The San Trance Dance

The San Trance Dance experience with Sean Caulfield and aspects of the Mayan calendar - 2012


I participated and danced in the Trance Dance Ceremony with the San/Bushmen of Ghansi Botswana in early August 2012 and upon reflection I align this with my understanding of the consciousness of our times, also sharing about the Mayan calendar that maps the evolution and transformation of the Tree of Life. Above is a photo of San/Bushmen Elder Xhara, and my friend Gary Trower and myself Sean Caulfield at the Kuru Dance Festival in Botswana, August 2012.

Xhara, Sean and Gary

"The ancient Trance Dance Ceremony is performed for the purpose of healing the San/Bushmen community and this resonance aligns sacredly to the roots of the Tree of Life of humankind for our collective healing."
When I entered the sacred Trance Dance circle that I had only ever seen in the Rock Art Paintings of the ancient San/Bushmen, I knew that I was guided to embrace this opportunity. (At the bottom of this article is a replica of a San Rock art painting explained by Gary Trower) It was the feeling of the dance; and the rhythm of the singing and clapping that absorbed me and drew my ancient heart to connect stronger than ever with my spirit and an inner knowing that I would be welcomed, regardless. I asked permission as I entered the circle and Xhara, a San/Bushmen Elder said yes, come join.
This all came about because of my hosting of my friend John Graham from 

Ireland. John came to Southern Africa for 3 weeks to honour his ancestors by reconnecting with the ancient roots of humanity. You can read about John's experience with the San/Bushmen and more in his articles at his website called Sacred Play. and John writes about our journey up the East Coast of South Africa to the foot of the Drakensberg mountains.


Flint) to fetch my friend Gary Trower who was to be of great help in introducing us to the San/Bushmen Elders, who he knows very well in Botswana. Gary has a great passion of the San/Bushmen culture and his shamanic teachers are San/Bushmen, including Xhara.


After quite a long drive of 2500 km from Cape Town we arrived via Bloemfontein and Kang, in Ghansi where the Dance was to take place. We spent 3 days here experiencing something that words can't quite explain, only to say that the experience is the power. The venue is on a piece of land given to the San/Bushmen community called Dqae Qare San Lodge

Upon arrival we set up tent and got a feel for the place. Many different San clans came from South Africa, Namibia and Botswana and on the evening of 3rd August = (7-Ahau/Light/Sun) the dance started. The main dance was held in an arena that at times housed roughly 500 people, mostly citizens of Botswana and roughly 40 to 70 western or European people. The dance continued on the Saturday with an official opening address by the vice president of Botswana. The festival finished at 9 in the evening of Saturday the 4th August = (8-Imix/Alligator) with a performance by the San/Bushmen with their musical instruments. We were not given permission to take photo's or video footage of the dance but I made this YouTube with myself talking just as the dance was finishing on the night of the 3rd August with only the full moon and some sounds of the Dance in the background. It was the following evening of the 4th August that I got to experience the sacred healing energy of the Trance Dance with the San/Bushmen women and men. I had incredible visions, among them a big gigantic white tree, the size being over 2 kilometers tall, but before that, the previous evening of Friday the 3rd August, just after we got together with a few peoples around a fire and two San/Bushmen Elders and did an opening prey, I saw a big Medicine Wheel in the Universe and a white light from the Medicine Wheel came down to the land we were on. As if the Cosmos was aligning in anticipation.


On the night of the 3rd August, the night before I danced in the Trance Dance circle with the San/Bushmen, I had the sacred experience of sitting in circle with Xhara (who can be seen in the attached photo with myself and Gary). Xhara is a San/Bushmen Elder who is a leader of his community near Ghansi in

Botswana. We spoke about the consciousness of life in the world today. I explained to him my consciousness about how I felt how important the healing energy of the San/Bushmen Trance Dance is and he said yes, it brings unity and healing into the heart of his community. I also shared how this connects with the collective Tree of Life of humankind and I told him how important his peoples dance is for the roots of the Tree of Life. He was in agreement, although he had not heard my version and seemed willing to except how important the dance of the San/Bushmen is for the collective consciousness of humankind. Also in our circle were some other San/Bushmen Elders who could not understand our broken Afrikaans communication, Xhara translated our exchange in his San/Bushmen tongue.

