All Turning; 2K. Illustration by Ingrid Schaar.Turning; 2K. Illustration by Ingrid Schaar.of the dervishes unfold their arms and whirl as the sheikh stands at his post, the musicians play and the chorus chants. The semazens extend their arms, right palm facing up and the left down. The energy from above enters through the right palm, passes through the visible channel of the body, then passes through the left palm into the earth.

As the semazens turn the semazenbashi slowly walks among them, signaling with his eyes or position to correct their speed or posture. The dervishes turn counterclockwise, silently repeating “Allah, Allah.”


After Preparing to turn; 1K. Illustration by Ingrid Schaar.The shaikh turns; 3K. Illustration by Ingrid Schaar. about ten minutes the music stops, and the dervishes complete a turn and halt facing the sheikh. This movement is so quick that their billowing skirts wrap around their legs as they bow to the post.

This sequence, called a selam, is repeated three more times. During the fourth selam, the shaikh slowly enters the circle and turns in the center, as the sun revolves with the planets spinning around it.


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