A letter on sacred space
© Cornelia Freise
In a letter to a friend who also works with women in the U.S. I wrote:
„I feel more and more how our vulnerability and our power as women are connected together and if we deny the one we also do it to the other. From my point of view the feeling quality between both combined with consciousness will bring this new language about you are talking of. And it has to do with sacred space.“
My friend asked me to elaborate on this theme. Therefore it is written in the form of a letter.
The emerging new language or how vulnerability
and power are connected together?
I try to approach this question in a personal way because for me this is the easiest and at the same time most difficult manner to share the experiences of my work with women dancing (in) the sacred space of oneness. In 1998 when I had already worked with sacred dance for over ten years and literally lived of the dance for 5 years, working free lance, I had a dream in which I was shown different aspects of my life in which now the problems were solved by the Path I was walking. I was on a retreat then in California and my teacher asked me whether I understood the significance of the dream. So far I had not thought about what this could mean for the future. Then he suggested that now would be the time to put myself more into service to the whole which would mean making „my power“ available in my work for the women to a greater extent. Finally he asked me what I feared most and what I disliked most in myself. My answer was: When I feel weak and irritated. He concluded that this would be the case when more energy would flow through me. It would energize all the parts in me at the same time: the light and the shadow. One part understood this immediately, but I could not imagine all the implications and all the pain this would also mean. However in a way vulnerability – not to protect myself, being open and accessible – and power – to embody the beauty and majesty of God in the dance – were connected from that moment of consciousness. This was not an easy way for me.
And I see both of these aspects reflected in the women I dance with. For me to be a woman is connected to space in essence. This has to do with the female potency to create life in herself which can occur on different levels, but has to do with the mystery to bear a child. There has to be an open space on the physical, the emotional, mental and spiritual level for this to take place. Without this room nothing would happen. This implies a vulnerability as an open space can easily be violated. Another aspect is the longing. My teacher said longing is the female side of love. To me this means that the longing has to be embodied and felt to attract the lover no matter whether it is a concrete person or the BELOVED per se. These words may sound self-evident, but my experience with women coming to my sacred dance classes is not like that. Our bodies mostly are closed without us even recognizing this. Physically we are often tense and not connected with the earth below and likewise with the heaven above us. So we cannot feel the energy running through our bodies and that we are the thread that connects the both worlds. Mental concepts of how we ought to be imprison us and spiritual approaches often dissociate us from the body. So we very rarely feel the sacred space we are and often avoid it even confronting this fact as we don´t want to feel the pain and the power and potential this brings with it. However without the pain the power will not embody as it is in childbirth. For me this is true on many different levels. If you want to give birth to your inner child you also have to go through the emotional pains. And this seems to be necessary as well to give birth to a new age where Oneness is the main focus.
Oneness implies all the seemingly conflicting aspects of life, the terrible and the sweet, the female and the male, the body and the consciousness. And it seems that the connection between the polarities is of utmost importance. They are not static, standing in front of each other, but in a more fluid relationship where one can change into the other in a moment. Thus vulnerability and power show as both sides of one coin and if we deny the one we also do it to the other. This means to be prepared to face both of them at the same time or in two instances following each other and be open for the feelings they invoke in us. It depends on our patterns which of the two we like better or are open to embody more easily. Some women are more used to contract in pain than to expand with their power. However power and vulnerability of women are needed likewise in this changing world and it is our willingness to live them and confront our resistances which brings about something new. The communication between the different aspects in us and the conscious interchange on these subjects among women seems to be crucial. A new language has to play an important part in this enfolding. The reason for this is the role consciousness has to play in this evolution. The female wisdom about creation has to emerge and come into the open. This is often a tedious process as we have to confront the fear that it might be misused. Another aspect is the matriarchal taboo we meet when we communicate in the open about the female mysteries. In the matriarchal era these were secret, they were not laid down in words and were celebrated in caves hidden in the earth. (See Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, The paradoxes of love, Inverness, CA,1996, p.107) This means that we have to cross this barrier in ourselves which we often are not conscious of. I often experienced it as a resistance to write, doubting what I have to say and a cold sweat in a heated room.
In spite of all the difficulties we may have to face it is a wonder and an adventure worth wile. I experienced it in a dance retreat I gave in Estonia this summer. Estonian and German women danced together with the theme of the Unknown SHE and in this meeting of the women from two cultures something new was born. The unknown She was present there after we had danced in Her spirit and shared our experiences as women in the dance.
© Cornelia Freise