I have just returned from our second adventure in the Kalahari, in Namibia, a trip that first began with the exploration of one of the oldest dances known to mankind.
The San bushmen have been holding ritualistic healing dances for as long as history can tell and being known as the 'first man' on this planet, clearly means this is the first healing dance known to us!
Ben and I were very fortunate to share our journey with Eline Klieft, phd, who works with Coventry University and Casparo Brownbeard explorer of the wild, as we each took part in the Elephant dance and the Giraffe dance, both dances that are quite specific to their own medicine and held in different ways. Both powerful and deeply healing on many levels. Within it I have witnessed some of the tools and particular shamanic methods used in today's circles, as well as methods of osteopathy and acupressure work that these people have never had access to in the modern world as we know it. But mainly I have witnessed the bushman/woman's total belief in the healing dance and the ability to hold, together, the deepest ceremonial work that I have ever witnessed, relying totally on the vibration created through dance and song, the burning of the fire and their community coming together, as well as an equal connection between the men and the women.
Trance dance has been a passion of mine since my early teens and the power of dance even before that. I knew it at the very core of myself, in my bones and in my muscles. So it seems the most natural thing for me to do was to go and find out where it all originated.
But meeting with the dance hasn't been what it is all about for me, because in meeting these people, I am recognising that it is all about a way of life, a simple way of life that from what I have observed, includes the dance in all of their actions from hunting to gathering, to village life, relationships and communication.
Observing this particular dance, it shows me a different way to live. What happens when we bring the community, the fire, the singers, the healers and those needing to be healed together? What happens when the focus is on the dis-ease carried through one person, yet has been created by the whole of the community? What happens when this is viewed as a need for soul retrieval for that person as well as for the whole village, when the dis-ease is not seen as one persons problem but the whole communities?
This is such a different way of looking at illness, a way of seeing life and so much of what we take for granted in our so called 'civilised' cultures. Have we got it right, or is there something we are seriously missing?
I believe there is so much to learn from our San relatives, if we simply listened and observed. Those we spoke with there, the men and women who take part in this dance, have asked us to share their message of healing to the world and we will soon have photographs and film to show in order to raise money for the school they are building which will be a first San School, devoted to the San language and traditions.
I'm also looking forward to sharing much more about our visit and the dances from Namibia at the beginning of the 'Middle Earth Medicine Ways' shamanic course. There will be much to dance with, create with and journey with as we step into the field of dance and shamanic journeying. Adopting the shape-shifter, walking in nature and finding our own medicine songs, will support us on the path of empowerment and the inspiring journey of soul retrieval.
If you would like to join us, please see this link Middle Earth Shamanic Course and contact Kirsty moc.liamgnull@noskcajgytsrik I am also now available to offer mentoring sessions after my journey and look forward to re-connecting with those who wish to have that support. Link here.