Desert Spirit Films
Monique Monet
Ideas of Dance
Art of Costuming
Rev. Dance Film
Kay's R.D.Review
Mata Hari
Nobody's Puppet!
Free Spirit
Tramps & Thieves
Got The Message
Video Baladi
Review by Taaj
Last Stand by Kay
Sacred Surprise
Video Op
Dancing For Love



 Monique Monet

(Originally published in Zaghareet Magazine)

"There is more day to dawn - - the sun is but a morning star."

      I had a dream, really it was more like a vision, of a woman in a bleak, endless desert. She was performing a mysterious and powerful dance - - a war dance, and she held a sword in each hand. Sometimes she was all alone, and at other times surrounded by a vast horde of angry evil spirits.

     Intriguing and strangely beautiful as it was, the dance itself was secondary, somehow I knew her performance was a symbolic representation of her desperate battle to maintain her own archetypal existence in the face of cruelly changing times.

     After the dream had come to me for the third time in one month (each time providing a clearer understanding) I felt certain this was a message which I had been entrusted to communicate to others.

     The woman was the God Inanna, ancient Sumer's Queen of Heaven and Earth - - and the divine personification of the Sacred Feminine.

     Her battle was against an unstoppable paradigm shift (from matriarchy to patriarchy) which actually occurred in the Middle East, the Cradle of Civilization, millennia ago.

     Also from that dream of the ancient past there came to me whispers of our future close at hand; foreknowledge of an almost infinitely vast circle, at last to be completed.

     In the course of our lifetimes, an important aspect of human life, out of balance for too long, will be made right.

     My dream of Inanna, this article, and my attempt at a re-creation of the dream dance (I call it Inanna's Last Stand and I performed it for the first time at Tribal Fest 3) mark my re-emergence

(in a small and humble way) as a Chorihani, a mystic channel, counselor, and life guide.

     I am a Gypsy. My aunt and my great aunt were both very gifted psychics and "fortune-tellers". For decades they worked professionally in that capacity; one in Redondo Beach near Los Angeles, and the other in the central California coastal town of Santa Cruz.

     (I've noticed that the word Gypsy, not to mention the concept of Gypsies as fortune-tellers, is currently not considered "politically correct". I often read, in dance magazines, of the Rom of East European background and the many stereotypes that plague them. To the extent that I am able, I empathize with their situation. But honestly it is a situation with which I am unfamiliar. My family came from Syria. I was born and raised in Southern California. And my reality (the only one I know) is very different from that of the Rom of East Europe. I, and many like me, are proud of the name Gypsy. And, contrary to many things I've read lately, the name has a fascinating and ancient history. Also, I'm personally proud of the mystery and magic and power that were so much a part of the personalities of both my aunts and other Gypsy women I have known.)

     Years ago, when I was still a child, I was recognized, over my aunt's daughters and many other young women and girls, as the new Chorihani (or Charhany), our extended family's spiritual leader or psychic guide. Also, when mature, the Chorihani was often the matriarch of the clan.

     This all sounded exciting to me - - but not to my mother. Always a rebel within our clan, my mother strove to cut all ties with Old World ways. She wanted my sisters and me to be assimilated into mainstream American society. Therefore we were intentionally raised, as much as possible, apart from the Gypsy community. And so it was not surprising that my mother was very strongly opposed to me being trained as a "fortune-teller".

     But it seemed so romantically adventurous to me, like something out of a movie. And the idea of me as the new generation's Chorihani also pleased both my aunts very much - - so the teaching went on, in secret, for nearly two years.

     I learned a great deal about what could best be termed mystic psychology. Taro and palm reading (and other fortune-teller stereotypes) were not so important in and of themselves, rather they were rapport builders; a bridge between me and the individual I was working with.

     Some of what I learned was truly mystical, such as the fact that auras are real things. And each one of us has our own unique and tell-tale aura. But even on the totally non-mystic mundane level, eyes, mouth, hands, posture, tone of voice, etc. offer volumes of information about an individual's past, present, and future.

     About a year into my training it was discovered that I had a powerful natural intuitive talent for life reading - - an ability unheard of in a thirteen-year-old, and not usually manifested, if ever, in a Chorihani until well past middle age. Life reading, to put it very simplistically, is like being a channel, not for some disembodied spirit, but for the living person with whom I was working. I would help them, guide them, to express aspects from deep within themselves; important, life-changing things they might never have discovered without assistance.

     I enjoyed the attention and praise of those eager to train me. I liked knowing that I had a special ability to help people. And I felt a comfortable affinity with the spiritual and white magic aspects of all I was doing.

