Earlier this month I was reminded of the medieval May Pole celebrations that occur on the 1st of May. The memories of my childhood celebrations of new summer dresses, flowers in our hair, and dancing the May pole in the back field came flooding back into my mind.
For those who have never seen or heard of the May Pole dance, let me give a little explanation. A large pole with multiple streamers attached at the top was erected in an open area. The streamers are twice the length of the pole and the number of streamers attached determines the number of dancers.
The dance is set up by placing the dancers so that there is male, female, male, female all the way around the circle. When the dance begins, the women take 2 steps toward the pole and turn to face the men who now form the outer circle. When the music starts, the inner circle of women moves to the left while the outer circle of men moves to the right. As you reach each partner the ribbons are alternately moved over or under to move to the next partner. The effect is to “weave” the ribbons around the pole and create the Fabric of Life that covers the central pole. When the dance is complete, the ribbons stay woven once the dancers drop the ends.
An adult revelation occurred from these fond memories. This dance requires that one half of the dancers move to the right and one half of the dancers move to the left. If everyone moved in the same direction, then nothing would be woven. It would be just a swirl of ribbons that would immediately unwind once the dancers released them.
In so many spiritual writings, I have seen the Left-Hand Path deemed as wrong or the way of terrible sin. This is true for ego-based personalities who become arrogant when Grace is infused. However, the emotion-based personality needs and thrives in an atmosphere of increasing Grace.
Chapter 42 of the I-Ching tells us that, “The One gives birth to The Two.” Duality is a fact of existence. Unlike the divine, the spiritual seeker begins in the realm of multiplicity and must work backwards to The One. The main goal of spiritual development is not to ignore or banish one of the divine energies in order to create The One. The goal is to unite, marry, or weave these two energies into a wholeness or Holiness.
The Left-Hand Path is the yin to the Right-Handed Path’s yang and a necessary part of the universal duality that creates our world.