Tanishka Star of Ishtar

Tanishka prayed for a female role model and eventually became one herself.

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Tanishka prayed for a female role model and eventually became one herself.

We live in a time of great transition and according to Tanishka, a priestess of ancient mystical traditions, “many experience personal and collective crises for which they look to the ancient wisdom traditions for guidance and support.” Born in Australia, Tanishka honours the sacred balance of life and how to live in alignment with the natural cycles, and is the voice behind The Moon Woman on Facebook – an online community with 510,000 followers and numerous books including The Inner Goddess Makeover.

“I was working as a stand-up comedienne when at the age of 26 I experienced a major personal crisis that left me feeling frustrated and completely alone,” Tanishka shares. “I prayed to the universe to send me female role models, and within a matter of weeks I was initiated into ancient teachings within a circle of wise women in the Otway Ranges.” Her self perception shifted dramatically as she became immersed in the sacred women’s teachings, customs and anthropological history of the matriarchal cultures.

Tanishka witnessed the power of women gathering in a circle every month during the darkest moon phase (new moon). “When women feel truly held, seen and heard on a regular basis, they develop humility, wisdom and trust through a direct experience of authentic sisterhood,” she says. “Without this, women often feel isolated and disempowered, which leads to comfort eating, addiction, arguments or suppression of feelings that culminates in illness.”

Training men and women to facilitate sharing circles as a practice for developing transparency, self-awareness, sel f - acceptance and accountability, Tanishka feels these are the foundations for happy partnerships, families and communities. She recounts how in the Native American tradition, if you wanted to destroy a village, you simply eradicate the Moon Lodge at the heart of the community.

She adds, “If we want to rebuild our global community, we need to reinstate this ancient tradition.” Last year Tanishka’s desire to see the sacred masculine and feminine healed compelled her to visit Asia and facilitate women’s rite of passage ceremonies and monthly Red Tent sharing circles to women who have been rescued from sex trafficking.

Atira Tan, founder of The Art2Healing Project, discovered through her work that ancient women’s wisdom and traditions had the most impact in restoring the psyche of women survivors of sex trafficking in the slum brothels of Southeast Asia. Speaking of Tan, Tanishka reveals, “I loved her approach, using yoga, art therapy and sacred women’s customs to restore their sense of self as a sacred being.”

With plans to travel and teach women to run Red Tent women’s circles to change the cultural stigma that sees girls as a burden and contributes to the high numbers of them being sold into sexual slavery – the duo seemed unstoppable. However, the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015 halted plans as funds were needed to ensure safety for the orphaned kids at risk from traffickers.

To assist, Tanishka wrote The 28 Day Happy Challenge which suggests positive habits to try every day for a month while donating proceeds to those at risk from trafficking, and to fund existing rehabilitation programmes. With a gift for channelling ancient wisdom and disseminating it with humour, Tanishka will be holding events in the UK during 2016 and hopes to do a speaking tour Virgin: The Return of the Grail, with Tan as her guest speaker. She explains, “’Virgin’ originally described a sacred and sovereign woman – a priestess.

However, the word has become distorted and means a chaste girl, and those valued more for their virginity than their humanity.” A woman with many gifts, perhaps the mystery of the Holy Grail does hold the key to the balance of sacred feminine and masculine being restored. www.starofishtar.com; www.theart2healingproject.org.