The Sacred Road
Ultimately we walk a spiritual path alone, only in the presence of the Divine. We may have guides or companions along the way to accompany us on part of our journey, but each journey is unique, our own Divine unfolding.
Guides may be instructive, and companions may mirror us, but it is important ultimately to listen to Divine guidance—speaking through our own inner voice. Others may say they know what is best for us, or that they understand our journey, and they may, but generally they understand it from their own perspective. They may cloud our vision in the light of their own experience rather than helping us to see what is there for us.
Sacred Arts as a Spiritual Practice
Most people on a spiritual path have practices that they use to aid them on their journey. Many may practice the ancient sacred arts such as Sacred Dance. In sacred dance, as with most spiritual practices, our goal is to connect to the Divine. We may do our spiritual practices alone, or with others, but either way the connection is a very personal experience, even if it happens in a collective environment.
I teach sacred dance both in workshops and as one-on-one mentoring. In a workshop we have the collective energy of the group, which is a wonderful experience. But what I found doing one-on-one mentoring is that when women are dancing alone, allowing themselves to go more deeply into their inner space—that is where they find the gold.
That was the gift that sacred dance brought to me. It allowed me a gateway to my inner wisdom, a way to connect with the Divine. The process I teach in The Alchemy of Dance was completely downloaded during the Dance itself—by collecting the pieces in a journal during and after my practice. I learned the Dance from the experience of doing it, as well as reading and processing the information in my journal. When it came time to write the book—it had already been written in my journal! The practice continues, when I need guidance I Dance and collect the pieces to process them afterwards.
The Practice of Journaling
Journaling can be used as part of any spiritual/healing practice. For me journaling is such an integral part of the process that I don’t merely “encourage” women to do it—I teach it—I make it part of the curriculum. I ask them to use a journal both during the class and at home. Journaling is all about taking our experiences and extracting the nectar, gaining the wisdom there to be found.
Journaling is not taking notes. It is not meant to take us out of the experience but to be used after the experience. It is impossible to experience fully and process the information at the same time. Through journaling we can play the role of participant as well as observer. When we experience we want to be fully present in the right-brain, our creative side, to absorb everything that is happening. To understand and process we need to be in our left-brain, the logical side. By first collecting the pieces in a journal and then going back and processing them we can do both.
The Sacred Art of Dance Journal
The Sacred Art of Dance Journal was conceived from the desire to create a sacred space for my students to collect the pieces. It is the first in a series of journals specifically for people practicing the sacred arts, Dance or otherwise. It is meant as a sacred space to record thoughts and experiences. It is a place for you not only to chart your journey, but also to process the information you receive along the way.
The cover of this journal came from a Soul Drawing by Cosima Lukashevich. It illustrated my Dance and role as priestess at The Centre for Sacred Arts in Cairo, Egypt. The images contained in the drawing show what we cannot see on the mundane level—the different energies present in the Cosmic/Universal Dance of co-creation—neteru, power animals, astrological symbols, all Dancing around me as I invoke them and hold space for their presence.
About the Authors
Cosima and I met in Cairo in 2004. Both of us had lived in Cairo for decades before being introduced to each other by a mutual friend. We had a lot in common. Both of us had left similar pasts in Western society to come to Egypt, and both of us were in the arts.
Cosima is a visual artist working in the mediums of pastel, watercolor, collage and paper-mache. Her gift is to manifest images for us to see, like a scribe translating our own inner wisdom into beautiful hieroglyphs or forms on paper.
I am a Sacred Arts mentor working with Dance, aromatherapy and flower remedies. My gift is of the “womb”—acting as a vessel, holding space for others and working as a scribe through the written word.
Hearing the Call
We both heard the call of the goddess and returned to the ancient land of Khemet (Egypt) to learn and fine-tune our skills. Over the years our friendship grew. We did many projects together mainly at the Centre for Sacred Arts in Cairo. Cosima designed and painted the costumes for the Global Water Dances—Cairo that I directed, and she did the artwork for the Cairo Health and Well-being Initiative, which I founded.
We shared a passion for Egypt knowing that this was our university for higher learning. Living in Egypt among the neteru attunes one to the archetypal plane, the collective unconscious, where all things are possible.
We also share a strong bond as women—often feeling misunderstood for following our visions, our paths and our guidance. Egypt, Om el Donya (mother of the world), has provided the fertile soil for us to grow and refine the gifts that live deep inside of us.
We, as human beings, came to Earth, our classroom, to learn, to evolve through experience. Each step we take, each experience we have, can bring us information, but it is in the processing of that information that we gain wisdom.
Illumination can be confusing and isolating at times. It takes a lot of quiet, sacred space to hear the voice of the Divine. Truth has a vibration but we need to learn to sense that very subtle vibration. Through the gifts of the sacred arts, and the processing tool of journaling, we can hope to find that vibration that leads us through the chaos to the point of clarity.
The Sacred Art of Dance Journal (Sacred Arts Series) (Volume 1)
By Leslie Zehr and Cosima Lukashevich
Available from Amazon