The Dance of Energy

If you think of witches and dancing, the first scene that comes to mind is a coven dancing around a large bonfire in the middle of the forest worshipping the silver moon. And, they are right it is one of the best examples, but you can also see congregations of the religion of your choice dancing in their celebrations.

The reason is simple, it is not a simple dance, no matter the rhythm or the reason for dancing, energy is released and attracted, and you can notice it on several levels, if you prefer a scientific explanation, through dancing the body begins to generate endorphins, causing a feeling of joy and satisfaction, even euphoria, improves circulation, exercises us and can turn a bad moment into a victory.

The Esbat is a ceremony that coincides with the cycles of the moon.  Generally, the day that it is done occurs when the moon is full, though this is  not necessary. The full moon is significant because witches firmly believe that  the power of magickal workings wax and wane with the phases of the moon. 

When you dance there is freedom, your mind and body relax. Now imagine a group dancing, remember the last party, concert or meeting you went to, the attraction created by hearing your favorite song, seeing your friends or strangers dancing, and that by including you you were part of a moment, they became a community.

Dance is a preamble, like warriors before war. Witches use dance to generate energy and merge it into their spell. For Wicca celebrations, both sabbaths and esbats, their rituals began and ended with dances, Margaret Murray in her book “The God of The Witches”, connects this custom with the connection between witches and fairies. In all serious descriptions of the fairies they appear taking part in two important public ceremonies: the procession and the round dance. The dates are the four great feasts, especially Beltane and Samhain.

I recommend the 2018 film ‘Suspiria’, you will see this connection of dance and energy. Of course, this wonderful film inspired by Dario Argento’s ‘Suspiria’ from 1977, is a work of art and fiction.

Dakota Johnson (center) and Mia Goth (center-left) star in SUSPIRIA Photo: Alessio Bolzoni/Amazon Studios Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Of religious origin, it became imitative magic. Any ceremony where several people act, usually becomes rhythmic and thus a dance evolves. Let us remember the so-called fertility dances, the paintings of the first men and art. Returning to Murray: In Crete the dance of Ariadne, danced by boys and maidens, for fertility; In Rome, Mars was attended by dancing priests and the hurried step of Muslims circling the Kaaba may be the result of a sacred dance.

The processional dance required a guide, who set the course and whom the other dancers imitated. The fairy procession was on horseback, but the Bacos of ancient times and medieval witches danced on foot.

The round dance of witches or fairies is on foot, and the path along which they danced was considered sacred, they often met at a certain point and danced to the sacred place.

Even today this ritual is still present in the processional dance in the rites of the maypole (Beltane).

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