WELCOME to the world of Psychedelic Sensually Interactive hoops...
Psi-hoops are mesmerizing in performance, and great at raves, dances, parties and suchlike. They are large (20" - 48 "diameter) hoops made from various types of translucent tubing, with custom switches inside to give more variability to the light sequences and provide more interactivity with the performer. They are best at night or in low light, though there are cloth, metallic or leather covered hybrid psi hoops for use by day or in black light as well.
The hoops are Psychedelic, Psionic, and Psychotropic - they Spiral, they are Sensuous (zen-suous?) they engage the Senses (visual, kinesthetic, proprioceptive, emotional and extra-sensory) - they are Interactive, Intense and Illuminating.....so P-S-I. (pronounced sigh, ah...)
psi hoops leave trails, and their patterns evolve with your hooping.
you will always know where you are with your psi hoop!
A digression into definitions and etymology:
Psyche is a greek word originally meaning breath, then life, then the soul. The word Psychic thus refers to the soul or powers of the mind. "Psychology" comes from this, and means the study of the soul, though most psychologists dont know this, and limit themselves to dealing with the brain and behavior. Thus the study of the abilities of the soul has been shunted into "Parapsychology". Para means 'beyond', as in 'paranormal'. 'Paraspychology' means the study of psychological phenomena that science cant explain. (thank God we are not always limited by our symbolic systems).
Thus the word "Psi" to mean someone who is psychic or has psychic abilities such as telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, etc. - which of course we all have to some extent and may regard as perfectly normal. Don't we all know when someone is staring at us, don't we have intuition, don't we exert our will at a distance, cant we all send loving energy to people, does prayer and meditation have no effect, are not all these things normal?
My first fascination in the psionic world was with synaesthesia - the faculty of changing one sensory interpretation into another - like seeing images when listening to music. Our sense organs sample various frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum, and build up an impression of "reality". Like light through a prism splitting up into colors - smell, taste, sound, feel, sight etc are all aspects of the full spectrum and can convert harmonically one into another.
Hooping in general, and in particular with the lights of the psihoop, encourages a development of the mind/body awareness and presence. Something similar occurs in all sports and physical activities including dance, gymnastics, yoga, tai chi, martial arts, zen archery, snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding etc..even playing video games or moving on an exercise ball, or doing anything with focused attention and a clean intention. The circular and spiral movements of the hoop seem to work on this in a special way. Its easy to get into the zone when hooping . And being in the zone is a state where ones presence and psi-powers are expanded. Just watching someone perform with one of these hoops can change your state of consciousness. The psihoops are especially potent in this regard because of the lights and the way the lights interact with the will and skill of the hoopster. The interactivity of the psihoop is designed to further psychokinetic or telekinetic awareness and skill.
STIFFNESS OF HOOPS
Depending on your hooping style you may want different performance characteristics from the hoop. I am making the hoops from several different materials. The stiffer ones allow more speed and consistency of rotation, the more flexible ones have a more organic feel which I enjoy if I am hooping for longer periods. For more on this go to FLEXIBILITY OF HOOPS. The overall diameter of the hoop also influences performance, as does the weight of the hoop and the thickness of the tubing.
TYPES OF BATTERIES
I started making psi hoops with regular batteries, as they gave more juice, longer lit times and freedom from having to recharge. I have switched over to rechargeables now because they give better performance of the hoop. The regular batteries had to be in a compartment at the join of the hoop, and this imbalanced the hoop. It also was a weak spot in the construction, and sometimes the hoop would work intermittently or fail due to this weakness, especially under extreme conditions.
The rechargeable batteries are spaced evenly around the hoop and make for a perfectly balanced hoop which thus doesnt wobble and is more predictable and controllable in certain moves. The rechargeables also are more environmentally friendly...I use the NiMH batteries which are less of a disposal problem than the NICADs. The NiMH batteries dont have any memory effect, so that you dont have to wait for them to discharge before you recharge them. You can "top them up" at any time. One charge will give you around 4 hours of fully lit time, depending on the number of LEDs in the hoop and the type of battery. There is an adaptor included with the hoop for the US voltage. You will need to purchase a transformer to use the hoop in countries with different voltages. You can also charge the hoop with the right adaptor from a car or generator etc.
The thinner (3/4" outside diameter) tubing now works with both AA and AAA batteries, so any of the hoops can now be made with the lighter/ smaller batteries or the larger heavier ones. These AAA batteries last for only around 2 hours of fully lit time between charges, though they will then stay lit, getting redder and redder until they die out, for a while longer. The larger (7/8" and 1" outside diameter) tubings can take either AAA or AA batteries. I recommend the AAs unless weight is a deciding factor. The AAs will last for a minimum of 3 hours of fully lit time (with 24 LEDs) and up to 5 or more hours if you have around 12 or less LEDs. A full charge takes 10 hours or overnight.
All the hoops have an external power switch for turning the lights on and off. It is a small sliding switch that is set into the wall of the hoop so it wont hurt your hand and you won't accidentally turn it off while hooping. A hoop with two circuits will have 2 switches, so that each circuit can be turned on independently or together.
