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Invoking your natural sensuality

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Greek statue of three naked women

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The greeks referred to mythical images as “gift of the gods.” See what you receive when you visualise these ancient symbols.

This 'From the Archives' article first appeared in our March/April 2006 issue. Join S&H's Subscription Program and access 20 years of archives instantly!

Several years ago, while writing a book on sensuality, I was dining at a restaurant with friends. Our discussion focused on the mysteries of sexual attraction. Between courses, I excuses myself and went to the restroom. The restaurant was full of people, and I noticed that no one looked at me as I walked by. This indifference stuck me: when I was younger, men had always turned their heads when I passed. but after I turned 50, this occurred less frequently. In the restroom, I continued to ponder the nature of sexual attraction. I meditated on an image of feminine sensuality from the chapter I was writing at the time. Still absorbed in the images as I walked back to my table, I was shocked to realized that every male head turned to look at me. I had not reapplied my lipstick, dabbed on perfume, or changes any aspect of my appearance, yet something had shifted. I realized that this sudden attention was due to something emanating from within me. 

What happened in the restroom was not magic. As I was washing my hands I closed my eyes and allowed an image of Aphrodite. The goddess of love and sensuality, to form in my mind’s eye. I saw her as a beautiful and deeply sensual goddess standing naked before a mirror, admiring her breasts. I became aware that her breasts were reflective of beauty, power, nourishment, love and the most beautiful and compelling feminine energies. Absorbed in the image, I began to identify with and embody her energy. In doing so, I experienced and unconscious shift. My usual image of myself as a middle-aged woman with wrinkles vanished as I connected to something deeper -the inherent knowledge of essential feminine sensuality. Neither age nor failure to measure up to the current standards of beauty could diminish my awareness of the inner sensual fullness. Rooted in the very foundations of my own feminine nature, I had walked back to the table, powerful, loving, radiant. 

What happened was not magic. An image of Aphrodite had formed in my mind's eye. Rooted in my feminine nature, I walked back to the table, powerful, loving, radiant.

The gift of the gods 

The image I saw was not a fantasy. It was a special type of visual experience that brought about an attitudinal, psychological, and energetic shift in me. But I was seeing was a mythic eidetic image. Eidetic images, recognize centuries ago, are bright visual images seen in the mind. (The word "eidetic" comes from the Greek word eidos, which means literally "to see" The beyond at a deep level.) search images differ from other types of mental images and their unusual clarity and their ability to reproduce important life events and underlying mythic potentials with exact detail. Unlike memory, dreams, daydreams, and guided fantasy images, they are concrete imprints or mental records of the real events of our lives as well as our genetic nature. Eidetic images can be seen as still, as in photo, or animated, as a movie, and can be re-examined for detail and for new emotional perspectives. 

Mythic images derive from traditions of the ancient world — Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece— and persist today in art and are used in religious traditions. For example, Aphrodite was a religious symbol and the ancient Greek religion embodying the divine, sensual qualities of the feminine. Today she remains a favorite subject of artist and pop culture. The ancient Greeks spoke of eidetic therapist and imagery researchers discovered a tap into our reservoirs of information, mental and emotional strength, and grandeur — all powerful reminders of our forgotten wholeness. In my experience as a therapist, I have found that clients who meditate upon these images are often able to connect with the divine are godly qualities within themselves. 

The Key Is in the Mind's Eye

Modern eidetic imagery is based on the pioneering work of Dr. Akhter Ahsen, originator eidetic Image psychology and leading theorist in the scientific and clinical study of mental imagery. It is a fast-moving, positive therapy that quickly identifies problem areas and generate to change by using purse ice tools that promote insight and growth. 

In the 1950s, The psychological literature described eidetic images as a simple topographical visual image seen in the mind's eye. In the 1960s, Dr. Ashen discovered the structural eidetic, a dynamic image in the psyche, which reveals that the images are composed of three parts: visual, somatic, and meaning. The visual part is the image seen in the minds eye; The somatic is the emotions or bodily sensations experience while seeing the image; and the meaning is the significance ascribed to each image.

Central to eidetic image theory is the concept of bio-latency. Bio-latency means that the complete genetic blueprint of our original nature is always available to us, encoded neurologically in our brains, and accessible through eidetic images. Simply stated, it means that our wholeness remains and printed within, no matter how the history of our lives has diminished us. 

Think an acorn, with the potential to grow into a magnificent oak. Planted in poor soil or watered with acid rain, it becomes a stunted version of nature's original design.  Human suffer the same fate, as the wholeness natural gifts with which we were originally endowed are often fragmented by parental criticisms, societies repressions, and traumas. However, just as the oak tree, freshly supplied with clean water and nutrients, will send out new leaves, we also retain the potential to restore the magnificence of our original genetic blueprint. 

