Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sacred Touch

I recently uncovered that Sacred Sexuality was one of the HOT TOPICS for this year's International Conference on Shamanism. I mentioned this to my students and brought it up on a Facebook Community that Sarah (a student and friend) started a few years back. This is one of my postings on the topic and since I didn't want to loose it for further references -- I brought it here.

In 1999 -- I picked up this article on Sacred Sexuality where an ethnologist was talking about the different rites of Love and Sex all over the World. I liked the article because the ethnologist took a Shamanic perspective. He talked about tribal living and how people used certain rituals to teach each other how to be collectively healthy. I found it fascinating. For example he talked about Greeks (ancestors 1700) and how they were publicly affectionate with each other -- to teach their children how to be open and intimate with their own people (Greeks obviously). He also mentions the worshipping of Aphrodite and how it created people who were focused on pleasure. I am not Greek but I know lots of Greek People (friends) and I've always admired the way Greek men and Greek women are affectionate with one another. Definitely even today - you can see within the Greek culture the affects of ancestral ritual touch. It made me wonder about our own Society today... What are the sexual rituals of the 21st century and what does that say about US?
A French journalist, Nathalie Dray -- wrote an article on Sacred Prostitutes in India that also talked to me. She too made a connection between the worshipping of the Goddess Yellama and the behaviours or the attitudes of the people. She seemed to be saying that "our beliefs" impact our issues or non-issues with sexuality, intimacy, TOUCH.
One thing that's FOR SURE for me, is that all HUMANS need touch. We constantly seek companionship; we're sensitive to our biological clocks; and we fear things like abandonment, rejection and being alone. We are creatures that NEED each other; we are creatures that are in tune with the physical -- and all that, resonates into TOUCHING in many cases. Whether we are talking about a hug, a pat on the back, holding hands, the warmth of someone else's body in our bed, or SEX -- it's all about TOUCH and it's all about fulfilling a need. How can we ever say we are CONTENT in life if we don't somehow FILL up all the HOLES in our life ---- TOUCH unfortunately being one of them in this century. Plus - lets face it many illnesses (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) are about a starvation on the level of touch. I understand that our society is scared of sexual abuse or abuse of any kind but I fear that we've gone to far and created many of the issues we are dealing with today with our children and elders. TOUCH has been a healing tool for thousands and thousands of years for HUMANS. Since the arrival of modern medicine -- touch has been rejected in so many ways and to the detriment of us all.


pixie said...

Our society reminds me of being a child,, a daddy's girl through and through, I was alway with him as a small child, loved to cuddle,, then at the age of 8 or 9, I remember that stopping,, and him telling me that people will get the wrong impression and so it is no longer ok. I did not understand being a child and of a childs mind. Then as I got older about 15-16 I remember having a hard time giving him a kiss on the cheek and him getting upset, neither of us understanding, this time it was my fear of what society would think. Thank goodness I am much older now, and I do understand that it is societies view, wasn't always this way, and it doesn't mean it's right.
Enjoyed looking back at this.

Wapeyit Malsom said...

Pixie thank you for your comment.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a Society where touch is understood as nurturing, loving and even healing.

Wheelkeeper said...

Being in transition myself this past year or so, I find it hard to see where the transition begins and ends.. .it seems to me life is all about transition. Transition from day to night, night to day, home or inner world to outer world, childhood to adulthood. When are we not in transition. Yet, it is good to mark the stages with ritual and gratitude for the lessons and abundance lived.

I am finding the transition to Elder just as difficult as teenager to adult. As you said Wapeyit, over time we begin to see that the patterns or stories are all similar and that brings comfort, because we know that we will change, but some things will stay the same. I guess we need that familiarity. When I fear the unknown, I remind myself that I have survived other transitions and found the new stage of life to be wonderful and exciting.

At 57, I realized that I still have a lot of more living to do!!!


Wapeyit Malsom said...

Thank you for your postings. I love to read your feedback and your stories. They somehow complete my blog... Keep them coming.

Prismslight said...

I remember learning baby massage when my first child was born because i had read somewhere that in Inida in the orphanages the people who helped the poor caste would go and massage the babies everyday to give them connection to this earth so that their soul did not want to leave but inhabit the body it was given...I feel that my children who now will readily ask for a foot massge and giggle and laugh because it tickles but that affection...connection is strong with us. My husband loves getting back massage i laugh because we make a deal okay i will massage your back then its my turn right (yup he say's) but he falls alseep and I see he is so contented that I do not want to disturb him so i go to the tub and turn on my jets lol I think our society is very much anti touch you see it in elevators all the time you bump into someone and its oh im sorry and everyone tries to stand perfectly still when i step in now i smile and say hello somtimes I ask how people are doing I try to leave them with a happy thought even if we do not physically touch..I know our energies do :)

Magdeline said...

Recently I have been feeling that some touch is not authentic (hugging everytime I see someone or say goodbye). I was feeling no need for this type of touch. At the same time my partner was always asking for back massage. I felt no connection to this. I began to say no. Recently I recieved essential touch. While recieving it I realized that I had not recieved touch that was true to my body (only words I can use to describe the situation). I have been doing this touch with my daughter, partner and to myself at night. I guess what I am trying to say is that so much of the touch that society says is okay is very empty. I finally feel sparked to touch.