Saturday, November 04, 2006

Discovering Ecstasy


A couple of years ago after my first therapist Ann pronounced me emotionally half dead, I was convinced that I needed ecstasy in my life to jump-start my emotions. I envied my good friend, who had participated in the spiral dance and in all sorts of group rituals when she was in Reclaiming. I wanted to experience that feeling of emotional release that gives you goosebumps and an emotional high. I wanted to share this experience with a coven like she had had in her life as a witch.

After she attended services at Temple Micah shortly thereafter, she said to me, “You have everything you need right there. You have a ready-made coven of interesting people. You have all the elements of ecstasy in the service.”

Until today I had not really discovered this for myself. Maybe it was the fact that I had been away for 3 weeks. But from the opening niggun in today’s service I felt something that beat and swelled with the repetition of familiar words and the clapping that emphasized the rhythm. I’m sure this is nothing new, but it was only today that I experienced the goosebumps, not just once but several times during the service.

Today my coven was my choir, who joined together as if holding hands in a circle to produce a group sound. I was struck once again with just how much music there is in the service. We were especially balanced today with exactly four people on each part, so the result was the perfect blend. The flute rode above the sound of the voices and Teddy provided the anchor with his extemporaneous piano.

We marveled as 13-year-old Faith shared her interpretation of the portion L’chi Lach – go forth – where God tells Abraham to journey to Canaan, where he will make of him a great nation. She recounted the story of her immigrant great-grandparents who had ventured forth for new lives in America. She related this to her own feeling of starting on a journey as she becomes an adult. I experienced ecstasy once again as she chanted the Torah in her beautiful soprano voice.

Sometimes the answer to a quest is in taking a closer look at what is all around you. Today I found the ecstasy I had been searching for.

6 Comments:

Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I must say that I get goosebumps and well up quite often. I am very emotionally charged to all around me and I get touched easily by many things....many times when we sing a spiritual at my choir or a beautiful song at a concert in a seniors home. It's just all too sweet and precious sometimes not to get choked up.

But I guess I'm pretty much of a sap compared to most!

What exactly does "Reclaiming" mean?

5:26 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Sometimes things just all come together and when they do...goosebumps!

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes!

12:17 PM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

What I love about this post is that I know the person you speak of. I also envy her passionate life, and am very glad to have met the both of you.

My only regret? That I never attended service with you and lived that close (walked by almost daily) of that lovely place of worship.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- Reclaiming is a form of goddess worship. You can probably get a better explanation by just Googling "Reclaiming".

Playful -- Come visit and you can attend services with us. Our friend has become a regular.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I have never experienced any sort of religious ecstasy, however I have experienced what I would describe as Divine presence.

6:27 PM  

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