Photo of KaRa by Sean Stuchen from Epic Eden Hot Springs Retreat
“Power is the strength and the ability to see yourself through your own eyes and not the eyes of another. It is being able to place a circle of power at your feet
and not take power from someone else’s circle.”
- Lynne V. Andrews, Flight of the Seventh Moon
The word mandala originates from the ancient language of Sanskrit and means "sacred circle". In Hindu and Buddhist symbolism, it is a geometric figure of based upon concentric circles that represents the universe. Mandalas are used in many spiritual traditions as a meditation and healing tool. The mandala in art, healing, meditation, dance, and spirituality facilitates the deeper unfolding of spiritual development and consciousness.
The hoop is a circle. The circle is a foundational shape of sacred geometry seen throughout nature and the universe. The circle represents universal oneness. The calm center of consciousness where everything is one. From the circle, all other shapes are born. The circle also represents community, family, unity, wholeness, and eternity. In the circle is the potent void, from which all may be manifest.
Hoopdancing is a creative and healing movement art in which the individual dances the mandala and consciously experiences the meditative, healing, and trance-formative union of the sacred circle. The dancer embodies the mandala, dancing in the sacred circle. The hoop dancer is always at the center of the mandala, thus the experience of hoopdancing is inherently centering.
The spinning of the hoop creates a spiral. The spiral can be centered around the core, and as time hooping grows, the spiral changes. The spiral is representative of proportional growth and transformation. Everywhere in nature that spirals are seen, in plants, DNA, seashells, and galaxies, the spiraling shape is evident of change and growth. The spiral of the hoop continues to offer new challenges, joys, and healing.
The rhythm is central to the hoopdance. The rhythm is the heartbeat of the hoop and it is what makes the dance come alive. The rhythm of the hoop spinning around the central axis of the body creates the mandala in motion. The rhythm and beat of hearts, drums, and dance are known to create trance, the altered state of consciousness in which one may experience peace, oneness, and connection with the divine.
The undulating rhythm of hoopdance creates waves in the spine. When a stone is dropped into a pond, it creates numerous concentric circles that ripple out from the center. The circles move throughout the water as perfect circular waves. The wave is the movement of the circle and the movement of water. The natural wave motions of the spine created through hoopdance are healing movements for spinal health. Undulations of the spine naturally enhance posture, mobility, and strength through the vertebrae, muscles, fascia, and central nervous system.
Dancing the hoop mandala, is being at the center of the spiral. Every spiral has a center, it is the calm at the eye of the storm. The modern world is distinguished from past eras as being a time of accelerated change, transformation, and potential in humanity, nature, technology, and consciousness. Hoopdancing shows us how to remain calm and centered in the eye of the spiral, regardless of how fast things spin around us. Hooping is a meditation in transforming our selves - our bodies, hearts, and souls in growing in awareness of how our movements create waves that ripple out from us to touch everything.
The center of the spiral is literally within your heart. At the core of the human heart is a spiraling muscle that creates a vortex of movement within the blood. The new science of neurocardiology has discovered that the heart contains 60% neural cells, formerly thought only to be housed in the brain. At the Institute of HeartMath, they have researching the role of the heart's brain, and how the heart's rhythm entrains with other systems through it's electromagnetic field, which extends 8 feet around the human body.
Hoopdancing is a celebration of sacred geometry, somatic movement, creativity, trance-formation, and peace. Hooping is a wonderful practice for children and adults, and there is always an infinite amount of potential movement to co-create with the hoop.
The hoopdancer becomes a shapeshifter, co-creating an infinite mandala in motion with the changing rhythms and motions of the circle around the core. In this embodiment as a shapeshifter, the dance of the hoop may elicit alternate states of consciousness including joy, bliss, divine creativity, oneness, healing, and peace while creating evolving spiraling geometric mandalas.
"Remember what you have seen
Because everything forgotten
Returns to the circling winds.”
- Navaho Chant
Dancing with the hoop creates a vortex in which energy is transformed, recycled, and created. The hoop is a torus, and toroidal shapes in nature are dynamic spiraling fields of motion that create vortexes of motion. When hooping we tap into the primal movements of the torus and torsion - the hoop and the spin.
Everything in nature moves in spirals. Nassim Haramein, of the Resonance Project
, is a physicist who has developed a Unified Field Theory based upon an understanding of torsion - the primal spin of the universe and everything within it. He proposes that the primal force of the universe is the power of spin.
The universe, galaxies, planets, elements, atoms, and everything are all spinning. When nature becomes out of balance, it is the spiral that alchemically transforms energy into something new. Spiral forces are the potential of growth, and are creative, transformational, and energizing.
In our modern world which is precariously out of balance we are witnessing the increase in nature’s powerful spirals to transform this energy through destruction and then re-creation.
Within the center of the spiral is the stillpoint, the calm eye in the center of the storm. Dancing within the hoop trains us to access our inner center no matter how fast the world around us is whirling. Through dancing the mandala, in the alchemical vortex of the hoop, we can transform chaos, sadness, and discordance into beauty, peace, joy, and coherence.
