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Some of you have probably heard this joke. It poses the age old question, “Why do hippies dance like this?” and it’s accompanied by some wild flailing on the part of the comedian. The answer is of course, “To keep the music out of their faces.” It’s funny because it’s true.

One of the thing that makes it true is the inherent understanding that the hippies in question are practicing some very basic energetic hygiene. They’re presumably on acid at a concert, which is another way of saying they’ve taken a sacrament at a ceremony. There’s going to to be a lot of energy in the space, and they are going to be open and sensitive to it. They are using their body as an instrument to channel and move that energy, most likely with an intention of increasing their joy, letting go of what is holding them back, connecting with something greater than themselves.

With a venue full of people doing that, there’s bound to be a bunch of errant vibes bouncing around all over. You definitely don’t want those in your face. Wild dancing, maybe even while holding a crystal in your hand might be the only thing keeping your sanity in check.

People with mystical sensibilities have been practicing energetic hygiene since the beginning of time. They have been clearing their spaces in a myriad of ways. They’ve used sacred plants, like frankincense and myrrh and palo santo and sage and camphor and blends for incense. They’ve been using their bodies to create rituals for purification, banishing, invocation, I’d even count chi gong as a body based purification practice that also clears your space.

If you don’t have a few space clearing practices at the tip of your tongue, I’d really suggest that you put some together. Burning sage around the perimeter of any space is a good way to start. Using a crystal or a wand or other sufficiently magical object to draw magical symbols of protection in the cardinal directions is also a good practice you can do daily. Just take the time to infuse the symbols and the direction with light and breath, and any finer points will evolve for you as you continue to work with it. If you have deities, gods, ancestors, or spirit guides to call upon for help, don’t hesitate to to that either. Light beings have a way of infusing light.

If you’d like more details, a web search will unearth a plethora of amazing ways to practice. I’ll just share one link here, and it’s one I’ve probably shared before. It’s a version of a four directions prayer by Ralph Metzner.

In closing, I’d just like you to consider that ceremony might mean a lot of things to a lot of people, and that if you try something new, you might really like it. Mystic traditions seem to be divided up into two basic camps, the ascetic and the ecstatic. The Ascetics sit quietly, restrict their food and sensory input, until they enter an altered state of consciousness. The ecstatics dance like crazy and listen to music, and feast and take mind altering substances, and end up in the same place as the other folks. There are many ways to kneel and kiss the ground, many ways to worship, explore a little, have some fun, but always make sure to keep the music out of your face.


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