When I arrived at the Trance Dance at about 9pm on the evening of the 4th I sat down and connected in meditation and prey, asking for guidance and protection. The Trance Dance was already in full swing. Including John and Gary, there where also a few European women Elders on pilgrimage who were in attendance. I was guided to sit in reflection and all of a sudden I was drawn into clapping and singing to the rhythm. Whilst doing this I continued in reflection for about an hour. I saw how things unfolded with the men dancing around the fire and the women clapping and holding the rhythm, at times it got very intense and the men would fall over into Trance states. As there spirits transcended there bodies, a Medicine women or man would come to comfort them and hold them. Eventually after roughly 5 minutes or longer there spirit would realign with there bodies and they would become conscious of there surroundings again, Gary explains about this at the bottom of this article.

I entered the Trance Dance circle after just over and hour into my experience of being there. While I was inside the sacred Trance Dance circle moving and dancing to the sacred rhythm I had to let go of my inhibitions and not worry about what others might have thought. There were about 5 San/Bushmen men and about 12 to 15 women sitting in a circle, mostly Elders. It seemed at first that I was not welcomed to be dancing with the other San/Bushmen men in the sacred circle and I heard a few laughs and giggles from the women. Then after about 10 minutes it seemed attention had shifted and I found myself drifting away from feeling self aware. All of a sudden one San/Bushmen woman touched me as I was dancing around the heat of the sacred fire. I looked down and she pointed to her legs. Well, I thought, what am I to do. She urged me to rub her legs, as if she was in pain, so I went down on my knees and started to rub her calves and then she pointed to her knees. All the while the dance continued, very loud at times, but powerful. I looked into her eyes and she with a straight face gazed at me saying nothing. She had a sad face and did not smile; I kept a connection with her eyes and kept a straight face. I had a lump in my throat. She seemed not happy and very serious. I kept on rubbing her legs and it was at that point that I knew what I had to do, my guidance brought me to consciously pray to Great Spirit, with permission I was guided to feel loving healing energy and remove the ill from her physical being, putting it into the fire for it to be transmuted into the ethers of Great Mystery. It was as if I was remembering something from the ancientness of my spirit. Something had shifted between us. She being the mirror of who I am acknowledged this and I pointed my thumb up and smiled and she did the same. That was the first and only smile I got from her. We did not exchange words, only a vibration. I was later to learn that she is HIV positive but seems to be holding her own and in good health.

I re-entered the circle after that 15 minute interaction and felt I needed to reconnect with the singing, clapping and the dancing of my feet with the rattles strapped around my ankles. From my understanding it was very symbolic that the rattles were strapped around my ankles that moved my feet, connecting to the soul. Shaking the rattle connects to spirit and brings an alignment to soul retrieval; this is part of the power for the healing aspect of the Trance Dance for the San/Bushmen.

All of a sudden I was grabbed by another women and it felt much easier to interact with her request of me seeing to some pains she had in her upper back and this interaction happened a few times over, with the women.

I also had an experience with one man who fell over onto me in Trance and I held him for a while but another San/Bushmen man came to take over. Now I had been inside the circle for at least an hour and I decided to exit the circle and gather myself and my breath too. I stood watching in reflection and continued to clap and stomp my feet, keeping the connection with primordial EARTH MOTHER, and keeping to the fluctuating rhythm.

In this ancient San/Bushmen dance I see something more, it is in the stomping of the feet on the soil of the ground that a connection and synchronization comes with the ancientness of prehistoric primal energy of Mother Earth. This primal or primordial energy aligns us to the path of our evolutionary heritage which connects us to all life on earth from our beginnings and the dance connects us to honoring the path walked, swam and flu by all Creations Creatures.

