeaway, I would suggest watching that interview if people have time. It's just a really big one.

Mina Bahadori:

And you know, my conversations with Philip Deslippe, have been eye opening where he finds the holes in the lineage. And he really points to where a lot of the yoga comes from. So not all of it is made up, which is sort of a relief, because they're obviously we felt something. And if people really want to know, like, authentically, what teachers Yogi Bhajan took a lot of these, this practice from then. Yeah, Philip has a lot of research done on that. So it's not a total loss. And there are things that you can definitely keep in your practice that aren't necessarily Yogi Bhajans. And yeah, I would say, I would say there's like just so much research that one can do to separate, you know, what Yogi Bhajan made up versus what was already an ancient practice. My mind just goes to my interview with Hilary Jackendoff, who's not actually a Kundalini yogi, but talks about just things to be wary of in any community, which we sort of touched on today, just knowing that we develop abilities, no matter what practice we do, and not to necessarily give all our power away just because someone has a very developed ability like being psychic. I think I've witnessed a lot of people, you know, defending really problematic teachers just because of their gifts. And, you know, it doesn't take away the fact that they are a gifted person, but doesn't mean that they should be unexamined just because they're just highly intuitive. It's just I don't know if you run into that, but I've definitely seen people get away with a lot further.

Ra Ma:

I've seen it, I've seen it. Yeah, I unfortunately, because and I've done it, I've given my power away to people to you know, I've been there thinking that I could trust them before I really knew and Even I made the mistake of collaborating with some people that I had to terminate the relationship because I realized it wasn't the places we were both coming from, we're actually very different. And I was shocked when I found it out. In fact, one person, it took me a number of years to figure it out what was actually going on. And when I did, I was like, Whoa, that was a big lesson. So I'm kind of in the place that you are not with my own practice, per se, or my belief system around spiritual communities. Because I think just because I grew up with an activist mother and I grew up in college, I was a very radical activist, I was protesting more than I was actually in college for a number of years. There was like a big movement that was building that got squashed right during September 11. And so I was part of that. And then we all got, like, silenced. In that movement. I just witnessed so much mismanagement of power and control dynamics, that I'm really clear runs everywhere, you know, like, it doesn't matter what community you're in, it's part of the healing we have to do around these communal spaces. Yeah. And it's to me, it's not just community, it's, I think, it's about taking it back into our ancestors and doing our own ancestral healing. Because a lot of what we're bringing, if we haven't done that healing work, we're bringing those wounds to community, which is creating all of these problems. And I've learned a lot through my own mistakes. Yeah, a lot of those mistakes have been thinking that, subtly giving my power away to someone and then realizing the damage of that, and what it means to give away power and like how sacred, you know, our own sovereignty is, and when we hand it to someone. That is kind of like a Soul Split, you know, and I think that's why in the Kundalini community, there's so much healing that needs to be done, because there's been a lot of like, Soul fractures. It's deep. Yeah, really deep.

Mina Bahadori:

It really is. And, you know, it just the hardest lesson for me it has been that just because someone says they're spiritual, doesn't really mean that they are doing the inner work, or that they are checking their ego that they are coming from heart and soul. So that's just been disappointing. Before, you know, when I heard someone was a Kundalini yogi, or just that they were spiritual, I was like, automatically making all sorts of assumptions benefit of the doubt, like just putting them in a different category of goodness. Now, I realize I can't, I can't do that. And, you know, that's okay. You know, just back to that idea of people needing to earn your trust and show you who they are, and when they show you who they are, believe them, and you may need to walk away, as, you know, respectfully as possible. Um, and yeah, it's a, it's really, it's really sticky. And thankfully, I was only in kundalini yoga for really four years. And so it's easier to step away, then one who might have their whole identity tied to it, you know, from everything from your name to your, you know, partner, to your child in the community to maybe your job. Some people, you know, got their education through three HO some people, you know, just really had no friends or family outside the community. So everything became intertangled with this, and they really don't know who they are beyond it. And I don't know it's very, very tricky. I think most people who've grown up in a cult can relate. And, you know, I might even want to bring someone on who knows more about cult dynamics specifically. I think that would be like an interesting direction to go and just see the parallels. But yeah, it's really a lot in honestly it can be very overwhelming, but that's why I feel like dealing with it together. There is so much better and easier than dealing it with dealing with processing it all on your own. So yeah, the relationship definitely helps. And talking about it aloud helps having people that you can really just be yourself around and not hold. Back or yourself. It really is healing.

