venerdì 10 agosto 2012

The Sea Goddess

A Personal Interpretation 
by Freya 

"To love, we touch the not-so-lovely bony woman, untangling the sense of this (life/death/life) nature for ourselves…It is not enough to haul the unconcious to the surface, not even enough to accidentally drag her home. Untangling the mystery of the Skeleton Woman begins to break the spell — that is, the fear that one will be consumed, made dead forever." Clarissa Pinkola Estes

As winter approached, the time of descent into the dark time of the year urged me to make a personal descent into the underworld, to understand the ways my own shadow side was playing itself out. I struggled with a lack of purpose in my life, and felt "A Rainbow of Goddesses", a ritual created by Macha Nightmare in 2001, offered me a perfect opportunity to dive deep. 
Sedna would be my companion. The legend I know tells of a vain and beautiful girl who lived with her father, rejecting all suitors. A raven in the guise of a human being slipped into her village, enticing her with tales of riches beyond her wildest imagination. Seduced into accompanying him, she flew away with him, but when they landed on a barren rock cliff, she realized his deception. She was forced to live in this hostile place until her father heard her calling in her misery. 
He came to rescue her, but as they paddled away in his kayak, Raven viciously attacked them. Fearing for his life, her father threw Sedna into the water. Overcome with fear, he hacked away her fingers and hands as clung still to the sides of the boat. And so Sedna's hands became the fishes, seals, and whales, her companions as she fell to the depths of the sea.
When I was six years old a boating accident killed my brother. Unable to swim, I sank toward the bottom of the lake. Slimy plants reached for my legs, and as I recoiled in horror I was oriented toward the surface, and rescued by a stranger. Now, I made preparations to enact Sedan with a rapport born from that wound. Lee Henrickson danced the part of Sedna the previous year, and wrote the words to which Sedna danced.
Now, a year later, Lee was preparing to leave for Alaska, to marry a man she met after last year's event. I decided to be very clear about shaping my own intent in working with Sedna, this underworld Goddess. I counted on the work revealing to me what aspect of myself I needed to face - what my depression was hiding, what steps I needed to take. I made changes in the script to grapple with my own relationship with Sedna. Choreographer Merrylen Sacks spent several sessions with me as we explored movements that might evoke Sedna's spirit. 
Behind a mask, age and beauty are irrelevant. When I danced the story of Sedna in a 2001 performance, I could feel myself become Sedna, feel her anguish, her shock at the cowardice of her father. The shame it evoked, and the need to confront her part in how the tragedy played out came to the surface. I reflected on the meaning of Sedna's gift, and of her transformation. Her desire for mercy, Her need to have a role in the reciprocity of life. 
During the performance, the mask frightened children - even some adults pulled back. I was reminded of people's response to the homeless, to those who are scarred. I understood that people weren't reacting to Sedna's true identity, but were responding to a mask that hide her core self. As Sedna, I identified with her experience, remembering times I had been perceived superficially, and all the ways color, appearance, economics, race, and gender deny our inner being.

The recollection imprinted on my heart the conviction of a light-filled identity infinitely more fundamental. But most important, I was overcome with shame at the realization I had also given away my own power many times. I felt humiliated at my lack of discipline and self-confidence, my own failures to accomplish my goals. Behind the mask, I wept.Sedna's potential had not yet found a form to express itself. Living with the bird man, the raven, was the beginning of Her transformative descent and awakening.

But her life force was strong, and her descent fueled Her desire to find a way to participate in life. Sedna's suffering is also about actualization. So many people have creative and healing power they are unable to realize: not for lack of capacity, but because of beliefs, habits, and attitudes they hold about themselves. 
My personal version of the bird man, the false husband, was my first marriage. It was a destructive time that left me with responsibilities for the lives of five small children. Through the mask of Sedna I begged people in the audience to touch the broken stumps of my limbs; I begged them not to despise those who make mistakes. I implored them to engage, to heal her. The fear, rejection and betrayal impelled Sedna to face the "what is" of Her existence. It prevented her from being blind to her true situation.
Everyone will ultimately lose their innocence, be betrayed. How we grow from these experiences is what matters. Behind the mask my own courage to face certain personal truths arose. One was admitting the frequent invisibility of a person's true capacities to the outside world. I accepted my own invisibility as an older woman, and my sense of having an incomplete destiny, as the truth of my own "here and now". I felt Sedna truly inhabited me, she felt seen; understood, she was willing to be revealed. And I was willing to come to terms with my own situation.

Sedna evolved through sacrifice and suffering. She created of Her very being, her hands and her fingers, what was needed by the community - the food to sustain the lives of her people. For myself, lifting veils of denial provided me with the self-acceptance that grants new freedom. Sedna's double-sided mask, half-skeleton and half-human, gives her the aspect of resurrection.

Sedna did not lose Her capacity to participate in life. Instead, She transformed.

taken from : CLIK
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