Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beltane - Happy May Day!


http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/64331973.jpg
Happy May Day to all!

Since Beltane (May 1) is an auspicious day with a truly ancient precedent, I can't resist a bit of his & herstory to honor the day, and a few May Pole pictures.   May the  RITES OF SPRING quicken the weary sap of all, may you find a bonfire to dance around, may the May Queen bless you!

The birth of spring on May Day in Elizabethan England would send villagers into the woods to collect flowers and boughs, and then they would wait for the sun to rise as it brought the fully opened year flowering into spring.   A few years back  I was fascinated with the origins of the famous legend of "Lady Godiva" in Coventry, England.........with the kind help of scholar and gardener  Robur D'Amour, who wrote a fascinating article about Lady Godiva,    I learned that origins of this legend are probably to be found in the ancient pagan  ride of the May Queen to the sacred tree ( the Maypole), the "coven tree". 

 He wrote:
"The official etymology of Coventry is that it means Cofa's tree. A tree owned by Mr Cofa!  A very early spelling, 1050, is Couaentree.  I found, by chance, a reference to Coventry as bring a rebus for 'a coven round a tree'. Well, it is undeniably a rebus. But that doesn't mean anything conclusive.  There was a widespread practise for dancing round a tree on May Eve, which is the maypole. Perhaps there really was a tree that was used for festivities."
"The story that Lady Godiva was protesting against taxes is untrue.  Apparently, at the time the procession dates from, Coventry was a village, and there were no taxes.  The procession is actually a May-Eve fertility procession, many of which are found across Europe. There is even one at Southam,  a few miles from Coventry, which is no longer celebrated.  What happened at Coventry, was that there was a Benedictine monastery there. The Christian monks did not approve of people watching the fertility procession, and so put some 'spin' on the procession, and invented this story about taxes. "


The origins of the May Queen, the young Goddess, and agrarian celebration of the Rites of Spring throughout Merrie Old England and Europe are very ancient indeed, and probably go  back to the "sacred marriage", whereby a couple, representing the young Goddess and God, would make love in the fields, encouraging and participating in the fertility of the world. 

In villages throughout England, a procession would bear flowers, all the while capering around the new Maypole chosen for the celebration. Only unmarried girls would be allowed to plant the phallic Maypole into the fertile Earth........a lovely dance and ritual based upon pagan practices of sympathetic magic.   In other words, "the world is waking up and making love, so we too wake up and make love, and all will bear fruit".

The planting of the May Pole, and the union of the May Queen with the May King (or the Green Man) probably has its origins in very ancient traditions of the Sacred Marriage, going back as far as Sumeria and the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi - or probably farther even than that, into unknown origins in prehistory.   In ancient times, the spring ritual union of the King with the priestess (representing the Earth Mother) was a very significant rite; in later times, even in Christian Europe, church morality may have been suspended for Beltane, as couples went out into the fields to participate in the ripening fertility.

<span class=

Goddess with multi-horned crown (Inanna?) welcomes a mace-holding and crowned god
who emerges from the base of a tree (Dumuzi?). Mesopotamian cylinder seal.
Serpentine. About 2320-2150 BCE. © S. Beaulieu, after Wolkstein and Kramer 1983:40.


This celebration of the fecundity of Spring no doubt made many of the early churchmen nervous. In the late 19th century,  May 1 became associated with the growing labor movement, and since then many countries have celebrated May Day as International Workers' Day.  In 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted May 1 as the "feast of St. Joseph the Worker" with the intention of emphasizing the spiritual aspect of labor.........I'm sure the advent of this secondary meaning to May Day came as a belated relief to the Catholic Church, along with Lady Godiva's famous ride becoming folk legend.

For myself, I think the re-sacralization of sexuality, in tandem with the blossoming of the world, that was the original meaning of May Day.....is a wonderful Holy Day, and am often surprised by how little people today know of it's origins.  This  has to do with the de-sacralization of sexuality that has followed closely behind the monotheistic Judeo-Christian-Islamic God - it seems the One God does not approve of sex, or the raucous  turning of the natural year that becomes spring's fertility.   Not a bad argument for polytheism, where, when there is a multiplicity of Gods and Goddesses, things are a bit more tolerant.

