If you missed Part 1 of this story yesterday,
be sure to click here and read it first!
Here's the story I promised you yesterday... it's a good one!
Brahma had Saraswati. Vishnu had Lakshmi. But in the ancient stories of India, Shiva was a bachelor for the longest period of time.
And it wasn’t about needing man and woman in a marriage like we'd consider today. Gods like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva literally could not act in the world without their shakti counterparts. The divine masculine (gods) represent dynamic stillness, where the divine feminine (goddesses) represent movement.
Both are required to play the game of life.
So as a single guy, hanging out high in his mountain abode, Shiva would go into meditation and forget to do his job: Destruction.
And while that sounds nice, it goes against the laws of nature. Without destruction, Brahma cannot create, and Vishnu cannot sustain. Everything that is created must eventually be destroyed. This is reflected in everything we see and do.
So Brahma and Vishnu go to Shakti for help so that there can be destruction again. Shakti obliges, and comes into the world as the goddess Sati, one of the many daughters of Daksha Prajapati. She is the one who successfully rouses Shiva out of his meditation and the pair falls in love and — in accordance with the plan — destruction begins once again.
Unfortunately, Daksha has no respect for Shiva. What father does at the beginning, anyway? Rather than seeing Shiva as a “dutiful son-in-law”, he sees him as the “bad boy”. He’s up in the mountains, surrounded by unruly creatures like snakes, and Daksha doesn’t think Shiva is good enough for his sweet daughter.
So Daksha holds a huge ceremony, and invites everyone in the realm EXCEPT Shiva and Sati. This is a huge insult for the pair — and Sati tells Shiva that she wants to go anyway. Maybe it was an oversight of some kind.
Shiva responds definitively: No, I don’t want you to go. And he puts his foot down.
This is the part where I can imagine the feeling of what happens next... because I feel the same way sometimes when people tell me what to do:
Sati explodes in 10 directions!
In each of the directions that Shiva looks, there is a form of the goddess that came from Sati. And not a sweet, demure goddesses... he is shocked to see ten ferocious forms of the goddess, and can’t believe they sprung from his sweet wife.
The goddess Kali looks at him and says:
How dare you tell me what to do. Look around you. There is nowhere that I am not. I am all of creation. Including you. You are part of me.
This performance deserves a fist pump, no?
That fire is inside each and every one of us — woman or not. That fire is the fuel needed for action and impact. And although this is just one origin story of the Dasha Maha Vidyas, they are always depicted in the tantric teachings as the 10 aspects of shadow and light within us.
It’s been so fun writing this story — and including that example from my own life where I felt like Sati, exploding in 10 directions!
Thus, I’m excited to announce (drumroll, please!) that from January through June 2024, I’m teaching a brand new course called the SHAKTI KRIYA TRAINING, live on Zoom, all about the Dasha Maha Vidyas.
Click here for all the details.
This course is one component of my SHEJourney 300-Hour Teacher Training... and I’m excited to announce that these 11 sessions, the powerful content and practices within, AND initiation into 30 new Kriyas and pranayamas will now be offered as a Continuing Education Course, OR as a part of the 300-hour with me.
Whether you intend to count this investment toward the 300-hour SHEJourney training with me in the future, OR you simply want 50 CEUs to satisfy the Yoga Alliance requirement every 3 years, this training might be exactly what you’re looking for...
And... if you've been considering taking my Cosmic Kriya Training course online, you can save $333 if you bundle it with Shakti Kriya before December 1st! Simply register for the Shakti Kriya Training, shoot me an email with your intention, and I'll charge your card on file for $316 — that's $333 off the original price of $649. Both of these courses can be counted toward future participation in the 300-hour training.
Note: A 200-hour YTT with Yoga Hive, or my Himalayan Kriya Teacher Training are prerequisites to take these courses. If you have questions about this, please don’t hesitate to reply and reach out!
