“For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. My interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvellous world, in this marvellous desert, in this marvellous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”
― Carlos Castaneda
All of your Being
At some point in the practice of conscious dance, we may drop deeper into our being. Experiencing trance like or altered states of consciousness. The world and the dance shifts in ways that are not familiar in terms of our usual modus operandi. The dance floor becomes a dream like landscape where new elements are now at play.
We may start to feel as if we are some animal or bird moving in the space. We embody its movements, learning its ways. Our awareness may notice other personalities, archetypes, or ancestral being's moving in our bodies or moving with us in the space. Furthermore we are able to dialogue with them through movement. Visions and dream like states of other worlds, different landscapes, times, places, or cryptic messages enter our awareness. The body may move in ways not familiar (nor unfamiliar) to us.
We may find ourselves having conversation with the earth, the ocean, fire, air and in fact anything in creation. Again this may bring wisdom or insight. Experience becomes wisdom when, for example, we dance as if we are a lion, then we can embody its strength again in the future by moving in this way, or access it by remembering the experience in our cells and moving with that power.
Imagination is one of the most powerful tools that a shamanic dancer possesses. It is the bridge between what is known (what we can imagine), and what is unknown (better than we can imagine). Initially it's all imagination and then suddenly there is a polar bear in a suit, moon walking like Michael Jackson, and you know you didn't put him there. He is from the other side of the bridge. Then we have a dance and get the download. This is how we use our imagination to interact with our intuition.
The key with these experiences is to not try create them (fantasy with no basis in reality) but to meet them when they arise (real fantasy) and stay in movement so that the conversation occurring is embodied and grounded in physical movements. Whenever an experience overwhelms we default back to the guidelines of the container - stay in movement, stay present, and relax. For the conversation to remain as such we have to play the edge between "the dance dances me", and "I dance the dance."
It may be frightening at times to see and move and be moved by these "other" aspects of ourselves. For this reason it takes time and practice in letting go. Allowing ourselves to drop deeper without being blown away, overwhelmed or over ego'd by the experiences. Awareness, and realisation that this is simply another experience we are having, help to keep it real.
Exploring the Mystery
Shamanic dance opens up the potential to deeper exploration into the mystery, and allows us to access information and wisdom within ourselves. Our imagination gives way to our intuition. As we practice and learn to trust that what we are experiencing is simply another aspect of the potential or mystery that is our life, we become more accomplished in being able to hold the space moving within us and allow further insight to flow.
Shamanic dance allows the dancer to commune with aspects of life. Prior to dance they were either unknown or too abstract to actually play with in a way that was useful. Dancing with this shamanic awareness opens up the possibility of a great conversation. Parts of you that you know begin to talk with parts that come from more hidden unknown aspects of yourself. The movement is the conversation. Connection. Communion.