In the past year I’ve done a lot of experimenting to figure out what I want to keep or let go of in my practice; how I want to adapt things to be mine outside of the coven practice I was taught. The change I have loved the most in my practice is learning to dance with the Elements.
Dancing ecstatically around a fire is my ultimate witchy fantasy. That and having an herbal apothecary full of drying plants and herbal remedies. I’m doing pretty well at fulfilling both #witchgoals these days!
But despite this love of dance and longing to dance ecstatically in practice, I never really did. I never took dance exercise practices and used them intentionally. To be honest, I don’t think I even considered it much until a few instagram accounts I follow started talking about sacred dancing and even then it took a while for the idea to stick for me. But when it did, suddenly it was everywhere I looked; from a friend across the country getting into it at the same time to discovering all these 5 Rhythm inspired dancers, .
It inspired me. I loved all the permutations of dance and the sacred body. I loved the idea of starting my day with a physical check in (especially after spending a year healing neck pain). I loved the idea of moving my body as an act of communion with the divine. Other’s practice sacred dance in ways different than my own but that’s part of the beauty that inspires me.
As someone who was trained to have a very Hermetics focused morning practice, complete with the Qabalistic Cross and Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP), my own practice has been inspired somewhat by the structure of said training. I don’t love Hermetics but I see the value in some of the structures and teachings in it as part of Wiccan magical training. I have learned a great deal through my work in Hermetics and my reactions to it so it wasn’t surprising to me to see how that structure loosely translated itself into my Elemental morning dances.
Instead of balancing my sephira through the Qabalistic Cross, I tune into my body through my dancing warm up. Instead of doing the LBRP and working with the Elemental Watchtowers, I dance to the Elemental Quarters. Sometimes I dance quickly, cycling through all the Elements in a song. Other times I dance slowly, giving even Element their own song. I use the time to check in with my body, balance the Element in me, give thanks to the energies and lessons of said Element, and generally attune myself to those energies in my day. Sometimes I watch the sunrise as I dance. Sometimes I close my eyes and envision the different Elemental landscapes (Hermetic, Celtic, or Indigenous Medicine Wheel inspired). Sometimes I dance under the archways of the Elemental Gates. Sometimes I dance with or for the Archangels in front of their Towers. Sometimes I dance in the wind or water. Whatever arises that morning is the Elemental space I take. I trust what comes up as being what is needed; from the songs to the vision.
And I love it. I love finding the spots in my body that need that music, that morning. I love the way I feel a connection to the Elements in new ways. I love that some days it’s about working out dis-ease and others it’s about inviting in the energies. I love that sometimes I dance FOR the elements and sometimes I dance WITH the elements. The practice helps me clear the way for meditation by working through my emotions and thoughts and into the present moment in my body.
Dancing with the Elements helps me start my day in connection. It’s a moving meditation and experience of Malkuth (the spiritual world as it manifests in the material realm/body). And for people who struggle with meditation, I think moving meditations can help pave the way into understanding how to observe our thoughts without attachment; how to build a daily practice that fills us with peace and joy; and how to remember that our body is part of the manifestation of the divine within us.
I believe that we should all be dancing more. We should be all dancing like no one is watching. We should be all dancing in communion with our souls, our spirituality, with the Elements.