Inside some hoops there are switches which respond to the force, direction and speed of the hoop, and this then affects the lights and the sequences of the colors etc. These switches are handcrafted, each one is unique. At the moment, results tend to vary with these switches and so they cannot be guaranteed. I am developing internal circuitry that will more reliably control lights, trails and patterns in many different ways.
People have asked me if it is safe to take these hoops to the beach etc. In general the answer is yes, though you might not want to risk it if you normally use your hoop for performance. Best to make sure ALL the holes and even the switch is covered over when you are going to hoop in the dirt. Definitely keep the hoop out of the water. I have dunked a couple hoops in the water and they recovered, but I immediately got all the water out and dried them out completely. Hoops that have been dunked or kept for longer periods in damp condition can cease to work and wont be covered by warranty. It is a time consuming and expensive business to repair them. I recently repaired a hoop that had had sand in it which had worn away a connection. No fun.
The following story only applies to you old time psihoopsters who have the battery compartments - I went to a rave and the hoop was lying around in the dirt and sand, and being played with by lots of people for hours. When I went to change the batteries, they were stuck in the compartment. With a lot of shaking and flicking and hitting, I managed to dislodge them. What had happened was that the sand and grit had gotten into the compartment and torn up the covering of the batteries... and so they were stuck...If you go onto the beach with your hoop, or use it in very dusty or earthy conditions, it would be advisable to take the batteries out every so often (maybe once or twice a night or possibly more) , and clean the battery compartment. I did this with a cotton ball on a stick. A small bit of cloth or even part of a paper towel taped to a chopstick would do the trick. As I said above, best to make sure ALL the holes and even the switch is covered over when you are going to hoop in the dirt. Use cloth tape or strapping tape to cover the holes around the battery compartment and cover the switch with a bandaid perhaps and then some tape over that ...anyway to seal it so that you can still turn the hoop on and off.
If you are performing with the hoop and want to make sure you don't accidentally turn it off in the middle of your act, tape over the switch to hold it in position. You only need a small bit of tape. A bandaid or something similar could be sufficient.
Please also see the instruction sheet that comes with your hoop.
The main idea of Psi-hoops (apart from general coolness, frivolity and mayhem) is to provide a visual-kinesthetic link for the performer and audience. You can see the pathways of the hoop and the trails it makes in its spiral journeys. The speed, acceleration-deceleration, momentum and inertia of the hoop is made wonderfully visible. The connection of the body-mind to the motion of the hoop is clarified and intensified. You can feel what you see and see what you feel. It's a synaesthetic tool.
the psi hoop talks to you
as well as the proprioceptive and kinesthetic senses of touch and pressure and location and angular momentum etc, you get the intricate visual feedback
learning is accelerated, the zone opens up
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PSI HOOP
The direction I want to take these hoops is increased interactivity and range of light effects. The internal switches are being developed so that they respond more sensitively to acceleration, and direction and so forth. This may take a while to get together, so carry on ho(o)ping in the meanwhile!
The simplest way to pay is with your credit card through paypal. You can also pay by check. As each hoop is custom-made, takes many hours of intricate work and the materials are expensive, I ask that you pay at the time you order, and realize that there may be up to a three week period (or in some cases even longer) before you take delivery of your hoop. I will be in contact with you via e-mail during that period, and will keep you informed as to the status of your order.
Each hoop is handcrafted and unique.
All hoops come with rechargeable batteries and an external sliding switch. You will need some 1" or 2" wide tape (fluorescent or regular cloth tape or I recommend strapping tape) to secure the hoop. You must read the instructions before use or you will void the warranty.
You can add tape to the hoop to give it more traction and different patterns as it spins...a loose double spiral of 1/2" tape adds depth to the patterns. I get my tape from www.identi-tape.com. They have all sorts of cloth and fluorescent tapes.
MAKE YOUR OWN HOOPS
There is a page devoted to giving you clear and simple instructions on making your own regular hoops and glow stick hoops.
MEDITATIONS WITH THE HOOP
The hoop is basically a circle and carries the symbolism of that. The circle evokes meaning that spans the entirety of human experience. From the individual to the group, the family of man, the earth, the universe - the circle represents them all. It represents wholeness. Man in all cultures has used sacred circles for ritual, prayer, trance, healing etc. The hoop is also a wheel. Our civilization could not exist without the wheel. So take time to feel the symbolism of the hoop and explore it in your dance and workouts with the hoop.
|So what is all this hoopla?
Play, performance, exercise, therapy, expression, rhythm, momentum, love. All of these and more.
A psi hoop is a great dance partner - it will inspire much fun and will teach you a lot.
The hoop is at heart a toy, a tool for amusement, pleasure, entertainment and play. As with all good toys, it provides opportunities for growth and development. I notice that it informs my dancing. The study in momentum transfers some quality to the movement of my limbs and torso. The hoop is not just an object that you whirl around your body. It interacts with you, it responds to your movements, your mood and vibrations. It is slightly pliable (bendable, soft) and so has some unpredictability to its pathways. It has a dance of its own. Do with it as you will. All I am saying is that it can evoke an emotional, energetic, social, soulful quality. In performance you can convey some of this feeling to the audience. It will engage them.
