In my tradition (as with many) we have the goal of getting back to our true selves, and we consider this to be a state of being natural to children and animals (though please note that this includes connection, compassion, and the ability to use tools we’ve learnt whilst growing up, like kindness and empathy!). This weekend in Glastonbury, I went to the Occult Conference run by the Visible College, and its theme was practice, with an emphasis on embodiment. The workshop I attended, “Flesh of the World”* was run by Alkistis Dimech (of Scarlet Imprint) and focused on the feet; the feet as our contact with the world, our feet as focal points of our awareness, our feet as magical creatures in their own right (metaphorically), our feet as the foundation of our being in the world.
We learnt how to walk.
And I was struck by how often practical magical workshops are about learning to do things we thought we learned in childhood – walking, vocalising, breathing, standing. So much of our lives and culture encourages us to disconnect from our bodies, our selves, our natures, to live in ways which are destructive to our health, to cut ourselves off from the core of us which is embodied. As a result we need to undo harmful habits and relearn how to do even basic things, in order to fully embody and express our core-self.
This weekend I attended a workshop where we just walked, until walking became a dance and the dance became a magical act. And it was still “just” walking.
Thoughts fell away.
I felt myself fill with song that longed to spill from my heart into the world.
By simply walking I was reminded that through following our feet, placed with deliberation upon the flesh of the world, we can return to the state of innocence, of pure, fey, self which the divine child embodies.
*And yes, this is a reference to phenomenological writings by Merleau-Ponty and others, which made me VERY gleeful!