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
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