INFORMATION, PREPARATION & GUIDELINES FOR DANCERS
Any woman over the age of 16 and in a stable mental and emotional state that allows her to participate in this prayer is welcome. Do you want to be a dancer at the ceremony? Please take a close look at the Preparation, Guidelines and Registration sections on this Website.
It is very important for us to keep mentioning that this is a very profound and transformative prayer, ritual and ceremony. This is not a festival, rainbow gathering or recreational entertainment. Everyone is welcome and it is important to us that you are aware of the depth of this prayer. So please read all the information well. THANK YOU!
General Information Overview
The moondance is a prayer and a path that we commit ourselves to walk for at least four years to go through and complete a circle that goes through the four directions in those four years of dance.
During the dance we all fast and work with the feminine essence, the lunar power and with the nourishing and soft energies of the Goddess, nourishing ourselves with the love of Mother Earth. During the ceremony we always receive a few drops of honey that gives us sweetness and strength, you can also bring your own jar of honey to regulate and support your sugar balance during the day.
At sunset and sunrise we enter the sacred temazcalli, we will dance all night in the ceremonial circle, performing traditional formations that connect to the universe with the dance around the big drum (huehuetl) and chants. We will rest in our tents during the day.
We wear ceremonial dress that all the dancers have prepared in advance. And we offer our prayers that we have brought with us to the ceremony. You can find instructions on how to do this below.
PLEASE READ THIS WHOLE PAGE CAREFULLY, THANK YOU & WELCOME!
This year, the four Moondance ceremony days are from 16th Aug to Aug. 20th 2024.
ARRIVAL DANCERS*: Thursday, Aug. 15 9am to Friday August 16 2pm at the latest!!!(It is recommended to arrive the day before so that your body and system can settle in and you have enough energy and strength to dance the first night.)
OPENING CEREMONY: Friday Aug. 16 at 6pm
CLOSING EVENT: Tuesday, August 20 at 10am
DEPARTURE: Tuesday August 20 at 6pm
*If you want to arrive before Thursday Aug. 15, you can do so as a DANCER/HELPER. We are in full construction & preparation and everyone who is already on the land is helping out. So if you want to help and arrive before the Aug 15, please mention your arrival date in the registration form. The Cost per day is 20 euros (for the 3 meals a day) and that you will pay directly on the moonland. You can ONLY arrive for the coordination, organization and smooth preparation IF YOU have REGISTERED BEFORE AUG 10 . Thank you for your understanding and collaboration.
CARRIERS OF AN ELEMENT
From the second year of dance you can carry an element (air, fire, water or earth), work with it, learn from it and serve the dance with it. If you feel called to carry an Element, please send an email with the subject "ELEMENT" to: email@example.com
The clothing consists of three parts, a skirt, a long blouse and a poncho, all of which should be made of white fabric, preferably cotton or some other natural material.
The clothing bears the symbol of the "Moondance Atlachinolli Meztli" on the front of the poncho, which is given to you when you arrive at the reception.
The skirt, the blouse and the poncho each have a blue and a red stripe along the lower end of the garment (see pictures). These are sewn on by yourself before arriving to the dance. The red band symbolizes The fire and the blue band symbolize water. Together they meet and rise as a healing vapor, like the name 'Atlachinolli Meztli'! It doesn't matter which color comes first, but having both ribbons is important! They can be sewn on straight or in a serpentine motion or patterns, by hand or machine as you prefer. The width is also up to you. It is important that the dancers have these ribbons sewn onto their white ceremonial attire before arriving on land!
The Clothing should be comfortable and respectful for dancing. It is a ceremony, so we will avoid short skirts or tight blouses, please. Also, when it's cold, you may want to wear warm clothes UNDER these pieces, so it's good if they're loose enough. There may also be summer storms so rain clothes will be important to bring.
At the beginning of the dance you will receive a crown of sage and flowers that we will wear on our crowns.
We can wear a red belt around the waist, coyoles (ankle rattles) for the feet, rattles, owl feathers or feathers of night birds are welcome.
