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




Sufism - An Inquiry, Vol. IX, No. 2
Reviewed by Munir Hedges

Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance, Awakening Spirituality Through Movement and Ritual, reflects a high level of arduous, mindful research in addition to heartwise reporting of self experience and keen observation over years of listening, noticing and recording by internationally renowned author, Iris J. Stewart. A sacred woman in her own right, she has reached beyond form, dimension and words in her compilation of this extraordinary work. The select format of Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance includes: Part One: InThe Beginning Was the Dance and Part Two: Modern Sacred Dance Today. In total, an intimate introduction by the author heightens awareness as she explains her personal manisfestation of the quest toward the sacred and spiritual, with fifteen chapters, extensive notes, a resource section and bibliography. This elegant book is highlighted with rare photographs, illustrations and offset notable quotations.

Iris Stewart holds her personal experiences and research material in a supportive, definitive manner as her writings align with the thread of infinity, leading the audience of readers in and around the spiritual and the sacred, through movement and ritual, into deeply peaceful encounters and discoveries. Iris, flower of the divine, has allowed room for each reader to move, sit, flow or chant/repeat a zekr, in a state of completeness by the rhythm of sacred movement and sacred words. The writing of her book took Ms. Stewart to archaeological sites throughout Europe, the Middle East and South America. As she emphasizes: Through ecstatic identification with the All, the Universal, or however we may try to define the experience, a union happens that causes awareness of self to recede before a growing sense of community or totality. Down through the ages this subtle but powerful knowledge has been available to those who have been able to recognize it.

Though written by a woman, for and about women, this lovely book, in its uniqueness and light, offers wisdom of the sacred to a spiritual, gender free humanity.

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