The next Canterbury Moon Lodge takes place on September 6th, three days before the new moon when the Sun/Moon conjunction is in 16 degrees Virgo, and Venus is just entering Scorpio. The evening is given over to ‘The Dance’- and in our case it is the Spirit Dance, led by Natasha Quinn. We can delight to be in our bodies, to surrender the thinking mind to a deeper primordial instinct, to flow with the cosmic rhythm and pulse, to free ourselves just a little more from the shackles of the mind.
The Sabian Symbol for the Sun/Moon conjunction on the new moon is-
A Volcanic Eruption.
Keynote: The explosive energy of long repressed contents of the subconscious.
And that is what can happen in the dance when we let go of old fixed ideas and the taming of the wild woman. Women have throughout time always danced to access a more intuitive, feeling expression, and to express the cosmic part of their nature. At its best, the dance is deeply transformative; inside its freeing rhythm we are changed- we show something of our unconditioned or liberated selves – not only to ourselves and to each other, but we also make ourselves available to be acted upon, and to act- the act is an upsurge or uprising from our innate knowing, longings and desires. Our bodies know how to move, how to release… they know what they need, and how to flow with universal energy.
Ecstasy comes from the ancient Greek word ἔκστασις ekstasis, and means “to be or stand outside oneself, a removal to elsewhere” from ek- “out,” and stasis “a stand, or a standoff of forces”. In this context it is to stand outside the reasoned mind, the ego, and allow ourselves to enter a liminal zone beyond time and space, between the ordinary and non-ordinary realities. We stand outside of our every day persona and allow ourselves to take part in the cosmic dance. To dance and to be danced.
Shared ecstasy is rarely experienced these days outside of the collective intoxication of weekend binge drinking. This is a sad loss for our shared humanity. Ritual, ceremony and community celebration from our pagan past filled that space in rites such as Saturnalia, the Roman festival to honor the god Saturn. Here, the whole community celebrated in a public banquet followed by continual, often wild, partying that disregarded social norms of the time.
The Greek goddess of the dance is Terpsichore or Τερψιχορη who is one of the nine muses, she is Muse of Dance and her name means ‘to delight in the dance’. On the evening of our Moon Lodge and on the new moon Terpsichor is at 20 degrees Aquarius- which talks of how we meet these spheres of surrender and ecstasy in a social context- how we share these experiences- how we can stand outside ourselves in the presence of others. That is a big ask… we have been taught to adopt a persona, to develop a healthy ego, to separate self and other, and to act according to the social rules of our culture.
I would like to share a dream that I once had…
There were many women in a underground temple. The women were dancing in sync with each other, precisely coordinated movements, sometimes very fast, sometimes much slower… moving as one collective, focused energy. The movements and the energy created by the women determined the events and movements of the ordinary world above them. In this sense the women were like earth energies, or kundalini, sinuously moving through the subterranean land, the lower world, or the unconscious, influencing worldly affairs.
In this dream I realised the power of dance, a power that must never be underestimated or forgotten.
As T.S. Elliot so beautifully declared in his poem Burnt Norton from The Four Quartets-
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.