snakeappletree studio journal
D is for Dancing
Dancing today to Faun’s Satyr, pagan folk acoustic trance music to make my boy laugh and to loosen my spine up after not really using it for much apart from slouching over a laptop for the last few years since I last went properly dancing. Free Parties and traveler raves in the forests and fields of Wales. Techno and Drum&Bass sets in Bristol.
Dance is sacred and Dance is Life.
I learned the death dance when I was young, studied from a book of Druidry. Dressed as a Crow my first consciously sought after spirit ally, Watchmen guardians of the way between worlds, I was young then and the spirits kindly didn’t intercede directly into dialogue with me until a decade later.
They prodded and poked me to test my limits before deciding to take me, and take it was. I danced the snake dance and lapped up every lesson from the Lizard King himself, James Morrisson the poet, the shaman, more real and living than many since.
“When the Doors of Perception are cleansed, we will see the world as it is; Infinite” Aldous Huxley
I was terrified to dance and I would sit on the outskirts of the club, bemused by the self-confidence of the slinky men and women moving like shimmers, flames of their soul writhing brightly in the semi-darkness of steamy clubs. Some day, some day I will break free and Be There, I felt stirring from subconscious knowing, awakening.
The Axiom Art Center, Cheltenham, 1997, Fusion nights.
Before the city council shut it down because of what it represented; hippy underground unity and the message of Love, community, creativity.
I dropped my first mdma pill there, a Mitsubishi, and nervously jigged somewhere near the back, mostly from peer pressure and interest. Scientists have recently proven that E cures cancer.
Time and again I faced the psychological wall that this drug shows us, where my ego based self pops up through the surface tension of its own reflection on the mirrored inside of the water I had been immersed in.
So many voices and emotions all around from the living and dead, the extra-alive free-eyed elves in beautiful fluro-rags, and the closer I got to that edge, the louder and more excited the voices grew, flowing up through me, rising, rising in waves and riding through levels, finding my own space. And the peak, the penetration, the breaking through point, where mind Opens wide and so do the rest of the revelers, the ravers; and our minds are all one because the hive-mind awareness is that our emotions are all one, we are all One.
One Love, One People, One Tribe, One World, One Ocean
I was often bemused by the more experienced pill-head society because it wasn’t the Heart for me, it was the Solar Plexus and the gut instinct inside that was given voice and flow whenever I was on it. And shedding the skins of my fears I eventually, I don’t know if it was that same night or some months later after a weekly weekend binge of Dyonisis guidance, young teenage me broke through the fucker of self-doubt and that black shard-spiked wall of repression-induced paranoia, and accepted the truth of psychic awareness, accepted ego-death.
For the first time, I really let go and the music took over. Remote controlled rhythm. Sounds flowing through and their colours are our moods, all of us as one organism. We don’t have names there in that freedom, there are only wild eyes aware of Self and white light of love pouring through our open smiling mouths and sweating pores. It was a perfect club, there was always a bottle of water passed to your hand at exactly the same moment you needed it. And dancing with a tin of beer in the other and my doc marten’s on my feet, became something of a habit that lasted years after. And there was always a spliff doing its circuit around strangers joined by necessity because pills need skunk to keep that necessary chill vibe alive.
Back home with my then girlfriend to tease out the trip in bed together, the secret of bonding a deeply intimate, long lasting relationship, to get high and dance and make out with someone for whom you’d throw away your self for a cheap chemical high. The Eros (love) aspect of Thanateros from the sex-magick teachings from the Thelemic Order of the Morning Star.
In the years after I was with a different crew, I was again too nervous to step into the circle and overcome the Fear, time and again on pot-paranoia and sketched by plugging into the wrong spectrum. Too much time spent with ghosts during the Thanos (death) aspect of Thanateros, teachings from the Shadowside schooled by the spirits themselves, as is the Way. I carried this edge and could see the ghosts amongst the freaked out, inexperienced, curious, egotistic partiers discovering freedom for the first time.
So I would stand at the edge of the open air dance floor at a random traveler party in the forests of Wales eg; Pendragon Carry On Regardless, or a field in Somerset where nobody knew me and I would let go, let go to the music and allow it to take over. I had to be sufficiently drunk, I had to be wearing my Doc Martens so they would slop about on my feet remembering the moves learned in Kung Fu lessons, toe and heel and ball and side, points of contact I don’t know the names for, balance shifting constantly from foot to foot, from bone to bone. I don’t know how many bones are in the feet but they all have their story to tell the earth mother while the 4:4 techno heartbeat wakes up the living soul through the living soil. Left and right, back and forth, tracing the steps of freedom remembered from numberless generations of dancing a natural high.
Here, and in busy and money-and-frisk-at-door clubs that I occasionally made my way to, I would let go. It is this process of letting go that is the overall lesson, I realized this today while teaching my toddler some moves. Letting go. I would let go of myself and my spine would come free, and then I could dance, release the Chinese Fire Snake energies of the year of my birth. Open the Gate of my White Lightning that the Mayan calendar describes me to be. Close my eyes and ignore the people and their fears, push them away with my mind and create a circle of space just big enough for me to fit into and nobody can penetrate it with criticism.
The criticism was the fear I spent most of my spine-twisting time in, all except for on the dancefloor. It all becomes the same dance floor when you get to this stage. Arrogance is required to feel that good about yourself, to call forth the Ecstasy imprinted into the bones and flesh, remembered by the mind and released by will alone, so even when I wasn’t on it, or when I had been dosed by well meaning members of my crew, or just picking up on it and feeling the effects because my crew were on it and we were one water-body... I would let go and the music would move through me, emotions from the colours of the sounds, and…
I would open my eyes and there would be people pointing video camera phones at me and eyes wide, a circle had made space for me and faces of men were amazed, faces of women were trying to catch my eyes, people were nudging their mates and pointing and…
I would wobble back into myself and leave the dance floor for a smoke and a brew in the van with the crew. Had I the social skills I could have pulled half the club on those nights, for being so damn sexy. One day I’ll video you my fire-chain act.
It’s the letting go and allowing the energy of the music to flow through and take control. This is a major part of how I learned to Channel as a spirit medium and this is why the spirits were always present, watching me adapt, progress, figure things out. When I opened my eyes and looked around the crowd, most of the humans were short like kids looking up at my giant stature, and the taller entities there, didn’t all look like humans. There were tree-beings and horned skulls of animals on dark bodies and light shafts and shadows, things I cannot describe and things from the skies. Its easier to open your eyes o this world when you haven’t got a spotlight blinding you, and the camp-fire is the major source of light after the colourful souls of the human aura’s glowing their rainbow tones.
I don’t dance so much any more. I quit the drug scene and lost all my good-time buddies, and I settled with a woman so we could have a child, and then she left because we didn’t share the rituals though I tried to teach her how, and I don’t know what’s happening with the traveler festy scene any more, and apart from dancing in the living room to Black Forest pagan folk music from Faun, to show my boy how to open the Gates, I don’t really get out much and there’s no clubs in town that play the sort of music I can engage with. He’s got rhythm man, my son, he dances to the colours too, he claps and laughs when he sits on the sofa watching his daddy bust-a-move.
D is for: