Participating in this sort of ceremony guides you to transform, shed all of your worries and connect to your spiritual sovereignty.
For over three decades, Anandha Ray was a dance choreographer, international dance director and dance therapist.
After her professional dance career, she traveled around the world to engage and study in indigenous rituals and ceremonies. Throughout her travels she connected to the Egyptian Goddess Isis, the goddess of dance, and became an ordained Priestess of Isis. Following her research, she created a genre of dance called "Shamanic Fusion Dance."
Known as the "medicine of the soul and the ancient rituals of the future." This style of dance was created as a form of dance therapy and healing.
Ray has helped participants with anger, depression and trauma.
"In this form of dance you are connecting to the core of your very self. We ask people to bring forth their movement, bring forth their ideas and bring forth their expressions so they are connecting very deeply within that core," said Anandha Ray. "When people attend their first ceremony they will come to me and say that they feel like they just did ten years of therapy and I understand that fully because you dive fully into the presence of who you are and you let go of judgments."
Ray combined her love for dance and snakes after attending a Serpent Ceremony at a retreat in Oregon. "I thought this is what I want to do," said Ray. "It (snake) is not a prop. We're dancing with it as a partner and it allows us to completely and fully present and I recognized the value of bringing in the serpent into a ceremony."
"The magic of the serpent is the surprise of how tame and gentle they actually are when you are bonding with them," said Chaya Kornreich, Serpent Ceremony Leader. "Through this technique of movement, you move in the way that you are guided to and you discover new ways to move. Within that discovery of freedom, movement and non-judgment you rediscover parts of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually."
A Serpent Ceremony begins with a smoke blessing that allows the participant to enter into a ceremonial space. Everyone engages in the ritual and is taught the basic techniques of Shamanic Fusion Dance. The Serpents are later brought into the ceremony once all participants dance and bond as a group.
"I feel like it taught me how to be a better human being," said Naia Riley, Ceremony Leader. "During the Ceremony there was this opportunity for people to walk out and stand and be seen by everyone. To be seen and to have people looking at you with absolute love and compassion is something that fills me in a way that no matter amount of likes of any photo will ever give me."
Ray's collection and love of snakes has also expanded and she currently has 11 snakes in her home.
"They make great pets," said Ray. "You have to understand snakes but once you understand them they are great magical creatures."
"They're gentle and they're loving! The first time she put a snake in my hands I was absolutely transformed and all the fears melted," said Kim Mears, a Serpent Ceremony participant. "I would describe this as being absolutely life-changing and transformative. It's amazing medicine that I definitely recommend to everybody."
Anandha Ray's Serpent Ceremonies started in the East Bay and is carrying this form of movement and medicine to the Los Angeles area. To join the next Serpent Ceremony. Visit her website.