Keep in mind that in the Austrian summer it can get cold at night. Please prepare yourself accordingly and take enough warm white things with you, e.g. white scarf, hat, gloves, pullover, thermal underwear, legwarmers etc. Other items of equipment are mentioned in the list of TO BRING WITH YOU. As well as rain clothes in case of a summer thunderstorm.
"In a circle we are all equal. When you are in a circle, there is no one in front of you. Nobody is behind you. no one is above you no one is below you The sacred circle is there to create unity."
Dave Chief Oglala Lakota
The dancers offer their prayers with their intention, raising them to the great spirit for them and for humanity!!!!.
We will cut small squares of cloth (PLEASE use natural cloth) and with much love and respect we will use Tobacco, herbs and/or natural elements that are of value to you.
The prayers will be prepared by the dancers before the dance, with their personal intentions or for the community. To perform them please take a moment of silence and introspection so that with clarity they reach your mind and dance with them in your heart. Remember that the prayers are very powerful so be clear and with a positive mind when performing them.
There will be 13 prayers for each color or direction, for a total of 52 prayers. Optionally you can do 13 additional prayers of the color green, which represent our mother earth.
It is very important to choose a quiet time to do the prayers, we can light copal, palo santo, mugwort and/or a candle to create a sacred space.
What you need:
- about ten feet of wool or string.
- Yellow, white, red, red, blue and green cloth
How to make your prayers:
Each color of cloth represents a direction so that you are aware of which guardian you are praying to. Take some tobacco or herbs, hold them up to the sky, earth and in your heart and raise your prayer on them. Allow as much space and time as necessary for each prayer/blessing.
Then place the tobacco on the square of cloth and fold to form a small bundle (as shown in the pictures). Knot the string around it. Make sure the cloth is tight so that the tobacco does not fall out. The string should be enough for all the prayers (52/65), i.e. form a long prayer string and should not be cut during the prayer If you run out of string anyway, simply tie another string with a knot.
Then you can tie your finished prayers around a branch/stick. This way you can carry them better. In the ceremony, all our prayers are hung around the circle. They support, protect and elevate our circle.
Each color stands for a different direction and therefore a different quality.
Start with yellow (east), then white (north), then red (west), then blue (south). Optionally another 13 in green for the earth. Complete a color/direction/prayer blessing (all 13 prayers of a color) before moving on to the next color/direction prayer blessing. You can take a break whenever you need it.
Yellow/ the East - TLAHUIZTLAMPA : QUETZALCOATL lives here, symbolizing intelligence, knowledge and wisdom. It is the place of light, brightness and confidence to step forward with determination when darkness falls upon us. He radiates security and friendliness. The place of the rising sun, the new beginning, the new birth, the seed, the dawn, the light to come.
White / the North - MICTLAMPA: TEZCATLIPOCA "the smoking mirror" lives here Mictlancihuatl and Mictlantecuhtli, the lords of the dead. It is the site of the genetic memory of our ancestors. A place where our ancestors rest in silence. It is also the place where we can ask for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. It conveys a sense of deep reflection and a spirit of constant renewal. Place of our ancestors, prayer, chanupa (sacred pipe) and white buffalo calf woman.
Red/ the west - CIHUATLAMPA: XIPETOTEC lives here, the Lord of life, death and resurrection. The direction of magnificence when the sun goes down it's a blessing for the next day. She stands for renewal. It is also the place of the warrior and earth women and the cihuateteo ("Divine Women"), where the spirits of women who died in childbirth live. This is where the energy that is needed at birth or in battle/war resides. Transmission of the qualities of sensitivity, intuition and the ability to command and manage. The place of the setting sun, of letting go, of death, of the warrior.
Blue/ the south - HUITZTLAMPA: blue or black color where HUITZILOPOCHTLI lives, the hummingbird on the left symbolizes will, joy, children and family. It is also said to be the place of thorns, the place of medicine. Place of wisdom that comes from discipline. Confers the quality of knowledge to recognize the transcendent and valuable. The place of relationships, of kinship, of family, of children, of the inner child, of playfulness.
Green/ Pachamama: TONANZINTLALLI Mother Earth - TOTATZINTLALLI Father Earth: Healing, Thanks, Blessings, Prayers for this great planet, for Mother/Father Earth, coming from your heart. Each dancer dances for her tribe and her people.
