While looking at these cards it came upon me that it’s message was very simple and yet profound. Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and battle, sacrifices her very physical being and life in her journey to the Underworld. She wanders through the labyrinth of darkness to get to the center of herself. I have often found this aspect of her myth attractive and empowering; stripping away worldly possessions and the outer self to get to the core of the inner self. There is a song (I think it’s sung by Beverly Fredericks) with the lyric “Hail to Inanna, who died to become whole.” That is how I feel right now. In order to heal I need to die. Not a physical death but a spiritual one. The Debbie that was scarred and damaged by her childhood must die so that the Debbie that could be can burst forth.
On some level I already knew this. My issue has been that I’m not sure how to accomplish this amazing feat. The answer came to me with the second card I drew – the 3 of Water. The figure shown on the card is Mami Wata, a water spirit from Africa who has migrated to the New World with her people. She is connected with healing and followers often dance themselves into an ecstatic state as part of her worship. In the LWB, Ellen offers the insight “Dance for yourself, for the tribe, for me.” That was the key. My path to healing lies in dancing. I love dancing – just putting on great music and dancing around the house. I have no training and no desire to follow any sort of formal dance moves. I just want to move with the music; dance according to how the spirit moves me.
I have long been a fan of Gabrielle Roth and her work Sweat Your Prayers and Maps to Ecstasy. I have many of her CDs and do find that the different styles encourage different types of movement. I also have several belly dance CDs that seem to inspire me to move. In many ways I like to see my movement to this music as sacred stripping – I’m stripping away the inhibitions, fears and self-doubts that would stop me if I were dancing in public and just let myself go. I believe deeply in the healing power of dance. I also know from experience that part of the key to my healing is to reconnect to my physical self and this is the perfect path for me.
It’s funny – I remember speaking with Ellen a few years back about how taking yoga allowed her to reconnect with her body and reduced the back pain from which she had suffered for years. I’ve never been much of a yoga follower (although I’m sure it’s amazingly beneficial). The movements and exercises always seem more difficult than I can handle right now. But spiritual stripper moves – that I can embrace with all my heart and soul. I may eventually find that my path leads me to yoga and other more structured exercises but for now I know that dance is the way.