"Taya Mâ embodies devotion. She breathes ritual and her presence is a direct transmission of love - true and clear. Taya Mâ’s presence demands presence and is a catalyst for transformation. She continues to be my biggest ally, support and witness on my path." - Yael Illah, recording artist & ceremonial drum-maker
I adore the power and portal created when sound meets the sacred. I teach embodied vocalization, guide chant experiences and record Hebrew Goddess soundtracks. My albums Wild Earth Shebrew, Halleluyah All Night, Torah Tantrika and This Bliss have been heralded as "cutting-edge mystic medicine music."
I give thanks to live in a time in which honoring the sacred feminine is not only possible, but sought out and treasured. I co-founded and co-lead, with Jill Hammer, Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, a transformative ritual arts and spiritual leadership training community for women embracing the Goddess in a Jewish context. The books Jill & I co-authored - The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women's Spiritual Leadership and Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook - are primary texts for this movement.
I root in my spiritual lineage by birth and I pray on a multi-religious path. With Pir Ibrahim Baba Farajaje, I co-founded Makam Shekhina, a community of Hebrew Priestesses and Sufi Dervishes gathering in embodied, multi-gender, ecstatic counter-oppressive devotion. Find us in worship for Jewish and Muslim holidays in the California Bay Area or weaving zikr (embodied remembrance) and Black Lives Matter chants while on pilgrimage to sacred sites in Turkey.
I serve as Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice of Organic Multireligious Ritual at Starr-King School for the Ministry, a seminary that is part of the Graduate Theological Union. In this Unitarian Universalist and multi-religious context, known as the most progressive theological school in the U.S., I work with students preparing to receive a Masters in Divinity and/or a Masters in Spirituality and Social Change.
I'm a practitioner of Somatic Experiencing, a body-awareness-based trauma healing modality, and trained in SE because of the ways it has deeply supported my own healing. Somatic Experiencing theory and practice - rooting in and returning to positive resource - informs my approach to individual sessions, group work and devotional contexts.
I guide individual sessions and group work in Ancestral Lineage Healing and remain awed by the immense blessing available through cultivating direct relationship with bright and benevolent lineage ancestors.
I offer virtual courses in embodied presence and pleasure as prayer. The journey is intimate and the empowerment is real.
The sweet synagogue where I rabbi'd for a decade named me Spiritual Leader Emeritus in 2015. It's wild to be both esteemed and former. I still occasionally conduct bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies for independent families, and train bmitzvah officiants in the model of Mitzvanitiation rites-of-passage work I developed.
My journey of training up has not been linear. The version that fits in lines includes me studying the folklore of religion in a land called Ivy League and later sitting at the feet of plenty a renewal rabbi. The schooling that steeped me most strongly was with earth-reverent ones on remote beaches of Bahia, Brasil and with barely clad women singing to the moon on rowhouse rooftops in West Philly.
I now tend temple / make home in the California East Bay. I'm smiling bright at the possibility of connecting with you in reverent ritual play.