There is nothing more powerful than a humble person, with a warrior spirit, who is motivated by a greater purpose.
PREPARE FOR FASTING
In order to make the 4-day fasting as easy as possible for your body and especially your mind, it is pleasant if you have already changed your diet before the ceremony begins.
Refined sugar, caffeine, nicotine, wheat and alcohol should be avoided one to three days before the start of the ceremony in order not to be additionally burdened with withdrawal waves during the dance. Raw food the day before and on the day of the ceremony itself provides a comfortable transition.
Fasting days can also be scheduled weeks before the dance to slowly get to know this state and to have a familiar experience available. It is relatively important to arrive at the ceremony well rested and centered. Two days before and two days after the ceremony should be enough time to adjust to the process.
And of course, drinking plenty of water before the ceremony helps!
• Towels/cloth to wipe you off after the sweatlodge (dirt and sweat) - no showering during the ceremony!
• Sweat lodge clothing (T-shirt, dress, towel/lungi) recommended, min. 2 pairs!
• Flip flops/shoes to go from tent to sweatlodge with if you need them
• Camping gear
• Tarp (protection against rain or sun)
• Rain gear, rain boots, waterproof poncho (white or transparent, large plastic bag)
• Needle and thread to sew the symbol onto the poncho
• Body paints and a mirror
• Electrolyte drink: lemons, salt and honey
• Rubbish bag for your personal rubbish
• Tissue/toilet paper for your use in the tent
• optional: thermos bottle
There will be enough water on land. There are Taps and streams all around. If you come by car and it is possible, please still bring a 5 liter bottle of water with you to wash your hands and face with at your tent. We don't shower during the four days! So the water you bring or collect (bring a drinking bottle) is there for basic hygiene.
The Moondance as a prayer is a path. We make a binding promise to walk this path for (at least) four years in order to go through the circle of the four cardinal points.
Every year of dance is precious and we see our bodies change as a result while our hearts blossom.
If you are unable to attend for a year (illness, birth, etc.), this can be brought up in communication with the council.
Our first promise is for four years. After these these four years in the same circle, one is given a stick that symbolizes the path of the four creative energies (earth, water, air and fire).
After this it can be decided whether to remain in the same circle of dance to further complete a total of seven years of dance and thus begin a new cycle with new symbols representing the promise of a mature woman, leader of herself, her emotions and the temazcal (sweat lodge.
If it is your willingness and heart's desire to continue to the nine years, the vow is accomplished and one can be empowered to open a new lunar cycle. To do this, you have to complete the nine years in Danza on the one hand and get the approval of the council on the other.
DURING THE DANCE
During the dance the women fast so we begin to slow down our rhythm and turn to each other's depth. We work with the feminine essence, the lunar power and with the nourishing and soft energies of the Goddess. During the ceremony we always receive a few drops of honey and you can also bring your own jar of honey to regulate and support your sugar balance during the day. Don't worry, this is more than enough to keep you strong. We drink enough water throughout the day and can make our own electrolyte drinks from salt, water, honey and lemon. That gets us through the four days with the temazcalli. The temazcalli itself is a wonderful field of regeneration, and a wonderful opportunity to be reborn again and again. After four days you will feel how your mind, body and spirit are strengthened.
In the case of pregnant or lactating women or any illness, you are allowed to eat and drink well according to your condition. Pregnant and lactating women can also eat cooked food in the children's and helpers' camp.
In the case of a pregnancy of less than three months, participation is only allowed at your own risk (as everything is still very delicate at this point of pregnancy and the baby needs a lot of rest and stability to grow and thrive) .
If underage women (under 16 years old) want to participate in the dance, a special agreement with the parents is required in order to determine the conditions for her, please contact us!
Each participant is responsible for her own health and is asked to communicate to the Council any special conditions (medications, emotional or mental states, pregnancy or abortion, general illness or chronic illness and other particularities).
Inside and outside the circle, women are encouraged to care for, support and respect each other in order to maintain unity, balance and harmony, while responsibly respecting each other's privacy and freedom, as well as safety to maintain the integrity of everyone around and in the dance.
It is obligatory that all moon dancers who join the circle attend all temazcals of the ceremony until it is over. If this promise is intentionally broken and was not communicated to the grandmothers with the absence in one of the temazcallis, the council is predestined to decide to sanction this behavior since the promise applies from the first to the eighth temazcalli.
For discipline, safety and promise, the dancers are required to remain in the circle during the night to rest. Permission to leave can only be requested in urgent cases, with the intention of returning as soon as possible. Visits to the bathroom are planned by the grandmothers during breaks in the ceremony and not at will during the course of the ceremony.
The clothing consists of three parts, a skirt, a long blouse and a poncho, all made of white fabric (preferably cotton or some other natural material).
The clothing bears the symbols of the "Moondance Atlachinolli Meztli" on the front of the cloak. You will then be given the patch directly on site.
Both the skirt and the wrap (poncho) have stripes in blue and red along the lower end of the garment (see pictures), which are sewn on by the dancers in advance. These symbolize the elements of water and fire. Red and blue ribbons of variable thickness are accepted.
Clothing should please the dancer, be comfortable and respectful. It is a ritual setting, so no short skirts or tight tops please. May the holiness be preserved and remain focused.
Pieces of jewelry or accessories are optional:
• You will receive a headband, which will be given at the beginning of the ceremony, and a crown of sage and flowers (also available locally). In addition, a hat or headscarf is required to protect against the cold.
• A cloth (belt) can be worn around the waist and rattles or anklets around the feet. Owl feathers or feathers from other nocturnal birds are allowed.
• Bring a rattle!
- The pipe, also known as "Chanupa" is one of the elements of our ceremony and helps us to elevate the prayer in the work of the dance. Since our ancestors, the pipe has been used as a medium between us, the physical world and the Great Spirit. The use of the pipe allows us to elevate our prayers and bring them to the great Creator of the universe. We consider the spirit of natural tobacco as a means to offer our prayers.
- Upon entering the circle of the "Dance of the Moon Atlachinolli Meztli" in the first year, each participant is given their pipa. This sacred object of prayer is considered borrowed until the dancer has completed her four-year commitment to participate in the Moon Dance.
- Only after the four years does the pipe become the property of the dancer with the awareness to protect, respect, dance, pray and use it properly, thus feeling the connection to the moon dance circle wherever the dancer is.
- Not all women may choose to keep the pipe. In this particular case, it must be returned to the grandmothers during the four day ceremony or sent to the address below.
- If for any reason a dancer is unable or unwilling to fulfill the 4 year dance commitment she must return it to the Grandmothers.
Dear Sister, if for any reason you decide not to continue with the path of the Dance of the Moon Atlachinolli Meztli, or if you do not feel that you are praying your Sacred Pipe we ask you with much love and respect to return the pipe. As we said the day it was given to you, it is not yours until you have completed your fourth year in our moon dance circle. For this reason please send it to us wrapped in a good and protected package to this address:
Loreto Maldonado, Feldgasse 34, 3422 Hadersfeld, Austria.
- The pipe must always be in good condition and all parts must be clean to be able to use it. As La danzantes always carry natural tobacco, matches and a bag to carry your pipe.
- The moon dancer basically makes her work at night, so it should be noted that the pipe is only smoked at night or in special cases within the Temazcalli.
- The tobacco in the pipe represents the prayer of the dancer and must be consumed all the way to the end since each part of it carries the prayer that is being communicated to the great spirit.
- The pipe should be filled with tobacco before entering the circle in front of the sacred fire and copal and should not be refilled inside the ceremonial circle.
THE SWEATLODGE - TEMAZCALLI
The Dance of the Moon is a group ceremony that seeks deep prayer and introspection for the growth of the dancer as a woman. Part of our prayer is working with the medicine of the temazcal. There will be eight temazcals in total during the ceremony; at sunset before the night of the dance and at sunrise after the night of the dance.
⁃ In the prayer of the ceremony we also heal and cleanse our body, so all temazcales must be attended during the four days of the ceremony.
⁃ To avoid judgments and prejudices, respect is requested for the dress and behavior of the dancers during the entire ceremony.