Traditionally, the Maypole was hung with garlands and streamers. Dancers took hold of the ends in a weaving courtship dance.
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i121/CopiousSilverBirch/Maypole.jpg

Boys would dance in one direction and the girls in another, and so flower-clad ribbons were woven around the pole in the form of a braid. There might also be a procession led by Jack O' the Green (a variant of the Green Man), fantastically arrayed with flowers, leaves and ribbons, and followed by Morris Dancers with bells jangling on their ankles. Last, there would be the choosing of the May Queen.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/47747000/jpg/_47747661_3545725022_de4f589a17_o.jpg 

http://www.mauiceltic.com/img/MaypoleDance.jpg

  

Flora was the Roman Goddess of Flowers and it’s not surprising that her festival was held on the first day of May. The May Dance festivals of Europe have many of their origins in the ancient “Feast of Flora”, the ecstatic Roman Rites of Spring. 
"Whitman says, "And your very flesh shall be a great poem."............That is the message I'd like to offer on Beltane.  Our flesh is a symbol, a microcosm of the earth we inhabit. Our flesh is what connects us to the seasons; it is where we feel the cold of winter, and -- more and more in the Northern Hemisphere -- the warmth of the sun. It is in and through our flesh that we experience our emotions. We feel love in the flesh; anger in the flesh; exuberance in the flesh. The body is a treasure trove of sensation, and our sensations inform our temporal existence. Sensation may not be all of what life is, and the experiences of the flesh may be subjective and passing. But subjectivity and impermanence do not make a thing meaningless. Flowers bloom for but a short time, and when they do they are beautiful.  We bloom, too. 

We are a body full of color and fragrance. We are a cycle of life unto ourselves, and we have good cause to celebrate our body -- our flesh -- for we have no knowledge of what is to come beyond this moment, this life, this body. We are here, alive, and we can, on the day and in the season of Beltane, choose to celebrate the life that we are living. We can choose to honor our flesh, and honor the flesh of others.  (What a world we would live in if the flesh was not seen as evil, but rather a manifestation of something holy and worthy of respect. I wonder if violence would be so commonplace if we recognized the flesh as sacred.)

Love the body you are in! Love your flesh! Celebrate this High Day with a fullness of being!!"
 Teo Bishop on Beltane, 5-1-2013

http://www.classicalvalues.com/Maypole.jpg

Monday, April 29, 2013

Woman Shaman: the Ancients - new film by Max Dashu

http://feminismandreligion.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/andean.jpg
"That Which is Sacred" by Max Dashu  http://www.maxdashu.net


"This is the wisdom we need now, the far depth,
 the vision and the goodness, the medicine women." 
max
I met the artist and scholar Max Dashu, author of the fascinating  "Suppressed Historieswebsite and many, many brilliant articles, when I presented at the Women and Mythology  Conference last year.  Max has devoted her life to re-membering the lives and stories of women and Goddesses lost and reclaimed.    Her new video explores the rich cultural record of medicine women, seers, oracles, healers, trance-dancers, shapeshifters, and dreamers round the world. 

To experience the beauty of these spiritual legacies is medicine for the spirit. Her trailer includes the music of Suzanne Teng, Emmalee Crane, and Tiokasin Ghosthorse; scores of other musicians are featured on the dvd, including archival world music from Smithsonian Folkways. See link above for music credits, chapter listings, and more info.



Friday, April 26, 2013

"Lesterland" - A Vital Message from Lawrence Lessig


 Lawrence Lessig

I think this is a very important talk, and the solution he offers to "a pathological corporate aristocracy" is simple, and can perhaps change the course of the future.

"There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That's the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond. 

In 2011, Lessig founded Rootstrikers, an organization dedicated to changing the influence of money in Congress. In his latest book, Republic, Lost, he shows just how far the U.S. has spun off course -- and how citizens can regain control. As The New York Times wrote about him, “Mr. Lessig’s vision is at once profoundly pessimistic -- the integrity of the nation is collapsing under the best of intentions --and deeply optimistic. Simple legislative surgery, he says, can put the nation back on the path to greatness.”

 on.ted.com/Lessig

http://youtu.be/mw2z9lV3W1g


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A River Runs Through Us


"Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. "

Norman MacLean, "A River Runs Through It"
These past few years, with a mother and brother and house and animals to care for, "retired" from my years of being a gypsy mask maker, I've found myself finally becoming domestic. "Home" used to be a van with a travelling cat, now it's suddenly a 3 bedroom house with a yard.   I don't walk out into the desert as I once did, calling for vision,  and when visions come anyway, too often now I have to put them at the bottom of the laundry list that some times seems to be my life.  Sometimes, I have to admit, my heart is somewhere else, in Glastonbury listening to the Numina of the sacred springs, the Lady of Avalon.  Or walking the Camino.  Or in Bali, listening to Gamelon in the dense, lush tropical air............ And yet........there was a time when I felt the gathering and transmission of vision was my job, my work in the world.  I don't know any more.    Everything changes, we change, we are each complex and many layered.  And  a "river runs through us".  




