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The Dancing Alphabet of the Goddess

by Delilah

In belly dance we use many shapes to construct the dance. These basic building blocks of the dance are signs and symbols dating back to 8,000- 9,000 BC (or sence time began). They are imbued with powerful archetypal meaning still today. We will not get to every one of these shapes in the course of these pages, but it’s important for you to familiarize yourself with the symbolic language of the goddess. The symbols represent the concrete, abstract, and esoteric language of the natural world. I like to call this influence "prime natural". Before spoken or written language, there is the body. A repetition of feelings and experiences contribute to the development of our bodies’ conscious awareness.

As you study these shapes. draw, them for yourself on paper, and trace them in the air with your finger, to prepare for drawing them later with the body.

Curves, Circles, Spirals, Coils and Springs, Loops and Combinations. These are the most feminine and connective shapes. A circle symbolizes one. It has no beginning, no end, and is forever repeating and constant. It is a container and it is contained. A child draws a circle and puts a dot in the middle of it-we have the most basic discovery of self, a self portrait. Me, my navel, my center.This is her center of the universe!

The spiral signifies movement going in or out. The coil or spring shape combines in-and-out motion directed from the perspective of the observed and the observer.

Curves, loops, and circles are endlessly folding into each other and are the most basic to nature.

Figure 8s, infinity signs (Lemniscate) and undulations are made by twisting every other curve and thus reversing direction, continually folding in on its course. A figure 8 shape symbolizes two designs contained in one structure. It's a symbol of duality, pulse, right -left, dark-light, birth -death, opposition, balance, and the very essence of creativity. An undulation denotes movement, traveling or the passage of  the time continuum, like the coil and spring.

re made by twisting every other curve and thus reversing direction and continually folding in on its course. A figure 8 shape symbolizes two designs contained in one structure. It’s a symbol of duality, pulse, right -left, dark-light, birth -death, opposition, balance, and the very essence of creativity. An undulation denotes movement traveling or the passage of time continuum, like the coil and spring.

The occuli is an old goddess symbol. It uses circles, the infinity symbol and dots inside each circle, or spiral. It denotes awareness, consciousness and the eyes witnessing creation.

Hour glass, triangles, wedges, squares, axe zig zags, Ms Ns, Xs Vs Ys, whirls. These shapes all have corners, distinct angles and directional changes that denote energy. The zig zag is an ancient sign for water as well as earth and mountain.

A Companion to Delilah's Bellydance
Workshop Series,
Volumes I, II, III

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