All dance is shapeshifting, that was the latest 4am baby-feeding gift. It completes the bridge from my childhood to now – from the world of dance that enchanted me so deeply, to my graduate degree focused on ritual performance, to my healing and spiritual work now. Completing that circle is what this crossing has been about.
From my thesis for JFK’s Art & Consciousness program:
“I came into this program secretly wanting to learn to dance with animal spirits. I wanted to become a shapeshifter.”
Whenever any of us dance we are changing our consciousness, perhaps changing our own energy so much that we shapeshift. Dance is not only its own world, but is in reality a gateway to many worlds. My ancestors must truly have understood its extraordinary, miraculous powers.
All those years ago, when I first discovered the power of dance to fill us with radiant joy by watching Fred Astaire glow with glee, I was also beginning to court the art of shapeshifting. The child in me knows full well dance’s magic, it is now reunited with the adults training, discipline, and experience in other worlds.
My first circle was portable and padded, suited to my life and work back then. The next circle was the concrete well pad we eventually built a cob house on. Now that I’ve come to the edge of this bridge its time to build a new one.
My recent spate of dreams putting me in touch with the joy of dance and performing have been received loud and clear. This next circle has to be not only a sacred space for my practice, but also a stage to perform on – a place to share this work. From my early Aikido training (in a round studio no less) I learned that “dojo” means literally “place of the way.” I have the way, this bridge has given it back to me, now its time to build the place.
I’ve been talking to Terry, we’ve decided on the location for our round stage. It will be suitable not only for my performance, but perhaps for other family, summer time adventures. This bridge brings so much of the last twenty years into relief. I have a beautiful, loving, maddening, exquisitely radiant family that is the real container for my life. My process with the Raven paused during my training in core shamanism and in becoming the husband and father I wanted to be. Now that we’ve all arrived, its time bring my Raven process to fruition. Its time for the shapeshifter to dance again.