In my case, my self image was colored by concerns about looking older and losing my attractiveness. Our culture does not offer many images of powerful and well as sensual woman past the age of 50, and so I reluctantly excepted that my day is a vibrant sensuality were mostly behind me.Yes seeing and fully embodying the image of Aphrodite restored the cellular genetic knowledge of my true sensual being. With this new version came a corresponding emotional and psychological shift: I felt sensual, my pastor straightened, I stood with my shoulders back and my chest open, and I walked back to my table exhibiting a lush feminine energy. The "gifts of the gods," in the form of Aphrodite, lived in me.

No wonder the men turned and stared.

Eidetic Imagery Exercises 

With your eyes closed or open, whichever feels more comfortable, allow the following images to be formed in your mind's eye. Pay attention to the image that you see (do not worry if it is vague or vivid), to any sensations are feelings, and to any meanings that come to you. Notice how you feel as you approach seeing the images below. Are you scared and slightly held back from doing them? Or are you open and excited to see what emerges? Notice if your attitude is an indication as to how you may have been raised regarding being comfortable with your own sensuality. 

House Image 

This is of the home you shared with your parents. If you lived in more than one house, the "home" that is pertinent is the one that comes to mind more strongly. In the home setting up here the principal family members who raised you. The image will bring to the surface the emotions that shape to your early life, and which have enhanced or diminished your genetic potential. Whether you have a positive or negative history with your parents, I can emerge in a subtle manner that can be helpful. Notice how you feel as you see the images of your mother and father.

  1. Picture your parents in the house in which you were raised — the one that spontaneously appears in your mind's eye. 
  2. Where do you see them?
  3. What are they doing?
  4. How do you feel when you see the images?
  5. Does the house give you a feeling of home?
  6. Are there any memories associated with this image?
  7. What type of role model for sensuous woman as your mother?
  8. What type of role model for sensuous man is your father?

Aphrodite image (for women) 

As you visualize this image, the literal physicality of your body — and the size, shape, and quality of your breast — it is not important. What is important is for you to connect to the deep feminine essence that is contained in your breast. Relax, and let go. 

  1. See Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and front of a mirror in which her sensuous breasts are reflected. Her breasts appear sensual and proportional in the mirror. 
  2. See her admiring the image of her own sensuous breast.
  3. These are visionary breasts reflected in the mirror. There is beauty, power, nourishment, everything.
  4. The whole of nature and all its sensuousness is reflected in the mirror.
  5. Mist-laden colors surround the reflection. There's a perfume flowing out from the mirror. 
  6. Experience the perfume flowing from the image. It creates an expansion in your consciousness. 
  7. The reflection in the mirror is an image of the feminine essence within you. 

Poseidon image (for men)

Poseidon and bodies untamed male sexuality. He is strong yet open, and in his pure and innocent passion makes him very appealing to women. At a primal level, Men deeply long to immerse themselves in the feminine and the same way that Poseidon does as he moves towards the temple.

  1. See the god Poseidon rising out of the sea. He is coming ashore. He is holding a trident in his hand, the symbol of his power.
  2. See his chest. It is strong and broad.
  3. See that you have become Poseidon. As you move towards the shore, the waves push up against your chest, but the force of your power surging forward pushes against the waves as you move.  
  4. Feel the waves push against your chest as you surge forward.
  5. See that you have come into the shore, dripping water.
  6. See that your body is hot, and the cool air dries your body as you move. Feel the coolness against your body.
  7. See that there is a temple on a hill. It is the temple of the virgin priestesses. 
  8. See a process in the temple sense the heat of your body as you walk towards the temple.
  9. There is a warm fire in the temple and intoxicating essence of perfume. Smell the perfume. 
  10. See that you were drawn to the nectar in the temple of the priestesses. 
  11. Experience the essence of your masculine sexuality flowing through your body.

Cosmic dance of the feminine and masculine (for everyone)

There's an eternal play between masculine and feminine. Often, women express their sensuality as an oceanic experience which ebbs and flows around the male. Male consciousness has the character of solidity, like a rock amid swirling ocean, which delights in the flow of feminine sensuality as a swirls around men. 

  1. See the ocean. There are waves washing up the rocks.
  2. See a phallic shaped rock jutting out of the water. 
  3. See that the waters are warm and feminine, swirling around the rock, crashing, lapping against the rock, and in unless eternal cosmic play.
  4. See the water is playing against the rock. The rock a strong see the water swirl against the rock. The rock loves the playful waters. The waters love to play endlessly with the rock. 
  5. This is the essence of the masculine and feminine eternal dance.
  6. Keep this image in your mind when you spend time with another. 

Jacqueline Lapa Sussman, M.S., L.P.C, psychotherapist, lecturer, and director of projects for the International Imagery Association, is the author of Images of Desire: Finding Your Natural Sensual Self in Today's Image-Filled Society (Forge Books, May 2001) and Freedom from Failure: How to Discover the Secret Images That Can Bring Success in Love, Parenthood, Career, and Physical Well-Being (Forge Books, March 2003). For more information, visit jaquelinesussman.com


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