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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Princess Training"

"Princess Training" - It's Not All Tinsel and Tiaras

Who among us hasn't fantasized about being a Princess? Why else would our favorite fairy tales, from Snow White to Cinderella, hold our interest? Why else would some of our favorite movies be the Princess Diaries, not to mention our classic favorite; Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Over the past few decades, Princess Diana held our imagination, as she became our social and fashion idol. Her sad personal history invoked both our sympathy and our fascination.

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck appeared in the 1953 movie, Roman Holiday.

This spring, we'll all become fascinated with the royal nuptials of Kate Middleton and Prince William. We'll have our royal wedding fantasies all over again - for the first time in decades! And won't we all wonder - and perhaps wish for - what it would be like to really be a Princess?

Well, the truth is - we might - each of us, individually - start becoming Princesses.

Think about it. What does being a Princess really mean?

It means inherent nobility, doesn't it? It means that a woman is sufficiently evolved so that others accord her the respect and the honor that acknowledges her as being of a different "quality" than most ("common") folk.

We can take this two different ways. Some of our Princess ideas involve someone who is so refined, so delicate, so sensitive, that her sleep is disturbed if there is so much as a pea hidden under layers of mattresses. That's one fairy tale.

But a more true-to-life fairy tale (yes, still a fairy tale, but one with a richer meaning) is the story of The Little Princess; about a girl who called on her inner Princess in order to get through times of hardship; of privation, of loss, and of both abuse and ridicule. She called upon and trained her inner Princess - and she was rewarded by having others ultimately honor and acknowledge her.

In A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgeson Burnett, Sara must cultivate her inner Princess in order to survive the harsh treatment when she is orphaned and left in a girls' school. Her fortunes finally change, but only after she has had to call upon every ounce of strength, courage, and compassion that she can muster. A wonderful read, especially when we're feeling lonely and sorry for ourselves!

Being a Princess is something that we develop from the inside, not something that we inherit.

Think about it. Being a Princess is not easy. Princesses are called "Your Serene Highness." There has to be a reason for this. As we cultivate our inner Princess, one of our first steps must be to develop our serenity.

In my forthcoming book, Unveiling, I write a lot about archetypes, and about cultivating a body/mind/psyche/energy integration pathway. Surprisingly, we do have a template for this integration pathway. The modern Tarot deck is drawn from the ancient Qabalah; the Judaic studies of how we can transition between states of consciousness, depicted as the "Tree of Life."

The Tarot devolved; the Minor Arcana became the playing cards that we use today in card games. Originally, though, these cards meant something. In fact, the various suites meant something.

The Suite of Spades used to be the Suite of Swords, and referred to the Element of Air. This is the suite that we associate with spring. So, starting in just three weeks, we begin our study of the Element of Air. In dance, this translates to spins, turns, movement across the floor, creating patterns in space with our veils, etc.

The different face cards meant something as well. The idea of "Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings" refers to levels of study and mastery. The "Pages" face cards can also be interpreted as the Princesses. Think of the face cards - for our purposes - as being "Princesses, Warrior Princesses, Queens, and Kings." Each is a level of mastery.

So we start our year with the transition from winter to spring; almost every old culture has its New Year beginning sometime between Imholc (Feb. 2nd) and the Vernal Equinox. (The Druids started their New Year at Imholc, the Chinese start sometime in February, between Imholc and the Vernal Equinox. The Persian New Year, Nowruz, starts on the first day of spring.)

Often, new students enter our Studio around this time of year. They're ready to shake off the winter doldrums and start moving their bodies!

What we will include in our curriculum this year, for the first time (in approximately 2,000 years) will be "Princess training."

Each of you enters as a Princess-in-Training. Your first year - whether you are physically part of our Studio, or studying with us from a distance - involves learning how to "be a Princess."

A lot more interesting, and a bit more complex, than one might think.

For more details, I'll shortly post a starting page on the Alay'nya website. Feel free to follow along with us, and you can post your comments and reflections, as you apply the "training" to your life, here on this blog!

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