When preparing for ceremonies such as the Blessing Ceremony for the Duwamish River—an industrial and Superfund site and wildlife oasis—I often find that synchronous events occur that focus my attention on what is important. And those pointers can come from some surprising sources.
Most people don’t know that I am a fan of the reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance. (Matter of fact many of my students seem quite surprised that I own a television, a perception I find quite humorous. Apparently all shamans should live in caves bereft of modern conveniences.)
I love So You Think You Can Dance for many reasons: the beauty of movement paired with music, watching people reach for their dreams, and, frequently moving artistic commentary on current events by top notch choreographers.
For last night’s show, Canadian Stacey Tookey created a concept piece, a contemporary dance routine about Mother Earth and her struggle with Mankind. Contestant Melinda performed as Mother Earth, saying of her role, “Mother Earth takes a beating.” The piece concludes with dancer Ade, representing Mankind, ripping away part of Melinda’s flower- and vegetation-decorated costume—revealing a darkened area reminiscent of an oil spill.
What caught my attention was not the dancing alone, but its pairing with music by Skunk Anansie entitled “Squander,” containing some very powerful lyrics as you can see in the following excerpt.
Why take everything you see?
You’ll have nothing left to squander
If you keep pushing me away
You’ll have no one left to love
You throw it all away
Those ties you went and suffered for
you cause disaster
and flounder flounder flounder flounder
To me the lyrics and dance piece speak eloquently of the interconnectedness of all beings. If we keep mistreating the earth, pushing her, and the other species we share this planet with, away, we shall have no one left to love. But the piece that I felt was missing in the dance sequence is an important one from my perspective: our Earth Mother and the Animal Kingdom, Stone and Plant People continue to reach out to us in hopes of restoring that which has been lost.
Tomorrow, as we open Sacred Space for the Blessing Ceremony, we shall invite them all to dance with us once again in harmony and in love. And perhaps, together, we can rebuild the bridge and restore some of what was lost.
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Think Outside the Cage
A pioneer in Reiki and shamanic healing for people and animals, Rose De Dan has seen firsthand the profound healing impact of this work on the lives of others. A Reiki Master Teacher, mesa carrier in the Peruvian Q’ero tradition, and animal communicator, she teaches classes, workshops and teleclasses for those interested in learning more about energy medicine.
Rose is also author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.
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