I have a good friend, an actress, who recently left me  a long message on my answering machine.  Almost 60, she wondered if we came into the world with a destiny, and if so, she is going through that threshold where she wonders if she might have "missed"  hers, not done whatever it was she was supposed to do, leaving behind her a wake of dissatisfaction.  To me she is an extraordinary, beautiful, accomplished woman.   How can I respond to such a thing, on a phone, or an answering machine, or an email?  Why does it seem we no longer live in a world where such a profound conversation can be had over a cafe table, and a bottle of wine, deep into the night, perhaps joined by others?  I don't know.  Sometimes I don't like "today's world", it seems so strange to me, not what I imagined I would be doing, or living, as I push the borders of old age. 

"Dreams.  They are never where you expect them to be."  

But thinking about that conversation, I wanted to say that I no longer believe in "destiny".  We Americans are so materialistic, and grandiose, that the idea has come to mean some "great thing", so that if you aren't having a retrospective at the Met, or running an orphanage in Uganda, or in the Fortune 500, people somehow feel they've "failed", discounting all the glorious, beautiful, soul deepening experiences they've had.

Perhaps a "Destiny"was to learn to love someone hard to love, a difficult child perhaps, or to learn to have patience with yourself.  Perhaps you met your Soul Mate, and your destiny was not to be together, but to experience the gift of loss.  Perhaps "destiny" is to do something difficult, and fail, never knowing how many lives you touched and enriched in the process, and not knowing until much later how you were deepened by it.  Perhaps it's to connect with others through the mesh and warp and woof of synchronicity, never knowing consciously what gifts you've given each other, what waves and ripples of creative force you've sent out into the world.  We're dreamers and dreamed, and ultimately "a river runs through us", unfathomable, ineffable, splendid.

The quote above has always been so beautiful to me that I wanted to meditate on it for a moment, take a look into the depths of these waters. Perhaps Norman Maclean is speaking about what  storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estes * called "Rio Abajo Rio, the river beneath the river of the world".   Looking back at a post about this from 2010, I felt like quoting myself again............perhaps "El Rio" is also what Jung called the Collective Unconscious, I don't know. But Estes' speaks of the great River of Story, the universal waters flowing beneath the surfaces of all things.

In her book Women Who Run With the Wolves *** she writes,
"Each woman has potential access to Rio Abajo Rio, this river beneath the river. She arrives there through deep meditation, dance, writing, painting, prayer making, singing, drumming, active imagination, or any activity which requires an intense altered consciousness. A woman arrives in this world-between worlds through yearning and by seeking something she can see just out of the corner of her eye. She arrives there by deeply creative acts, through intentional solitude, and by practice of any of the arts. And even with these well-crafted practices, much of what occurs in this ineffable world remains forever mysterious to us, for it breaks physical laws and rational laws as we know them."*

 Why must we evaluate the value of our lives in such material terms of "accomplishment"?  Of "enlightenment"?  Why not think also of what has been our "endarkenment"?  Whether tapping, if only briefly, the wellsprings of El Rio in grief, creativity, meditation, or through the sudden psychic upwelling that can happen when the so-called ego cracks and splinters, it is always a blessing when the waters are revealed, for they remind us of the greater life.

