events & teacher training

Shakti offers workshop and training opportunities throughout the year aimed at inspiring and deepening your personal practice. We believe there’s always something new to learn, and much to be gained from a beginner’s mindset. Look here for workshops with guest teachers, weekend intensives, teacher trainings, and more.

Dr. Douglas Brooks

Stories of the Moonlight Goddess

MARCH 23-25
Friday, 6-8 PM
Saturday, 10 AM-12:30 PM & 2 PM-4:30 PM
Sunday, 10 AM-12:30 PM
The rich mythologies of the Great Goddess are fertile ground for deep self-reflection about our mortal human life.  Where we stand in the natural world, how we live in society and in relationships of intimacy and within the complexities of the everyday, and, at last, how we imagine ourselves and nurture our identity. 

There are a series of goddesses from deep South India that embody a kind of sweet ferocity, appearing as it were in forms that mean to charm and soothe us even as they hold within them a fire and ferocity that cuts to the core of our human situation.  These goddesses embody nature, connect to relationships of love, teach us about care and terror, courage and fear, and the important narratives that create a life of contemplation and reflection.  Each one of them has a story, an image, and a teaching that enriches and transforms our self-understanding and invites us to alchemize our innermost being.  We will study them each as individuals and put them together to create a coherent whole.  This means that you can come to any one session or, better yet, come to all and see the rich connections and complexities that emerge.  You are every character in every story and in each of these stories you'll see yourself and the world around you.  Never has an ancient teaching been so relevant and useful for today's world. 

NO previous knowledge is expected or required.  Everything you need to learn you already possess. Bring an open mind and a willing heart.  The teachings here are about living in the familiar worlds we all inhabit.

SESSION 1: Friday 6PM
Minakshi, The Fish Eyed Goddess

Finding her home in the Honey City that is today called Madurai, Minakshi is a warrior princess with a fascinating and beautiful story of emergence, battles with demons outside and in, and a complex marriage to the Beautiful Lord Shiva. Her story is about discovering our roots, turning to our gifts, and nurturing our creativity.

SESSION 2: Saturday 10AM
Kali and Mariyamman

Many students of yoga will recognize the images of Kali and Durga, who are usually presented as a pair, and find their roots in the oldest known sources for the study of goddess in the Sanskrit language. We will take up the essential Kali myths as resources for understanding the depths of passion, ferocity, and love that permeate the strange traditions of the Great Mother. In addition, we will turn to a local formulation from the Tamil tradition, the great Mariyamman, the Mother of the Rains who in folk traditions takes on many of the same Kali forms and attributes but draws us even further into the primal and essential stories of life, death, love, sex, food, and self-creativity.

SESSION 3: Saturday 2PM
Sivakamasundari and Kamaski

The goddess called the Beautiful One of Shiva's Desire is Sivakamasundari, who appears as the consort of the famous Dancer, Shiva Nataraja. Her story is one of mature relationships that define us through our most essential needs. Her myth draws us into the complexities of life as a "dance" that invites us to graceful movement in the midst of tumultuous realities. Kamaski is literally the one whose Eyes Are Desire. She too has a remarkable story of love and loss and reclamation and a presence that includes many of the rich esoteric teachings of the Tantra. We will explore both of these great goddesses in ways that allow us to find beneficence in the fury of the everyday world.

SESSION 4: Sunday 10AM
Akhilandesvari, the Crocodile Goddess

Akhilandesvari, the Crocodile Goddess, is "never not broken," the Unbroken Goddess who has as her "vehicle" the Crocodile. This great goddess keeps the company of Shiva as Jambukesvara, the Lord of the Jambu Tree that is nothing less than the universe itself. Here we discover a rich symbolism and conversation about elemental desires, hopes, dreams, and terrors. From this goddess we learn to break ourselves so that we might break into ourselves to discover a more complex self of empowered possibilities.