Ra Ma:

Yeah, yeah, the piece that really started to unnerve me was all of the imprinting around like, Oh, don't spend more than 72 hours with your family of origin, like don't spend more than 72 hours. And one thing I've witnessed for myself, because I turned 40 This year, and when I separated from my daughter's father, my mom ended up moving in with my daughter and I and it's really potent to live with three generations of women and it's not easy, maiden, mother, Crone. It's, it's definitely a lot of work. As I've gone down, and through my path, like when I started to really disengage more and more like consciously from the Kundalini community in 2016, I was drawn to study with other mentors, because, for me, I was just like, I am an artist. And there's always been so many things I'm interested in, and there were some teachers I had been wanting to study with for a really long time. And so I started investing and studying with them instead of going to all of these Kundalini trainings. In that work. My two mentors that I actively work with, since then, and now are Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Mina Bahadori:

Wow

Ra Ma:

Yeah, and elder Malidoma Some may and, like through both of them, I've had this big ancestral healing piece, but definitely elder Malidoma Some, I mean, that's the heart of his work. I don't know if you know who he is. No, yeah, he's also a doctor. But he doesn't really use that title. But he has like three, two or three PhDs and three master's degrees. It's crazy. He's super intelligent. But he's from Burkina Faso in West Africa. And he was kidnapped by Jesuit priests at a young age. And then he grew up where they were like, molding him in the Jesuit community. And he ended up running away and going back to his village. And he came back into his village, but he was much older, he was in his late teens, and he really had to be initiated. And it's not just that, he begged his village elders that they would allow him to initiate like the youth do in his village. But when I say he had to be initiated, he had to like, he was like a foreigner in certain ways, you know, because he had been taken the around the age of four, and he has this really fascinating, rich story in, in studying with him, the piece that I've come to understand that is so significant for us on Earth right now is this ancestral healing piece. And so here, I was doing this ancestral healing. And I'm thinking in my head, because, you know, you go back into these places where different thought patterns were installed. And in kundalini yoga training, there's a lot of like thought packages, you're given, like, believe this, this is, this is the way here, we're going to install this right now in your psyche. And not be with my family after 72 hours, like that's kind of messed up. And not that I hadn't thought about it deeply before I had. But because I was angry, I was still really angry with my family of origin. And I hadn't really done much healing as a younger being. But as I started to do that healing more and more consciously, I was okay being around them. And that's when I was like, wow, this is like, you can see the potential of total cult dynamics being laid out. I mean, that's what I mean. It's like so sophisticated, right? The whole organism

Mina Bahadori:

It really is. And you can be the most intelligent streetsmart person and still very slowly get sucked in because it's very insidious. So..

Ra Ma:

it's also very hypnotic too. There's a hypnotism for sure. Both of my parents became hypnotherapist when I was like, 10

Ra Ma:

And so, and my dad, he was in the military. And my mom was like, when I was younger, she was a representative for Max Factor for makeup. You know, she's had so many different roles. And she's like a extraordinary community gardener and has been for two decades. The hypnotism factor is massive in this technology. And you know, it's interesting like, because I don't know if you know about the whole rebirthing series.

Mina Bahadori:

Wow.

Mina Bahadori:

I do.

Ra Ma:

It took me a long time before, like, I would never watch those videos. I was like, I'm not watching them. But it was about a year ago, when I bought the book, it took me a long time to want to buy the book, but I was interested in it because I have parents who raised me with hypnotherapy. But there was always this element. And I taught a couple of workshops, but I'll be honest, like, I was just always, I don't know, I just like don't know, if this is really safe or pure. I already had that as a general rule, but with the rebirthing. It's, it's, it's really uncharted territory. But some of this could actually be very dangerous.

Mina Bahadori:

Yeah, I've had those conversations, I'm continue to have them. Because you assume because of Yogi Bhajan titles that he really gave to himself, but before we knew that he gave them to Himself. And by framing this yoga as ancient, you know, as time tested as safe, you just, you know, assume that everything is there, you know, to protect you, and in a very specific order and everything. But it seems that the way that Yogi Bhajan just took a little bit from here, and a little bit from there, and a little bit from there, and a little bit from there, and then just kind of mishmash, everything reveals that it's not necessarily ancient time tested or say. And really, I feel like just something, everything was just really used to market itself. I don't I don't think anything really does, necessarily what it says that it does. I think maybe if you have that intention in mind, you know, intention, plus heavy breath, plus movement, plus chanting, like can produce the result that you're expecting. I don't think he really knew what the outcome would be.