In her book Meditation Secrets for Women, Camille Maurine writes, 
  “The realm of the soul is not light and airy, but more like mud: messy, wet, and fertile. Soul processes go on down there with the moss and worms, down there with the decaying leaves, down there where death turns into life. Deepening into soul requires the courage to go underground, to stretch our roots into the dark, to writhe and curl and meander through rick, moist soil. In this darkness we find wisdom, not through the glaring beam of will, but by following a wild, blind yet unfailing instinct that senses the essence in things, that finds nourishment to suck back into growth.” (p. 211)

If the river of story has a voice, it's a voice that contains all voices, human and planetary, and the song it sings may be Om, may be "Nameste", I am Thou.  What we ultimately bring to that song cannot be measured or valued in any terms we might try to wrap words around, try to put into some kind of list, some kind of materialistic order.  If there is any "point", a "destiny", it might be, as Estes, a Jungian psychologist, believed,  to  instinctively participate in some way, find some way to open a pathway, a well spring, for others.
"...[W]hat Jung called 'the moral obligation' to live out and to express what one has learned in the descent or ascent to the wild Self. This moral obligation he speaks of means to live what we perceive, be it found in the psychic Elysian fields, the isles of the dead, the bone deserts of the psyche, the face of the mountain, the rock of the sea, the lush underworld - anyplace where La Que Sabe breathes upon us, changing us. Our work is to show we have been breathed upon - to show it, give it out, sing it out, to live out in the topside world what we have received through our sudden knowings, from body, from dreams and journeys of all sorts."
undire
"Undine" (2005)

Perhaps all of our individuality, our uniqueness, is a gift we can only experience here and now, a great adventure.  I respectfully submit that this is  the work of the SEER, residing within each of us.  Remembering that a "river runs through us",  the  River beneath the River of the World.






 "The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were  opening out.
it seems as if things are more like me now,
that I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach."           

Rainier Maria Rilke



* (p.30, below)

** (p.96, below)
*** Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs, Hardcover, 560 pages, Random House Publishing Group, 1992




Monday, April 22, 2013

Shirley Valentine

Shirley Valentine - Movie Posters



"Dreams. They are never in the place you expect them to be."

"I've led such a little life. I have allowed myself to lead this little life, when inside me there was so much more. And it's all gone unused.  Why do we get all this life if we don't ever use it? Why do we get all these feelings and dreams and hopes if we don't ever use them? That's where Shirley Valentine disappeared to. She got lost in all this unused life."

 "I've fallen in love with the idea of living. Because we don't do what we want to do, do we? We do what we have to do and pretend that it's what we want to do.  And what I want is to stay here and be Shirley Valentine. " 

Recently I saw Pauline Collins, who I remember so well for her role as Shirley  Valentine in 1989, in Quartet with Maggie Smith.  It was a tad difficult to see her 23 years later as an opera singer with dementia.  Well, she's always a great actress, and inspired, I went to some trouble to locate a rare copy of the out of print film -  Shirley Valentine ,  one of my favorite movies of all time.
I watched it again last night, and as  always, came away from it feeling uplifted – time hasn’t dated the movie at all, perhaps because it’s about something that’s  timeless. On its surface, the movie (and the award-winning play from which the movie was adapted) is about Shirley Bradshaw, a middle-aged housewife living a stagnant, loveless life, and the choices and chances she makes and takes during a chance two-week vacation in Greece.  But at its core, it’s about remembering the place our joy comes from.  The place where we're each of us, woman or man, "Shirley Valentine".

I was amazed to discover that, with the great generosity of UTube,  the whole movie is available!  Who would have thought I could just see it again on my computer.........

http://youtu.be/6_IOeOtW7Qs



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Carol Christ on Patriarchy and War


"Gaia" 1987

carol p. christ 2002 color
"Control of female sexuality is fundamental to the patriarchal system.  This explains why there is so much controversy about the “simple matter” of access to birth control and abortion and so much anger directed at single mothers. " ~Carol Christ

I never cease to be amazed that, in spite of the looming catastrophe of over population, and the immediate evidence of misery and violence engendered by unwanted pregnancies, single mothers, often children themselves, struggling to care for children in an increasingly shrinking welfare system...........I never cease to be amazed that the contemporary versions of Biblical Patriarchs continue to fight for the right to control the bodies of the female population.  Here's a brilliant article I felt like reprinting by Carol Crist that takes a long look at the issue, so deeply embedded in our world today, and so very crucial to change.
  
Patriarchy as a System of Male Dominance Created at the Intersection of the Control of Women, Private Property, and War 

 (Part 2), February 25, 2013

by

Patriarchy is a system of male dominance, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, sanctified by religious symbols, in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality, with the intent of passing property to male heirs, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, to seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people.*

In last week’s blog, I explained patriarchy as a system in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality with the intent of passing property to male heirs.

 How did a system that identifies a man’s essence with his property and the ability to pass it on to sons come about? I suggest that the answer to this question is war and the confiscation of “property” by warriors in war. Patriarchy is rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people.

