Dance! The Dance of Yü
Magick is a lot about changing yourself. Such a change often starts with a change of your current awareness. To change the way you feel, think and even perceive the world around you makes good groundwork for long term changes that effect your life. The world is for quite a big portion what we make out of it at any given moment. If you feel depressed it is likely that you perceive depressing things rather that the more happy occurences.
If we are talking about such a change in consciousness, most people first think of meditation or drugs. Unfortunately it seems to be a modern misconception that a viable and short way to change is the use of drugs. In a couple of arguments I heard (especially from young people) that Drugs like Hash, LSD and whatnot show the fast lane to a magickal understanding. There seems to be the idea, that the drastic change of consciousness brought about by drugs cannot be matched by other methods. Well, I think this holds not true for one thing and this “method” bears a lot of dangers.
Meditation however is a more healthy method to learn all about changes in consciousness, but you need to work on it a lot and, if you ask me, it is quite boring at times. So what else is there that might bring change to our current state of mind?
There is quite a big toolbox of methods which all have some meditative character but are not like the traditional meditation. I especially like methods that include more senses. To burn Incense to stimulate the olfactory senses during meditation is a good start. Musik or chanting also broaden meditations. Chanting is already a problem for most people. I always feel like a total moron if I use chanting or intone strange names or words but I came to the conclusion that the change in consciousness is working. As I found with the AUM it is not at all stupid to learn about such intonations and why on earth should it be stupid to use your voice to change the way you feel?
Even worse was the “Dance of Yü” for me. I used to make sure that I could dance without anyone even knowing about this new idiocy of me. Actually starting to move, to dance, to hop around in my working room was hard to do. To overcome this inhibition threshold was already quite a problem. But it was well worth it.
What is the “Dance of Yü”?
Yü, a Bear with a Birds head who was ordered to help in a great flood where others with mighty powers already failed, was walking the banks of the River Lo. The water was raging with foam and Yü was mesmerised by watching the swirling chaos of the waves. His mind became still and the mysteriouse pass opened to him. Before his eyes a huge Tortoise rose from the raging waters. The pattern of the tortoise shell was strange but remindet Yü of the map of the River Ho. The pattern had nine chambers and had very intriguing symmetries.
4 – 9 – 2
3 – 5 – 7
8 – 1 – 6
Yü found the magic square with the sum of 15 (Saturn Square) on the shell of the tortoise and he aligned the Ba Gua in the arrangement of the “Later Heaven” with the 8 outside chambers (as shown on the first picture above). Moving from 1 to 2, to 3 … 9 and back to 1 Yü found a movement, a frequency a DANCE. By doing this DANCE, Yü (now transformed fully to a bear) was able to banish the flood and return the world to more harmony.
If you dance this Dance, you need to learn at least a little about the 8 Trigrams. Each position (except the center 5) corresponds with one of the 8 Trigrams and you should visualise, feel, know and BE the Trigram at that position. This Blog Post was not intendet to teach anything about the Trigrams, I-Ging, Thundermagic or Fengshui (they all connect very well to this dance) but about the fact that you need to actually DANCE to “understand” this whole matter. It took me a long while to get a feeling for the center Position, the all underlying pulse of Life and this feeling depends on actually doing the movement. Also, the change in my consciousness during the dance corresponding to all the association to the Trigrams, is following the dance and is reaching quite interesting states at the center (and all the other positions).
If you start looking for the 5, the Center, you might want to take a look at the Map of River Ho on the left. This “Map” can also be danced, I would say it must be danced!. As you can see it has 4 movements before it returns to the center, then again 4 movements and back to the center. Marie-Louise Von Franz comments on the Map of the River Ho: “it is the movement of a musical dance because it always emanates into four and contracts into the middle – it has a systole and diastole movement”.
To get a feeling for such underlying pulsations, to learn to let your mind follow and flow to a movement, to move your consciousness as if you move a body is quite interesting to say the least. But this will not work if you sit brooding in your armchair or if you do not overcome this nagging feeling of beeing a total moron to do such a thing.
I had fun doing this for over a year every day.