Just Dance!

Just Dance!

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Oh, Thebes, nurse of Semele, crown your hair with ivy! Grow green with bryony! Redden with berries! O city, with boughs of oak and fir, come dance the dance of god! Fringe your skins of dappled fawn with tufts of twisted wool! Handle with holy care the violent wand of god! And let the dance begin! He is Bromius who runs to the mountain! To the mountain! Where the throng of women waits, driven from shuttle and loom, possessed by Dionysos! 

–Euripidies, The Bacchae, trans. Richmond Lattimor

I went to a concert recently (ARACDE FIRE) and I danced the whole time. I didn’t care how goofy I looked – a solitary fat sweaty girl in a space dress and a tiara, dancing and singing my heart out. It helped that I was in a different city (hell, a different state) and I thought “gee, I don’t know these people. I’ll never know these people. I don’t care what they think of me.” And I didn’t, and it was incredibly liberating and I had the best time ever.

I’ve been trying to dance more. I’m not very good at dancing. I’m not coordinated and I don’t have rhythm. But I really enjoy it. I really really really love dancing, actually. I love to go to dance parties and to go to concerts and to dance in my car and around the house when no one is home. I try to dance more and more every week, and one day when I have time and money (ha) I hope to take swing dance lessons with my husband so we can learn how to dance for realsies.

Dancing was never really on my radar until I went to a Midsummer ritual a few years ago, with a locally famous circle dance teacher in attendance. We spent hours outside in the heat and with the mosquitoes, dancing to the Cosmos. And while there were about a dozen of us, we were all too busy dancing for ourselves and for our Gods that it didn’t matter how goofy we all might have looked. No one was watching us because we were too busy focusing on ourselves, trying to get the moves right.

When I’m facilitating rituals that involve movement or chanting, I try to reiterate this – that we aren’t doing the ritual for each other, we’re singing or dancing for Deity. It doesn’t matter how bad we think we sound – Deity is just glad that we’re singing and dancing and chanting and sending them love and devotion and energy. And if it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that the Cosmos have a sense of humor, so even if we look or feel a bit goofy, it’s okay. The Goddess loves to laugh, especially when we are laughing at ourselves.

It’s hard to get into this mindset. Believe me, I know. After years of occasionally crippling social anxiety, it’s taken a lifetime to work up to this point, where I can sing and dance for Deity, that I can have fun with my voice and with my body. But certain Deities who I have been working with in recent years really want their devotees to do these things, so in my love to Them, I’ve been trying to put forth the extra effort. (Which is admittedly much easier when I’m by myself or in Priestess-Mode…)

Dancing can be a lot of fun, and ritually, it does a lot, too. It raises energy on many levels. Your body gets hot and sweaty and that raises physical energy. Your raise your voice as you sing or shout or chant, which is the energy of physical vibrations in the air. You push toward your comfort zones, which can be an act of sacrifice or devotion. It’s like telling the Gods “this makes me kind of uncomfortable but I love you so much I’m gonna push through it.” It’s an emotional exercise, pushing through the anxiety of dancing or on a less-traumatic level, having fun! The emotions of fun and ecstasy create energy, and that energy can be sent out to the universe! It takes mental energy to focus on dance moves, or even mental energy to allow your mind to let go a bit. All of these energies combine to create magical energy, especially if dancing within a magical circle or ritualized setting.

I recognize that dancing isn’t for everyone, but I do feel like most have a lot to gain by dancing a bit, if just around the house or while you’re in the car or at a nightclub or even in your dreams. Dancing might be a bit awkward at first, but the more you do it, the more joy you’ll feel, and the more the Universe will be celebrated. And the more magic you’ll create with your mind, body, and spirit.

This post originally appeared on Amanda Morris’ personal blog, http://superduperspacewitch.blogspot.com/.

Image provided by galofgray 

To read the Paranormal Galaxy Magazine version of this article click on the title Just Dance!

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