Through conscious dance in the vortex, we access our center and the infinite creative power within our core to transform our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirit. It is within the dynamic center that we find the stillpoint. The knowingness of our deep internal connection to the whole of the cosmos and the inner recognition of the holos through the hoop. Holos recognizes that the whole is holographic, and that through accessing any point of the whole we can download all the information we consciously choose.
The hoop creates physical and energetic spiraling movements around a conscious center. When you step into the center of the hoop with conscious intent of spiritual connection, physical mastery, or creative brainstorming, and then release your focus into the vortex of the hoop, then the dance will transform your desires, ideas, intentions, and visions, and from within yourself will bloom forth the concepts or ideas to lead you on the next route of your journey.
Through conscious dancing with a clear mind, creative leaps of thought and innovative ideas may appear in one’s head. Emotions may bubble forth, anything from laughter to frustration. Physically, you may find yourself moving in ways you had never tried or thought of before. These are all examples of how within the vortex of the hoop dance, through intention and surrender, the soul is able to bring forth the healing and empowerment for you to fully reach your potential in all aspects of one’s life.
Hoop Dance is a powerful tool for personal transformation and healing because it utilizes the Sacred Geometry of Nature to create a primal resonance for expression, movement, and meditation within a clear boundary. Within the defined comfort of a circle - entirely round with no hard edges, one can feel safe within their own space.
Within the sacred circle one is able to fully surrender to the dance, to deepen the consciousness into pondering the divine and the mundane through the incredible mystery and cosmic synchronicity of Sacred Geometry. Hooping is a portal to accessing the mysteries of the primal spin and the dynamics of Energy.
Digital Alchemy by Jahsah Ananda
“Even the seasons form a great circles in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is in a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves. Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop.”
- Black Elk
The circle creates the connection between spirit and matter. Ancient peoples have always connected to spirit and nature through the sacred circle, the sacred hoop, and the medicine wheel. Dancing and singing in a circle are ancient ways of worship and devotion.
The circle is the source of the healing. Co-creating in the sacred circle with ceremony and focused intention forges a link with the vital oneness that is at the core of everything. The Sacred Hoop represents the great wheel of life. It is the whole universe, to teach us of ourselves and our right relationship to all living things.
The four directions circumnavigate the Sacred Hoop, representing North, East, South, and West, and the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The fifth direction is the Center which corresponds to Spirit. Standing in the center of the Sacred Hoop there are two more directions, Above and Below, the Universal and Planetary energies, our Evolutionary and Involutionary Energies. Gravity anchors us to the Earth, yet this expansive energy extends our spines upwards towards the Sky. From our center we feel all the seven directions and honor them.
The Sacred Hoop offers us the Medicine Wheel, a sacred circle for honoring Spirit and Nature, and a compass for right living upon the Earth. Dancing in the hoop creates a primary way of communicating to the Earth. As you dance upon the Earth, you are drumming out a rhythm with your feet and movements, you are massaging the Earth with the vibrations of your dance. The vibrations resonate throughout the body and into the Earth and the Earth sends loving conscious vibrations abundantly up to us in return through our legs. In this manner, hooping barefoot upon the Earth is the most powerful way of dancing and connecting with the Earth energies, however this exchange between our bodies and the Earth is continuous throughout our lives in a spiraling exchange.
People around the world have honored spirit and connected to the divine energies of ecstasy through dance. Maypole dances, Sun dances, and Whirling Dervishes are examples of Sacred Circles Dances. The Sacred Hoop is the symbol for all life and with awareness and the sacred space of dancing in the hoop with heart centered consciousness we can tap into the Sacred Hoop. This connection and resonance with the Sacred Hoop allows us to both learn about ourselves and our relationships to all life, and to send love and healing energy to the Wheel of Life to transform the world and manifest our highest visions into being.
Hoops can also be used to create sacred space for group ceremonies, rituals, or circles. Create a hoop altar in the center of your circle. Create a mandala of hoops in the center. In a ceremony, hoops can be used to mark rites of passage as people step through the portal of a hoop into a new stage of life.
People increase the spiritual potency of their hoops through many ways to magnifying their intentions and energy with their dance. The colors chosen for decoration may connect to various archetypal, elemental, or chakra energies. You can add powdered crystals, sand, salt, flower essences, essential oils, and written affirmations to the inside of your personal hoop when you make it yourself.
Bless and charge your hoop in the light of the Sun or the Full Moon. When you step inside your hoop make an intention for your hoop session, and spiral your vision into feeling and being. When hooping you can vision your energy and body clearing as you hoop counterclockwise, and growing and tonifying as you hoop clockwise.
The hoop represents the Medicine Wheel, the energy grid of living energy all around us. Spinning the hoop around our bodies creates a prayer wheel with the hoop, amplifying our conscious intention and vibration with each rotation. Spiraling with the hoop can elevate the consciousness to the ecstatic realms reached by the Whirling Dervishes. The hoop is a sacred tool for conscious movement, meditation in motion, energy activation, and prayerdance.
“Each individual describes and perceives from different points along the circumference of the Great Medicine Wheel of eternal being.”
- Ken Carey, Return of the Bird Tribes