Ra Ma:

Yeah, it was like a major experiment.

Mina Bahadori:

Yes, I think we really were experiments. And Guru Singh said once and he said this in like a light hearted, fun way. But I was like, Oh, that seems weird. He was like Yogi Bhajan looked at me one day, and was like guru Singh. We had no idea what we were doing, did we? And Guru Singh was like, I thought you did was like, and so it's like, okay, there's probably truth there that, you know. And Philip talks about this, too, how Yogi Bhajan actually ate meat when he first came to the US. And like, people expected him to be vegetarian, because he's a yogi. So suddenly, he's vegetarian and everyone's vegetarian, like, he was just marrying people's expectations of him, and giving the people what he thought they wanted or needed. So I also believe since they're all, they were all like hippies coming off of drugs, that he was making everything, just to get you really high. And again, probably not the safest thing, necessarily, and I feel like a lot of Kundalini Yogi's are very ungrounded. Like there's not an integration with the feeling of bliss that they've achieved. Like, there's not an integration with their body.

Ra Ma:

Absolutely Yeah, no, a lot of them are not embodied.

Mina Bahadori:

Yeah,

Ra Ma:

there's a kind of like a frayed and this even energetically in some of the nerve nerves that come out. Like the responses, the shortness, it's such a massive topic to begin to unpack.

Mina Bahadori:

I know. It's not easy.

Ra Ma:

It's definitely not easy. It's definitely not easy. And I've sat with it a lot. Because at first I've been through waves of like, well, I'm still going to teach and then I'm like, Well, I don't know if I want to teach, teach it at all. But then I have people who have come to class with me for a really long time. And they they want me to keep teaching in in that way. But then I've also been like, Well I've been Practicing, as a yogi for a really long time, I'm trained in another tradition. And I've thought about really doing the research and seeing what lineages was Yogi Bhajan? Pulling from what feels safe? And what do I want to like what feels good in my body? And what do I feel comfortable mirroring? And that's something that feels more authentic, the same time holding these weekly classes, because people are in quarantine, and they really need communal space. Yeah, it's really tricky. And so when things came out in February, and I came back to the US in March, and I was teaching, I was really clear, I'm only going to teach the sets that I feel are really safe. And that's all I've been teaching for a very small handful of meditations. There. The sets and the meditations, I've done 1000s of times, and it's really only because I've done them so much that I feel okay doing it. I hear, it's so tricky, you know, and then it's like, for anyone who wants to teach in any capacity, they're up against so many people who want to talk that too, right? Because they're the people who want to stay pure to the lineage who are going to be pissed. Because you're not either covering your head or maybe you're not teaching wearing white. Yeah, or whatever the thing is, you know, or there are people who are like, leaving everything, and they're gonna be pissed because you didn't leave everything. And it's like, everyone's got to find their own way. And this is choppy waters.

Mina Bahadori:

Yeah, I think, you know, I think as time goes on, it'll just be come more and more clear what everyone needs to do for themselves. I think that if you have another yoga certification, you're in a really good spot, because you can tell more, what is good for the body. Like me, having only had a Kundalini certification, I have a really terrible understanding of anatomy. Right ...

Ra Ma:

That was like the thing that shocked me, you know, because I not only did level one, but I did multiple level twos, and I'm just kind of like,

Mina Bahadori:

why didn't you teach that? Yeah, ...

Ra Ma:

Like we, like at Kripalu Yoga, we went so deep into anatomy, it's important. Yeah, so I only injuries come from yoga classes.

Mina Bahadori:

Exactly. And I wonder if they're not teaching it, because then people realize that a lot of it is counterintuitive. But for someone like you, who has an understanding of anatomy, and you know, another yoga lineage, I think it is is here to piece together like what feels really aligned and good in your body grounding and elevating. So, you know, I would feel comfortable, you know, taking a class like that. Personally, I'm really just can't listen to the music right now. Which is like a big shift. I used to be obsessed, play it day. Morning, tonight, day in and day out. And so that's like, a loss for sure. And maybe there's a way to reintroduce it. But it's just so complicated between the Sikhs saying like, you're not even saying the true meaning of these mantras, like, and and then like, obviously, just not wanting a chance, something that Yogi Bhajan came up with by him.

