|Watercolour by Alica Wolter Hausser|
"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
Perched on the bed across from my beloved I tried to verbalize something beyond description,
"It's not really about the dance or the ceremony, it's bigger than that. Something is happening with me & I don't know exactly what it is, but it's much larger & more complex than I can explain."
"You do? What makes you say that?"
"I would never have taken you for a person who would put herself out there like this, dancing before an audience, organizing something like this…"
"True… before, I would never do this sort of thing... what is with that? And I am doing this crazy thing & with little to no worries…"
Every rite, ritual or ceremony must begin with a Vision. Unless it doesn't.
It is difficult to pinpoint when this great undertaking, this transformative journey was first birthed. I recall feeling inspired by a Samhain social event hosted by a large Anchorage-based organization, Wiccans of Alaska (WoA) -- The 1st Annual Witches Ball. It was not so much that this event was earthshaking in any particular way, except that strangely, unexpectedly, many of us perceived it to be more potent, more fruitful & nourishing to our community than countless other rites and rituals gone by. After much mulling & conversation, it eventually became clear to me that what that four hour evening of dining, drinking & dancing really provided was Joy. Pure, uncomplicated Joy & fellowship, the likes of which so many humans find themselves chronically shortchanged.
I don't do public ritual work, unless I have to because someone or Someone asked me specifically & I feel the need to Facilitate-Their-Bliss. As I told the husband, I don't know how this happened & in order to avoid displaying just how poorly I remember things these days, I will simply say that something happened after Samhain & somehow I conjured, heard, formulated, captured, accepted, stumbled upon... a Vision.
A Vision that would not accept "No."
And somehow, I convinced nine extraordinary people to sign on to this Vision. Then I convinced an extraordinary choreographer, dj-magus, costumer & a collection of extraordinary artists to collude with us... Perhaps not in that exact order, but as I mentioned, I cannot remember.
And the sheer insanity of it all was that I had only fleeting sensation of doubt which occurred only moments before the rodeo commenced when I found myself herding cats... & those doubts rested firmly with the audience, not with our crew or what we were poised to offer... This thing was charmed.
The ceremony, at it's core, was an offering -- an epic offering. Like a set of nesting dolls, it housed many lesser offerings, all of it, for the Spirits & our community. It was a gift intended to invite, inspire & transform, thereby giving ad infinitum... The entire process of bringing this thing to fruition was also an offering & required a series of sacrifices from the lot of us. Perhaps I am offering obsessed. Or perhaps it is That-which-drives-me which has such predilections. Either way, it works.
This animist ceremony was in large part, for humans, by humans -- a nourishing, nurturing Animas Ceremony. We humans need respect & relationship too.
Interestingly, I never put this Vision into written words until the Pagan Community Center - Willow Director requested a synopsis for the PCC Summer Solstice Festival website. Ostensibly, that is what follows -- A Vision, in synopsis, which demands an extensive unraveling to be truly understood.
Summer Solstice Animas Ceremony & Ecstatic Dance Event: An Invitation to Passion
Hosted by the Resh K'eljesh sacred dance troupe and Moma Fauna, animist-at-large.
Our formal, "New Animist" styled presentation of offerings and invitation will begin with a poetic invocation of Passion and the spirits thereof, followed by an expressive evocation of Passion through sacred dance.Amidst abundant offerings both allegorical and romantic, you will be drawn to join us in free-form movement and trance inspired by a musical collage uniquely crafted by DJ and acoustical magus Gabriel.Participants will also find additional opportunities to consort with their muses through written expression and a variety of visual arts.We hope you delight in this experience and find it both inspirational and transformative. This is our gift to you, our community and to the spirits that accompany us on our journey.A silent auction featuring specially crafted sacred art ceremonial offering bowls will offer you an opportunity to take home a beautiful commemorative piece from this special event and your purchase will help us produce future ceremonial events like this.~ Resh K'eljesh