JKhedrup is absolutely right. Vajrayogini's 'reality' is within Her practice. If you wish to connect with Her, the practice is, in the end, the only way. Without the empowerment, you are on the outside. This isn't true of all powerful female deities (Shakta Hinduism is there for you, though you still eventually need a teacher), but it is of any Vajrayana yidam. Yidam practice is extremely specific. You can work with Her on the outside, but ultimately your experience will be in 2D and it won't be authentic. She is a yidam, not an exoteric deity. You will be working with concepts and images. In order to achieve what I think you want, you need the empowerment to induct you into Her mandala. Then everything becomes quite different.
Sorry, but this is wrong.
Vajrayogini is a female Buddha, her reality is greater than any of us can imagine, you can't confine her through the lens you've created. The only way that could be possible is if she was a creation of Tibetan Buddhists, which also can't be the case. I know you mean well too but at the end of the day it's up to her who she works with, she's not confined by anyone or anything.
I know clearly that I might never work with her in the way you do, but at the end of the day part of me already is
her because the nature of our reality and ourselves is illusory. The only problem I could have is not being able to access and work with that aspect because I'm not skillful enough, not because she won't work with me. I totally get that it might not ever happen either, but if it doesn't I'll just have to go on the path that I perceive to be the best and hope things work out.
The idea that we have to have a teacher or it's impossible to progress with meditation to the higher levels just seems increasingly wrong for me at this stage. Each person has their own abilities, goes through their own lives, has their own karma, and several people throughout history have awakened in different ways. I know I'm meaning in a more general sense now instead of Vajrayogini specifically, but I know that if I'm skillful enough, as is anyone, I can begin to wake up properly. Then I can practise properly in my own way, which I think I want to do. The idea of being aligned with any school just isn't working for me, and when it comes down to it there's only two things in my mind that are helping me move on from the illusions I've been living this life with : awareness and unattachment. That seems to be basically all you need if you apply them properly and internalize the things you've already learnt.
I respect Buddhism, Buddhists and the teachings. If it wasn't for them I have no clue where I'd be now, but I think things have happened along the way, certain insights that have helped me stay on some type of path, and as time passes that path seems to be becoming clearer. What I have to do is just stay on it with enough discipline, use awareness properly and stay as unattached as possible. If it fails then I fail, but I'm taking the chance now and will just have to face the consequences of whatever comes of it.
Anyway, to avoid any type of argument forming because I'm clearly at odds with most of you, I'll have to stop posting in the thread. Respect to all of you, thanks for the help and advice, and I hope your meditations and paths to awakening work well for you all. Metta.