Today is a very energetically potent day. Not only is it the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, but also a New Moon, Total Solar Eclipse (we can’t see it here in Bali) and also Nyepi Eve; the day of the Ogoh-Ogoh Parades. I am also teaching today! Everything is perfectly aligned for real transformation on many levels, one way or the other.
As always, I visit the lotus pond first thing. I have started placing traditional offerings in front of the lotuses. I place a tray of flowers, fruit and incense to represent me and my family. I wish they could be here, but I know that Spirit is working magic through us on many dimensions and angels. In time, we will all arrive together.
The first two workshops of the day were wonderful, of course. Tiana guided us through the oceanic and organic realm of ‘Fishies’. Riding the waves of momentum and surrender, we incorporated this new concept into our dance. I liked what Tiana has to say about this abstract dance technique. “It the existential crises of ‘am I the fish or the current’?” As she poses this question, I begin to wonder...
Next Tammy took us on a yummy adventure through flexibility and aerial introduction. It takes so much strength to even climb those blessed silks! We spent much of our time cartwheeling, rolling, stretching, and hanging upside down in relaxing and therapeutic postures. I love aerial dance and plan to train so that I can dance higher one day!
After lunch it was time for me to begin my workshop. My workshop started at 3:15 and the Total Solar Eclipse started at 3:30. Perfect. The focus of my workshop was using two hoops while sustained spinning. The focal shape of the workshop was the Vesica Pisces, which also happens to be the exact shape that the Shadow of Earth and the Sun make while in the process of Eclipsing until they merge as one, creating the actual Eclipse. I find it synchronistic and appropriate that the Universe would set it all up this way, for me to teach about this shape as this astrological rarity takes place. This New Moon is also in Pisces, go figure. There are almost too many synchronistic example to name! That is how I know I am on the right path; when my life is totally aligned with the bigger picture.
There were only 10 people in my class today, and I think that was a blessing in disguise, as it opened up the entire room for those dedicated participants to be able to fully express themselves with the two hoops. If there had been more people, their would not have been enough room for everyone to hoop with both hoops. Everyone who was there was in deep appreciation, and I was feeling immensely grateful to be doing the EXACT thing I love to do most (teaching at sacred hoop dance retreats in exotic and spiritually centered locations) EXACTLY while the New Moon Total Solar Eclipse on Nyepi Eve was actually happening. I mean, really??!! I feel like the Universe is screaming at me “This is your purpose! Keep doing it!” I am listening full on with both external ears and especially with my inner ear. The ear that hears the whispers from Great Spirit. The whispers on the wind in the rice fields while the sun is shining on the freshly blooming lotus petals. I like this kind of listening.
After my workshop it was time for us to gather to walk downtown to the Ogoh-Ogoh Parade. It was so awesome to witness the family that lives here at Ananda walking around at sunset banging pots and pans and laughing and chanting and doing all the things to rid the property of evil spirits. Once we got to town we saw so many amazing demon puppets that were incredibly huge and elaborate. The different villages around Ubud created all sorts of intricate Ogoh-Ogoh’s, and I loved seeing all of the little children dressed in their matching village T-Shirt sitting on and around the creations. The youth were the ones carrying the massive puppets, and also the youth were the ones playing the instruments. I love that the children and adolescents are so involved in their village and the festivities of the holiday. I feel like American’s really lack in that area, that there is not much village participation, short of block parties and things of that nature. I know that community participation is present in our culture, but it feels few and far between. It appears so obvious here in Bali, and also when I was in Peru. The villagers really know each other, buy from each other, work together, etc. In America it feels very spread out and more corporate centered. Which is why I think I am attracted to the Hoop Community. As hoopers we tend to gather together frequently in different areas of the world, but I still see the same people, and they have become my family, and dearest friends. I buy my clothes and adornments from hoopers, and we learn from each other. We like to be around each other! It was really special to be with them while we watched the Ogoh-Ogoh’s paraded down the street, complete with drums and symbols, bells and celebratory voices. After all of the Ogoh-Ogoh’s were displayed and paraded to the Center Square, some amazing performances began. There were thousands of people so standing room was literally shoulder to shoulder and I had to worm my way up to the front just to be able to see (I am only 5’2”!) and I am glad I did. Each village performed with their giant demon creation, and each one was very different. The puppets were all sorts of dragons, deities, sea creatures, monsters and more. The performances incorporate everything from traditional balinese dancing including men and women, little kids in monkey masks, fire hooping and poi spinning, colorful fans, acting out stories and theater, etc. There was so much art happening in honor of this day. The Balinese dancers were so spectacular. The way the women move their eyes and fingers is phenomenal. The way the men leap and pause and create such dynamic movement is astounding. I am so honored to have been able to witness as much of this parade as I could. I ended up getting stepped on a lot and there was a lot of police pushing the crowd in different directions as the different Ogoh-Ogoh’s needed room to come to the center, so I eventually had to leave because I was a little over all of that. For the few hours I was there to watch, I was amazed. What a rich culture, with such gorgeous art forms, and beautiful people. I love Bali!
After the festivities I was blessed to have a juice with Jaguar Mary and Lynn at Casa Luna. It was nice to decompress with these sweet women who have put this whole thing together. JM purposefully planned it all so that Nyepi would be right in the middle of the Three Weeks of Sacred Circularities. Brilliant! There could not be a better time to peak your retreat experience than with a Total Solar Eclipse New Moon Nyepi! We are so privileged to be here during this time, doing what we love, with our community. It is nothing short of my biggest dreams come to life. And now that my biggest dreams have literally unfolded before my eyes, I find myself creating New Dreams during this New Moon. What is your next big dream? We must keep dreaming or we are only sleeping. This blog is a part of my biggest dreams. My dreams of being a writer getting paid to live and work in paradise are coming true as I type. The seeds are planted in the fertile soil. In a few seasons, the harvest will be reaped and more dreams will be realized. I hope you have found a way to take advantage of these powerful astrological times we are in. May you be blessed by the convergence of the shapes of the moon, earth and sun, and feel all of the blessings the heavens are joyously bestowing upon you! Happy Nyepi from Ubud!
One Under The Eclipsing Sun,
Shellie White Light