Dark Eros Special Edition – New Light on Dark Eros
26 August/7:00 pm - 1 September/2:00 pm BST£550 – £750
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Finding our power is directly related to exploring our deepest drives and most unconscious aspects of our Self and our true nature. Exploring these drives in relation to our sexuality and sexual expression is often the “last bastion” of our personal defence system, the place inside us we are most afraid to tread. It is also usually the place with the greatest transformation gains for us too.
John Hawken’s Dark Eros work (commonly and somewhat inaccurately often described as as ‘tantra meets BDSM’ or ‘healing BDSM’) has been exploring this space for over two and a half decades. What is does do is examine our existential first chakra sexuality, our shadow sexuality, aspects of ourselves which are the most deeply masked with shame, guilt and fear. It is powerful work exactly because contacting and integrating the most unseen parts of ourselves gives us access to an energy and aliveness that most of us have never known. However, how do we know we are sleepwalking through life until we start to wake up!
On the one hand, exploring these tender parts of ourselves requires deep listening and conscious attention. On the other hand, it can also be a lot of fun and creates a space for us to start to play with parts of ourselves that we have never known how to engage. This space lives at the edge of the wheel of consent, for it is space inside ourselves where we often have a conflicted sense of self and who we are.
This latest offering, a “Special Edition” of the Dark Eros path of transformation, is a very special one, as it is co-created with Katie Sarra, to bring together this body of work with the latest findings from Affective Neuroscience and in particular, the healing potential that exists in the lust emotional command centre of the brain, grounded in the framework of the Wheel of Consent. From this perspective, it will particularly appeal to the sex geeks amongst us, as well as those who have been hovering on the edge of this exploration for a while, waiting for the right moment to dive in. There has never been a better time.
Some big questions we will explore:
… What is the safest and most healing way to explore the healing power of the shadow expression of our sexuality?
… Of that most taboo concept, erotic punishment?
… Of forbidden desires?
… Of shameful sexual expression?
… Of distressing turn ons?
… What are the evolutionary survival roots of erotic desire and fantasies?
… Where in the shadow play of Eros are the outer edges of taking and allow and the depths of surrender and integrity?
… How do we integrate the Wheel of Consent framework with the tantric and shamanic developmental paths?
We will be supported on this journey with a delightful retreat space and delicious food. This residential retreat will take place in an English country manor easily accessible from London and Bristol airports with its own indoor heated swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna.
(Please note it it not necessary to have participated in a Wheel of Consent workshop to join this workshop.)
Further Information about this “Special Edition” Dark Eros workshop
Utilising the latest learnings from Affective Neuroscience to deepen and enhance his pioneering creation of Dark Eros (possibly the first exploration of tantric BDSM in the world), John Hawken together with Katie Sarra and Jenni Joy, will guide us on a journey designed to shed light where few people dare to tread, into our most longed for states of true surrender and integrity and the freedom of choice that these open.
We will specifically be applying new understandings of Jaak Panksepp’s Emotional command systems, in particular the LUST emotional command system, and how this interacts with the other emotional command systems and the nervous system responses to create an erotic charge. This is strongly connected to Jack Morin’s concept of our Core Erotic Theme. We will explore how this can be consciously applied to our intentions and understanding when entering consensually into shadow healing to overcome the implicit memories of disempowerment.
This is the deep truth of the concept of sexual healing, that sexual healing enables us to play with the exiled parts of ourselves and return them to wholeness, allowing the soul to fully express in the body, no longer trapped by subconscious or unconscious programming.
We will introduce you to the tantric approach to transform the negative and dark feelings of our first chakra – feelings of shame and guilt, feelings of anger and blame.
These emotions sit deep within us, in the first chakra of our existence, and often prevent us from living fully. You will start to understand the psychological and affective neuroscience background of this approach and how can these feelings healthily and safely transform into relaxation, enjoyment and fulfilling contact.
In this course we will explore how these negative experiences of the past can leave feelings of anger, shame, guilt and blame.
This includes experience of any violence from childhood or adolescence:
physical violence – physical punishment, abuse, rape
psychological violence – living in the energy field of destructive or choleric parents/partners/authorities, fear of uncontrollable outbursts of anger without cause or the activation of fear as paralysis that are imprinted in the memory of our body.
This energy held in our body becomes self-destructive and self-negating by preventing the natural flow of our energy, as well as undermining our contact with people around us and our intimate relationships.
We will see how these tensions can be released and re-discover their own nature. This nature – liberated from the cage of thoughts, fears and painful experiences – is waiting for an invitation to start a conscious life. After this it is possible to find a conscious contact with one’s strength and become a free and responsible person. At first it may seem perverse to take pleasure openly in power or in punishment. But the perversion is in the repression and taboo that leads to the original sublimation of sexual excitement into the more socially acceptable energy forms of power or morality. As the pleasure is admitted, the violence falls away and innocence is regained.
Within this framework, teaching structures will include:
- Playing the body with the whip like a musical instrument; the whip as a massage tool to move energy and ignite eros.
