Last May I participated in a Ritual Theatre Workshop hosted by the Shamanic Dolls called Pattern Disruption. The premise for the workshop was to create a character to disrupt some pattern in your life. I met Melinda, one of the two facilitators, at a Denver Immersive Theatre gathering earlier in the year and as soon as she told me about the Shamanic Dolls I was itching to get involved with their magical work.
Shamanic Dolls is an interactive theater company devoted to the expansion of consciousness through ritual, activism, sacred comedy, political-burlesque, and embodiment of the divine. Our collaborative approach allows us to offer a powerful platform for artists to explore relevant topics in a unique and compelling way. (from the website)
I jumped in, despite a few nerves, already in a different character. The first day of the workshop coincided with the Pearl Street Tulip Festival and I didn’t have time to change costumes before rushing down to Denver. I knew I was in a good spot when I was welcomed with enthusiasm.
The performative and ritual practices of the workshop definitely challenged me in new and interesting way. I didn’t always enjoy the activities, but I could feel new ideas emerging and growing and manifesting so like a good long run or visit to the dentist I felt like I was benefitting A LOT.
The other facilitator Maria encouraged us to dive deeply and quickly while holding sacred space. The intention set was clear. “The intention of this workshop it to ARM you with lasting tools, techniques, and practices that will enable you to powerfully CRAFT your ritual performance and ACTIVATE your unique performative signature.” It felt good to be in a circle of people committed to heal through the arts. I am no stranger to the idea the creativity is a vital part of any healing journey, and it was refreshing to come at this idea from a new angle.
Sing to the stars!! Absurdity!Epiphany! Anything can and will happen. ~~ Quantum is time. A vast radiant Self that has been awaiting this remembering. Reality is to be manifested. @spacedancekitten as QuanTime~ the Quantum Time Traveller Pattern Disruption 2019 Photo by Devotion Earth Media
Through the course I created the character Quantime, the Time Traveler. Here is her story:
Quantum was born with the Star Beings when the story of time birthed out whole and complete. She knew her place in all of time and space. And then forgot.Forgot through the trial and error of relation and assimilation and now finds herself in a linear dimension caught in a cycle of give and regret. She has placed every part of her self up and out of herself, in buoyant balloons. They are playful, like she was, and free floating, like she was, and she keeps giving them away, whether she is sure to give them away or not, with the hesitant hope of being met or being loved or being seen. But its not working. Each time she gives away a precious piece of herself the weight of regret is heavier, a loom of disappoint, mixed with embarrassment and shame and loathing, a veil of memories that keep the truth of space and time and self away. And then Give turns to Take, the story continues to skew further out of focus. And then all the balloons are gone. The linear cycle exhausts itself. In sleep or dream or day dream with nothing left to give.
photo credit: Devotion Earth Media
Remember. I am here. This is trust. This is connection. This is health. I exist here. Quantum exists above, beyond, within, without stepping to and from which ever time space dimension is needed to be in connection, in love, in pleasure, in trust, as this time is right time best time and all time is happening now. Keep this feeling. Through friendship the veil is lifted away. She doesn’t want to forget again. She doesn’t want to forget herself. She doesn’t want to regress back to the linear cycle. She is a magnificent Time Traveler with wild and wondrous powers. Still hesitant. Watching. Slow. Distant. Elevated. Apart from. Drifting. Safety through stillness, caution, steadiness. Fear of losing herself again. Seeing the illusion and seeing time and space, through lenses, through her bones. Seeing allies in the dimensions beyond time. She wants to forever stay the same. In this place of knowing.Seeing the forces at work that teach a cycle of consumption she freezes. Static. A solution. If she captures this moment. If she sinks deeply inside herself. Into the bones knowing then there will be safety. Knowing that this knowing is the solution. Satisfied. FLASH
photo credit: Devotion Earth Media
Paradox through freedom. Stillness is not the solution. The bones are never still. They are water and grow and change and heal. Absurdity. Epiphany. Anything can and will happen. Quantum is time. A vast radiant Self that has been awaiting this remembering. Reality is to be manifested. She is much much much more than she could have ever hoped for. From here anything and everything is possible. Expansive. Let’s play! Let’s play in the magic of it all!
The Pattern Disruption Performance
The culmination of the workshop was the opportunity to perform. I LOVE to perform! And the opportunity to place this character into the alchemy of ritual and improvisational theatre was enticing. Costumed and Rehearsed as an ensemble we had two delicious and unique performances.
photo credit: Devotion Earth Media
The first was at the Nalanda Campus of Naropa in an intimate studio room. “Step into a constellation of celestial time keepers, dreamers, and healers. This performance will be the alchemy of a seven-week shamanic journey through the psyches, dreamscapes and cellular wisdom of 18 magnificent human entities. Hold ritual space. Meet them. Touch the heart of desire and fall in love with humankind.” The audience sat in and around three stations for vignettes to appear. The show was deeply complex, as each participant had an arc they wished to complete. That in itself was a learning, seeing how we all negotiated the script and the improvisational elements to activate the stories that needed to be. In all the show was beautiful, like a waking dream.
The second performance was even more fluid, appearing at the Howl at the Moon festival, outside in the elements. “Relish in a deep Full Moon Ritual as you explore this caravan of wild beings from beyond. Tour the mystic menagerie and discover what gift each has for you. Immersive exploratory theater experience followed by a procession of spectacle which will capture you in a time beyond time.” The show began loosely with the cast of characters out in the crowd. It felt good to explore the edges of giving away balloons, the hesitancy and uncertainty of loss with strangers. Once the show began it was filled with serendipitous encounters. It began to rain as a water blessing began. My camera, which hadn’t worked the night before, caught many wonderful photos of the finale. The “Flash” of epiphany came through sideways when the lights for the show began to blink unexpectedly. Originally I felt stirred up by the shamanic portal opened under the full moon. Now I feel gratitude for whatever needed to shift inside me.
With the perspective of time I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this experience. I learned and grew in unexpected ways. I am especially thankful for the abundance of friendships, collaborations, and opportunities that have manifested since the workshop. I look forward to many more performances with the Shamanic Dolls, as the work they are doing is deliciously complex and nourishing to the soul.
You can learn more about their exciting work on their website. They are also hosting a workshop this weekend Sept 22nd at the Circus Center in Boulder. I’ll be there!