Learning to fly: The transformative aspects of the rave experience

The phenomenon of the post-modern rave experience and its parallels to ancient Eastern traditions and practices are presented in this artistic-creative production thesis. A heuristic method examines the spiritual, religious, and transformative aspects of rave culture. Through exploring pre-patriarchal conceptions of love, sexuality, and the pursuit of ecstasy a connection between the rave experience and the honoring of the divine feminine is established. The author‘s memoir Learning to Fly: A Memoir (Sherk, 2010) describes a transcendent journey of love, loss, death, and rebirth through the lens of Campbell‘s (2008) hero‘s journey. In the process, the author realizes the repressed feminine aspects living within her and, through her own pursuit of ecstasy—both within rave culture and beyond—experiences transcendence of traditional Western patriarchal conceptions of love and sexuality. Further, it is posited that the balancing of both the masculine and the feminine is essential in the quest for healing.


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