“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Nikola Tesla
There has been a lot of energy flowing through Versailles. People are fashioning groups and discussions designed to unclutter the mind so we may think outside of our own personal boxes. One of the most thoughtful and capable champions of that ilk is Jackie Hanson, who has been healing and strengthening locals for years. She now teaches at The Yoga Room, 104 Court Street, an establishment that features a Meditation class which I absolutely intend on attending.
Shannon Lane Corbett is another one contributing to higher-minded pursuits. Originally from Georgia, this wife, mother, teacher and seeker has been a resident of Versailles for five years. Shannon spends her days volunteering at hospice, bringing her puppy to nursing homes for pet therapy, substitute teaching for Woodford County schools and holding class at the gym, spotting little ones trying to perfect their jumps and flips. All of this while raising a twelve and eighteen-year-old with her farm manager husband.
On Thursday nights, with a third eye toward her own growth, Shannon teaches a workshop on Chakras. Chakras are the energy centers of the body believed for centuries to hold the key to unleashing all that is available from the universe. Arranged along the spinal cord there are the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras. Shannon focuses on one chakra a week, those in the room learn about internal issues associated with that area of the body, colors, foods, stones and poses that aid in opening up those energy centers, how we can recognize, activate and clear these portals so we may be able to receive as Deepak Chopra says, “just a little more.” After a casual and inclusive lecture, we discuss how we personally relate. Shannon then offers a choice of beautiful stones to take home and ends the sessions with a guided meditation.
Susan Hammond, niece of lifetime Versailles residents, Linda and Leonard ‘Buzzy’ Nave, is another bringing clarity in the form of the natural. Susan has returned home from Florida to share her longtime passion and now trade of therapeutic grade essential oils. She holds classes to inform about the healing powers of jasmine, eucalyptus and lavender to name a few.
Such gatherings remind me of what has been known throughout history as salons. In fifteenth and sixteenth century France, a salon constituted a group of people under one roof seeking to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation. Early salons consciously followed Roman poet Horace and his Ars Poetica or The Art of Poetry. He defined the aims of poetry as “either to please or to educate.”
Salons had an important role for women when they began in that it was one place they would be heard. Society was regulated almost completely by men but women were a powerful influence in the salon, carrying out the important role of regulators and selecting both the guests and subjects up for discussion. They used the salon as a form of higher education to gain knowledge from sought-after intellectuals.
One of the most famous literary salons in Paris was the Hotel de Ramboullet, established in 1607 near the Palais du Louvre by the Marquise de Ramboullet. Its rival salon was in the home of Madeleine de Sudaery, who frequented the Hotel de Ramboullet before starting her own. This group came to be known as Blue-Stockings or les bas-bleus, which was taken to mean ‘intellectual woman.’
Salons were crucial to social development because these were places where art was discussed as well as ideas and philosophies in an arena where arguments and power plays were virtually non-existent. The atmosphere was generally light. They were true discussions. The difference between the noblemen and the bourgeois class was acknowledged but the parties were respectful to each other. They discussed painting and dining and reading as well as gambling and the political climate, in a setting that was ruled by appreciation for each individual’s point of view.
These may seem heady ambitions in this age of phones, computers and the 24-hour news cycle of catastrophes we are inundated with but I believe from the depths of my newly cleansed Heart Chakra that groups like these are essential so we can unplug from the cacophony and plug into energy we may not see but certainly feel.
Erinchandlerauthor.com, Rabbit House Books & Notions