THE ALCHEMY OF SACRED DANCE!
Alchemy can take many forms. In essence, it is the process of transformation or transmutation. Like an algebraic equation it is very basic, yet fixed. As we insert an infinite number of variables, we arrive at infinite possible outcomes; yet all of them have passed through the same process or equation. The fact that it is so basic is what makes alchemy applicable to everything around us. Alchemy need not be restricted to the lab; we can find it “in vivo” in all aspects of life. The Alchemy of Dance is a process of transformation by the transmutation of energy and spiritual awareness through movement. In this type of alchemy, the body, becomes the alchemical vessel. This is merely the first phase of a larger process called the Universal Dancer, smaller cycles within a larger cycle creating the spiral to the infinite.
The last card of the Tarot, the Universe, is often referred to as the Universal Dancer. It is the point where we are fully integrated with all of life and dance with the Universe.
The origins of Sacred Dance date back to the beginning of time. Most tribal cultures still maintain some type of Sacred Dance. It may be performed by shamans or tribal members depending on the intention behind the dance. Tribal cultures still maintain the connection to the earth. Whether it is conscious or unintentional, it still exists. Research has been done confirming the healing properties of this type of dance.
The movements used are very basic. What remains of this type of dance is very similar to modern day Middle Eastern or Belly Dancing. As with most esoteric knowledge, being shrouded in a playful or entertaining way has preserved it. What differs is that the Universal Dancer is danced for expression rather than performance. The similarities are on mainly the external or visible level. Although most Belly Dancers are not aware of the esoteric side of the dance, the engaging of this sexual energy can be quite obvious.
On the energetic level, the movements allow us to move the energy from the earth through our bodies and discharge it back to the earth. At this level, the energy loop is created between the woman and the earth. This is the first transmutation and it occurs in many ways. We are able to take the actual rhythm or pulsations emanating from the earth, the sine waves if you like, and amplify them through our bodies.
This is the same process used by musicians in playing or composing music. The musician is merely tapping into the earth rhythm and amplifying that wave on his instrument. In the case of Sacred Dance, the instrument is our body. Just as different waves may be played on different instruments, different waves resonate in different parts of our bodies. In time, we can play an entire piece of music (or mirror of the earth rhythm) on our bodies, allowing the different instruments to resonate in different parts of our bodies. This is a beautiful and wonderful experience, one that incorporates the dimension of sound into the experience as well. We can use the music as the guide on our journey. But the journey can also be traveled in silence. It is not necessary to dance to external music. And like “intoning” the approaching but not releasing of sound may actually intensify the experience. We simply dance to whatever rhythm is emanating from the earth. To do this takes a great deal of sensitivity, a sensitivity that can be acquired or developed. It is much simpler to just take a piece of music, which is already amplifying the rhythm, and dance to that. The process of “intoning” the dance has other lessons to teach us.
On the esoteric level, we begin as the Magician of the Tarot learning to manipulate the elements physically and energetically. Each element - fire, earth, water and air - has a specific movement. We begin by separating them out and experiencing each one on all levels so that we might KNOW them.
For anyone who has not danced with the Universe, it is a beautiful and creative experience. Training will elevate the experience but anyone can peek behind the curtain. Just find some primal, tribal, heavy drum music; turn off the lights; and, like the bat, just follow your radar and fly!