“Your body is a microcosm of the universe…”

―Anna Halprin

Have you ever wondered about our place in the universe? Does contemplating the cosmos make you feel small? What if your consciousness is just a fractal representation of reality?

You’ve probably had that experience of being outside on a clear night, far from the lights of the city, where are you can look up see millions of stars and planets overhead.

Times like that are when we find ourselves wrestling with the imponderable questions like; “If there’s an edge to the universe, what’s on the other side?” or “are we alone in the universe, or might there be other habitable worlds and advanced civilizations out there?”

My old friend and dearly departed mentor Terence McKenna used to repeat a favorite quote from the physiologist J.S. Haldane. “The Universe is not only stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose.” In other words, the only thing we can count on is for the mystery to continue to recede before us.

I remember viewing a partial eclipse of the sun sometime in the early 1970s as a child living in the mountains of Colorado. We made a pinhole viewer out of a cereal box, and my dad had a welding helmet that we used for a quick peek. (note: this is not recommended, unless you are sure that the lens is gold and shade #13 or darker, like mine in the photo above.)

Lunar eclipses are somewhat more common. One of my fondest memories of one was an evening at Harbin Hot Springs in the 90’s when we were allowed to set up the sound system for the Unconditional Dance outdoors at the fire circle in the big meadow and play records under the stars as the full moon winked out behind the shadow of the earth.

Here’s a fun concept to ponder on this momentous celestial occasion. Most representations of our solar system appear as if the sun is sitting still in space and Earth and all of the planets are going around it in circular or elliptical orbits. But really, our sun is hurtling through space towards Lambda Herculis at 45,000 miles per hour.

What this means is that rather than static circles in space, the path that earth and the other planets trace through the cosmos are actually helical sine waves. One theory has it that the shape of the wave that our Earth is tracing through space is the same as the spiraling helix of our very own human DNA.

You can dive deep into the weeds of the internet and find all sorts of debate about the science and veracity of this idea, but suffice it to say, it’s another thought provoking concept that illustrates the fact that we face a larger and deeper mystery about the universe, consciousness, and the meaning of life than we are equipped to understand.

When in doubt, I recommend we go back to the idea presented byAnna Halprin at the start of this post, and recognize that we are indeed all made of stardust, and in fact each of our bodies is indeed a microcosm of the universe. And as 5Rhythms creator Gabrielle Roth said; “Between the head and feet of any given person is a billion miles of unexplored wilderness.”

Enjoy this mornings once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse, and let the spirit of stardust keep dancing in your soul. We’re all connected in the great mystery of life, and with love and kindness we spiral ever upward into the stars!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

Dance First Media Partner Spotlight – Bhakti Fest!

This week’s Dance First media partner spotlight is shining on Bhakti Fest! Coming up Sept 6-11 in the Joshua Tree desert of Southern California, this conscious gathering is a landmark in our annual festival calendar.

“Be in the Bhav” with thousands of love-filled and lighthearted friends from around the world. Bhakti Fest is known for world-class yoga teachers, amazing kirtan music, mind-expanding workshops, excellent vegetarian food, and a dynamic global marketplace.

Bhakti Fest is part of the Center for Spiritual Studies, a 501c3 nonprofit that supports charities across the globe, mainly in India. The fest is a “drug and alcohol free vehicle for evolution of human consciousness through a heart-centered revolution.”

Join Dance First member Amara Pagano, yoga stars Seane Corn, Janet Stone, Mark Whitwell, Jules Febre, Hemalayaa Behl, Johanna Beekman and many others, kieran stars Adam Bauer, Ananda Rasa, Arjun Baba, Cala Marina, David Newman and more, and a wealth of featured workshop leaders and sound healing artists as well.

Bhakti Fest is very kid-friendly and family oriented, enjoy the swimming pool and free filtered drinking water, and camp out beneath the stars or stay at one of the many accommodations on and offsite.

Make this your year to participate and connect with community in the spectacular Southern California desert oasis of Joshua Tree! Bhakti Fest offers student, senior, military, and local resident discounts, so make your plans today to attend the fall’s premier conscious gathering.

Bhakti Fest Website