I was always afraid of depressions. I come from a family with a long ‘depressive history’, with many depressive women (and men, but these won’t admit it of course). I was deeply marked by how one of the women of my tribe went from chronic depression to psychosis and ended up committing suicide. I decided already as a child that I wouldn’t have depression. I can have any other ‘sickness’, but no depression.
To minimize the risks of ‘infection’ I left the city where I grew up, then the country, then the whole continent.
I put the Mediterranean Sea and later the Northern Sea between us to make sure that the ‘depression disease’ stays there. I was save on the other side. I was immune for depression.
Until it started hitting me in the cold North-European winters.
I am by nature a joyful playful person. But every Dutch winter, I get ‘hit’ by a depressive wave, made worse by the fear of having inherited my mother’s ‘depressive genes’. I did not know how to deal with depression until I started dancing the archetypes of the Goddesses Demeter and Persephone. These archetypes represent how we feel when we are depressive: worthless,
powerless, hopeless, shameful, lonely… They are THE ‘depressive’ goddesses.
Pathology tells us that depression is a disease. However, perhaps a better understanding to the mysteries of women is not only through the clinical eye but also through the eye of the feminine psyche. The Demeter and Persephone archetypes are great archetypes to understand the feminine depression, to understand that we cannot fully understand.
And every time we have the courage to dive in the shadow to better rise to the light, we are re-born, experiencing the power of death and life. Dancing these archetypes creates a place where we can fall apart, be dismantled, embrace the pain and let it transform us. It gives us the courage to explore that ‘dark and hidden’ part of ourselves, that depressive part we are ashamed and scared of.
Through the dance we let go of the pain simply by accepting it and nurturing it with vibrations of self-love and self-compassion. The goddess dance is a dance of self-kindness. But before the divine transformation, we must first connect with the pain of depression. For how could we experience such divine love without first feeling the divine flame?
The Goddess dance reconstructed me as a woman and thousands of other women with me. Dancing with women has a cathartic and healing nature, and can only be grasped through the dance experience. The goddess belly dance is a sacred space for the work of body and soul. A place where we can see our shadows as a rite of passage, an opportunity for embracing all facets of the Feminine. Also the depressive one.