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10th Annual Winter Solstice Blessing Friday
Friday, December 13th at 7:30pm CST
Online sale ends: 12/13/13 at 4:00pm CST
The Minnesota Opera Center
620 North First Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410
-= series =-
Buy Tickets
Buy Tickets

10th Annual “Winter Solstice Blessing”

Part theater, part shamanic ceremony

 A nontraditional and spiritual holiday experience


So you have your buffet of traditional holiday fare – the Nutcrackers, Scrooges and sentimental holiday shows. Then you have your hilariously snide “anti-holiday” shows. But what if you are someone who hungers for an alternative to both traditional fare and cynical anti-traditional fare? What if you are a member of the largest denomination in America: the “spiritual but not religious?” What if you seek a non-traditional, non-Jesus, warm, communal, spiritual holiday experience?


Jaime Meyer’s “Winter Solstice Blessing” might be the alternative of alternatives. Blessing is part theatre, part laugh-until-you-hurt storytelling, and part interactive shamanic ceremony. It’s played to sold-out houses for nine years. It’s the coolest holiday show you’ve never heard of. Everyone in the audience plays drums or rattles supplied by Meyer (many audience members bring their own drums). Dancing and ecstasy are encouraged but not required. The evening blends Meyer’s seminary degree with his 30 years of studying indigenous spiritual traditions with shamans. He draws mainly on his own Celtic and Nordic roots, and on the ancient earth-centered spiritual practices in those cultures.


Blessing focuses on the image of the reindeer as the “great beating heart of blessing at the center of creation.” He first encountered the spiritual reindeer while studying with a shaman, an ethnic Sami—the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia. Meyer’s fascination with the reindeer as a spiritual image, and how that image has been converted into the story of Rudolf lead him to create this winter solstice event.


The show includes a chorus of women chanting mysterious Nordic melodies with a dark and ancient feel, songs that, as one audience member said, “Lutherans are not allowed to learn.” The evening culminates with a shamanically inspired ceremony of blessing from the Great White Reindeer.


Meyer has a long background as a playwright and theatre producer. In the late 1980’s He founded a theater company with local wunderkinds Kevin Kling and Steven Dietz, and later, he co-founded the first Hmong theatre company in the world, writing ten plays in English and Hmong that were produced in many cities across the USA to hundreds of thousands of audience members. For the last 14 yeears he has created monthly drumming experiences called “Drumming the Soul Awake.”(Also the title of his book available here  


 “I’ve made it my life’s goal to become progressively more invisible to the large mainstream theatre audience,” Meyer quips. But just as quickly he becomes more serious and admits that something not quite graspable has been leading him for many years, calling him away from traditional theatre, and toward ceremony, where people can actively participate, and where they can encounter some kind of sacred Presence.


“Something so inexpressible and utterly mysterious happens when people drum together,” says Meyer. “You create a sacred space together. Time bends and emotions flow more freely. Pent up spiritual toxins locked inside are washed out, and you become filled with life energy, and this energy reaches out and blesses the world around you. You become part of the earth rather than loud tourists or ignorant visitors. You bless and become blessed by the deep beauty of the living earth.”


He adds quickly: “But besides all that, studies show that drumming makes you sexy. It raises the energy that the Greeks called Eros—erotic energy. I learned that the first time I drummed. One ancient Greek also said that men with too much Eros lose their hair because it rises up inside them and burns the roots of the hair from the inside. Tragically, I learned that too late.” 


Meyer is keenly aware that many people hunger for meaningful spiritual experiences but are turned off both by traditional religion and new age practices. Meyer fills his serious spiritual theatre work with just as serious humor. “The day I stop laughing at my own absurdities is the day I become a dangerous spiritual person” he says, “and we have too many of those already.”


In his seminary studies Meyer came across two ideas that have formed the basis for his work in the last several years. The first is that the most powerful individual religious experiences happen in smaller groups. The second is the idea that in all ages and eras, there is a fundamental theological question driving every culture, whether they know it or not. All religious structures throughout time are answers to that question, even if the people don’t consciously know what the question is.


And the question for our time? Meyer thinks it is “what is humans’ place in the web of life on earth?” Blessing is one answer to that question, and the summary comes in these words that he sings in the show:


You did not come into this world.

You came out of it.

Like the wave crest out of the ocean,

Like the purple bloom on the lily.

And you are not a stranger here,

And you are not alone.

No, you are not a stranger here

And you are already home.

The Minnesota Opera Center is located at 601 North First Street, in the warehouse district of Downtown Minneapolis (three blocks north of Washington Avenue, six blocks West of Hennepin Avenue.). For a map, click here. There is ample free parking directly across the street from the MN Opera Center, paid parking ½ block away, and parking on the street.


Production Information:


Blessing by Jaime Meyer

At The Minnesota Opera Center, 601


Friday-Saturday, December 13, 14, 7:30 PM.

Sunday, December 15   at 7 PM

Doors open and drumming begins 30 mutes before curtain.

Tickets: $20

Seating is limited. All seats are general admission.

For more information on Jaime Meyer see www.drummingthesoulawake.com

Contact Jaime Meyer: drummingthesoulsawake@gmail.com


Items Not Allowed
The event is really not appropriate for small children. There are some quiet meditative sections and some of the ceremony might scare a small kid. Guide dogs or service dogs are welcome.

Presented By

7:30pm to 9:30pm
Doors open at 7:30pm

General Admission: $20.00


The Minnesota Opera Center<br> 620 North First Street<br> Minneapolis, 55410


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