Wishing you all a happy few weeks as we descend into the Winter Solstice!
In light and shadow,
After living my entire life within Wisconsin, I met Sean in 2010 and moved west after 4 months dating long distance. Soon after my arrival in Utah, I was on the hunt for a job.
I’d left what I thought was my dream job: The style editor at a regional women’s magazine. I had a lot of energy, some great communications skills, and a desire to make an impact.
The marketing job I found was great at first glance... but within a month, I knew it was never going to last.
This is an old (low resolution) photo in front of my office after getting the job. Naively stoked about being the Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing!
My boss gave unreasonable criticism of my ideas, she chastised the way I decorated my office, and yelled at me when I made mistakes. As a gal recently plucked from her "midwest nice" roots, it was all too much. I learned the company was the sort of place you put your head down, do mediocre work, and get a paycheck.
I could have suffered through... but that’s not my style.
With Sean’s support, I quit the gig and start tutoring students at a college prep boarding school. I made my own schedule, sent my own invoices, and loved working with high schoolers.
I’d spend my off-hours working on a new project called Riding On Insulin. Sean and I would host ski/snowboard camps for kids with type 1 diabetes and we offered our first sold out program in Park City, Utah in December 2010 — and that day, I knew I was on the precipice of something big. I wasn’t going to be a tutor forever, and this new venture would ensure I’d be making an impact in the world every single day for kids with type 1 diabetes.
I distinctly remember telling a friend that I wanted to make Riding On Insulin an official nonprofit and get to the point where the organization could pay me to work full time.
“You know that’ll never work, right?”
Their response will stick with me to the end of my days.
Within 2 years, I brought on a board of directors of 8+ individuals from around the country, made the necessary connections to raise the money for our anticipated annual budget, and was officially hired to run Riding On Insulin as the Executive Director(!).
I hired an employee, followed by a few more years later, and we secured the best health insurance for our team. I served in that role for 7 years, and still serve as the Director of Operations today.
Since Riding On Insulin’s inception, I’ve raised over $5.3 million to support these action sports camps for kids, teens, and adults with T1D, and the organization has served nearly 5,000 individuals around the world.
It’s amazing what’s possible when we put our minds to something, isn’t it? Even if those around us think we’re crazy.
The circumstances as a woman in today’s world seem to be improving, but the cultural expectations surrounding ambition, career and what we “should” or “shouldn’t do” still bind us — if we let them.
The wildness inside of each of us has been itching to burst out and make itself known for millennia.
In the Tantric lineages of yoga (such as the Kriya yoga I teach), this wildness of the feminine is the entire premise of the Dasha Maha Vidyas, the 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses who reflect both the light and shadow within each of us.
I’m going to tell you their origin story that really resonates with me, and my personal experience...
Stay tuned, and I'll see you in your inbox tomorrow for Part 2!
In the ancient stories of India, Daksha was the father of many daughters — 27 of whom were the Nakshatras, who divide the zodiac into 27 equal parts. These Nakshatras are specific to the astrology of yoga — and they’re what you hear me talk about on each full and new moon cycle. Rohini (which sits entirely in the sign of Taurus) is literally where the Moon is in the sky on the evening of November 26th, 2023.
Daksha presented his 27 daughters as a gift to the Moon god, Soma under one condition: that he was to love each of them equally. (Note: Stories like this, when taken literally, have a patriarchal feel... so I recommend keeping your understanding on a more symbolic level whenever possible!)
Despite the agreement, in Soma’s eyes, one daughter reigned supreme when it came to charm, charisma and beauty. Her name was Rohini. And now the trouble starts...
The other 26 wives of the moon were forlorn that Soma’s attention was more in favor of their sister, rather than spread equally amongst the group. Daksha got word and cursed the moon for his oversight of the original agreement.
The way the stories go, curses on gods like Soma play out in the archetypal realm — so when Soma was cursed, all the functions of the moon went awry... the tides, plant growth, guidance in the night sky, etc. After he was begged to have mercy, Daksha reversed the curse — but of course, nothing in life is completely reversible.