⁃ Longer dresses or blouses and long skirts and shawls are requested in order to preserve the woman's body for herself and thus deepen and align the process. Therefore, public nudity is not welcome in this environment.
⁃ All participants must be present at the lighting of the Sacred Fire from the first temazcal and opening ceremony. It is not possible to enter later in the ceremony. It is not possible to be there from the second Temazcal onwards. If there is a justifiable reason to miss a temazcal, the grandmothers will take care of that after the first night.
⁃ If the dancer does not enter the temazcal and the dance circle for any reason, or if she has to leave before the end of the ceremony, the dance will be cancelled and may be repeated the following year.
SISTERS FROM OTHER MOONDANCE CIRCLES
Sisters who also dance in another moon dance circle and have completed their 4 years of dancing can dance in the Atlachinolli Meztli moon dance for one year without taking the commitment, as your four year link remains with your previous dance circle.
But if you will wear the Atlachinolli Meztli moon dance symbols, which you will receive upon your arrival at the site. As well as your skirt and poncho then they should also have the red and blue ribbon on the border of the Atlachinolli Meztli moon dance.
Please bring your own moon dance Pipa that was given to you in your previous circle! Also indicate on the letter of inscription that you have already received a Chanupa from another moon dance circle and mention to us which one this was.
About the pipe from other circles.
For all sisters who want to join our circle Atlachinolli Meztli and are already working a Chanupa from another moon dance circle please communicate us, as each case must be treated individually and clarified. The following situations may arise:
Case 1: you have had your pipa with you for more than four years and would like to dance in Austria as an external guest dancer for only one year.
We kindly ask you to send us your application by email and tell us in which circle you are dancing and that you only want to dance in our circle for one year. Regarding registration and payment, the same conditions apply for second and third year dancers. And please everything must be done within the announced registration period.
Case 2: You have had your pipa with you for more than four years and wish to join our circle to complete your nine-year cycle.
We ask you to send us your application by email and tell us in which circle you danced and what are your reasons to change circle and finish your commitment in the Atlachinolli Meztli moon dance circle.
In the Dance field please contact grandmothers Ameyaltzin and Xiuhcoatl. If you wish, you may bring a symbolic gift that will be gladly accepted, and you will keep your pipe in honor of your four (or more) years of the dance. These years of dance are counted as part of your journey.
As for registration and payment, the conditions for second or third dancers apply - everything must be done within the announced registration period! Receiving the glyph from our circle to dance it.
Case 3: You have had your pipe for less than four years and want to join the Atlachinolli Meztli moon dance.
We kindly ask you to send us your request by email and tell us which dance circle you are from and why you want to change circle and end your commitment to the Atlachinolli Meztli moon dance circle. You will need to return your Chanupa to the circle you received it from. You will receive a new Chanupa during the first temazcal of the ceremony, which will connect you to our circle. You will start with your first year of the dance and only when you have completed your first four years in Austria your previous years of the dance of origin will be added.
Regarding registration and payment, the conditions for first year dancers apply - everything must be done within the announced registration period! Receiving our circle glyph for your dance .
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in respecting all prayer circles.
There will be medicine women in the ceremony to care of you when you are in deep process or when you are feeling extreme tiredness. The medicine used is homeopathic, homemade or made from natural herbal ingredients that are used to relieve muscle and organ pain, accompanied by headaches, fatigue, etc. There are drops, tinctures, globules or small candies that the medicine women carry with them through the night. These women are knowledgeable, experienced and very sensitive and gentle. You can relax and know we are in good hands with them.
It is mandatory under Austrian law to have an ambulance and fire brigade on the event site. This ambulance will be on call for emergencies throughout the ceremony. A car will also be available, which will always be accessible for quick transport to the nearest hospital. We do not believe and do not wish for such extreme cases, but we consider it responsible and conscious to have this medical care ready for any healing situation.
During the dance there are different tented areas for the dancers, the singers and the many areas of support.
The dancing women may only stay in the allocated area during the four days and nights of the ceremony. Staying anywhere else is strictly prohibited, regardless of how convenient or close the opportunity is. It is important to avoid distractions and external contact with non-dancing individuals (such as family and friends) during the ceremony in order not to disrupt the energetic processes. The lunar space we generate is very deep and highly meditative. So we keep the energy focused on our prayers.