My argument is that the origin of “private” property, defined as property owned by a single (male) individual, and as that which defines the “essence” of that individual, is the “spoils” of war, which are divided up by victorious warriors.  The “spoils” of war are the tangible treasures “looted” or taken by the victors from the conquered, such as jewelry and sacred objects.  The “spoils” of war include land “taken” as the result of warfare, along with the right to exploit resources, directly or through taxes and levies. The “spoils” of war also includes the right to “take” the women of the defeated enemy and to confirm ownership of them (and humiliate their fathers or husbands) by raping them.  The “spoils” of war also include the right to “take” these raped women and their young children home to serve as slaves and concubines.


Though many people were surprised when the rape victims of the recent war in Bosnia began to speak out about the use of rape as a tool of war by Serbian soldiers, in fact, rape has always been an “ordinary” part of war. In the “great” epic known as The Iliad which is said to be the foundation of western culture,  Achilles and Agamemnon are fighting over which of them has the right to rape a “captured” woman named Briseis.  The term “spear captive” is used to mask the reality that Briseis and other women like her were “rape victims” and that the “heroes” being celebrated were their “rapists” and “jailers.” I believe that the institution of rape and the (twisted) notion that men have a right to rape (certain kinds or types of) women originated with war.

The institution of slavery also originated in war. Both the Bible and the Greek epics testify to the ancient custom of enslaving the women and children of the enemy.  Slave women in every culture, like the slave women on plantations in the Americas, are at the mercy of their owners and his sons, who can rape them if they felt like it. The “custom” of taking slaves from the enemy and the “custom” of also taking enemy women sexually, is deeply intertwined with the history of war.  The Africans who sold other Africans into slavery in the Americas were selling Africans they had taken as the spoils of war.

If we entertain the hypothesis that earlier matriarchal clan systems existed, then we can see that the notion of individual powerful men’s peri-ousia being defined as the treasures, land, and people they property they “stole” and then claimed to “own” would have involved a massive cultural shift.  The shift to defining men by the property they owned required that men would also ”own” and absolutely control their wives and daughters, who had previously been free.  Such a cultural shift could only have been instituted and maintained through violence.

Patriarchy is a system of male domination, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence. Warriors who have learned the methods of violent domination of other human beings—not only other soldiers, but also the women and children of the people they conquer—bring the methods of violence home.  Violence and the threat of violence can then be used to control “one’s” wife or wives, in order to ensure that “one’s” children really are “one’s” own. Violence and the threat of violence can be used to ensure that “one’s” daughters are virgins who can be “given” to other men to perpetuate the system of patriarchal inheritance.  Violence and the threat of violence can be used to hold enslaved people “in line.”  In addition, violence and the threat of violence can be used to subdue those within one’s own culture who are unwilling to go along with the new system. Women who refuse to let men control their sexuality can be killed with impunity by their male relatives or stoned by communities as a whole.

How does such a violent system legitimate itself?  By religious symbols.  In Greece, warriors were “in the image” of the “warrior God” Zeus whose rape of Goddesses and nymphs was celebrated.  In Israel, the power of warriors is mirrored in a male God who is called “Lord” and “King” and who achieves his will through violence and destruction. Sadly, this is not an exclusively western problem. In all of the so-called “highly developed” cultures defined by patriarchy and war, symbols of divine warriors justify the violence of men.  Laws said to have a divine source enshrine men’s control the sexuality of their wives, permit some men to rape some women, and allow some people to own other people as slaves.

Patriarchy is not simply the domination of women by men. Patriarchy is an integral system in which men’s control of women’s sexuality, private property, violence, war, and the institutions of conquest, rape, slavery arise and thrive together. The different elements are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate one as the cause of the others.  Patriarchy is an integral system of interlocking oppressions, enforced through violence.  The whole of the patriarchal system is legitimated by patriarchal religions.  This is why changing religious symbols is necessary if we hope to create alternatives to patriarchal systems.

The model of patriarchy I have proposed argues that control of female sexuality is fundamental to the patriarchal system.  This explains why there is so much controversy about the “simple matter” of access to birth control and abortion and so much anger directed at single mothers.  The model of patriarchy as an intergral system can help us to see that in order to end male domination we must also end war–and violence, rape, conquest, and slavery which are sanctioned as part of war.  We must also end the unequal distribution of wealth inherent in the notion of ”private” property, much of it the “spoils” of war, which led to the concept of patriarchal inheritance, which in turn required the control of female sexuality.  As feminists in religion we must identify and challenge the complex interlocking set of religious symbols which have sanctified the integral system of patriarchy–these include but are not limited to the image of God as male.  Ending patriarchy is no small task!