Ra Ma:

Yeah. Well, it's yeah, it's so tricky, too, because it's like, the whole cultural appropriation piece is a whole other massive topic. And it's something I always sat with. I had a hard time with it. But I would say to myself, well, Yogi Bhajan, brought this technology to the west, and he had a call and like, this was a gift for the western woman. And now I'm kind of like, was it a gift? Or was it a massive joke for the Western ego? Think about him as like, working in an airport observing all these Westerners.

Mina Bahadori:

I think he saw an opportunity,

Ra Ma:

right? It was a golden nugget. It was his golden ticket.

Mina Bahadori:

Right time. Yeah. Really,

Ra Ma:

as we're drawing this to a close, is there anything else that you feel called to share or reflect upon?

Mina Bahadori:

I think just reminding everyone to keep like communication open and not necessarily shut down a conversation just because you don't even agree with the other person like for, let's say, someone like me who's like, I don't want to practice this, but still being open to the ideas of someone who wants to retain some aspects of it, it's much harder. And I'm not quite ready to offer complete forgiveness to those who weren't complicit in the abuses, knowing that not everyone is going to arrive to the truth at the same time. And it is a process and I do believe truth prevails. And as long as you are really listening to yourself, and allowing yourself to feel deeply and like, not bypass this and really sit with it all, I do believe that everyone following their own guidance is going to arrive at a point where we can like meet each other in a place of respect, and love and compassion. And yeah, just giving everyone the grace to figure this out for themselves. Some people are in it much deeper. And there's a lot of deprogramming, I'm definitely not like, fully integrated into all of this, I'm still processing and learning. So just be kind to yourself, as you try to figure this out. If you are in the midst of on raveling this information, and try to be tender with others, not just like, lashing out at everybody. And I feel social media can sometimes enable people to be really cruel in some ways with people who you disagree with. So just trying to maintain some heart based conversation if, if you're able to do that, that would be that would be really good. And I just thank you all for listening to me. And if you're interested, I am doing these talks mostly Tuesdays and Fridays, usually 7pm Pacific Time, but sometimes it can shift a little bit. So just if you're on my Instagram, my Instagram is at @mysticalmina, and you can find it there.

Ra Ma:

Thank you so much, Mina, I agree with you, may truth prevail. That is the biggest takeaway from all of this. And I think what is showing up in the Kundalini community is a prism of something that is much larger that showing up in our entire world as we know it, and where truth has not been actualized those systems are collapsing, and may they collapse so that we can really build this new Earth on strong foundations of truth and compassion and love and kindness.

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"sovereign subscriptions for 2020. I am not your teacher, I am not your healer. I am not your leader. Please do not put me on a pedestal. For when you do, I will surely fall. My work is as a witness, as a guide. As a vessel, a facilitator of sacred space, an artist of a multitude of dimensions. You are your teacher, you are your healer, you are your leader. Mother Earth needs each one of us in our sovereignty in our power and our clarity, in our creativity. Each human, each animal, each tree, each stone is counting on our commitment to the curriculum we agreed to express in this human incarnation. She and they and we need one another like never before. Today we stand at the threshold of 2019 crossing into 2020. This new year and new decade is already here with the Quantum Leap of this Capricorn cancer Eclipse portal that is clearing out anything and everything that is blocking each one of us from fully being in our power."

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And with that, we're going to move in To our ancestral guided meditation that is going to assist you in integrating everything you've experienced and taken in in this episode of Stars stones and stories. Take a moment and come lay down, make sure you're in a safe space where you can totally relax, all distractions are tucked away. Your body is immediate biological needs are cared for and you can be completely present, closing your eyes. If you find you're not there, then pause, there's a timestamp, you can come back here at another time.

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So, gathering here, in this moment, eyes are closed. And you find yourself relaxing, coming to stillness. bringing your awareness to your physical body, bringing your awareness to your breath. And just allowing the body to get nice and heavy. Feeling this wave of relaxation and train in through the soles of the feet wrapping up through the ankles, into the backs and the fronts of the legs, going up into the pelvic bowl coming into the base of the spine. Moving up through all the internal organs, your sex organs, your digestive organs to your lungs and your heart space. Continuing to move up through the vertebrae up into the heart and the lungs really focusing in the space. This network of consciousness and moving up to the neck, down the arms and out into the fingertips and coming back up through the throat and the neck to the back of the head and the front of the face. relaxing the jaw and the root of the tongue relaxing the ears, the inner ears, like seeing your eyes, relaxing your mind relaxing the top of your head and all of the hairs on your head. Just deeply, deeply relaxing here in the space. Knowing any thoughts, any worries, you can come back to these at another time. They will be there waiting for you. And so now consciously bringing your awareness to your grounding cord of light coming from the base of your spine and the palms of your hands. The soles of your feet going down, down down deep down all the way into the heart of the Mother, the heart of Terra Gaia, settling deep into the core of the Earth deep into great grandmother hematite. This lineage stone that connects you to the seven generations who have come before and the seven generations yet to come. I'm just feeling the power and The nurturing arms of great grandmother hematite as she wraps all around you, filling the void filling the lack consciousness. Filling up all of the spaces in places where you feel you are not enough where you feel not nurtured or held in ways that you need. Great Grandmother hematite fills those spaces up with her consciousness with her grounding with her anchoring, and you begin to find yourself on your hands and your knees, crawling through a dark tunnel. You've just entered this room like portal through the earth. And you're crawling down, down down deep into the heart of the mother, to the space of great grandmother hematite.

