Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance:
Awakening Spirituality Through Movement and Ritual
A Book by Iris J. Stewart

Catholic Women's Network
"On the Shelf"

Once upon a time, dance was considered the highest expression of spirituality in our search for the Divine. It was used to celebrate the seasons and rhythms of the year - in a language that reunited the body, mind, and soul. Dance leads dancers to a different dimension.
This book is the first to explore women's spiritual expression in the study of dance. A comprehensive study, it shows that dance along with music was the principal form of worship of the goddess. Through art, not the written word, we learn that priestesses and dance were part of early rituals and church ceremonies. When St. Anne Dedicated Mary at age 3 to the temple, she is shown in some drawings to have danced with other Hebrew maidens.
Although dance was part of very early Christian traditions, it declined as the clergy considered it a distraction with suggestive, worldly ideas. Prohibited from dancing in church, women danced at home. Teresa of Avila, who founded 17 convents, had her nuns dance and play instruments. Dancing today is being reclaimed by some churches, for in reclaiming our connection to sacred dance, we regain a valuable spiritual expression. A wonderful book!

Catholic women's Network
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sunnyvale CA 94087

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