The distinguished South African Authoress Ushka Devi is a truly multi-talented lady, A celebrated performing artist and dancer, she combines her considerable writing skills with a very well grounded and impressive knowledge of Indian Spirituality. Like a sky-dancing Dakini of Tantric and Tibetan mythology she too sky dances and romps through an adventurous topsy turvey life with tremendous panache. All this makes for very interesting and compelling reading, and in her book, with occaisional demons around, she tells us about her dramatic roller coaster riide of the century. There is romance, lost love, adventures in Goa and numerous psychodelic aventures which portray the eternal feminine dramatically, but always with clarity. It is also a spiritual memoir in four major sections. This fine series of uniquely remarkable memoirs is punctuated with cunningly witty illustrations. Saying any more would give away the charm and excitement of reading her book. Suffice it to say that this novel series of memoirs is unique and I would highly recommend it for all those who enjoy high drama, with spice and truly surreal and humourous events.
A compelling retelling of a life event. Parallel stories keep you a little discombobulated at first... perhaps a bit like an acid trip. It smooths out and ebbs and flows. One side is very real, very carnal, and terribly sad. The other is more spiritual, more hopeful and positive as the story teller discovers the beauty of feminine energy. I found the telling of the story of people helping her, supporting her, quite lovely. Elle's gratitude is clear by the way she includes them in her story. There are many heroes in the book.
This book is a wonderful, colourful, vibrant, honest and mind altering memoir; a journey through time and space from South Africa to India and back. The story features amazing people, amusing colloquial language and through it all Ushka Devi weaves tales of survival and growth, linking her past with her developing life and expanding consciousness. She introduces intriguing characters, her beloved family, perplexing officialdom and Goa trance culture with poetic and descriptive writing simultaneously hilarious, entertaining and at times, shocking.
Dakini in the Sky is illustrated with lovely drawings by Ushka and authentic personal photographs, which confirm the integrity and authenticity of her journey.
A powerful and fascinating story in which she shares her misadventure with LSD, written in idiosyncratic and beautiful prose.An excellent read to which I am certain to return.
This beautiful book is sparkling with lucid storytellings full of mystical escapades and intense soul searching in exotic landscapes of Europe and India. The writing is playful, intense, and illustrative, highlighting a unique depth and spiritual perspective of India's colorful flavor & various traditions. Its' easy to find yourself adoring and loving Elle unconditionally in this story. She reflects that in the many who have appeared to come to her rescue. The writer has a way of pulling you in, once you acclimate to the high volume intuitive experiential flow. Certainly a different style than ordinary writers. Could end up becoming a cult classic down the road.
I would like to distinguish myself as a writer of yet another memoir. It is said that every story has been told, nothing is new. But we know far less about the unknown than the known. We are surrounded by mystery. There is no definitive mindscape. Every life is a new depiction of what human beings are.
I also have the dubious distinction of having drunk a cup spiked with enough liquid acid to keep Ibiza high through the Summer of Love. Burning the veils. Naked as nothing. An endless romance with the unknown. There is no fatality level to this quickening potion. I am living testimony. That I am sound and mostly at peace these days is a testament to my fortitude. But it was an extraordinary pickle! Lightning struck: the unforeseen ruinous collapse of the material world. Dead can dance. The strange embrace of insanity. There was a fortuitous side effect—the materialisation of the spiritual world—that the lightning is “enlightening”.
Finding wholeness before brokenness turns to madness—the only way out is in. The infinite variety and capacity of the human psyche is a haunting journey, gruelling and electrifying. The descent leads to self-decapitation, the visceral discovery of an inherent tenacity for life, and a pool of grace. An opportunity for reflection. Reflections concerning myself as artist and woman. Love and conflict. Embracing Shakti, I entered into the unleashed mind of a Sky Dancer, pollen dust flying at her feet—the mystic Dakini. By a stroke of serendipity I encountered the Diamond Queen inside. The Divine Feminine is an inner resource, buried treasure, a priceless jewel.
Writing is an act of communicating and sharing between humans. Stories have the capacity to lure us in seductively; creeping under our skin, touching nerve endings. We respond emotionally to the mood and setting, we relate to the characters, identify with the ideas, alter and enlarge our notions of the world and experience textures of humanity, complex, old & new, borrowed & blue. Attractive and repellent. I have an extraordinary tale to share. It is really a "parcours du combatant", an obstacle course, covering Europe, Africa and India in search of “It All”. For many, India is a profoundly spiritual experience. Coming into awareness can be a transformational process, or “healing”. Not for the sake of personal healing alone, but being prepared to pass it on so that others may benefit, and embrace their inner power. We all want a deeper sense of meaning, to create new visions, new ways of seeing—new possibilities and ethics—to be whole. At its most powerful, my story is a catalyst for change…for recognising our sameness and living in symbiosis, as Nature intends.
Set between exotic Goa, in the 80s, and the seaside village of Scarborough, in the present, the multi-narrative text fuses symbols and myth, icons and illustrations, weaving archetypal references, bridging traditions. Classic as the Devil and the Queen of Hearts of the Tarot Arcana in a treacherous battle of “good” and “evil”, the eternal struggle, with the odds stacked against “good”. It takes us deep into the most uncomfortable parts of the self. There’s no escape. Finally, we have to address the demons in us! Can this end well? I found strength in the fire of my belly.
I felt compelled to record the madly extreme and shocking danger of 3 months under the influence of a Meta-dose of LSD, controversial, perhaps unprecedented, albeit ‘accidental’, to break taboo around visionary substances, to probe the sacrament of psychotropic soma and expansion of consciousness. Immersed in a psychedelic adventure, the peaks and the pitfalls, a Sky-Coaster ride on the “outers”, no harness or handrail. All true. Merging memory and journals, giving free range to all aspects of being, in a state of frankness and vulnerability, which is the essence of the Human.