Strega Solstice Ritual, 2020: The Tarantella

Summer Solstice, Strega style: come dance a tarantella. Goddess Diana—Faerie Queen—will bless our magic.

Summer Solstice, Strega style: come dance a tarantella.

We’ll do the tarantella to ward off and cure disease.

We’ll dance to ward off and cure spiritual plague.

Our taranta will reclaim our power and our ancestors’ wisdoms.

Goddess Diana, Faerie Queen, will bless our magic and merriment. (Traditional Italian witchcraft is a form of Faerie shamanism. There are many Faerie shamanic paths, historically speaking.)

The taranta is also known as tarantella.

We’ll meet June 18, 3:00 to 3:45 pm EST, for a Faerie midsummer dance ritual on Zoom. Isn’t midsummer festival a perfect time to dance unto joy and freedom?

If you’re shy or have disabilities: during the ceremony, dance variations are welcome. Heck, if you just want to sit and visualize yourself doing the dance, that’s powerful.

Zoom link and other information about joining in this free event will be in my next newsletter. Subscribe here:

You don’t need the following information in order to attend the rite, but here’s background for the magical spell we’ll do:

My mother, like many Fey-touched souls, was stalked at every turn by a society that hates magic. I see her story every day, around me and in myself.

But, this solstice, we’ll dance to shake off the psychic diseases with which society attempts to smother us like a blanket smothers a fire. Our fires will burn bright.

The sun will be at its highest—a perfect time to honor our inner fires and dance in the glow of the sun’s ascendancy to fuel our own.

My friend Jenn Campus ( posted a Youtube video on her Facebook account. Here’s the vid:

I almost cried. Happy tears. Was blown away. My reaction to the dancing was subconscious and physical, beyond my mental grasp at first.

Something ancient, primal, and inherent in my atoms came forward. My conscious mind couldn’t comprehend it. My cells and subconscious alone recognized what was going on. Only in a while would I understand it on a cognitive level.

I longed to do the dance in the video. It was tarantella. My grandparents on my mother’s side used to do that dance at weddings. We’d all join in.

Piled on top of the video came the experience of reading the lyrics for the song the dancer had performed to. Geez.

Jenn gave me the lyrics. Halfway through reading them, I almost couldn’t breathe. I finally understand the expression It took my breath away. Those lyrics took my breath away. I couldn’t breathe for a moment.

Reading them, my experience was similar to how I’d been watching the dance. There was subconscious and physical impact, beyond my mental grasp. My cells and unspeaking self drank in what was utterly between the lines of the lyrics. I was still having trouble breathing after I finished reading. Click here for a translation. The one Jenn showed me moved me much more. To respect copyright, I’m not posting it here.

I love magic so much. … and watching the dancing and hearing/reading the song gave me back some big piece of my magic.

I decided to dance a tarantella for the first time in possibly decades. It wouldn’t feel right to do it alone. So I decided to invite you to a Zoom meeting. We can dance as fairy tribe.

Shortly after I first saw the dance video, my conscious mind started understanding. I thought of all my mother passed on to me, struggling to do so—and managing to do so—under the weight of oppression that she eventually succumbed to, with her cancer. I love my mom so much.

Some might find it a contradiction that she was an indomitable spirit who died of cancer at an early age. I don’t see it that way. Her immense spirit kept her alive that long. I love her so much for the fights she did win, and the fights she chose, including her finding ways. despite all, to pass on her unassailable spirit to me; without her, I would’ve been nothing, given what society and the rest of the family did to me when I was a child, But Toni (Mom) held my spirit.

The tarantella and song hold the energy that Mom was striving toward, often embodied, but too often had to let trickle through her fingers because she had to instead raise a fist to ward off constant assaults on her dignity, soul, and body.

And despite her struggles, you should’ve heard her laugh—it is one of the things I love most about my mother. She was an elegant, dignified lady … with a raucous laugh.

Goddess, I miss Toni. RIP Mom.

When my conscious mind even more completely understood, I found words for what my body and subconscious had realized:

The tarantella is a traditional Italian witchcraft dance, performed by Stregas for the reasons given above and more: to stop physical and spiritual plague, and to reclaim power, magic, sexuality, ancestors, their wisdoms, and their ways. The taranta creates wholeness. Utter wholeness.

That’s my belief. I don’t know if it’s been documented or not. I haven’t researched it, except on the otherworldly plane. Oppressors bury proof of empowering information.

I dislike that the dancer who performed extraordinarily in the video has not been named yet, at least not anywhere I searched online. If you find her name for me, please let me know. The difficulty of finding this dancer’s name speaks volumes to me about our modern world’s attitude toward the body and magic. Namelessness can be erasure, part of burying magical facts and joy.

But I did find this second video. It shows the woman’s face, which means the world to me:

It might be surprise you that I hadn’t realized the full ritual nature of the dance until now, though I was raised in a Strega family tradition. I was an imperfect student. At times in my childhood, I rejected much of what Mom conveyed. In retrospect, I realize my subconscious embraced the tarantella as ritual, but that’s as far as it went.

An aside: here’s a story about visiting my deceased mother in an ancestral ritual. The post also discusses 1) a mother’s nurturing of her children despite they and she struggling under the weight of an oppressive society 2) why oppressors try to alienate us from the power of our mothers’ love.

A ritual dance that can help manifest everything I listed above is no small thing. I felt nonetheless something larger, a reclamation of such enormity that my heart and cells could not stay still. A sacred frenzy is upon me.

Supposedly, the dance is named after the tarantula spider, whose bite makes people move bizarrely. But it must be the other way around; that’s what my body and spirit tell me. The sacred mandate to own one’s power is so powerfully physical that it looks like someone driven to wild movement by a tarantula. A holy fevered agitation has taken hold and will abate only if I dance until I release all bondage and more fully than ever become a glorious witch, holy woman, sexual Goddess, and delighted human. I’ll dance tarantella until I’m completely whole.

Everything in me longs to dance a taranta again. Everything.

Join me.

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A sacred frenzy is upon me, the mandate to own my power. This fevered agitation will abate only if I dance until I release all bondage and more fully than ever become a glorious witch, holy woman, sexual Goddess, and delighted human. I’ll dance tarantella until I’m completely whole.

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2 Responses to Strega Solstice Ritual, 2020: The Tarantella

  1. Rosa says:

    …everything in me longs to dance the taranta or pizzica as well… 🙂

    • Francesca De Grandis says:

      Hi, Rosa, the pizzica is not a form of the tarantella I ever learned. What do you like about it? Thanks so much for posting!

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