Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Twelve Days of Christmas -- Day 9

January 39th day  

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
nine ladies dancing

Well, this is odd since dancing is practically anathema in the Christian Church. Did you know that the Irish peasants created the Irish jig (all legs, no arm movements) so they could dance indoors without being busted by their loving clergy? If a priest should walk by one of their houses and peer in the window, all he would see was the stationary upper body, not the prancing feet!

shiva nataraja 
So let’s skip right over the continents to India, where dancing has long held its place among spiritual practices. Think of Sufism’s whirling dervishes. Think of the gopis (cow girls) who romped around hottie Krishna, hoping to entice him with sexual favors. Or Shiva Nataraj, the Lord in the form of the ecstatic dancer whose gyrations bring the world into being.

The yoga tradition also loves nines, and a set of nine nines (total of 108) is particularly auspicious. It’s also the numbermala beadsmala beads that make up the Indian rosary. Nine is three squared, so sets of three also tend to pile up into nines, like the crescending sets of nine waves surfers count. Cats have nine lives (probably because they sleep through 80% of each life). The carrot dangled in from of you for completing the Ninth Step in recovery (where you make amends to all those you have harmed) is the “Promises,” which include gems like:

We will not regret the past or wish to shut the door on it.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
Feelings of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us

Worthy rewards for anyone who’s willing to clean up his or her side of the street.

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