Although a psi-hoop brings a lot of joy and interest to a dance space, it can also be obnoxious, making people cower or flinch or actually hitting them, causing them to be nervous or preoccupied with you, and so forth. So it's a good thing to learn some floor etiquette when you are at a jam, rave, party or dance. Notice how people respond, get used to including those around you in your vision and awareness, invite people in. One of the functions of the LEDs is to warn other dancers that there is a hoop nearby. Share your toys. Put them away when its time for some other community action. After all, as well as telekinesis and synaesthesia and so forth, your basic psi-power is the quality of your attention, your ability to stay in the zone (both personal and social). Often it may feel better to hoop with the lights off. Perhaps the crowd needs a break from the patterns.
Having been hit last night between the eyes with a flying psihoop, and earlier on in my hooping having had a hoop escape my hand and fly over a dancer's head, I have respect for the hoop's projectile qualities. It's pliable and doesn't weigh a lot, but it could still hurt, make people nervous and pissed off. . Please try out crazy new stuff where you wont affect others this way.
As with many toys the psi hoop loves the company of its own kind - two or more of them are amazing together. Many games will develop in a group with some hoops. For example, rolling them so that they meet and travel together across the floor,or lying on your back and suspending them with your feet, or dancing with them in any style like hiphop or contact or whatever, doing the "one-finger thing" - this is a favorite of mine and comes from my martial arts background. Try steering the hoop around with one finger, letting its momentum lead you, try this with two hoops. Having the hoop between you and a partner, both of you just using the end of one finger to support the hoop, give it a little pressure and feel your partners center through the connection. Allow this feeling and the natural movements of the hoop to lead the dance. Try to hoop with two of you inside the hoop...this takes a soft clear connected pelvis, a bit of practice and the right size hoop. There are any number of games, exercises or meditations that will develop. A variation of the stick and ball is the hoop with the exercise ball. Try a light touch with a lighted hoop and a large transparent exercise ball (the kind you sit on and roll around on)...the lights shine in and through the ball, and the ball conveys interesting movements to the hoop. You can stand on the ball and hoop, though that is dangerous and I cannot say that I recommend it. You can carry an exercise ball inside a hoop and spin the ball around using the hoop as a holder, its quite impressive. Building structures with several lit hoops, hooping with multiple lit hoops - hey, the more the merrier!
I occasionally keep up my practice of Tai Chi and the hoop becomes a sword or staff that is curved into itself, an extension of my movement and chi. Because it is round, not sharp, and carries the symbolism of the circle, it is a less threatening object to play with in company of the ladies. Please do this kind of thing mindfully, with full awareness and attention to those around.
Last night a friend was watching us hoop and commented that the hoops looked better on a woman. What doesn't? Guys can still move psi hoops in beautiful, awesome ways. But the attention does seem to drift over to the girls. Maybe we just haven't put in enough time yet...hmmm
I have put my psi-hoops up on the wall, or at the altar in a dance etc. The hoops with the slow changing lights work well for this.
There is a description of a hoop meditation at www.hooping.org/tag/hula-hoop-meditation/
Events that led up to psi-hoopla.
15 billion years ago, Siva imagines a hoop .The universe is alive...
Everything whirls and spins around each other.
The solar system is formed with planets hooping around the sun, rings and moons looping around planets and life settling in on sol 3
Death and taxes take over Earth, no one seems to have a lot of time to play until the 20 th century..
1950s I grow up in Brasil in the country with no electricity. A stick, a ball and a dog are my friends. Wish I had had a hula hoop.
1960s I am at Oxford officially studying natural sciences, but spending a lot of time making day glo Frisbees, luminous table tennis games, and doing my share of psi-chotropics. My favorite psi-power was synaesthesia - the faculty of converting one sense into another, commonly experienced as music generating internal imagery.
2000 I am in Marin County, S-Francisco, and I get into mess painting, (creativity mobilization technique) then everyday boogie jams, then contact improv dance.
2001 girlfriend buys 2 plastic hoops and says that if we need to process that's how we do it.. That was my first expedience with a hula hoop. I tried it and I could not even spin the hoops for more than a second or two. Hey, now I have taken a turn for the better.
||2003 While dancing I see a performance artist playing with a hoop and doing all kinds of stuff I thought was cool and impossible. I go looking for hoop material. I am hooked, hooped and happy.
2004 I make all kinds of hoops, filling them with fluorescent liquids, flashing LEDs and covering them with leather and all kinds of tape. I make em small and I make em big (up to six feet diameter - those are covered in foam to soften them). I learn to dance with my hoops. Hoopla happens. I am on the trail of the psihoop. I meet the Wizard. Many hundreds of hours of trial and error and the first prototypes appear.
The psihoops have their first showing in Vegas at the opening party for the new Cirque du Soleilshow Ka.
Christabel and her troupe are at the wheel.
||2005 Christabel and Anah wow the crowd with the hoops at a rave in honor of Alex Grey in Hollywood.
The first psihoops are sold. The story waits on you.
This is an unretouched photo of 2 hoopsters at work (or is that hula-gans?)