‘Hey love!’ says the young guy standing next to me waiting to cross at the traffic lights, ‘give us a smile!’
I obliged toothily, and asked them what they were up to that evening in hearty ‘I’m old enough to be your mum’ tones.
‘Dunno yet,’ said his mate who was sporting a magnificent afro, ‘how about you?’
‘I’m off to some mad new age thing at the Town Hall,’ I replied, honest to the point of stupidity, ‘something to do with the full moon.’
This did not seem to freak them out at all.
‘Full moon eh?’ said Afro, ‘Yeah man, that’s when the animal comes out!’
‘The wolf?’ I say walking right into their trap.
‘No,’ says ‘Fro with a rather unexpected, vigorous pelvic thrust, ‘the python!’
I grin, genuinely amused, more by their shrieks of laughter, high five-ing and back slapping than the actual ‘joke’.
Little did I know that this would be the least cheesy thing I hear all night.
It was Saturday and once again the full moon was upon us, and once again chaos ruled.
What should have been a ‘one hour’ errand that morning took nearly three.
I smashed a favourite bowl.
Every shit driver in a 50 mile radius was out on the road.
Gormless eejits kept walking out in front of my car.
My sat nav was playing silly buggers, got me lost and then made me drive in a bus lane.
By evening, I was extremely jittery and irate.
‘So Moon,’ I told it that night as it peeked out cheekily from behind a cloud, ‘if I can’t beat you, I’m going to have to try kissing your big yellow ass.’
Which is why I found myself queueing to get into this strange, shamanic, ‘OM Spiritual New Moon’ event.
Organised by people with such names as Chairman OM (I bet that’s not on his birth certificate), Iamlove, Shaman Val and Kundalini Chakra LOVE, I was led to expect by a mate of mine that there would be a bit of Om-ing, some meditation which would then lead into some ecstatic dancing.
I’d done ecstatic dancing once before, but it was with people I knew, so it didn’t matter that I laughed my ass off and fooled around like a four year old, but not sure whether I’d get away with doing the same here.
As we approached the entrance I was greeted by a huge pile of shoes. Normally I don’t mind going bare foot, but this was hardly the most salubrious part of London, and these sandals weren’t cheap, but I kicked them off reluctantly, hoping that they’d still be there when I was done.
As we entered the room, it was practically throbbing with loud new age music, and someone with what looked like a big flaky cigar was waving it around people, wafting the smoke at them in seemingly some kind of ritual.
‘Is that a joint?’ I asked a pretty woman with a flowery band (yes, honestly) tied around her head.
‘Nah,’ she said in heavily accented English, ‘its called a……..cleansing……stress, worries, yes?’
I nod getting the gist of it, despite hardly being able to hear or understand a word she was saying. I was just pleased I have someone to talk to. She told me her name was Stephania.
‘I’m just going to get some water, want some?’ I make a drinking gesture and she smiles and nods.
Making my way over to the bar, I’m immediately accosted by a very tall, very thin man.
‘Hi! I know you, yes I do, I know you yes? I think I know you, I know you well….,’ he said, and then as if in awe, he whispered, looking soulfully into my eyes ‘…do you know me?’
There must be a name for guys like these who use the opportunity to exploit the whole ‘peace and love’ ethos as a way to try and get under women’s kaftans without getting a slap round the chops. I can think of one at any rate.
‘No, this is my first time, but anyway, I’ve got to take this back to my friend…’
‘I’d like to get to know you anyway, beautiful goddess, see you later….’
The music is even louder now and what with the addition of a few ethnic instruments, making Stepania even harder to understand. It was a bit like trying to communicate with a beautiful, female Cousin It, albeit post a trip to the hairdressers and wearing a bandana.
You might remember, I asked a week or so ago whether there was anything worse than having to do small talk?
There is; small talk with half the words drowned out by a fucking didgeridoo.
That said, I managed to figure out that Stephania is an Angel therapist (and actually earns money from it) and a mum of one. We are then joined by ‘Ace’ who has taken a year off work (sacked like me, eh?) and is thinking about doing a law degree?! Must be more lonely than spiritual methinks. I get it though, and my heart goes out to him a little.
Then along comes Gus who seemed nice enough, but within five minutes he’s hinting at ‘couch surfing’ at mine, so that he can stay till the end of the party.
I think not. He could be a serial killer for all I know.
An hour had passed, and I was getting bored. I stank of smoke that wasn’t even spliffy, was tired of ‘guess the missing word’ small talk and really wanted a proper drink, when a rather dishevelled chap whom I believed to be Chairman OM, asked us all to sit on the floor and form a circle.
At last! Something was occurring.
We all sat down, crossed legs and congregated around a little circle of stones, flowers and candles (that the air conditioning kept blowing out) and Iamlove takes to the floor, and introduces herself.
‘Hello seekers! I am Iamlove (I swear I’m not making this up) and would like to welcome you to this most auspicious of evenings. This is an Aquarious moon which is all about making decisions, gaining courage and taking that leap forward (wow, very apt actually) because everything is coming to a head (again, true) for you to discover what you are here for and how best to serve the planet and in two weeks time you need to be ready to move with the new Leo moon with confidence and joy.’
This is all spookily relevant. And whilst people like this are piss taking catnip to me, and even though this woman has a stupid name, is dressed like a Woodstock reject and has rainbow hair, what she is saying is making perfect sense.
‘So, now I’ve updated you on the planets, we’ll do some Chakra meditation, and we’ll OM along with the Singing Ringing Bowls…..’