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You feel her stones all around you, underneath your knees and your hands and your feet and above you and around. And you continue to crawl through this narrow passage going deeper down into Mother Earth. And your journey, you continue to journey not sharing, not being sure where you're going, where you're being led, but trusting in the space of trusting in this journey. And you find yourself moving one hand and the other knee and the other hand and the other knee, just back and forth. This cross forward motion that brings the left and the right hemispheres of the brain together in unity. And you continue to just move left and right and left and right and left and right. It's so dark, it's like you're moving with your eyes closed yet they are open. Or maybe they're closed. Maybe they're open. You do not know and it doesn't matter. You just stay present moving forward. And any time the mind begins to go into a state of fear you bring your awareness back to your breath. When needed forward, one hand forward and the next. And so as you journey deeper into this cave, you begin to see some light flickering. This flickering is growing larger and you also feel a subtle warmth coming in. And you find yourself coming to more and more open air eventually coming out into a space where you can stand and walk and you enter into this open air space with in the cave. And there's this large, gigantic roaring fire with so many colors orange and yellow and red and green and purple and blue. However Your eyes are drawn to the right corner and you see this hag woman this crone woman hunched over a smaller fire and rocks and this large cauldron with this bubbling brew and she looks at you. She's bony. Her skin sags from the bones. Yet she's powerful. And she is ancient. And she beckons you over and you come towards her. She welcomes you to pulls out this large mug and begins to gather her brew into the mug. She looks at you and smiles and you feel this bulge in the pocket of your tunic and you reach her hand into the pocket and you realize you have a gift for her. You take a moment and you notice in your hands your gift and you bring it in to Have right and you offer it to her. She receives your gift, and she gives you this brew and nudges you to go to the fire, and you come to set to the fire, you begin to gaze up into the flames. And you begin to sip on your tonic, and it's so nourishing, you just feel this medicine goes straight into your bones, and you gaze into the flames. And within the flames, you begin to see movements, beyond the color and the lights, you begin to see the movement of these beings, these people. And you realize that these people are your people, these people are your ancestors. And you see person after person after person appear in the flames.

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It goes on and on so rapid and fast. And they're also sequentially different yet. They're all you, at the same time. And they show themselves through the dancing of the flames. And as they show themselves, you find these tears running down your cheeks beginning to pool in front of you, so many tears of recognition and realization. As you witness those who have come before you. You witness their talents, and you witnessed their pain and their sorrow and you witness their dreams and their abilities. And you witness their joy and their suffering and their loves and their losses. And you witness it and you feel it as if it is yours moving through every cell of your being and you continue to just allow these tears to fall down the sides of your face. And they begin to pull more and more in front of your body.

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And you just continue to absorb all that is happening, the dancing, the movement, through the fire, flickering, the drinking of the beverage and all of the sensations, all of the ancestral memories and wisdom that begins to just electrically move through all of your very being here and now. And all of the sudden you're guided, again, you feel this bulge in your pocket, your right hand pocket of your tunic and you reach down into the pocket and you pull out the small pad of paper and this pen and you feel called to write and you begin to write down all of your fears and all of your doubts, your anger, your sadness, your losses, your grief, you write down all of the unfulfilled promises. And you just allow yourself to pour your heart onto this paper and as you do so, more tears roll down your cheeks, and more pool in front of you.

