Dancing dragons and lusty ladies
Do you pay attention to patterns of synchronicity in your life? How and when does synchronicity show itself to you? Do you value those patterns in any way? For me, noticing synchronicity is confirmation that I am in creative flow, that I am in tune with what treasures life is bringing me.
Last Friday, 8 March was International Women's Day. I enjoyed a wonderful Bio Danza dance session with two other women. We really felt like three muses, three goddesses, or perhaps a manifestation of the triple goddess herself, as we danced together laughing, twisting, and turning. I got home and found an email to say my poem on the Ecstasy of Dance had been accepted for Unpsychology magazine.
On Sunday, after a morning working on my late mother's house in Portsmouth, we drove out into the Hampshire Downs for a pub lunch. Ending up in the old market town of Wickham, not by design, we discovered the great little cafe in Chesapeake Mill, now an antiques centre. I found a wonderful 1920’s rose beaded purse for my rune set….how very RunesnRoses … and a vintage Chinese drum, with a dragon and a peacock on each side.
I’ve noticed dragons currently keep coming at me thick and fast. From flying East with dragons in my first ever Gong Bath in Southsea two weeks earlier, to meeting the fire breathing dragon Nidhogg, who chews on the roots of the world tree Yggdrasil and feeds on the blood of the dead in Niflheim. I met Nidhogg in a journey into Helheim led by mythologist Andreas Kornevall in his recent Norse Runes and Magic workshop at the Psychedelic Society in East London.
I will be flying to the land of dragons, China and Hong Kong at the end of March for a two week work trip. This will be my first visit and I'm excited. I will be in Hong Kong on the day of the Qingming (Tomb Sweeping Festival) where people pay their respects to their ancestors. My dragon drum has come just at the right time. The same day I received an invite to a workshop The Dragon: Making Sense of Worldwide Myth, run by the Radical Anthropology Group in London. Of course, I have to go! The dragons are working with me.
Yesterday, I had a day off work. Unusually a Monday and it was a gloriously sunny but very windy day. I felt an urge to create a personal ritual down by the roaring sea at the end of my street. The white horses were pounding the beach, manes flying. I called on the protective spirit of my blue whale fylgia, knowing I needed some healing and protection in the incredibly busy weeks to come. As I finished my ritual, having instantly found two holey Odin (or hag) stones amongst the pebbles and two heart shaped stones, I looked up and there in the blue sky above was a cloud eagle, taking the form of another of my strong power animals. Feeling totally in flow I went home and decided to catch up on my rune and rose reading work, tuning in to a video and card reading by Rose Alchemist Sandy Humby created for Women’s Day. The cards were so in sync; I chose the Rose card that governs both travel and the solar plexus (I've been suffering from a nasty bout of gastritis and just started treatment).. I ordered the corresponding rose travel mat for some lightweight silky travel alchemy on the long flight, and it turned out to be the last one. I was just in time.
Then I was off to Lewes for the late afternoon to conduct an Advantages of Age interview a former rapper from the San Francisco feminist rap outfit Yeastie Girlz, who I recently met at a Guerrilla Poetry open mic night. I had time to kill so made a beeline for Lewes Castle and Museum. If you know Lewes, you'll know the early Norman castle ruins tower over the old houses and shops which hug the sides of its steep motte banks. From the top of the Norman Keep you have a wonderful panorama of the whale backed Firle Beacon to the South, and the ancient Iron Age Hill fort of Mount Caburn to the East. The castle was one of the first built by William the Conqueror after his Norman Conquest to consolidate his power base.
I got thinking of my direct ancestor Richard Fitz Gilbert, the illegitimate grandson of the Viking invader King Rollo who became the ruler of Normandy. Richard came over the Channel with his half brothers William the Conqueror and Robert, Count of Mortain, as part of the force that defeated King Harold in 1066. After the conquest, William divided the land of Sussex into six rapes amongst his loyal warriors. Richard Fitz Gilbert was granted land in Kent, Essex, Surrey, Suffolk and Norfolk. Robert received Pevensey, bordering Lewes. This land eventually passed to my direct ancestral descendants of Richard. Lewes was handed to William De Warenne who set about building the castle. I was starting to feel almost giddy as I stood in front of the map of the Six Rapes, thinking that the history of this landscape and bordering countryside is literally in my DNA. In the museum gift shop on the way out I found a pair of beautiful silver earrings made from antique silver spoons...in the shape of a whale's tail. Of course I had to have them. In the archaeological gallery I'd spotted a Neolithic whale bone that had been used as a cutting board. My earlier protection ritual was paying back as the whales came.
The final synchronicity of the long weekend came in the form of a Lusty Lady. Halfway through my Yeastie Girl interview, I learned that the singer, now a professional photographer, had danced at the feminist US strip club The Lusty Lady to get through photography school, sharing the same sex positive outlook as I do, and had also photographed many of the male punters with their consent. Her work from that era is soon to be published in new book. Many years ago I had also danced for a period at the Raymond Revue Bar, Soho in its 40th anniversary year. That experience influenced my later performance installation in the old Waterstones’ bookshop window in Brighton’s North Street, recreating a peep show booth with a twist - with the model photographing and filming passers by as they peered through slits in the blacked out windows into the kitsch burlesque tableaux I’d created...the voyeur becoming the viewed.
I’d begun and ended the weekend with a dance, with many dragons in between. I drove home feeling a sense of wonder and joy. I love how following synchronicity opens many doors and helps us look at the world in a different way.
My interview will be published on the Advantages of Age website soon.