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Awakening Aphrodite:  Turkey Goddess Odyssey

A Journey and Celebration of the Sacred Feminine 

Turkey Goddess Journey Monika Nataraj

Monika Nataraj Awakening Aphrodite Turkey Goddess Odyssey

Join Monika Nataraj for a transformational dance journey through
the Goddess realms of Turkey, August 2 - 14, 2015
Plus Sacred Photography with Beatrice B Tomas 

August 2015 marks the 10th consecutive summer that Monika twirls and shimmies to the mystical lands of Turkey to lead women's workshops and special retreats focused on blossoming the feminine heart and soul.  To commemorate this uninterrupted 'love affair', this year there will be an extended potpourri of glorious moments of sisterhood and celebration through dance, ritual and tantric journeying. By design, the groups will be intimate and tailored to the 'spontaneous-sacred-goddess-adventurer' who follows the call of her soul ... perhaps this is you? 

Here’s a summary of events and the best way to register.  Complete details are listed below and through the links.  Come one!  Come all!  The alchemy of Turkish Goddess Delight awaits you.  

Sunday, August 2, 2015:  GoddessDance Immersion in Istanbul

Goddess Immersion Istanbul A cozy, one-day gathering into feminine ritual, dance and goddess bliss.  These play-shops have been an inspiration for everyone present and a catalyst for deepening our collective cultivation of the art of being a woman.  

Find more information on the facebook event page and also email our beautiful hostess Pinar Oncel or Agama Turkey.  We'll meet at Koza, the dance and yoga studio of Hande Arabacioglu, who is both a Mystical Dance TTC and Mystical Yogini TTC graduate.  It is a true treat to be in this sweet space and to tune into Turkish femininity at its most delightful. Please dress in comfortable clothes that inspire your inner muse. This day comes with a warning:  women who have participated in the one-day and weekend Istanbul immersions with Monika have often returned year-after-year and even shown up in Thailand and India for the teacher trainings! Yes! Many things move, awaken, and open! Joy, sensuality, and connection abound.  
"It was very amazing and lovely. " ~Salme, 2014 participant

"This was the best day of my life." ~Esra, 2011 participant

Monday, August 3 – Friday, August 7, 2015:  Awakening Aphrodite Traveling Tour and Sacred Photography Rituals in Istanbul, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Aphrodisias and the Medusa Temple in Didim

Awakening Aphrodite Turkey Monika Nataraj Pamukale AphrodisiasGather on the Silk Roads of Turkey, as we expand our connection to our most authentic expression. This unique expedition is co-led by Monika Nataraj and PhotoShakti extraordinaire Beatrice B Tomas. (See Beatrice's website and read more about her here!) Some details are below and kindly write for pricing and space availability as we will open this opportunity to only a few women due to the intricate nature of the travel and ceremonies. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, living prayer, dancing our dreams awake in mystical temples and spectacular sacred sites. Let us fill our cups with ancient body/soul wisdom so that we may return home to fill and inspire others. These hallowed moments will be captured through the third eye lens of Beatrice and each of our hearts. Meric Ekren from Turkey, and also a Mystical Dance TTC graduate, serves as our local hostess and sacred sister shephard.

As the gateway of the Orient, these lands are charged with long lineages of women who danced in celebration of Life. We explore Goddess archetypes and tap into the Beauty, Strength, Shadow/Light and Mystery in all women. The transfigurations and embodyments that we experience are a subtle yet profound offering back to the consecrated lands where the Divine Feminine was revered and venerated, and history became her-story.

Look forward to Mystical Dance and Shamanic Movement Rituals with Monika at the temple sites.  We begin our adventures in Istanbul at the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya. We then journey to legendary Pamukkale and bathe in its stunning waters and visit Hierapolis to dance under the shooting stars in the Apollo Temple, and explore the extensive ancient ruins by night. Another phenomenal highlight includes a pioneering pilgrimage to Aphrodisias in Anatolia to dance at the Aphrodite temple and awaken the qualities of cosmic beauty and feminine art! This is an extraordinary opportunity and one that will catapult you into a precious remembering of your own innate radiance.  