This ancient primal energy is Imix/Alligator(Dragon), being the first of 20 sacred aspects of the Mayan Calendar, the new resonance of Creations Consciousness is fully pulsating from the beginning of all levels of the Mayan calendar, allowing for the beginning of a New Age. (I share more about Imix at the bottom) The 9 levels of the Mayan calendar ended in its mapping of the growth of life to maturity on 28th October 2011 but this did not mean the world ended. The Mayan calendar is now not only continuing, all the cycles that have reached fruition, start again so as to connect with our primal beginnings, this is resonating a frequency that is pulsing to be 100% centered to Divine Source's original plan of Oneness, with all 9 levels transcending 13, being the 7 Days and 6 Night of each of the 9 levels of the pyramid of time of the Mayan calendar, where anything not in alignment with being in sacred relation and maturity, will feel unbalanced. The Mayan calendar that maps the evolution of the Universe has reached it's full unbounded potential that has taken 16.4 Billion years to manifest to completion through to the "All Seeing Eye" at the top of the pyramid, which we now have the potential to see all truth through. This process has been overwhelming, the revolution of our understanding is asking us to shift our consciousness by such a degree that we have to get out of our minds and truthfully and fully into our hearts. The new understanding of life is relentless in revealing all that was hidden. Transparency, trust and truth are the words now fully resonating through Creation's Divine will. The 9 Cosmic Deities of each level are fully manifested to 13(completion), birthing as rhythmic energies of Creations Divine Will, fully manifested for the first time ever and shifting everything into Divine alignment to the infinite Source and origins of life. Hence, in order to bring a balance everything has to be revealed in its truth and this is why chaos is happening in the world as we see it, because so much has been manipulated. The sacred Trance Dance of the San/Bushmen serves humanities consciousness so as to resonate in Divine alignment with the entire universe and all Creations Divine Purpose through the roots of the Tree of Life of humanity.

We as consciousness may be feeling vulnerable, this can also be because we have exited the structure of the 9 levels that held things in place, now we are left to make our own structure that will happen successfully through our hearts truth. Thus we are finding out what serves our highest good. After more reflection as to what the completion of the 9 level structure means, it could also be that the structure is all being held in Divine Order. Which is our hearts truest DIVINE truth.

To learn more about the 9 levels of the Mayan calendar that completed on 28th October 2011(13-Ahau), read the books of Dr. Carl Johan Calleman and you can go to his website.

I had been at the Dance for about 4 to 5 hours and was quite exhausted, I could not tell the time but I think it was 1:30 am, I decided to retreat as my heart felt to, the San/Bushmen were all still deeply immersed in alignment to there ancient Trance Dance that was passed down by there ancestors alignment to Creator/Source. The San/Bushmen acknowledged me with happy faces and I said thank you for sharing your open hearts and allowing me to dance with you. I walking 1 kilometre roughly back to my camp. By the time I was about to fall asleep an hour had passed and still I heard the Trance Dance continuing powerfully. I woke up at sunrise and still the dance was continuing, I thought, what a powerful energy I am feeling. I had admiration for the San/Bushmen who had made a profound Universal connection. It was at roughly 6:30am that the San/Bushmen eventually completed the Trance Dance healing ceremony on the morning of the 5th August (9-Ik/Wind = communication). Thank you to the selfless and humble San/Bushmen first people, the roots of the Tree of Life of Humankind for honouring there hearts ancient call, to perform this sacred Trance Dance so as to spiritually retrieve those lost parts of the collective Soul from the Ethers of Great Mystery, allowing for wholeness, bringing the truth to our collective consciousness so as to stand up for the changes that will serve for the highest greatest good of all Crestion. This world's transition of 2011/2012 is all about reclaiming our hearts truth that we have lost through past fear, but no longer does fear rule unless we allow this. We are all Divine Beings and together we are One in diversity.

In reflection I noticed how supportive the San/Bushmen are of each other in the Trance Dance, the love is so strongly felt and the bond is powerful, the San/Bushmen in their dance continually keeping a connection by holding and touching each other while in there strongly flowing spiritual movement. I noticed the rhythm, and how it fluctuated, as if connecting cosmically with some Divine Source Energy, something not to be figured out, something which just is. To think that this is one of our most ancient cosmic connections through the sacredness of singing and dancing to the continual movement of Creations evolution and the growth of the Infinite Universe that is mirrored in the light of our spirit and Soul from the Origins/Source of time of "Our Sacred Universe" link to a group I set up.¬if_t=like

One could say that this is one of the original dances and songs that brought our collective consciousness to consciously imagine a future by co creatively dreaming it into the reality of the "Now", thus "Dancing the Dream Awake". This is similar to the ancient rock paintings which where created because of the people who painted these paintings having an imagination, for future. Similar to the Mayan calendar which was Divinely created as a message for the consciousness of the future, for the consciousness of themselves/ourselves in the future (because we are all One and time is an illusion), so as to "Now " be conscious of the bigger picture. So we can have some kind of understanding, so as to make some sort of sense of the Mystery of life. This all aids the balance of life, Creations purpose is always to provide for what is needed, so as to further evolve. We are dreaming the landscape in to being. Thank you to our ancestors for dreaming the landscape.

