Ritual Movement as Medicine for the Soul~2016


My personal soul roots go back to the Ancient Women of Greece who were a class of Priestesses. These women were referred to as Caryae and were part of the Greco-Roman world that offered to individuals religious experiences not provided by the official public religions.

Its not happenstance that I was given this name at birth, but rather as Carl Jung would say,it was synchronistic. The soul carries a history; mine goes back to the Ancient culture of women known for their ritual dancing, "The Sacred Dance of the Caryatids." As a child, I would make my Grandfather sit and watch me dance at every opportunity I could. He patiently and joyfully amused my twirling about with silk scarves as I danced about the living room, telling a story that only my body could express. My name, Cary, comes from the Spartan city of Caryae, where young women did a ring dance around an open-air statue of the goddess Artemis, locally identified with a walnut tree. Caryae had a sanctuary of Artemis, where the Lacedaemonian maidens held chorus dances.

These young women from the city who danced for the goddess Artemis were inspirations. When they did their Sacred ritual dance, they wore baskets as crowns, filled with barley and sacrificial ribbons, carried by young noblewomen in the Panathenaic processions. Women also bore baskets on their heads during secret rites of the mother goddess at her shrine in Eleusis, near Athens. The Eleusinian baskets contained mysterious ritual objects, and paralleled a ceremony on the Acropolis, where young girls with covered baskets on their heads descended through a secret rock staircase near the Erechtheum to the Gardens of Aphrodite below: the baskets held holy objects known only to the priestess of the Goddess. These dancing women are now carved in stone and became well know in architecture as "Caryatids," female figures that serve as the architectural support for the entablature of a building. The Greeks called these supporting figures korai, maidens.

Caryatides is the first use of the term in Latin and transliterates the Greek word meaning "maidens of Caryae." The figures represent the young women of the town, where there was a sanctuary of Artemis Caryatis ("Artemis of the Walnut Tree") and an image of the goddess standing in the open air. Here, she was celebrated every year by choral dances.

In moving the life force energy through our bodies, we are connecting to a deeper strength to express and empower our embodiment.

Dance and Movement is medicine for the soul. Healing movement, ritual and deep self-expression are vital aspects of freeing the deeper energies of our bodies.

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