Ritual Dance: Djin, Ya Ho Wa 13

As told to: Carol Lee

Founded in 1973 by Father Yod, the spiritual leader of the Southern California-based religious group the Source Family, Ya Ho Wa 13 reformed after a 33-year hiatus to hypnotize the masses with their combination of garage, tribal and psychedelic music. It's a throwback to the era of freewheeling experimentation, but they keep trucking through the ages, bringing strange and trippy vibes to the new millennium. Check out The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13, and The Source Family to dig deeper into the scene, available at amazon.com.

Ultimately, when circumstance allows, I will go off on my own at first and center my awareness by chanting, 'EEEEE AHHHHHH OHHHHHH' for a minute. Then I will do some slow, deep rhythmic breathing for a minute. Then Octavius and Sunflower and I will do the same thing together again, if we can find each other. A 'star exercise' has lately been conducted on stage for the entire audience just before we play, which involves spreading arms and legs out while standing in a star position and leaning back doing a rapid breathing technique called 'breath of fire.' It's a real good psych-up and crowd-band unifier. I try to keep the thought in my mind, 'May this performance be a blessing for all concerned,' and give thanks to YaHoWha God for the opportunity to serve in this way.

Photograph by Jeanette Paredes

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