*I am offering a functional definition of patriarchy that does not address the separate question of why it originated.  I will be publishing an expanded version of this dicussion in the future.

This Article is from Feminism and Religion, February, 2013 

Carol P. Christ will be leading life-transforming Goddess Pilgrimages to Crete through Ariadne Institute this spring and fall.  Join her and learn more about prepatriarchal woman-honoring Goddess cultures.  She spoke on a WATER Teleconference recently which you can listen to now if you missed it.  Her books include She Who Changes and Rebirth of the Goddess and the widely used anthologies Womanspirit Rising and Weaving the Visions

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ferron

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/109446/Ferron.jpgAnd you may say:  "I don't really care what you're talking about" and I say:
"Are you trying to say you don't belong?"

Ferron

Have you ever heard a song from a long time ago, and suddenly, a whole decade of your life becomes alive and animated in your bloodstream and your tastebuds again, and you remember driving down highway 40, and listening as if the song propelled you toward the setting sun, and the horizon was full of promise and adventure, and maybe even a touch of some dimly devined Destiny........and now, you say to yourself,  "How did life ever get so static?"

And "How did I ever forget that song?"............

Here's to  Ferron.  I can't believe I ever forgot those songs. 

http://youtu.be/I3vY89M8uVI



http://youtu.be/5of4PUgG41w


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"For a Dancer" ~~ Remembering Gabrielle Roth

 http://consciousbeauty.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Gabrielle-Roth1.jpg
 "To sweat is to pray, to make an offering of your innermost self. Sweat is holy water, prayer beads, pearls of liquid that release your past. Sweat is an ancient and universal form of self healing, whether done in the gym, the sauna, or the sweat lodge. I do it on the dance floor. The more you dance, the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more you pray. The more you pray, the closer you come to ecstasy."
- Gabrielle Roth
One person I miss so much is Gabrielle Roth, and wanted to remember her here.  To   Gabrielle, author of Sweat Your Prayers,  physical movement is the key to unlocking the spirit.  I'm sad when I see some of the great teachers of my time leave, and Gabrielle Roth was one of them, a teacher of  dance as meditation,healing and self discovery, and  creator of the 5Rhythms  movement practice.  She  passed away on October 22, 2012.

To see a  beautiful  movie about Gabrielle Roth and her work:

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/8010/The-Wave--Ecstatic-Dance-with-Gabrielle-Roth


http://cdn.cultureunplugged.com/thumbnails/lg/8010.jpg

Here's one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard,
 "For A Dancer" by Jackson Browne:


 http://youtu.be/IU1rZa8Ur_Q


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Numina - Photos from "Awakening" #3

"Drought"
 "Myth comes alive as it enters the cauldron of evolution, itself drawing energy from the storytellers who shape it." 

 Elizabeth Fuller,  The Independent Eye
 So many wonderful photos from Ann Waters with Mana Youngbear, and their community of dancers presentation of The Awakening.  Thank you once again for bringing these masks to life, for truly making them "Masks for the Elemental Powers"!

Diane Smalley as "Storm"


"The mythologies of our present culture are heading us to destruction...we are being called upon to participate in revising the mythic assumptions that we follow."

 Suzi Gablik,  Art Critic

"Desert Spring (Our Lady of the Arroyo)"

Deb Macarthy as "Ocean"

"Ice (Glacier"

Cathy Cantwell  as "Flood"

Elk Macarthy  "Volcano"
Diane Smalley as "Mariposa" (Imaginal)"
"The Lady of Avalon (Sacred Spring)"

Frosty Webber as "River"
"Rainbow"
Annie Waters as "Dawn of the New Aeon"
Mana Youngbear as "Medicine Basket"

Paula Geroux as "Gaia"



"What the audience saw when a dancer looked through the eyes of the mask was the Goddess  Herself, an ancient and yet utterly contemporary presence, looking across time, across the miles."


Diane Darling, Director, Playwright
Christy Salo as "The Black Madonna"


All photographs are copyright Jerri Jo Idarius, and used with her permission.