Beautiful Painted Arrow’s Sun-Moon Dance
An Encounter Between the Condor and the Eagle
In Beautiful Painted Arrow’s Sun-Moon dance, we dance for four days, from sundown on Friday to noon on Monday, fasting from all food and water, blowing on Eagle or Turkey-Bone whistles to the sound of drumming and chanting.
In the dance we move from an outer Circle of Life where each dancer has his or her place towards –and away from– a center pole (the Tree of Life), never facing away from it.
Through our movement we join the outer sphere of manifestation and every-day life to the inner sphere of inspiration and sacredness.
Moreover, through our forward and backward movements we bless the straight-line of our life’s path: with our backward movements we cleanse and redeem our past–from the time of our very first ancestors; and with our forward movements we empower and bless the future –all the way to the last of our descendants.
Through dancing strenuously to the heat of the Summer Sun, blowing on bone whistles as we go, we build the inner sun, the fire within, which –with no moisture in the body to soothe it- burns through our blocks and impurities, and clears the path for the clear spiritual consciousness to manifest itself.
After a couple of days of dancing, after feeling like dying and unable to go on, one gets uplifted by a renewed energy, eventually entering a trance-like state where, sometimes, the soul leaves while the body collapses. At this point, the dance stops and the body of the dancer is laid on water reeds, whose moisture the body absorbs like drinking light.
Meanwhile, the dancer’s soul is in the care of its spirit guides who teach him/her the things s/he needs to know to be a better person and help others. Eventually, the dancer wakes from his vision, and resumes the dance to support his/her brothers and sisters who have not yet passed the threshold, and to continue making his/her offering to life.
This dance is not just for the empowerment and self-transcendence of the dancer, but is a sacrifice and an offering for the well-being of family, community, planet, and life in general. It is done so that the people may live.
Therefore the presence, participation and support of the larger community is encouraged and needed. The relatives of the dancers get involved many weeks prior to the dance, beading feathers and sewing aprons and skirts with beautiful patterns for the dancer to wear during the dance. Relatives will be present for the duration of the dance, supporting dancers from the sidelines, and also receiving the blessings and healings that the dance itself imparts to those close enough to feel its energy.
We extend our blessings and words of encouragement for all the brothers and sisters who will be participating in Sun and Sun-Moon dances–and all other forms of worship– this Summer, towards that common end we all share: the preservation of life in our planet.