Astrology as an Artistic Practice: As It Is Made, So It Makes
Online webinar produced by Inner Sense Healing Arts as part of the Chicago Astrology Speaker Series
Sunday, 16 May 2021, 3:00-4:30pm eastern (2:00-3:30pm central)
You can now purchase the recording of this presentation as a digital download.
Astrology is a fundamentally creative practice in which we craft meaning, developing compositions with the materials of light and spacetime, archetypes and symbols, words upon words articulating connections between celestial phenomena and earthly experiences. The development of astrological interpretations and delineations is never reducible to a cypher of one-to-one correspondences, like a code in the sky awaiting decryption. Rather, doing the work of astrology is more like creating and interpreting art, generating perspectives that did not exist prior to our careful engagement with the sky and our intentional sense-making and choice-making in the spaces between determinacy and indeterminacy. In this talk, astrologer and artist Michael J. Morris will discuss what can be generative in considering astrology as an artistic practice. With a PhD in Dance Studies and many years teaching in both the arts and humanities, they will invite us to ask: what frameworks for understanding the production of knowledge do we prioritize when we consider the field of astrology, and how might frameworks for knowledge production that are particular to the arts allow us to not only understand more of what we do with astrology but also to destabilize the preeminence of ways of knowing that often dominate discussions of our field?
Witchdancing for Beltane
Sunday, 2 May 2021, 5pm eastern on Zoom
Facilitated by Michael J. Morris
Original soundscore by Moxy Martinez
In honor of Beltane, in celebration of the abundant life of springtime and the fires of the lengthening days in the northern hemisphere, we will gather together in an hour-long movement ritual practice called Witchdancing, with time for conversation and sharing afterward. This practice asks: what if a dance is also a spell with which we conjure our bodies and the worlds in which they live? In Witchdancing, we move through a continuous series of images, qualities, and states, engaging in a metamorphosis of the body. The movement is improvisational and requires no previous dance experience. Witchdancing emerges from nearly 20 years of practice in both witchcraft and Butoh—a postmodern Japanese dance form—and it is inspired by the work of Alkistis Dimech, Tatsumi Hijikata, Kazuo Ohno, Anna Halprin, and Keith Hennessy.
This event is donation based.
As a participant in reparative justice, this event is free to all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
I ask that all others donate to support the event, with a suggested scale of $20-30.
On Friday, 5 February 2021, from 5:00-6:30pm EST, I will be facilitating a workshop hosted by Livable Futures and Flux + Flow Dance and Movement Center as part of the Fridays for the Future Monthly Virtual Movement Gathering Series. I will be guiding us in Witchdancing, a Butoh-based movement ritual practice developed from my own ongoing practices in both witchcraft and Butoh, and inspired by the work of Alkistis Dimech, Tatsumi Hijikata, Kazuo Ohno, Anna Halprin, and Keith Hennessy. This practice asks: what if a dance is also a spell with which we conjure our bodies and the worlds in which they live? In Witchdancing, we move through a continuous series of images, qualities, and states, engaging in a metamorphosis of the body. The movement is improvisational and requires no previous dance experience. The practice will be supported by an original soundscore by Moxy Martinez. If you are looking for an opportunity to connect with your body and your own magic, I hope you join us!
This workshop will be offered on Zoom and is open to all. It is donation based—free of charge for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and by donation for others.
Fresh Voices in Astrology Summit 2020
I am presenting on Sunday, August 16, at 6pm eastern. My talk is entitled “Celestial Corporeality: Astrology and the Body,” in which I invite us to rethink the body/mind division, understand the body as relationally and socially constituted, and consider the natal chart as a map into our embodied experiences of who we are, who we have been, and who we are becoming.
You can now purchase the recording of this presentation as a digital download.
Queer Astrology Conference 2020
July 10-12, 2020
I am giving two presentations: Astrology Consultations as Feminist Praxis and Embodying Astrological Archetypes, a participatory movement improvisation embodiment workshop.
