This weekend, I hosted & facilitated a Rage Ceremony at The Flowjo for the women of our dance tribe. On Easter eve, 14 of us gathered to dance, pound, drum, express, listen, heal & wail together. I feel grateful for the guidance that steered this ceremony and believe this will be something I offer more regularly to my community and for those in need of such expression and permission to welcome and listen to this wise messenger.
Anger & rage have great wisdom. I believe (after finding access in safe space with safe practices to these emotions after being afraid of them for so long) that anger is ultimately an expression of love and compassion. When we feel the discomfort of this emotion, it is often because someone we love, an entire group of people, a species, the planet, or our precious selves have been hurt or disrespected, personally or systematically. Access to this emotion’s intelligence can inform our instincts, boundaries and choices. However, aggression & violence, often associated as the expression of anger & rage, seem like the shadow side of these emotions, the eruption of this volatile emotion towards another when there’s been no acceptable outlet for expression. Like boiling water with no outlet for release of steam, the lid top flies off. Then, guilt and shame follow the expression of the emotion, further exiling the hidden wisdom. But the wisdom will not be denied. More and more opportunities to feel the emotion will emerge until the often subtle message is delivered or need is communicated.
In my experience, I can’t hear the quiet intelligence of this fiery one while amidst a shouting battle or a violent confrontation. I need a sacred space, with my voice, my power, movement, freedom and safety.
At first the timing of the ceremony felt ironic with Easter Sunday directly after, but then revealed itself to be in perfect alignment with both the Christian holiday and the passing of HB2 in our home state 3 days prior which became fuel for raging. This highly controversial bill excludes LGBT and veterans from protection from discrimination. Moreover, the bill essentially removes any recourse for discrimination towards anyone and limits certain labor standards in NC.
As we approached the event, expressing rage felt like an ideal way to tap into this culture’s holiday that honors the death of Jesus and renewal. While I don’t often feel connected to celebrations of Jesus, in a rage ceremony, I was able to tap into the feelings endured when a friend or unknown contemporary is persecuted or unjustly killed by the State for treason, insults to corrupt leaders, blasphemy to the temple, protest of the systematic corruption. The ultimate irony, being that this tradition of systematic violence, discrimination and political corruption continues, sometimes in Jesus’s name. If I had been a contemporary of Jesus, well, I’d want to start a revolution of love too. While Jesus isn’t my usual go-to-guy(de), I feel a deeper connection to his suffering and the suffering of those who loved him through Grief & Rage and have no doubt that Jesus, an amazing and venerated human, still lives as an ascended one and remains a wise guide to many in honorable ways, especially in the ways of forgiveness & non-violent, righteous protest.
On a closing, perhaps tangential note, Pumpkin, an incredibly loving electronic music artist, died this weekend in a car accident, on his way to offer his gifts of musical love and hope to many. When I read the news, I woke up early Sunday morning to re-weave the set to include some of his tracks. The death of this one hurts many hearts and is quite the painful sacrifice for our global tribe. We will miss the music never made by Nicholas “Pumpkin” Alvarado, but will evoke him and dance in gratitude for his gifts. I dedicated this playlist to Pumpkin, invoking a world we want to live in, and the love-backed, non-violent rage that will hopefully be a part of co-creating that world.
Go now, be & express the love, and dance.
**Unfortunately, Spotify can’t play tracks that aren’t available in Spotify. Unless you download these songs to your local files, they won’t play. Once they are downloaded (to your iTunes, or whatever) they will play.
Pumpkin’s tracks are available FREE on Soundcloud.. Definitely check out his amazing remixes and most recent original track.
Another unavailable track in this list is a new release by Soohan. If you don’t know him yet, do yourself a favor!
Lastly, a track by David Block & The Human Experience. David is a bright light who brings his full essence to his music and the stage. I felt grateful to approach him at Envision and thank him for sharing his musical gifts.