NO CAMPING IN THE FOREST! We have a wonderful land placed at our disposal. There are special camping areas (dancers, fire eagles, watermen, helpers, children) on the meadows, but camping in the forest is not possible! We respect that and ask for your support!
BEHAVIOR AROUND THE CEREMONY CIRCLE
• No smoking
• No drugs
• No loud conversations
• No eating or showing of food
• No disruption or disruption of ceremonies
• No cellphone use
BEHAVIOR ON SITE
• It is forbidden to consume alcoholic beverages, marijuana, any kind of neurotoxins or hallucinogens including cigarettes as we are in a process of cleansing our body to expand our consciousness. The common tobacco used during the dance takes on a sacred character and is seen as a connection to the essences of the universe.
• Since the Moondance is a multidimensional ceremony, it is forbidden to use video cameras, cell phones, still cameras, and electrical recording devices to record songs or other music. In the event that someone is caught doing it, regardless of whether it is a dancer, visitor or helper, the material created will be taken away from the person immediately.
• The spreading of newspaper articles or advertising material is prohibited.
No Selling of Products during the Ceremony: If you have beautiful items you would like to sell, please wait until the end of the ceremony. We ask that you follow these Council Agreements and thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
• The companions, friends or male family members who want to accompany the dancer and support her in her work as well as want to be present during the nightly ceremony must remain outside the circle at all times and are not allowed to enter it at any time and for no reason.
AFTER THE CEREMONY
We recommend that you organize a good landing site for the first time after the ceremony, where you can recover for two to three nights, get deep sleep and come to rest, to process your experience and allow it to be well integrated. Nature, healthy food and lots of fruit are the perfect support for this. Lots of sleep and rest, nature and good and healthy food are the perfect way to integrate the Moondance days together.
OUR ATTITUDE - EXCLUSION
The person (dancer, helper or visitor) who does not follow the disciplinary rules, whether outside or inside the circle, is invited to leave the place. The dancers, firemen, watermen, helpers and visitors must always respect each other, otherwise they are asked to leave the place. The council is free to regulate the behavior of the dancers, firemen, watermen, helpers and visitors.
If there was disrespect in the dancer's behavior, the council would have the final say in deciding whether or not to allow this person to remain in the circle.
It is important that everyone respects the property of others. No abuse of any kind will be tolerated.
RESPECT & UNITY
The elements of Mother Nature are water, earth, wind and fire and every Moondancer's pledge is to protect and respect these with love - wherever she goes, with the vision that these elements will also be part of the legacy for the next generations to come. Inside and outside the circle, dancers, fellow human beings, visitors and family should support, respect and care for one another so that unity, balance and harmony are maintained in our work. At the same time, privacy and freedom of personal responsibility must be respected. May the awareness of safety and integrity be present from all of us.
The dancers are asked to help with any preparations for the camp. We also ask for deep understanding and cooperation in the event of any spontaneous rescheduling. At the end of the dance, everyone is asked to help clean up the Space. The Space should be left as we found it. For organizational reasons, we ask all dancers to take their rubbish with them when they leave.
No form of discrimination or cult practice towards the dancer is permitted, neither in terms of skin color, nationality, language or religion, as we are all equal and equal in terms of our rights and duties and the same moon enlightens and touches us equally.
We hereby call on all women and men who feel the urge to sing, dance, pray with all their might for nature and the cosmos. As our ancestors said, "Sing, dance, sow, and respect for creation."
The earth that makes us human with her gifts will only continue to thrive if we become aware of her love.
Let's celebrate the dance, walk the path with clarity, always with respect! With all love and respect let us raise our prayers together with discipline, love and joy!
OMETEOTL (We Are One - I recognize the generating power of creation in you, me and everything)
And now: Welcome!! Welcome everyone to the “Moondance Atlachinolli Meztli”!
ONE HEART, AHO, AHA, AUUUUUUUUUW!
"Bless my feet that my walk may be a prayer upon mother earth."
MOONDANCE AUSTRIA 2024
August 16th to August 20th