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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Did you feel the energy shift at Beltaine?

Dear Ones --

Here it is, Tuesday, May 4th. About a week ago - Thursday, April 29th - a sort of "energy shift" started. Do you remember, for those of us on the East Coast, that we had a relatively dry few days, and that it got very warm from Friday the 30th to Saturday, May 1st?

It wasn't just the physical warmth though; there was a distinctive "quickening" or "enlivening" that happened. Nothing on a grand cosmological scale; I'm not talking about something millennial (or even centennnial). Rather, the simple, annual cycling of energies. In this case, an intensification of the emerging "spring" energy and a transition into "summer" energy.

Most of us - very naturally - get caught up in the energy patterns themselves, and don't really notice the energy-feeling as something distinctive. I was caught up, myself! (You'll note that I haven't blogged in over a week.) And even when two days of rain followed that lovely Saturday, the energy-feeling continued, and continued further as the beginning of this warm, dry week emerged.

The thing for us to notice - as dancers and as energy workers - is when there is a transition.

One of my household members had a May 1st birthday, and threw a great big party. And - appropriately enough for Beltaine - there was a wonderful "bonfire" in our fire cauldron!

I celebrated Beltaine by being drawn into re-developing a fire dance.

This is the same fire dance that I had done several years prior; using Mosaic (the first cut) on Sandstorm.

This is one of the first works by Farzad Farhangi. So fortunately, I already had a detailed set of notes on the musical structure, and some previously-developed base choreography.

What is different now, is that I'm seeking to work with the fire energy itself, not just to do a dance. And this means - yes - doing more than just a "candle dance," which is how I interpreted this dance earlier.

In short, it's not enough to just do an impressive choreography and even to work with candle flames. For energy work, there are two whole extra dimensions.

The first dimension has simply to do with feeling the "energy" of the element with which we're working. For a fire dance, I want to feel that zingy, enlivening fire energy. (This is Level 3 in our practice.) And Level 4 (the second new dimension) is what we create with the fire energy - how we hold it, shape it, and purpose it - at an energetic level, while we are doing the dance on the physical level.

Kind of like walking and chewing gum at the same time, although a good deal more complex.

And I'll admit - I'm a beginner at this sort of thing. Doing this is as complex, and as challenging, as it was many years ago, when I tried to do a veil dance with zills for the first time. It is REALLY a new experience to seek to get the physical movements so down-pat (even if they are improv), so that my conscious attention is on the energy-experience, and I'm not focused on the details of technique and choreography.

But this is where the art is becoming brand-new, all over again - and this is enormously exciting.

And back to the energy-shift of Beltaine - the transition. What happened at Beltaine was an introduction of fire energy - very different from the quickening of life-energy that brought us all out to our gardens around Vernal Equinox; this had a qualitatively different feel.

So if you would care to take on an exercise, start to notice (perhaps even record your impressions) of the energy shifts, especially as we come to the cross-quarter days as well as the seasonal quarters. (This means: the Summer and Winter Solstices, the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, and the cross-quarter days of Beltaine, Lammas, Samhaine, and Imholc.) Feel the energy, and observe how your natural instincts respond. Then see how you can transition that into your dance!

Also, Waverly Fitzgerald has a lovely and inspiring website, schooloftheseasons, and an associated blog; livinginseason. I've been following her site for years, and reference it within my own web - and am delighted with her sensitive, insightful blog postings!

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