Tango & the New Earth
Here we are again, gathered together. Lucien and team have created an opening, a specially encoded space, where the conditions are perfect to recharge, de-charge, gather the energies and release. We will embrace, and we will go in deeply. We will dance. And in this very important time, this year of transition, our connecting is having a wider and wider effect. The more we connect, the more we strengthen what lies underneath… This year we dedicate Tango Alchemie to uniting with the elements, to the Medicine Wheel, and join with indigenous people around the world in increasing the vibration of unity, the vibration of connection.
The Sacred Geometry of the dance: The Circle and the Line
Many would say that what is most important in tango is what is most important in life itself- connection. In a physical and energetic sense it can be said that our tango connection is a round connection. We connect to one another in the circle of the embrace, to the physical sphere of our own bodies and the collective body of the couple, and to the circular space of the milonga itself. We use a circular lead- a concave curve to communicate steps, a convex curve to communicate changes of weight, and counter- circular motion in initiating changes of direction.
The circle imbues every aspect of the dance, and is like a shared respiration:
Invitation: Yang/ masculine/ mercury
Reception: Yin/ feminine/ sulphur
Movement: Yang/ masculine/ mercury
Accompaniment: Yin/ feminine/ sulphur
A Grammar of Dualities, A Language of Unity
Tango is a language. Its steps and pivots are its nouns and verbs.
It is a binary code of zeroes (circles) and ones (lines).
It is a respiration of opposites: movement/rest, inhale/exhale, open steps and closed, leader/follower, the masculine and the feminine, the individual and the milonga, silence and the music, the non-dance state and the consummate tango connection.
As in the body with Left and Right, Yin and Yang are not opposing forces but rather complementary opposites that are interdependent and make up a greater whole.
It is said that Yin/Yang, Light/Dark, Shiva/Shakti, God/Man, the spiritual and the material allow life and the world to be created by their interaction. Likewise tango’s frame, the contrasts of the dance create a world, a space in between, where we can both inhabit those opposites and their unity simultaneously
Chakras—the energy centers in the body through which kundalini (life-force energy) flow, turn in opposite directions as they ascend from one to the next throughout the body, and they turn in opposite directions for men and women. The energetic system of the male and female are a mirror unto each other. When we stand in front of one another and activate the embrace, we create an integrated whole, which amplifies the frequencies of each individual system and of that unity by virtue of perhaps the most powerful property of the dance—resonance.
Resonance is strongest when the frequency of ‘the stimulus’ (partner) is the same or nearly the same as ‘the natural vibration of the system’ (your vibration in the dance). This means that there is a type of vibration in which dancers put themselves in order to be vibrational matches to one another. Therefore, there must be a type of ‘tango vibration’ dancers learn to inhabit. Just as long-term mediators can put themselves into a state of active receptivity and enter deeper states of meditation very quickly or directly, so dancers learn to clear away the dissonance in their systems and enter the receptively active ‘tango vibration’ upon initiating the embrace.
There is a quality to the connection and rapid transfer we achieve in the dance that is left in the realm of magic and mysticism. It is that uncanny quality that allows dancers to be so attuned to one another that it seems we are reading each other’s minds, or better, we are simply one body, one being.
Entrainment is to fall into sync, align in rhythmic time, with another system. If many pendulum clocks are put in a room together oscillating at different speeds, over time they will synchronize. When people sleep next to one another, their heart beats often entrain. In tango, we experience a high level of entrainment not only of heart and brain waves perhaps, but of the nervous system itself. We are indeed practicing volition, the desire to move, as if the collective body of the couple were our own body alone. This means at the higher levels of entrainment, there is a rapid or automatic transfer between nervous systems, which during the dance, are operating as one system.
The ‘Tango Moment’- that indescribable moment that dancers seek, few find, and once attained is never forgotten. It is said to simply ‘happen’ under the right conditions, in a moment of magic in which all levels of the dance, and all aspects of the dancers (mental, emotional, physical, and etheric bodies) are united. Of it dancers say: Time stops. It is to be both ”not there” yet fully aware and activated. One is “absent” and yet hyper-present at the same time. It is an experience of complete unity with self, partner, music, all present, and all that is.
This melding of brain waves and nervous systems in deep tango entrainment makes possible entrance into a state that is known in the vedic arts as samhadi. Samhadi is defined as non-dualistic state of consciousness when the mind is completely still and in which there is no experienced difference between subject and object. It is a state where subject and object, thought and form, desire and manifestation are one.
Homer & Christina
Tango can be understood as an exercise in directing the flow of kundalini through each dancer’s system, and through the resonant circular system of the couple through the embrace. The “Tango Moment” can be understood as the product of complete entrainment of the mental, emotional, physical and energetic bodies of the dancers leading to attainment of unity within the system / couple.
Like most other groups who gather together in a sacred way to increase vibration and union, we circumambulate en mass. In Islam, devotees circumambulate the Kaba at Mecca. The Bonpo (syncretic animist/Buddhists) in Tibet and Nepal as well as Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians circumambulate around their temples, stupas and altars, respectively.
