Dancing from Head to Heart

The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. In the past this meant dancing with your community, celebrating one another and connecting with the earth. It meant acknowledging the changing seasons, the weather and what that meant for plants and crops. Ultimately the summer would feed the community through the winter, so being grateful for good weather, thanking the earth, spirits or Gods was important.

Today we are disconnected from this pastoral life. The longest day comes and goes for many of us without our noticing it. We don’t celebrate the solstice the way our ancestors did. We certainly don’t gather around a bonfire, or attend sacred stones to watch the sunrise. Our lives are busy, filled with distraction and so the natural world slips passed, lost in its cycles while we stand above, separate.

We will however sense the shortening of days, the slow decline into darkness as Autumn and Winter draw closer. But first we have months of heat and long days. We have time to enjoy the sun with outdoor concerts, picnics, wild swimming and trips to the beach. We may not worship pagan Gods, but we certainly worship the summer in many different ways. Each upturned face as the sun appears, every instagrammed photo of a sunset or sunrise. The flower wreathed dancers at festivals moving and swaying in fields of music are reminiscent of those ancestors dancing around the maypole.

So perhaps the disconnect isn’t as wide as we may think. While we may not say we are worshipping the sun - though some certainly do use that word - we are grateful for the summer. Today may be the longest day of the year but it’s the days that come afterwards that will truly embrace this season and all it has to offer. 

Our new series seeks to bring the head and the heart more in line with one another and the body that is so often neglected. It aims to help us notice how we feel about the longer days spent enjoying the sunshine, the rain, the fogs and mists of our constantly changing island. So that when we notice the days shortening and the temperature dropping we know we fully immersed ourselves in the summer when we could. 

The sense of fulfilment this brings, connecting your thoughts with your feelings - emotional and physical - will keep your soul fed throughout the summer months through till winter. 

Previous
Previous

Dancing through Shiatsu

Next
Next

Movement Waves with Vivian Triantafyllopoulou