introduction to Sun Moon dance

Introduction to attending a Sun Moon dance in Scotland

written from our group experience accruing over 18 years of Sun Moon dancing in the UK.

About the Ceremony:

The ceremony takes place over four days. It is essential to arrive on site, at the very latest, the evening before the ceremony starts and to stay until after the feast which takes place on the fourth day.
arbour structure

On the morning of the first ceremonial day the final preparations are completed.

tarping the arbourpole replacing preparing the lodge



The dancers begin to focus on their dance and the rest of the people become members of one of the teams of helpers. The dancers share some time together and there are team meetings so that jobs and protocols are understood. After this everyone eats a meal together.
A little later a purification lodge takes place, it is the doorway to the ceremony, signalling a vibrational change and assisting everyone to step into the dance energy. On leaving the lodge the dancers begin their commitment to take no food or water for as long as their dance continues. They put on their dance clothes to perform an arbour activation ceremony and the dance begins. The ceremony continues, with periods of dancing alternating with periods of rest, until, at the chief’s call, it comes to a close with a water ceremony.
A little later there is a feast, which all share, before people begin to take their leave.
enjoying the feast

Making a commitment:

This dance is open to all who are called to it, but the ceremony itself is not open to the public. Everyone who attends has a role, either as a dance or as a helper. Dance dates and a set of detailed Guidelines are sent out each year to those who sign up to the mailing list.

Financing the dance:

Each dancer contributes a specified gift of money. This gift is an essential give-away preparation for a dancer and the dancers’ gifts enable the dance to happen: without the dancers there is no dance. Among other things, their donations feed the helpers, and in return the helpers give their unconditional support to the dancers.

A note for dancers:

The chief will give the dancers guidelines for the ceremony on the morning of the first day. Prior to that, after they make their initial commitment, the chief will be available to advise them.

A note for helpers:

An experienced person leads each team of helpers. Others who come will be assigned to a team.
dance site overview

About this introduction:

Information contained here is specific to our dance in Scotland, and other Sun Moon dances may be, in fact, most probably will be, different. The way the group experience is expressed in this document is further specific to me, Stella Longland, I feel confident to write about the dance because I have been part of it since 1999.
This is our dance drum, a great source of inspiration:
drum west

Feel free to seek further information via the comment box below, or via the email address on the ‘About’ page.
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history of our dance

History of our Sun Moon dance: a Ceremony for all Peoples.

The vision of dance ceremonies that would be for all Peoples was given to Joseph, Beautiful Painted Arrow.
The Sun Moon dance is a ceremony born from that vision.
I know very little about the early years, as I came to know of this work in 1997, and so I ask:  if you are reading this and have experience of those years and would like to contribute to this post please use the comment form below.

Our History:

In 1999 the fully fledged Sun Moon dance came to the UK. It was organised by a group called Lodgeland who were based in Manchester, and Joseph’s brother Benito came from America to be chief.

dance arbour 1999
Several of us who were at that first UK dance are still involved today. Since 2003, when the time came for a change in location, we have organised the Sun Moon Dance in Scotland.

Our Lineage:

Our founding chief is Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow, mystic and visionary who appointed our first UK chief, Benito Rael. After two years Benito appointed Paul and John Wilson as co-chiefs. They were members of Lodgeland and had both danced in America in the previous years.
In 1999 the dance arbour had been brought from Germany as a gift to the new dance. The group who gave the arbour asked for it to be passed on after four years. So after the dance in 2002 Lodgeland gave the dance arbour into the care of Stella Longland. The arbour was taken to Scotland and Stella was chief from 2003-2012, except for 2008 when Lukas Weber, from Germany, was invited to come to lead the dance at the Sound Chamber and Chiefs’ Gathering and Dance that year.
In 2012 Stella passed the chiefship on to Charlie Walker, a member of Lodgeland and long time supporter of the dance. In 2014 we again invited Lukas Weber to come to chief our dance in its 16th year, as that marked the completion of a full cycle of dances. We honour Lukas because he was appointed first chief of the Sun Moon dance in Europe by Joseph in 1983.

Our Chiefs:

1 Joseph2 Benito3 John and Paul4 Stella5 Lukas6 Charlie


That is a complicated story, but remembering our lineage is very important because it is a powerful way to retain the connection to the source.

By holding this ceremony we bring blessings to the land and the people. Participating in ceremony is a way of saying thank you to Mother Earth for our life, and the prayer is that all people may come to live in peace.

My intention

in writing this page is to put the information out there so that those people who came into this life to dance can know that such a ceremony exists and that it is open to all who are called to it.
I, Stella Longland, feel confident to write about this particular lineage of the Sun Moon dance because I have been part of it since 1999.

Dance Tree 2011
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