Awakening Shakti: Embodying the Maha Vidyas – A series of 10 ONLINE classes (one a month over 10 months)

This 10 part series explores the energy of the Maha Vidyas, or Wisdom Goddesses within the landscape of the feminine body. 

An exploration into the cycles of life from menarche to menopause, honouring your own inner cyclical wisdom as woman.

“Our survival as a species depends on our ability to re-engage with the feminine”

Right now, we are bring called within, to rest, to digest and to see the bigger picture.  There is great suffering and collective trauma.  We were made for these times.  This is loud and clear.

Each of the 10 classes, links one stage of feminine wisdom with the energy of one of the wisdom goddesses of the tantric tradition with diverse practices, mudra, mantra, movement, asana, deep rest and sharing.  They will be available here ongoing.

Embodying the Feminine, The Inner Goddess

The sages of Tantra have known for centuries that when you follow the path of shakti, the ‘sacred feminine principle’ as personified by the goddess, the attributes of the deities can manifest spontaneously.

Firstly, deep gratitude to my teacher and the teachings and work of radical yogini Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and Yoni Shakti.  Additionally, gratitude to Sally Kempton for her book Awakening Shakti and Kavitha Chinnaiyan for Shakti Rising.


Kali is the Great Mother, Kali Ma.  Time herself, Transformational, Revolutionary, stripping away and shattering what we cling to, for our own good.  The goddess who teaches us cyclical wisdom and the necessity to embrace change.

In darkness there is the primordial seed of creation

CLASS ONE – Recorded Live Sunday May 24th, with so much gratitude in collaboration with The Beloved Be Woman Sisterhood in Bali

In this first class we explore the energy of the Goddess of time herself, Kali Ma. We explore the connection between Kali and womb space. Learn the meaning of the Bija Mantra Kreem and it’s sacred vibration, Experience Kali as movement and release and activate practices to rid you of what no longer serves you life.  Jo Shakti guides you through the practice with love and devotion, the unconditional love of the divine mother.

Kali is the Great Mother, Kali Ma.  Time herself, Transformational, Revolutionary, stripping away what we cling to, for our own good.

2020 has met Kali, stripping away systems and structures, the very foundations of our society.  So many have talked of the feminine rise (I prefer root), and here she is in the form of a deconstruction of everything that is familiar and comfortable about consumer culture and democracy.

I’ve had warnings from women who warn me of the dangers of cultural appropriation, ‘The White Middle Class Yogini who mess around in ancient and sacred teaching’.  And years of tantric study would not make me a Kali Kaula adept, correct.  But surely, the point is she is right now, in our laps and we must rise to the occasion.  The Maha Vidya reveal themselves without ceremony or ritual, tradition or tapas in insights and in visions without restrictions.

In your own life your dark nights of the soul, the moment of loosing everything are Kali.  Once stripped of what you held dear, life rebuilds in ways you never knew were necessary or part of your soul calling.  We have all experienced this in one way or another.  I honour you.

Kali clearly is doing all she can in 2020 for a new age of peace, beyond the material and destructive habits of the Yuga (Kali Yuga!).  Kali is the Nirodaha (the cessation, the deep rest beyond illusion and the ‘neti-neti’, I am not this and I am not that.  She is this opportunity to reassess, filter, come to stillness and be at home.  With half the solar system in retrogade in 2020, we may have no choice but to slow down.

Kali is the current of change, the natural cycle of destruction and renewal.

She is the darkness of the womb space­­, that holds us, a deep dark blue hue of absolute darkness whilst wrapped in unconditional love.  She is misunderstood as ‘destructive’ in the traditional sense.  Buddhists call it Shunya, the eternal void. In her blackness, absence of colour, there is the immeasurable reservoir of inexhaustible potential, that gives rise to life.  In the stillness there is all of life and her potentiality or shakti.

 In Nada Yoga, Kali’s Adya Bija (1st seed sound) is KRIM

K stands for knowledge

R means she is auspicious

I means she gives (boons) or gifts/blessings

M freedom, enlightenment

KRIM is the seed sound of Kali, also the seed sound of Yoga, to voice the sound is to connect to Pratyahara and the transformational energy of Kundalini Shakti.

KRING – the divine Mother.  Kali is the Maha Mother of all the Maha Vidya

Om Krim Kali

Om Kring Kalikaye Namaha

Om Sri Maha Kalikaye Namaha

Awakening Shakti, co-taught by Peewee Sanchez of Yogafirst and Jo of Return to the Self in Bali, 2018 and 2019

Kali’s Yanta, deep symbolism

Eight-petalled lotus: Prakriti, she is the cause of material nature. Each petal earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect, and ego-sense

The circle symbolizes the circle of life and death which we must pierce in order to reach the Absolute Reality.

