Dance of life!

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Suzanne Tumnus
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Dance of life!

Postby Suzanne Tumnus » 13 Aug 2010, 17:39

We've done it at camps, we know the words once we start and the actions, but where does it originate? cant find it anywhere on the net apart from OBOD blogs and forums. It must have come from somewhere, please does anyone know? :where:

and any experiences of Dance of Life, what does it mean/do to you? do you just do it at camp or do you take it with you and do it at home? :tiphat:

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Donata
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Re: Dance of life!

Postby Donata » 13 Aug 2010, 19:55

Hi,

I'm not sure which/what Dance of Life you refer to. I first learned it at the Seneca Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge. Later a friend showed me a version she learned from Cherokee friends - nearly the same, but a bit shorter.

This summer I took a workshop presented by Don Waterhawk. His version is also from the Seneca Wolf Clan, but slightly different from my version, and done in several rounds - that is, a full round at each direction, where the versions I learned previously did one round, with the option of doing more.

A description from http://lightangel.net/lightblog/?p=124:

"The ancient and sacred dance is 7 points of balancing and empowerment. Conscious breath, conscious movement honoring the four directions, embodying sacred marriage of Mother Earth and Father Sky and our own true heart. This is a moving prayer. The Dance of Life was taught and brought out of secrecy in 1984 as part of prophesy by Dhyanni Ywahoo Etowah band of Cherokee/ Tsalagi."

Is this the Dance you are referring to?

BB
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Suzanne Tumnus
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Re: Dance of life!

Postby Suzanne Tumnus » 16 Aug 2010, 13:31

Thanks Donata, it may be the one, the words to the prayer sound like this "Ama tiki waa hey oh hey, oh shana hey anno, hey anno, hey aah" its the one where you step out to the side then reach to the sky then touch the earth and reel in the energies. then step out to the next direction, pulling in the energy and throwing it to the opposite direction, then beginning again facing the new direction. I though there might be a video of it on You tube or something, but there isnt, as far as I can tell! I think I'm getting better at it, it seems to flow better now!

Suzanne
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Re: Dance of life!

Postby skydove » 16 Aug 2010, 13:50

Hi Suzanne, Thanks for writing down the words, I remembered the moves but not the words apart from oh shanna hey . I must say though that now I make up my own words to the directions and do this dance every morning. When I asked the camp organiser if she could write them down for me she just said you'll have to come to another camp! I'll probably go again and find out everything I have been doing is different, still I've made it my dance of life and the intent is there.
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Donata
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Re: Dance of life!

Postby Donata » 16 Aug 2010, 16:27

There seem to be several versions of the dance. I know three - but none was taught to me with words. I was taught to make the request or determination of what quality I wanted from each direction, and to give thanks in the second part of the dance to each direction. The number of rounds also varied.

However it's done it's a meaningful moving meditation!

Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

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http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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WaterHawk

Dance of life!

Postby WaterHawk » 21 Aug 2010, 06:01

Hello, this is WaterHawk. Glad to see the Dance is refered to as the "Dance of Life". I was taught the Dance at the Wolf Clan, and have had 4 teachers show me the Dance, in 4 different ways. It was taught to the Wolf Clan by Ywahoo. In 1994, I talked to a few Cherokee Elders that I knew, and they were unsure of the validity of the Dance through the tribe. Beccause of this, since 1994, I have shared the Dance simply as the Dance of Life, with no Native connection, and stated that in my workshops, until I find otherwise. My mistake was to not to tell the sponsors of festivals about the change I made. No matter. But that is neither here nor there. It is a very gifted dance. A prayer in motion, much like the Asian Tai Chi, but without the self defense. It is an easy dance to learn, and can be brought into ones world no matter what path they are on. It has not been placed on Video that I know of, and in a way, I trust that it will not. It is sacred if one makes it so. I have heard several people call it the "Tsalagi Dance of Life", but I caution people about that. Unless you know for certain that it is a Tribal dance, its best to just call it the "Dance of Life", and then one can place it into whatever path they walk. I'm sure that when people are taught it, it will be taught different ways...we are after all different people. "What you do with a pure heart, can not be done wrong!"

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Re: Dance of life!

