Dance Your Daemons
What is Dance Your Daemons?
Dance Your Daemons is a guided transformational movement practice where we deliberately invite hidden energies to show themselves, so that we can see them, relate with them and even step into their perspective. This is similar to how imagined characters in tv shows or movies spark growth by drawing us in engaging stories. It is also similar to how dreams inform and guide us and points to the roots of ritual theatre and storytelling for tribal growth and healing.
Our unconscious beliefs and habits, be they personal, cultural and ancestral, run our lives until we are aware of them. Hidden energies may be challenging habits or limiting beliefs that are pushed away. But Daemons may also be inspiring and fantastical, in fact so beautiful that we also habitually reject their presence. As we dance our Daemons, we bring the hidden into our awareness. In a shared space of mystical potency and compassion, Daemons transform. By consciously relating to our daemons, they become our most dedicated servants, teachers and guides. Rather than running our lives, they can begin to inform and enrich our lives.
Dance Your Daemons is cathartic as well as tender and all embracing. It also requires great courage and passion! We enter into the unknown together to face our personal habits, to unravel inherited stories and to explore places we are most afraid to look. It is a great battle, millions of years in the making! But it is a battle that has already been won, as we recognize that our own essence is divine. There is a timely need for humans to be clear vessels for this divine radiance to be expressed through us, to be without hooks, so that an emerging paradigm of unity consciousness is birthed through all we say, do and touch. Through the power of movement, spontaneity, imagination and the unending richness of the hidden, Dance Your Daemons fuels this exciting emergence.
What is meant by Daemons?
In Dharma Dance, Daemons represent energies that are hidden. There are currents of energy sweeping through our lives that are potential sources of enrichment and empowerment. Habits, which are particular energy patterns, have a huge influence on us, effectively running our lives and limiting opportunities until we bring them into awareness. Hidden habits may be revealed by a Daemon and in the conscious relating a seemingly negative Daemon becomes an ally and can initiate powerful transformation.
Daemons could also be referred to in Jungian terms as “The Shadow Self”, where we hold personal and collective shame; repressed emotions, ideas, fears and also blocks to spontaneity, creativity and ecstasy. But Daemons are not only limited to what we might consider negative. They can also appear as inspiring expressions such as a muse or guide that is just there waiting to be in service. Daemons are embodied metaphor and whimsy inviting us through enchanted windows into the complexity of being human.
During the course of our lives, parts of self can split off and be denied or suppressed. These energies are locked away in habits, both consciously and unconsciously, often because we want to fit in, be respected or be likeable. Culturally held habits form because they seemed to be the best survival strategy available and perhaps this gave us time to access higher ethical and moral sensitivities. In the West, we value a certain civilized appearance. Underneath the civility, Daemons are being metaphorically either kicked out or crammed in the dark basement, coming out in unconscious ways, contributing to depression, anxiety, alcoholism and addictions. In the case of our current worldview, it could be suggested that the collective Daemon of the paradigm of separation demands acts of extreme violence, wars and economic disparity.
Daemons and Awakening
While we want to continue to act in more caring and ethical ways and there is an enlightened value to the civility we have adopted, at the same time all that is repressed and denied, stuck or rejected, both the ugly and the inspirational, takes energy. Energy that could be available for health and wellbeing, our projects and perhaps most importantly, living as our already awakened self in a more stable way so that we may operate at our highest potentials and thereby usher in a culture that reflects and nurtures the highest possibilities available.
For people committed to conscious evolution and to the birth of a human culture of unity in diversity, Daemons are of special attention. Daemons are energetic ties that bind us to habits of control and belief, both personal and cultural, that have an inertia against maintaining an awakened state. For example, if we need 80% of our total available personal life force to hold a stable awakened state, but 40% of it is steadily being held in unconscious habits that maintain our personal and cultural Daemons, then there is simply not enough energy available. Unconscious Daemons weigh us down, but we can’t just get rid of them. It is crucial to avoid wasting energy pushing Daemons away, nor do we want to waste energy acting them out in ways that create more karma/Daemons.
Daemons As Evolutionary Catalysts
When we act in ways that is less than what we know is possible, we feel a dissonance and our bodies register a stress response. This stress is actually a catalyst and compels us to grow and evolve. Shame and humiliation create a motivating friction that has led us to this very moment. Shadow began billions of years ago, as reproduction programmed instincts and drives into first life. In this we can recognize there is a gift in shadow that was and is essential to our wellbeing. A regular practice of consciously engaging with shadow, the hidden or Daemons is “higher self” care.
“New” Old Tools to Support Group Emergence
Different shamanic wisdom traditions recognize that our unconscious creates our lives. In indigenous tribal communities, group movement ritual is used to express and release hidden energies before they became too unwieldy. This supported the tribe by having an outlet for the ups and downs of life, the wild hormones of young adults, daily frustrations and trespasses as well as opportunities for inspiration and guidance. The !Kung people of the Kalahari, hold weekly healing evenings, where they enter into an all-night trance to raise energy, or N’um in their language, and then spontaneously emerge as healers with and for each other. Daemons are expressed with shaking and singing, all while being held in a supportive group with drumming. Bedouins also have trance dance healings and their Birth Dance ritual inspired the Sacred Shapes of Dharma Dance.
We can distill these wise ancient traditions to gather the empowerment from them, to let go of what doesn’t serve our current ethos and to reclaim and re-create collective ecstatic practices. To support the emergence of a paradigm of Unity that celebrates Diversity, we need some “new” old tools. Dance Your Daemons is a modern modality rooted in ancient healing group practices.
What Happens in Dance Your Daemons?
The practice is simple. There are 6 steps:
Light the Fire
We unite in our passion, willingness and courage to enter into the unknown, with innocence and availability.
