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Into the Forest of Possibilities: Journeys with Tillai Kali and Ayyappan the Third Son of Shiva with Dr. Douglas Brooks

There is a compelling and powerful mythology in the Dancing Shiva Nataraja’s tradition that takes us to places rarely traveled within ourselves. These stories involve the strange and peculiar relationship that evolves between Shiva and his beloved Shakti and extends into their relationship with Vishnu who is both Shiva’s confidant and Shakti’s brother. As bizarre as the story becomes, what is of invaluable importance is what it tells us about ourselves---for here is where the worlds of dreams and shadows, empowerments and regrets, lucidity and darkness all coalesce into a spiritual path, rich and complex in meaning.

The beautiful goddess consort of Nataraja becomes the characters of Tillai Kali, Pratyangira, and Sarabesvari---all of whom bring a multiplex of feelings and ideas into the story of our lives.  Emergent in these tales is the less explored Ayyappan, also known as Shasta the Lord of the Ghosts, who teaches us about the powers of truth, betrayal, loyalty, and reconciliation. His role in this greater storytelling tradition shifts our focus and enriches our understanding in immeasurable ways.

In this seminar we will enter into the Forest of the Blinding Mangrove, where earth is sky and the forest canopy an ocean of possibilities, nourishing and toxic. Our aim is to create a deeper access to mythic consciousness and allow the power of Tantric storytelling to become a gateway to our very practical concerns of living in a complex, often puzzling and maddening world.

NO previous exposure to these stories or ideas is required. We will make this journey together with open minds and curious hearts, including practices of mantra, mudra, and meditation as well.


Friday: 6:00-8:00pm
Saturday: 10:30am-12:30pm & 2:30pm-4:30pm
Sunday: 10:30am-12:30pm


Early Registration
Single class:
 $50 (Save $5 per section)
Entire Weekend: $185 (Save $15 for the weekend)

Registration After October 31st
Single Section: $55
Entire Weekend: $200

Click here to register

Douglas Brooks is a scholar of Hinduism, south Asian languages, and the comparative study of religions. He lived in India with his teacher, Dr. Gopala Aiyar Sundaramoorthy, for many years studying and practicing Srividya, Auspicious Wisdom, and the modern traditions of goddess-centered Tantra. Currently Professor of Religion at the University of Rochester, he holds both Masters and his doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
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