On October 20, 2012 I participated in a performance hosted by The Institute for the Shamanic Arts called The Plasmic Portal. The purpose of this performance was to share aspects of the multifaceted nature of the Shamanic Path, as experienced by the 7 performers participating. Each person came up with a unique segment to share, and together, we were The Plasmic Portal. Each performer asked our Spirit Guides what they wanted us to contribute. A few of us were asked to share something that pushed our boundaries. We were asked to try new things, and to evoke feelings for the benefit of the audience.
I was told I was to open the show, and I was to dance to “Who’s Gonna Save Us”, a song by Sue Cho. In my mind I saw myself putting white paint all over myself while dancing. I was to embody despair, loneliness, and pain, as I felt often as a younger person before being called to the Shamanic life I have now. I was to create a feeling that everyone in the audience might identify with, or recognize from a part of their life. I was hesitant to do this. I wondered if people would get it, if they would be put off by it…I tried to come up with another idea, but , as with Spirit Guided things generally, my Guides were adamant that I was to do this. All other segments after mine would move in a direction to wholeness, connection, and healing.
I found a black cauldron, and painted “Cauldron of Pain” and “Cauldron of Despair” on it so people would know what I was dipping into. I had white face paint in the cauldron that was to represent these emotions. I picked many images of loneliness and spiritual remembering to project on the wall, in which I would dance. As the song’s words played “Everyone wants to save the world, but who’s gonna save us?” , I used my fingers to paint myself with pain and despair while being illuminated by the images on, and around, me.
The three weeks before my performance were challenging. My computer’s hard drive crashed. A past mentor died. I was preparing to move at the end of the month. I even got a mild head cold a few days before. I was irritable and frustrated. My guides were brewing a perfect emotional climate for calling up the unpleasantness that I felt so often in my past.
I trusted the process and did my best. I was not only a performer, but I also produced the whole show. I was very pleased with the overall performance. All performers were brave and did their segments perfectly. We pleased our Spirit Guides (Sigh of Relief!), and at least intrigued the 36 people in the audience.
When I watched the video later (which will be posted asap), I laughed out loud. Oh my! I was so dramatic. I wondered “What in the world did people think of this?!”, and yet I knew I was doing it for a higher purpose than ‘pleasing the audience’. Then I saw the photos, and was impressed by the beauty of the Spirit in them. It made me realize that I have done this before, danced for Spirit.
I began to remember my previous dances…
On Leap Day, 2004, I participated in a performance produced by Merrie Wolfie called “The Wilderness Show”. I was guided to dance for, and as, the Vulture Goddess. At the time, the Vultures of India were almost wiped out because they were being poisoned by a livestock drug, and dying. The Vultures play a vital role in India by eating dead animals. I wrote the poem below in their honor. In my piece, I spoke this on stage, and then danced in my feathers to a song by Allen Smith. In my small way I honored them as I could.
I am the Vulture Goddess
The world needs me because
I am the bird of all birds.
I eat feather, fur, fin and flesh, and
I digest it all, lovingly.
Yet, I cannot seem to digest the kind of death humans create, just by living.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to be killing me.
What happens when I, the Death Eater, dies?
Who will digest Death then?
So from the Underworld I dance the dance of rebirth for myself,
And for all creatures dying
From your life.
My mind also went to another time in the same year, when I was asked to dance Kali in Lauren Raine’s theatrical performance “Restoring the Balance”. I had never done such a thing, attempt to embody an actual Goddess, and Kali, no less. I agreed.
I recently went to Lauren’s website in order to remind myself so I could write this blog. I remember the photos taken that night were beautiful, and the pictures caught Lauren’s attention. Apparently, as I danced (in all black by the way), an image of a goat, a spirit goat , appeared on my dancing body in the photograph. All these years later, Lauren has much about this Spirit Photo of my dance, bringing forth the sacrificial goat, written in the description of the event. See her writing here. Scroll down to “Afterward: The Surprising”.
Apparently, my Spirit Guides like me to dance for them. I am pleased that they have inspired me to do this more than once. I will certainly heed the call to honor them in such a way. Until the next dance…