Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Magic of Voodoo | Republic of Benin

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This is far more that what it looks like. A performance perhaps? A display of culture?  Half-naked sweaty natives all dancing around as is their want. What does it all mean? The music fills the air with solid rhythm, linking our heart beats to the earth and the world around us. To most this would be dismissed, shrugged off the shoulders as "but that is how they live in the village, how very primitive"...but is it? What is it exactly that we are seeing, as we perversely press our eyes up to the keyhole of life in rural West Africa. The heartlands of Voodoo....We are only seeing a fraction of what we should be seeing. To be there would be too frightening for most, especially those impressionable masses. They would be possessed, taken over by the spirits and shown a different dimension, an alternative environment, a world without end. We are so naive, so primitive in our thinking. We are a million light years away for what is going on here in the jungle oasis, in the mud and straw-huts found in the gardens of Benin.

I went to bed early this evening before 7pm because I had watched this clip earlier in the day and couldn't stop thinking about it. Ideas were rolling around and around in my head as I tried to solve the puzzle that was swimming in my mind. So I slept and dreamt about what I had seen and when I woke I understood the world a little more. Well rested, I think they say, but I woke wanting to type out my thoughts, dreams and workings out. We must ask ourselves what are we seeing here? What is really going on, let us try to put all these magical pieces together to make up the full story..Why the earthy colours and the straw skirts? Why the bright yellow egg yokes, the circular movements and the rotating trances? Why is this ceremony taking place just after the rains when the sun is about to be at it's strongest? The trick of the light, the use of the heat of the mid-day sun beaming on the topless dancers, warming up their caduceus or rods of Hermes. The connection to the outter world of the solar systems having importance on the here and now. All these questions and more raced through my imagination to the point where I had faith and belief that I could channel myself into a compeletly different world where all in my path had the gift of flight. I am sure this has been done for generations, the power of the mind is so limited when caged in the confines of a classroom. The enormous open spaces and the oneness with nature can have an everlasting effective on even the shallowest of minds.

There is a connection about the way we see the world and how our eyes function. Our eyes deceive us and our conditional minds make us judge too quickly that all too often we miss what is directly in front of us. All the clues are there as plain as day, if only we could see correctly. The retina of the eyes sees images upside down and movement through a series of frames per second. This has a scientific structure to it but in the wilderness it is naturally found on purpose rather than by accident. In my dream I saw a wooden fence on which, different block colours on each overlapping wooden panel were drawn. The hight of these colours varied but only slightly; as I walked passed the fence so I could see the colours move in a wave-like motion similar to that of the sea. I realised it was to do with the speed at which I walked. How the eyes were recording what I was seeing and sending messages to my brain. This two dimensional fence was now a three dimensional wave of colours so let us look again at the dancers in the village. Their movement and straw skirts are used for a reason. To flow like a series of undulating triggerfish sending the viewers into hypnotic states of forgetfulness or trance-like states of rememberance.We have forgetten how to breathe and how to use our bodies to the maximun and to elicit their ultimate design functions. To twist and rolate to find that magnetic pull that lies beneath the soil, the dusty land underfoot. We have, for far too long disregarded the polar shifts in the conscious world preferring to sink back into the vortex of modernity thinking that this is somehow a superior place to be. We have lost our centre, our solar cross and ignored the path of ascencion and the importance of the serpent power found in Kundalina wrapped around our spines. Divinity is sacred not to be mocked or poked fun of as it is our lifeblood, our way to complete our otherwise fractured spirits, in other words our way to become whole again.

Having understood these basic prinicples of the primitive what have we learnt? These simple mathematical equations of speed, hight and colour. Mix in the music of the thud of the bass drum, which makes our hearts flutter and race into a different mode. What have we taken on-board, allowed ourselves to mentally comprehend a reality that has been taught to us since the beginning; expressed and acted out since man first stepped foot on earth. The ways into an other dimension, a world within a world. To bend space and time with a series of physical and collection exercises. These spinning, rotating dances are to send us on our way going. We need to revisit the Ankh and the other Nubian symbols that welcomes in another vision, a contrast to the ones we have been lead to believe and forced to digest. Now is the time to move out of our comfort zones and discover alternative realites in order to keep ourselves safe and sound. Let us draw from the templates of consciousness fearing only the disappointment in our lack of finding of a better tomorrow today.

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