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September 11th. 2016 ...
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How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
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April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
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Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Dance As Magick
Article ID: 15259
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Zehara Nachash
Posted: November 4th. 2012
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I am a dancer by nature. I have been dancing since childhood. I have studied various forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, Russian Gypsy, African and Belly Dance. Dancing is what I do when I am happy, sad, stressed, anxious, chipper—its also what I do when I am feeling a need for a deep spiritual connection.
I have been a practicing Pagan since I was 17. So its no surprise that dance started to creep into my spiritual practice. I started integrating dance into my magickal work during a Beltane ritual in which I felt this sudden "urge" to move. It was almost as if my brain had completely shut off and the only noise I heard was the pulsing rhythms of the drums. I was completely taken over my spirit. That was the moment that I realized that dance and magick could be used together to create something so primal and pure--the true essence of the human spirit.
Dancing has been used for thousands of years as a means of communication to Deity or in reverence of a higher power. There are many various styles of “ritualistic” dance: the Middle Eastern “zar” dance, Morris dance, Long Sword dance, Circle dance and most notably, the Sema or “Whirling Dervish” in which dancers whose continuous spin forms a deep spiritual mind set much like the peaceful state induced during meditation. One can look at ancient cave paintings and Egyptian art to see paintings of temple dancers, honoring their Gods via movement and expression.
As a dancer, my dance has always had spiritual roots. I fell in love with gypsy dance because of the passionate and magickal sound of the violin-the music invoked a sense of magickal mysticism and my body moved with the violin as if I were apart of it. I fell in love with belly dance because of its complex earthy rhythms and the ability to connect to the Mother Goddess. My new love of African and Aboriginal dance has come from the primal earthbound roots I feel when performing it. When I am performing, some aspect of my spirituality is invoked.
To me, dancing is magick–a spell. If I want to banish something I will do a sword or fire dance. When I want to manifest something I perform with my snakes. Like the symbols of the Tarot, I am connecting to the elements via dance. There is so much music out there--and so much to connect to. There have been moments when I have been compelled to create a choreography solely inhabiting an aspect of an element. I created a "Dust Storm" dance in which I combined aspects of Aboriginal dance and the usage of a veil--all to invoke the power of the element of Air. It’s at those moments where I feel connected to the power of nature through movement.
One aspect of dancing that I love is when I feel inspired–or more like-taken over-by the spirit of a Deity or Higher Being. I feel inspired to create and perform either a number dedicated to them or as them as a form of invocation. For the past three months I have felt strongly connected to Pan. This coming from a gal who is typically "all Goddess" energy. How odd that I suddenly felt this strong masculine energy overtake me. Perhaps I was being reminded of the balance I needed!
Pan's playful mischievous energy kept popping up around me and I would feel constant urges to want to "frolick". I also started finding without thinking, that I was purchasing more and more jovial flute music! Pan also invoked a deep emotional feeling of happiness and joy that I would call upon whenever I felt down or anxious. Over the past month, I began forming a dance around His energy and eventually performed as Pan at the Samhain Festival hosted by Laurie Cabot and the Cabot Kent Hermetic Temple in Salem. It was for me, a magickal moment. Throughout the performance, I felt Pan’s energy flow through me, and when Laurie exclaimed, “we had Pan here among us!” after my performance, I think I did a good job invoking the ancient God of the woods.
I have invoked many Gods and Goddesses over the course of my dance career–including Mami Wata, Pythia and a few fairies, demons, angels and sprites. It’s deeply moving when I am able to transmit their energy through my performances–its almost like being an acolyte to their mysteries and having them coach me along the way. It’s more meaningful for me. It’s also a lot more work–costuming, music and make up all have to be just perfect. It’s a lot more powerful to when the audience understands who I am without me having to even announce it!
Using dance as a magick is an ancient and old power. It can be as simple as turning on music and dancing around your room to create high levels of energy before spell or ritual work. Sometimes invoking that primal energy can help release any anxiety that you are feeling prior to spell work and ritual–help cleanse your mind and prepare yourself for the work ahead. It can also help to induce a meditative trance inducing state, much like the Dervish or Zar. Dance in itself is cathartic. Creating an atmosphere where you can dance out your feelings. The best part is you don’t have to be a trained dancer to let your body move to the rhythm--it’s allowing yourself to be moved physically by the music--and being able to let go.
During ritual, one can even create a small performance as the particular Deity to help call Their power into the circle (hmm, now I am thinking Brigid dancing with a candle tray for Candelmas!) .
Dance is a powerful form of energy work. Its why its been used as a form of ritual for thousands of years. Besides, the Gods and Goddesses love when you sing and dance and be merry in their name!
Location: West Roxbury, Massachusetts
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