Five downwards pointing triangles – Shakti, the creative force of the Universe

The fifteen corners of the five inverted concentric triangles represent the fifteen psychophysical states- five organs of knowledge (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch), five organs of action (hands, feet, speech, organ of evacuation, and organ of procreation), five ‘vayus’ (prana-upward air; apana-downward air; vyana-air within the body; udana-air leaving the body; and samana, the digestive force).

The bindu as Shiva, consciousness

19th Century Bengali, Kali Yantra



Sri Yantra


AIM, the creative principle, KRIM the pleasure principle, Kama, compelling formless into form and SOHA, radiating this energy

Lalita Sundari is the Beauty of all 3 worlds – Physical, Subtle and Causal.  As the innocence of the 16 year old, she is beauty herself (Sodashi).

In the feminine lifecycle she is the menarche, the tenderness and delight of our first moon. 

She is our ovulation compelling the allure and cosmic desire to form.

In this class we invoke the Panchadashi mantra, that unifies our being and connects us with Grace.

We meditate on our female siddhi of ovulation, of Kama, as we tenderly connect to the radiance of womanhood and reclaim the beauty of the first moon.

We root and move in an exploration of what is alive right now and use our own movement as a contemplative mirror on ourselves as the temple space.

This class was recorded on the dark moon, we connect to our crown energy as radiant light and bliss and shimmer and close the practice.  Our own personal solar eclipse (as she was recorded on the eclipse!)

This class was recorded on 21st June 2020, the Summer Soltice, in the sign of Cancer, calling in the Mother.

Prepare for this class with flowers, Incense, honey and spoon, pillows (and blankets if cold)

The Panchadashi Mantra

ka e ī la hrīṁ

ha sa ka ha la hrīṁ

sa ka la hrīṁ, srim

The Panchadashi Mantra is unique, unbinding all 3 layers of being and awakening our channels and vitality.

We start through our desire and intention manifesting to light – ka e i la hrim

When we recite ha sa ka ha la hrīṁ, so we untie the Vishnu node (ego and power) and activate the Sun Power.

while chanting sa ka la hrīṁ, we untie the Rudra node (compassion and true service) and activate the Moon Power.

ka — wish, e — intention, ī — motivation, la — accomplishment, hrīṁ — light and realization of soul,

ha — the Sun, sa — the Moon, ka — wish, ha — prana, la — accomplishment, hrīṁ — light and realization of soul.

sa — moon energy of mind, ka — wish, la — accomplishment, hrīṁ — shakti and light.

The sixteenth bija śrīṁ allows to open the Sahasrara (crown) chakra, the abode of Tripura Sundari in the Physical and Energetic Space.

Contemplation on beauty

A meditation on Grace, Radiance, Rose, Playfulness and Lightness

A dive into rapture and beauty

When we connect to the beauty of Sodasi, when we open to tenderness and rapture we find ourselves squarely in the meditation of rapture.

The love magnetism of Sodasi can tie us in her noose (pictured in her hand) through misplaced hedonism or a sublimation of the senses to delight

If ovulation is held by a Maha Vidya, it is Sodasi.

She is the beauty, the erotic play of life herself, compelling form into formles.  The Fimbriae wafting the ovum, an outflow of the cosmic erotic impulse.


Our third Maha Vidya in our series of 10 is Tara.  Tara is our protector and our guiding star.  In the wisdom of the feminine life cycle, she is the Maha Siddhi of Menstruation.  Her message to us is ‘listen to the whispers so she doesn’t have to shout.’  Tuning in to the wisdom of the womb is the foundational spiritual practice for women.  Tara in my life is my ‘logo’ for Return to the Self’ as I embrace my final 5-10 menstruating years before menopause.

In this class we will listen to the womb, embody all seasons as a movement practice, tap into the energy of Tara’s Yantra and Mantra and of course enjoy deep relaxation.

Menstruality Consciousness

We are called as women, to centre our Cyclical Wisdom as the Spiritual Practice, above and beyond all others.  Once we do so, then all other wisdom becomes secondary.  As menstruating women, we can summarise our monthly cycles as our “Maha Guru’ and menstruation as our ‘Maha Siddhi’.

Lost in the midst of time are the wisdom and knowledge that placed Menstruation at the centre of the Spiritual wisdom of a community.  Our blood is Gold, it was treated as such in cultures gone by and revered and the time of monthly bleeding given it’s proper place of rest and internal travel, the red tent.

If you listen to your womb when she whispers, you won’t have to hear her scream

When we turn our attention to our wombs and start to listen to her whispers, a whole world opens up.  Many women are on a Yogic path which does not centre the womb and subsequently, they end up battling issues such as Endometriosis, Period Pain, Fertility issues and so much more.  We now have the language of the ‘curse’ rather than what ultimately could be every woman’s inner guru.

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