The past week has been great. It was the third week of the dance intensive, so we started to work on final choreography for the show that will be happening this coming Friday! Exciting! So, a lot of dance classes and not too much else. It's been a quiet week for me, internally, being a bit of a hermit. I've been dreaming up possibilities for what I want to do once this program ends on Jan 28. Right now, I'm planning on staying in Salvador for another few weeks and doing some intensive Portuguese classes and then finding other dance classes to participate in on my own. I will be much more solo because all of the English speaking ladies who are participating in the dance intensive are heading home (my two closest friends, who I have been living with) :(. They head back to NYC!! But! This is good, another step in the journey. It's been really nice to have some people to feel comfortable with and explore the city with and talk about dance with.
Yesterday was a good day. We went to Rosangela's mom's house! (Rosangela is the head teacher and creator of the dance technique that this whole intensive is about-she's the head honcho) Her mother is a mae de santo, which is a female priest in the Candomble religion. Her house, which Rosangela gave to her, has a space downstairs that is dedicated to religious ceremonies, with all of the Orixas painted beautifully on the white cement walls. So, a lot of us girls from the dance intensive took an hour bus over to her mom's house and she fed us! There was a huge amount of delicious Baiana food (from Bahia). It was delicioso. And then her mother offered to give us Orixa readings. Basically, she is very connected to the Spirits and has some psychic and telepathic abilities to listen to them. In these readings, she tells us who are main Orixas are, which guide us and which are our personalities most like. She sat each one of us down at her table, Rosangela there to translate, and first asked our name. She had a handful of cowrie shells, which are very sacred in a lot of African religions and they used to be used as money, and she was blessing them and connecting with the Orixas and then would drop them on the table. She had created a small circle of necklaces on the table to create boundaries for the shells. Depending on the positions the shells would land, this is how she would get her answers. She told me my Orixas are Oshun, the goddess of health, beauty, love and wealth. Nice. And then my life path is following the footsteps of Yemanja, she is the ocean, the essence of motherhood and the protector of children. I like this one. And I found this meaning: Her name is a contraction of Yoruba words: "Yeye emo eja" that mean "Mother whose children are like fish." And being a pisces, I like this connection. Also, she told me that I have a strong connection to Ogum, the warrior who gives strength through prophecy and magic. Very cool. She said I need to let Ogum lead me more without trying to stop him. I need to be more brave and listen to the directions I am led in. It was funny. One time when she threw her shells down, she looked up and me with a concerned and questioning face and said in Portuguese that I travel a lot. Haha. She seemed confused, like she didn't know why I would want to or could travel so much! :) Parents that like to travel, catching the travel bug. We were allowed to ask a question and I asked her how could I let go of this fear of fulfilling my potential, of wanting to be a healer, wanting to also be able to connect to Spirits the way she does and she listened to the question, shook the shells in her hands and threw them into the circle and told me I needed to learn how to heal myself before I can heal others. .... Yes. This has been coming up for me a lot, this message. It's hard to listen to sometimes because, where to start. But I feel that it is part of growing up and being mature. How can I be a healer or a teacher if I don't practice what I preach. Ok. So this is what I need to be paying attention to. Integrity, listening to what I need, compassion, maturity and discipline. Rosangela's technique is a lot about this. Listening to inner silence, disciplining the body, connecting with the Universe. These are all the things she reminds us of as we start the dance classes. It is a very holistic dance. Very inspiring. So! That was my Saturday! Another hour long bus home, SO BUMPY AND WILD THESE BUSES, and I was home by 9 pm and asleep by 11. Nice.
Today is a beach day! We are planning on going to Itaparica, a local island. :) Hopefully, we make it there and have a lovely day. Blessings! <3 <3