Author Archive: makinglovewithgod

Air, Water, Fire, Earth

When we first began, it seemed appropriate that an event based on the four elements should begin with their invocation. Or at least, it did to me, with my pagan witchy roots, and the same could be said of the core members of the team who were helping me make this new vision manifest.
Two years on, the circle has to be two people deep in order to fit into the venue, but still we turn together to the East, West, South, and North, and invite the elements of each quarter into the space. The participants are encouraged to notice each element as it manifests outside of them, and also as it manifests within. Later, they will find their way to the spaces inspired by and infused with each element; they’ll dip strawberries in the chocolate melting in Earth, join a cuddle puddle in Water, boogie down into their bodies on the dance floor in Air, and frolic and make love in Fire.
And this is just one of the rituals I hold of which the four elements form a core ingredient. In the last few years, I’ve found myself blessing and binding couples with them in handfastings; calling upon them to cleanse the recipient of a rite of passage as they stepped through a ritual portal into their new identity; and, as my second and final year of Interfaith Ministry training gets underway, I find them making a seemingly inevitable appearance in my every ceremony assignment.
But what I’m reflecting on today are the ways in which I’ve noticed Air, Water, Fire, Earth entering into my personal practice again; how they support and sustain me, the gifts they offer when I seek to be cleansed, healed, and nourished. And so I wanted to close this loose triptych of posts about finding spiritual and sexual healing in the face of this mad year with something of an ode to those elements, and a reminder to lean back, to breathe, drink, surrender, and ground yourselves in them. (more…)

Making Love with Grief

“If I could only teach one thing for the rest of my life, this would be it.”

These were Barbara Carrellas’s words about her favourite ecstatic breathing technique when I was assisting her in New York earlier this year. Not surprisingly, they got me wondering what the one thing I would choose to teach might be, were I only permitted to make one offering for the rest of my days. What sprang to mind was what I think of as “sitting with the difficult stuff” – which is to say, feeling, integrating, and making friends with those feelings or facets of ourselves that we’d rather cut out with the psychic equivalent of a scalpel than have to face and feel.

Perhaps this seems surprising, coming from someone who teaches intensives on the art of sex magic, supports clients in rekindling their relationship with pleasure, and takes great delight in facilitating large ritual orgies. (more…)

Sex in a Time of Grief

Yesterday, my beloved and I had some long-overdue quality time together. In the late afternoon, as we made headway with two delightfully obscene slices of cake in the Rainbow’s End, I found myself apologising for how low I have been over the last couple of days, and the impact that has had on our togetherness. With infinite gentleness and understanding, my beloved reminded that I have been in the dumps since the Referendum.

It’s true. And without going into why that is, I will confess that recent political events – be they the fallout from Brexit, the shootings in Orlando and those of Alton Sterling and Philado Castille, or the closing of the UK’s Department for Climate Change – have had an impact on my mood. And on our sex life. If anyone is surprised at the concept of a sex therapist facing challenges in the bedroom, let’s just say the phrase “my mess is my message” is funny because it’s true.

We were home and happily snuggled up when the news from Nice came in, swiftly followed by that from Turkey. I went to my altar, lit a candle and prayed, and felt the mixture of shock, sorrow, and powerlessness that is becoming all too familiar of late sink into my belly. When I lay down with my beloved, I suggested we take it in turns to express our thankfulness for the blessings of safety, shelter, and sheer aliveness.

And so today the only thing that feels appropriate to write about is:

How the hell do we have pleasure after grief – whether that grief be personal, political, or both?

(more…)

Safe Sex, Sacred Sex

A few weeks ago, I stood in a well-fitted dungeon, catching my breath in wonder as the fourth chapter of Koinonia took off before my eyes, like champagne from a well-shaken bottle. The crowd was the largest we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming, and the mischievous force of springtime was evidently strong in this one; the boudoir space rose, crested, and fell in an ocean of soft-lit silken skin.

For my Terrific Team ™, this meant an evening spent running from corner to corner, attempting to distribute gloves, condoms, and hand-sanitizer at the right moments – because the fact is, like so many of the habits that make sex conscious and creative, rigorous safer sex protocol takes practice. (more…)

Being Seen

It was my first day of seminary. The group moved around the room, weaving betwixt and between itself. When two of us made eye contact, we would pause, stand before one another, and one of us would say:
“I am here to be seen.”

“I see you”, came the response.

I was hooked. (more…)

Going Deeper – Reflections on Rekindling Intimacy

I spent the weekend before last at seminary for my Interfaith Ministry training. There was a lot to love about the two days (as well as plenty to feel challenged by!), including one particular structure we did on the subject of intimacy. The facilitator, inspired by Gestalt, was talking about intimacy as a cycle; as any of my clients who have listened to me bang on about how sexual arousal is a cycle (not a straight line!) over the years might anticipate, this made a lot of sense to me. (more…)

Handing it Over – the Art of Surrender

During a recent weekend intensive, I was talking a group of particularly intrepid explorers through the fundamental elements of magical ritual. On the morning in question, I was focusing on the final piece of the puzzle, the aspect of surrender, and emphasising the importance of closing a ritual by handing the desire or intention for which that ritual has been done over to the divine. “It’s not your job anymore; you’ve done your working in the present, your work is done. Now is the time to entrust it to the Universe; the future is her job, not yours.”

On the other side of the room, a face lit up, and said “I’d never considered that before, that it could be someone else’s job, that it’s not all just down to me.” (more…)

Sex, Magic, and the Importance of Being Funny – an interview with Barbara Carrellas

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Photo by Barbara Nitke

[This interview was originally published on December the 1st 2013]

Barbara Carrellas.

Sex educator, author, theatre artist, and fire-eating extraordinaire.

The irreverent inspiration for much of my own work and writing in sacred sexuality – and the all round gateway drug into a bunch of my favourite things about life.

What better way to begin blogging at greater length about the intersection between sex and spirit than an interview with this incredible pioneer of love, loins and liminality.

Luckily for me, I got in some quality time with her during her recent trip to the UK, and took the opportunity to ask her a bunch of entirely biased questions.

Enjoy.

(more…)

A Dream Coming True

I spent the better part of my childhood clambering over the rocky, gorse-kissed landscape of a tiny Greek island called Kythera. Like so many of those islands, it had succumbed to mass migration early in the 20th century; the population when I was a child stood at around 3000 souls, and only half of that was actually Greek. Studded all over this wind-ravaged outcrop were little white churches, the majority of them an abandoned testament to a once larger and more fervent population. I encountered them on my travels through the landscape; unlike my contemporaries, I was discouraged from the trappings of modern life – which is to say, I wasn’t glued to the television – and so, when I wasn’t glued to a book instead, I set myself to becoming an intrepid explorer and conqueror of my environment. As I grew, and the first seeds of spirituality began to take root, I dreamed of owning, or, better yet, building from scratch, a little white church such as the ones on whose doorsteps I would rest and reflect. I imagined adorning the walls with the angelic beings I had begun to commune with, and creating a haven where people of all faiths would be welcome, and those of no faith might be inspired – or at the very least, comforted. (more…)