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Mystical Morocco:  Desert Trance Dance Treasures and Guedra Journey

July 25 - 31, 2013

Mystical Morocco FlyerMorocco is a mystical land, filled with treasures of spirit and awakened desert visions.  It is the home of the Guedra – the mystical dancer who through sacred movement, induces a trance state to bless, heal and inspire.  Experience your inner dancing shamaness, your deep radiant beauty and a sisterhood of sacred sensuality.

Monika Nataraj and Samia Regragui guide you in this ritual journey of self-discovery through a 7-day, 6-night Mystical Dance® pilgrimage of Morocco.  A rare and unique opportunity to unveil your feminine mystery in the rhythmic pulse of these magical desert lands, July 25 – 31, 2013.  Shake, shimmy, shine, surrender, sanctify!

As a core part of the tour, you will experience the wonders of movement as mysticism, sacred photography, women’s ceremony and joyous Arabic dance celebration … creating a montage of lustrous lifetime memories!

OVERVIEW

You land in the mystical city of Essaouira in the south of Morocco. Experience life in the Medina, the old city’s quarters with its charming narrow walking streets filled with shops and cafes. Accommodation will be in a Ryad – a traditional Moroccan house, located in walking distance from  the beach and the main square.

Essaouira is famous for its music festivals and dance gatherings. Our Mystical Dance classes will delight, enliven and lift you to new heights.  Classes will be held in the heart of the city.  We will be in this wondrous location for 3 nights.

Desert NightsWe then journey by land / coach to Marrakech, the Red city, named for the Terra cotta color of the buildings, giving the whole town a constant sunset glow. Marrakech is well known for its luminosity which attracts film makers from around the world. Its animated street markets and notorious night life are quite an experience. We reside in this location for 2 nights.

From Marrakech, we venture on camels into the desert to spend 1 night under the stars. We will participate in a blessing ceremony, and dance with authentic Guedra dancers to the rhythm of live drums in the Sahara desert.

DAILY GLIMPSES

Day 1: July 25th, Essaouira

- Late morning or early afternoon arrival in Essaouira: settling in, briefing on the tour  and the area

- Free afternoon to explore, rest or enjoy the seaside

- Welcome dinner with traditional Moroccan food

- Night ceremony at the Hammam

Day 2:  July 26th, Essaouira

- Mystical Dance® Classes:  three hours morning, three hours late afternoon

- Mid-afternoon for lunch, resting or exploring

- Night ceremony with Henna

Day 3:  July 27th, Essaouira

- Mystical Dance® Classes:  three hours morning, three hours afternoon

- Mid-afternoon for lunch, resting or exploring

- Night event with local Moroccan dancers

Day 4 July 28th, Essaouira

- Mystical Dance® Classes:  three hours morning, three hours afternoon

- Mid-afternoon for lunch, resting or exploring

 - Night out to experience the Moroccan festivities

Day 5: July 29th, Marrakech

- Departure for Marrakech

- Settling in the Ryad

- Movement Classes:  3 hours

- Evening excursion to the Markets

Day 6: July 30th, Sahara Desert

- Journey to the desert by camel or option to travel by car

- Night in the desert with dance ceremony under the stars

Day 7: July 31st, Marrakech

Return to Marrakech  

Closing Mystical Dance event

(Option to extend one more night in Marrakech)

THE MYSTICAL DANCE GUIDES

Monika Nataraj is the creatrix of the unique 200-hour, 6-week Mystical Dance® Teacher Training Course.  She has brought Mystical Dance®, Tantra and Yoga workshops to 20 countries around the world and has catalyzed thousands of women to radiate more fully their Shakti potential.  She is co-founder of the Agama Yoga and Dance center in Dharamsala, India, core faculty at the Omega Institute in New York, and for the past 13 years has lived as a true “nomadic dancing mystic adventurer of the soul”.  See www.mysticaldance.net for more information.

Samia Regragui comes from a long lineage of renowned Healers from Morocco, her native land. Her life has been dedicated to Seek the many ways to help people reconnect to deeper aspects of themselves, so that they may Dance to Life and allow Life to dance through them. She has a gift to see beyond what the eyes can see and brings it out in her Mystical Photography. Samia takes people on life transforming healing journeys to Peru, Thailand, Bali, Morocco and beautiful Costa Rica where she presently resides. See www.munaway.com for more information.