As well, join your sisters on an expedition to Didim for a shadow dance ritual at the Temple of Medusa, where we delve into the feminine interpretation of women's rage and vanity, the different connotations of myth, and reconcile our own dark aspects to face our light. Throughout this odyssey, we incorporate sacred photography, exploring universal questions of “Who is observed”, “Who is the observerer?”, and “What is real?”  Inspiration flows through our ability to see the dance between manifestation and the beauty of presence and consciousness. The process peels away our illusions and leaves us empowered to create our own reality through transfiguration.  We witness our own lives as the perfect play of Source unfolding. We also recharge these lands through our honoring and devotion.

Awakening Aphrodite Turkey Mystical Dance Goddess Journey


Please write to Monika for the pricing of the August 3 - 7, 2013 dance odyssey.  The rate includes:  all dance, ritual and photography sessions with Monika and Beatrice and all admissions and transportation to and from the sacred sites.  This tour is priced to be as affordable and flexible as possible, catering to an extended range of budgets.  Space will be limited to a very exclusive group, and this unique journey will fill quickly as we only have extremely limited space available.  Pre-booking and pre-payment is required.  What is not included:  your transportation to and from Istanbul and to and from the airport, meals, lodging, your shopping :-) and optional actitivites such as hamam (Turkish bath) treatments, etc.  Also, please note that the internal flight from Istanbul to Denizli on August 4 for our Anatolian portion of the adventure is not included.  This is only because women will be booking at different times, and the preferred flights may rise in price or become full, potentially requiring alternative travel at a different time of day or by alternative means.  On July 29, the one-way flight fee listed from Istanbul to Denizli with Pegasus was $34 USD, so if you secure the flight in advance, this will not impact your investment significantly. 

In Istanbul, you are welcome to book a hotel/hostel wherever you feel most comfortable.  We will meet at 15:00 on August 3 in the Sultanamet area and will conclude around 19:00 that evening so you have time to rest before our 06:35 flight from the domestic airport the next morning.  You will be responsible for your own transportation to the airport and also to the lodging that you select in Pamukale.  We will be staying at the Polat Hotel (http://www.polathotel.com.tr/) for two nights though you can stay nearby at a place of your choice.  Finally, on the evening of August 6, we will arrive to Bodrum by car.  If you are planning to participate in the August 8 - 13 Mystical Dance and Tantra residential retreat at Karakaya, you are recommended to book your accomodation beginning on August 6.  August 7 will be a rest and integration day as we enjoy the splendor of the hills of Bodrum.  You are welcome to imbibe in the local beach and town or simply be with nature in this sublime location.

The Awakened Goddess Journey is a living homage to transcendent beauty and women's mysticism.  It is a women's adventure, not a packaged "tour". All dance levels are warmly embraced as there will not be technical dance or extended movement classes but more spontaneous dance ritual.  The more 'traditional' dance retreat section of this journey is held at Karakaya beginning August 8.   

For more information, kindly contact:

Monika Nataraj ~ monikadancer@yahoo.com 

Additional Details  

Turkey Odyssey


Crown ChakraWelcome to this tremendous, breathing mozaic, whirling sis-STARS!

Please plan ahead!  You are encouraged to book your one-way Istanbul-Denizli transportation as soon as possible.  Your internal transportation for this part of the journey is not included in the tuition fee noted above.

It would be ideal if you would be on the flights that Monika and Beatrice will take on August 4 with Pegasus.  Please follow this link for Pegasus and refer to the following flight:


4 August 2015 Thursday ISTANBUL S. Gokcen Domestic Airport - Denizli

Departure time : 6:35 (ISTANBUL (S.Gokcen))
Arrival time : 7:50 
Flight no : PC262

Candle RitualFor a bird's eye view of our plan, though Mother Nature and circumstances from beyond and above can always alter our delightful design, please see below:

Monday, August 3:  Meet at 15:00 at the gates to the Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofya.  We will have our opening circle, tour the sacred sites of Sultanament and experience our first dip into transfigured photograpy.  We aspire to conclude by 19:00 to allow rest before our very early departure.