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And from time to time you look up into the flames and they seem to be growing higher and taller. And more colors continue to come through and more faces and bodies and movement. It's timeless, it's endless. And you just set so present to all of this as you write and you feel and this continues until the pen runs out of ink and you offer the pen to the fire and you take the paper and you fold it and you dip the paper in this pool of tears and you offer it to the fire And you begin to come to stand up and you begin to dance. And you dance and you move and you shake all of your self, all of yourselves all of the cells of your body, you shake them out, you move rapidly in every which way, you dance like you've never danced before. And as you dance and you move, you begin to feel Hall around you these beings, dancing and moving with you. You feel the electricity filling up all of the cells of who you are the alchemical process of all of your ancestors, gathering around you dancing with and dancing through you. And you shake, and you cry, and you laugh, and you scream. You let everything flow through all of who you are. The places that you've hidden in the corner, the parts of you, you've suppressed, that what you thought was ugly or dirty or had shame, or you resented it comes up and out from these swamp lands of self, and you allow them to express these muted parts of who you are, they are expressed, they are seen they are witnessed, they are held. And you just find yourself shaking, shaking, shaking, moving all of your body, shaking out the nervous system, shaking out all the trauma timelines, shaking out all of the trauma timelines. And you come in front of the fire and you lie down and close your eyes and you begin to feel this presence and the hag has come next to you and she sits down and she takes your head with her bony hands and places it in her lap and she begins to smooth their hair she begins to sing.

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And as her voice fills you up, you dissolves into this moment of complete surrender and acceptance. This moment of compassion for all that is any feel your nervous system a comes in this large, shaking pulse. It's like a earthquake moves through you and out and you find stillness and in that stillness you find deep restorative sleep

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begin to bring your awareness back to your physical body. Back to the room where you're resting. You begin to wiggle through the fingers and the toes taking some nice, long, deep breaths

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and You begin to rub together, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet and you relax the legs back out long. You bring your right hand to your hearts, in your left hand on top of your rights. And take a moment, giving gratitude for all that is giving gratitude for your ancestral lineage. All who have come before you. giving gratitude to Mother Earth and all of her being seen and unseen. giving gratitude for great grandmother hematite, her powerful healing. Feeling the sense of purification and transformation.

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When you continue to rest and gather yourself, collecting yourself fully when it feels right for you, you'll be ready to come more back to this realm. In the meantime, may you know that your ancestors are so proud of you. They know that you've chosen to come in some really challenging times. And they want you to know that they're really proud of you. And that they're here for you. There in those spaces. Between, betwixt. Giving you inspiration and insights, giving you hugs, sharing wisdom, laughing alongside you. Singing through you

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May you always feel the backing of your ancestral might. May you always know that the creativity and resources that you need to accomplish your own unique mission here on Earth are always right at your fingertips. May you always know that you have everything you need. And that it is through the sacred devotional path. The magic of moving forward is made manifest and so it is. Blessed be.

About the Podcast

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Stars, Stones and Stories: Ancient Future Myth & Astrology
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About your host

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Ra Ma

EarthSeed Temple Arts (ETA) offers astrological divination, a mystery school, and global pilgrimages to activate your starseed wisdom through educational and mystical experiences. Ra Ma, the pillar of ETA is an artist, alchemical astrologer, cosmic high priestess, herbalist, gridkeeper, pilgrimage steward, yogic healer and the creatrix of the podcast Stars, Stones, and Stories. She has studied the art of starkeeping for over 28 years and holds a MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology with merit through The Sophia Centre. Ra Ma leads annual pilgrimages to Egypt, Avalon and the South of France. She began teaching yoga in 2006 and weaves a blend of Kundalini and Kripalu technologies with mantra, deep meditation and sound healing. In addition, she offers Quantum Healing Hypnosis journeys as taught by Dolores Cannon as a means to dissolving blocks within previous incarnations to midwife your cosmic evolution.
While earning a BA from Hampshire college, she focused on Paleolithic and Neolithic Goddesses, Interdisciplinary Arts, and Media Criticism. She went on to earn a Post Baccalaureate in Visual Art from SMFA, Reiki Master Certification, numerous yoga certifications, and other credentials in the healing arts. In 2022 she completed her dissertation to receive a MA Cultural Astronomy and Astrology via the Sophia Centre of UWTSD. She has studied the art of starkeeping for over 28 years.

In 2017 she began facilitating global pilgrimages to Egypt, South of France, and England with the prayer of guiding others to fall in love with Nature by simultaneously awakening the powerpoints of Earth through the human body.

She studies regularly with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Daoist Priest Jeffrey Yuen. Her beloved mentor Elder Malidoma Somé recently transitioned and his medicine teachings are a wellspring of inspiration for this work.