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Friday, June 22, 2012

Scheherazade






Scheherazade.
Say it with me.
Just saying the name invokes seduction.
You may have heard her name before. But do you know her story? 
Once there was a Sultan, who after being betrayed by his wife, had taken to marrying a new virgin bride every day. The morning after his wedding he would order the new bride beheaded out of anger at the transgressions of his first wife. He was convinced his bride’s early death was the only way to keep a woman faithful. Until he encountered Scheherazade.
Scheherazade was the daughter of a political advisor who spent most of her time reading hundreds of books.  She ravenously consumed information on everything from poetry to philosophy, science, art, history, war...anything she could get her hands on.  After passionately pursing her own education she became a magnificent storyteller with a wit as sly as a fox.
Against her father's wishes, Scheherazade volunteered to spend one night with the King. (excuse me - VOLUNTEERED!) Once in the King's chambers, she asked if she might bid farewell to her sister.  When her sister entered the room, Scheherazade began to tell her one last bedtime story. The King lay awake and listened with awe. As dawn broke, Scheherazade stopped in the middle of the story. The King asked her to finish, but since the day had already arrived, there was not time. The King decided to spare her life for one more day to finish the story the next night. So the next night, Scheherazade finished the story, and then began a second, even more exciting tale which she again stopped halfway through, at dawn. So the King again spared her life for one day to finish the second story. And so Scheherazade kept herself alive day by day, leaving the King eagerly anticipating the finishing of last night's story.
At the end of one thousand and one nights, Scheherazade told the King that she had no more tales to tell him. But of course, the King had already fallen in love with her, and over time she had borne him three sons. Having been made a wiser and kinder man by Scheherazade and her tales, he spared her life, and made her his Queen.
Ahhhhh. I could spend a whole week taking this tale apart like an old pocket watch, holding each individual piece up to the light to marvel at it's genius. One of the things I love the most is that in no text I have ever read about Scheherazade does it make a single reference to her beauty.  Often when we think of seduction, the first place our minds tend to go as women is to what we look like.  We are presented with images in our culture of bikini models and sex symbols as being the epitome of the seductress. And yet, how many of us have ever met a woman who is stunning according to the standards of society, yet can barely carry on a conversation? I remember going out on dates when I was 21, having just moved to NYC, spending HOURS preparing myself, blowing hundreds of dollars on my mani/pedi/blowout/waxing/whatever. I'd arrive at the bar, perfectly coiffed but quiet as a mouse, praying that somehow my $25 lip gloss might be able to carry me through.  
After studying the true nature of seduction, I've discovered that physical beauty matters about 2%.  Maybe a little less.  Seduction starts within. Your confidence, your glow, your ability to create fun and outrageous joy no matter the circumstance; these are the bones of living life as a Sacred Seductress.  Don't get me wrong, I still fluff before going out.  But I now understand that the element of physical beauty is kind of like the cherry and whipped cream on a sundae - absolutely essential to it's completion, and yet a topping just the same. 

Scheherazade is just one of the legends we study in Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice, happening July 13th and 14th.  There is a whole section of the class dedicated to her and her genius.  I would tell you the rest of the legends we will be exploring, but alas, dawn is breaking and I must go now. :)

Hoping to see you in July.