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.