After the Dance Festival we departed the camp to travel back to South Africa and arrived in Witdraai just north of Uppington. On the morning of 7th August (11-Kan/Lizard/Seed) we walked to greet the "Tree of Faith" with the Bushmen. John came to fulfill his personal journey and he shares about this in his article.

Here is a small extract from what John wrote, "Then, although I hadn't anticipated this prior to last night's dream, a Point of Creation opens at the centre of my spiritual Heart and a pure drop of the purged essence of my post/modern human sensibility pours out and down through the roots of the Tree into the Heart of Earth. As it does, I become aware of myself as a human embodiment of the Tree's abstracted structure, with kundalini/serpent/dragon energies racing up my spine. I am also aware of the physical tree before me in all its symbolic resonances. A prayer of apology, gratitude, forgiveness and love follows on behalf of all people, together with a plea for creative renewal. I am kneeling like a mountain, very strong, by the time this moment comes. The sequence ends with a pledge of my dreaming to the fulfilment of Earth's Highest Dream.

When this has finished I think to relax but the Point of Creation at the centre of my Heart opens once again of its own accord and a voluminous stream of liquid crystalline Light gushes out into the roots of the Tree of Faith/Life. Soon after, I open my eyes. All is silent and calm. The sun is shining more strongly and only a slight wind blows. Everyone is bowed in prayerful devotion. Izak is the first to stir. He has been crying and takes a handkerchief to dry his eyes. Lys, also tearful, gets up and walks around the tree. Each of us slowly finds our own way back. I stay kneeling and intuit that the first fruit of this seed will come in the Drakensberg next week.

For now we form a circle. Izak says that I went to the dance to learn about Bushman culture and then came here to pray. Now the seed has been planted and will grow. He also says that the Bushmen will dream about me. These words come as a surprise. Through all my preparation I never anticipated what the human aftermath might be. I am used to ignorant intellectuals ignoring or presuming to correct me but now, nourished by the Heart depth of these First People, I am Home. Izak and I walk back arm in arm. He says that I am walking with an old Bushman in the red sand. I feel that I am walking as one.

Gheert comes to our tent with Sean a couple of hours later, while I am still making notes. He looks like the humblest of men but is also somewhat retiring around the sharp energies of the Afrikaans Lodge where we are camped. He takes a palm-sized stone from his pocket and, mumbling something, hands it to Sean. Sean passes it to me with a translation: 'He says that if you look at this every morning when you wake up, you will think oh him and he will be in your Heart.' One side of the stone bears the most exquisitely executed depiction of a Bushman with their Sacred Animal, the Eland. It has been signed by the artist who is also its bearer – a small tramp-like figure, almost furtive in this alien world. I become the most humbled of men as he embraces me with his deep and ancient love."

Two San/Bushmen Izak and Lys(Lydia), who are the spiritual leaders of there Khomani San/Bushmen community live here and shared a message in a YouTube. They have since told me that they have opened a healing center for there people and welcome all to visit.

There was a time when in the Trance Dance circle when I closed my eyes and let go, the rhythm took me but I was still quite self aware and will say that I could have fallen over myself, but something in me stayed aware enough to keep conscious, although I had energetically shifting experiences and saw amazing visions. I know that this was the first time and more Trance Dance experiences will call to my ancient heart. This experience is more sacred than words can express.

It is my understanding that some San/Bushmen communities perform the Trance Dance on a weekly basis.

On the completion part of our journey of South Africa we came across some whales, the record keepers of time. Here is a short YouTube. The whale eventually appears... Whale - Record Keeper. Through the rhythm and patterns of sound Whale teaches us to hear our inner voices, to be in touch with our personal truths, and thus to know the wisdom and feel the heartbeat of the Universe

I plan to attend more San/Bushmen Dance Festival's

Here is what Gary Trower wrote about the ancient Trance Dance rock paintings.