Tuesday, August 4:  Early morning flight to Denizli.  Check into the Polat Hotel. Rest, enjoy the pool and prepare for our afternoon and sunset exploration of Pamukkale and night rituals in Herapolis, including a light offering at the Apollo Temple.

Wednesday, August 5:  Magnificent day at the Aphrodite Temple in Aphrodisias.  Return to Pamukkale and Herapolis for evening activities.  Second night in the Polat Hotel.

Thursday, August 6:  Optional sunrise meditation.  Travel to the Medusa Temple in Didim for more dance and photography rituals. Onwards to Bodrum and check into Karakaya Retreat.

Friday, August 7:  Relax and integrate our epic experiences.  No formal group activities are planned but at your own pace, explore the local beaches, town and grounds of Karakaya.  Journey to the heart of Bodrum if you would like to taste the atmosphere of the "Turkish Riviera".  The participants for the August 8 retreat will begin to arrive today so there will be meal times to meet and greet one and other.

Saturday, August 8 – Thursday, August 13, 2015:  Women's Mystical Dance & Tantra Yoga at Karakaya Retreat in Bodrum

Meric in Turkey

Reveal your powerful, inner feminine through a unique combination of sacred dance, ceremony, tantric techniques for women, yoga and celebration. Discover your Mystical Dancer as she unveils herself through ritual belly dance, Sufi whirling, shamanic trance dance and modern temple dance.  Unleash your creative potential through tantric bliss awareness for women including an introduction to the transformational jade egg techniques. Awaken and balance your chakras through GoddessYoga and meditation.  Your divine muse will be reawakened and rekindled after this special retreat.

Our day begins in the morning with an optional active Osho meditation, or early walk in nature, or just being with yourself in the brilliance of the surroundings.  After a healthy breakfast, we have our group dance, ritual and tantra session, followed by a lovely lunch break, and then we continue our group journey in the late afternoon.  After dinner, on many evenings, we meet again for a special activity, as well as star-gasms under the height of the Perseids meteor shower.  A generous amount of creativity and inward visioning manifest.

Mystical Dance Retreat at Karakaya, Bodrum, TurkeyPlease see the details on the host website and the link to the workshop.  Registration and housing are arranged directly through Karakaya. Consciously prepared meals are included, and please take a moment to appreciate the absolutely stunning campus and eco-friendly rooms which have been recently constructed.  We are honored with the invitation to be included in such a precious place's programming.  This recent facebook posting on the left by goddess-sister participants from earlier women's retreats at Karakaya with Monika give a glimpse of the openings and friendships that flower in these gatherings.  It was here in August 2006, under the inspiration and embrace of Karakaya founders Feride, Purana and Melania, that the Mystical Dance tradition in Turkey with Monika was born. Blessings and Gratitude!  

Finally, for those who can stay on through August 14, we will be dancing with the amazing world-musician Prem Joshua and his band at their concert! Yes!  It is remarkable to fathom that the opportunities for our mystical dances to be shared come to this epic crescendo.   And, after all of this, if your inner sacred dancer desires any more intimate mystic encounters, inquire with Monika about joining her for Sufi Dervish Whirling with Tumata at the dergah in Thermal, Yalova.  Spin your heart wide and far!  Open to love in its infinite dimensions.  Huuuuu!




 Mystical Dancers



  Temple Dancer

Transcend Dance




 Dance Tour Turkey with Monika Nataraj

Mystical Tantra Immersion: Turkey Goddess Retreat
5th - 10th August 2019
SHANTI RETREAT: Tantra for Women
8th - 10th November 2019
Mystical Woman: A Journey Into the Sacred Feminine
8th - 16th June 2019

Connect with Monika

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