Katie Cercone is an artist, healer, yoga teacher, and professional goddess. Katie will be speaking on emotions, the 4th principle and chapter in “The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love.” There are 11 sessions in this series, and each one represents a chapter in the book. || Featured Photo: SOLARA Saturnalia (Kawaii Kali REDUX), 2015, a film by Katie Cercone.
Presenting Katie Cercone at Sacred Bombshell Academy!
- Katie’s lesson is: “The Goddess Power of Feeling Your Feelings and Emotions.” She speaks about chakras, sound healing, recovery from eating disorders, and also guides us through a meditation. Please also read the lesson she shares below.
Watch the Video
Here’s Katie Cercone’s Talk on ‘Emotions’:
“WOW! What a powerful group of fierce, beautiful, sacred bombshells we have gathered here today. I’m very honored to be here and share with you some of my personal experience with sacred self-love and emotions.
As you may know, I’m a healer, yogini, conscious leader and embodiment of cosmic creativity I express through interdisciplinary work as an artist, writer and co-leader of the queer, transnational feminist collective Go! Push Pops. In my work, I cross-pollinate the languages of shamanism, yoga and hip hop, highlighting the interrelated elements of these sacred forms and their relationship to contemporary Goddess Archetypes. Did you know that “OM” actually means womb? Before patriarchal religion, humans of the earth lived in peaceful, gender-egalitarian agrarian societies. We worshipped the Earth Mother, who exists today largely in the forms of the Black Madonna and Black Warrior Goddess Kali, and our wombs were our altars.
Being a highly sensitive being and Scorpio Sun/Cancer moon, let me just say I’ve spent most of my life if not torturing myself with my emotions, than running from them. As a young woman, I remember telling myself it wasn’t okay to cry because men didn’t cry and men got all the respect and had all the power.
I started dieting when I was 9 and went into eating disorder rehab my junior year of high school. I dove into food and obsessive thoughts about food in order to block out the world and the pain I experienced being in the world. As I gradually recovered from anorexia and bulimia, I slowly turned to smoking weed. I spent the next seven or so years disassociating from my soul body and avoiding reality with recreational drugs and codependent relationships.
As a teenager and especially through my twenties, I identified a lot with hip hop music, especially the mainstream stuff and the surface of anger and hyper-sexuality that I was perceiving. Hip Hop was like a healing medicine for me in a way. It helped me identify how much my culture of origin (I’m Irish and Italian, my parents both of Catholic upbringings) had caused me to experience a great deal of shame concerning my body. I had totally repressed my animal nature and was harboring oceans of anger. I was altogether alienated from the emotion of anger. I know now that people pleasing is always only an aggression against the self. I was living my ancestral burden and trying to cope in a male-dominated world, avoiding my true feelings and taking my anger out on myself through addictive behaviors.
Today, through doing the healing spiritual work, I don’t drink or smoke. My daily ritual of yoga dance and meditation makes me feel better than any artificial high I experienced false-feeding on outside people, places and things. Sacred ritual and community have become the center of my existence. As a young feminist, I rejected a lot of the “cultural rituals” passed down through my family line – holidays, marriage, birthdays – things I associated with over-consumption, patriarchal authority and the status quo. Holidays were usually when I binged the hardest on food, and numbed out when family relationships were less than perfect. Emotions were running high, and in my family, everyone was using food and alcohol to escape.
Today, as seen through the lenses of my fusion of sacred, goddess-centered world traditions and my evolved feminist politics… I embrace holidays as communal ritual and a space of healing and connection, a place where we make meaning of our feelings in a shared way and honor the seasonal gowns of the mother earth. A funeral is a space for the collective relief of grief, a marriage brings together the tribe to celebrate love and joy.
Today I view my [body] as the hieroglyphics of Goddess worship. When I get low, twerk, gyrate, practice downward dog, pray, pop, whatever you want to call it … I experience the cosmic medicine of ancient yoga dance, draw earth energy up through the souls of my feet – and interface with the realm of gods and goddesses. In Africa, where we find the roots of hip hop, to dance is to commune with spirit. Like yoga and shamanism, hip hop stands at the transcendental limits of society. Through ecstatic dance, we release a lot of the negative emotions and cultural baggage women tend to store in the hip center, the 2nd chakra and seat of our energy, creativity, and flow…
Feeling my emotions remains to be one of the true challenges of conscious, embodied living. Spiritual life and work does not make you happy all the time, that’s another myth of the spiritual industry. Our emotions are gifts. They are perfect barometers of what our energy field and body is up to. They tell us if we are stuck.
If we follow the emotion down to the source, which takes major courage, we free ourselves of that psychic burden. We may not even need to name it, only to feel it and let it go. Often, when the pain is great, and we all have great pain simply from being human, we will do practically anything to stop those emotional waves that are the body’s way of saying, “look” at this.
As we become present, clear our field of old grief, sadness, fear, anger, resentment (whatever we’re holding onto) we become lighter, we raise our vibrational field. We bring up everyone that crosses our path and spread the vibration of love and light.
When we meditate and use sacred ritual in our daily lives we bring some neutrality to the experience of our emotions. We begin to see the world as it really is, beyond the tiny pinhole of vision that trauma can create. When we are holding onto old baggage, we project it onto everything, it is our mirror unto the world. And it’s time to clear our mirrors.
When we pray, heal, meditate, envelope ourselves in the glorified body of the chant – we manifest a type of heaven on earth. We connect to all that is. We love ourselves in totality, accepting our shadow nature and our light as equal. When we allow ourselves to peel away the layers and go deep down into emotion, we release it. It no longer has power over us and no longer skews our view of the world. When we allow ourselves to be fully present, a conscious witness to the tides of our emotions and the chaotic flow of outside forces, we experience the ecstasy of consciousness.
The gift of any emotion, no matter how intense, is that moment in which we can go into the feeling. When we connect to a feeling, whether it’s joy or sadness or grief – we connect to every living being in the universe that has also experienced that or is experiencing that right now. We hold space for the fabric of humanity.
To close I’d like to lead you in a very healing kundalini chanting meditation we can practice together as a group.
The chant goes:
- RA MA DA SA SA SAY SO HUNG
It translates to RA (sun) MA (moon) DA (Earth) Sa (Totality) SAY (Infinity of totality) and SO HUNG (I am Thou)
Let’s all do this together now, close your eyes take a deep breath and join in when you feel the vibe.
RA MA DA SA SA SAY SO HUNG (2-3 min)
About Katie Cercone:
Katie Cercone has shown her performative video sculpture and collaborative work throughout the United States and abroad including at the Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum, DODGEgallery, C24 Gallery, Kunsthalle Galapagos and Momenta Art. She has been twice nominated for the Rema Hort Mann Visual Arts Grant, and recently received with her collective Go! Push Pops a Brooklyn Arts Council Grant and the Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practice. Her work has been featured in Hyperallergic, Paper Magazine, Art Fag City, Washington Post, Art Net TV, Bushwick Daily, Societe Perrier, BronxNet TV, Abiola TV, and Calyx Journal among other publications. She is also a yoga instructor, curator and adjunct faculty at the School of Visual Art, having curated shows for Momenta Art, Cue Art Foundation and NurtureArt. She has published critical writing in Bitch Magazine, REVOLT Magazine, Utne Reader, ART PAPERS and N.Paradoxa. Cercone is a founding member of the queer transnational feminist collective Go! Push Pops.
(Watch for more information on Sacred Bombshell Academy.)