Mesa is the Spanish word for table. In a shamanic context, Mesa means the field of energy that is created around a body of work over time that is connected to the lineage the body of work belongs to and the practitioner. In some ways, when you come to work in a particular tradition, you are indeed 'sat at the table' of that tradition and held within its principles and practices.
The Movement Medicine Mesa, represented by the mandala that we have worked with since it arrived in a dream in 2001 (see extract from Ya'Acov's book Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart below), has 21 Gateways.
Each gateway is an invitation for embodied enquiry into an aspect of our work and is designed to take you deeper and deeper into your capacity to living your life an an ever-evolving work of art, rooted in your own medicine and what is yours to give.
I fell into deep sleep and woke up in the middle of a dream. In it, I was walking around a festival. I found a poster on the floor. On it, there was a beautiful mandala, a little like a medicine wheel. At the centre of it was a phoenix. It was magical and compelling. After I’d seen it on the poster, I saw it everywhere. It was printed on the side of the marquees. There were altars made of flowers and stones, and all of them were set in exactly the same shape. I’d never seen it before and yet I recognized it as something familiar.
I looked around more. There seemed to be workshops going on using theatre, movement and other healing modalities. There was also a large stage and musicians were playing powerfully emotive music to a large audience.
I found an information desk and asked the smiling woman behind it what was going on.
She looked at me as if I was crazy. ‘It’s your dream,’ she replied. ‘You cooked this whole thing up.’
‘What is it?’ I asked.
‘It’s the Phoenix Festival. You created it.’
She picked up one of the leaflets and began to read it to me: ‘The Phoenix Festival is a celebration of every human being’s capacity to rise from the ashes of their suffering and create a new story. Through theatre, dance and other healing modalities, people who have suffered the terrible wound of genocide come together to tell their stories and transform them into medicine.’
I was both astonished and overwhelmed. A part of me intuited immediately what this dream would mean for me and for our work.
I woke up, sketched out the image of the mandala and wrote down all the details of the dream I could remember. And I saw that the leaflet in the dream and the whole dream itself was the way that my unconscious had found to tell me: ‘This is the journey you have taken. You have risen from the ashes of your own suffering and chosen a new story. And now, Ya’Acov, it’s time to offer that medicine to others.’
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