Women’s Ritual Dances: Secret Language of the Goddess by Laura Shannon

Sacred women’s circles have been around for generations but need more acknowledgement. Dancing is ritualistic, emotional, raw & powerful. We need to teach the next generation how to encompass this without the stigma given by those that wish to reduce its meaning.

Laura Shannon square crop

My life’s work with traditional women’s circle dances of Eastern Europe and the Near East has been a natural interweaving of feminism, activism and Goddess spirituality. I would like to share how I came to discover these dances and their potential as tools for healing and transformation.

Circles of women dancing with joined hands appear in rock art, pottery shards, vases and frescoes going back thousands of years1, showing that ritual dance was a primary means of women’s worship. I believe that existing women’s circle dance traditions of the Balkans are direct descendants of these rituals. In their expression of values of partnership, sustainability, and peace, they are living links to the matrifocal Goddess culture of Old Europe as articulated by Marija Gimbutas.2

garfinkle2 Tell Halaf, Iraq, ca, 5000-4000 BCE (Garfinkel)

Incorporating symbols of the Goddess in her many guises, these women’s ritual dances are deeply spiritual. They…

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