- Safety and control for the receiver and giving from the heart in service from the giver.
- Clearly defined agreements of who asked for it? Who is it for?
- Training in increased interoceptive and exteroceptive awareness for embodied consent.
- Healing shame and allowing the body respond, updating identity creations, deepening naturalness.
- Transgression as a step towards becoming your self, healing fear and adaptedness and exploring punishment as affirmation of your own energy.
- Exploring expressions in the service of protection, avoided or unregulated from fears of harm, coming home to the heart and attuned with care.
- Making friends with your anger. Expressing anger through contact rather than through withdrawal.
- Transforming the symbol of the whip from an instrument of punishment and repression to an instrument of liberation.
- Healing your personal stories of blame and guilt.
- Role playing the past and the present to become conscious of our power games, and using Dark Eros to experience them openly and consciously.
- Going deeper into where anger and guilt are held in the body, and liberating the tension. This includes healing and transforming any violence you may have experienced in your childhood such as abuse or rape, or simply being in the energy field of violent or choleric parents and the fear of random expressions of unjustified anger or blaming that one experiences and is imprinted in the body memory.
- Transforming fear into excitement and surrender through simple bondage and vulnerability
- Role playing dominant/submissive archetypes, exploring different responses to power
- Rosetta healing and pleasuring.
Please note that everything offered in this workshop is optional, including nudity. Your boundaries are respected and honoured throughout. Care protocols and access to support after the workshop has ended will be discussed at the end of the group, based on the needs that have arisen during the workshop.
Venue, location and catering
The retreat will take place in an English country manor, Cannington Grange, easily accessible from London and Bristol airports (Bristol is closest), with its own indoor heated swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, which you have access to throughout the week.
Three are some splendid rooms available, and allocation will be based on the order in which places are confirmed, so please confirm early for a better room 😉
Food will be provided by a truly amazing chef! Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diets are included within the cost of the retreat. Other diets may require an additional payment.
The cost of the workshop is:
– Super Early Bird (until 31 May 2019): £550
– Early bird (until 30 July 2019): £650
– Standard tickets: £750
To sign up, please use this link. If you pay deposit only, you will have until the ticket closing price date to pay the balance to qualify for the pricing tier you have requested. Once you have signed up, you will be sent an application form to complete. Please note that if for any reason your application is rejected, you will be refunded.
Food and board for the week is £375 for a shared room. There are limited possibilities for camping, please enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org. There may be very limited possibilities for a single room at the venue, or we recommend to book a local airbnb close to the venue. Again, please email for further details.
If you are repeating this workshop, or you have already participated in a year long training with the Paths of Transformation, you are also eligible for a £100 discount. Please pay the deposit to confirm your place and we will adjust the final payment accordingly.
This workshop will be held in English language without translation.
More About Dark Eros
Dark Eros: tantric transformation of fear, guilt, shame and anger.
Dark Eros is a term to describe sexuality which is connected with our first chakra rather than with the second; that arises from existential issues rather than from pure pleasure, love and contact. The existential themes, whether they are about power (over or under), about anger and revenge, about guilt and shame, or carry issues of self worth and empowerment, colour the sexual energy with this touch of darkness, as the issues are usually unconscious, perhaps obsessive, or have an energy that threatens to break out of our conscious control. This is not the element of ego, of performance or narcissism, but more the dark visceral movements of energy deep in our gut. The major theme of the first chakra is that of transgression. The child experiences its self, its individuality, by opposing authority, by breaking the rules or saying no. This is the anal phase of sexuality, when the energy moves from the mouth and the desire for merging and symbiosis to the base of the spine and the desire to be cheeky and naughty.
These existential issues can be healed and transformed through Tantric techniques of consciousness, heartfullness and an affirmation of the life-expressing energy of pleasure.
The existential issues arise out of the repression of our sexual energy during the pre-genital stages, oral and anal, of our sexual development. When rejected, our excitement and pleasure become collapse and resignation, when controlled become guilt, fear and the unconscious linking of excitement with power, suffering and punishment.
John Hawken introduces a practical and theoretical approach to transform these existential issues back into pure pleasure and life energy with powerful healing and liberating effect.
The steps of transformation include:
- Accepting and embracing the dark impulses and energies.
- Stepping deeply into this polarity
- Calling in heart energy to reverse the movement towards contactlessness and violence.
- make the energy of the punishment contactfull instead of withdrawing, rejecting
- make it physical instead of psychological so it can be clearly and cleanly experienced
- direct the energy to a first chakra rather than against the head
- separate energy and content there by dropping morality, make punishment purely energetic
- allow motivation of the punisher to be pleasure rather than duty or morality
- allow punishment to affirm and celebrate the transgression and the transgressor
- allow receiver to experience pleasure and take pleasure in her/his pleasure
- By choosing the contact and the pleasure, creating love and beauty instead of violence and suffering.
- Experiencing the sexual energy as opening the gateway to sacred intimacy
- And finally, the feeling of arriving, of coming home.