Year of the Serpent

As a professional Snake Charmer and full-time Snake Priestess, this is surely a good year for me! After all, it’s the year of the Serpent! My totem animal rules this year and I can feel the Serpents embracing coils envelop me each day. From the beginning of this year, I knew it would be a year of great change and introspection–primarily in the spirituality department.

Photo by Peter Paradise

Photo by Peter Paradise

I have worked with snakes for well over a decade. Their energy primal–moving–surging. In 2006 during a snake dance performance at a restaurant, a patron who was visiting from Africa and an African shamanic practionar, pulled me aside and said, “you dance with Snake,” -I sort of laughed and said, “well yeah of course,”–seeing as I just finished the set with my 7 foot boa. “No,” he said, “You dance with Snakes—I saw two of them above your head–energies dancing around you in the form of snakes.” In 2012, I had the honor of performing for and with a very popular classical Indian dancer, who was known for her “Naga/Snake” dance–and again–was told them same thing–I am embodied with Serpent energy. This past December after a performance, an audience member pulled me aside and told me I was the first snake dancer he had seen that actually looked like my snakes were an extension of myself–and that we melded together in our performance as if we were tango partners. Being imbued with Serpent energy is a blessing I don’t take lightly.

Dancing is also an integral part of my life. I express my emotional side via dance. And dance, like my snakes, is an extension of myself. I dance for spiritual connection. Whether it’s a happy skirt dance or a fusion based routine set to modern music-I dance as an expression of my soul–what I feel, need to draw in, or wish to banish from within–is connected to my dancing. I can not dance to just anything. I need to feel the emotional connection.

It’s in certain moments–a song, an image, a dream–that my connection to dance and to my Serpent energy become so deeply entwined it become sacred. Snake dancing is an ancient art. It can be seen on the walls of ancient Egypt and Turkey to the most recognized image of the Minoan Snake Goddess. To dance with a snake is to honor The Goddess. It’s to embrace the creation, rebirth and transformation of the soul. Its to embody the Serpentine energy. It is why, in a rare moment of deep spiritual meditation, that I have begun to create a sacred Ritualistic Serpentine dance of my own. Not a regular routine. No. Something special. Inspired by the simple act of a photo shoot.

A few weeks back I had a fantastic shoot with Peter Paradise of Ravenwolf Photography. During the shoot, in the darkness and flashes of light and the smoke–while holding my snake Hekate–a transcendental experience occurred–only of which I can explain as being a spiritual take over of sorts. My body was filled with that of an Indian Snake Temple Dancer–I saw Her hands, Her feet, Her movements–all in my body–with my eyes–but not mine. Was she a Goddess? A reflection of a past life? I do not know. All I know is the moment was brief and beautiful. Perhaps She was my Hekate–taking on a “human” form to work through me. I can never know. But I remember the out-of-body experience I had. What I felt. It was magickal and beautiful and serene. Naturally, I wanted to created and invoke that again through dance.

I have started to work on my own ritualistic snake dance-using the experience from the photo shoot. How? I am mentally and spiritually preparing myself to be able to spiritually draw down an energy into my body. Based on the ideology of “Drawing Down The Moon,” in the Wiccan tradition,  will be invoking the Serpent energy/Goddess/Deity into my body, allowing It to overtake my soul. Of course, this means more than just creating something- it means mentally preparing myself to surrender. Surrender. A simple word, but with such power.

Revelations

Some would think this dangerous-to allow a Spiritual energy to enter and use your physical body? Of course. But, I trust, more than anything, the Serpent power that has guided me. I trust it so much, that I know that It would not harm me physically or spiritually. This whole routine of course, will require deep discipline, fasting and lots and lots of meditation and spiritual calm. I am opening my soul and my spirit up completely to be consumed. I have gone into trance induced states before–but not in the same way that I will for this performance.

So here goes nothing!!!

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Invocation of the Star Goddess

There are moments where inspiration comes on so strong–you cant help but dive in, lose control and let it take over your spirit.

Back in September I was introduced to Margaret Mcgilvray of Calamus/Spiral Light Productions by a mutual friend. They were working on a new project which is a mixture of music/spoke word/mixed media and dance based on the Fool’s Journey in the Tarot. Being pagan I naturally jumped on the chance–and knowing a few dancers who were amazing at interpretation, I passed along their information. 

Interpreting a card from the deck is hard—but ultimately, we decided The Star would work best for me…The Star represents the bringer of hope and spiritual guidance…How to interpret that? The music was being specifically composed for the performance. 

Then one night–a vision of the Goddess Astarte came to me. Astarte is a Middle Eastern goddess deified as “The Evening Star.” Her cult is hypothesized to have connections to the Minoan Snake Deity cult (coincidence?). Suddenly, I began to feel the presence of Astarte.

When I was asked the type of rhythm I wanted for my music–immediately I though “zar”–the trance inducing ryhthm used to cleanse and purify the soul–what a perfect rhythm. Slowly and surely this “character” is evolving in my mind…..

 

Image

I believe that when a Deity visits you–and you are inspired–you should go with it. It typically means they want you to learn something about yourself–and gain wisdom and knowledge from their presence. Taking on Their attributes (the good ones of course!) can help you discover something you didnt know you had before. I think Astarte has decided to visit me because of my growing and evolving spiritual journey—the start of my new coven Sisters of the Sacred Serpent…and the new spiritual ventures I am creating. As a fertility Goddess, I think she nuturing me — sending me the ever present “Mama Goddess” vibes.

I shall invoke Her and allow Her to fill my soul with whatever lessons she wishes to bestow upon me, until She is ready to leave me.

Come see “A FOOLS JOURNEY

A Spiral Light Production

THE FOOL’S JOURNEY
Tarot in Mixed Media 

March 23, 2013
Cambridge YMCA Theatre 
Cambridge, MA.
8pm – 9:30pm
Tickets: $15 / Advance
       $20 / Door

(Partial proceeds to benefit the
 Suicide Prevention Resource Center of Massachusetts)