Rewind that. Singing Ringing what? I remember ‘The Singing Ringing Tree’ with the girl, the dwarf, a massive fish and the bear thing, but this is a new one on me. A bowl that sings?
‘….then Ulrika Seahorse will channel a song for us, and Shaman Mother will lead us into the sacred chant. And then brothers and sisters, we will dance and celebrate!’
Everyone whoops and cheers and we all clasp hands.
I’m holding Stephania’s which is fine, but the guy next to me, no doubt in an effort to look intensely spiritual, insists on holding both of our hands up in the air and I don’t seem to have any say in the matter.
We’re then told to close our eyes and some woman start keening away in some language or other along with a wind instrument. It’s all rather lovely and atmospheric except my left hand is starting to cramp, so inevitably I can’t lose myself in the meditation because all I can think about is slamming both mine and this dickhead’s hand to the floor with a thump. Also my bony arse is starting to go numb. I shift miserably from cheek to cheek.
After about 20 minutes this ringing noise starts up, everyone starts to OM, and it’s actually pretty powerful. I make an executive decision to forget my manners and let my left hand go floppy so that this stupid bastard takes all the strain, so I can start to enjoy the experience.
Then Ms Seahorse is up, who thankfully allows us to reclaim possession of our hands. My lovely neighbour on my left give me a pained glance but I just beam at him sweetly. It was your choice to keep it up pal, not mine.
‘What’s up Walthamstow?’ she yells, strutting around as if she was Beyonce or something and everyone whoops and cheers.
‘Most of you will know the ‘Magnificent Acceptance’ song but for those of you who don’t, you’ll soon pick it up. So let’s join hearts, minds and….’
Please God, not hands again?
‘….souls and raise the roof!’
I’m not even going to insult your intelligence by telling you the lyrics of this song, but to give you some idea of just how cheesy it was, some of the words were:
Just as I you are
<I was lying about the last word 😉 >
So, terribly cliched and kind of nauseating. This goes on for a good half hour and I’m starting to lose both my buzz and the will to live.
Then mercifully it ends and Shaman Mother comes on to cheers, whoops etc in a kind of tribal outfit complete with faux lion skin, possibly made out of a market stall ‘Lion King’ onesie.
‘First of all, get comfortable! If you want to lie down, this is the time to do it.’
‘Synthetic lion woman, I love you….,’ I think as I stretch out gratefully on the floor.
‘I have some amazing news! Someone very special gave these to me’ she hold up a couple of bottles to a chorus of oohs and ahhs ‘and I in turn will gift them to you. Tonight brothers and sisters, you will be sprayed with Venus. Now please close your eyes’
Given that this whole evening was getting more and more like an episode of Ab Fab, I’m not even that surprised by this claim. In fact I’m delighted to be sprayed by Venus, Mars, Uranus or any other fucking planet juice because it was like a greenhouse in there.
Shaman Motha starts burbling on about Venus and Mars and how we all have both qualities and about five minutes in I feel a spritz of something flowery mist over my face.
SM is talking ridiculous nonsense but her voice is soothing and hypnotic and I start to relax into things again and drift off…..
Suddenly a feral howling fills the air, which gets shriller and shriller and culminates in a scream, and I sit up so quickly I nearly sustain whiplash.
Lion Queen is rolling around the stage, screaming, looking like she’s about to give birth and I’m the only one with eyes open, staring at her in disbelief.
There is no doubt about it, if I had been there with a friend, I would have cracked up laughing by now, but seemingly being the only one in the hall that was finding this all a little odd, it was actually quite chilling.
I quickly flatten down before I catch her eye, and lie there waiting for her to be done.
Pretty soon, her shrieks of agony subside and we all open our eyes and get up.
There is a brief intermission and then the music starts and every gets up and starts throwing shapes and genuinely ‘dancing like no one else is watching’.
I try too, and I do manage to let go a little bit and get into the music, but not as much as the others who are seriously hurling themselves around and look pretty, well, joyful, despite the fact that they look like a Dad at a working man’s club wedding reception.
Iamlove is kind of rapping over the music (cringe!), saying mystical, positive stuff and so forth, and every now and then she shouts ‘Rising, rising, rising, RISING!’ presumably referring to the Kundalini and everyone jumps up and down and goes apeshit.
Not Mrs Mojo here though 😦 No rising for me, alas.
And when I come to think about it, I honestly feel more ecstatic dancing to Ceilidh music, House or Soul than any of this New World stuff.
Then Ulrika Sealion or whatever her bloody name was, danced around the floor bonging this big drum at each dancer who all beamed and gyrated wildly in response. Then the poor cow came over to me and her face fell, no doubt noticing that I was far from ecstatic, whacked the thing at me a couple of times, then went off to find a more appreciative audience.
After an hour or so, I was absolutely melting plus I was bored shitless, so I gave up the ghost, snuck off to find my sandals, and slunk out of the door for the last bus home feeling pretty disappointed all in all.
As I walked from the bus stop to my flat I could help thinking that the more I tried to find God via something or someone the more he/she evaded me. Were all of those people really writhing in ecstasy or where they faking it? Are all those OM people with the pseudo spiritual names really in touch with the Almighty or have they just found a way to make a fast buck from gullible folk?
I honestly don’t know.
Maybe it is my karma to have to work really hard before God reveals him/herself to me?
Sad, I look up to the sky and the moon glows smugly, and almost seems to nod in agreement.
‘Oh, fuck off you!’ I tell it crossly, and go inside for a cold, much deserved glass of vino.
Ass kissing is thirst work y’know, and if I being a hippy chick means I can’t have booze, then they can stick their kundalini where the moon don’t shine.