Both presentations are now available for purchase as digital downloads:
-Astrology Consultations as Feminist Praxis
-Embodying Astrological Archetypes
Sky & Stone, Magic & Medicine
Saturday, March 28
Co-sponsored by Flux + Flow Dance and Movement Center and Livable Futures
Offered on Facebook Live
In this donation based workshop, we will work with simple ritual and meditation practices for shifting consciousness and cultivating experiences of connection and kinship with both the earth and sky. We will engage with both astrology and stones in experiential and embodied explorations. Astrology is an ancient tradition of making meaning with the vast more-than-human world through tracking the movements of the planets in the sky from our place here on earth. Stones are some of our most ancient ancestors, both the bones of the planet and the minerals within our own bodies. In these practices, we will work with meditation, simple and accessible movement explorations guided by the current astrological weather and our encounters with stones, writing, and discussion. No previous experience is necessary.
For the second half of the workshop, we will be working directly with stone magic and medicine, meaning that participants will need to have a rock, stone, or crystal with which to practice. If you already have relationships with stones or crystals in your home, great!
If you need a stone with which to work, check out Rock Candy Healing Crystals or go for a walk and see what shows up for you!
Rituals for Livable Futures
Friday, December 20, 2019
6-8pm at Flux + Flow Dance and Movement Center
Donation based/open to all
Just in time for Solstice, Norah Zuniga Shaw and Michael J. Morris will facilitate an evening of creative movement, sounding, and rituals that help us turn toward change and uncertainty while reaching together for individual and collective well being.
This creative movement workshop is part of a series of community movement events Flux + Flow is co-creating with Livable Futures, including Gaga workshops and other inclusive, full bodied, spontaneous movement experiences. Please note, we allow no mirrors, and no observers. It is not possible to join the class after it's started.
The Spiral of Fortune (7 of Birds): A Laboratory of Political Witchcraft
Michael J. Morris and Keith Hennessy co-facilitated this week-long workshop at Ponderosa (Stolzenhagen, Germany) from July 14-18, 2019, then again at ImPulsTanz (Vienna, Austria) from July 29-August 2, 2019.
The Spiral of Fortune (7 of Birds) is a week of dance divination, queer becoming, healing from political harm, and collaborative world-making, where world-making manifests as post/de-colonial choreography, magic, healing, activism, discourse, and ritual.
Keith Hennessy and Michael J. Morris will offer a week-long intensive laboratory, a politicised mystery school, in an expansive field where the politics of the land meet the politics of the body, and potential is everywhere. Incorporating tarot, astrology, fake and real healing, death practice, dancing together and alone, negotiating difference, somatic exploration and improvised ritual, in an on-going studio practice of shared play, research, and performance. We'll move between tradition and invention, the world as it has been and all the worlds that are yet to come, the known and the unknowable — and the spaces in-between. We'll cultivate full-bodied attention to what is subtle, spectacular, felt, invisible, imaginary, visionary, ancient, emergent, more-than-human, and marginal in order to devise collaborative art/ritual experiences that address contemporary crises in our global age. At the heart of this investigation is the conviction that what we practice at the small scale supports what we are capable of practising at other scales; thus, engaging with the forces of global crises at the scale of individual bodies and communities has the capacity to generate strategies for navigating and co-creating our world.
We'll make experiences and relationships in a vibrant real time composition that resonates in non-linear frequencies with the past, the future, and the timeless. We'll situate our studio in the crisis of power and empowerment destabilised by an era of both privilege and dispossession, economic and environmental precarity.
Dancing Body Magic: Co-Creating Livable Futures
On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, Dr. Kelly Klein and I had the immense pleasure of returning to The Ohio State University—where we both completed our PhDs in Dance Studies—to facilitate a three-hour workshop entitled Dancing Body Magic: Co-Creating Livable Futures.
This workshop was developed from our ongoing collaboration focused on bringing together, synthesizing, and sharing a range of practices and knowledge traditions that we’ve been practicing for many years and that have been intrinsic to how we make our own lives meaningful, including: ritual, magic, witchcraft, astrology, yoga, tarot, and improvisational movement practices.
You can read more about this workshop and practices on the Livable Futures blog.