Thus, Soma was sentenced to wax and wane each month — essentially going through the entire process of birth, growth and death every single month. This is the story of why the moon is the way it is.
This is what feels real to me about this Taurus Full Moon...
Full Moons = high energy — we are our most attractive, and we have the opportunity to launch whatever we’ve been working on the previous two weeks. It represents the phase of manifestation and putting yourself out there, while also representing the start of the moon’s waning.
Although we bring a “full” energy to this time, we can also benefit from letting things go and shedding layers we won’t need as we move toward the New Moon over the next two weeks in this particular cycle.
In true Rohini fashion, charisma, charm and creativity all reign when the Moon shows up in her Nakshatra. This moon carries a vibration of sensuality and devotion, so we are served well by indulging in the things that make us happy with the people we love the most.
In the same way, Rohini feels a lot of pressure — being the most loved sister of 27 — and as such, her shadow sides is jealousy, frivolity when it comes to material pleasures, and an overall dissatisfaction with life. This is what we are destined to feel if we seek connection only outside of ourselves, in life AND in love... our journey is to discover connection *within*. If we resist the urge to stick to our spiritual path, we’ll spend our whole life searching and wondering, “Is this it?”
Consider which side of the coin you’re feeling this Moon cycle, especially mentally. Perhaps you are happy to indulge in things that make you feel happy, whole and sensual... or perhaps you’re feeling resentful, jealous and of lower vibration.
If the latter, be willing to let that go over the next few days, remembering that when our exterior world triggers us to feel a certain way, it’s merely a reflection of an inner feeling we have the opportunity to acknowledge.
Overall, Taurus represents the desire to make a full, safe and abundant life — and fertility is indicated here, too. If you’re struggling to create *literally anything* in your life, take a pause, take a breath, and consider putting one of my favorite affirmations on repeat in your head:
✨ All in perfect time. ✨
See if you can feel the shift! Sending love 💕
The Nakshatra (star cluster) where yesterday’s New Moon sits is called Vishakha — which, like all things, has a light and a shadow. On one side, Vishakha can mean “to enter the heavens.” On the flipside, Vishakha can represent “the manifestation of poison.” Not literal poison — consider “poison” like the drama of life. The grudges, heavy emotions, and suffering we carry.
Imagine that between these two opposing forces stands an archway… 🌈 one where we can get a glimpse of heaven on Earth, and where we can choose to enter the threshold on our spiritual path. If we walk through that archway of wisdom, we can leave behind our burdens and understand how to heal ourselves — and know ourselves — from the inside out. Vishakha represents a distinct opportunity to move in this direction.
Vishakha is ruled by Jupiter — the planet of expansion, gifts and great wisdom. Wherever Jupiter goes, he helps his students (if they’re listening!) see how to release their grip on “material gains” and focus on spiritual gains as a more sustainable and fulfilling way to live.
In my own life, I’ve been contemplating the battles I fight in my mind — the ways I think I should or shouldn’t be, the things I should or shouldn’t do. Who am I trying to appease? Am I trying to impress the voice in my head, aka- my ego-personality? Usually if I have to ask myself this question, my ego is involved 😝 My true self doesn’t require validation.
In those scenarios, I visualized her (yes, my ego has an entire persona!) leaving my body, and I mentally place her somewhere at a distance from where I am… perhaps on the opposing side of Vishakha’s archway. It’s as if she’s kicked out of my “office” and into the waiting room. She sits there, acknowledged but placated. Sometimes she sneaks back into my mind, but I calmly usher her back out to the waiting room so my true self can continue walking my path in ease.
Is there something you’re able to leave behind at the threshold of this season of life? Perhaps your ego, your stories, or another burden you’ve been carrying? Offer it up. See what happens when you let go, and walk through 🥰
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.