I’m Dr. Bairavee, The Sky Priestess.
I was born in Malaysia, of ethnic Tamil (South Indian) heritage and have been skipping across the globe (North America, Europe, Asia) since I was 16 on merit-based scholarships and awards from various universities. I completed my PhD at 25 on The Dramaturgy of the Indian Parliament, a 111,000 word thesis I wrote at the University of Warwick (UK) on scholarship.
I then spent seven years developing a rich, active, vibrant online community challenging many fallacies we find in commercial and mainstream spirituality whilst creating a space to raise social justice issues. I have recently dissolved that space / network as manifested on Facebook due to censorship issues and am seeking to rebuild it on platforms less invested in maintaining the status quo.
My politics is simple: To be as inclusive as possible to all those who do not judge, harm or step on another on the basis of their race, gender / sexual orientation / preference / identification, religion, ethnicity, and so on.
My space is trans-inclusive and is committed to the work of decolonizing narratives, disciplines and the use of language in structured relationships of power. I speak up often on topics related to cultural appropriation, the dilution of tradition and the need to stop romanticizing the past, the Orient, or indeed anything at all.
In addition to this, I share the language of Spirit as expressed through me by means of intuitive guidance and astrological insights.
To decolonize the world and its internalized hierarchies is a task that asks us to revisit fundamental systems of knowledge we inherited and reified through colonial conquest. That involves looking at all the binaries created to establish relationships of power, be it gender, caste, class, religion, race ethnicity and so on. Pretending that they do not exist or that we are ‘ All One’ at the 3-D level is a luxury of the privileged. I don’t encourage that kind of solipsism.
Though I still use the pronouns Her/She, if anything, my exploration of Spirit has taught me that the Feminine exists in all things, people and forms. To dishonor any one of these forms as being unable to hold such sacred energy is to dishonor the essence of the Feminine itself. Those who have more limited views of this energy do not get along with my energy well which is why I make my position here crystal clear. My identity as a woman, femme, lady, damsel, whatever is in no way threatened by others seeking to dissolve the hard lines of the gender binary.
A lot of this is also addressed in this video:
A Little Part of My Story Thus Far …
I was one of those kids who read a lot and began using encyclopedias and reading high-school level material when I was 4. In my early teens, I was certified as having a Mensan IQ of 172, in the top 2% of the global population, i.e. a genius-level score. After finishing primary school at 11, I basically took my education – and my future – into my own hands. In other words, I am auto-didactic/a self-taught learner.
I have always been unafraid to dive into information and critique it. I have no respect or tolerance for uncritical faith or belief in human authorities and systems of knowledge. There is a bias in all things that are written through a human vessel and we lose nothing by acknowledging it.
I finished my high school education at 13 after months of intense self-tutelage (and an uninspiring stint at a local high school).
I went on to the US and Germany on merit-based scholarships and completed my Bachelor’s in record time at 19, skipped a Masters, and then completed a 100,000 word doctoral thesis (PhD) at the age of 25. Here’s a link to an interview where I speak about all of this (in Tamil) – this was aired in July 2013 on the ASTRO network.
I consider myself a self-made woman, driving herself but acknowledging the wider Universe in making that happen. I was fortunate in having a family unit that knew to get out of my way and let me do things at my own pace. I was also fortunate in being able to witness community leaders at work in a racially divided country and took it as permission to stand tall and speak up. At one point, I was speaking weekly on the Tamil-language station on subjects like neuroplasticity, reforming the educational system and education as the pathway to social change – alongside veteran speakers and community leaders of their time.
In between all this academic ‘stuff’, I engaged myself with several years’ worth of social work, contributing what I could to the social, educational and general improvement of the Malaysian-Indian community.
You can also look at my LinkedIn profile to get an overview of the various professional and academic chapters of my life thus far. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/bairavee-balasubramaniam/40/56/82
Ultimately, I began my tertiary education after I realized that censorship was at play and that I did not have the freedom to say what I meant and needed to so that I could help bring about needed change.
Summary of Phases
My academic interests have varied and evolved through different phases of my life. When I was little, I loved astronomy, astrophysics and neuroscience – and so began my first degree in the US (on scholarship). There I received an introduction to the liberal arts and my taste for politics and justice grew – I then switched my major and my university and studied International Politics and History in Germany.
My life-perspective (as an ethnic minority, as a woman) kept evolving through this time and I found myself with a scholarship to study Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament as part of a 5-year research project at the University of Warwick, UK. Those who’d like to view my thesis can do so here: http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/54359/
Through my academic studies of the world and its political institutions, after years of study I finally realize that I am (and happy to be labeled as such) a post-structural, post-colonial, third-wave-feminist. One who seeks to write and live by the works she invests her energies into – which brings me onto a totally different facet of my life – one which I am integrating into my public, social and academic identity (and vice versa).
In addition to the identities described above – I am a priestess, a holistic astrologer, a spiritualist, a writer, a poetess, an artist and a bunch of other things that I keep evolving into.
My spiritual journey intensified when I went through several years of soul-searching during my PhD in the UK, and I have undertaken numerous pilgrimages to sacred sites in India, Nepal, Australia, the US, the UK, Malaysia (so far) – all of which have deeply moved, transformed and awakened parts of me that I did not realize I had. Now I know, and here it is.
One reason I wanted to make this profile and ‘go public’ as it were was to accept the different facets of my identity – a decidedly liberal academic – a post-colonial, post-structural political scientist – a internationalist- a Malaysian-Tamil – an ethnic minority – a public speaker – a motivator – a priestess – a woman – a third-wave- feminist – a person taking a stand for social justice – a star-lover – a poetess – and to demonstrate (to myself first of all) that they can all coexist in one person.
So here’s to co-existence and creation.
Where I am Going With All This? How Did I Become ‘ The Sky Priestess ‘ ?
Honestly, I do not know.
At one point, I was trying to separate my personal life, academic & social work and the spiritual life – but got accidentally ‘ outed’ by a friend. And then I ran with it.
Choosing to talk about spirituality and astrology and in non-official, non-academic spaces is not exactly the most conventional way to go about building a career for a doctorate holder. But it is what it is.
The name ‘ Sky Priestess’ was not even mine to begin it. It was not something I chose for myself. Rather, it was given to me by a very awakened soul out of the blue.
Had this been some kind of creation of my own will and desire, I would be able to see it as an egoic act. But literally, it was just the cosmos and serendipity at play.
After dissolving my Facebook platform and all those years of dedicated work and intense, active, vibrant community engagement – I honestly do not know where or how the next chapter will begin.
Let’s see 🙂
Vanakkam, Namaste and Blessings to all,
Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
Use the contact form below if you would like to get in touch