Postby Suzanne Tumnus » 23 Aug 2010, 11:12

Thanks Water Hawk for that bit of back ground.

Yes I agree "whatever is done with a pure heart can not be done wrong" on my path which is a mixture of what I find and what I learn (no specific name/inclination) if something feels right and that I am connected to the land and nature while doing it/deepens the connection then I do it! somedays it does not feel appropriate, sometimes other things are needed. There are so many times now that singing Awen doesnt do it. saying "I honour you" doesnt honour, but saying "Namaste" is more of a prayer. I used to think you couldnt mix things, pantheons, traditions, but now I understand from stories and movement that they are all a way of connecting with the same energy. In different lands, they have different names, and tradtional ways of doing things, but energy is a moving force, and so doing something like "quoting" the same words everyday, doesnt move with that energy, it recalls the energy of the first time, maybe a few times after that. (Going off on one here!)
but everyday is different, the energy has changed, the Dance of Life done at the camp, was in a different place to where I live, but now if I do the Dance in my kitchen, I am pulling in those energies around me, and sending them out to the world, an exchange of energy with a little of mine sent out too!

I dont know what the words Ama tiki waa mean, but they feel right, they feel good.

I am connecting with myself through acknowledging what is around me, and working with the energy, and exchanging energy.

There you go!

Suzanne
xxxx
There is a time and a place for everything - mine is HERE and NOW.

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Re: Dance of life!

Postby bohemian » 23 Aug 2010, 17:59

Oh hi Sue, I've been doing this recently. I was taught at the OBOD camp and another camp after that, and the way it is told there is that it originates from native american traditions, but has been changed over time and has been done so long now at OBOD camps that is now part of our own tradition.

The words themselves have no specific meaning, you arent calling on or saying anything in particular, they are just special, spiritual sounds to carry the motion and the intention, as indeed they are not used anywhere else by us
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Re: Dance of life!

Postby kashi_light » 26 Aug 2010, 06:57

Hi. The dance sounds beautiful, and especially after reading the words I feel very drawn to learn it. Can someone explain how to dance it, or is only supposed to be transferred through physical demonstration. Praying for love in this life dance we dance together!!! BB

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Re: Dance of life!

Postby Spirit Bear » 26 Aug 2010, 08:37

Hi. The dance sounds beautiful, and especially after reading the words I feel very drawn to learn it. Can someone explain how to dance it, or is only supposed to be transferred through physical demonstration. Praying for love in this life dance we dance together!!! BB
Hi, by reading these posts I feel very drawn to learn it too and was asking myself the same questions. I googled for more information but there wasn't a lot and I didn't find any video's of it. And the workshops where you can learn it where all in the US. :-(
I did find a description of the dance in the next pdf file http://www.unitynwregion.org/Portals/3/ ... Malley.PDF but it's difficult when you have only the written explanation of the movements without actually seeing it done.

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Re: Dance of life!

Postby kashi_light » 27 Aug 2010, 01:42

Thank you Spirit Bear for the link, I will read it and try the dance. I hope you find the dance within the words and within yourself. That dance which makes you feel alive truely is the dance of life!

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IsabelC
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Re: Dance of life!

Postby IsabelC » 17 May 2015, 01:26

Oh WOW.
OK, I hate to be Debbie Downer here but I PERSONALLY am uh, horrified to hear that this is happening at an OBOD gathering. And this is EXACTLY what I mean (on another thread, search the word "Totem") about cultural appropriation, except in this case, the woman who created it in the first place is not even a valid Cherokee. I heard about her long ago, when researching Cherokee spirituality and my Native branch of the family. She was probably the first person I was told to steer clear of-the poster child for the word "new age" and fraud. As far as I am to understand Dyani Ywahoo was never taught by Cherokee elders.

In my opinion it seems like it falls to us as Druids that if we are going to do something in public with that kind of questionably "Native" lyrics, we have to do our homework.

And Waterhawk, I can understand doing it if you come up with some Welsh words or something but it's still faux native if you're using words that "sound" native.

Read this thread and PLEASE consider not doing this...
http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=2846.0
It honestly will just make people in America see us as "new age" nutcases.
And this our life, exempt from public haunt, 
finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. I would not change it. -Shakespeare
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