Headless Frank...

advisor to the lovelorn, weary, confused, and the overly self-involved

headless frank

Dear Headless Frank:

What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it’s all about?
—Nebraska Ma

Dear Ma—
Ah, the age-old question finally makes its way to Headless Frank!

The Hokey Pokey has deeper roots than you might think. This seemingly lighthearted circle dance is a modern-day outgrowth of a ceremonial chant created by ancient Italian monks. The original Latin name for it, as you might guess, was the Hocus Pocus.

Back in the 4th century as many as a dozen monks would cram themselves into a tiny oratory (prayer house) that often had only one small window in the roof, through which their prayers—usually in the form of the Hocus Pocus—would be channeled to The Almighty.

Amazingly, the words, ritual movements and tune to the Hokey Pokey haven’t changed in 1,600 years. The monks’ song was much slower and more chant-like so naturally the actions were more contorted and dramatic. Imagine putting your left foot in and shaking it all about at only a tenth of the speed done in today’s Hokey Pokey. The ancients were "all about" (wouldn’t you know?) balance and body shake.

Ma, consider today’s relaxation and meditation techniques. They come straight out of Hocus Pocus practices. Yoga, transcendental meditation, contemplation, zumba, pilates, tai chi, qigong—ALL are descendants of the Hokey Pokey. So no what-ifs. That IS what it’s all about.

Go forth and shake it all about.

Signing off: Medulla oblongata.