The Sacred Marriage India Tour
October 5 - October 20$800 – $8000
The Sacred Marriage
“The story of Shiva and Shakti becomes a tale of consummation, of learning to live in unity while dancing out the ecstasy of relationship-an ecstasy that is a constant rhythmic dance between unity and separation, passion and detachment, movement and stillness”
~ Sally Kempton, formerly Swami Durgananda, past resident of the Ganeshpuri Ashram and the author of the ground-breaking book “Awakening Shakti”
This tour and retreat is an opportunity to go into the heart of Indian culture to explore inwardly and outwardly the Shiva Shakti traditions of India as reflections of the different faces, the power and the joy of the sacred masculine and feminine within each of us.
Our venue is a home stay in the small pilgrimage town of Ganeshpuri with a local Indian family. From there we will be visiting temples in the region to the deities, including Shiva, Laxmi and Ganesh, Rama and Sita, Saraswati, Krishna and Radha, Lalita, Kali, Parvati and their local representatives.
Our stay coincides with the festival of Navratri, 9 days of honouring the goddess, culminating in the Durga Ashtami, the day of the year dedicated to the Goddess Durga. Each evening the normally quiet village erupts with joyous chanting and celebrations.
Our daily program includes meditations, astrological circle work, chanting, mantras and ceremonies to prepare ourselves inwardly to open to the grace of the sacred marriage, to open to the possibility for life-changing spiritual, emotional and tantric awakenings.
The outer adventures include day long and overnight trips to significant goddess temples, including the great mountain temple of the Saptashrungi Devi, one of 51 Shakti Peethas of the goddess found across India and Tibet.
To honour the sacred masculine, the trip will also take in the ancient Jyoti-linga Shiva temple in Trimbakeshwara and the Kumbla Mela pilgrimage site in the town of Nasik.
This is a particularly auspicious time to be in India to honour the sacred feminine as the tour coincides with Navratri, the 9 day festival to the goddess that happens once a year in this part of the country.
We will be tuning into each of eight Shakti goddesses in the forms of Lakshmi, Durga, Kali, Sita, Lalita, Saraswati, Radha and Parvati, using a combination of mantras and meditations connected to each, their mythology and yogic psychology and the use of experiential astrology to access their western archetypal equivalents within each of us.
Similarly we will use the same practices to connect with the sacred masculine in the form of Ganesh, Rama, Krishna and of course the various faces of Shiva
This will prepare us to meet them in their temples and sacred sites around Ganeshpuri and the region, places where they have been worshiped for many years, some for hundreds, even thousands of years.
Additional Highlights of the Tour (may be subject to change)
- Visits to the temples dedicated to these gods and goddesses, some day trips, others overnight.
- Learn some of the rituals and ceremonies to invoke the sacred.
- A traditional Vedic ceremony to the goddess Saraswati.
- Enjoying the ecstatic local chants to the gods and goddesses.
- A culminating Shiva Shakti ceremony to honour the sacred marriage within.
- Learn some of the great mythic stories connected with the goddess and her consorts.
- Watch the dawn from the mountain temple of the Saptashrungi Devi.
- Embodying the Goddess: A Sari wearing and make-up day for the women.
- Shiva Day for the men including a traditional Vedic Shiva fire ceremony
- A dancing saptah or chant to celebrate the end of the tour.
- Chanting the Guru Gita, a dialogue between Parvati and her consort Shiva at the Siddha Meditation ashram.
- Downtime to hang out in a quiet, safe pilgrimage town, hosted by a local family.
- Optional shopping trips into Vasai, Nasik and locally.
What Past Attendees Are Saying
”Daniel Sowelu is a Practitioner, Teacher, Mentor of the Highest order. I cannot recommend him more. He carries great knowledge & mileage in his work … his love and quiet, but deeply held passion shines through in his every moment. His integrity shines and his care runs deep. Many kudos to you dear Daniel Sowelu.”
~ Juliet, Goddess Tour Participant, from Oregon USA
“Anyone who has thought of travelling to the motherland, or felt to really connect with the spiritual potential of their own God/Goddess essence, this is a profoundly enriching guided experience. This tour is well organized, extremely supportive and experiential in all aspects. I have journeyed with Daniel on this tour and my soul has expanded profoundly as a result. I have a much deeper understanding and connection with both my inner masculine and feminine, and the powerful intimacy we all share with the ancient and sacred Gods and Goddesses.”
~ Jack Miller, Goddess Tour Participant, from Melbourne Australia
“My trip to India with Daniel was a gift to myself for my 50th birthday. I knew I was going to enjoy it because it promised a combination of a lot of things I love ~ experiential astrology, the fascinating country & cultures of India, time immersed in the presence of the Goddess, mystery and adventure! However, my experience far exceeded my expectations and I can honestly say it was one of the most powerful and significant journeys of my life.
From the moment we arrived in the village of Ganeshpuri, I felt at home, safe and welcome. Our lovely host family made us feel like family, and we were treated to their warm, generous hospitality with great care and love for our entire stay. I was delighted with their delicious home-cooked meals and the simple, comfortable accommodation. It was a joy to wake up in the morning to the sounds of the village stirring, to hear the buffalo herd moving through the streets and then to drink their fresh milk at breakfast time. I loved staying in the village and we got to spend good quality time there getting to know some of the locals, visiting local temples, witnessing village life, joining in with the local Navratri ceremonies and celebrations, including dancing in the streets at night. When we went walking into the countryside, I felt like I’d stepped into “The Jungle Book” and was able to connect deeply with the land. Swimming in the river was fun and the hot spring baths were a real treat!
It was a joy to travel with other pilgrims who were also on their own paths of healing and transformation. We shared a lot of laughs and learned a lot about ourselves and each other. Daniel prepared us well for our temple visits and it was wonderful to be immersed in the energies of the different Goddesses through chanting, meditation and experiential astrology sessions. Daniel was also a fantastic tour leader. He generously shared his knowledge of Indian & Hindu culture, his passion for the deities was infectious, and his fearless dedication to the unique healing work of experiential astrology was a real gift as we explored the many faces of the Goddess. For me, the overall experience was deep, exhilarating, profound and liberating. I can’t recommend it highly enough!”
~ Anne-Marie Hoyne, Goddess Tour participant, Perth West Australia
Investment & Inclusions
All Costs are ‘ex Mumbai.’ See tickets below.
The Deposits are due upon booking, and non-refundable after September 1st.
Balance is due by September 15th.
50% refund for cancellations after September 25th.
A prepaid option is also available for making smaller regular deposits via internet banking
INCLUDES simple modern twin share accommodation, shuttle to and from airport, most meals, local travel expenses, facilitators and guides, environmental levy, donations to orphanage and farm school.
* Dates may change by a day or two.
Daniel Sowelu has been involved with the Shiva Shakti traditions for 35 years, having received a radical and life-changing initiation into the tantric path at 20 years of age, followed by another initiation into a goddess mantra 20 years later. He lived in the Ganeshpuri ashram for periods between 1982 and 1990 along with other trips through India. His work as an experiential and evolutionary astrologer/therapist has had him specialise in the last 10 years with working with the light and dark faces of the sacred feminine, with the sacred marriage and collaborating with the pioneer of Sacred Activism Andrew Harvey.
Chandu Bickford is a gifted medicine woman, alchemist, business coach, cultural educator, artist, poet and dancer who has been leading groups, particularly for women, for over 20 years. She has lived as a traditional farmer in Africa and travelled extensively through India, Nepal and Tibet, practising Vipassana meditation intensively for a decade and is a great lover of the sacred feminine in all her forms.