Solstice Advent Spiral Dance

spiral centerAn invitation from Joanne to the beautiful solstice celebration that was offered as a part of Spirit Moves dance night~

Dancers,

This Thursday’s Spirit Moves is a special one. It is not only our last dance of 2013 but it is also a Winter Solstice celebration. The evening is a sacred co-creation (including songs suggestions by many of you), a crystal bowl meditation offered by Yvonne, and with the help of Wendi and others, we will be creating an Advent Spiral, with evergreen branches.crystal bowls

Each of us will have an opportunity to walk through the spiral and light a candle at the central flame. As we travel into the spiral, we may also travel into ourselves~ a symbolic journey to our own central flame. Because at the heart of us all is a beautiful divine light. During this walk, it is up to you to find your own meaning, to set your own intentions or dreams.

Winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year. We acknowledge this darkness while we joyously celebrate the sun’s slow and steady return. It is an opportunity for spiritual renewal, and an embracing of hope through the darkness as the days once again begin to grow longer and warmer.

spiral starsDeep Mid-Winter drawing near,
Darkness in our Garden here – –

One small flame yet bravely burns
To show a path which ever turns.
Earth, please bear us as we go,
Seeking Light to send a-glow:

Branches green and moss and fern,
Mark our path to trace each turn.
Brother animals, teach us too
To serve with patience as you do.
We walk with candle toward the Light
While Earth awaits with hope so bright:
In the Light which finds new birth
Love may spread o’er all the Earth.
Deep Mid-Winter drawing near – –

May Light arise in our Garden here.~ N. Foster

dance spiralI invite you all to come and light a candle. Let’s move our bodies in celebration our own divine light and for the light we see in each other. When we shine brightly, we illuminate the path for others to shine too.  

I’m sure happy to spin around and around in this spirally galaxy (and on the dance floor) with you all.  

Messier 83 - Central regionIt was a beautiful night, with the reverberating sounds of six crystal bowls being played rotationally as people walked through the spiral.  Thank you Joanne, for these inspirational words and super swirling and joyful music to dance to.  Thanks to everyone who made the evening shine.

Dancing the spirit sacred

“DANCE IS A SPIRITUAL CHANNEL, AN OPENING OF METAPHYSICAL AND SENSUOUS DOORWAYS. EVERY DANCER KNOWS HER GOAL: TO GET TO THAT POINT WHERE THE BODY NO LONGER STANDS IN THE WAY BUT BECOMES THE INSTRUMENT OF THE SOUL’S EXPRESSION, THE BODY, AND PSYCHE WORKING TOGETHER. THE FEELINGS OF JOY, HOPE, RENEWAL AND SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS THAT WE CAN EXPERIENCE THROUGH SACRED DANCE ARE NOT ALWAYS FELT BY THE BEGINNER. A PERIOD OF DISCIPLINE AND TRAINING, A SHAMAN’S JOURNEY. GRADUALLY INNER AND OUTER WORLDS FUSE, AND THE DANCER CAN MOVE BEYOND CONSCIOUS CONCERN WITH THE PHYSICALITY AND PERFECTION OF FORM. WHEN WE ARRIVE AT THIS PLACE WE ARE CONNECTING WITH THE MUSIC AND THE MYSTICAL AND THE ETHEREAL, SURRENDERING TO A POWER THAT USES US. WE ARE DANCED!”

On Pender Island, we have just begun dancing again.  I am sure that, looking into the long past, there have been many days and nights of such dance in these forests. In the 5 or 6 years that we have been gathering to dance- through a few different forms and names and coming and goings of people and numbers- our intent has always been strong in holding a judgement free zone of sacred honouring through movement, writing, drawing, meditation, yoga, the many facets of creative expression.  It took awhile to get going really, in the beginning we were all struggling a little to find out what actually fit- music was a little off, or nobody would have a key for the hall, setting up the sound gear was hit and miss.  Communication and organization really- but when it came together we understood the greater reason for persistence.  What we needed was a leader, a guide, who had great music and themes of contemplation, someone to give us some ground to leap from, opening us up to the possibilities.  Our friend Nicola stepped forwards- she was only just beginning herself, exploring 5 rhythms dance workshops, and having a willingness to test her own waters about facilitating such a space.  She gave us inner explorations, and outer excercises like witness dancing, mirror dancing, spoken word dancing- she gave opportunities to really throw down the barriers and be exposed to ourselves and others in trust.  She also instigated the altar- candles, colours, thematic objects, cards, paper and pencils.  In and out of a few years,  Nicola led us through her own discoveries until just last year, when she moved to a neighboring island with her family.

A few of us knew at that point that dance nights would not end because or guide was gone- but that we were ready to step up with the tools needed to continue to offer the same space to those who would come.  While we are not offering the deep guidance that Nicola had, we are opening the space to a collective presence- much like we first envisioned but stumbled to achieve in the beginning.  We invite women and men, young and old, anyone who is wanting to be in this space and uphold the sacredness.  People can sit, lie, stretch, write, draw, paint, or just breathe.  We accept anyone who would like to put together the playlist for a night, with or without a theme.  Our music is always diverse with everyone’s individual musical style, and as we share, it expands us all.  We keep a “library” of past playlists available for copying, and it is not unusual to hear a song pulled from those past nights.  We are creating a wide foundation of music.  The building of the altar, which is usually taken on by whoever is doing the playlist, (but doesn’t have to be) holds us together in beauty and sacred meditation, and allows any discussion of revelations, epiphanies, heart murmurings, or places of shadows.  We have explored earth, air, fire, water, solstices, passion, joy, healing, forgiveness, innocence, gratitude, the cosmos, and whatever other energies develop throughout the year.  Recently I read an idea put forth by Dr. Masaru Emoto, which said, “E=MC2 really means that Energy = number of people and the square of people’s consciousness.”  I have felt this to be so true during dance many times, that our collective energies are more powerfully charged when we move together, when we feel together, when we love together.  It is infectious.  We have held healing circles for friends, sent prayers to far away places, and chanted sanskrit mantras together.  We laugh in shared stories of our lives.  It is a small island- we are all connected in ways outside of these nights- in other groups, in professional jobs, in the roles we hold in our community.  I think it is brilliant that another layer of our interactions is open in the sacred way of this creative space- may it lead to a deeper honouring of each other in every day.

We are not a huge group, by any means.  I have noticed though, that since december 2010, our regular average has gone up from around 8 to 25.  It is not many still, but it makes the community hall where we dance seem like a maze of bodies to weave through.  I think the foundation is growing.  I think there is an awareness that collective consciousness, stemming from our individual self care and love, is simply just a good thing to do.  Release and refresh.  Dance and be danced.

I would like to send gratitude to those people and forces that have helped shape these beautiful evenings along the way with such a natural procession of growth and evolution.  May the journey continue.

Artwork here is by Joanne Green, Pender resident and fellow sacred dancer.  Visit her site for beautiful mandalas and images of  spirit and nature.  www.joannegreenart.com

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