Okay. Maybe not all of those examples are of witches. But when you think of the Sabbat, what visual do you flash to? Probably you imagine folks (possibly without any cloths on) out in nature, dancing in a ring. Bonfire optional. There is an undeniable witchiness about dance.
And that makes perfect sense to me. Dancing puts me in touch with my creative, intuitive self. Dancing lets me interact with the other dancers a primal way. Dancing raises the energy level, be it in ritual or rave. I feels as if I’ve always known this. Always loved this.
I recently had an “ah-ha” moment about dance when I fell upon a line in Peter Grey’s Apocalyptic Witchcraft. In writing about the concept of sabbat, he says “Begin to move towards, be moved by the blind magnetic blood.”
Oh. Magnetic blood.
In a rite, when you slice with a knife or shift a cauldron, you move the energy inhabiting the space. You consciously change the energy flow to work your will. You shod the stang with iron, to fix its energy in place.
You move your body, filled with iron-rich blood, in a ring. Pacing, spinning, leaping in the same direction, like salmon swimming upstream. Faster and faster. Whipping the energy
It makes perfect sense. I’ll never again take up a witches’ dance without thinking about it this way. Or for that matter, watch a parade, or the scene from The Wickerman where the children carry Death out of the village. I now know a deeper purpose to our dance.
And since I mentioned it here, I highly recommend Peter Grey’s Apocalyptic Witchcraft. Don’t be sidetracked by what you think the title is saying; read the book and find out for yourself. Read it for it’s many seed pearls of insight, which take root in and grow into unbidden understandings. Read it for it’s lush poetical style.
Or better yet — as Grey proposes in regards to the relationship between the sabbat and the mythic landscape — enter into “The wordless book, which falls open and you with it, into the very last page.”
And whether you fall into book or dance, I leave to you.