Monday, August 20, 2012

Belly Dance and the Three of Cups

( A re-post from 2012 to celebrate the dancer in all of us. Be Brilliant! )

There are several cards that represent celebration in tarot.  My favorite is the Three of Cups.  It is usually depicted with three women toasting life.  Sometimes, in certain decks, they are shown dancing and that’s my favorite depiction of all.

Yesterday there was a belly dance swap meet in the garden of the Empress and I was there.  Every year, my teacher, Wedad, who has been dancing since the 70’s, opens her backyard to the Portland belly dance community.  We bring food to share, as well as baubles and bangles to sell, or trade.  There’s more than two acres of yard - highly unusual in an urban setting.  There are apple and plum trees, logan and black berries, as well as a wonderful blend of native foliage that forms an amazing backdrop for the oriental carpets laid out on the ground.  We dance on the carpets, if so inclined.  Imagine.  Belly dancing on the earth in front of friends - just as the dance has been performed for more than 7,000 years.
In tarot the Empress carries an abundant, nurturing energy. 
My favorite 3 of Cups for obvious reasons
"OSHO Zen Tarot"© by Deva Pama
She gives peace and gentle guidance.  Sitting in her garden eases stress and fosters acts of creativity within you.  Yesterday, sitting and talking with some of my favorite women in the world nourished my soul.  We clapped in time to the dancers’ music, trilled our tongues in the traditional zaghareet of the middle east that shows our joy in, and approval of, the dancers movements.  Sunlight filtered through the trees, reflecting off brightly-colored baladi and khaleeji dresses.  If you didn’t bring a costume, no worries.  Women handed you scarves and skirts from the pile of things they’d brought with them to sell.  We were transported to distant places and times; to Bedouin campfires, to Ghawazee dancers performing in Egypt and the Ouled Nail coming down from the Moroccan hills to earn their dowries by dancing on street corners.   

The Empress, fertility, abundance
from RWCS by US Games®
At one time or another my teacher has taught all the women who assembled in her garden.  We frequently dance together in shows, or at workshops, but it’s in her garden where we ground and strengthen as women as well as dancers.  Yesterday we shared stories of our families, our childhoods, as well as our dance experiences.  We became the women in the Three of Cups, celebrating our lives through both words and the rhythms of our dances.   

In 7,000 years the form and content of belly dancing has changed, but its underlying root structure remains constant. The dance still connects dancers to the earth and to the energy of all the dancers who’ve come before them.  Belly dance, like the Three of Cups is a celebration of life. 


PS: The dancer taking the stage in the first photo is Lady Oracle herself at "Saqra's Showcase".

No comments:

Post a Comment