This Trance Dance I've been running, I thought I'd change the name to Spirit Dance. And in so doing, present it in a way that is closer to how I see it. So below is the new description.
In a traditional setting, a spirit dance would be an invitation to the spirits to dance with us, through us – even, in some cases, to possess us. It is a ceremony. And the spirits are called in for the benefit of the whole village.
The spirit world is always with us. But most of the time our minds are, by necessity, on the everyday. The spirit world – the sacred – presents itself when we step out of the normal: at night, when we sleep; in the solitude of wild places; at sunrise and sunset; when lightning strikes; indeed, anywhere or anything that jolts us out of the dream of waking existence.
The next Spirit Dance is on Sunday 23rd April at 2pm, Jubilee Hall, Chagford. £10. No need to book. (And then on Sun May 21st and June 18th) I'm at BWGoddard1@aol.co.uk Tel 01647 253241
What I mean by the spirit world needs a broad interpretation. It is whatever appears, whatever comes through us when we step out of the ordinary. And the spirit dance is set up, like any ceremony, to invoke that non-ordinary consciousness.
There is the rhythmic music, the movement, the intention to visit the spirit world, and there is the blindfold. All of these take us away from the linear, rational self and bring us to quite a different place, that is hard to put into words.
But it is where we go to meet ourselves in a bigger sense, and in a closer sense. And we can bring anything we want to the dance.
In a traditional setting, we’d begin with a sense of gratitude to the natural world for all the good things in our lives. And to the spirits for being present and for nourishing us and for being willing to help us. And we can bring whatever is on our minds: a desire for guidance and clarity; a wish to heal some of those troubled sides that most humans seem to have; help for a physical ailment; and help for others. Above all, perhaps, we bring a desire for a deep connection to Spirit.
And we have fun. The spirit world is not a church. Things are informal, there is humour. And dancing is a good thing to do. There is no-one watching (because of the blindfolds), and no particular way of moving. If you’re moving at all. It’s wherever the music takes you.