Whirling dervish long exposure - Stock Image

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Izmir, Turkey - December 24, 2006: Whirling dervish in the Sema ceremony. The semâ begins with a chanted prayer to The Prophet, who represents love, and all prophets before him. Next a kettledrum sounds as a symbol of the Divine order of the Creator, followed by haunting musical improvisation on the ney (reed flute) which symbolizes the Divine Breath which gives life to everything.The master bows, then leads the dervishes in a circle around the hall. As they pass the master\\\'s ceremonial position at the head of the hall, they bow to each other. This portrays the salutation of soul to soul concealed by shapes and bodies.After three circles, the dervishes drop their black cloaks. One by one, arms folded on their breasts, they approach the master, bow, kiss his hand, receive instructions, then spin out onto the floor. Through whirling, the dervishes relinquish the earthly life to be reborn in mystical union with God.
whirling dervishes at the ceremony
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