Enter the Darkness
With blindfolds on we begin the guided exploration of the hidden. What we find is placed in front of us to build the daemon’s body.
Dance Your Daemons
Now with our daemon presenced in front of us, we use our senses to explore it fully. To see it, feel it and be it.
The daemon and the insights are integrated and a transformational relationship is initiated.
Deep Rest and Artifacts
We rest deeply followed by spontaneous free form drawing and writing.
All great journeys have their inspiring stories. We spend some time sharing our insights.
“What you resist, persists.”Carl Jung
How Does Dance Your Daemons work?
We live in a body and our bodies are wise.
In Dance Your Daemons, we empower our inner healers. We have all have an innate natural healing technology – shaking, crying, raging, laughing, coughing, heat sensations, sweating, coughing, queasiness, goosebumps, spontaneous movements, vibrations and vocalizing as well as silent witnessing are all ways that the body releases blocks and integrates higher possibilities. Many more senses can be involved such as intuition and mystical experiences. We allow this wise innate healing technology to unwind and move through us.
What we are in conscious relationship with transforms.
In Dance Your Daemons, our beholding self and our daemons get to dance with each other. We allow ourselves to be swept into the dance and for the dance to bring us into a potent relationship with the parts of self that are hidden. An amazing thing happens in this highly spiritually charged connection. When we face what we avoid, a process of transformation is initiated that has a ripple effect on our lives and the world around us. We embrace what was occluded which allows trapped energy to flood our being. We are empowered as our true radiant selves and are more creative, intuitive and sensitive. As we live more free and clear, we are more available to inspire and support others. We begin to take a joyous responsibility in the conscious growth of some of the highest potentials on the planet.
We align with the highest possibilities and remember our radiance.
Authenticity and Availability
We enter into practice innocent and curious without any intention other than being available. Be willing to be surprised with the daemons who appear. Have no expectation and stay authentic.
As post moderns we can tend to have a huge resistance to what is outside of our current scientific worldview. Accept that Dance Your Daemons is very likely going to make your inner skeptic very uncomfortable. Thank your Skeptic for taking care of you all these years and if you feel stifled ask your Skeptic for permission to try something different.
Do No Harm
Take care of yourself, others, and property.
Refrain from consciousness altering substances a few days before, during and after Dance Your Daemons. Reducing caffeine and sugar can be helpful to have access to the more subtle daemons. Eat light before you dance and drink water afterwards.
Allow Yourself To Be Moved
If you feel a stirring, it may be energy, emotions or movements, let yourself be carried into it. Feel the opportunity we are creating with each other and how rare it is to be allowed this much aliveness and vulnerability. Go for it!
The Power of Group Practices to Support Community
More people live in cities than ever before yet we are more are isolated than ever. As post moderns, we are severely under socialized. Many people are taking steps to create conscious community which also brings its challenges. There is a friction that communal living puts on our learned “lonely ritualistic isolation habits” or our “starving orphan neediness habits” that we’ve adopted since we’ve stopped being in community in order to develop strong individuality. We so need each other in this process.
In the support of a group, we also can feel our connectedness in the experience of suffering and recognize that the challenges we face with our daemons are not personal. The courage is contagious and as we face our daemons each of us add our homeopathic drop of pure compassion in the collective human experience. We are supported and recharged by the group. We know at a core level that we are not alone and the alienation of post modernism is softened by our mutual recognition and compassionate witnessing. As we feel less stress, more compassion, more flow, more ease and harmony, we create more space for others who don’t have access to these practices. When we go out into the wide world, we are inspired, emboldened and vibrantly alive.
The Underlying Purpose of Dance Your Daemons:
Evolving Beyond The Current Paradigm • The Call to Unity • Empowering Artists of Possibility
- Evolving Beyond The Current Paradigm
We are at an exciting turning point in our evolution as a species. The dominant worldview on the planet at this time is of separation and is often called the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm. In this paradigm we believe ourselves to be thinking things existing in empty space. We have learned to see ourselves living in a world full of separate things operating according to rules of manipulation and control. During the modern age this paradigm ushered in massive improvements to human life that allows many of us to live in relative comfort and health. At the same time, the underlying assumption of separation that this belief system is based in is pushing us into global crisis through such mechanisms as extreme economic disparity, climate change and increasing militarization. Despite all our best efforts, we are failing to solve these global problems. A new paradigm of unity and along with it, a new way of being human, is needed.
- The Call to Unity
There is a growing movement on the planet towards Unity consciousness. Unity as the foundation of reality is not a new concept. It has been the basis of ancient wisdom traditions the world over. The indigenous beliefs of shamans, the enlightenment traditions of the East and even the belief in One God in the Judeo Christian tradition all reflect a sense of primordial unity. In such modern conceptions as the New Physics, Jungian psychology and a number of recent philosophical schools all support a worldview of “continuity unfolding”. What is new and unprecedented is the opportunity for so many of us to access Unity teachings that were once only available to very few seekers. Concurrently we also are encountering these teachings largely free of restrictive beliefs. Many of us hear the call of Unity in our deepest hearts and have had several non-ordinary mystical experiences that don’t fit in the current paradigm. We know that we are much more than we are allowed to be, much more than we are taught to be and even much more than we can ever know.
- Empowering Artists of Possibility
By recognizing the limitations of our current paradigm and creating opportunities for explorations beyond it, we become aware of ways of being and relating that expand the range of possibilities for our lives. As we align with higher possibilities, we pulse with the rhythm of the creative life force that unites and inspires the unique articulations that are literally birthing a new reality. Our visions, art, dance, writings and healing modalities become talismans pulling us towards a world we know is possible in our deepest hearts. This world is then reinforced in how we talk, touch, think, see and act. We become Artists of Possibility and step into a co-creative dance with Existence on the frothy edge of evolution.