May Day – An Inner Ritual of Unwinding and Renewal
We did it, we made it to SPRING – to MAY – YEAH !!
Traditionally this was a day to gather and celebrate the return of spring, the start of the growing season (for Northern Hemisphere cultures), and a time to connect to the Spring Energy of clearing, cleansing, making way for the NEW. These gatherings often included a May Pole dance. Where dancers would each hold a twine or ribbon, attached to a tall pole or live tree, and dance a dance that created a woven design on the pole or tree. And then dance in reverse to unwind it all.
The image of the May Pole dance has been coming up for me a bunch in the last few weeks. Both for myself, and my own inner spring “cleaning” self care rituals and ceremonies, as well as working with my beloved clients in managing their energy fields and bodies.
Your energy, your life-force (your prana, your chi) flows though you in pathways, streams. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) calls them meridians. In Yoga & Ayurveda we call them nadis (Sanskrit for stream or channel). The metaphor is like a garden hose that water flows through…your energy, your inherent life force flows through these pathways, these rivers of life, these “tubes”.
Keeping prana flowing freely through the nadis is one of the big benefits of the practice of yoga (as chi flow is for Qi-Gong and Tai Chi). We know that knots or tightness in the multidimensional body leads to diminished energy flow in the channels.
There are thousands and thousands of these nadis in your human energy field. In yoga philosophy, we describe the master nadi, the main river of life as the central channel that runs along the length of the spine. We use this sushumna nadi as the master attuner for the energy field. When prana is free flowing in it, then all the others attune to this master rhythm.
Imagine your spine and your central channel as the May Pole. And the ribbons and the dancers represent every thing that has ever danced its way across your life and your attention field. Everything you have ever heard and said. Every single experience you have had. Each one has the potential to wind around you, like a maypole ribbon, interwoven within your multi dimensional body mind soul field. If you have enough of the ribbons wrapped tightly enough it impedes the free flow of your energy. We all know that feeling of being “all bound up” by a memory or an emotion or a thought. And having this binding translate over the physical body.
Yoga literature calls these The Granthis. The Sanskrit word granthi means “knot” or “doubt” and also means “an especially difficult knot to untie.” There are three major granthis to untie as you progress your way through freeing your flow of energy. One in your lower abdomen/lower spine that is said to correlate with fear, anxiety about survival, base needs (food, clothing, shelter), feeling grounded. The second is between the navel and the heart, around the base of the ribs, and this knot is associated with your personal power and “I AM” presence. The third is described as being in the forehead, around the third eye, and the knots there inhibit the flow of clear seeing and thinking, and mire you in illusion and doubt.
(if you want to read more this is a good resource article https://jivamuktiyoga.com/fotm/untying-knots-bind-us/)
How do we proceed to unwind these knots?? There are many prescribed methods in the practice of yoga, and you are free to research and follow any one of these that resonate for you. I am not going to recommend those yoga traditional methods (like applying the bhandas and doing severe or austere actions to burn them away). I find those personally to actually bind me up further, and are just not that pleasant. I find that what helps me personally is making things super FUN and JOY filled. We can follow the lead of our ancestors who danced the dance of the may pole at this time of year to unwind and release.
May Pole Inner Ritual of Unwinding and Renewal
Take a few moments to yourself to breath, ground and center.
Connect to your core.
Connect to the core of the earth and get grounded.
Sit or lie or stand still, and breathe, watch allow what you notice in your body.
What part of your body can you feel first? Which part is speaking to you the loudest right now?
You might ask it what it may be holding, or communicating, and then take a moment to listen.
Follow the flow of your sensations to notice feel and allow your awareness to flow with several body parts or areas of the body. And include the mind/thoughts and your emotions as things to notice and be aware of. While some knots will appear in the physical body, many others will present in the mental body or emotional body.
Put on a song – pick a thematic match to what you are feeling, or a song that helps you move and groove, any speed, and genre, your choice. Or make a playlist of several favorites.
Rub your hands together and get your energy flowing, then place your hands where they are called to go, anywhere on the body or in the air or on the ground. There is no prescribed way to best do this, and the most potent will be a self directed experience, a ceremony of meditation in motion. Then move your hands in such a way that you begin to unwind. Pull, push, sweep wipe the energy away. Dance, stomp, prance, using arms legs spine, whole body. Twirl, whirl and unwind these invisible ribbons, cut the threads that tie and bind you. Get out your machete or chain saw (imaginary!!). Bathe yourself in light or flame. Douse yourself with oil or water. Smudge your field with sage or herbs. Use a spray of water and essential oils. Or paint or write, there are as many ways to do this as there are individuals. Find your style, your method for this May Day.
Make it fun, make it powerful. Make it joyful and potent.
You will get the inner sign when you are complete.
Then call in – light, love, joy, new fresh spring energy! Let that flow of renewal energy flood your field and nurture you at every level. Honor yourself and your journey, and sit or stand quietly again and see how you feel now. How much you have shifted your vibration and created free flow in your field.
Happy May Day! !*
* PS – do this anytime this week or month, or anytime you need it, we are free of the old style of “having to do this on a certain date”. We are operating in unity field, so anytime you are able is the perfect time