INVESTMENT

We offer two price options to accommodate a flexible range of choice and budgets

$2300 per person, staying in a high-end Ryad in the old city, double occupancy.

$1700 per person, staying in a comfortable, family-run Ryad, double occupancy.

The price includes:

All lodging for 6 nights and breakfasts during the workshop.

Transportation during the workshop from Essaouira to Marrakech, the desert journey and return to Marrakech

Welcome dinner, Hamman and Henna events

Dinner event and night in the desert

Mystical Dance classes

Blessings with the Guedra Dancers

The price does not include:

Your personal transportation to Essaouira or onward travel from Marrakech at the end of the tour

Other meals or drinks other than noted (breakfasts provided daily, two evening dinners also included)

Optional gratuities for hotel and transportation staff, etc.

Limited number of participants will be accepted, so please reserve early through the deposit system.

INSTALLMENT DATES

  • $500 USD deposit due by June 1, 2013.
    • 75 percent of deposit refunded if canceled before May 1, 2013.
    • 50 percent of deposit is refunded if canceled before June 1, 2013.  No deposits returned after this time.
  • Balance due by July 5, 2013.


Funds payable by PayPal to account:  findmonika@hotmail.com.  Please let us know when you have completed this transaction so we can send you further details on what to pack, travel information, etc.

We joyously anticipate this great mystical adventure with you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GUEDRA TRADITION 
excerpted from an essay by Jasmin Jehal

The Guedra is associated with the village of Goulimine, in the southwest desert area of Morocco.  The nomads there are known as the Blue People of the Tuareg Berber.  They are so called because they wear distinctive robes of a very deep blue color, and the dye impregnates their skin, making them appear blue!

The Guedra takes its name from the drum played to keep its rhythms.  The word guedra means, "pot" in Arabic.  The drum is made of a common kitchen pot with goatskin stretched over the top.  No other instrument is played.  The dance is performed to the beat of one drum and the chanting and hand clapping of onlookers.  The rhythm is an unornamented 6, steady and hypnotic.

The purpose of the ritual is to serve as a blessing for friends or married people or to the community, or to submit the self to God.  This is very unlike the placating of spirits or exorcism found in the Zar dance.  Some say the Guedra has the power to attract a mate from miles away, drawn by the mystical rhythm of the drum.  The character of the dance is quite esoteric.  It starts with the woman looking like a shapeless black mass, representing the night, chaos, lake of understanding or cosmic energy.  The mass moves to the rhythm, becoming turbulent, representing the exaltation of an organized universe.  The hand movements speak of passion, drama, beauty, joy and sorrow, a full gamut of emotion.  Then a sudden silence restores the energy to its pre-creation void.

Usually one woman dances, surrounded by a circle of people. The dancer is on her knees with a black veil, called a haik, covering her completely.  Her hands emerge from this black "night".  In the firelight, her fingers and hands move, flicking, tapping, vibrating, sending out energy.  The movements are done with purpose, to the four directions, to the elements (heaven, earth, wind and water), and to represent time (past, present and future).  

Momentum builds and the dancer moves her body side to side in a sharp, accented manner.  It is by no means delicate ad soft.  Her braids sway. She may walk or shuffle upon her knees, but keeps all movement in the upper body.  She undulates, rotates, leans forward, straightens and backbends so that her head touches the ground.  The haik falls and the dancer appears with her eyes closed.  The rhythm accelerates.  All the spectators are frenzied, and they call out in encouragement.  The dancer throws all her energy into the exhilarating movement.  Just when the rhythm rises to a crescendo, there is an abrupt silence as the dancer collapses to the ground in a faint.  She is then replaced with another dancer.  Performing the dance may induce a hypnotic state, so that the Guedra can continue her blessings in the subtle planes.

If you are interested in learning more about the Guerda, dance teacher Morocco of New York is an excellent resource -- much of the above information is accredited to her research.  

 
 
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