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  • Writer's picturealikotree

Move for Your Magic

Updated: May 24


Your movement measures your magic.

If you're in your body, your soul is online.


 

I have a list of ten things I do for self-care weekly: sauna, cold plunge, boxing, working out, shaving, and spending time outdoors are just a few. These are my anchor practices. I can come back to these knowing they bring me joy and bring me back to my body. Dance is one of them. If I go a week without dancing for at least an hour and a half, I am unwell.


As I’ve grown in consciousness, self-awareness, and spirit over the last ten years, I’ve come more and more back into my body.

 

This has led me to do things like lose weight, learn how to listen to my body, experience deeper pleasure, feel my feelings, express my feelings, grieve, learn to speak to what I want and need, and cultivate subtle somatic awareness around what is alive in my body at any given moment.

 

“The body is not an apology.” After traveling all over the world over the last few years, I have deeply observed people's bodies and experienced countries where people are in their bodies. We are not in our bodies in the United States. Specific aspects of supremacy culture keep people from being in their body. 




There is literally no right way for bodies to look. All over the world, you find so many different kinds of bodies. There are eight billion different types of bodies. Our social conditioning that we need to look a certain way is the hardest tie to capitalism for me to break. And deep down underneath, I deeply know: as long as I am healthy, in my body, feeling good, strong, and mobile, I am beautiful.



I call my body of work around the history of capitalism "Returning to Our Houses of Magic," our houses of magic meaning the body. Capitalism was directly and systemically organized to control and subdue the body.


For example, in the early 1600's there existed both a disdain and an obsession with the body simultaneously. This era saw an obsession with the body as a machine at a time when they were attempting to maximize the amount of human labor from the proletariat. In contrast, there existed also disdain for the body due to its animalistic qualities. Enter the Victorian era stage left where farting, pooping, and burping were seen as akin to animal behavior, the cis white male body was considered the closest body to God and the control and suppression of any body that was not that of a cis white male were rampant.


Philosophers at the time, like Thomas Hobbes and Descartes, were key in influencing society's relationship to the body. Sylvia Federici in her infamous book Caliban and the Witch writes "Descartes and hobbs express two different projects with respect to corporeal reality. In Descartes, the reduction of the bod to mechanical matter allows for the development of mechanisms of self management that makes the body the subject of the will. In Hobbes, by contrast, the mechanization of the body justifies the total submission of the individual to the power of the state. In both, however the outcome is a redefinition of bodily attributes that makes the body... suited for the regularity and automatism demanded by [capitalism]." Another story of a man from the same time recounts him writing in his journal that one day, while he was peeing on a stone wall, he turned his head and saw a dog also peeing on the same stone wall. He felt instant disgust with his own body, saying it was bestial of him to be peeing like the dog. From that moment onward, every time he performed a bestial act like pooping or having sex, he would have an angelic thought to bring him closer to God, saying, "Yet I will be a more noble creature, and at the very time when my natural necessities debase me into the condition of the Beast, my Spirit shall rise and soar and fly up towards the employment of angels."


This is the foundation of what our current white supremacist culture is based on. When I say white supremacist, I mean exactly that: the idea that the white cis male human body is held in higher regard than all other bodies and a narrative that was festered during this time.




Getting back into your body is anti-capitalist. Getting back into your body is revolutionary. The more we are in our bodies, the more we are in our spirit. The more we are in our spirit, the less they can feed off our souls. The more we love our bodies, the more we love other bodies. And from there, anything is possible.

Return to your house of magic.



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