     But I experienced confusion and reluctance when sometimes my energy was directed into the darker realms of the coercive or the punitive. Still, even though occasionally troubled, I put all doubts out of my mind, and for two years I trusted my elders and did as I was told.

     And then a powerful and shockingly effective spell (in which I was a principal participant) caused extreme harm to another person - - and caused me to completely reject everything I had been doing.

     I felt terrified of becoming a psychic predator. And I wanted no part of a practice that even occasionally required the development and utilization of any form of negative energy. For many years thereafter I remained an active opponent of anything supernatural.

     But times, and we ourselves, change. Our contemporary Age of Information causes cultures to blend and boundaries to disappear. The media and pop culture seem to invade every aspect of our lives. Tragically, the Gypsy autonomy that has endured through millennia is, seemingly in a single generation, being seriously eroded. It is my observation that the active Gypsy cultural presence in the United States diminishes exponentially each year.

     I apologize in advance for this generalization, but in my experience the Gypsy is, above all else, a pragmatist. And for most of us these days, it's much easier to simply not be a Gypsy. (Some strive to free themselves from ethnic labels altogether; while others find it handy to adopt some different, more sympathetic, ethnic identity.)

     But for me, that is not an option. In part because as I become more knowledgeable about my heritage I am increasingly eager to embrace it more fully than ever. And also because the Old Ones taught me that (regarding my role as Chorihani) a choice is not mine to make, I was chosen, and that is the final word on the subject. It is not a calling I can reject - - even if I am Chorihani for a group that seems to no longer exist.

     But, on a larger scale, there is a new energy on the rise. An energy represented by the ancient matriarch Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth - - the dancing, battling woman in my dreams. And as I watch, she is forming herself into a power that will change our world. I see this change as the completion of an ancient cycle: In times long gone a rough and aggressive patriarchy deposed the mystical and nurturing rule of the Sacred Feminine.

     But now, finally, the spirit of the Sacred Feminine is on the rise. Not in a vengeful or hateful way, as in one gender versus another, but in the harmonious recognition of all human kind as a species of spiritual beings.

     Even now aspects of this paradigm shift are manifesting in us: Rationality is no longer the only acceptable criteria in major decision-making. As we increasingly follow our hearts we are discovering and acknowledging the truer wisdom of intuition and emotion. New creative opportunities unfold as perceptive women and men begin to look within themselves for guidance rather than to the supposed experts of the former paradigm.

     More and more, we are simply relaxing as superficial judgmental concerns crumble into insignificance. To some extent or another, all human beings can feel the change; the subliminal comfort and nurturing radiated by the rise of the Sacred Feminine.

     We, the Gypsy people, have long retained aspects of the ancient lunar civilizations. Soulful creativity, personal independence, a trusting reliance on intuition, are traits unusually common among us.

     And as the paradigms shift I, from my personal perspective, view all this as, in many ways, the birth of a new Gypsy nation, one that transcends ethnic, gender, social, and age boundaries, and warmly welcomes all who approach.

     The elders had taught me that the divinity's summons is irresistible, and that any attempt at refusal would (and I dilute the language a little for my own comfort) not be tolerated. And more importantly, the role of Chorihani promises to be worthwhile as well as enjoyable. I've been striving to prepare myself in many ways for the past two years.

     It was in the spirit of service to this growing new reality that my film, Revolutionary Dance, was created. And, moved by the same energy, I've written several articles over the past couple years. But most of all I enjoy helping (in person or by email) individual people once again. Currently, in addition to one-time

consultations, I am working, on an on-going basis, with a limited number of women and men, mostly here on the West Coast.

     But it is with this writing, with my performance at Tribal Fest 3, and with my work-in-progress, the film Song of Salome, that I consciously and voluntarily

accept the adventure and responsibilities (and fun) as Chorihani of a New (and completely non-exclusive) Gypsy Nation.

     I am the first to admit that I, in my role as Chorihani, am just one small energy source, among many greater powers, participating as I am able in the world-changing rebirth of the Sacred Feminine.

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[Desert Spirit Films] [Monique Monet] [Ideas of Dance] [Art of Costuming] [Rev. Dance Film] [Kay's R.D.Review] [Tee-Shirts] [Mata Hari] [Nobody's Puppet!] [Free Spirit] [Tramps & Thieves] [Got The Message] [Video Baladi] [Review by Taaj] [Last Stand by Kay] [Sacred Surprise] [Video Op] [Chorihani] [Dancing For Love] [Spellbound]