A primary feature of tango verses other social dances is that we circumambulate, in unison, in a counter-clockwise direction. Generally, circumambulation to the left signifies cleansing/purification, and circumambulation to the right blessing/interaction with God.
In tango, the center is left open. As we turn to the left, anything that is extraneous or contrary to the tango vibration that allows for our entrainment and union is directed outward and cleansed away. Were we to turn to the right, those potentially distracting energies would gather in the center and intensify. In the Hopi tradition, the shaman walks to the left around the circle to cleanse, and to the right to heal. Once united, once highly entrained, what might we be capable of we as dancers turned, in that state, in unison, at the right time, flowing instead to the right?
The Medicine Wheel
This year Alchemie will be dedicated to uniting with the Elements. The festival will be structured as a Medicine Wheel, with the 4 nights dedicated to one element/direction each.
The Medicine Wheel is the great Hopi tool for personal, community and universal healing. Within it one walks to and communicates with the 4 inner elements (the Child, the Woman, the Man and the Soul) in order to bring them into balance within oneself. The greater teaching of the medicine wheel is about the evolution of humanity. Having passed through the era, or world, belonging to the Soul, the Child, and the Woman, we are now in the 4th world, the time of the White Man in the North. The medicine of the man is integrated intellect as wisdom, and his poison is intellect separated from the heart.
The Hopi prophecy says that eventually all tribes will eventually walk out of the North, back toward the center. No Time occurs when we step out of the horizontal plane, of conditionality/reactivity toward the vertical axis, the Chinupa, the Tree of Life.
When we reach the center, we stand on the 5 (the center point of the 4 pointed circle) and our body, our own axis, becomes both the 6 (at the root/feet) and the 7 (crown). We ourselves become united with the Mother (earth) and Great Spirit (sky) and come into our roles as the vertical axis, the connection, the middle way between heaven and earth.
The 5th World
The Maya, Aztec, many vedic lines and other wisdom traditions also prophesy the shift from the old world to a new beginning around 2012. It is at this time that the tribes of the North and others begin their departure from the 4th world and enter ‘No Time’, ‘End of Days’, or exit the horizontal linear plane in which we have formed a linear relationship to time. We exit the circle of the elements, and we enter a line—a bridge, a path to the center. Time has already shifted, and we are different within it.
In the Medicine Wheel, the Chinupa is decorated with ribbons of 4 colors- black, white, red, gold. These are the colors of the 4 stages of alchemy, the 4 colors of the Tibetan Wheel of Life, and the 4 colors associated with the 4 main races of Humankind. The Hopi talk of the Rainbow Warriors who arrive at this time to make their entrance into what is known to the Hopi as the 5th World. It is the balance point of all opposites, where all colors co-exist, sacredly unique yet united.
When we reach the center, time takes on a new quality. It is no longer externally circular but internally present—it resides within us. Our systems re-enter their harmonized natural state, our natural vibration, and we entrain with time itself. It is an expanded state of the present-moment-everything, a type of prolonged tango moment or sustained samhadi.
The Solstice of 2012 is the highest energy point of the year. It is the longest day, the highest vibration of the sun. It is a palindrome, the same forward and back—an ancient protection device used for marking auspicious beginnings 21-6-12, 21-6-12.
It is also considered an “arrow”- the 6 the tip, the mirrored 21 and 12 the base. It is considered the “piercing” day when the curtain between the old world and the new will be gone through.
On June 21, 2012, many tribes of the Condor and Eagle nations (Shoshon, Hopi, Maya, etc) will gather to create the world’s largest medicine wheel. The ritual will run for 4 days. It will run for 4,000 miles through sacred sites throughout the Americas, and will be centered in San Jose, Costa Rica. The purpose is to send healing unity vibration to the planet, in order to entrain with her, so that she can recognize us again, so that our vibration comes closer to hers.
Alchemie will kick off this day, and run for 4 days, finishing at the sunrise completing the end of St. John’s Day (noon June 21- sunrise June 25).
The New World
The word Prague (Praha) means threshold. Prague is considered the threshold of Europe—the connecting/ transition point between east and west. We find in this time we are indeed on a threshold—of time, of evolution, and a way of being.
Prague is also considered by shamans of different traditions to be the connector between the right and the left hemispheres (masculine and feminine aspects) of the planet. It is a fault line, a connection point. What is achieved and created here should infuse both aspects of the nature, and assist in creating a new vibrational norm for both ‘halves’ of the planet.
The medicine wheel we will make, connecting whole systems, circumambulating to the left for all of those days, can be considered a way to unify polarities- the right and left/east and west. By connecting Alchemie and the medicine wheel of the Americas to one another, we hope to increase the resonance between us, and together pass the midpoint of the bridge into the energy of the 5th world.
We are extremely grateful to all of you who dance, simply and wholly and as often as you can. You reach new levels of joy, tolerance, happiness and understanding, and that vibration runs through you and touches all with whom you come in contact. It is healing, it is creative, and it is sacred. Whenever and wherever you choose to dance, thank you.
Jenne Magno – Tango Alchemie
In Prague, 21.2.12 for Doble Ocho