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Rebirth at the Long Dance of Midwinternight

Rebirth at the Long Dance
21st of June 2010

At midwinter night in de Andes, our shaman tribe gathered at the ceremonial dance circle in the Valley of the Spirits. Every dancer had its own goals and challenges which had called them to join the sacred ceremony. We would be all guided by the spirit of the San Pedro cactus, the mighty guide who leads the way to what any of us needed. One of the general goals was to guide the light back on its turn, and to thank it in this extreme moment in the wheel of the year, so the days could grow longer again. The first lights in the morning would give strength and energy to all in the New Year which would start in the very morning.

On the sides of the circle, participants had hung its personal banner with its goals for the dance. The fire was lit, everybody drank the medicine, and the dance began in the evening dark of midwinter night. About 30 participants danced the first half of the night counter clockwise around the fire, to decent to the world within, or the underworld, where we would celebrate, struggle, heal and enjoy with our inner topics and spirits.
The dance was enlightened and guided by chants, music and people vomiting for healing. Every dancer experienced its own struggles and blessings, while connected to all dancers, spirits, cosmos and everything else. It was an amazing decent.

The second part of the night, we danced in the other direction, which caused other energy and other inner encounters. The chants about healing, nature and blessings kept on, as well as the music from often strange instruments like harps, didgeridoo, flutes, accordion and rhythm tools. People danced, ran, sat down, sang, vomited and hauled to the moon. In the very morning, the dance finished when the first sun beams of the New Year lighted up from behind the altar and the mountains. We all caught the first beams of the newborn Sun.

For some, it had been the longest night of their life, for me personally it was an amazing blessing and celebration in which the chants and music had took me to all kind of heavens and healing places. The nightround dancing around the fire, under a full moon, in the midst of a fierce cold and thick mists, with sacred mountains at the horizon, was the blessed place for healing, harmony, connectedness and inner peace.
The Sun in the morning and the sweatlodgy at the very end of the ceremony made the experience complete. After some hours of sleep in the Sun, we shared our experiences. The new year had begun, in love and harmony.

I’d like to thank shaman Miguel, all of the dancers and the musicians for their amazing strength and participation.