When people first meet me or visit my Facebook page or website, they idea that I have some morbid fascination with death is what first pops in their heads. I make jewelry with vertebrae (human and animal). I paint animal skulls. I post images of death in all its forms. My home is decorated with all things death related-- skulls, skeletons, bones. My altar is dedicated to the dead.
Am I a completely dark soul with an obsession for death? Well...yes and no.
I have been fascinated with death since childhood- and fascinated even more so by spirits, ghosts and all that is unseen. Being born on November 1st, its hard not fall in love with images of death! My birthdays were always filled with bits and pieces of Halloween and All Souls Day. My work with dead goes back as far as I can remember-even within the realm of imaginary friends in childhood.
As I grew older, I began to realize that my life was destined to be entwined between the realms of the living and the dead. My abilities to see and hear beyond the worlds grew and the more I enveloped myself within the shadows, the more the spirits were keen to communicate with me. When I found myself studying Voodoo, thats when my relationship with the spirits became solidified and my appreciation grew deeper.
Am I obsessed with death? No. Do I venerate death? Yes.
I have never been afraid of the concept of death. I understand why most people are. Its frightening to think about the unknown. I have had so many occurrences with spirit that my "phobia"- if one even existed- went away.
I find death comforting. We are all going to end up there. Death is also the one thing in life that does not discriminate; Death does not care if you are rich, poor, what race you are, where you are from, who your family is, what religion you practice, who you pray to. Death is a bit of a coming home after a long journey. Death is a place where there are worries, no bills. I do not fear Death for a find a beauty within Her.
When I work with bones--I find it an honor. To hold something so sacred that ones supported the weight of a living thing is a blessing. When I work on a piece, whether painting on a skull or entwining vertebrae into jewelry, I think of what animal once owned those bones. What type of energy that animal had. Where it lived, what it did. I reflect on the essence of the being. When I work on human bones- its an even greater honor. I think of the person, who they may have been, what they may have done. When I hold a human bone in my hand, I think of my ancestors-- of all our ancestors-- those who have walked this earth thousands of years before now. Its a sacred honor to me to hold those human bones in my hand.
So yes, maybe in some strange way- I am obsessed with Death. But its an obsession of absolution. I know that someday I will be like those bones....that will be all that is left of me on this earthly realm. I have no fear in that.
Hello Beautiful Souls!
I am so sorry I have been incommunicado as of late! I have been busy looking at spaces for my new PRIMAL Dance (tm) classes and a place for in person Tarot Readings and Reiki Sessions. I am please to announce that a place has been found for all three! I do want to apologize to my Sundays with Snake & Bone followers—I have not forgotten you or your amazing topics that you have sent me—so I promise something real soon! Also, don't forget!! I am offering a FREE 10 minute phone Tarot Reading if you purchase a gift card from www.snakeandbone.com - good for jewelry, reiki session, tarot readings and of course dance classes! This is a great holiday gift!
I get a lot of questions about what PRIMAL is exactly. To understand PRIMAL…its best to start with where it came from and how it evolved.
In 2010 I created a (very successful!) theatrical dance show called “ANIMUS: A SHAMANIC JOURNEY THROUGH DANCE.” The show featured 10-12 performers (dancers, poi spinners, etc.) performing as various aspects in the natural world. It was narrated by me in the character of The Shaman. The show was amazing, but afterwards I felt that it was missing something. What is was missing was the HUMAN aspect within this mythological world that I created. Thus…HUNTRESS!
In 2011, as I prepared for the next showing of ANIMUS, I decided to start a dance troupe specifically for ANIMUS called HUNTRESS or The Huntress Women. As I was a very active belly dance teacher and performer—most of the troupe consisted of belly dancers…The problem was…I needed something that was not just belly dance. As a student of African Dance and a forever student of shamanism, the occult, nature based religious studies and an avid history buff of all things ancient, I decided to mix those up in this new troupe. Huntress needed to encompass this extremely primitive/neolithic energy that I have never found within the scope of my 10+ years of belly dance. I literally had to tell these women that they needed to be prepared to come out of the box BIG TIME. Over the course of rehearsals I began to hear more and more of the troupe members telling me how during and after rehearsals they felt this very strong sense of peace. There was a catharsis occurring within Huntress that had never occurred with any of the other belly dance troupes I directed. Huntress had some essence to it. I started noticing the empowerment these women were gaining over the course of the 8 weeks we rehearsed. And it was amazing.
At this point, I decided that whatever I was teaching needed a name since there was nothing out there like it. Then it came to me—-PRIMAL. Primal? Well to me, PRIMAL encompasses some raw powerful energy that has been long forgotten-specifically amongst women. Additionally, I felt that women were not bonded like we once were thousands of years ago. A sense of a tribe. In most indigenous cultures, women work together constantly. Whether its bringing up children, washing clothes, gathering food-or like the Pygmy culture-ritually dancing!
I began to hash out ideas of how to make these rehearsals into a class. And it was really simple. I combined my love of ancient history, shamanism and indigenous cultures and my love of Middle Eastern, African, Aboriginal and Ecstatic dance into what is now PRIMAL Dance. I also added a sense of empowerment via the sisterhood of Huntress. ALL my PRIMAL Dance students become a Huntress. And once a Huntress, always a Huntress.
All my classes start out with an intense warm up and the setting up of intentions. PRIMAL Dance is about letting go of your worries, your fears, your anger, your pain. Maybe you had a bad day work. Maybe you are having family issues, work issues, money issues. This class is your way of assisting you mind-body and spirit. We then learn some very PRIMAL inspired moves in which we then create a unique and powerful choreography. After our crazy primal energies are flowing and our catharsis is reached——-we end class with a group meditation (usually about 10 minutes) in which we ground ourselves. During the meditation I repeat 3x a mantra about letting go of energies that no longer serve us. We finally get rid of—once and for all-whatever is you need to release by pounding on the floor to solidify our intentions.
And the music? You will hear everything from tablas, shamanic drums, djembes, conga drums, didgeridoo, rattles, zurnas and so much more! Did I mention drums? Yeah a lot of drums! Occasionally we will have live drummers and didge players—but for now its recorded music that I have collected from various artists from around the world.
PRIMAL is about finding your fierce female energy. Your sensual and your powerful side. Its about being a Huntress in all aspects of your life.
I can not wait to see you all in PRIMAL!