“(Moquoma means Blood Dance, due to the fact that the shamans' noses would often bleed when entering the trance state) The Trance Dance is an important spiritual aspect of Bushmen beliefs and religion. It creates an important sacred healing space, which facilitates as a doorway or portal into the spirit world. Although hallucinogenic plants may have been used to assist in entering the Trance State, most participants enter this state of consciousness through the combined effects of singing, dancing, clapping and rhythm. The woman do the singing and clapping in a circle or semi-circle, surrounding the men on the outside who dance in the center around the fire, but this was not a strict rule as woman could also become shamans in San culture and join in the dance at any time. During the dance a supernatural potency called !noom is called up from below the naval, concentrated, purified and refined to a point of ecstasy, where the shamans potency boils to a fiery heat. This can then be channeled for healing by the laying of hands in a balancing flow of electric energy, like the rhythms of the oceans, like the life
force entering or exiting our lungs. In trance the shaman "dies", as his spirit becomes so detached from his physical body and travels vast distances into other dimensions. The shaman Spirit is free, he need never return to the physical world of hardship. Yet out of selflessness or the wanton desire to enlighten, heal and help his community with knowledge from higher levels of spiritual consciousness, he returns to this physical world and rises again from the dead, like the moon anew every month. Reborn rejuvenated, arisen.”
Without the roots you do not have a tree that will survive. Our roots are the first peoples of Earth, there ancient teachings and ceremonies are what resonates and feeds the collective with nourishment from the soil of the Universal garden of Great Mystery. We can all help make the soil rich by giving back without attachment, our heart will guide us.
The full evolution that we have just reached according to the Mayan calendar is the full “Revolution” that allows for the sacred circle of life to complete and thus resonate through to the beginning of all Creation, thus the completion of all 9 levels of the Mayan calendar has brought us as consciousness to realign to a new beginning through Imix/Alligator.
So what is Imix/Alligator to the consciousness of the Mayan calendar? Wetness, Earth Monster(Dragon), Water Lily, Crocodile. Spiny One or Caiman. She is the First Mother, her place is where Sky and Earth meet the Ocean in the salty waters of the mangrove and water lily covered estuaries. She is the occult powers of the Feminine principles of abundance and regeneration. She is the spirit of rain and water. Imix, water and wetness, is symbolized by the water lily and canoe-tipping Caiman who were the adornment and rulers of theses waters. The Ceiba trees grew as the pillars that held the sky above the earth. Like the Caiman, the Ceiba is also spiny backed. Like the spines on the back of the Caiman and Ceiba, the volcano mountains rose out of the Great Sea to create the Earth. Imix is a day so ancient it precedes the cultivation of maize, a world in which humans lived off the abundance of the Earth Mother through hunting and gathering all they needed for sustenance, shelter and sacrifice. A day of the Source of life, Mother Energy, Primal Waters, Blood, Nurture and sustenance. A time to clean oneself of negative chargers that have built up within us.
Consciousness is blown by Ik/Wind into “movement and life” from the 23rd October 2012, into the next Tun of 360 days. So 360 days of 2-Ik/Wind creates a reaction and is the breath of life, the North Wind, the ripening and harvesting wind of the maize fields as well as the “Lords of Dust”. The spirit or vital energy that moves this world towards change. Wind is the breath of life, without breath there is no life, without wind there is no movement and movement brings transformation. Wind moves life on Earth. Wind is a day of the altars, nature, air, spirit and earth. A good day to ask for our negativity, suffering and sorrows to be taken away and a day to ask that we may grow spiritually and that our path be cleared before us and a day to revitalize our lives.
The completion of 7th day, that was the 13th cycle of all the 9 levels met at a still point in time on 28th October 2011, allowing for total maturity, total fruition and thus the fruits of the Tree of Life are now fully ripened, ready to disperse it's seeds and now dispersing its new fully evolved sacred seeds. In a sense the 9 levels, which mirror the evolution and creation of the Universal Tree of Life, has set the foundation for the lives we will now live. We are the fruits and seeds, and it is up to us how we further evolve and grow. Regarding the Mayan calendar understandings I am busy putting together a website.